Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diving for pork at Adelaide Island

St. Lawrence, who overlooks the big river near Rockport, was watching out for us this day. Click on any image for a larger look.

The cry of a loon awoke us on Day 4 on the water, in a lovely anchorage right next to Wood Isle in the Lake Fleet Islands on the St. Lawrence River.

We wanted to anchor in one of our favourite anchorages of all time, at nearby Camelot Island, but the small cove was full up with sailboats and power cruisers. Fifty weeks ago it was deserted. We conclude that mid-September is still high season for cruising the 1000 Islands, late September, as we found last year, is not.

All alone on the dock at Adelaide Island.

After a quick breakfast of Kashi Crunch cereal with blueberries, we head down the St, Lawrence to Adelaide Island, our first stop at a Parks Canada island. It’s a tiny spot in the middle of the big river, with ships plying the St. Lawrence Seaway route just to the east of where we are docked in four feet of water. (In a 12-hour period, we see five ships.)

Adelaide Island is the second last of the 21 islands in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park.

Cost is 90 cents per foot for dockage per night. There is a reminder to pay immediately upon arrival screwed into the dock at each cleat. At the moment, we are alone. There are four available mooring buoys and 150 feet of dock space is empty. We decide to stay on the docks to do some exploring. Adelaide Island is known as a significant native archaeological site and waterfowl habitat.

We arrive in time for lunch: Caesar salad with smoked kippers and Oka cheese for dessert.

A state-of-the-art composting toilet.

A Parks Canada boat drops off three students to collect soil and plant samples. A houseboat and then a pontoon boat stop briefly to use the shoreside facilities, a state-of-the-art composting toilet. Then we are alone.

The captain takes the kayak “Finally” out for some exercise. It’s our first cruise with the Pakboats Puffin Saco, a 12-foot kayak that weighs only 25 pounds and folds into a small duffel bag.

Dinner is an almost-lost pork roast.

The Captain has the bright idea to set the Magma BBQ on the dock next to At Last! so he can tend to the grill standing in the cockpit. The pork takes 30 minutes on low to grill. It’s looking good and the smell is driving us crazy. We take the pork off the grill, and bring it inside the galley to slice it in half at the thickest part for a test. It still needs maybe five minutes as the centre is rosy so back out to the grill we go.

A major oops starts to develop as the Captain lifts the first piece from the platter. In mid-air, he realizes the string that binds the roast is still connected to the other half. As the second piece starts to fall from the platter, instinct takes over and the Captain reaches to save it. Unfortunately, that move drags the first piece off the grill and both halves of the roast tumble into the water, bouncing off the side of the TomCat on the way down.

The Captain immediately recovers his senses and decides to move on beyond the tragic turn of events. “Take out the sausages for grilling,” he instructs the Admiral. “The corn and yams are ready.”

The Admiral, however, drops to her knees, hangs her head and whimpers, “I’m going to cry.”

Clearly, she is upset. She get ups from her knees and peers over the side of the boat: “Omigod, there are our two pieces of pork.”

Yes, the water is so clear, and not too deep, that we can see the pork sitting on the bottom.

The Captain issues new instructions, “Push the boat away from the dock,” climbs over the side of the boat and dives into the water. First he brings up one piece, then the other, both still warm to the touch, and somehow manages to pull himself back on board, cutting his left knee open in the process.

By this point, we are crying—from too much laughter. The scene is beyond hilarious. We pause to take one quick photograph. Then, the Admiral pats the roast dry, wraps it in foil and puts it back on the grill. Ten minutes later, dinner is served: survivor pork along with sweet potato frites and peaches and cream corn, with a shiraz to wash it all down. The pork is delicious.

As we feast, we periodically start laughing so hard we shed tears.

And we offer up thanks to St. Lawrence, newly crowned patron saint of pork divers.

No comments:

Email us

waterworld @ rogers . com