Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Westerlies

Another season of fireworks is upon us, and this year's Celebration of Light is now three days, down one from the usual four. Greig always tries to have some boat out there for which the kids or mutual friends can take in the show from a boat.  Usually though, neither of us are are ever actually on board we are working on other charters.

This year we took the Malacite down, even though we haven't got it fully repaired, it's been beefed up, and although it isn't pretty, it is well supported. The Malacite has lots of space on deck and even from inside for viewing, rain or shine.

I was on board the Burrard Queen and so when the fireworks began, we all jumped on the opportunity to clean up the boat as much as we could. I missed them.  Frankly, I can take or leave the fireworks, but after a while they all look the same in my memory. I suppose the most memorable fireworks for me was back in 2009 and really, it was Mother Nature that had me gobsmacked.

As Monday was a civil holiday for us in BC,  Greig, Dosha and I bunked up on the Malacite.  Greig was up bright and early to do a camp run to Keats Island so Dosha and I were on anchor watch. It was a swelly night in the and the Malacite pitched and rolled substantially enough to keep me from a good sleep. The marine forecast certainly didn't mention anything about potential winds and the westerlies were blowing a good 20-25 knots by about 10 am. It was enough to keep me busy keeping eyes peeled on both the hobie and our prop-less tender. (The Prop fell off our new tender on Saturday night. DOH!)

We had a secondary skiff but Greig had used it to go dockside for work and thus, Dosha and I were stuck out there for the day.  For the most part that was just fine for us. Greig had put out two bow lines and a stern anchor.

From about 10am to about 4pm we got bashed around pretty good. The Uniflight was tied to the starboard side and one of the fat bumpers came off in the chaos. I'd only checked on it a few moments before and went upstairs to listen to the weather on the radio, only to hear a different sound emanating from down below. Sure enough, the bumper was gone.

Greig has conditioned me to pay attention to the sometimes subtle changes:  a sound, a list to port or starboard or just how the boat sits on it's natural waterline. But I heard the difference and went running. I looked around the boat for the bumper and it was no where near us and then I saw it sailing off and over into False Creek. Attempts to flag down a jet skier failed, the guy just looked at me funny and kept bouncing around and he couldn't be bothered to inquire what I was on about. I was quite ready to pay him a quick $40 for the two minutes it would have taken him to run after it!

Feeling flummoxed on how to beef up the protection on the rub rails of the Malacite with one less bumper,  a bumper miraculously floated by, sans rope. Seriously! Oh, serendipity how you surprise me!  It was a bit of a dance trying to get it on the hook with the 14' pike pole but I was determined and re-hung the other two existing bumpers with my new "acquisition."

Phew.

In spite of it all, it was a glorious day for sailing and I think I counted at least 60 sailboats out in the bay alone flying around. I got some sun on the legs. But all in all, I was pretty happy to see the Captain by the time he arrived. I was pooped! Funny but I just don't find boat life to be always that relaxing.

Maybe it's just me?