Friday, December 9, 2011

Towards a happily ever after

(New camera .....note finger getting use to placement!!)

 Early winter in Ontario last year was fairly placid. However November out here in the North Atlantic has been gale force winds near daily. An escape to "the bay" has become a weekend event sans my own vehicle; as it's my only real way to get on the water. Luckily my son got his own wheels and offered  me a lift to the beach. (I believe his ride has slightly more metal than my Kia)

Small 1 meter waves pushed slowly onto the shoreline in a roar of thousands of rounded pebbles. Contained in this very large bay there is always something new happening depending on the wind, tides, and season. NNW wind pushed small swell making for a little fun dodging rocks and catching waves near shore. 

Saturday's wayfaring was far from an epic saga; none the less it was still a small segiment of my ongoing chapter out here. I spent a few hours walking the cliffs. Watching. Sitting taking time to meditate till shivering and convulsions could not be contained with my concentration; then moving to my next haunt. 

Evening calmed the sea as I rock hopped; pulling into little coves to beach comb. 

Saturday the sea provided... 

A new 15 dollar lure for free.


"Hopeall-Bay may be readily reconized by Hope-all head; A remarkable bluff 407 feet high that forms the west point of the entrance, and is termination of a tongue of land 220 feet high, that forms the west side of Hope-all bay and the east side of New Hr.This Bay is 2 1/3 miles deep and nearly 1 1/2 miles wide at the entrance, narrowing to the head which is 6 1/2 cables broad. After entering the water deepens to 22 fathoms, with shelter in all winds but those from N.W to N.N.E. A few Houses are built round the head."

-The Newfoundland Pilot 1878

 My grandfather as a boy had found pieces of old muskets on top the headland; yet no one in my family could recall ever hearing of houses built "round the head". These small pieces of information seems to be lost over the years here in Newfoundland. The culture of children being "seen and not heard" prevented a generation of questions; leaving the inquisitive like myself with large gaps of local  history missing. I looked trying to picture the modest houses in the few places one could be afforded. Midday sun warm enough to afford wearing only a tshirt in cool comfort as \i explored.

Even though I had the day off work I had a strong feeling akin to skipping school as a kid. Just how institutions, schedules, and work can make one feel almost guilty during a day off. Which of course signaled to me I need to get out camping and get away from it all...... really soon! 

I couldn't bring myself to ascend Hopeall head to overlook the garbage left behind. It didnt seem right. Instead of a panoramic view of trinity bay; I would have only seen the green and white bottles. Illuminated by their "perfection," against a canvas of natures dissymmetry . 

Maybe it was nostalgia from my childhood; but I couldn't remember garbage strewn on the beach 20 or 30 years ago. Pollution then seemed like a problem in a far away land. Elementary school discussions on pollution seemed more like a another fairy tale than reality at that time. I guess all those discussions, posters, and collages cemented together with alymers glue really didnt help. Discussions and awareness had added nothing but a level of bureaucratic; where action was needed in lieu. How many hours was wasted talking; and what "happly ever after" have we left?

The next cove was clean with mostly wood debris; yet 35 cents worth of PET bottles rewarded my trouble of landing. The sun long since set behind the hills; the air rapidly became chilled.  Frozen neoprene gloves stinging as I pulled them back on; breath steaming, eyes watering. 

Turrs and Bullbirds (common murr and dovekie) sat all along the shore undisturbed or alerted to my presence. Wintering here a bullbird seemed like the most defenseless animal I've ever saw. Swimming at top speed this plump lilliputain thing seemed like a kayaker trying to paddle fast as he could with a broom handle. As he took to the dive he showed just how graceful this auckward bird really was.

Sundown began to rob the surrounding world of colour; draining slowly away leaving the dark hues of dusk.  A faint flick of a lighter 1km ahead gave my fathers position away. Expecting me in around dark and had come to help me bring up my gear. I had found a few things for him that are used here by many of the folks who enjoy trouting for sea trout; as they make their run upstream to spawn here. 

Foam net floats are somewhat of a hot commidity out here. My father now has an ample supply due to my collection of them I find in the harder to reach beaches along the coast. Truly an art form many of the local men in the community come and trade him these homemade bobbers for flytying feathers, and other trouting nicknacks. My father is one of the experts along these parts. A conservationist ensuring large breeders are released back into the ponds, and using "Trinity bay democracy" to ensure others do the same.

A few completed to test ( long distance flight trajectory is beyond paramount) trade, and share.
A little ingenuity and yet another free barter currency along our shorelines. 

Small actions towards a happily ever after.