Sailin’ On To Glory
There was a little wooden boat in the middle of Island Rooms. It had a scrape here, and a ding there – but all we could see was a 17 foot golden nugget with great promise of fish, and hope for some squid.
I spent no time kicking tires before I started scraped it down, chipping away at old memories past. I dug out the old yarn, twine, and oakum – replacing it with new twine and caulking – then finally I dove into a fresh coat of dory buff. My fiance, Justin, took on the fisherman’s green trim and we shared the task of “scrubbing the deck.”
On the next dry day, we popped down to the property with some wood filler, soon to discover that marine silicone was our solution to toughen up the boats bumps and bruises. Bit a’ paint. The toughest challenge
still to come – replacing the stem on the bow of the boat, damaged with age and fight against the dreaded Snowmaggedon. Justin’s father, Albert, whipped up a nice stem for us in his workshop – now 55, he had fixed up a boat just like this one at 16. With suggestions from the b’ys around Island Rooms, we soaked the wood in a steaming hot towel until it was bendable – well, it snapped – the advice was great, but our impatience got the best of us. The next time we wouldn’t chance the risk of failure, Justin measured out the curve of the bow with a painted print on some cardboard, and Albert made the stem exactly so. It fit like a glove. A bit more paint.
The final touch was a fresh white coat with decorative red stripes on the ores, and “Brendan’s Voyage” was ready to putt on the second day of the 2020 food fishery. Our first few meters past the breakwater was humbling while we trudged through a decent swell, and it felt like the boats edges were cheating the waves. We were just happy to be on the water, while our “just-in-case” jigger caught us all 15 of our legal allowance. I was hooked, and also five months pregnant.
The fish we’ve caught from that little wooden dory will feed ourselves and our family for the year. Being a bare hands provider of fresh, healthy meals for loved ones is one of the best feelings I’ve come to know, and it’s all started with poking my head into Fishing For Success at Island Rooms last year, wondering about their Girls Who Fish Program.
Special thanks to Kimberly Orren and Leo Hearn of Fishing For Success at Island Rooms, for showing me the gratification that comes from cod jigging, the food fishery, and a simple, little, golden dory.