Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Basin Head, Prince Edward Island

Basin Head Provincial Park

Basin Head Provincial Park is located in Basin Head, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is best known by its nickname "Singing Sands", in reference to the pure white sand that sings as you walk through it, due to a high silica content. This sand is geologically unique to the area. This silica, when heated by the sun, produces a high pitched squeaking sound when rubbed together. Dragging your feet through the sand is enough to elicit this effect.


The beach itself is split into two sections, divided by a channel (known locally as the 'run'). A bridge spans the 'run', and is a popular attraction for jumping and diving. 

Yours Truly n PJ in foreground :)

Basin Head received its name from its wide, hollow bowl shaped form, like a basin. For many years it was a productive fishing area. 

 In 1937, it was decided to build a harbour and maintain a wharf at Basin Head. Much dredging was done, and the result was the large sand dunes on the beach which still remain today.

 The harbour was opened in 1938, and dredged again in 1959. In the peak time of fishing at the Basin there were about 25-30 boats fishing out of Basin Head. As many as twenty shacks owned by many of the fishermen were also located on the cape, along with a bunkhouse that housed at least twenty or more people. This was Basin Head's most productive era.

 In 1973 the Basin Head Fisheries Museum was built under the direction of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation and was open to the public. In 1995-96 huge renovations took place on the site by the Eastern Kings Development Association. This included a board walk which features access to the magnificent "Singing Sands" white sandy beach, gift shops, food, and beach services and a children’s play village. A special thanks to Robin Konstabaris @ for photo below. Thanks Robin and you should check out his site.

The tidal lagoon behind the dunes is habitat for a variety of Giant Irish Moss called Chrondrus crispus. This is the only place in the world that it is found. This particular strain of Irish Moss, is also referred to as Giant Moss. It is distinctive because it has a unique life cycle, does not attach to the bottom and is significantly larger than the normal plant found elsewhere. In addition, it has a higher concentration of carrageen, a stabilizing and thickening agent used in many household products.

Draggin' for Irish Moss



paul said...

fascinating post

really enjoyed learning about this special little corner of the world

i love the poetic moniker "singing sands"

DJan said...

I never even heard of singing sands before! I hope I will get to experience that someday. And now, thanks to you, I know right where to go. It's a lovely post, filled with pictures and interesting things like Giant Moss! Thanks for the visit, Saucy!

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy learning more about Canada. It will always have a very special place in my heart. Great pictures and super beach.

Uncle Kenny

Red Nomad OZ said...

Ha! Whether official or no, I too have experienced singing sands - but mine were downunder!! Maybe yours 'sing' more than ours?? A fascinating post that makes me think we're not all that far apart after all ...

ChaM_My said...

Thanks for bringing us, your readers up close and personal to your beloved place, Canada. It's very far from my place but the no matter the distance, we are still under the same sky.Love the pictures. Youthful as always.


Genie said...

On my Bucket List is “go to Prince Edward Island.” Just hope I live that long. I really enjoyed all of these pictures. They bring it all alive for me. I love the idea that Giant Irish Moss grows there. I adore Ireland. The old buildings are out of this world. genie

Gail said...

I learned much from this post and am extremely intrigued by the singing sand. You know I'm a moss gal too so this would be right up my alley.