National Geographic : 1970 Jul
National Geographic, July 1970 Motivated by such fierce pride of place, even piracy has something appealing about it-especially to youth, I might add. The crew youngsters quickly volunteered their services should the raid take place! Like busmen riding a bus on holiday, we made a one-day sailing round trip along the coast to Perce. Here the early mariners saw a great rock, joined to the mainland only at low tide, and noted that it was pierced with spec tacular arched holes. Once there were four of these arches. Now there is but one; erosion claimed the others (pages 42-3). On sunny weekends tourists hike out to Perce Rock. Sometimes incoming tides trap them, and boats must rescue them. We made a rough Whaler landing through the surf, dropping a stern anchor as we ran in and checking the boat so that she never touched the strand when we stepped ashore. We found half a hundred baby herring gulls, too young to fly but old enough to snap at us with hooked beaks. Their parents dive bombed down the sheer cliffs at our backs. Sailors Watch as Men Walk on the Moon The Brotherhood family left the ship at Gaspe. Crewman Stan Judge of Gorham, New Hampshire, temporarily took over navi gation duties, with Ed operating the radio direction finder. At dawn next day they made a perfect landfall at the Magdalen Islands. As we beat into the harbor on Amherst Island, waving figures on the shore resolved themselves into three new crew members. My daughter Helen-"Teeny"-mother of Jim and Bob, would take over White Mist's galley, thus sparing the crew any more of my cook ing. Her husband Dick Lemmerman, veteran ocean racer, would navigate, and my nephew Grosvenor Blair would help with deck duties. Most of the Magdalens' people are French Canadians. Television programs relayed from the mainland are usually in French. The night Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first landing on the moon, we watched the event in a hotel at Cap aux Meules on Grindstone Island. When the program had ended, I found the lady proprietor of the hotel sitting quietly in a corner, shaking her head in wonderment. "Mon Dieu, it was miraculous, that land ing!" she said. "But an equal miracle is the television! Here I am in my own home on an island, watching men walk on the moon." We toured the Magdalens by road, for nar row sandspits connect the larger islands. There were now 10 of us, and we all piled into a pickup truck. Men worked on the roofs of many houses we passed. Nat asked if there had been a bad storm to damage so many homes. "Not at all," a man replied. "We work hard here. Every good day we go lobstering or fish ing or working the crops we grow in the short summers. It happens the lobster season ended yesterday, the scallop fishing begins tomor row, and God needs no assistance in the fields at the moment. "Alors, today we fix our roofs. What could be more natural?" What with television, an airfield, and relia ble boat service, life is not so bleak in the Magdalens as it must have been a generation ago. Yet when winter comes, they are still almost as isolated as when Cartier first saw them. Great northeasters roar in from the Arctic. Surf thunders against the cliffs. The people look from warm kitchens at snows racing down the wind. But the wise islander does not fear such times, for he has fixed his roof between the lobster and scallop seasons. Girls Afraid of Their Binicky Maws On a July morning we cleared Grindstone for the south Newfoundland coast. Holding steady around the clock, the breeze wafted us to Channel-Port aux Basques by 7 a.m. the following day (map, page 5). After breakfast, needing razor blades, I went ashore to the local pharmacy. I found the proprietor waiting, car keys in hand. He told me that his name was Bob McGrath. "I heard White Mist was here," he said. "The stories of her cruises in my GEO GRAPHICS have given me a lot of pleasure.* *See the author's "Safe Landing on Sable, Isle of 500 Shipwrecks," September 1965, as well as his account of White Mist's voyage from Bermuda to St. Pierre and Miquelon, September 1967. Faces fresh as a breeze from the sea, two lasses of southern Newfoundland light up an overcast day with their smiles. Bubbling with laughter at the photographer's interest, they chattered excitedly in a "Newfie" idiom outsiders can understand only with difficulty. EKTACHROME BY EDWINSTUARTGROSVENOR© N.G.S.