An Open Tool Box In The Rain

The Harbinger.
A sure sign of spring, this tiny hummingbird and it’s pals are migrating north. They stop long enough to rest and fuel up, then buzz off. In real size, they are never more than two inches in length. They fly thousands of miles north, then south again, each year.

The evening is clear, the sky is clear. The temperature is not frigidly damp. In fact it is almost tepid. Outside in the last of the day’s light two Kingfishers dart and chase, chattering vigorously. Inside the boat, I’ve just turned the heater on for the evening. It was off for most of the day and the hatches were open. Ever so slowly the reluctant spring shuffles in under the faltering embrace of winter. During my dinner, and in the hour since, I’ve been watching ‘2 Cellos,’ a dynamic pair. Their music is amazing and flawless whether a classical prelude or a rollicking cover of a famous rock song. I heartily recommend them to anyone with a love of good music. The duo has a concert tour passing nearby. Seats in Washington and Oregon were sold out for as much as $US 395. each!

…And a bumminghird in an alder tree.

I worked today, even though it is Sunday. A water taxi needed some maintenance and repairs. Just before finishing the job, an operator appeared without notice to take the boat away ASAP. Then we found the battery in the Travel-lift was stone dead. (This is the machine which transports boats, weighing up to sixty tons, to and from the water.) Such is life here. We’re braced to see what will be jammed into tomorrow’s schedule. There is plenty of work already on the slate but there is always something unexpected to deal with. The engine shop tries desperately to run a preventive maintenance program but ‘Break and Fix’ is the way things have always been done here and no amount of persuasion affects permanent change. It is frustrating to see the incredible and unnecessary expenses the company deliberately endures. Combining my inability to affect positive change, and with my health issues, it is time to move on. I’ve given notice here. After a replacement has arrived I will leave this place. I love this wild country but my experience here does not seem to be on any path toward my goal. Perhaps I’ll see things differently once I’ve left. Meanwhile, pass me some dry socks please.

Recycling.
It came out of the earth now it’s going back. No matter how careful we are, a little oily residue escapes in the incessant rain. “Mommy, look at the rainbow in the puddle!”

Earlier today, while trudging back to the boat during a rain squall, my eye was caught by a battered box of tools sitting beside a boat stored in the yard. It sat with drawers and lid flipped wide open. Everything was filled with rainwater, the tools in the drawers were beginning to rust. Rain water ran over the edges of the box. Days later, the battered tool box is still in the same place. Mechanics treasure their tools which are the instruments of our trade. Without them we could do little. It is hard to see anyone’s tools treated with indifference. But that is often the way things are done here. I don’t get it, I never will. I’m hardwired another way. Sometimes I truly wish I were not.

– Red tool box rusting in the rain.- Broke back tool box.
– For some reason my wrench is rusty.

I mused that perhaps my life is a bit like that toolbox. Filled with good potential and valuable skills, have I abandoned my life and simple ambitions to rot with neglect and disuse? Why does everything seem at a dead end? Certainly, my potential far exceeds what I do here. My worn body is in pain all day and night. Finances are holding me where I am and it seems that the friends who are financially secure are telling me to “Just do it.” What is it I don’t understand? A good buddy and I are in similar situations and we both have the same dream. We each sign off our regular communications with “Due south!” Meaning of course, we will do this thing no matter what, meet you down there. But a dark, nagging doubt towers over each of us.

Making a blunt point.
Log dogs on the bow of a small steel tug.

Meanwhile the provincial election campaign rails on. There are another two weeks of verbal masturbation to endure. I listened to part of an on-air debate last recently between the three candidates. They all espoused various idiotologies yet all sounded the same. I have long refused to vote for any candidate whose platform is about what’s wrong with their opponents. The debate was a childish game of turd-toss. There is no-one to vote for. And by the way candidates, all of you, no government has ever been a source of wealth. And, although all politicians make the claim, no government has ever created one job. Never! Stop the bull!

Cut me loose!
Shorelines to the docks at low tide. Anenomes grow on the chain.

You can’t catch a fish by chasing it with a hook. Offer me something enticing and I just might bite. Here in Shearwater a lady removed her voter’s card from her mailbox. Apparently the nearest advanced polling station is in Masset, on Haida Gwaii. That’s an ocean voyage of over two hundred miles across the notoriously vicious Hecate Strait. We are a hardy bunch of folks! For weeks, CBC radio provides thin speculations and dreary reviews of the electoral race. Journalists pick out every bit of lint from every corner. Such a weary business!

Wreck Beach…Bella Bella.
Under the jetty at low tide.

Technical Advice.
Boat filth imbedded in my paws despite a thorough scrubbing. By the time I’m heading back north again, they’ll be coming clean.

Shearwater suspense.
Morning fog three hours before flight time. It lifted. We flew.

, I’m posting this from the Bella Bella Airfield. Fog and a thin spattering drizzle are the weather this morning. At the moment, conditions are not flyable. I’m hoping to head south on yet another medical excursion. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my wife Jill and my buddy Jack, the dog. For the weekend, I’m doing south.

From far overhead above the clouds, there comes the thunder of passing jetliners

John Cleese… “ Want to make God laugh?

Tell him your plans.”

3 responses to “An Open Tool Box In The Rain

  1. I had to laugh when you said you opened the hatches and turned the heat off. I guess it must have been all of 12C? Wow, at 12C I would have turned up the heat and closed the hatches. And here we are heading south to get away from ‘cold’ Antigua!

  2. Tony:
    12 degrees!? Yeah we were up there once, for about two hours. I’m in Ladysmith this morning. They have leaves…and flowers. and some weird fashion trend, No one is wearing a raincoat!

  3. Your description of that leaders’ debate is all too true – we turned it off half way through, couldn’t stand it any longer. My fascination with politics has certainly waned over the years! Love the hummer photo. Enjoy Ladysmith. And then, after that you’ll be on the home stretch in Shearwater!

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