Saturday, January 7, 2012

29 degrees of separation

So it was –17 Monday morning when we left Regina.  I know this because I checked the thermometer in the truck after I froze the shit out of my fingers getting the satellite dish strapped back on the truck.  We had removed it the day before while we took the truck through a carwash.  We were bringing so much stuff to the boat that the only place left for the dish to travel was strapped on the back deck which left me out in the dark cold Monday morning. 

Wednesday night as we drove off the ferry in Nanaimo we happened to notice that the thermometer read +12.  Now +12 isn’t all that great either but its one hell of a lot better than –17.  It was raining, of course, its BC after all.  But it felt wonderfully warm.

Gray Hawk was still here although many of her slip mates have moved on.  Gary sounded a bit worried about that – its obviously better for him if people come and stay so he doesn’t always have to be finding new tenants.  I went for coffee Thursday morning to get caught up on all the local gossip and activities.  The most exciting thing that we missed was the sinking of the barge. 

It sounds like it was a major adventure.  The barge complete with crane showed up sometime about the end of May.  A couple of young guys owned it and used it to transport the docks and ramps that they build locally out to wherever they were to be installed.  The barge wasn’t very big and the crane was pretty small as cranes go, one of those old yellow cab affairs that would have originally been on tracks or maybe on the back of a small tandem truck.  When the barge started to sink it pulled the dock partway under with it.  At some point the boom on the crane swung madly around and got entangled in Joe’s rigging.  Then it sounds like they tried to pull the barge free and eventually succeeded in sinking the barge and dismasting Joe’s boat.  I’m sorry I missed it.  Barry said that when they hooked onto the barge with the tug many in the crowd watching agreed that the fun was just beginning.  And it sounds like that was absolutely the case.  Gary is still missing the end pier on that side because both of the pilings snapped off underwater during the adventure.

So now we’re back onboard and the boat seems to have survived our absence with remarkably few ill effects.  We left some butter in the butter dish and while it still looked OK we didn’t want to risk it.  Otherwise everything seems exactly as we left it.  Of course it has been raining ever since we arrived but we have lots of time so I am avoiding outdoor jobs.  We’ve grown a serious coating of green slime but I got the starboard side pressure washed during a brief period of sunshine and I’m holding out for more sun before I tacked the port side and the decks.  We loaded our dinghy on the foredeck before we left because I had seen British Mike maneuvering too many times.  With the dinghy hanging on the davits I was pretty well certain he’d either wipe it out or get hung up in the davits if we left it there.  It was a big job getting it winched up onto the foredeck and I have a feeling getting it back in the water will be even harder.   It is however still in one piece and the davits are undamaged so perhaps my efforts were worthwhile.

Today we have to go bottle wine that we started in early July.  Its been resting in an oak cask since September.  It was ready to bottle in November but Pat said she could keep it in the cask for a while so she did.  If there’s any benefit to the oak then it should be really good stuff. 

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