Nothing fancy here, just pieces of wood held together by hidden strips. Hinges, some newer than others, help open and close while the lock, or lack of it, won’t keep anyone out. These are the doors of the fishing shacks at Milligan’s Wharf and they have as much character as the area itself.
Shacks line the wharf and owners tie up their boats in front of them.
Some shacks have the names of the boats on the doors.
Another has a tuna tail fin, a unique curiosity.
Most colours are faded but remnants of red, grey and blue are visible.
What lies behind those doors? Nets, rope, lobster traps, buoys, tools and a myriad of other untold necessities and treasures of a life around the sea.
Battered by the elements for years, the barriers, like the shacks they stand with are uneven, askew to the world. They have earned the look of the well used from years of ins and outs with fishy hands as owners return from sea or prepare to go.
These doors provide passage to enclaves where tales have been told, stories of good years when catch was plentiful or a season’s fishing didn’t provide enough to cover expenses. Here, stories are told of old times, of fathers and grandfathers who didn’t have the modern boats and equipment to help locate the fish, of close calls and rescues at sea when life and limb were in jeopardy or tragically lost. Jokes told at the expense of oneself were the mainstay of comedy and old sayings, only understood by the like minded, were part of the vernacular. These shacks have heard it all.
So today as they hang out in this place, they expect the coming freeze up will mean, as in the past, that boats will come ashore for months and activity around them will cease. Then the warm sun of April will bring the boats back and these doors will open again to life by the sea.