Slap Therapy

shearwater morning at the 'Hobo' dock. A fleet of gillnet boats waits for the sockeye opening

Shearwater morning at the ‘Hobo’ dock.
A fleet of gillnet boats waits for the sockeye opening

In a recent conversation with another local, our conversation evolved to discussion about one, of many, aberrant personalities here. These sorts of places attract off-beat characters with a plethora of personal issues. God knows I’m one of them. In places like this if you aren’t a social anomaly at first, you will be should you linger long enough. It’s a survival mechanism. We all tend to assimilate our environment.

The Idol Point Light with Mount Gowlland in the background. (The logged-off hill looks like and elephant's head to me!)

The Idol Point Light with Mount Gowlland in the background. (The logged-off hill looks like an elephant’s head to me!)

In our discussion my co-commiserant said that the fellow in question probably needed some “Slap therapy.” I found his bush eloquence hilarious. That I found amusement in the remark is perhaps a symptom of my own advancing warpage and this morning I feel in need of some of that treatment myself. I’m lonely and depressed after a string of disappointments and shattered hopes. I need to cheer myself up.

Hurry Up and Slow Down. Shearwater road signs.

Hurry Up and Slow Down.
Shearwater road signs.

As I sit writing this, on the settee across from me is a carving I commissioned to a local Heiltsuk artist, Ivan Wilson. He is renowned for his jewelry and has turned out a fabulous piece of art for me from the old yellow cedar root of a few posts ago. (See Fraggle Rock) It will be mounted as the cap on Seafire’s bowsprit, also doubling as a sort of figurehead. I’m thrilled with it. I believe it may bring me a change in luck. There are eagles which roost in the treetops above the boat and just now a piece of eagle down has drifted down into my cockpit. According to local native lore,that has to be a good omen.

The Heiltsuk Harrier. 'Seafire's" new bowsprit cap.

The Heiltsuk Harrier.
‘Seafire’s” new bowsprit cap.

Heiltsuk Harrier2

A few kilometres away last week, up Burke Channel, a forest surveyor was attacked by a grizzly bear. The attack is not really the story but rather that this fellow survived with minor injuries. That is a miracle. Not many people live to talk about their encounter with such a force of nature. When a grizzly attacks, it must be like trying to wrestle with a locomotive. I don’t ever want to find out first hand. Apparently, the conservation authorities are now out hunting that bear. Often, the “conservation” people employ extermination when dealing with similar situations and that thought can lead to interesting considerations. We’ll never know how their adventures turns out. The media is never very good at follow-up on yesterday’s hot stories.

Backwater shipyard, Denny Island

Backwater shipyard, Denny Island

Fireweed along the way

Fireweed along the way

Now a week later, we’ve had wonderfully welcome rains and some steaming muggy interludes in between. Thehorseflies reappear each time the thermometer rises. This morning I got my own slap therapy. One of the local service contractors managed to back his work truck into my new satellite dish. Gonzo! Bust! A bent receiver dish with a twisted wire hanging down is all I have to show for my great new link to the rest of the planet. It will be replaced but for now I’ve got no internet once again. The local installer is away for an indefinite period and I’ll have to go back to lurking about in quest of a decent connection and repeatedly attempting to bring up the sites I need .

My new dish. Was it something I was watching?

My new dish. Was it something I was watching?

So, this may be the last blog I’m able to post for a while. I’m posting it from the grubby shop where I work via the local gumboot internet. There was a wonderful response to my last two blogs where photos and captions took the place of prose. Maybe I’m on to something!

Vessels inbound from Seaforth Channel. A high spot along the road.

Vessels inbound from Seaforth Channel. A high spot along the road.

Welcome to Old Bella Bella

Welcome to Old Bella Bella

The stoop. Run ios at the the abandoned BC Packers Cannery, Old Bella Bella

The stoop.
Ruins at the the abandoned BC Packers Cannery, Old Bella Bella

Wake up and smell the bread. Imagine" The aroma of wood smoke and baking bread, steamy kitchen windows, rain beating on the glass, a table set for ten and someone named Hank on the crackling radio. "Yer cheatin' heart...."

