An educator, writer and world traveller, Heather currently makes her home in Vancouver. While she thoroughly enjoys West Coast living, she makes a point of returning to the East Coast at least once a year to savour the humour and warmth of the people of Newfoundland. Her travel writing has appeared in several publications including Yummy Mummy,the Evening Telegram and Transitions Abroad.
the salty, fishy air. The open sea is calm, but a slight breeze is picking up. She hopes it will help to keep the bugs away. Mike peeks his weathered, lined face out from his carpentry workshop door to the right of the church.
“Well, well,” he tells the children. “Looks like I better get a move on!”
“Oh, yes, Mike. They’re here! We gotta hurry!” says Robert as he runs down the road, impatient to be on his way.
“How many do you think we’ll get?” Mike asks the children as he bangs his workshop door shut.
“Don’t know. My mom wants me to get a good few. Maybe 30,” young Tom says.
“My dad’s already gone down, and he gave us two buckets each,” Glenda smiles as she sways the white buckets in her hands.
“Come on, everyone. Let’s go get them!” Helen shouts with high spirits as she heads down the cove road. The children follow their energetic leader, looking like the Von Trapp family and Maria in The Sound of Music, almost ready to break into song. As the little entourage heads down the path to the pebbled beach, they can see silver caplins flashing in the blue water. People of all ages, dressed in colourful rubber boots and hip waders, stand in the shallow water, hands grabbing at the wriggling, dancing fish. Frank Mercer, a retired fisherman, is pulling in his big green net, teeming with hundreds of squirming caplins. The Daltons’ father and Mike help grab the net, and everyone pulls together.
“Whale!” someone yells. A white spray can be seen not far from the beach. Then a sleek black tail surfaces. Humpback and minke whales had been sighted off the headland just last week. Today, two minke whales have ventured into the harbour with the gulls, seals and eagles, following the caplins’ path.
Helen has packed a picnic lunch, and soon all the children are munching on bread, cheese and watermelon. Everything tastes delicious and satisfying in the fresh sea air. With the warm sun heating the beach rocks and working bodies, Helen’s homemade lemonade goes down quickly. After lunch, some of the adults sunbathe on the rocks, while the children beachcomb, looking for the perfect sea urchin or crab shell. But it’s not for long, as more white buckets need to be filled. Just before everyone heads back to work, Helen and Mike take their annual photo.
“Photo time!” says Mike, as all the children and families squish together. No need to say “cheese,” for there are only smiling faces satisfied with another wonderful caplin day in Admiral’s Cove! ■