Falling For Gaultois – Autumn 2014



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Love the way life takes you places you never imagined you would go. That you start off doing one thing that evolves into another, how what seems like a random turn of events or weather or the wisp of an idea can become a harvest far more exotic and abundant than the first seed ever suggested.DSC01669

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Newfoundland has been that for us. Finding a cabin on a pond in these Atlantic Maritimes was a sliding door into a wilderness wonderland that still takes our breath away even as it fills our spirit.

And now there is Selkie House, our outport home here in Gaultois, a land of glacial rocks and fjords, of berries and bears and beavers, of misty mountains and wild winds, of skies saturated with the colours of long twilights and luminous dawns, and a village that has welcomed us with warm open arms.

Always hard to leave the serenity of life at the Bluecharm Inn, it was exciting to be turning back onto the Bay d’espior Highway. Although the cabin is certainly deep in the woods, in some ways Gaultois is more remote, two hundred kilometers along a highway most Newfoundlanders have never travelled, a road only built in the 1960s. Now on public transport we were travelling by bus and could not make the last ferry. Looked like we would have to spend the night in Hermitage until to our great delight, Albert and Todd, came by boat across the fjord to bring us home just as the last of the sun dipped below the horizon, the moon rose, and either porpoise or tuna splashed about as we turned into the harbour. Thanks you two, it was a real treat!

The house is sound, the view of the harbour and fjord from the back bridge irresistible. Nettie’s wonderful Selkie mural on the baseboard a delight that brings a smile to all who pass.DSC01744

 

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Now that the bears have faded back into the forest we are taking long walks through valleys and wetlands, up and over the hills that hold the harbour till the fjord opens up in every direction. There are hawks and eagles and for the first time we have come across a family of beavers who took no concern at our presence as the little ones munched on lily leaves and the surprisingly big mother foraged for a full mouthful of some other greens she took back with her to their lodge on the far side of the pond.

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We have feasted on cod and scruncheons, scald buns and even turr cooked in pudding with mountains of veggies and rice gravy and what a feast it was! Between baby showers, seventieth birthdays, specially cooked suppers, card nights and just dropping by we have been made to feel that we are a welcome part of this life for the precious time we are here and for that and all the natural wonder we find ourselves in, we are profoundly grateful.

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Watching ‘Long Island’ (salmon aquaculture ship) come into to dock from lounge window

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Selkie Mural hand painted by Nettie

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Outdoor studio watching the ferry come in…
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Dawn from back bridge

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15 min walk from house to top of hills behind
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Looking down on our house and Hermitage Bay from hills behind

Jeff and Rodney Andrews

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Baked Turr and Pudding (also known as Murres)
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Audrey Northcott the Turr cook extraordinaire!
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Susan Hunt
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Lounging at the dock in the bay….after cleaning the barnacles off Rodney and Christine’s boat
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Launching the boat
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Fran and Susie Russel taking in the view from Valley Bridge just below Selkie House
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Coming into McCallum on ferry
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McCallum
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View from Doug and Audrey’s kitchen window
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Frank Connock, Doug’s uncle 84 years Many yarns enjoyed about Uncle Frank’s life…no chance of schooling because he had to help his father with the fishing from age 7…so can’t read or write but knows his ABC’s and can say them backwards! Serious accident in logging camp aged 16 (in 1946) crushed his hip and the long, painful boat trip from Corner Brook to St John’s for 9 month’s hospitalisation left him with silver plate – then back to work as a logger. He was active in the infamous logger’s strike which started in 1958 and final settled in the early 1960’s when the pay went from $1.59 per cord of wood to $5. He shook Joey Smallwood’s hand when he opened the Hydro Dam at Bay d’espoir…then last working years spent as watchman at Gaultois fish plant …never married Frank is now being lovingly cared for by Audrey Early family origins: Frank’s grandfather, John Connock, stowed away as a 7 year old on a ship from England and landed on Pass Island in 1847 where he worked as a ‘fish slave’ for the rich merchants until he settled in Seal Cove…a long life lived thereafter despite the harsh beginnings and he died just a month shy of his 100th birthday!
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Uncle Frank and his fishing boat
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Uncle Frank with his fishing stage at Gaultois – drying out his catch
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Uncle Frank with 20lb lobster he caught in Little Passage
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Uncle Frank with a young Dougie Northcott on rocking horse


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The Bottom

 

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Jeff and Rodney Andrews

 

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11 thoughts on “Falling For Gaultois – Autumn 2014

  1. i made the blog photos i love it,we had a great time there last week .you ladys have found a piece of heaven on earth in Gaultois.thanks for the lovely photos.

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  2. Thank You for sharing! I lived in Gaultois for six years and visited every year of my life. Reading this and viewing your photos are like reliving my experiences there. Wonderful people in a picturesque out-port of N.L.!

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  3. Hi there, could not help to make a comment after reading your story and the pics brings back memories, I lived there for almost half my life as I grew up there and I am from gaultois, those pics and your story brings me back to all the good times I had there with great friends and living in a such a great place it was almost heavenly, I would love to live there again, but unfortunately life takes a turn and forced me to leave years ago now to move away for work. I have been working in St.John’s now for over a decade now and still have memories of growing up and living there, loved it, thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Mark so glad you enjoyed our article about Gaultois 🙂 we are heading back there for a 10 month stay – our first winter and we’re very excited. Hopefully you can make it back there someday for a visit it is still going strong as a community 🙂

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  4. Thanks so much for this lovely write up and pics. I grew up in Gaultois and this makes me want to go back – perhaps in retirement. So nice that you both feel welcome. Althought I don’t get many opportunities to visit, I hope to meet you sometime. Val Windsor

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