Going dinghy

There’s that view again from Ladysmith!
Yep, still looking south. On the horizon, a freighter sits anchored, waiting for her cargo.

 

The sky brightened.

An hour later.

So what’s Mr. B.N.D. doing up here buying a dinghy?” A friend’s wife queried me when I arrived in Campbell River to purchase a used tender for ‘Seafire.’ It was a fair question especially when my last blog was about buy nothing days. It was also a fair question in consideration of the wintery weather. A viscous rain was being driven by the rising sou’east wind. The water in Discovery Pass was a mass of building foaming hard lumps, the usual meringue of wind against tide. I know this piece of ocean all too well, but for once I was ashore. I’d come to buy a nine foot fibreglass dinghy already modified to hang almost perfectly from the davits on ‘Seafire.’

Look up.
Big Brother is watching.

I already have a nice little kayak and a splendid inflatable tender. There’s no place for the kayak on mothership in the winter where it doesn’t get hammered by the wind, or partially filled with water. It also blocks visibility from either helm. Getting into it in winter weather raises a good possibility of a frigid dunking as I try to finesse my Rubenesque thorax into the bobbing little cockpit while clad in clumsy boots and rain gear. The willowy, flat-bellied former younger self still hiding within my senior mass cringes as he realizes what he has become. Gawd! The Michelin man in a kayak.

The Achilles inflatable is a wonderful little speedboat but also an awkward thing on the davits. It refuses to accept being lashed solidly under the davits and has caused me much grief during heavy weather passages. The drain hole in it’s transom only allows shipped water to dribble out; not a good thing in big seas. It constantly moves no matter how I secure it to the transom of ‘Seafire’. Chafe is a sailor’s worst enemy on a boat. This inflatable is built from hypalon, a very tough, long-lived material, but it won’t live long if I allow it to continually wear on parts of the big boat. If it were a hard-bottomed dingy there would be little problem with the davits but I wanted an inflatable that could be rolled up for long passages. I refuse to tow a dinghy any distance for several other good reasons. Every thing is a compromise. Oddly, my first boats all had a hard dinghy; I longed for an inflatable. Now I’m back where I started.

The fibreglass dinghy affords me a way to get ashore from an anchorage and still provides the hope of being a life boat in dire circumstances. It already has solid lifting points and two drain plugs in it’s keel. I can also carry it about 30 centimetres higher than the inflatable, so there’s less chance of flooding it in rough weather. The little cockleshell was also reasonably priced. Nautical items tend to be less money at this time of year; about half-price in fact. So there, I’ve blogged half a page to explain my spending spree on Black Saturday. The drive home took two hours in a nasty downpour, darker than black. It was one of those night drives when your headlight beams are eaten in the spray and other drivers were demonstrating their worst motoring manners and low skill-sets. I arrived home to find a blog from friends in the Caribbean showing idyllic anchorages in clear tropical water. Swear words! It just ain’t right! In the morning an e-mail comes with photos of the beach in La Manzanilla, Mexico. Curving miles of golden sand, surf on one side, palm trees on the other. The TV weather girl tells us it has been the wettest November here since 1953.

Last summer, laughing children swung from this rope and swam across the pond. There were none playing there today.

On Winter’s Pond. It was so calm you could hear the birds shivering.

I step into my tiny garage/workshop and there lingers an aroma of spring and of hope. The fresh smell of curing paint is aroma therapy to me. Suddenly I can hear twittering birds and feel warm sunlight, all of that in a whiff of paint. It is December 1st today and I’ll cling to whatever I can as the rain drums on the skylight above my desk. Bumhug! It’s Christmas time again, already, so soon! As if there would be a chance of forgetting. Happy Consumermas. Two days later it proved to be a sunny Sunday. Jack and I went exploring and found a lovely walking loop beside the local river which I’ve been driving past for over thirty years. Then in the afternoon Jill and I drove to Crofton to take the ferry to Saltspring Island to see a movie in a 120 plus year-old building call the “Fritz.” The film was the “Viceroy’s House” which never played in the mega theatres of Nanaimo. That is probably because there are no explosions, gunfire or graphic violence. And that is probably why it lost out to film titles like “A Bad Mom’s Christmas.” Tis the season!

A Brrrird!

Viceroy’s House” was spectacular in all regards and helped clarify how much of the mess in India was created by the British colonialists. I heartily recommend it. All that adventure in one day! The decadence of travelling to another island just to see a movie did not elude me, so we crowned the afternoon by having a lovely dinner in a humble but wonderful Thai restaurant in Chemainus. Now it will be all dénoument for the rest of the month. Then the daylight will begin to increase each day. Yeah right!

While I’m in a complimentary moment, check out Johnathan Pie on You Tube. He’s a British journalist who manages to turn every report into a very raw rant. His ability to provide candid in-your-face opinions is very refreshing indeed. He has clearly been around for a while but he’ll probably disappear in mysterious circumstances. Catch him while you can.

In the woods, there’s still beauty on a gloomy day.

Ball, brook, branch.
Jack’s bliss. That’s his raincoat!

Jack has a quiet moment. Someone decorates several trees along one of our walking routes. This is the main one, also brightened with photos of dogs who used to walk here and are now in the ‘Big Kennel In The Sky.’

 

Waiting for the ferry at Vesuvius on Saltspring Island.

The fibreglass dinghy is now hanging from the back of ‘Seafire.’ It rows beautifully and fits the davits perfectly. Jack sat in the back looking like a little prince surveying his realm, clearly enjoying the ride while I rowed the royal barge. I love it when something works out and even the ship’s dog is happy.

The dinghy.
All tarted up and ready for sea. Note that ‘Seafire’ is not all wrapped in plastic. Ready, Aye ready!

 

Downtown Ladysmith, Christmas lights. They plant cabbages in the flower beds of town hall then leave the holiday lights on for months. Apparently the main street of Ladysmith has been vote the nicest in Canada

I don’t know what they’re called but these are one of my favourites. They stay like this until spring.

The phantom decorator strikes again. A gentle soul wanders far and wide, hanging a few decorations randomly throughout the woods. It’s lovely.

If it’s a wrong number, why did you answer the phone?” James Thurber

8 responses to “Going dinghy

  1. Soon we’re going to see you bawling because Santa didn’t bring you what you want! Boo hoo….

    Love the dinghy. For offshore I like the inflatable with as large enough engine as possible. But there’s nothing like a good rowing dinghy.

    Have a great holiday season. I guess this xmas will be our last tropical xmas for a while. Maybe Labrador for the next one!

  2. sweet dingy, nice lines
    what are the two grey rectangles on the hull?

  3. I’ve got a recipe for seal blubber pie!

  4. Love Jack’s raincoat – very cool! 🙂
    Lovely dinghy! We have also replaced our inflatable with a fibreglass one (a Walker Bay Breeze). It hangs better from our davits too. But the main reason was that I had really been missing the pleasure of rowing, which was awkward and unsatisfying in the inflatable. The WB has inflatable tubes, but they’re high enough up from the water so as to not drag when I’m in the dinghy – thus it rows very well for me.
    And of course we still use our little kayaks (though not in the winter these days). I can really relate to that image you paint of yourself in the second paragraph, alas!

  5. Laurie…nothing’s forever! Do you happen to know the name of that winter flower?
    Fred

  6. I saw that little theatre on Salt Spring and wondered if it was still showing movies. Glad you had a good day and the new tender looks great!

  7. Yep AJ, and good popcorn too!
    Fred

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