Random Island is separated from the Bonivsta peninsula on the island’s north side by Smith Sound. This is about 1-3 miles across in most places if memory serves. Sometimes in my memory we’ve had the sound freeze completely over, and can remember people ski-dooing, skating to Harcourt, hauling wood on horse and slide, and of course, fishing.
In Newfoundland you go fishing for one kind of fish only, that’s cod. Any other type of fishing has its own name (trouting, etc). Nowadays with the moratorium on, even if the sound did freeze over, you’d not be allowed to go fishing, but years ago you could.
One of my most vivid memories of my Uncle Hay was one day him and I went out on our old ski-doo (I think it was that far back anyway). This was an old Alouette, we bought off Ross Smith and it weighed about 17 tons I think, and had about a 400 cubic inch motor in it ( I may have exaggerated slightly). I remember the ski-doo just because it was so ancient and yet so powerful. In any event, Uncle Hay and I drove out to some of our fishing marks and put some holes down through. I think we used my old ice auger, but it may have even pre-dated me having one of those, maybe Uncle Hay had one. You’d probably think that ice on such a large body of water wouldn’t be thick, but I remember there being about 2-3 feet of ice to drill through.
Salt water ice, or at least on a body that large, doesn’t respond like fresh water ice. Its “softer”, flexible, and you can feel the lop under the ice moving it up and down, and can hear the huge cracks like thunder when a crack opens up.
It was a beautiful winter day, sunny, sun felt warm, and was awesome to be out on the ice, doing what we both loved. I really don’t remember if we got any fish, but that really didn’t matter to me that day. I’m not sure where Dad was to be honest, possibly it was a work day, most likely was, but after Uncle Hay had retired. Some days just belong to certain people or groups. This was ours, or for me anyway. Much love to Uncle Hay, and Dad as well. We’ll fish again together someday.
Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School.
I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.