Port Felix had a few surprises for us. Our friend Ray, who had been our neighbour during the ‘Oceanolog’ wintering at Morrisburg Marina, had a brilliant suggestion for our stay in Port Felix. He recommended that we dock at a private wharf for free: the house of his sister Denise was there facing the peer. The excitement in the air, we arrived just before the sun went down, greeted by the serene solitude – no internet, not even a hint of mobile service! Naturally, this meant we couldn’t inform Denise of our arrival. However, the night turned out to be nothing short of magical.
As we ventured onto the deck to admire the stars, the profound silence enveloped our senses. But to our delight, the night wasn’t as quiet as we expected. It began with the haunting hoot of a great horned owl, piercing the veil of darkness. Soon, we found ourselves serenaded by a symphony of unfamiliar sounds echoing in the distance – mysterious groans, sighs, and plaintive howls. They were harmonized by the haunting calls of two loons. I grabbed a flashlight, hoping to unveil the enigmatic creatures behind these sounds, but alas, the source remained elusive, hidden in the shroud of the night. Yet, beneath the dock’s edge, a mesmerizing sight awaited us – graceful sea anemones, swaying their petals under the water’s surface. It was a night of pure enchantment.
Denise, Toze, and Mouski (their dog, proudly named after Rimouski, Denise’s hometown) were at the dock early in the morning. They showered us with a warm and hospitable welcome, serving up a delightful breakfast before embarking on a tour of their beloved village. Together, we explored Port Felix, making cherished acquaintances with the locals, and even tried our hand at mackerel fishing off Toze’s preferred pier – the promise of big fish lingered in the salty air. Our fishing endeavours yielded no catches, but boredom was far from our minds as we were entertained by the vibrant wildlife. A curious seal kept a hopeful watch over us, anticipating a treat. A cormorant dove so close that I feared it might become an unintended catch, but in the end, it skillfully pilfered a fish from our neighbor’s hook and swam away, content in its conquest. An otter made a brief but endearing appearance, circling us with an inquisitive gaze before gracefully vanishing into the depths.
Port Felix, with its population of fewer than a hundred, thrives as a humble fishing village, its livelihood centred around lobster, halibut, and shrimp harvesting. One of the village’s standout attractions is a lookout point, offering breathtaking vistas of the picturesque harbour, meticulously designed in homage to Basque Captain Savalett’s ship. Our day concluded with a heartwarming dinner shared in perfect harmony. Denise presented us with warm socks – she knitted them herself! – and a little painted rock collected on Port Felix’s shore. While we couldn’t predict the future, one thing was certain – Denise and Toze had etched their place in our hearts with unforgettable memories.