Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Eastern Chronicles: Fishing, Ferries and Francois

Guest Post 4 by Art Rider
Day 14, June 21, 2014
As I was making breakfast this morning the toaster popped the breaker for the kitchen outlets. Not having a clue where the fuse box was I had to call Darlene on the phone, it was 8:45 AM. and she was sound asleep, oops! The breaker stopped the coffee and everything else in the kitchen, so it had to be done. With her explanation, I found the fuse box, reset the breaker, which popped again. After moving the toaster to another location, the problem was solved.
Went for a big walk out to the lighthouse and around the big loop back to town, about 2 miles or so. Great walk, mostly on a fine boardwalk and wonderful tuckamore, bog and rocks, with lots of bunchberries, cloudberry plants, ferns and irises, which are still just coming up. Lots of great sea views too. 
The weather was a bit cool, about 11°C, with the sun coming and going all morning. Got back into town about 12:15 and had a bowl of soup and a cup of tea at Eastern Outfitters Restaurant. 
Darlene says there is a lobster raffle up the street at 1:00 PM so up the road I go. Don’t I win two, 2 pound lobsters for this evening, plus the one I ordered yesterday, that makes three! Looks like Darlene and I are eating lobster tonight, big-time! She’s baking a lemon pie for dessert too.
Just came back from Darlene’s. The lobster was fab!  The lemon pie too. Just to top it all off, Darleen gave me a big jar of her own bakeapple jam, what a sweetheart!
The ferry limped into Ramea this afternoon after being worked on most of the day in Burgeo. She’s down to one engine and will be tomorrow as well, so it’s only making one trip on Sunday, and that’s leaving in the morning at 8:00 AM.
Better hit the hay.
Day 15, June 22, 2014
Got on the ferry to Burgeo at 7:45 AM, departed at 8:00 AM sharp, that’s a pretty early morning for me. The ferry is down to one of its two engines, making the crossing a little slower. Only one trip today, down from three. Dorim was waiting at the wharf to pick me up. Martine and Dorim are so sweet. I’ll get a little laundry done today and I’ll be all set for Fran├žois.
I brought 2 lobster tails from last night back on the ferry and made lobster salad for our supper, and the dishes Martine made, all in all a great meal with friends!
Day 16, June 23, 2014
On to Francois today. Waffles for breakfast, with fruit and bakeapple jam, some good eh?
On the boat by 1:30 - on the way by 1:45 PM. We made a stop in Ramea, that was a bit of a surprise, then on to Gray River. That’s a beautiful little place. Wish I had made arrangements to stay there, but it just was not possible this trip. Next time.
Got into Francois at 6:45 PM. George met me at the dock and helped bring my bags up to the house. I think he’s my age, at least according to Dorim. He’s got new knees too.  Doris had a massive supper ready for us when we got in. Cod, halibut, mashed taters, mac salad, cheese and broccoli bake with fresh baked rolls. Rhubarb pie for dessert with clotted cream. Am I stuffed! Great food, I won’t be losing any weight this week.
Went for a little walk after. Looks like I will be doing some trout fishing here this week in the top pond. No chance for any cod fishing, the ministry guys are on everybody like a cheap suit if they fish out of season. The food fishery for residents is only three week out of the year, two weeks in August and one week in September. That’s pretty sad. The Caplin are running too, so might be into some of those. If the weather is okay on Thursday I’ll go up to McCallum and Hermitage, but only if it’s clear. So far the forecast is for rain. We’ll see.
Day 17, June 24, 2014
A bit of fog this morning, but looks like it’ll be burning off soon. Toast and partridge berry jam for breakfast, coffee of course. I might take a walk up to the top ponds and see what the trout possibilities are, George says there are lots in there. I’ll have to pull some out.
Got up to the first pond after breakfast to try my luck. Very beautiful but a very steep climb up from the village, on really good boardwalk path. When you get up there, it's a series of boardwalk and trail, mostly trail around about a 75 acre, or so, pond with a stream running in the other end, from another pond. The blackflies are brutal! I sprayed up before I went, didn't help at all. Caught one brook trout about 8 to 9 inches. That was it, but what scenery. Got back to Doris’s exhausted.
Time for tea and a cinnamon bun, or two, will try the pond again another time before I go. Went for a stroll around before supper and ran into the couple from Manitoba. They were seriously thinking about buying a house they had seen for $5000. I wonder if they will. They are trying to get back to Burgeo on Wednesday but the ferry is having a mechanical problem too. That’s both the Burgeo and the Fran├žois ferries with problems.
The department of works is now running a helicopter up and down the coast in place of the ferry. The cost of the twenty minute ride from Francois to Burgeo, for a senior, $4.15, unbelievable!
After supper, jigs dinner and lemon pie, Yum, George, Cody, Noah and myself went up the coast in their smaller boat to fish for trout where a brook meets the ocean. We caught 33 trout in about three hours! Wow! What fun.
I hear the Adventure Canada Tour ship is coming here on Thursday, I can say hi to Matthew Swan again. I think I’ll scrub the McCallum ferry that day in case I get stuck there, with the ferry trouble and all.
A tea, a wee scotch, and to bed.

