Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fire! Fire! Burn Stick!

(With apologies to the Old woman and the Pig.)

It has been three years in the "planning" but Greig has finally devised a good method of getting firewood onto the boat.

We sit about three boats out from shore with our starboard side (bow pointing eastward up the river) adjacent to the shoreline. We have a substantial dock between us and our neighbour, the wonderful Jimi Siwa*. The dock just happened to be floating down the river one day and Greig wedged it between us and Jimi's boat. The Fraser has many log booms going up and down and often these will come apart or logs will pop out of the boom. We'll often gather quite a few logs between all of our boats.

Greig has put a wood chute in the side of the hull and put a metal framework in place that was part of a vent from somewhere else. With the chainsaw he can now buck up and split the firewood on the dock and pop it through the chute where we can pile it up inside. The metal framework won't damage the hull when pieces get shoved through. (It is the kind of system that my Dad would probably drool over as the logs just float by. He has to actually go out into the bush to find the stuff.) The main disadvantage is that it is often wet and green. Ideally, we should have been doing all of this in the spring and summer to give it all time dry/cure.

Regardless, it beats the heck out of carting cord after cord of firewood down the docks. We did however have to get a load of dry firewood from One-Eyed Mike* yesterday that we can mix it up with the stuff on hand and get a hot fire.

Last night, with plans for yoga dashed,again, I shlepped firewood down the dock. Marcus, Steve, Ted and I unloaded the truck, in the dark. It was high tide - it had to be done. Nothing worse than carting firewood down the docks on a LOW tide.

*Jimi Siwa, welder, mid fifties, lives on a steel 60' boat that he built himself. He is a Japanese Canadian from Prince Rupert. Claims to be decendant of Samurai. He is a total flirt and a tease and tries to play the ukelele. I adore him.

*One-Eyed Mike, old as dirt, lives in a house up the river a way on River Road in Richmond. He lives alone and he's quite a curmudgeon. Probably sitting on a couple million of riverfront property and lives in a furniture-less house that is teaming with cats. Drinks Royal Red. Last time I was there I counted about 40 and those were the ones I could see in the house. He has a boom coming out from shore and hauls in many logs for firewood that he sells from his house. He reminds me of the old loggers from around Kaslo. Considering the man has one eye and the other looks pretty rheumey he is pretty keen with an axe. Grieg likes taking me along when we see him as Mike actually likes me and sweetens up a bit and tries to practice his flirting skills.

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