After describing the story of our voyage to New York to Dan's mother, she called it an odyssey. There were moments when it felt like we would never get back, like Poseidon and the other gods decided that they would extract their price before we could move ahead.
When we set out for the overnight ferry on Wednesday evening, it was snowing but not heavily and we made good time to Port aux Basques. We arrived, however, to discover that the ferry was not docked in the harbour. A quick check in the ferry terminal revealed that they anticipated a delay of about 1.5 hours. It also revealed that they had switched the boats so that we would be on the newer ferry, the Blue Putees. My main comfort in the whole lead-up to the ferry ride was that we would NOT be on the Blue Puttees, a boat that had a stabilizer malfunction a week earlier that resulted in the boat listing heavily to one side causing a great deal of damage and one injury to a staff person who fell into broken glass. (A person at the counter at the terminal also told me about a man who died a week later but, she added, it wasn't necessarily because of his falling out of his bunk - could be a coincidence. So comforting.) So, no, I was not happy about the switcheroo but we had no choice but to wait. Finally at 4:30 am, six hours and 2.5 terrible action movies later, we boarded the boat. I honestly don't remember much from there because we all fell deeply asleep.
Needless to say, we made it safely, although I did hear tell that the boat again had a stabilizer incident two days ago. Um, perhaps that needs to be looked into? The Cabot Strait is more often rough than calm and it strikes me that a combination of high waves and seriously listing boats is a very bad combination. Yet, Marine Atlantic doesn't seem particularly concerned. Lalala.
We arrived in Sackville for A Handmade Assembly just in the nick of time. We whisked off to the Sackville Curling Club, where the roundtable was being held.
They weren't kidding!
It really was a curling club! The ice was melting, however, because the season had just ended.
I loved everything about the Sackville Curling Club. Especially this sign.
I finally got to meet Janet Morton, an artist who, as someone once said, must be dreaming the same dreams as me. For years and years, we have communicated via regular mail and then email, and each time I have been surprised at how similar our thoughts and interests have been. When we met, it was like meeting an old friend. And, guess what? Again, our thoughts and ideas were traveling along a similar path - both of us talking about things that we hadn't said out loud before but with instant understanding. All this within about 30 minutes of meeting each other. This photo is of Janet on the left and on the right is Adriana Kuiper, another wonderful artist. Adriana teaches at Mount Allison University in Sackville. She had done a residency at Full Tilt two summers ago and we had fun flying kites and doing yoga together.
Here are members of the audience working on a project that Janet instigated - A Handmade Assembly Line. We all worked on our felt cars, passing along the parts to our neighbor after two minutes.
The next morning, it was my turn to speak about my work at Struts Gallery. On our way, we passed this sign.
At first glance, I thought it said, "Hebrew Karaoke". An intriguing idea in and of itself, but HeeHaw Karaoke may be equally so.
My talk went well and generated some very good conversation. I think here is the proper place to extend my thanks to the organizers of A Handmade Assembly, especially Amanda Fauteux. It was so great to be a part of such an incredible gathering and I loved seeing some of the people I met at Concordia about a year ago and rekindling those relationships. Nice all around.
We raced away from Sackville only to be caught in a heavy snowstorm about an hour later. By the time we reached Saint John, it was clear that we could not safely drive any further. We found a place to stay and we, rather gratefully, lounged around the rest of the day. The next day, it was still snowing but we headed out and, 13 hours later, arrived in Sunnyside, where spring is apparently in full bloom.