Arcade Field Trip – Drowning Coast – Mark McInnis
Nova Scotia. I love the way it rolls off my tongue. It sounds like a fictional land from an unreleased Tolkien novel. It’s obviously not, but it sure sounds like it could be. In reality, Nova Scotia is one of the easternmost provinces in the wonderful country of Canada.
It has been dubbed “the drowning coast” as the loose, muddy, hills that make up the coastline erode and leave nothing behind but the cobblestones embedded deep in the earth. And it is these cobblestone remains that have created – and continue to create – one of the most wave-rich coasts in North America.
As a surfer in Nova Scotia, you’re not going to become a professional duck-diver, but you have every opportunity to refine your rail-game to unprecedented heights. Just look at my handsome friend Nico Manos for proof.
Nico was raised near these perfect points but didn’t start surfing until he was around 15 years old. Nearing 30, Nico has done in just 15 years what it takes most people a lifetime to accomplish. One look at Nico’s effortless approach and timeless style forces you to think of a goofy-footed Tom Curren or a cold-water Rob Machado. And it just goes to show that this little province has the potential to produce world-class talent.
Back in January 2014, my good friend and insanely talented surfer, Dane Anderson, and I traveled to Nova Scotia to stay and surf with Nico, his wife Jill and their amazing border collie, Ollie.
The trip started about as bad as you can imagine. Upon entering the country, I got interrogated by the Canadian customs agents for hours. I wasn’t that worried about it at first because the girl that was interviewing me was an absolute knockout. I was actually enjoying the process... Then she left and came back with two huge, unfriendly, pasty white men that proceeded to take my phone, read all my emails and even called Nico and Jill to make sure my story about visiting and surfing was, in fact, true. It was insane!
Unfortunately, we did not hear from Dane for days! We were supposed to arrive about an hour apart, but he never showed. Turns out on his approach to land in Halifax, the plane turned around because the weather was too treacherous to land...
He spent the next 3 days in the Philadelphia and when he finally arrived, his boards did not. Luckily, the boards eventually showed up, the North Atlantic turned on and snow blanketed the coast. We received 26 days of surf during our month long stay! That is literally unheard of in Nova Scotia. We scored. Unfortunately, you probably won’t. But it’s always worth a shot.