Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller
With the coming of summer there is much flurry about the waterfront, the small pleasure boats are being cleaned up for the summer traffic of tourists. By the time this gets to be read the St. Pierre Ferry will be running a busy schedule to the French Islands from Fortune on a daily run. Like other years, bus loads of tourists will be coming from all over to visit and pass through our town. Let's make Fortune Outdoors a special place in their vacation memories.
Some pleasure boats are planning a boat ride out around the 'head' where the ecological site can be seen from another view. On a clear day the fish that hang close to land, the cleaners of the kelp beds, can be seen at work in their tireless efforts to tend their underwater gardens and spawning beds. A visit to the 'oven' is a must for the hearty who would venture inside to sit on the beach at low tide and have their picture taken in our cave, which is totally filled at hide tide. It makes for a nice conversation picture of vacation time in Fortune in the great outdoors.
For the beachcomber tourists there is a nice walk along the beach from the lighthouse site; just a short hike up along the bank where the fossil hunters can keep their eyes close to the ground - you never know when you will find one. By this time you will see the beach, not too sandy but enjoyable to walk on. The fresh breeze from the sea will capture your heart - if nothing else does. As you look seaward, small fishing boats are at their daily toil to take a living from the sea while others are catching just a few for the table.
The summer sports are here and the softball field has a few teams playing for the fun of the game. Soccer is another sport which you might see a good many of our boys and girls playing - some of them are very good at it too, I might add. We should get out more like in the old days of soccer and cheer on our kids. At one time, when soccer was played all around the peninsula, Fortune was a team to be reckoned with. Some of the best players on the island came from Fortune. There are still excellent players among the group who gets to play ball with no one to cheer them on. Our outdoor sports seem to take second place now that we have other indoor games, let's get our outdoor sports going again.
Remember when you couldn't get a place to park your car on game days and most of us went as a group to cheer our team and needle the other teams into frustration? That's what made the sport so good in Fortune.
Enjoy the summer, get out and surprise yourself in Fortune outdoors.
Well we are still waiting for the warm weather to come, but with the warm weather the other things come along. I noticed that a mallard duck had started to raise her new family along the nature trail ... she was not so lucky ... someone with no thought for the mothers love of her family destroyed her nest. Of course she moved away. Though I really don't know if she survived the ordeal or not. When you read this please remind your children to have some thought for the birds that try to locate in the park. Most of us who enjoy the outdoors have seen the 13 ducks that visit the Marine Centre and bask in the sun just before you get to the main entrance.
This shows that they have not been disturbed or harassed too much. We also have seen two Canada geese that have taken up a birthing place in our town. It will be a very nice site to see later on, when they have hatched and try their first outing on the water. This will be a first for this area that I am aware of.
Our town is taking on a new look in the Haddock road area with the new water and sewage lines being put in place.
On a ride to the Grassy Patch today I was very pleased to see someone had taken the interest to mark the entrance to the trail with a very nice welcome sign. As I went along the trail I saw signage that was very impressive. To the first time rider or hiker they looked very inviting. Our budding artist and cartoonist has done a neat job. Thanks to Chad Forsey for his effort to mark the trail with both humor and also on the serious side. About ½ kilometre away from the Patch there is a bill board map of the village of Grassy Patch, with all the cabins listed by name and location. The welcome mat is out at all times there and, at this time of year, most of the cabins are occupied on the weekends. Good work, Chad, and good luck with your hobby.
The tourist trade is picking up, lots of new faces around town. We hope they will like it well enough to come back again.
I had the pleasure of attending the Sea Cadets' annual closing function. We have a great bunch of kids that really put on a good show. Their training really shows by the awards that they receive at this function. They put a lot into this and their officers should be commended for a job well done. It takes a great deal of work indoors in order to put on such a good show outdoors. Parents, you should be very pleased.
Be careful on the water this summer; wear your PFD at all times - it gives you that chance to do it again. This outdoor sport needs the most attention. Even with the water temperature getting a bit warmer long exposure in it could lead to a tragic accident. If you see someone without their PFD on, remind them in a nice way that they should have it on. You may get some funny looks but drowned friends don't look good either.
Have a great summer and we will see you in Fortune Outdoors .
Well the summer was here and now is all but gone. I hope everyone had a very nice summer with relatives and friends visiting from out of town. Some of the things they might have noticed around our town were the two or three new sites on the waterfront. At this time it's still under construction but it did give the waterfront a new face lift .The walking trail has been upgraded too with an extension starting at the end of the Marine Centre and going all the way to Horsebrook Park, and wide enough for two people to walk abreast. There is also some work being carried out on the old trail along the river to the horn house road and that road is upgraded. All of those projects are a plus to us and the visitors to our town.
Our old soccer players that won't let the sport die played with Point May last week. I went to Point May to watch the game. My granddaughter, who was visiting from Ont., had the opportunity to play with the Fortune team and, I might say, did very well seeing as she knew only three players from her team. It was a real good game. The old boys still have that spark and determination to score goals. I think come next year they are planning to get more involved and get the old interest back in the game.
Our only industry came through this summer and all of the workers got enough work to tie them over for the winter months - that too, was a plus.
The geese that I mentioned in my previous column - I don't think they made it through the nesting period. I think they were disturbed and left the site where they had planned to raise their young. I hope that they will have better luck next year. On my walk on the trail today I noticed that the sea gulls and cormorants, or shags as we know them, are fishing out the brook where the water is shallow and the trout don't have a chance. The cormorants can be seen drying their wings, perched on the rocks like giant bats or some alien space craft about to take off.
Our tourist trade was very good this year. I think the numbers are up to be the best in a long time. On one day there were 250 who left Fortune for the islands - so I have been told.
The festivities went well this summer and we got good reports for a clean tidy town. All that is a plus. Keep up the good appearance all year through and our town will be better for it.
Our Harbour Authority has two more floating docks installed, so we will now be able to accommodate more boats. This, too, brings in revenue to the town and makes our town a place worth visiting if you are sail or motor boat vacationing.
Have you noticed the beautiful yellow flowers and everlasting daisy that grace the hill near the Marine Centre? They last all summer long and they are perennials as well, so you won't have to plant them next year. See you outdoors.