The Island

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
The Island

Two hours of relaxed paddling has put the village far astern. Like Columbus, we know what’s behind us, but are clueless as to what lies ahead.

Everything we are seeing is a mirror image, as the winds of the day have not yet awakened. We are the only ones up and about. No droning of motorboats, no banging of roofers’ hammers, no sounds other than the drip of water from our paddles.

The shoreline ahead changes as we continue our exploring. A hill rises above the skyline. No, it seems to be an island. As we continue our reconnaissance, we see no flagpole, no dock, no moored boat. Yes, it’s an island. Eventually, our complete 360 of it proves it to be so.



OUR FIRST SIGHT OF THE ISLAND – It’s like an upside-down shallow soup bowl. Except for its necklace of shoreline boulders, little exposed rock. (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

It’s about an acre in size, topped by several tall pines, which dwarf the varied maples, shrubbery, birch and beech below their massive trunks. The rocky shoreline is lined with all sorts of dense vegetation.

It’s time to attempt our D-Day Juno. The narrow beam and shallow draught of our canoe allows us to thread our way through the boulders and shallows to a narrow gap in the shoreline underbrush.

Oops! Didn’t realize that rock was there. Let’s back up again.” 

I call out, “Anybody there?”, hoping for no response. No response, so we clamber up the steep, well-trodden rocky slope. No barrier of underbrush. The clearing on top is carpeted with soft pine needles. No litter. Just a yellow official ‘OK TO CAMP’ symbol, and among the trees, an outhouse with no door.

Until someone else comes, by canoe or helicopter, it’s ours! Time to haul our canoe out of the water, secure it to a tree, and Sherpa all our stuff to the top. Our three-day stay will begin.

I can’t print our name for the island because it’s based on the presence of an outhouse, and this is a family newspaper. Some day, you too may discover your very own island.

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