Always up for a challenge, the only things that Sue loves more than the ocean are hiking her favourite Sober Island trails and meeting new folks. She grew up in Sheet Harbour, met Randy in the early ‘70’s, moved to Halifax for five minutes, married Randy in the late 70’s, and moved back to Sober Island. Talk about knowing a good thing when you see it, eh? She's had different jobs over the years (including boating-business-paperwork-monger and mom to three kids) but finally came to her senses: living & working from home is her best life. Sober Island Boat Tours is what keeps her out of the fluorescent lights and under the sun.
Sue's Fave boat story
This one beautiful day, we took family and friends on the boat. It was one of those warm, sunny days that these stories always seem to take place on, and we headed out to our fishing grounds. The idle chit chat was cut abruptly when a youngster on board hollered ‘whaaaaaale!’. It's pretty rare to see a whale breach, especially where we travel, and we figured it must've been chasing food. After all that excitement was through, we headed to Taylor Head. See, generally, we never see any whales, but on that sunny destined-to-be-a-story kind of day, another one breached right there in front of the boat. It was a Minke whale and was much smaller than the first one (but hey, any two-whale-day is pretty amazing).
This guy's a true Sober Islander who's spent more years on-island than off. He distinctly remembers ‘helping out’ his Dad in the boat shop, (where his Dad built wooden boats), at no more than five years old. There was always lots to do. I mean, a five-year-old can move a lot of sawdust. As he got older, he spent more time in the shop, but less of it being in his Dad's way. He learned all about wooden boat-building—a process that encompasses the whole shebang, like choosing the right tree for a keel, steaming timbers, planking the boat, laying and rabbeting the keel, clinching nails, caulking seams, painting the thing, and installing equipment. Randy fishes lobster every spring and works on boats when he's got the time. He's the kind of guy that's got more ideas than anyone could ever actually bring to life, y'know? To sum him up, Randy's a hard worker, a dreamer, and a doer.
Randy's Fave boat story
Randy, pick a favourite? They're kind of all his faves. What he really enjoys is sharing stories of the local area, talking about life experiences, and (most of all) hearing laughter on the boat. If folks are laughing, they're enjoying themselves (which means Randy is too)! He so enjoys having young 'uns on the boat. They've got so many questions and they always love to try their hand at the steering wheel. And hey, it’s not just the little kids who enjoy it, the grown-up kids do too!
The youngest of Randy and Sue’s kids is following in his father’s footsteps. Well, almost; it's not like he was hangin' off his Dad in the shop since he was five. After Luke's high school days, he attended MSVU and worked in Halifax for a few years. This guy was in a band, and played tons of gigs, and realized (around 2017) that it was time to do something different. It turned out that, in this case, “different” meant “better”: he moved home to Sober Island,, bought his own place and went to work helping his Dad rebuild a new-to-them fishing boat for the '18 lobster season. Luke is a lobster fisher, boat builder, thinker, musician, and songwriter. How's that for following father's footsteps?
Luke's Fave boat story
Okay, so, if you've ever been lobster fishing, you know what we mean when we say “it looks as if we have a following”. (Landlubber? No worries; a “following” is basically a flock of hungry gulls, but picture 1000x what you'd see in a fast food parking lot). If there's food around, the gulls are relentless. One day on the lobster boat, around lunchtime, one crewman is eating a sandwich and talking with his hands, (yeah, you see where this is going). He was telling a story (pretty animatedly, too), and one enterprising young gull swooped in, hardly slowing down, and grabbed that fella's sandwich. This ham & cheese was gobbled & swallowed pretty much instantly. Gulls are pretty brazen, and this one came back for more, but, well, there was no sandwich left for man nor beast.