Out And About

Out Of the Mystic Morning mist clings in one of the passes out of Kliktsoatli 1harbour

Out Of the Mystic
Morning mist clings in one of the passes out of Kliktsoatli 1harbour

A thin warmth. Cloudless sky. Sunlight in the eyes. February 13th, Family Day, a holiday. With all of that said in one line, Valentine’s Day arrives under the forecast of more rain and wind. There’ll be no wine and chocolates here. February 15th proves the weatherman right, Torrential rain begins in the evening and is still drumming down in the morning. With yesterday’s news came the story that iconic CBC story teller Stuart Maclean had died. I confess that I envied his success and how everyone seemed to love his work, no matter what their personal tastes were. He will be long missed. His eloquence and ability to consistently deliver a simple yet compelling story, punctuated with clever humour, will remain a standard for all writers and story tellers.

Winter finger. The ravages of wet and cold and all the chemicals a mechanic gets his hands into. Latex gloves last mere seconds for me. The, in the evenings, they peck out my next blog.

Winter finger.
The ravages of wet and cold and all the chemicals a mechanic gets his hands into.
Latex gloves last mere seconds for me. Then in the evenings, they peck out my next blog.

Another story comes from Nanaimo. Young parents contacted the media with a plea for their autistic youngster. Apparently the child had been introduced to Kraft Dinner in specially packaged “Star Wars” boxes. Now, he’ll eat nothing else. Yeah right! Let him miss a meal or two and he’ll start looking at real food differently. The request, carried by several national media sources, begged for more of the non-food. I can’t believe it. Golly gee molly-coddler! This poor kid has a bleak future. Flash ahead a few decades and he’ll be another dude in a studded dog-collar panic-stricken about getting to a metal concert. I mention this only as example of our world gone mad. To me, it is ludicrous that so much press be given to a non-story and that such crass values are promoted. Once again I’ll gently mention Syrian refugees (As one example) and what our perspectives would be if we walked a short way in their shoes. Imagine walking across a continent hoping to find a place, any place to make a new home. The next meal? Who knows what or when? So many of us live in a world so abstract we’ve lost our grip on basic reality.

Something to do, someone to love, something to look forward to, all the rest is gravy. By week’s end, the kid has a lifetime supply of the crap. Hmmm! Maybe I could sell the media on a plaintive tale about an old dufus who needs to sail south for health reasons.

Seafire at the Bella Bella Dock. What a day!

Seafire at the Bella Bella Dock. What a day!

Greetings Uncle! Huge ravens and bold crows frequent Bella Bella. Some say they are the spirits of ancestors.

Greetings Uncle! Huge ravens and bold crows frequent Bella Bella. Some say they are the spirits of ancestors.

Pedal, pedal, pedal, kerplunk!

Pedal, pedal, pedal, kerplunk!

The boat beneath my boat. The clear cold waters at Bella Bella. The bumps beneath the rudder are clumps of mussels beginning to grow. Time for a haulout!

The boat beneath my boat. A sinker in the clear cold waters at Bella Bella. The bumps beneath my rudder are clumps of mussels beginning to grow. Time for a haulout!

Red to red. mjariners prefer to meet in channels by showing their port sides to each other, or with red navigation lights visible.

Red to red. Mariners prefer to meet in channels by showing their port sides to each other, or with red navigation lights visible. The seam in the hull is where the bow section hinges open for loading.

The tin wedding cake. The BC Ferry 'Northern Expedition' in Lama Passage northbound for Prince Rupert.

The tin wedding cake. The BC Ferry ‘Northern Expedition’ in Lama Passage northbound for Prince Rupert. One salmon says to another, “Look at all the canned people.”

Saturday morning brightened under a light fog. Soon blue sky began to show. ‘Seafire’ and I were gone like a shot. With the weight of winter weather, health issues and all the trials of life I desperately need to remind myself of why I’m living here alone and clinging to a dream. I stop in Bella Bella for groceries then head south. Within a short while I found myself at the opposite corner of Denny Island, out of sight and out of mind of my daily drudgery. What a feeling! I had the world to myself and every possible destination lay before me on this pristine, cloudless, glorious day. The urge to keep on going was compelling. I met the Prince Rupert ferry as I exited Lamma Pass. We chatted briefly on the radio before we saw each other. There is some comfort in hearing another human voice within the emptiness of this massive wilderness. We pass and the seaway is empty again. I looked down the long stretch of Fitzhugh Sound and ached for the distant open horizon. Instead I’m writing at anchor in Codville Lagoon. It is cold, there is a skim of ice on much of the lagoon. The boat sits at anchor as if it were aground in butter. The stars are incredible. Their reflection on the calm black water leave me feeling as if I’m adrift in the universe with stars all round. I have the universe to myself. It is a fantastic feeling.

Last light in Codville Lagoon. Calm and cold.

Last light in Codville Lagoon. Calm and cold.

Icebreaking in Codville

Icebreaking in Codville

Having a bash. My Rocna anchor proved an excellent tool for breaking the ice ahead.

Having a bash. My Rocna anchor proved an excellent tool for breaking the ice ahead.

Ice prawning. My prawn trap breaks the surface.

Ice prawning. My prawn trap breaks the surface.

Supper. The fish went back into the water. I was unable to indentify the bottom-feeder. It was so ugly it was rather cute!

Supper.
The fish went back into the water. I was unable to indentify the bottom-feeder. It was so ugly it was rather cute!

Sunday dawns with a high thin overcast. All around the boat there is a skin of ice on the lagoon. I have about a mile of ice-breaking ahead of me. Even a thin layer can damage the gel coat on a fibreglass boat. When I weigh anchor I leave it dangle at the water’s surface. It helps break the ice before it contacts the bow stem and only a few chips of bottom paint are knocked away. I pull my prawn trap and head back across Fitzhugh Sound and back up Lama Passage toward Shearwater and another week of work. There is no wind, the sails stay furled. It was not an especially remarkable little trip but I’ve reaffirmed that I hold the option of leaving at any time. At any time I can be gone in a couple of hours. That, in itself, is worth more than any sum of money. Three hours later, ‘Seafire’ is back in her berth. I wash her down, fill the water tank, make a mug of tea and start to edit the weekend’s photos. It begins to rain.

The world beyond. Looking southward into Fitzhugh Sound past Walbran Rock.

The world beyond. Looking southward into Fitzhugh Sound past Walbran Rock.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

                                                                                 Omar Khayyam

3 responses to “Out And About

  1. Lovely! Glad you were able to get away for a break. We never made it to Codville Lagoon, alas, so I appreciate seeing your photo of it – looks beautiful. Love the raven image as well. An anchor as ice-breaker – wow! Definitely a cold winter.

  2. I am going to berate you for the comments on the autistic child. If you’ve ever known an autistic child then you would know there world does not resemble ours and the manifestation of their problems are as varied as the number of people in the world. Having an autistic nephew I understand totally the parents dilemna.

  3. Tony;
    i know more than a little about autistic children, MANY of them. You should know that parents who are able to persuade the world they have an autistic child also receive special funding. The schools are full of them. it is very trendy to have a special needs child these days… and screw the gifted ones. If you are a loving parent, why are you introducing him to shit for supper anyway? I do know what I’m talking about, Thanks. Fred

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