Adam de Pencier travels with his son and dog, finally landed at Porphyry Island after a long voyage north from Toronto. He is immediately taken not by a concrete jungle but a cathedral of trees.
He is our writer in residence and is crafting a story for Lake Superior Magazine. As a contribution to the lighthouse website, he provided us with a daily synopsis of his activities to share with prospective visitors.
He writes “The walk itself is a botanical treasure-trove, running straight through with trees on either side dripping with bearded moss that make it look pre-historic.”
His son Hannibal is an eager worker and considering his schooling at Upper Canada College in the big smoke; he is more than apt to pitch in and knows the value of service above self.
Arriving also during the week was the fourth visit by the Voyageur Outward Bound School based in Ely, Minnesota. With us for a couple of days, the work accomplished by the group is astounding.
Clearing overgrowth from the point to expose the traditional footprint at the light station, it took a team effort to complete in the pouring rain.
Lois Nuttall our photographer in residence is quick to catch the image of beaded sweat from the brow of the kayakers. After convening in the kitchen and hiding from the rain, 8 gorged on Lois’ banana cake, which was gone in a flash.
Now that the space between the lighthouse dwellings is cleared and thinned down, it opens up an area once used as a vegetable garden. Puff the dog can be seen wandering the grounds but is later brought in when a young bear drops in for a visit; berry season is here.
Our next tasks are to finish anchoring the dock works, while another team builds a couple of picnic tables in ready for the Rendezvous. The work team arrives by tug with tools, hardware and enthusiasm to match. Later they are ushered to the main house on site for some lunch and hot tea. Smiles and laughs are shared as the progress of the site continues to take shape.
Everyone provides their input, their experiences and energy to in the end leave the site better than they found it. Sending them on their way, our Summer Staff leave for a break back to the mainland for some much needed rest.
With foul weather moving in, and sopping wet clothing hanging over the vent in the house to dry, it doesn’t look promising for this year’s nautical rendezvous.
Later around the fire, and with the wet subsiding the sparks fly high in the air as the night closes in and everyone’s content. Next day is much of the same but in the distance clearing weather is coming.
Although many people didn’t come due to inclement weather, we now have two new picnic tables from the Thunder Bay Yacht Club, that in future will continue to bring people and families together.
And that’s what this is all about, to bring people together to share in the beauty of Lake Superior and surroundings done with the support of community.
Next week we will share some of the lessons we’ve learned this summer and how the future is looking as we go into our final weeks at the lighthouse.