True Brit Grit

My first thought about the trip was to raise money to go towards the restoration and mounting of The Brass Rubbing that Pattie had produced in 1970. It is due in May of 2022 to be placed and unveiled in the Timmins Cathedral and possible at a later date to travel to Moose Factory and be placed in St. Thomas Church which the subject of The Brass Rubbing Rev. John Horden built in the 1800’s and he also became Bishop of Moosonee.

OK, so much for the reason, now for the means, namely a boat. My son Harry looked at what was available but all were too expensive for the possibility of just one trip. I had an old “Peterborough Teal” cedar stripe boat 13 feet long and 4 feet wide, but in real bad condition. The gunwale was broken, the transom leaked like a sieve, the back seat had sprung up and ribs were out of line. After some discussion with Harry and Pete, his father in law, Pete informed me that I came from an island nation and that I should be able repair a wooden boat. Sadly my ancestors hadn’t passed on this knowledge of building boats, no!

So, I set about in my spare time making the boat water worthy with Danny’s help to move it about. Darwin and Dennis Neuman supplied me with some excellent white oak to replace the gunwale. After a lot of floodlight evenings I decided to it was good enough and transported it to Steve and Ann’s boat house on Kamaniskeg Lake. After leaving it sitting in the water with additional weight for some days, I decided it was water tight and planned to start the trip on Wednesday morning which was delayed till noon due to the thick mist. Harry came to see me off and take photographs.

I set off, the day was ideal. The passage to Parcher Point was uneventful. I saw only one person, a lady on her dock enjoying the sunshine. We exchanged pleasantries and I rowed on. I rounded Parcher Point in just under an hour and stopped for some lunch. Cheese and Spam sandwiches with Branston pickle. Yumee, just what the captain ordered!

If you are already an online subscriber, CLICK HERE to access your subscription and read the full story.
If you wish to subscribe online, CLICK HERE, or you can pick up a copy of the October 13 Valley Gazette for the complete story.