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St. Paul Island (Nova Scotia) facts for kids

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Saint Paul Island
Geography
Location Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Saint Paul Island (Nova Scotia)
Saint Paul Island

St. Paul Island (French: Île Saint-Paul) is a small uninhabited island located approximately 24 km (15 mi) northeast of Cape North on Cape Breton Island and 71 km (44 mi) southwest of Cape Ray on Newfoundland; it is along the boundary between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Cabot Strait.

Overview

An extension of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cape Breton Highlands, the highest point on St. Paul Island is 147 m (485 feet) atop "Croggan Mountain". At the time the first Loyalist settlers arrived in Victoria County, St. Paul was known as Kuhtumuneggo, meaning "A Round Island" in Miꞌkmaq.

Spraycan-lighthouse
Spraycan Lighthouse

St. Paul Island is approximately three miles long by one mile wide at its widest point. It is formed of granite and is extremely rugged with its shores being completely encircled by rockface cliffs. It is split by a narrow channel that fills with sea water. The only land mammals inhabiting the island are originally domesticated rabbits, which were set loose after the lifesaving station was established in the late 1800s (the ramp and massive rowboat for 10 men were still there in 1950/51 as well as an enormous house including a dam forming a fresh water reservoir also used by the radio range station operators and families up to the 1950s). The remains of a WWII RCAF radar station were also still there facing the landing area in 1950/51. It is also inhabited by numerous seabirds. There are also two small lakes in the interior stocked with trout. Its ecosystem is considered fragile and due to the danger posed by visiting the island, visits must be cleared beforehand with the Canadian Coast Guard which administers the island on behalf of its owner, the Government of Canada.

The island is nicknamed the "Graveyard of the Gulf" (of St. Lawrence) as it is fog-bound throughout much of the navigation season and posed a significant hazard during the Age of Sail. Although it may have seen use by the Mi’kmaq Nation, it is believed to have been discovered by John Cabot.

A lighthouse was first established on the island in 1839. This lighthouse burned down in 1916. It was replaced by a cast iron cylindrical lighthouse in 1917. This was in turn replaced by an automated system in 1962.

With the light station now automated using solar power, the island sees few visitors, aside from Canadian Coast Guard helicopters on maintenance trips. The island used to host a Marconi wireless station and it still sees occasional amateur radio operators who use the callsign prefix CY9. Other visitors include birdwatchers and SCUBA divers.

The island is an Important Bird Area.

Climate

St Paul Island experiences a marine influenced subarctic climate (Koppen: Dfc), bordering on a humid continental climate (Dfb). On rare occasions, the temperature can rise rapidly and briefly when southwesterly winds blowing offshore from mainland Cape Breton reach the island. The highest temperature ever recorded on St Paul Island was 30.0 °C (86 °F) on 14 August 1944. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −23.3 °C (−10 °F) on 29 December 1933, 10 February 1934, and 6 February 1950.

Climate data for St Paul Island, Nova Scotia (extremes 1928–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.5
(61.7)
12.8
(55)
13.9
(57)
17.3
(63.1)
22.2
(72)
26.7
(80.1)
28.3
(82.9)
30.0
(86)
26.7
(80.1)
23.3
(73.9)
19.9
(67.8)
14.9
(58.8)
30.0
(86)
Average high °C (°F) -2
(28)
-3
(27)
-1
(30)
2
(36)
7
(45)
12
(54)
18
(64)
20
(68)
16
(61)
11
(52)
5
(41)
1
(34)
7
(45)
Daily mean °C (°F) -5
(23)
-6
(21)
-4
(25)
0
(32)
4
(39)
9
(48)
15
(59)
16
(61)
13
(55)
8
(46)
2
(36)
-2
(28)
4
(39)
Average low °C (°F) -8
(18)
-10
(14)
-7
(19)
-2
(28)
1
(34)
6
(43)
12
(54)
13
(55)
10
(50)
5
(41)
0
(32)
-4
(25)
1
(34)
Record low °C (°F) -22.8
(-9)
-23.3
(-9.9)
-21.7
(-7.1)
-14.4
(6.1)
-3.9
(25)
-0.6
(30.9)
4.4
(39.9)
5.6
(42.1)
2.8
(37)
-4.4
(24.1)
-11.1
(12)
-23.3
(-9.9)
-23.3
(-9.9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 80
(3.15)
80
(3.15)
70
(2.76)
60
(2.36)
70
(2.76)
70
(2.76)
50
(1.97)
60
(2.36)
100
(3.94)
100
(3.94)
90
(3.54)
100
(3.94)
930
(36.61)
Source: Weatherbase

Coordinates: 47°12′10″N 60°09′03″W / 47.20278°N 60.15083°W / 47.20278; -60.15083

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