Thursday, November 8, 2012

The owl & the pussycat

The owl and the pussycat put to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat ….

I dunno the rest of it – I’m sure Mr. Google does but I frankly don’t care that much.  This morning me and the idiot cat slipped the lines in Cow Bay about mid-morning and then wound our way through the fleet until we got to Cape Keppel, from where it was pretty clear sailing.  But up until that point ………..  OH BOY. 

According to Blurry Currie, one of our dockmates, both the gillnet fleet and the purse seiner fleet are in town.  I’m not sure what a gillnetter looks like but I’m pretty sure he’s right on the purse seiners.  Whatever the story, there’s a serious lot of fishing boats in the bay.  Its a wonder any salmon – or any other fish for that matter – survives the onslaught. 

Something miraculous happened this morning.  As I was entering Swartz Bay from the west I heard the Queen of Cumberland (BC Ferry) calling traffic to say she was approaching Swartz Bay.  I could see her off to the north and I thought our paths would be close – she was still a long way off but they travel 2 or 3 times as fast as we do.  I have never seen any of them yield to another vessel so I was keeping a close eye on her until she disappeared behind some islands to the north of the ferry terminal.  About the time I was in the middle of the bay, right in front of the terminal she reappeared coming through Gosse Channel.  I was clearly the stand on vessel both by virtue of being on her starboard quarter and because she was actually overtaking me by the time she got through the channel.  Nevertheless I fully expected her to cut my path.  The right thing to do if you are stand on is always to do just that – stand on.  If you are the stand on vessel and you start altering course or speed then it just adds confusion to the situation so I stood on but kept a close eye on the ferry.  And wonder of wonders all of a sudden I saw her bow wake drop.  In that circumstance I thought the only polite thing to do was push the throttles up so I did that and crossed her bow at a blistering 9.12 knots.  My hand was already on the throttles because I fully expected to have to do an emergency stop when she cut across in front of me.

That last picture is what some moron thinks makes an adequate float, likely for a crab trap.  Its an empty laundry detergent jug, purple so it blends in nicely with the ocean.  I’m not sure what the regs are for float colours but I know you can’t leave a trap down for weeks on end without checking it.  Judging by the marine growth on these floats they’ve been out for a long time.  They’ll do a real number if you happen to tangle a prop shaft.  One prop is bad enough but apparently what often happens is they get caught on one shaft and thrown around the other.  That way instead of just having a line wrapped the two shafts pull themselves together, get bent and bugger up your cutlass bearings, among other things.  Assholes.

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