One of the things that I like about myself is that I come from a salt-water community. It’s the brine in the air that made my community not quite a unique community but similar to other enhanced places like Wemindji, Attawapiskat and the like. The taste of salt in the air seems to make your day a little fresher as you wind through the cresting waves fighting the current and even larger waves from all directions. This creates fear in those who know not the bay and its islands and greenhorns reel in horror when we tell them that these are just small waves.

These waters are home to the anadro-mous trout, or sea trout, which I think, when smoked lightly, is the best tasting fish next to the white fish that abound in many tightly packed schools. Sea trout cruise the bay waters for seven years before returning to their place of birth to spawn and sometimes you can get the fourteen year old ones, which have grown to tremendous sizes. Other fish found here are cod, which are not fished and come in extra, extra large size, (don’t tell the Newfies, otherwise they’ll be here in a century or two and fish only the bigger, sparking another fishy war like burnt church, except we’ll send the lawyers out in the boats and see if they sink or swim).

It was with these red flesh-colored fish in mind that we set out to the bay near Governor’s Island and cast for those elusive trout. Buddy caught a nice one with his first cast and that was it for the day, so we turned our attention to the many berries that covered the ground. Goose, blue, black and raspberries were on the menu for the next few hours as the warm wind blew from the land, making us feel that this was a good day to be out in the bay.

“This is the life.” I told the greenhorn.

I came out in the bay with Buddy, who happened to take out a southerner and a few friends and I hopped on to kill time and enjoy the sunny day. Greenhorn came from Montreal and it was the first time out in a freighter canoe. “This is the first time I went on a boat like this,” he yelled over the wind and spray. “The waves are a little big and it’s very windy! Do you think the waves will be bigger out in the bay?” he queried. Somehow, I felt like a tour guide and I rambled on about my home town that I was born at that particular spot, the general history of my people, how tourism effects the economy and how bad the media can hurt a small industry by poking fun at tour operators.

“I read in the Magazette that some tourists had taken a tour of the island and the bay and a local had hopped in with them, then charged the tourists a hundred dollars afterwards,” he commented further, “I think that kind of action is rare and I’m enjoying myself” So am I, I thought, while wolfing down raspberries by the handful. It was one of those beautiful sunny days when the bugs weren’t out. It wasn’t unbearably hot, like Montreal, where my comrades dared me to write about their heat-fest, simmering in 34 degree weather, in an air-conditioned office no less. Tough for them. Give me the fifty-fourth parallel any day.