I was up early last Friday. It was low tide after the third Supermoon of the year. The first full moon following the Summer Solstice marks the ideal time for the dulse harvest.
The beach at Two Islands is a great place to not only watch the moon rise but also explore geological formations and… harvest dulse. After a late night I returned for the early morning expedition.
I had only seen the tide this low once before. At this level it feels as if one can walk for miles on the ocean floor before reaching the open water. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky and four eager people to capture and stay in the moment. I felt fortunate to have been invited for the outing. Many people head out to the dulsing grounds these days and there are disturbing signs that beaches have been harvested to the point of extinction. Patrick, our guide, pointed out whole swaths of beach where just a couple of years ago he found his supply of dulse in abundance but this year there was no sign of it.
The morning was filled with beautiful moments of shallow water moving kelp and other treasures highlighted by the sunshine. It was a feast for the eye and our cameras.
Filling the net bags with tender dulse took little time. Once the dulse was harvested we spread it out on the rocky beach to let it dry in the sun. Patrick suddenly realized that he wanted to show us the “meeting of the waters” and we quickly jumped on his buggy and headed closer to the Big Island. We made it in time…
The “meeting of the waters” refers to when the tide comes in and surrounds the Big Island with water following the low tide. It was an amazing experience. We saw the water coming toward us from both sides. Within about 20 seconds the water rose from me dry flip-flop soles to my hips! To call it a surprise is an understatement… the phenomena was like nothing I had experienced before. If you are interested in watching it in real time I suggest you visit my FaceBook post from Friday, June 25th.
Here the story gets even more intense… I was standing in the middle of fast rising water when a text arrived to find out if I was alright and when I would be hanging my exhibition at Art Lab. Hmmm, after all my careful planning and double checking somehow the dates got mixed up. I thought the exhibition was to be hung that afternoon for a Saturday opening. I was completely wrong! The exhibition was to be hung on Thursday afternoon for a Friday opening.
With murky the water hip-high and tripping over barnacle encrusted rocks we eventually made our way back to shore, jumped on the buggy and rushed to the car. Our friend Reg was kind enough to drive me back to town. I quickly changed into dry clothes, grabbed the exhibition pieces, the contract, hanging rods and fishing line and we met up at the gallery. Hanging the exhibition didn’t take long. After all, I am sharing the space and I had only five larger pieces to situate.
Thanks to Reg and his keen eye the pieces got hung and leveled within about 45 minutes. Phew! Talk about making a flaky first impression on the gallery organizers. I went home to change and returned in plenty of time for the “come and go” opening due to continued pandemic restrictions that afternoon. If you are in the area please consider visiting the exhibition. And if you are coming from outside of town, please let me know in an email so we can connect. I will meet you at the gallery!