The island really is nothing like I thought it would be. The pictures they had showed me earlier in the year featured palm trees. I guess I should have known that there would be nothing like that this far north.
The island has, in the past, been used for many purposes. And if I had to use one word to describe it, the word would be “gray.” There is a preponderance of cinder block. Cinder block barracks from its naval history. Cinder block cafeteria from the days of a reform school of sorts. There is a corrugated metal building which once housed a repair facility for ships. Out of one end of this structure juts a broken down dock. It is this dock to which I’m delivered by a nameless captain.
The trip to the island is a three-hour cruise. Yes, a three-hour cruise. The captain of the ship (Do you still call him “captain” if he has no crew?) is not one for conversation. I try, but the only response I get from him is when the island looms into view – gray buildings on gray land surrounded by gray sky and – surprise – gray sea. And his response seems somewhat inappropriate. He shakes his head sadly and then he can’t quit laughing. And that’s it. I step out of the boat onto the dock, and as the rain picks up, run for the Quonset hut that was the repair shop but now houses what looks like an ill kempt t-shirt factory. The engines of the boat speak loud enough, as it thunders away at a speed it never even approached during our inbound journey.