NB Insider

Brian McLachlan
Islander at Heart

Grand Manan Island is a perfect retreat from the busy pace of life. It was so inviting to Brian McLachlan when he visited 15 years ago, he decided not to leave. “Island life is really a feeling you have…you know, when they say you can feel your soul, well, I feel my soul here and it’s just beautiful.”

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You can live your whole lifetime and you’d be lucky if you come across enough friends to count them on one hand. My dad always said you’d be a rich man if you fill one hand. Here, I’ve filled up my hand two or three times.

Experience life, East of Ordinary

5 Tips to experiencing true island life on Grand Manan


Stop at Seal Cove. “This is one of the highlights, with the smoke sheds. Everything is part of the oldest smoked herring industry,” says Brian. “My wife and I live upstairs in this shed we’ve restored.”


A stop at the North Head Bakery is a must. Bread is their passion and the smell of fresh bread, coffee and croissants will greet you as you walk in. You may also want to pick up a few sandwiches and treats for later in the day!


Go over to the dark side. “Dulse is a big industry here on the island. It’s the best in the world. They harvest it over in Dark Harbour, you should go over and see all of the people working,” says Brian.


Whales guaranteed, or your money back. “You’ve got to go out and see the whales,” recommends Brian. “That’s what brought us here from Ontario 15 years ago as a detour off our East Coast Harley Davidson tour.”


Find the freshest catch. “Lobster fishing isn’t meant for mainlanders,” says Brian. “I tried it once. These guys work really hard, 16 hours a day pulling big traps. But the lobster, it’s the best.”