The rain was not supposed to be in the forecast I thought as I flipped on my wipers. The sun had yet to rise as I drove south towards the GO station. I made a mental note to check the weather when I got to the station, hoping that it would end before the meetup was set to start. Or at least die out enough to actually get out and do a walk. It rained the last time I went to the islands for Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, it was less pleasant the last time as it was in the Summer. The rain was a little more expected in the fall but remained an unwelcome addition. At least the weather apps both agreed the rain would end between 8:30 and 9 am. The station platform stood deserted under the orange light, and the rain fell harder against the window as I rushed east. I had also forgotten to bring a book, and the book currently next to the bed would not have fit in my camera bag. As I rushed off the platform the crowds vanished, as I grabbed a coffee from Pilot Coffee Roasters and headed off, the rain had slacked off a bit. But it was still enough to keep me inside as I sat in the lobby of the Westen Harbour Castle.
Thankfully the rain did stop a half-hour later than expected as I headed towards the docks. Unlike the summer, ferry traffic to the islands is limited to only locals and a handful of folks, like our merry group. I wasn’t expecting too many people, with the weather and the fixed departure time. But as the departure time grew closer, we had a decent number. Mostly familiar faces, but we had a few new ones joining us. There would be no concern about staying together and getting on the ferry. In the winter there isn’t the crush of people rushing to the Islands. I’ll be the nudist beach would be fairly empty today. Despite the cold, several of us rushed to the top deck to grab some skyline shots. The camera I have with me is one that was actually on loan, the beautiful Nikon F6, I posted the review of the camera last week. It was just easier to stick with the single body and several of my Nikon lenses, and the 85mm f/1.4 on loan from James Lee, like the camera.
Another issue in the winter is that the Ferry only runs to Ward’s Island, with good reason as most of the residents of the Islands live there, and since they’re the more likely to ride the ferry on a regular basis, it would be there that our walk would start. I had the idea to walk out to the lighthouse on Gibralter Point, but I should have listened to Bill, and pointed the group up onto Algonquin Island, but I pushed on. With the rain stopped the clouds thinned and as the first roll ended, I switched up for a roll of Kosmo Mono 100 and the 14-24mm lens. Even the sun started to peek through. The fall light showed off the fall colours that were still hanging on. Enough for some in the crowd to get some slide film loaded and shot. By Centre Island, the group had started to flag, what was said about the best-laid plans? So rather than forcing the walk to continue on another fifteen minutes to the lighthouse, we headed back for the lunch spot. Switching back along the lake and the boardwalk.
The lunch spot, The Rectory, was another suggestion from Bill and a solid idea. The small spot had a cosy feel about it. While the menu was limited, the food was excellent. And being the offseason we could easily bring the whole group in there, much to the delight of the staff. I had managed to shoot three rolls in total, which isn’t too bad. But bringing a singular camera along probably helped. And certainly will be a model for me on future outings. Fewer cameras, more film. As for me, I knew along with others in the group we had some errands to run on the mainland. But my quick walk back to the dock was not quick enough. At least during the day the ferry’s run every half-hour, so it wasn’t too long a wait. If you want to check out the rest of the meet images, you can do so on Flickr. Interested in joining the group on future walks, join our Facebook Group!