In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Messing about in boats

I have a rowboat, called Roseneath after the old name for McNutt's Island. I believe every boat here, no matter how small, has a name.
Roseneath was Greg's birthday present to me a year and a half ago. She was an old wooden rowboat that Skipper fixed up. Last summer I rowed around in the cove on almost any fine day. She was a little bunged up by the time we pulled her out of the water just before a gale, sometime last fall. All winter she lay overturned on a couple of logs down by the dock.

This spring Greg set about to get her ready for the summer. He filled in a hole in the stern where she had knocked about on the rocks at low tide. He scraped, sanded, caulked, primed and painted her, inside and out, and stained and revarnished the ribbands and the plug. The only thing he didn't do was repaint the rose and the name on her bow. Garrett had painted those, and they are too beautiful for anybody else to do over.

He added some old lobster buoys that he had found along the shore and painted. These are little fenders now, so Roseneath won't go bumping against the dock and get herself all scraped up.

Since she's made of wood she's a heavy boat. So we asked Skipper and Dylan to help launch her for the summer.
The four of us carried her into the water at high tide, Greg and Skipper lifting and Dylan and I providing balance and guidance, fore and aft. On land Roseneath is a heavy, awkward boat. But once she's in the water she becomes something graceful.
Then I rowed down to wave at Margot and Dave, who are working on their camp. Dylan rowed Little Star out into the cove and I admired his very fast rowing. Good thing we weren't having a race. Then Dylan picked up his cousin Susannah and rowed her about in the cove, slowly. Susannah is six. "I've done this before," she informed me as she sat gravely in the bow.

I left them rowing near the sheep corral and rowed toward The Point, that rocky bar that defines the cove's southern end. I could see a few gull chicks wobbling along the shore while their extended family zoomed over my head and made loud noises to scare me away. I watched the terns wheeling and crying at the end of The Point. I had not known whether they were nesting there yet. But they gave themselves away. A raft of eiders further out in the harbour, startled, took flight.

It was such a beautiful day that I rowed on, to Indian Point, where I saw three sheep quietly grazing, and a heron. If I leaned over the edge of the boat I could see underwater meadows of rockweed, golden and green, waving back and forth.

No comments: