VALE 'LA CUENTA'


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August 10th 2006
Published: August 10th 2006
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Oysters fresh from the beachOysters fresh from the beachOysters fresh from the beach

Somewhere off Canada
I did want to call this one "obssessive-compulsive, anal-retentive, power-tripping, control freak...ie everything you want in a ship's captain" but things have transpired...as they always do...yes, my beloved bike, my home and heart for 14 months, 75,000 kms, longest, most stable and rewarding relationship of my life (except for a couple of notable others...and you know who you are)
Yes "La Cuenta" has ben sold...despite all the forebodings of doom and hard work (always my nemesis) it all turned out to be pretty straightforward.....after the generous insurance pay-out I was able to discount the sale price and one of the Bro's buddies snapped it up...we went to the county office this arvo and it was all done in 10 mins.....if we'd been in California it probably would've taken 6 months...ahh the pleasure of living in Idaho...hohoho...
So, it's all over....well, almost...don't know what's going to happen now...I'm feeling a bit empty, lost, my personality has evaporated...who will talk to me now?...without the bike am I anything?...of course, I'm still me...aren't I?...hey, will you still talk to me?...
OK, here's the story from the past 3 weeks of fabulous sailing off the Canadian West Coast...

SAILBOATING

Twas on the good
Malolo by moonlightMalolo by moonlightMalolo by moonlight

Somewhere off Canada
Malolo
Much beer and rock and rollo
The fan belt snapped
The sails went slack
Thank God we had a rowboat


All the marinas’ docks are floaters (in the nicest sense of the word) they rise and fall with the tide so there’s no sense of tidal movement as they rise up and down the pylons.….except at Sidney (sic) where they have great bountiful bunches of flowers (truly inspiring and similar to the ones on all the lamp posts in the city of Victoria) hanging from all the dock pylons….the story goes that one shipboard girl, not nautical, was amazed and impressed…..they raise and lower the flowers on the dock every day, she said!!
..anyway, the floating docks, the rolling, drunken gait, so beloved of nautical novel writers, is maintained as I battle the wobbles, inebriation and vertigo to get to the marina office, hot showers, dunnies wide enough to turn around in…even on dry ground I continue to sway, especially under the shower, with eyes closed, oops, thud!…all the showers have some form of token or coin operation…lathered up, half-done, it stops…shee-it..stagger out, search for another loony (can you believe a country where the $1 and $2
Wack of lamb...oh heaven!Wack of lamb...oh heaven!Wack of lamb...oh heaven!

Michael's B'day at Ganges
coins are loonies and toonies?..or is it twonies?)..slot it in, dash back to finish off…
We’re driving the boat in and out of this amazing maze of islands, glacial origins, forested islands, trees growing on rocks, the occasional house tucked away, the most beautiful little secret harbours, hidden away, sheltered retreats, some with small marinas and clusters of houses, the islands all look the same to me (and the others maybe), everyone studying the maps, oops, sorry, charts!!…..I reckon they could at least put up signs with the names of the islands! And big mobs of bouys, pronounced boo-eeze, similarly indistinguishable and lacking in identification….the wind picks up, we decide to sail….bring her around into the wind , tear off the tie-downs, I get to steer, must be the least-chance-of-error-job!…then they pull, wind, run around, Michael screaming orders, the anal-retentive, egocentric, obsessive compulsive, born-to-rule, control freak, just what you need to run a smooth sail…
everyone jumping up and down, incredible rattling and clanking, sail billows out, the endless winching to get it to the top of the mast, must be 80 feet, the sail is flapping furiously, ropes slapping around, the endless winding of the winch, getting harder now,
Michael's B'day...GangesMichael's B'day...GangesMichael's B'day...Ganges

Michael, Me, Derek, Pat and Jim
then it’s set, wind out the little front sail, swing the boat around, all of a sudden, with a huge snap, the sails fill, we lurch forward, slicing thru’ the waves, the frothy hiss of the waves curling away from the hull…this is what this boat was designed for, we slip thru’ the water, so smooth and sleek…and silent…just mind boggling, (almost) better than any drug, like a reverse rush, everyone just chills, we’re all smiling, it is such a buzz, beers are broken out, we’re running with the wind so it’s an uncanny stillness, so bizarre, no sense of wind and we’re hitting 8 knots….it’s a bit harder to steer as there’s constant control needed under sail….but it is soo cool!…this is what it’s all about…did I say somewhere earlier that I seem to be spending more time on water than on land?…slowing down…140kph to 10kph…but it’s curious how even at 5 or 6 knots things can happen quickly…watching a ferry coming across our bows, maybe 5 miles away. But doing 20 something knots, inexorably our paths come together, do we keep going or pull up and cross behind them, ferry 3 miles away, the enormous bow wave clearly,
Malolo on the rocksMalolo on the rocksMalolo on the rocks

At anchor in a little hole-in-the-wall
and frighteningly, visible, we are right in front, pushing on the wheel to get another few inches per hour, ferry at less than a mile, I can see people on the deck, are they looking forward to running over us?…everyone on the yacht playing soo cool, I’m starting to sh*t myself……then at last, I can see the other side of the ferry, we have crossed their path…jesus wept!
Also, as we get underway under sail, all of a sudden you realise how important it was (if you thought of it) to tie things down...once under sail, I mean seriously, the rail in the water, seriously leaning over, almost impossible to scramble across the deck to grab a loose line, fender lost over the side, no way to stop, down below the cook has been speared in the leg by a flying packet of pasta....cupbard door not fastened, thermos 'torpedoes' launching across the galley..jesus wept...this is FUN
And we ate really well, courtesy of Jim, whose culinary skills under the circs was amazing...and , of course, everything well lubricated.....
My role, hard to believe, yeah right, is keeping them baffled and amused in equal qualities with expressions from Oz.....and I'm sure
Malolo in the sunsetMalolo in the sunsetMalolo in the sunset

Somewhere off Canada
you don't want to go there!...an aborted, born-again stand-up comedy act...just keep 'em laughing!
Oh, and the crabs...Dungeness ...I always swore by Queensland Mud crabs but these Dungies are especial.....Jim brought his crab pot and one night in Sooke (can youbelieve it??) we got 3 big ones and they were sooo sweet, can't tell you right now....later, further north, fresh oysters off the rocks...jesus wept...again...absolutely amazing environment, absolute pristine wilderness, rocky islands, little coves, wild currents, oh I just can't express it all right now....still sad from the bike-separation thing....sorry
OK...just had to let you know it's all over...maybe something more when I work out what to do...I've got a flight back to Oz from LA on the 6 Sept...get in 9th and then straight up to Towny on the 15th for my god-daughter's 21st and then home for a bit of a break....and a break for my ever-loving son Ben who has been looking after the house and our dog Candy...thanks so much...and my esquisitely daughterful daughter Kate, my constant correpondent, all my love....thanks to Grant who got this whole show on the road, Ted who was such good company for the early days....man, can you believe what we
Safe HarbourSafe HarbourSafe Harbour

At anchor in a little hole-in-the-wall
did?....all the people who have helped me on this adventure...Raffy, hola amigo...I will get around to giving you all 15 minutes of fame....I'm really cracking up here...can't believe it's all coming to a screaming halt......thankyou to all of you, I've got to go and have a lie-down......aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh
And GO DEEEEES.....
Love youse all.....even those of you who never wrote back....Ha!....laugh or die!







Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


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Jim at cocktail timeJim at cocktail time
Jim at cocktail time

onboard Malolo
Michael...relaxedMichael...relaxed
Michael...relaxed

onboard Malolo
Jim picking a crabJim picking a crab
Jim picking a crab

onboard Malolo


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