Prince Edward Island – The Atlantic Adventure
After Saguenay-Lac-Saint Jean, we had around 1200km to go before arriving at our next destination, Prince Edward Island, where we were to meet with Kirk MacLeod, the Postech Dealer for the region. We were on 170 until St-Siméon, where we took a ferry, then continued on 85 toward PEI. But it seems our RV had made the decision to take a little break, as it rolled to a stop on Route 2, leaving us stranded a little bit before Moncton. It’s not easy finding a mechanic on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of nowhere! After more than an hour, we finally saw the enormous tow truck, and the strong, smiling J.J. boarded the five members of our team and Ila in the back of his truck’s cab.
We had the RV worked on at the Peterbilt garage on the outskirts of Moncton and we spent the night in the parking lot. It rained pretty much non-stop, but we did have the fortune of two pleasant meetings with the security guard who was making his rounds. Some time ago, he had a deck built by Chester Dana, another Postech dealer, with whom we would soon meet! He immediately recognized the logos on the RV, and he happily asked us questions about our road trip. Being very content with Postech’s work, and interested in following our road trip progress, we’re pretty sure we gained another fan!
Early next morning, Mario was able to convince the mechanics on duty to work on our RV before the trucks and RVs that were already parked there. But unfortunately we got bad news. The oil breakdown was worse than we thought, and we had to leave our vehicle with them for a few days. Luckily, Kirk MacLeod, the Postech dealer for Prince Edward Island whom we were heading out to see, came to come get us once he heard the news. Without delay, he drove the two hours along with his colleague Luke to meet up with us, and they picked us up in two pick-up trucks in order to fit our team of five and all our filming equipment!
LOBSTER FISHING WITH CAPTAIN KIRK
He has always been called “Captain Kirk” by all his friends when he was young, and Mario and I had to admit, he really saved us and definitely lived up to his rank! Kirk is a true Prince Edward Islander, and his family has lived there for fifteen generations. Above all, Kirk loves his island. He loves his home with passion and generosity, and like the rest of the islanders, he loves sharing the treasure and beauty of his corner of the world. “For me, the Postech screw piles are an extension of my attachment to our heritage here. They allow me to do, most importantly, renovation projects, and showcase the cottages that give the island its charm,” he explains with a smile, as we finally park. Here at his second home on the beach, we are able to witness a breathtaking sunset.
Kirk took us out to show us his friend’s boat, the Baltic Raider, belonging to Captain Patrick Eastman, which we boarded for an early spot of lobster fishing at 4:15 in the morning! The sky was clear, and once the sun had risen, the coast bloomed from the darkness over a calm sea. In a well-rehearsed dance, the captain and his second mate, helped along by Kirk, pulled out the traps holding the precious crustaceans for which PEI is known across the world. It was a good season, and all the locals are happy. The sunrise was magnificent, and we were able to let out the drone from the deck of the ship. “When I can, I love taking the day off work to come help fish. It does me some good, though it doesn’t happen often,” he tells me, as I thread pieces of last year’s mackerel into a net, after which he inserts that bait into the cages and tosses them back out to sea. “I am crazy about Lobsters,” he says once again.
A BOLD AND REFINED MEAL, COURTESY OF MICHAEL SMITH
After fishing and filming, Kirk took us to show off one of his favorite projects: an installation of 24 Postech screw piles for an expansion to a 1913 building which contains celebrity chef Michael Smith’s inn, The Inn at Bay Fortune. This old landmark for artists needed to expand its surface area without completely changing its historic appearance, all within a short deadline. So, Kirk and his team came out to lay the foundation into a still-frozen ground for the expansion. He explains: “As their main business is seasonal, they couldn’t wait for the ground to thaw before setting to work, and still be ready for spring. Our screw piles are perfect for this, and we were able to stick to the deadlines without problem.”
After looking at the project, we were ready to visit the inn, and Kirk reserved a table for us for lunch. Normally, a reservation is needed long in advance, but the Chef was so pleased with Kirk’s work, that he was able to get us a table. “Ah, it’s the Postech Road Trip! We are going to put screw piles under the other expansion, you’ll have to come back and see us then, too!” the chef exclaimed in salutation. For our meal, think of the word “delicious”, then imagine it ten times better. Refined, bold, appetizing, and opening to all palates, it was definitely one of the best meals I have shared in a long, long time! The products were local, coming from the island, or the inn’s own vegetable garden. Everything was fresh, and the kitchen staff knew how to highlight this fact. But beyond the dishes and the enchanting ambiance, what we will remember most from this beautiful evening is the moments among good company. Kirk is a funny and generous host, and he gathered his family and close friends to meet with our Postech Road Trip.
The following day, Mario and Martin, our chauffeur, left to pick up the RV back in Moncton. After some unexpected hours of waiting, they were finally able to bring it back and rejoin the rest of the team at Kirk’s office, late in the night. The morning after that, Kirk took me to Robin’s to get coffees and some breakfast. Here, everyone knows him. He greets a delivery man, an entrepreneur, and an employee here with a smile, starting easy discussions with each. Then he had to leave, but promised to come back to see them all soon!