But maybe the thing that captivates Chris most about the island is the accident of its geography, what it looks like in the long view. His first launch was out of Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida, aboard the shuttle Atlantis, destination the Russian space station Mir. This meant that the shuttle would head up the Atlantic coast, with the world turning underneath it.
“I did the math,” he says, “and I realized that 90 minutes after launch-92 minutes, to be exact-we would come straight overtop of here. So I set the alarm on my watch and had my camera ready. And 92 minutes after I left Earth, I looked out the window and saw Lake Huron coming down to a point where it joins the river. I saw the shadow of the Blue Water Bridge connecting Sarnia to Port Huron on the American side. I saw the little diagonal plank road that runs from the old Petrolia oil wells to the river docks, clear as a bell. And I looked a little south, to see this island. And there it was.”
© 2014 by Jay Teitel. Cottage Life (Winter 2014). cottagelife.ca