Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Friends + Family = FUN

While the thoughts come and go, I do have a lot of fun.  Just look at the title.  With my friends and family how could I NOT have some fun.

Following Meghan and Blair’s wedding I had an emotionally agonizing week.  You could say it was an extraordinary time for me.  Off to the doctor, off to the counselor I go.  Take more time they say. 

June 20 I found myself on my way on Ta Daa to Wallace Island.  I even pulled the head sail out for a while.  There I met up with neighbours Tim and Tara.  It was also my first time anchoring and stern tying.  It was not a pretty site.  I am one hundred percent sure that I, with Tim’s help, entertained the whole of Princess Cove.  Anchor set and stern tied it was time to take Winston to shore.  Tim and Tara came along.  They were my tour guides.  Together, in the two days we had at Wallace Island we must have walked an easy 10K.  They introduced me to the ‘store’, which is no longer a store but a cabin where people decorate autograph a piece of driftwood and hang it for the next visitors to view. 

After Wallace Island, I made my way to Ganges.  No it was not Mouat’s or the Saturday market calling me, it was a 90th birthday celebration for Bud Friele.  He is the most remarkable man you will have ever met.  I had the honour of meeting his five daughters and the honour of capturing the event on camera.  Happy 90th Bud!

I was in Ganges for two nights then moved Ta Daa to Mom and Bud’s dock on the west side of Salt Spring just north of Vesuvius.  There I stayed one night before heading to Nanaimo via Dodd Narrows.

In Nanaimo I stayed at Newcastle Island on a mooring buoy.  I have the routine down pat for coming up to and hooking a mooring buoy singlehanded.  It works well if the ring on the mooring buoy is not caked with muscles and does not rise to my level on Ta Daa.  Thankfully chivalry is alive in Mark Bay!  A fellow in his dinghy lent a hand in two ways.  First he announced that I was trying to hook a buoy for 30’ or less.  He scouted out a 40’ buoy and passed my line through the ring.  Yes, I am 45’ but what’s an extra few feet.  Thank you, nice man!

Monica Mayhew came for a walk around Newcastle with me and Winston.  What I thought was going to be a gentle but energizing walk turned out to be an adventure with Monica.  Who sticks to trails when you have the whole beach and monster rocks on a rising tide.  We pooped poor Winston.  He kept reminding us that he is 80 in dog years.  Monica kept saying that he had four legs to our two.  Three and a half hours later we were on Ta Daa enjoying a nice cold Strongbows.  Later that evening Ron and Monica joined me for potluck dinner.  Thanks you two.  I always enjoy your company while in Nanaimo!

My theory on wind predictions is as follows:  if they say it will blow 5 to 15 then I expect it to be 0 to 20 knots.  I never leave port if the prediction is for 20 because I expect it to blow up to 25.  Wednesday morning proved me right.  Prediction for up to 15 and when I poked my nose out of Departure Bay it was gusting to 20.  Winston and I had a pow wow as to whether to continue or turn back.  Ron and I always checked the weather stations before leaving and during trips to grasp the trends.  I do the same.  The winds on this day were trending downwards towards Sisters Islet and Chrome Island – just where I was headed – to Deep Bay.

With the wind on my nose we took a few waves over the bow.  Good thing I closed the forward hatch or the forward bunk would have been swamped.  Too much wind for sailing for this skipper.  As expected, I pulled into Deep Bay around 1630 in much calmer winds – on the nose – but much calmer.  It is a friendly little community and I would have stayed another night but the Comox Valley was calling. 

I arrived in Comox on Thursday afternoon, made a few phone calls then relaxed.   OK OK, I cannot tell a lie.  I walked up to the Comox Grind and had a decaf espresso milkshake.  I am sure every calorie went to my hips.  Friday I washed Ta Daa, polished windows and stainless steel.  Next I will tackle the inside. 

Saturday was the Bullhead Derby.  I did some serious fishing with Amelia, Juliet, Gracie, Stew, Clare, Leanne and Bill.  We, ahem I mean, the girls managed to catch a fish each to enter in the derby.  None won a prize but a good time was had by all.  The girls had more fun watching the fish in the bucket than they did holding the rods.  Can I blame them???

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