A new journey waits

Aethne Hinchliffe
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Port aux Basques’ lights twinkled in the dark distance. I stood on the MV Caribou’s bow, wondering what was to come as the vessel slowly approached its docking point.

That night is well behind me now. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, and other times it seems like an eternity ago.

Now I’m sitting at my desk at The Gulf News writing my final column - at least for this paper.

This Friday, which will be last Friday when the paper is published, I will once again board a ferry and travel across the gulf for a new adventure. I say new adventure because life on the island certainly has been a voyage.

It’s a little odd arriving to a completely unfamiliar place in the dark. My mother and I drove along the quiet streets. Our first stop was Foodland. We somehow managed to squeeze some groceries into my car, which was packed so full the doors were almost bursting open.

The next stop was my apartment, equally unfamiliar because I hadn’t seen photos.

On Oct. 8, 2010, I stepped hesitantly through the door of a small yellow building on Grand Bay Road. It was The Gulf News. My editor gave me the grand tour of Port aux Basques, and when we pulled back into the office driveway I was somewhat concerned I’d have to staple a map to myself.

Then it was Thanksgiving. The only furniture I had to speak of, were two milk crates and some empty boxes. Nonetheless, we roasted a turkey, cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes, and ate a delicious supper. Our table was two milk crates with a small black and red fleece blanket as a tablecloth.

Since then, I’ve had the chance to do some pretty fun things. I took my first quad ride, went to Gros Morne, visited Burgeo, went camping at some beautiful provincial parks, swam in the ocean, met friends and served as tourist guide for my come-from-away friends.

When my ferry docks in North Sydney on Oct. 1, I’ll drive to Chester, Nova Scotia. After a few days there, I’ll head to Liverpool, about an hour from Chester on the province’s south shore. There I’ll begin my new job as a reporter/photographer at The Queens County Advance.

As I recently noted on Facebook, I will miss this rocky land where the ocean meets the mountains, the mountains meet the sky and the wind whistles its story to curious listeners.

But I know without a doubt I’ll be back because there is a lot more to see.

reporter@gulfnews.ca

Organizations: The Gulf News, The Queens County Advance

Geographic location: Chester, Grand Bay Road, Port aux Basques Burgeo North Sydney Nova Scotia Liverpool

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