This is a short narrative about a trip that I made to Newfoundland, Canada, to visit my distant relatives.

St. Brides Newfoundland

It was a foggy and brisk morning as we followed Tommy White’s blue pickup truck down the hill and to the harbor in St. Brides. My heart fluttered with excitement as we pulled to a stop on the wharf. My breath-fog filled the air as I watched two men unload orange hoop nets onto their pickup truck. Their grizzled faces and rough hands told of years of toiling in the fishery. Like cousin Tommy, the sea was their livelihood. I looked over them with immense jealousy and respect.

Tommy stepped out of his truck, his wild, curly brown hair blowing around in the wind. Billy also stepped out, pausing for a moment to adjust his navy-blue wool cap. The Kathryn M was docked inboard of another boat, the Sea Pride II. Without the slightest bit of effort or thinking, both Billy and Tommy, old sea brothers and brilliant watermen, jumped onto the deck of the Sea Pride II, a three foot leap across the cold water of the harbor, then onto the deck of the Kathryn M, the boat that they had built themselves one winter, and had proudly named after their mother. I quickly followed suit, mainly wanting to impress upon my cousins that I myself was a waterman in training. I landed surely onto the first deck, then again onto the Kathryn M. I watched as Bradley and my father negotiated the hazards with far more caution. Unlike myself, I don’t think that they were really trying to impress anyone.

The Kathryn M was a forty-five foot fishing vessel. The hull was painted a striking turquoise, while the wheelhouse was a brilliant white. She looked somewhat handsome bobbing slowly up and down in the harbor. I knew that I was in love with her at first sight.

Almost as soon as we were all safely on deck, Billy disappeared into the wheelhouse to get the engine started while Tommy untied her. I looked around in complete awe of what I considered to be a masterpiece; the brothers had built it with their bare hands! I was impressed to say the least. Once we were untied, the engines rumbled to life, and we slowly backed away from the old Sea Pride II. The Kathryn M churned up a small wake as we glided peacefully past all of the other boats and dories. The mist hung heavy, and the smell of the sea was very refreshing to me.

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  • Amara on Mar 16, 2009

    You’ve got something here. I feel that pull toward your heritage. Nicely written. Thanks for sharing these with me.

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