Sandy Cove Pond, NL - Kelly Pike

My Watermark is Sandy Cove Pond, Newfoundland and Labrador.

I was very fortunate to grow up on the Eastport Peninsula on the eastern shore of Newfoundland. I found myself surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and I could not have avoided water even if I wanted to. There was a lighthouse outside my bedroom window and a fish plant down the street. There were two sandy saltwater beaches within walking distance of my home, if you didn’t mind the chill of the ocean even in summer (which I didn’t)!

I liked the beaches and I loved playing by the sea, but my absolute favorite place was a freshwater pond located in Crooked Tree Park. Eastport is made up of seven communities (mine being called Happy Adventure). The park is located in Sandy Cove, one of the other Eastport communities not too far from my home. The park gets its name from the crooked trees that grow along the trail as you make your way to the pond.

I spent pretty much every childhood summer day at Crooked Tree Park. My mother would pack me a lunch, drop me off in the morning, and not see me again until suppertime. There was a wharf in the park and we always swam on one side of it. We never swam on the other side because it was full of lily pads and frogs. Diving beetles swam with us (as did small fish) but that never bothered us. Lots of other kids would be there, and we would spend the days splashing, swimming, and jumping off the end of the wharf. There were no lifeguards and no cell phones. We were expected to watch out for each other and to be careful. In retrospect my mother probably worried about me a lot!

As a kid I could look out from the swimming area and the pond would stretch as far as the eye could see. When I look at maps now I realize how large the pond is and how little of it we actually swam in. The pond is called Sandy Cove Pond but to me it will always be Crooked Tree. It is one of my fondest memories and helped to shape who I am today.

Steve Watts
Kelly Pike

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