Friday, April 20, 2007

Newcastle Adventures (pictures at the end)

April 14th, Nanaimo, On the Chebucto

It is morning and I'm sitting on an anchor. The metal limb I've squatted upon is not that comfortable but I'm choosing it over the still dampened surface of the rest of the boat. The sun shines from above and below. The sky and the sea direct solar rays around. Last night I slept one of the best sleeps in a great many years. Not that I'm a poor sleeper, just that this one was quite good. And here comes the Skipper, world traveller, former shop teacher, owner/operator of Windjammer Charters. Time for the day to start.

5:19 PM
The wind can be heard blowing through the trees across the water. Canvas flaps above my head as ropes clack against each other. Boats rise and fall as the water wills, causing creaks and shivers. A seagull swoops overhead as two lady kayakers paddle by to drop their crab trap. In the distance blue sky, but here it is obscured by greying clouds. I look across the few hundred foot Newcastle Island passage that separates me from the isle I circumnavigated earlier this day. A seaplane flies overhead on it's landing approach. My feet sore from walking, my hands pleasantly tired from bouldering above the water and around an otherwise impassable (dryly) section of beach and cliff. My camera full, minus 3 or 4 pictures I'm saving for my coworkers. My water boiled, my thermos full, my guampa ready.

I look across at the sandstone pillar that was aboard the Zephyr when it ran aground on Mayne Island enroute to San Francisco's new Mint. It never arrived, to take a place alongside it's other quarried siblings. Instead it sunk to the ocean floor to await the passage of time, to await it's emergence and relocation, not to San Francisco, but rather back to Newcastle Island. All that time away but it is once more near the rock it was separated from so recently, geologically speaking. Though this is not my first time encountering Newcastle sandstone. The Christ Church Cathedral I bike past everyday is constructed of sandstone from the site a few hundred feet away from where I sit aboard this sailboat. It is even believed that some sandstone from here went ahead of me to another place I've been. The Alexandra bridge up the Fraser Canyon is thought to have received some Newcastle stone as well. It is amazing how life revolves, entwines, enmeshes, and emerges in it's complexly simple splendour.

A seaplane ahead of me starts it's engine and taxis out into the passage. It turns northward, adjusts it's tailflaps, turns west a wee bit, and beings it's ascent away from the sea. Then turning east it flies across my line of sight before disappearing behind the Newcastle treeline. It looked to be on a heading towards Sechelt.

Below deck. The smell reminds me of Grandpa. Maybe it's the combination of wood, sea, and marine fuel...

April 15 7:01 AM
Light whisps of cloud are strewn about the sky. A glow rises behind Newcastle. An eagle watches me watch it from it's Garry Oak perch across the way. Another day has begun. A seal plods along a few feet before submerging once more. Seagulls' cry pierces the stillness, much as they always do. And I chuckle as I'm reminded of the seagulls from Finding Nemo. Two hooded mergansers cruise by in tandem as my cold hands protest, via my sensory nerves, this morning exposure to chilled moisture laden breeze. Very well. The integrative function of my brain decides that it is time to stop writing. For awhile.

So they want me to drop out of school and work with them. Which isn't going to happen, though it's very tempting. But they asked me if I had any friends who I could think of that may be be interested. If you are, contact me and we'll chat. Maybe it'd be a good fit for you, maybe not. But you never know if you don't ask me ;)

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