Monday, October 29, 2007

In The Doldrums

That's how it feels around here right now - becalmed, stationary, not really moving much at all. Since we came back from our last Bonavista Bay excursion, we've been homebodies - between work and weather, we just haven't had the chance to get out on the water or travel far from the house. We did, however, go to Tors Cove on the Southern Shore to hear Nova Scotia bluesman Morgan Davis last week - he played at a small art gallery overlooking the tiny harbour and the bird sanctuary islands - that was keen! About 40 folks there, and he played for close to two hours, wonderful stuff. Sun came out during the second set, pouring thru the large windows into the gallery; "Blues in the sun", Morgan remarks, "How spooky is that???"

Hope to get to Eastport the Nov. 11th weekend to shut the cabin down for the winter - put a couple of kayaks away, drain the water system, set up the heat worm on the water intake pipe and bring back one of the VKs against the opportunity to get out on the water during the coming weeks - a dream, maybe, but dreams are what get you thru the doldrums...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Living The Life... Upper Gullies.
We're back to two dogs again. Booah has returned from her summer haunts in Upper Amherst Cove, as her Tante Adie has moved house to Elliston and doesn't fancy having to de-fur yet another house before heading back to town for the winter. Booah's apartment is being rewired, so she's bunking in with us and Ramah, her Samoeyd/Newfoundland cross half-brother, until Tante gets back in town around December 1st.

Still, she reckons, there's really no need to not make oneself at home and relax, even if you are a guest - the La-Z-Boy is quite comfortable, the food's not bad and the humans do manage to get the canine contingent out for a walk along the old railroad track along the seashore any day it's fit to be outside.

It may be a dog's life, but hey, someone's got to do it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

One Last Run...

Took a quick jaunt to Upper Amherst Cove this weekend to visit younger daughter and help her prepare to move out of the wonderful little house she's been renting this past summer. She's going to miss it - the forty people, the friends who've welcomed her and helped her so much, the hypnotising view of the ever-changing sea from the kitchen window.
She's fallen in love with the area, and plans to stay another six weeks or so in another community. It's great to see her have the opportunity of experiencing outport Newfoundland, one of the best places to live left in this sorry old world.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Keels is one of those magical places that strikes you immediately as the very heart and soul of Newfoundland's northeast coast. Situated at the extreme end of a rocky peninsula dividing two arms of Bonavista Bay, a corner of the tiny harbour is well sheltered, with reefs and offfshore sunkers blocking the swells and waves.

Fishing boats are hauled up on the slipway and beach, which is a very good thing; it's a sure sign of a healthy inshore fishery, something that's been mournfully lacking in all too many small outports since the '92 groundfish moratorium forced a stop to fishing on the tattered remains of the 2J3KL codstock, once the largest free-swimming stock of protein in the oceans.

Behind them the houses and other buildings lie nestled in nooks and hollows amongst the rocks with no discernable pattern, save for that dictated by the needs of an owner and his neighbors; this place was settled and grown old long before municipal planners were even dreamed of.

The observant eye can see the age of this place - the stacked, flat stone foundations beneath houses, the elaborate fretwork around windows and doors, the steeply sloped rear roofs facing the ocean- it all hints of the fact that Keels has been here since the 1700's.

It can and does, of course, get rough here: outside the harbour's shelter, it's the open North Atlantic, with nothing between you and Europe but light and air and water. Not a place for small paddlecraft in anything but perfect weather and highly skilled hands.

Some folks would look around Keels and see nothing isolation, exposure, the pure bald rocky headland nature of this place. To me, tho, that's Newfoundland, that's what this island and these people are all about.

St. John's, for all its glories, could really be McCity, Pop. 135,000, Anywhere - the same malls, the same buses, the same crowds. Keels is Keels, has been for hundreds of years, and will remain so into the future.