From the personal log of s/v Rincewind’s shwabbie as she and the Captain sailed around the northern peninsula of Newfoundland.
August 1, Port Saunders
By the time I was up, tacking out 12mi and back in toward Port Saunders. 5pm sailing past Keppel Island on a broad reach.
Sailing into Port Saunders, graceful as a swan…and the engine won’t start. We’ve had problems before but now black smoke and no water. Managed to motor/jib onto an industrial wharf, coming in scary-fast but thankfully with the help of a man on the dock. But no: “Can’t stay here, setting off fireworks later.” And sure enough there was a line of incendiaries along the pier. We’d seen bunting everywhere in town on our way in – turns out it’s Come Home Week. Every 10 years Pt S has a town-wide family reunion – more on that, but first we had to find a nook for Rincewind.
Morris Ryan, the harbormaster, solved our problem by calling his first cousin who was out on a power boat drinking with his buddies. So, “Skipper Rob,” Andre, Clarence, and George came to our rescue. They were “feeling good,” as Morris put it, so it was a wild ride, but they got us over to pretty much the right place. Morris helped us tie up and took off, but we had a grand gam with the other lads, still drinking on their boat. Impossible to capture the accents and cadence, but the chat ranged from genealogy, hockey (note: do some research before next Canada trip), to moose hunting. Lively group – one of them even peed off the bow of Rincewind!
After the gam and a can of soup for dinner, sure enough: fireworks! Terrific view from the boat.
Then Bill talked me into going to the nightly Come Home dance at the old high school gym – complete with Looney Tunes sports murals and their mascot, a red-eyed cowled Dorset Indian. The band was good, country mostly. We witnessed two local traditions before we left: Seven Ugly Women folk song (men dressed as women) and the Tina Turner lip-sync. We were a bit mystified. Good fun! We even did two “Keppel Island” shots in honor of our safe arrival.
[We were early birds – the party picked up just as we tired sailors headed back.]
Next: Come Home Week, family reunion, historic First Nations trail, shed crawl, handmade boat race…and then a day of doom.