National Geographic : 1972 Jul
of the bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis), and thin slices of snow white cattail heart. We dressed this with a little oil, but no vinegar, since the sorrel makes vinegar unnecessary. For dessert we had fruit salad-rose hips sliced in half, seeds removed, cavities stuffed with ripe raspberries-followed by the two glorious pies. One morning, the whole crew went after more of those sweet mackerel, leaving Freda and me alone on the island. When they pushed off in the little outboard boat, a brisk breeze was blowing, though the sun was shining through a haze. About 45 minutes later the wind suddenly increased to gale force, and Freda and I began to be alarmed for our family. That small boat would never live in these seas. We were in an agony of anxiety for hours. I walked around the island, worriedly noting how high on shore the waves were breaking. Suddenly, in early afternoon, the wind fell. The seas still roared ashore, but the air went dead calm. Then a black cloud raced down on us. I ran for camp, and before I reached it darkness rolled in. SUAEDAMARITIMA Freda was frantically getting all gear under shelter. We went into the tent, lighted a gasoline lantern-and the rain poured down. We Sea blite, another just sat there, praying, for the better part of an hour. seaside relative of "Am I hearing things, or are those voices outside?" Freda asked. spinach, makes a I nearly tore the zipper off the tent door getting out. There stood succulent addition to cooked greens. The all our crew, soaking wet but well and happy. author first soaks "You've got some real seamen here," David said, throwing his and drains it to reduce arms over Charlie's and Mark's shoulders. excess saltiness. "Why, they just took us through that whole wild storm as if they actually knew where they were going," Cheri teased. "Of course we knew," said Jonny. "We were looking for little protected coves we remembered. We could keep on fishing in a cove, e,t even through a hurricane." "All of us fished. I caught plenty, too, didn't I?" Sara asked with sparkling eyes. "No one goes hungry tonight," David said. He delivered into our hands-and frying pans-a tubful of silvery, toothsome mackerel. As the weather cleared, appetites returned. I grilled the fish for dinner, and we sat down to a feast of deliverance, all of us happy, Hilarious, even a bit silly in our relief. RUMEXACETOSELLA Sheep sorrel lends a lemony flavor to soups, seafoods, salads, or boiled greens. OUR ADVENTURE WAS OVER. We boated back to Vinal haven and found motel rooms. We reveled for an hour or two in hot water, enjoyed shampoos, razors, and clean clothes, and then went to a restaurant for dinner. No one, it appeared, had developed cravings for any renounced foods; several in our party ordered fried clams. We arose at 6 a.m. to catch the ferry to Rockland. Finding no place to serve us breakfast at that hour, we faced the prospect of an hour-and-a -half ferry ride without so much as a cup of bay berry tea. Then, just across the road from the ferry slip, I spotted a great hedge of wild rose hips and ripe, red wild raspberries. Our crew simply walked over and breakfasted off the land-while the other ferry passengers gawked. [ Attuned to the rhythm of the tides, the author and a companion gaze out on the domain they shared with nature for two weeks. "We neither harmed nor changed the island in any way," he affirms, "but lived off its freely given surplus. It's our hope that others who follow will never know we were there."