Saturday, June 09, 2007

Brave Mariners

Today, we are at our condo. We have an excellent view of the Westview (Powell River) Marina and across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. But today, we cannot see the island. The distant view is obscured by nearly continuous rain and the water between us and nearby Texada and Harwood islands is whipped into deep swells with whitecaps.

At first, I thought the four boats were forerunners of the summer cruisers, trying to reach either Lund or Desolation Sound. I was sure glad I wasn’t out there and even worried a bit about their passage. I watched from our balcony as they moved slowly north in procession. I was somewhat perplexed about why they seemed to be heading towards the Hulks (cement ship breakwater) at the mill rather than northward towards Sliammon.

The next time I saw them, they were all going south again. I thought reason had prevailed and they were heading for shelter in the South Harbour. Jim, the wharfinger, can always find room if the weather is bad. But no, they kept on going. Then again, they all turned northward. This time, when they did not turn into the South Harbour, I used my binoculars to look at the closest boat. At the stern, I could make out someone in rain gear. The next thing I saw gave me the answer to their strange maneuvers. There was a rod in his hand and it was heavily bent. Here I had been worried about four boats that were in fact taking advantage of salmon running just off shore. You know salmon fishing is either very good or the fishermen are very determined if you see them out on the chuck in such rainy, windy weather.

If you are ever in need of moorage or help while cruising near Powell River, check with Jim at the Westview Marina. To honor his commitment to the mariners of Powell River, and those passing through, the newest book in the Coastal BC Stories series, Up the Strait, was dedicated in his honor. Job well done, Jim!!

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