“So Dear, Im going away this weekend to an island somewhere on Georgian Bay with 8 other guys I met on the internet”
“Sounds great hun, don’t do anything stupid…”
Many would say …. too late .
While I’m sure this wasn’t the typical conversation had with the other significant others before doing something almost unheard of (sans Bon of course). Getting a full green light to have a gang of Leaf love/hating Hubbers together was step one in embarking on our wish from long ago.
Now we just needed enough traffic lights to make it a party.
The Hub has been around less than a year, but the bonds formed between transplanted members go back so many more.
Our collective passions for the dysfunctional hockey squad we grew up idolizing is what brought us together, but as many know, it’s our “off topic” banter that has allowed us to get to know one another so much more.
Thus the attraction to finally meet was presented. Our first time en-devour was led the bravest of souls:
- Phook (reluctantly)
Unfortunately the latter two having to miss out due to circumstances out of their control.
As the Summit date approached, UK began to think out loud;
Would everybody be as advertised?
Would your mental image match up?
Would I be able to charter a helicopter to get me the hell out of there?
Turns out the biggest problem was having to leave.
Overcoming the obstacle of distance proved to be no problem for Wiski, who happened to drive 11 hours from Quebec City to attend!
Wsiki and Ingy led the first invasion to “Scary Island” Thursday evening. A nerve wracking, pitch black voyage, across what seemed like a barren sea, had the ships Captain more than a little nervous.
However, once we safely arrived, it was like we had known each other all our lives.
The stories and howls of laughter continued to the wee hours until my old buddies put me to bed (quite literally).
The rest of gang arrived in masses through the day, some through dense fog, and we really turned it up a notch.
Bon’s precious cargo of Chunky Chicken was carefully loaded, presided over and slowly heated until we could no longer resist digging in.
How does it taste? “Get ‘yer ass up there and find out” Doorman would say (slow burn delicious btw)
The gang huddled in the kitchen and the frenetic banter filled the room and was non-stop.
I could not do any one story justice in recounting, but it’s safe to say that Doorman’s Instant Coffee soliloquy is now the stuff of legends. #nofilter
A few trickled off to bed “early”, but shut down time was 5 AM for the final four.
I found myself stumbling into the kitchen @ 10 AM where the boys had figured out breakfast, coffee and had things under control. Perfect.
Lurker’s incredibly large stash of homemade jerky and smoked sausage kept the hungriest patrons appetites in check throughout the weekend….this stuff is addictive, fabulous and we are all taking orders from Peckerhead’s once it’s up and running.
Phook taught us the fine art of frying tofu burgers, and while I didn’t dare touch the stuff, I must admit it at least LOOKED like meat.
With much bravado from the anglers before we hit the honey hole for the Inaugural Leafs Hub Fishing Derby, nothing hit the boat deck in the allotted hour other than Doorman and I playing catch and release. Ingy was undeterred, and found success off the boathouse later in the day nabbing some nice bass and a pike.
The weather was in our favour for a tour of the outer islands; a collection of mostly bald rock formed just a few billion years ago, then carved by glaciers and worn by water over time ad infinitum.
The boys were warned about Massasauga Rattlesnakes and sure enough they came across a crawler on the rocks (fox snake likely) then quickly posed for some posterity shots.
Uk and Phook had to pull the chute for 2:45 PM and we slalomed through a sailing regatta earning some angry glares to get them to the dock on time, well, UK anyway 😉
We were sad to see them go as they seemed to be having a great time. We enjoyed their company and stories.
Once we moored the boat for the day, Mike fired up his magical Margaritaville machine. Surprisingly the machine kept hopping along trying to keep up with the demand for his super test slushies as the boys kicked back by the dock, enjoying the blue skies and cool breezes.
We watched from the deck as the sun began to melt into the bay, a glorious tradition at our place with its postcard picture perfect framing of lighthouse,rock and sky.
Dinner was served and the boys chowed down on turf minus surf as we let Ingy’s fish swim away; a guilty offering to Phook’s Earth Gods.
Bleary eyed chef Otis took “rare” to extremes as 4 of the boys had to catch their cows walking off the plate and usher them back to the barbie. Medium gets you rare with chef Otis.
After crushing dinner there was an overstuffed malaise. With a quick round of Bon’s special blend coffee, we were good to party into the night.
Star gazing, more stories, laughs, darts (Wiski’s the Champ) and copious amounts of anything and everything led the party again into the light of dawn.
Though it was time to pack up, nobody seemed in a rush to get home…we didn’t want the weekend to end and it had flown by too quickly.
We hugged out our final goodbyes, just as we had met two days before, but it was on the long drive home that it all sunk in.
Who does this sort of thing?
I guess it is the kind of overt personalities you find lounging around our favourite watering hole on any given day; chewing the fat, debating over our team, telling tales from days of yore and making something amusing out of nothing ala Seinfeld.
We were a collection of long lost pen-pals, brought together by a common interest, but then bonded by something more. We were the castoffs, the rebels, the misfits of toy island and how ironic that it WAS an island to which we would make this first pilgrimage.
I think Lurker summed it up it best;
“I went up there to meet some internet buddies and left with some friends”
Amen brother..and long live THE HUB
Born on a log and hatched by the sun …….. #Hubbers have more fun