 Day 18, June 25, 2014
Light breakfast today, cereal, juice and coffee. Looks like showers this afternoon into this evening. Might do a little reading. The Manitoba couple got away this morning, don’t know if they bought that place or not.
A quiet morning, just doing some reading. Good lunch, salt beef hash from the jigs diner, with cold chicken and moose. Banana cake for dessert, Yum!! Raining now. Might clear up tomorrow.
Went to visit the couple from Manitoba, seems they did not leave after all. Looks like tomorrow for them now. The poor guy is in very bad shape, arthritis in his back, but I think he has other more serious problems and I think he knows that too. Makes you value your own health. If the weather clears up tomorrow morning, George and I may take the boat to Recontre Bay, where they have a cabin, just for an outing. Might do some trouting too.
This evening supper is up at the school to celebrate graduation for 3 kids and the end of the school year, of course, I’m invited as a guest of the community. I even helped Doris make two of the salads, cutting and chopping.
The graduation ceremony and dinner were quite a bid deal. One speech, presentation and award after another and lots of tears and emotion. You would think everyone was never going to see those kids ever again. Gives you some idea of how strong family and place is here in Newfoundland. I guess especially in the outports, it’s all about family and community support. None of these places could have survived all this time without it. Supper was a variety of home made dishes, everyone has a specialty. All very good ... some good eh!
Still a bit rainy, it’s supposed to quit tonight. If it does we should get out in George’s boat for a trip up to their cabin. The Caplin are running and I guess we are going to get a taste of them, we’ll see.

Day 19, June 26, 2014
I thought about going on the McCallum ferry this morning but thought of it just a bit too late, oh well.
George and Eli and myself went up the coast in George’s fishing boat to Recontre Bay, an old outport long since abandoned, for a day of Caplin hunting.
I took my trout rod and did some fishing in a brook that runs into the sea at that point. I caught 9 trout, all sizes but no Caplin came into shore.
George cooked a traditional Newfoundland lunch on the boat while Eli and I went to look at his cabin on shore. What a neat place it is, and so remote and quiet. There are going to be blueberries up the ying yang when they get ripe.
Back to the boat for lunch, eggs, bologna, fried with homemade bread, partridge berry jam, bottled Moose and tea, fabulous! Back to Francois to meet the cruise ship.
Walking back to the house, who do I bump into but Bill Lishman, so we had a few drinks on George’s patio. Imagine, meeting someone from your own hometown, by chance in Newfoundland, what are the chances?
Francois is crawling with cruise people, roughly doubling the population. Big kitchen party up at the community center for the cruise people tonight, should be big fun, more later.
The party started after supper at the hall at about 8 PM. Lots of great music, all kinds, and drinks, and of course, food. The cruise ship people look like a fun bunch to travel with, they usually are. It all broke up about 11 PM and by morning the ship was gone.
All the coast ferries are broken down at the moment and the chopper is still in service. They will pretty much have to keep it going as no one can move up or down the coast without it at the moment.
Hope I can get back to Burgeo on Monday. Fingers crossed!
All photos copyright Ronald Peter

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Eastern Chronicles: Burgeo and Ramea

Guest Post 3 by Art Rider

Day 7, June 14, 2014

Change of plan today. Rode to Rose Blanche this morning: Interesting road to get there, only 47 km, but rough. Diabolical roads in Rose Blanche, up-and-down, really up-and-down, and in terrible shape, I was worried about crashing.
Couldn’t find the B&B, or so I thought. Finally asked at a house in the area and put in a call to the gal who is supposed to be running it. After a brief discussion about the roads and the location, I decided not to stay there, so I moved straight on to Burgeo. The road from the Trans-Canada at Stephenville to Burgeois is what I would call a wilderness road. 148 km through the wilds of Newfoundland with next to no shoulder and a lot of that washed away into the ditch.
Potholes everywhere and of course the threat of moose. Absolutely no chance to relax. In addition, I was low on fuel, really low and coasted into Burgeo on fumes.
I'm here now, at the Burgeo Haven B&B for a good long stay, then off to Ramea and then next week Francois. Lovely people here.
It’s also going to rain for a day or so, so the timing is perfect, relax and do some reading.

Day 8, June 15, 2014

What a treat being here in Burgeo at the Burgeo Haven. Martine and Dorim are wonderful people, like old friends. Lots of great conversations with Martine about art (she paints also) and Dorim about the local culture and what's happening to it now. He was born in Ramea, where I’m going next. He knows whose places I painted in Ramea and Francois last time I was here. He’s related to people in most of those places. It's great getting that kind of insight into this wonderful place. They invited me for a cod dinner last night and it looks like we are going to have lobster for “supper” tonight. I've got to get this “dinner” “supper” thing right. I bought a trout
fishing license, $11 for the whole season. I’ll be doing some fishing for sure! More later - adieu.

