Atlantic Ocean, NS - Katelyn Smith
My name is Katelyn Smith and I’m from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but I lived in St. John’s for about six years. I am the contracts administrator at McKeil Newfoundland and Labrador so I work in the St. John’s office. I’ve been working with McKeil for about a year and a half.
My first memory of water was when I was a kid. We have a cottage on the ocean in East Chezzetcook so it’s on the Atlantic Ocean. The tide goes in and out, it’s right on clam beds so you can go clam digging there. My father woke up really early in the morning and he woke me up and he took me out to go dig clams. It was so much fun because when you dig for a clam the water squirts out. He used to tell me, oh that just means the clam likes you. Of course we took the clam and picked up the clam and we had to go in because the tide started to come back in. So at that point he taught me about how the tide works. It’s funny because as a kid I never wanted to swim in that body of water because of the mud and everything, it was gross on my feet. Yet I’d be the first one up in the morning to go clam digging in my rubber boots so it’s kind of ironic – my first memory of water. I haven’t been in a long time but I would love to. I tried two summers ago, but my rubber boot got stuck in the mud so I didn’t get very far, so no I haven’t gone in a while.
My most powerful memory of water was when I was 16. I had the opportunity to climb a glacier in BC. It was called Des Poilus. We had to wake up really early in the morning to climb the glacier because if we waited too long it would start to melt. I think we had to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning. I was so excited, I had my harness on ready to go. Our instructors told us to carve our names with our ice picks in the ice once we got to the bottom of the glacier. So I did that and I just carved my name into there, and it was about 10 inches deep. Then we climbed the glacier. We couldn’t make it to the top because there was a huge crevasse and we couldn’t cross the crevasse. So we started to come down and then when we came down and finished the trek and we reached our names again, they were 10 inches high. So at that point, that glacier would’ve melted 20 inches just in that span of 4 or 5 hours, it seemed like it was 16 so I don’t remember how long it was. It was incredible to see. So when we first started it was 10 inches deep, then it was 10 inches above. It was really cool to see that, to see how fast it changes and melts. It was incredible. But the next morning it would’ve been all gone.
Water is important to me because it just surrounds us. I’ve moved to Newfoundland to be by the water, to be closer to the water. Any time we have a break in the day or in the summer I just want to go look at it. It’s just incredible to see, how it moves, how many animals are in the water. It’s a sense of comfort to look at the water. Obviously we need it for life, to drink, and our bodies are full of water. But mostly, for me as an outdoorsy person, it’s a sense of being around the water that makes me feel like home and at ease. I really like to go, I call it, iceberg hunting. In Newfoundland, the icebergs come in at the end of May, beginning of June. Every weekend I will go to a different out port community and see if there’s any icebergs in there. It’s a lot of fun and it’s really cool to see the different shapes of the icebergs. One thing I did last year was I recorded where I went and kind of took a picture of each iceberg. Then I went the week after to see what the difference was. The icebergs flip and so it’s like a completely different iceberg to see. So I didn’t have to travel much to see different icebergs. It’s in the same spot. It’s incredible just to see those icebergs and the differences there. Some people will be climbing them knowing they can flip so quickly and I’m like what are you doing!
I do love icebergs, they are my passion. The first year in Newfoundland was when I saw my first iceberg. It moved in so close that it was anchored. It was right around the prom season so everyone was going out to get pictures in front of the iceberg. For me, I was thinking well for my prom I got pictures in front of a pretty tree, and everyone is getting pictures in front of an iceberg. I am an iceberg hunter.