If you think Big Tancook is small, let’s talk about our sister island Little Tancook… (that’s the one in the middle) …
I should start off by saying that it’s actually a place I don’t know enought about (how embarrassing!). It’s kind of like a mystery…but one I don’t think would be very difficult to solve.
With this curiosity in mind, I’ve decided to write this blog in two parts – the first simply about what I’ve gleaned from my chance interactions with the people and the place, and what I know from my fellow islanders. The second will come only after I can say I’ve properly visited and chatted with some Little Tancookers .
When my family first moved to Big, I knew very little about Little. It was the smaller of our two islands (the one with the wooden wharf) – the place where you didn’t want to accidently get off. It was also the place I worried my stuff would end up without me if I managed to put my things in the wrong freight box.
It is home to 30(ish) residents – including many weekenders and summer people. Their main industry is fishing and they are a very resilient and self sufficient community (just like Big). Unlike us though, they do not have a school, restaurant, or other businesses. They also sadly no longer have a functioning rec center – but they have an open invitation to come on over to Big for events anytime!
Students from primary to grade 5 ride the ferry every morning from Little to Big and back in the afternoon. My friends have often told me stories of one such Little Tancooker who has made a big impression through the years. He is everyone’s favourite funny guy, and I don’t think their lives would have been the same without him.
He can liven up even the dullest situation, and is one of the funniest people I have ever met. After every time I see him I thank the heavens above I’m alive because I know I could very well have died … from laughter. He’s the only Little Tancooker I really know and so for now I’ll say he’s my favourite.
Through the years he rode the ferry to Tancook not only for school, but also many a Saturday afternoon for pond hockey, floor hockey at the rec center, and lots of other activities. Now a days, we see him less, as he lives in the city, but he still shows up for the odd dance, floor hockey afternoon, or community baseball game – and when he does we know it will be a riot.
We also see him periodically on the ferry when he head’s home to visit his parents - these are always the most entertaining of ferry rides. He has a way of making any situation interesting– and ferry rides do get a bit monotonous after maybe the 100th time. He keeps everyone is stitches, and can keep even the ferry snoozers awake.
When I think of him, I remember one particularly memorable ferry ride. It was a chance encounter, and just he and I (out of our group of friends) were heading to the islands on a late ferry. We were chatting and I had some freshly baked brownies (which I shared with him – but not without first giving him a hard time about how he was taking them away from my mother! – not really though).
There was a group of Little Tancookers sitting in another area of the ferry, I could tell they knew him and I thought they might also like some of my “Mother’s Brownies” – so I told him I was going to go offer them some. He jokingly told me that I shouldn’t associate with them because they were trouble…I decided to anyways.
I went over and introduced myself, made a little small talk and offered them some. They noticed he was acting kind of funny (avoiding looking at them and such), and started giving him a hard time (all in good fun). Playing along, I told them not to worry about it because he was just grumpy because his mother didn’t feed him. This comment with met with uproarious laughter…I wasn’t sure why so I asked. Unbeknownst to me, I was talking to his Mom and Dad (oops!).
Other chance Little Tancook encounters include zipping over in the speed boat to pick up friends from the ferry on Little if we missed them in Chester, so they wouldn’t have to ride all the way to Big – islanders from Big helping to unload a big order of traps from the ferry (so we could get home more quickly) – boat rides with family and friends to everyone’s favourite (and closest) tropical island destination (*wink*) to walk on some different, but strangely similar dirt roads – And little chit chat on the ferry about all things related to island life.
So with this in mind I plan to visit for longer and hopefully get a chance to chat with some Little Tancookers about life on the other island. I hear it’s going to be a busy summer over there, with a couple wedding planned, so there should be lots to talk about. Little Tancook here I come !!!
Your Island Girl,