This is probably the most unique trip I have done so far. Every day seems to bring something new. New people, new places, new insight, also new ways of travel and of moving from place to place. And speaking of “place” the whole idea of “place” is what this place is all about. It’s why people are trying so hard to stay here and in their home places. It’s where their lives and the lives of their families and ancestors, now long gone, are buried. When and if they must go, they’ll lose themselves and their culture and way of life. You feel it everywhere you go, the need to be part of this place. The people who have left the out ports, willingly or not, have a hard time seeing what they have left, or what’s left of it. And that’s the sad part. The decay of the old home place, “It's like a dagger,” someone said to me. "It would have been better to have burned all the houses. It’s too hard to watch them fall down slowly; like watching a cancer patient pass and waste away." This trip is going to change me in ways I can’t even imagine yet. It might be my last big trip but what a way to finish up!

Day 9, June 16, 2014

Today at breakfast met a couple from the U.S.; a pair of conspiracy theorists, what else ... on the verge of paranoiac lunacy! Could not believe the crap he was coming out with, I won’t go into that here, but, needless to say, I couldn’t wait for them to leave. Drove the other couple right out of the room.
Took a walk down to the harbor and shot
some photos, as the rain had stopped. Got a few good shots. Did some reading when I got back with one wee glass of scotch.
Dorim picked up a few lobsters in town and we had a major feast of the beasts. They were about 2 pounds each and there was four, two each. Yes there was leftover lobster for sandwiches for our trout fishing trip tomorrow. Can't wait. Can't get over the generosity of these folks, just amazing.
Quiet evening and to bed.

Day 10, June 17, 2014

Met a couple from Kingston who were on their way to Francois to see the house that they had just bought, sight unseen for $10,000. It's going to be a summer place for them and they are going to sail their sailboat from Kingston next week. They would be my age, roughly, and very nice people. The other couple at breakfast was a couple from New Brunswick who were on their way to St. John’s, or thereabouts, to see family. They all had a great time going through my blog gallery and especially the images of Ramea and Francois from my last visit. I may run out of business cards!
After breakfast, we made some lobster sandwiches and headed out of town to do some trout fishing. We both caught enough for supper, oh goodie! Wonderful day, gorgeous scenery and great weather, that can’t be beat.
Back at the B&B and I’m exhausted. I’m just relaxing with a scotch, doing my journal and a little reading.
Trout for supper, how good is that?
After dinner, Dorim took the other two guests and myself for a boat ride around the islands. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Day 11, June 18, 2014

Looks like a relaxing day coming up. Waffles for breakfast, Yum!
The couple from N.B. are off today, nice folks.
Did some reading this morning, but after lunch Martine and I headed for Sandbanks Provincial Park for a stroll on the Burgeo beaches, wow! Miles of beautiful find brown sand beaches. By the end of August I hear it’s warm enough in the water to swim or so they say. Bit of a hike into the beach, but interesting terrain, on a nice boardwalk then a nice long stroll along the west beach. I have to admit my legs are a bit sore from the trout fishing hike yesterday. Off to Ramea tomorrow for a couple of days and then back here again. The adventure continues.

Day 12, June 19, 2014

So much for the best laid plans, this morning it was blowing up the gale and the ferry to Ramea is canceled. When Martine called to Ramea and to the place I was going to be staying to find out if the ferry was running today, she learned they had no reservation at Ramea Retreat for me, that was a surprise, but I talked to them and we got it straightened out, so I’m heading there tomorrow, I hope.
Tonight or this evening anyway, I’m making my famous fish chowder for Martine and Dorim, should be fun. Nice to get to cook a bit on this trip, I really miss doing it.
Looks like a bit more reading and a Scotch or two, a good day for that.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Day 13, June 20, 2014

Did get on the Ramea ferry this morning, with a nice jar of fish chowder and grain bread from Martine, such a sweetie. Still rough seas but she got underway at 11:00 am, on schedule. Once out of the harbor, 3 to 4 m swells and a good strong northwest wind blowing. No problems with sickness for me and I stayed on deck all the way. The fare is $2.20 for a senior, wow! One and a half-hour trip.
Here in Ramea at Eastern Outdoors; my hostess, Darlene is a sweetheart too.
I’m in a very nice two-story three-bedroom house, $89 per night with breakfast, great deal. Too bad I'm here alone. Still looking for some bakeapple (cloudberry) jam, but I'm on the trail, I'll get some to bring home some place. I’ve got a lobster lined up for supper tomorrow. Darlene, at the restaurant, is going to cook it up for me. It's going to be a big one I think - the gal at the store says they will all be 2 pounds or bigger tomorrow. Too bad eh!
Going to walk out to the Lighthouse tomorrow and around the loop. Should be fun, good weather too, I hear.

(All Photos copyright Ron Peter)