Over The Horizon

One Last Look Back Lewis Channel at dawn, the magic light of the coast

One Last Look Back
Lewis Channel at dawn, the magic light of the coast

I’m settling into my new life in Shearwater. There are some enigmas to sort through. It’s interesting how wilfully coming to a semi-remote location magnifies our dependence on modern technology. A marginal, overloaded internet system leaves me in absolute frustration trying to communicate with the outside world and while posting my blogs. The computer is determined to crash and burn and none of my red-neck vocabulary helps at all. My mobile phone works marginally and at the moment I have also been blessed with some many-tentacled virus which is insidious. It snot funny but it will pass. I may have brought it up from the south with me. I hope I don’t start an epidemic. One of the few pleasures of getting older is knowing that nothing is forever. Yet there is also value in tenacity. While I recently heard hope described as the ultimate human torture, it prolongs suffering; I have also been inspired by the ship’s spider.

Town center, a thing of wonderful beauty

Town center, a thing of wonderful beauty

While travelling up Fitz Hugh Sound, I polished the metal work on the boat and discovered a spider sitting in the middle of its web beneath the bowsprit. Despite all the plunging and dunkings it endured in Queen Charlotte Strait the wee beast has endured. I’ve named him the Baptist. This superstitious sailor believes a ship’s spider is a good omen and so I wish him well.

The Raven and the Eagle, Bella Bella totem

The Raven and the Eagle,
Bella Bella totem

The area is pristine, immense, wild and free. So are many of the people drawn here. Some are aberrant personalities and where I fit into the complex culture here is yet a bit dubious.

The Raven and The Eagle, Waglisla

The Raven and The Eagle, Waglisla

Those dark waters seem to swirl and back-eddy daily. For the time being I remain the new hermit cautiously settling in to life on a rickety dock nestling at the edge of a small industrial slash in the mid-coast jungle. My welcome in the engine shop was a large jar of Vasoline set on top of my tool box. Redneck scatological humour, I can relate to that easily enoughand iff you don’t get it, there’s no point in me trying to explain. The available internet here is, to say the least, terrible. There are some cockamamie excuses about life in a remote location. But by my experience, this place is neither remote nor off the grid. It is 2015 and I know what is available in truly remote locations. Nevertheless there is a good solution soon available, and one of the joys of living on a boat is being able to untie and bugger off. That option sustains me.

A Guardian.  One of many.

A Guardian.
One of many.

See! Here are ten.

See!
Here are ten.

The 'Chilcotin Princess' a droemer coastal trader in these waters. Fortunately I grabbed this photos only a few days before she was towed off to the breaker's yard in Prince Rupert

The ‘Chilcotin Princess’
a former coastal trader in these waters. Fortunately I grabbed this photo only a few days before she was towed off to the breaker’s yard in Prince Rupert

After two weeks I already have plenty of anecdotes and observations about the area and its characters, its history, its culture. For this blog however, I am simply posting photographs with captions. Hopefully I can convey my sense of wonder for this place and how this adventure becomes part of my journey to a life in Mexico or points south. I realized recently that the legend on the boat’s dipstick is in Spanish.

Yep! It's a panga! Built in Florida, registered in Montana, fishing in Shearwater.

Yep! It’s a panga! Built in Florida, registered in Montana, fishing in Shearwater.

To my great wonder one of the first boats I saw as I entered Kliktsoatli Harbour, where Shearwater is located, was a beautiful Panga. Some local folks have sailed their boat from here to Ensenada, Baha in seventeen days. So, I can lay out a rhum line southward and then turn left when the butter goes soft. Meanwhile I’m a bilge ape again for the time being, like it or not. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s down into the bilge I go.

Edgar the Eagle, mascot of Shearwater

Edgar the Eagle,
mascot of Shearwater

 

The dreaded wheel barnacle

The dreaded wheel barnacle

In many backwaters here, there are abandoned boats in various states of natural recycling. If only they could talk!

In many backwaters here, there are abandoned boats in various states of natural recycling. If only they could talk!

Donkey cove

Donkey Cove

Dryad Point Light Station, a mid-coast landmark

Dryad Point Light Station, a mid-coast landmark

Kakushdish Harbour sunset

Kakushdish Harbour sunset

Into the jungle from the beach

Into the jungle from the beach

The cannery, old Bella Bella

The cannery, old Bella Bella

Seafire at the Shearwater "Hobo" dock

Seafire at the Shearwater “Hobo” dock

A very high tide a day's end

A very high tide a day’s end

Snoop, a passing mariner

Snoop, a passing mariner

The Bosun's mate, snoop's fellow deckhand

The Bosun’s mate, Snoop’s fellow deckhand

Shearwater sunset, Edgar's perch.

Shearwater sunset, Edgar’s perch.

Each day as I trudge to work I look ruefully toward the mountains in all directions. I ache to explore the inlets winding among them. On calm mornings, I swear that, faintly, I can hear the boom of surf on the outer islands only a few miles away. My fate lies out there. I am impatient. And nearly always, from somewhere, there is the call of eagles.

The way of water is special. That which changes cannot be lost. That which yields cannot Be broken. That which breaks cannot be destroyed.

How easy, then, to be unmastered.”

….Ray Grigg ‘The Tao Of Sailing’

2 responses to “Over The Horizon

  1. Ah. To be free
    Sailing the pristine sea

    What great pics. Enjoy

  2. Brian Dalbock

    Jo shipmate, I love the bit about being unmasterd. Keep them coming.

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