Sunday, March 14, 2004

What a great day yesterday. I hooked up with my friend Leslie, father of four kids, and all seven of us bundled off together to do some beachcombing at Tunstall Bay. Leslie was in search of some cedar which he was planning to split and turn into a gate for his garden.

It was a really nice day yesterday, sunny and warm with a slight wind coming from the northwest when we set out, so it was a little chilly on the beach. But we quickly found a beautiful log which Leslie sawed in two with an old four foot crosscut saw. As we were hauling the log off the beach and tying it to the roof of his van, a couple of carloads of Saturday visitors from the mainland arrived in new luxury automobiles and fine clothes and stood around watching us. I had this distinct feeling of myself as a spectacle...a couple of hardy Islanders salvaging their own building materials while their kids ran around popping bladderwrack floats and looking for crabs, and playing in the caves on the rocky shore. It was like a scene out of an Enid Blyton novel. I could hardly restrain myself from laughing out loud.

To make matters more fun, one of the Island oldtimers and his son showed up right at low tide to launch a boat on the primitive boat ramp. Primitive begins to describe the ramp, only because there isn't a word that comes to my mind to describe pre-primitive. The ramp bascially consists of the road ending in a small drop off onto a rocky beach, which at low tide, extends about 40 feet out into the ocean. Buddy showed up with a rebuilt 1970s Jeep and they pushed and bounced their way into the water, pausing only to force the whole apparatus over a sizable boulder that didn't show up in their rear view mirror. I thought the trailer was going to come right through the bottom of the boat.

At any rate, they got the boat into the water where it started up in a cloud of blue smoke, took off a couple of hundred yards off shore and then gave out. It limped back to the beach and got hauled out on the trailer and they took off to make the necessary repairs.

By this time, the wind had died down and the sun was really warm. We sat on the beach watching seals and oystercatchers, mergansers and loons ply their trade near shore while out on the water fishing boats jockeyed for space with log barges, log booms and skiffs full of woodchips motoring up and down the coast.