Dog Island

The island on which Ed lands is Dog Island. There is indeed an island of this name. If you were to look at Google maps and enter “Nain, Labrador”, you will find it to the north and east. To get to the camp site mentioned in the book you’d have to travel east from Nain, between Hillsbury Island and Paul Island, before turning north east to follow the west coast of southern Dog Island. The camp site is on the shores of a bottle-shaped bay on the northern tip .

This campsite is where I spent a month or more during a scientific expedition to study the Proterozoic igneous rocks of the Labrador Coast. It was an excellent place to camp and had been used over many hundreds of years by the Inuit. There was evidence of some human settlement close to our campsite, including many burial cairns with skeletons.

I have kept close to my recollections of Dog Island geography and I have sought to maintain the essential wildness of the island, with all its tundra, stunted conifers, bogs and freezing sea. Over time the memory exaggerates or underplays certain features. There are also instances where I have conveniently invented geography, e.g. the island on which Doug’s Hut sits. Perhaps the most memorable part of the trip was the boat ride in tide-ripped freezing seas.