Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Unexpected Encounters in Shelburne

For us, Shelburne has been a town full of the unexpected.

It's been two weeks since we pulled into Shelburne after our overnight crossing of the Gulf of Maine.  Very reluctantly, we had to leave our new boat on a mooring at the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club.  We had committed to give geocaching seminars for the Lighthouse Festival back in PEI over two weekends.  Although it was a great opportunity for exposure for our store (www.turretbell.com - yes, this is a shameless plug), we would have jumped at the chance to stay on the boat and continue our adventure.  However, since we had decided to make the boat delivery into an adventure, we knew we would have to break it up at this point.  Both weekends of the festival went very well, and we came back to Shelburne the very next day.

Now, Shelburne had been recommended as the port of entry by our broker two weeks ago.  Although there was a bit a mixup with paperwork being sent to the wrong office, our clearance into Canada went very smoothly.  As we were nearing Shelburne, and were finally able to connect to Canadian cell towers once again, we both posted on facebook where we were.  Almost immediately, I got a return message from my cousin Patsy, who lives in Shelburne.  Since it is difficult to make any advance plans when sailing on a  trip like this, we hadn't contacted anyone in advance, and had no expectations to meet up with anyone.  We had a great lunch with her and her husband.

But the visitations sure didn't stop there.  A couple hours later, we were relaxing on the boat and taking a short nap after the all-night crossing when we heard a knock.  Another cousin, Lisa, had come by to visit.  We sat on the boat for a couple of hours with her and her partner.  This was followed shortly by a visit from my uncle Pat and wife Mary. It was a rare treat to get to spend time with them.

Michelle's parents had met up with us earlier in the afternoon, as they were driving us home the next day.  They came back to the marina in the evening, and we met them in the parking lot as Pat and Mary were leaving.  They had come down with their truck camper and were staying the night.  Suddenly, we see two people walking across the parking lot towards us.  It took a couple of seconds to realize that it was Clive and Marnie from PEI.  They also were camping with a truck camper, just happened to be in Shelburne at the same time, and thought they would come over to look at the camper they saw.  They were just as surprised to run into us as we were to see them.

An expected quiet day and evening in Shelburne turned into a full day of visits and reunions.
Now, we are back in Shelburne.  When we arrived last night, we had to restock the boat with groceries, so we went up to the local grocery store.  We were getting ready to leave when Michelle realized she had forgotten something, so she ran back in.  She was no more than a few paces inside the door when she heard her name being called.  She turned around to see Cheryl, an old friendwhom we had not talked to in awhile.  Cheryl has a special status for us, as she is the person who introduced Michelle and me all those years ago.  We didn't even know she had moved to Shelburne, and we were astonished to run into her.  We chatted for awhile and caught up in the parking lot before she had to leave, but it was wonderful to again see an old friend.

It has been a busy couple of weeks, so we decided to stay another night and have a quiet day.  After spending the afternoon reading and catching up on some sleep, we went for a walk through the town.  This is when we stumbled up another surprise - Charlotte Lane.  This is a restaurant and craft shop that we first visited about 17 years ago, just after they opened (www.charlottelane.ca).  We were living on Ottawa at the time, and happened upon the restaurant by chance.  The food was delicious.  However, as time passed, we only remembered that great little restaurant down on the South Shore, and couldn't even remember which town it was in. 

Five years ago, we took a drive down the South Shore.  For the second time, we stumbled upon the same little restaurant that we remembered so fondly.  And the second time around, the food was just as good.

Now, my memory is just as strong, and we had forgotten where the restaurant was again.  In fact, I thought that it was in Lockporte, just up the coast from here.  During our strolls today, guess what we find?  The same wonderful restauant.  We immediately made reservations again, even though we weren't planning on eating out tonight.  The food was just as fabulous as it had been five years ago and 17 years ago.

We are planning to leave tomorrow to continue our cruise back home, but our time in Shelburne has definitely been filled with the unexpected.  Perhaps now, I'll even be able to remember the town where that great little restaurant is next time.

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