Edgar Came Back

Edgar came back. He didn't like what he saw and disappeared the next day.

Edgar came back. He didn’t like what he saw and disappeared the next day.

He’s back. One of the disappointments on my return to Shearwater this year was that Edgar was gone. Someone, with a burst of artistic genius, installed the gnarled top of a tree on the waterfront. It accents our sweeping panorama of the Great Bear Rainforest and proved to be a perfect perch for an eagle which the locals had named Edgar. Last year he sat placidly twenty feet above the ground while people stood beneath and clicked their cameras merrily. The old tree sat empty this year. Yesterday, there he was! Even if he moves on I know that yet he lives. It is tiny moments like that which make life here survivable for me.

I’m starting to write this blog only a day after I posted the last one. Apparently the containment boom around our sunken tug in Seaforth Channel has broken in heavy weather. While I’m concerned about environmental aspects I’m getting damned weary of the whole situation. CBC’s “On site” report by Chris Brown yesterday was skewed and poorly researched. The story he presented was largely uninformed opinion and quite misleading to the broadcast audience, most of which swallows anything viewed on television as God’s truth. If Mr. Brown would like to report on environmental devastation he should return when the gillnet fleet is at our docks when, for months, there is a thick film of diesel and oily bilge water punctuated with copious beer cans and every sort of plastic garbage. All of that on the ocean which these fishermen depend to provide the bounty of their livelihood. Report on that Mr. Brown. Perhaps he could spend more time, than that between flights in and out of here, and review the rape which our sport fishing industry annually imposes on our fish stocks. Perhaps he could review some of the hypocrisies and environmental travesties our indigenous population imposes on the land and sea they claim to cherish so dearly. Report on that Mr. Brown.

As for quoting local environmental activists who consume the same products and fuels we all import on barges by burning, yes diesel, try reporting on how ALL of us are consumers and part of the problem. If we really don’t want the bulk transport of fuel in our waters, fine. I live on my boat, I’ll be OK. Stop our fuel deliveries and let’s see how long it takes for the squeaking to rise in a different direction. And as for quoting Heiltsuk executives who are criticizing the alacrity of the clean-up process, perhaps you could check on the accuracy of their claims. There were vessels on site within six hours of the grounding. Fifty-four million dollars were spent in the first week and I’m told the daily operational costs are around $1.3 million. And by the way, check out how many folks from the Heiltsuk Nation are being paid obscene hourly rates to merely wander the beaches with a bundle of absorbent pads. Furthermore, what IS the wildlife death toll? Report on that Mr. Brown. I am damned weary of hearing about what someone else is supposed to do. We are ALL part of the problem. What are YOU doing about it? Hello? Mr. Brown?

The Wall Fern growing on the rock wall behind the Shearwater hangar.

The Wall Fern
Growing on the rock wall behind the Shearwater hangar.

Summer's End

Summer’s End

As I sit writing this morning, for a few minutes, there was a burst of golden sunlight on the trees above the dock. Now the forest is again plunged into various dim tones of grey and green. I find that my life here scuttles between those moments of light and rainlessness. Now pelting rain is clattering against the pilot house windows. Last evening, the schooner “Spike Africa” returned briefly to the dock. I managed to grab some photos with my mobile phone in the soft afternoon light. I love traditional boats and it was an inspiration to see this beautiful, lovingly-maintained, wooden vessel. Just about every boat here is a utilitarian conveyance and the notion of keeping a boat clean, tidy and shipshape is considered frivolous. This morning, at first light, the schooner was gone. But that is the way of sailors.

Spike Africa

Spike Africa

Spike Africa A full size replica of our original coastal freighters

Spike Africa
A full size replica of our original coastal freighters

No real schooner is complete without a good dog. Meet Skunky, the sea dog.

No real schooner is complete without a good dog. Meet Skunky, the sea dog.

Aloft Baggywrinkle, ratlines, parceling and serving, trailboards. Rigging components from traditional methods.

Aloft
Baggywrinkle, ratlines, parceling and serving, trailboards. Rigging components from traditional methods.

Beneath the bobstay An essay of light on water for all of those who love the shape of boats.

Beneath the bobstay
An essay of light on water for all of those who love the shape of boats.

Gaffer Details The lower throat halyard block and the main gaff crutch. A place and a name for everything.

Gaffer Details
The lower throat halyard block and the main gaff crutch. A place and a name for everything.

A very fortunate young man.

A very fortunate young man.

The afternoon today was warm, calm and sunny. Back at my secret petroglyph site more moss was cleared away. More carvings, some under up to six inches of soil, roots and moss. It has been a while since anyone else looked on this ancient art. I wonder at how these images were made in such hard rock and what spiritual energy inspired the endeavour. I wonder what these ancients would have thought of their descendants. I have no illusions about the noble savage, past or present. I choose to see us all as human beings first, complete with our amazing strengths and pathetic weaknesses. I look at evidence of a time when we humans were apparently in harmony with our environment. I can only wonder when our slide backwards will stop and when technology and profit will cease to be our god.

More Petroglyphs. These were uncovered and photographed on a sunnier day. They can best be portrayed by making rubbings ont5o heavy cloth.

More Petroglyphs.
These were uncovered and photographed on a sunnier day. They can best be portrayed by making rubbings onto heavy cloth.

The watcher

The watcher

This Sitka Spruce Tree, about five feet across at the base, was just a seed many centuries after these carvings were made.

This Sitka Spruce Tree, about five feet across at the base, was just a seed many centuries after these carvings were made. It shades the petroglyphs.

This etching was found on the back of a headstone at a nearby burial site

This etching was found on the back of a headstone at a nearby burial site.

Who knows? What wonders lay in the woods beneath the moss and ancient trees.?

Who knows? What wonders lay in the woods beneath the moss and ancient trees.?

All the while, as they have for the past several days, thousands of snow geese wing their way southward. They fly high, fast and strong, constantly shifting their formation to take a turn at sharing the effort of breaking the way. Even the birds know. They know and do not forget.

Send a postcard, see you in spring.

Send a postcard, see you in spring.

The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.”           .Confusius

2 responses to “Edgar Came Back

  1. Am glad to see you have something to rant at and then turn around and find such beauty in the gray and dreary clouds. You are so fortunate to be able to see that contrast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s