I’d ridden like a demon from Port Hope Simpson to Mary’s Harbour. Other than a small section of soft and loose gravel on the hill coming down to the Mry’s Harbour / Red Bay turnoff, it was good material all the way. I could get up on top of it and really go. Third gear gave me plenty of range on the throttle and the bike just sang along. Richard and I shook hands and parted ways at the junction.
There’s only one way to get to Battle Harbour and that’s by Ferry. The Ferry leaves once a day at 11:00am and does not return to the mainland until 9:00am the next morning. There are a variety of options for accommodations on the Island and you can see them all the the main website here. The wharf for the ferry is not exactly well marked. If you end up at the fisheries dock, you’ve gone too far. The parking for the ferry is right across the street from the Anglican Church. You can leave your vehicle there overnight and if you’re on a motorcycle, they’ll let you store any loose and unlockable items in the booking building. There is limited phone and telephone service on the island and no cell service at all. Make sure you bring a book or magazine to read.
Who your people are is a very big deal in Labrador / Nfld., genealogy matters and oral and memory based local history is going to be key to any search for links to the past. I got the feeling right away that my Grandfather Solomon’s death left a deep family wound. Very little seemed to be known about him. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
A little bit after eleven in the morning we set out for the Battle Islands. I spent a bit of time talking to Captain Jim who was also born and raised in Battle Harbour about my family and their links to trap cove. I filled him in on the details of my Grandfather’s death and his remains interment in Bergen in the Netherlands. It would seem that the Sewards were pretty much done with Trap Cove by the early to mid sixties, dispersing to Happy Valley / Goose Bay and to Port Aux Basques. Before the exodus, they were a year round family. Living in Trap cove through the harsh Winters. The last ferry of the year would leave in November and not return until the following May.
We had a smooth sea on the way out and we all took time to get to know one and other.
After lunch there was going to be a guided tour of the buildings with Captain Jim leading it. I was a little late to the party so I’m going to cover it in the next post.