scouting and lessons learned


It’s amazing what you can learn in a day and sometimes it’s not what you think or want. Since we arrived here, we quickly discovered we needed to tread lightly. The people who live here have their own version of utopia and we certainly don’t want to ruin it for them, which of course, is why we are keeping our location secret. It may be hard to gain their trust quickly, which is why we’re not shooting today, only scouting.

We sourced some transportation, an old Dodge pickup which Michele and I can barely see over the hood. We can’t think of a nickname for the truck so hey, if you have a suggestion for a name, please send it! Having a vehicle here is as good as gold. The great thing about the pickup is that it has turned us into a bit of a taxi service. Proper etiquette here is to offer a ride to anyone walking down the road. What a great way to meet people.

The morning started at a little breakfast place we discovered. It’s a big long shed. As you walk in, there’s a counter in front of you, kitchen to the right, two small tables to the left and 15 feet of shelving in the back with a surprisingly good selection of potential meals. They were serving Sunday brunch. Everything was homemade and local so we certainly had an awesome meal.

Our goal today was to explore the other end of the island. We drove our old Dodge down the one main road for about a half an hour. We soon discovered what we call, the ‘roadside cupboards’. At various spots along the road there are wooden cupboards filled with whatever local produce is in season, some with the added bonus of homemade baked goods. You put the payment in a metal box, and if you don’t have any money, you can jot down an IOU. It looks like we are switching to vegetarian until further notice.

At the end of the drive we reached a dock and started to wander around. We heard voices and headed down towards a secluded cove. There were a number of people sitting enjoying the day. Among them were a few generations of locals.  Some of the family was swimming in the nude. Michele wanted to join in but “I just didn’t have the balls to do it.” When we said we were on a photo quest, they didn’t exactly volunteer to be photographed but nonetheless, they were very warm and friendly.

After the families left, there were two young guys remaining. One, a writer who was renting a house and just wanted to get away from it all to work on his book. And the other, a young man from South Africa who is a WWOOF (someone who trades work for accommodation on organic farms) who was desperately trying to smoke an apple. The few weeks he’s been here, he’s met a lot of long time residents and seems to know where all the action is going on. He sort of warned us that some people might not want their photos taken. We again reiterated that we didn’t want to share the island location, but just wanted to photograph interesting people. We hope to meet him again and perhaps take his photo.

We think there are two distinct types of people here. The long-term residents who stay together and want to protect their traditional ways, and the others who are more free spirited who strive to be long term residents. Long story short… we drove the two guys both back to their respective houses and headed back to our place to make dinner. We cooked the last of the meat we brought and then headed to the bar.

It was a slow night there. Just before closing, an interesting kayaker wandered in and sat down with us.  After last call, we bought a six-pack of beer and headed to his place. We shared some stories and told him about why we were here. He was quite adamant few would co-operate. Are we in over our heads? Maybe? But tomorrow we better start taking some photos.


amy senecal
i can't wait to see the photos!
I love the mystery here and hope that you can get some of the people to participate! Can't wait to see what happens.
How 'bout Westcoast Maggie...for the truck.
Yves Lepage
I am hanging on every word. Sounds like quite the adventure. Love the little pictures so far. Sent you my names via BBM, so check it!
Ok you've got my attention now. And the truck? "outkast"
Amanda Woodward
I am completely intrigued by this adventure you're having!

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