Jack and I wanted to give the good people of Red Bay a small thank-you for having entertained us - first class exhibitions and excavations of Basque whaling some centuries ago; caribou steak at the Whalers Restaurant; Kind JE, who gave me a quick tour of the town and took me to the internet; and of course, the ferryman.
Ah, yes, the ferryman. For $2 each, J and I were taken to a nearby offshore island in the bay, called Saddle Island. Vast amounts of archaeology have gone on here, excavating trypots, habitations and a whole heap of other whaling doings from times past. There are several ancient Basque wrecks in the Bay itself, one of which, a dory-type chalupa, is now showing in the exhibition centre. Well, J and I were dropped off on the island, and what a pleasant change it was, not
to have to do it all ourselves. We merrily waved goodbye, as the ferry sped off, to return an hour later. As we turned to follow the marked path, the sun vanished quick as you like, and it p*ssed with rain for the next hour. Nothing for it, but to carry on. One of us, who spends a lot of time in the cockpit, had come prepared with her slicker. The other, who spends a lot of time down below, was in shorts and shirt.
As we passed the flourishing wildflowers - so beautiful, so desperate, so little time - I read off the marked posts. "Here's a site of a trypot, J." "Here's the site of a house, J." Jack, not a wildflower buff, certainly not in the rain, harrumphed. "I liked the exhibition." He likes tangible stuff, not bumpy lumpy turf, then.
Nor would he eat the bakeapple berries I picked. Wild
stuff?? Are you mad? They don't come from a store, complete with peanut butter and jelly. But I thought we might be marooned for some time ...
We did get close to, and photo, a 60s rusty wreck well out of the water on the shoreline. That perked him up a bit.
And as usual, we passed the site of a cemetery. I kept stopping to read the noticeboards, and then had to run to catch up with Wencelas, striding out and grumbling and dripping.
And the kind ferryman? Well, he didn't want to shortchange our trip, did he? So we waited, and waited, and then waited just a little bit more. He - and the rest of Red Bay - had had such
a good laugh. We were the cabaret du jour.