Why am I even here?

Grand Bruit trip pays off

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PERSPECTIVES - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

It’s some­where be­tween Rose Blanche and La Poile that I start ques­tion­ing my ex­is­tence. The un­for­giv­ing rock­ing of the Chal­lenger One is caus­ing me un­due amounts of dis­com­fort as sheets of sweat slide down my face. We’ve only just started our trip to Grand Bruit and I’m al­ready re­gret­ting it. This ride from hell is also mak­ing me ques­tion ev­ery de­ci­sion I’ve ever made up un­til now. Why did I be­come a jour­nal­ist? Why would I ever sug­gest do­ing this story? How come I never kissed that girl when I had the chance? These are all ques­tions that popped into my head like a men­tal game of Whack-a-Mole. I knocked one down and an­other de­cided to mess with me. The con­tin­u­ous in­ner mono­logue only halted when sea­sick­ness took a firm hold of me. And things then got messy. Af­ter that, my mind metronome was at it again. I be­came a bit of a La Poile leg­end that day. There were peo­ple telling their friends about the city slicker from Cor­ner Brook who couldn’t han­dle the ferry over. All I could do was flash them a sheep­ish grin and prom­ise I’ll do bet­ter next time. When I got back to La Poile, I was as­sured the ride back to Rose Blanche would be that much bet­ter. They re­mem­bered me. Of course, they prob­a­bly don’t see many strangers go­ing to Grand Bruit. Still a leg­end, though. Things never im­proved when I hopped aboard the 22-foot boat meant to bring us the rest of the way. My stom­ach still quiv­er­ing from its ear­lier ad­ven­ture, never quite got set­tled for the re­main­der of the trip to our fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. It never reached the same hor­rific lev­els of the ferry ride, but they were rough. Still it was hard not to mar­vel at the un­for­giv­ing shore­line along this stretch of the south coast. My mood started to brighten and I re­mem­bered why we were there. It was go­ing to be an ad­ven­ture of a life­time. And you know what? It kind of was.

TROY TURNER/THE WEST­ERN STAR

A pair of aban­doned pho­tos rest on a chest in an empty room in­side of the homes in Grand Bruit.

TROY TURNER/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Ni­cholas Mercer, still re­cov­er­ing from his ferry ride, stand­ing on the wharf in front of Grand Bruit’s ma­jes­tic water­fall.

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