Saturday, 25 June 2011

Arts North Anecdote

I didn’t make it out to the boat today, which makes me cranky, but I was happy to read the following tweet this morning: 

"Everyday we will try to feature a local business today check out Art’s North" via northcapebreton 

I wasn’t clever enough to come up with a 140 character reply to express why I am happy; instead, I'm going to tell a little story. 

Last year (2010), my childhood friend David Goldberg battled leukemia and won. I have known David for virtually all my life. A native of Philadelphia, David and his family have been coming to Nova Scotia, in particular my home village of Bay Saint Lawrence in Cape Breton, since David was a child. Each summer David and I explored the lakes of the Aspy, the hidden hiking trails of the highlands, faraway swimming holes at Neil's Harbour, the pristine shores of Cabot's Landing, the twists and turns of the Cabot Trail, and the many cliff-bound beaches throughout Northern Cape Breton. Needless to say, David and his family were devastated over David's battle with cancer and heartbroken when they couldn't make it to Cape Breton because of  his illness. 

Enter Naomi.

moose vase, linda doyon, moose, vase, pottery, cape breton,
David's girlfriend wanted to get something authentically Cape Breton for David. She called me (I had never spoke with her before) and asked for my help. I immediately told her that if she wanted something truly Cape Breton, Arts North was the place to go. The owner-operator, Dennis Doyon, quickly found an item that fit Naomi's budget, was easy to ship and was something David would love. It was easy for Dennis to help pick something out for David because our community is so small; Dennis has also known David for over twenty years.  David loved the gift. Dennis loved helping out. And now, the wonderful piece of  pottery, crafted by Linda Doyon, is a centerpiece in David and Naomi's apartment.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I Love Fishing

The lobster fishery is in full swing on the shores at the top of Nova Scotia. I have been a lobster fisherman all my life and have no plans of quitting anytime soon. I fish on the shore's of Cape Breton out of the lovely port of Bay Saint Lawrence, the most Northern fishing port in all of Nova Scotia. Our little port is also home to a lucrative Atlantic snow-crab fishery, which opens in July, a trawl (long-line) fishery, which targets delicious Halibut, and a mackerel fishery that starts in the fall. The dragging in our area has dwindled, but some boats still catch grey sole or flounder. Aside from the dragging, I have participated in every fishery that our region currently offers and I love them all!  I love the challenge of the North Atlantic waters and our famous tides. I love the last light of the sun, after it sets, when you are trying to squeeze every moment of work in you can before the day turns to dark. I love working with my family, whether it be with my father, mother, sister and brother aboard the Oshan, or my cousins when I help on other boats. Simply put: I love fishing. Do you know what I love the most about fishing? Eating my catch. Yes, in 2004 after graduating on the Dean’s list with an Honours degree, I turned my back on the academic world because I love eating fresh fish. There is just something special about catching it, cleaning it and then cooking it yourself. I love pan-fried lobster, crab keish, smoked mackerel and barbecued halibut. The next time you are in my area, stop at one of the many wharfs from Neil’s Harbour to Bay Saint Lawrence and ask a local “where can I get some fresh fish?” You will be surprised at what you find; afterwards, ask the local “how can I cook it?” and you will be amazed.