Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Square 13: Great Blue Heron

Square 013

One bright day in August 2001 I took my daughters, Marian and Brenna, out from Tobermory on board the Great Blue Heron for a glass bottom boat cruise around Fathom Five National Marine Park.

There the Niagara Escarpment dips into Lake Huron. Where the underwater terrain drops steeply below dolostone cliffs, Georgian Bay's cold waters are an impossible coral sea blue. The boat toured that drop-off and showed us the sites of several shipwrecks.

But what I chiefly remember is standing on the deck with my daughters, letting the spray wash over us. It was a warm, windy day and the lake was so rough that the boat could not go all the way to see the strange formations on Flowerpot Island. Most of the passengers wanted to huddle inside the cabin, but Brenna in particular wanted to stand on deck near the bow and feel the fullest possible impact of that ride. She was only seven. I stood right beside her for safety, but didn't want to discourage her sense of adventure. Every time the boat hit a wave, a veil of diamond spray washed over us.

It is a day resplendent in memory. Through my child's eyes I am a child again, innocent of danger, knowing only the keen blade of excitment: the sunlight, the water like liquid azurite, the rush. Now I live that day again.

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