Îles de la Madeleine

Sailing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

"Thanks for your visit, my German friends." Real, the dockmaster, has come to the harbour on this sunny blue Sunday morning to say good bye. Over the last few days we have come to like this always smiling and hustling guy. "Thanks for your hospitality. We really have fallen for your islands. This is a magic place and we will surely come back one day." Right in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence you can find a few huge red sandstones stretched over 40 miles and connected through endless sanddunes, lonely beaches and dark blue lagoons. They have their own climate, a mild one, well, compared to the rest of Canada. Still the season is short, only July and August. For the rest of the year life goes its quiet island pace.

Fishing is the major source of income for a few thousand islanders, tourism a nice additional crumb of bread. Ecology is very important, as is the keeping up of traditional ways. Music, painting and poetry are encouraged.

We meet Elfi, a German immigrant, who came here, saw, married an islander and stayed. She and her philosophic husband try to persuade us, to grow roots here - and they almost succeed. In the end our nomadic instincts prove stronger, settle down - yes, but not now, it's too early. Still, when you look at the golden sunlight falling on dark green hills and meadows, all the scattered wooden houses in pastel colours, yellow glowing dunes and beaches softly awash in the evening tide, it's tempting, yes it is….

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