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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Catherine Lee

More Than Mail

Her name was Rex IV, but everyone called her “the mailboat.” Six days a week, unless the gale warning flags were flying, she plied the mail route running among the Fundy Isles.

Both we teens and our elders enjoyed day-tripping aboard her to Saint Andrews, a summer resort on the Canadian mainland where we’d have a few hours to sight-see and souvenir-shop and eat lunch in a diner frequented by the locals, not the summer trade. The real attraction for me, though, was the boat ride, the sun hammering the sea with light and a salt breeze to cool us.

Our children and grandchildren never knew these simple pleasures aboard the mailboat. She was long ago abandoned, beached in an island cove, still majestic despite her peeling paint and weathering varnish. Like those of my generation who enjoyed those summer excursions, she’s showing her age – but the cargo of memories she carried, we carry still.

tumbledown wharf –
all the mackerel
we used to catch here