There’s no place like it

Paula Tessier
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There are so many places we all long to be and long to see. Anything with palm trees generally makes me pretty happy. There are loads of world famous landmarks that are on the bucket list, most of them across the pond.

But the place that makes most of us the happiest, myself absolutely included, is home.

Last weekend I headed to the homestead in Hickman’s Harbour to have a little visit with the folks. Nothing big on the agenda. A short visit to my old school for a reunion event — on Random Island you start and finish in the same building. You just move around a little from kindergarten to Grade 12—  followed by some quality time with the parents.

Now, I grew up directly on the water, as close as one can get without getting wet. So to see stunning Trinity Bay North while the recreational cod fishery was happening, well you know I was looking to hitch a ride of the sea-faring variety.

It took two cups of tea and one walk to Charlie Martin’s store before I voiced my desire to try for a fish. Unsure if the folks would be receptive since I was only there for a short time, and since I’m pretty sure Mom would still ground me if she wanted to, I tentatively made my feelings known.

“My love, I don’t know who’s around to take you out on the water at this time in the day. I wouldn’t say you’ll get out,” my mother suggested.

With that, one of my five thousand cousins came driving down the road and stopped to say hello. Well, within two minutes I had secured a trip out on the water the following morning. I was stoked!

So here’s how life goes around the bay; suddenly it was four o’clock, the school reunion was at 6­ or so, and my friendly cousin popped by to suggest that if I wanted to go out on the water, right then and there, he was more than happy to take me.

How fast can one person determine that their casual summer clothes are absolutely perfect for fishing and that if you ruin them, well perhaps you didn’t like those shorts anyway? That decision can be made in less than three seconds.

Thankfully my mother came along as well, so I got the best of both worlds.

What a laugh! My lovely, and it turns out, quite competitive mother, caught the lion’s share of the catch, and beautiful fish at that! She’d no sooner drop her line before calling out to my cousin to come help haul in the fish because it was too big for her to get in herself. Of course! And the more she had to call to him, the more she loved it, the more I cursed my empty hook, the more our skipper just laughed at the two of us.

I suggested she had a better hook, was catching from the back of the boat and clearly that gave her an advantage (logic is not necessary when one is coming up empty), while she made it very clear that her upbringing as a fisherman’s daughter gave her skill levels beyond what the rest of us could ever hope for.


That evening we toasted our success and fun on the water. The next morning I got up to do it all over again. Mudder suggested she stay in because her “muscles were too sore from hauling in such a big catch yesterday.” I think she was just afraid I’d use the pole she had the day before and have the same great fortune, blowing her theory out of the water.

And that’s exactly what I did, from the back of the boat no less! And like my mother, I found myself calling for the skipper when I had a big ’un on the hook to reel it in because I struggled to muck it in myself.

For simple reasons like wanting to fish, getting to fish, and catching fish, with your family, there truly is no place like home.

Email Paula at

Geographic location: Random Island, Trinity Bay North

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