The task of “getting groceries” has a very different connotation for island cottagers than for others. When we buy groceries for home, you and I typically use a grocery-store cart to transport our purchases from the store to our car, and then we transfer items from the car to the house manually in bags or bins. This typically involves a short “carry” with some stairs and doors as obstacles.
Islanders take an extra couple of steps, to load groceries from car to boat, and boat to cottage. Carrie’s parents built an island cottage 30 years ago, so she has long been sensitive to the weight and fragility of her grocery purchases. A couple of decades ago, the marina provided a cart, which was a welcome “ergo” intervention. Using the cart was so much easier than carrying all of the groceries (including drinking water!) from the car, down the long dock, to the boat. On the down-side, the handle was much too short, so it was difficult to walk behind. A few years ago, the marina lengthened the handle, making it possible (albeit not comfortable) for taller family members to use the cart. Regrettably, we don’t have any photos of the most recent cart in use, but suffice to say that it was heavy, and even the improved handle created a bending-while-nipping-the-ankles-with-the-cart type of stride. That poor old cart probably heard its share of profanity, even while it ought to have been praised for the help it provided.
This year, the marina introduced a new cart, and it offers luxurious ergonomics. All family members can march behind it with hands at a reasonably good height, feet freely swinging to and fro. It carries more groceries than the last cart, which means fewer trips. It can be loaded and unloaded in a level position, so jammed-berries and scrambled-eggs are less common, at least at this phase of the trip. The wheels are so big that even our smallest family members can move the cart, even when loaded with heavy cases of liquid! We are delighted!!
I went hunting for a similar cart, in hopes of improving the dock-to-cottage portion of our grocery supply chain, and found that they are not very readily available. Here are a few Canadian options.
If you have experience with any of these, we’d love your feedback! Let us know in the comments section below!