Dispatches

Navigating History

Thanks for the time travelling boat ride, Chuck

After getting some much needed rest in the beautiful Inn At Happy Adventure on the Eastport Peninsula, we had a nice breakfast and met with owner and guide, Chuck Matchim. After chatting for a while in the lovely dining room overlooking Happy Adventure Bay, Chuck brings us out to open waters for a morning boat ride.

He navigates around sheer cliffs, into a narrow cave and several secluded bays, telling us tales of pirates, surrounding communities and his youth. He even navigates his way into Smokey Bay, a long ago favourite pirate hideaway. Legend has it that pirates called it Smokey Bay because it was code for “small key”—whereby fellow sailors (or pirates) were to look for a small rocky island on the northeast entrance to the bay that had two holes—one large, one small—and resembled a keyhole. That was their sign this was a safe hideaway!  (Small key = Smokey: get it?)

After more exploring, we stop for sandwiches next to a stack of crab pots on the shores of a secluded bay, and then check out one of Newfoundland’s oldest communities, the Town of Salvage. Afterwards, while jetting on Chuck’s powerful Zodiac I keep looking at the coastline and imagining the first sailors and settlers who navigated these waters, seeing what I was seeing. I wonder what their challenges were, what supplies they had with them to start their lives here, and how their lives changed from the moment they stepped onto this land.

Thanks for the time-travelling boat ride Chuck—it’s been a blast!

 

Sept. 20, 2012, 1:17 p.m.