Cockburn Island (pronounced Cogburn) is a great place to visit if you want to get away from the crowds of Meldrum Bay! It is very isolated – there wasn’t even electricity until eight years ago!
We arrived on the Government Dock and two boys helped us tie up. They were working for their uncle, the lone year round resident, so I am sure any excuse to leave their task of painting a dock was appreciated. They gave us the low down and even offered to take us on a tour of the old school house after they finished work at 2:30. We declined.
We wandered around the “town” of Tolsmaville for a bit and met up with the uncle. He and his dog were very friendly (although he didn’t have many teeth – the uncle – not the dog) and gave us a bit of history of the island which used to have over a thousand people living on it at one time. The people were homesteaders but it must have been a terrible life. Farming was not great, so they fished and worked in the bush in the winter cutting down logs. Eventually, everyone either left or died. The only people who live there now are summer residents except for the man (the boys’ uncle) who lives there alone all year round.
The man gave us the key to the school house and church, so we walked up the road to see both.
After visiting the church and school, we talked to some of the summer people and then went swimming. After supper, we took a walk down another road and ended up visiting people that we’d met that afternoon. It turns out that they knew a bunch of people that we knew from Sudbury.
The next morning, we left early and motored over to Meldrum Bay where we checked in with Customs in the new marina building. Quite an improvement! We had a very nice dinner too at the Meldrum Bay Inn.
Today, at 7:00 am sharp (the captain wanted to get going), Dennis rowed me and my bike over to the dock, and I drove my bike to Gore Bay while Dennis sailed. It was 75 kilometres and the first twenty minutes was great as I had favourable weather. The rest of the trip (about four hours in total) though, was not quite as pleasant as it either drizzled or poured the entire time. Luckily though, I had my rain jacket and the rain was warm so it wasn’t so bad. The only exciting thing I saw on my trip was another osprey’s nest – right on the side of the road in a hydro pole. I stopped and took a picture – unfortunately, the osprey was not impressed and let me know by squawking at me!
I arrived in Gore Bay at 11:30 and had packed away my towel, soap and a change of clothes in my Mountain Equipment bike bag so when I arrived at the marina, I just hopped into one of the showers and had a wonderful shower! I then sat around and waited for Dennis who showed up at 1:30.
Anyway, all in all, we had a good time and learned a lot of interesting things!