Some of the images in this blog, you may have noticed, portray twilight or sunsets. I don’t know why that is, except that the tranquility at that time of day is appealing to some like me at that same time of their lives.
However the following anecdote is about the end of a day sixty years ago when I was still in my twenties, so there is nothing deeper about it than a memory of a pleasant time long ago. This is condensed from an entry in a journal I kept back then dated Sept. 10, 1960. My friend Pete and I were going up the shore to camp, using his family’s boat Agawa towing their canoe the Green Banana.
It was clear, cool and breezy. We went up the inner passage from Cognashene to the Go Home Bay entrance, then wound our way through the reefs, easily visible in those conditions, to Monument Channel. Passing through Indian Harbour and then Wah-Wah-Taysee, we arrived at a bay just east of Gooseberry Island in mid-afternoon.
(Someone in the family had named it Hummingbird Bay after seeing one of them in that unlikely place on an earlier visit. Ironically, today some of the islands in that group are owned by Pete’s brother’s family.)
Camp was set up right away on a small spit of rock on the east, or sheltered, side of an island just off the main channel. After a short paddle in the canoe, we ate a huge dinner of steak, corn-on-the-cob, and home baked bread. Then it was into the Green Banana for some more exploring before sunset.
We had seen a small inboard skiff named Gypsy use a narrow gap to the channel and decided to check it out. We discovered a maze of shallower channels among the islands running parallel to the main one as far in as the Nesbitt cottage.
The sun was low in the west now. The wind had become just a breeze, and the sky overhead was filled with long thin feather-like clouds. As we emerged from the inner passage, we suddenly came upon a large grey inboard boat and a small outboard, with men, women and children, tent, chairs and a barbecue.
The larger boat was flying the blue ensign and had some lettering on the side of its cabin which we couldn’t read. We speculated that it was a National Parks launch (back then the blue ensign was flown on federal watercraft), but could not figure why the women and children were aboard. (Now I wonder if it was parks management enjoying a post-Labour Day weekend away from the Beausoleil Island campers.)
Just north of Nesbitt’s we discovered a small lake inland, so we portaged in and paddled around it. All was peaceful and quiet. From one end a lone black duck took off without making a sound. A couple of swirls in front of the canoe told us there were fish in the pond.
The sun was sinking quickly now so we portaged back out and paddled up the channel to watch the sun descend over the open Bay.
Before turning into our mooring we stopped to take in one of the most breathtaking sunsets I had ever seen. It resembled one huge wispy feather rising out of the horizon and spreading across the entire sky, coloured in pale pink touched with mauve, orange and yellow patches. All backed by the pale blue evening sky.
While drinking this in, we heard the muffled sound of an engine. Down the channel from Gooseberry hove into view the lovely old cruiser Andaud. She was a pretty sight, her graceful old hull and squared cabins silhouetted against a background of open water and that spectacular sky, made a fitting picture to end a wonderful day.
These photos by Marnie Graham show a variety of sunsets, each from the same viewpoint west of Parry Island:
Footnote – As of 2009 the Andaud, after several name changes, restorations and a major re-build, was as handsome as ever and registered in the U.S. under the name High Tea. She was originally built by the Ditchburn company at their yard in Orillia in 1929. Made from the best available materials with superb craftsmanship, she was 58 feet long, had two Kermath gas engines, and carried the name Hoosier II, according to an article in WoodenBoat magazine (No. 219). Here is Andaud/High Tea in WoodenBoat:
2 thoughts on “Sunsets”
Lovely, Dick. There have been some spectacular sunsets this summer, with amazing cloud formations. Will try to post some.
Your description of that sunset is vivid. I can see it and it’s gorgeous! Good thing you kept notes!!