Wake up and smell the bread. Imagine: The aroma of wood smoke and baking bread, steamy kitchen windows, rain beating on the glass, a table set for ten and someone named Hank on the crackling radio. “Yer cheatin’ heart….”

Betty Manyberries boarding house. she knew them by numbers, not names!

Betty Manyberrie’s boarding house. She knew them by numbers, not names!

Someone actually paid money for that wallpaper at one time!

Someone actually paid money for that wallpaper at one time!

Life goes on in Old Bella Bella

Life goes on in Old Bella Bella

Now THAT'S Weird! don't step on it.

Now THAT’S Weird!
Don’t step on it. They could be aliens.

CLOSE THE DOOR! You're letting the flies out.

CLOSE THE DOOR!
You’re letting the flies out.

Lamma Pass and Bella Bella from Old Bella Bella

Lamma Pass from Old Bella Bella

She doesn't live here here anymore.

She doesn’t live here here anymore.

Still her ghost waited in the upper room.

Still her ghost waited in the upper room.

Stairway to the past. I can hear rubber boots in the rasin clomping and squelching down to another long day in the cannery. What stories must lurk in the shadows of Old Bella Bella.

Stairway to the past. I can hear rubber boots in the rain clomping and squelching down to another long day in the cannery. What stories must lurk in the shadows of Old Bella Bella.

What man shall not wither and pass like a lowly blade of grass?

What man shall not wither and pass like a lowly blade of grass?

Where are they now? A union sticker on a window in Old Bella Bella.

Where are they now? A union sticker on a window in Old Bella Bella.

An open window policy. A final view from old Bella Bella.

An open window policy.
A final view from old Bella Bella.

On the beach...for good. An old wooden boat slowly becoming forest again.

On the beach…for good.
An old wooden boat slowly becoming forest again.

SS Organic. Yet another fishboat gives itself up to the alders.

SS Organic.
Yet another fishboat gives itself up to the alders.

Snug. Enough said.

Snug.
Enough said.

I’ve now walked the full length of all the roads on the island. There must be only eight to ten kilometres in all. The roads are gravel and in fairly good repair. They certainly have their twists and turns around bays and bogs as well as up and down one bloody hill after another. Camera on the ready I trundle along and am constantly amazed at the beauty all around. The roads are rather dreary but there are sudden stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside. Then a visual treasure appears right at your feet. I’m posting some of those photos from the latest jaunt.

WTF? Scotty/ Scotty! you up there? Scotty!! A Fart Parkerson 169 The Look At Me Galactica

WTF? Scotty? Scotty!
You up there? Scotty!!
A Fart Parkerson 169
The ‘Look At Me Galactica’

Here I am. Pist'n Broke and nailed to a telephone pole.

Here I am. Pist’n Broke and nailed to a telephone pole.

Tomorrow's Promise

Tomorrow’s Promise

Ferry Moment BCFV Nimpkish approaches the Shearwater dock

Ferry Moment
BCFV Nimpkish approaches the Shearwater dock


 

Meanwhile ‘Seafire’ gently tugs at her lines eager to journey on to new discoveries and adventures. There is so much to see here and then, a few miles beyond, the open ocean calls incessantly. I can hear it from here; clearly.

Cape Swain, open Pacific beyond.

Cape Swain,
open Pacific beyond.

Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.” … Brooks Atkinson.

2 responses to “Slap Therapy

  1. I resent that comment on the wallpaper. I think it’s pretty nice! As for the internet. Try posting something here where 5gb costs $50! I’m pounding thru the bank acc just accessing the internet.

  2. I missed this post when you wrote it and am only now seeing it. I LOVE the image you’ve captioned “Close the Door!” Have never been to Old Bella Bella – looks intriguing for sure.

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