Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dilatory day; a dart to Dildo island.

Exhausted after a very long couple of days; I pushed through the procrastination. Believe it or not paddling was the last thing I wanted to do....but knew that was a certain sign I needed it more than ever. Aboard the new kayak transporter; I was off to the resettled community of Spread eagle to explore the outlying islands.

Beautiful beaches and rocky shoals that reach like fingers out into the bay. As if this island is still grasping the earth; holding on from the times glaciers cut it from the distant shore. Fragrant crowberry bushes; tannin stained pools. 

The headlands commanding view of the deep dark water below. Stepping close to the edge I checked out the depths and distance for a future cliff jumping. While sunny and clear the air had a bite of winter left. After some internal grumbling; I decided to listen to that voice that screamed :not today!!" and deferred. 

Next in the chain was the island with the humorous name and inordinate history. Named by explorer Capt Cook "Dildoe island"; it still retains this unusual name. Of course there are many apologue's and anecdote's as to why someone would call a place Dildo. I find many stories/explanations a mere attempt to aggrandize a few sailors pointing out a phallic shaped Island. 

The island with the peculiar name has a wealth of history. More visible and recent being a rusting cod hatchery boiler. A project (1889-1896) to stock the bay with codfish to prevent a future stock issues. Near 100 years into the future Newfoundlands cod fishery would collapse showing just how forward thinking this project was. Then there's the less known history. Hidden beneath the boggy grasses lay signs of Queen Annes war. 204 people had spent the winter here on the island; defending against French attacks along the shore. 1612 Journal entries from John Guy's expedition mention a Beothuk camp near where the boiler now lay. A 1995 archaeology dig discovered Dorset  eskimo occupation at around 150AD.

1841 years of history on a tiny island with a strange name.