Monday, July 17, 2000
Sechelt to Squitty Bay
the red roof) Was Right
woke at 7 am to completely still water. There were three giant barges that were getting
ready for work. One had a crane on it. The crane had a hook on it the size of a small car.
They proceeded to offload boats of various shapes and sizes and plunk them in water right
next to us. Betsy and I were completely enthralled with the scale and sheer force of it
all. I took this time to learn new knots. I adorned the coffee pot with a Turkes
Head. And I realized how funny it was for me to be there with my morning coffee doing
macramé and watching these burly dudes move big stuff. I felt like I was watching
gladiators from box seats at the Coliseum. Finally they moved out and gave us ample space
to do the same. We motored through Tail Bay and set sail through Welcome Passage. We saw
bald eagles, and seal pups. We dropped the fishing pole for a while but had no luck. We
rode the current and drifted until I became concerned about making out destination by
nightfall. So, we motored toward the southern tip of
Island. I wanted to find a
spot in Squitty Bay, but the book I had said there is only enough room for 3 or 4 small
boats and I could see masts through the binoculars. I almost decided to just head north
and find a cove, but Betsy convinced me to give it a try.
The entrance to the bay is
shallow and doesnt leave much room for error. Betsy was on the bow looking out for
rocks. We slowly drifted into the tranquil bay and saw a number of boats of different
shapes and sizes. From a 40-foot sailboat to a commercial fishing boat, to all sorts of
half built vessels in various forms of disrepair. The first person we saw was laying in
the sun on her wooden sailboat. The boat was a 1939 gaff-rigged, cutter,
double-ender from Scotland. It had purple along the waterline and hand carved hand holds
and tiller handle. It was called "Magic Made" and looked like something you
see in a dream.
The skipper, Brooney and her dog Censan greeted us with big smiles as we
drifted by. There wasnt any dock space nor enough room to anchor. We decided to
temporarily tie up next to this giant black creosote wall. Once stopped we realized this
wall was a vessel that someone was building. It must be 100 feet long. The
painted on the side. A man named Peter, his wife and
his friend Simon were building it as a houseboat/barge big enough to hold an 18 wheeler.
The wood they were using they gathered and milled themselves on the island. It is
magnificent. The next day when they showed up to work on it at 8am. I asked if it was okay
to tie up to it and Peter answered, "You gotta tie up somewhere. I just hope
were not too loud for ya."
We gathered ourselves and rowed to shore.
We passed the
big 1920 sailboat that Laz was working on. It had a lions head out of brass on the
tiller handle. Then we rowed past Bobs
gaff-rigged cutter. Later we found
out he built the entire thing out of wood he found on the beach. This place was so amazing
and we havent even step foot on shore yet. We got to the dock and tied up the
dinghy. We immediately walked to greet Brooney. I was drawn to her instantly.
She is in her late 50s
gray dreadlocks and a twinkle in her eye that could
light up the sky. We talked awhile about the island, about sailing and about life. She
used to live on the island and raise sheep. Then one day a big male sheep came and just
took them all away. So she moved. Just then, two teen-aged girls ran down the dock to talk
to Laz. But, I think they were
curious to see who just sailed in. Betsy and I walked
to shore to use the bathroom. When I came out, she was already laughing with them. It
seems Dianna and
were the maidens exactly as described by our friend Ivan (with the
red roof). They took us over to Little Squitty bay to see what could possibly be the most
beautiful piece of Earth I have ever seengrassy, rolling hills, with rocky
outcroppings and sandy beaches.
Betsy and I just stood their in amazement. Then, out of nowhere Bob appears on a footpath
from the bluff. Bob looks like what God must have looked like at
40. He was so Zen. He
slowly walked toward us with bare feet and a calm energy. Betsy and I on the other hand
could hardly contain ourselves. Then Bobs dog Rutabaga or Rudy for short (Second dog
named Rudy in as many days
) came bounding over the hill after him. Dianna asked if
Bob wanted to join us, and he said, "Yes. Yes I would."
Before I even knew it was his, I said, "There is a beautiful boat
in the harbor. Some one with a lot of skill has poured a lot of love into that
vessel." "The Josey?" he asked. "Yes," I answered. "That's
my boat." he said as a smile grew across his face. Of course I didn't find out until
later that he built it by hand with wood he found on the beaches of the island.
We all walked along the path. I was still swaying from the motion of the sea. Betsy
and I had to touch every tree. They were all different. The wind had twisted them since
they sprouted making curves and shapes like nothing I have ever seen. It is like God's
forest. And then when you stop looking up, you look at a new spectacular view of
the sea as the waves crash into the coves. After a while of Betsy and I in complete
asked if we had trees where were from. I live in a beautiful
place, but it is nothing like this. Soon, we each went our separate ways. Bets and I
headed back to the boat. Yes we were feeling pretty good about this decision. Good old
Ivan. We need to get him a gift or something.