Monday, October 6, 2008

"Just a couple of days..." part 3

Wally here again. From my last entry: "Despite the weather, our spirits are high as we joke about being lucky to get out of port by 2pm."

So, uh... we didn't leave that day (10/03). We had French toast, drank coffee, hashed and re-hashed the day's course, groused about the weather, and generally lay about until finally it was, in fact, too late to leave. Part of the problem was that Juichi is terribly comfortable down below (watch out, crew of Mystery -- you're, I'm sure, learning of this issue). The other part of the problem was that the rain never stopped even for a minute. At times it was heavy, at times it was just a light patter on the cabin top, but at no point did it actually stop. Well, sorta.

Ya see, as soon as we'd made the decision to stay (and to get roaring drunk, but more about that later), the rain let up. Alison thought it would be a good idea for us to take a walk, so we headed out for the trails about which we'd gotten a brochure the day before. Snoopy, the enormous and standoffishly gregarious mutt from the resort, joined us and lead us through two trails, one up through an old-growth grove and another out to a rocky promontory overlooking Blind Channel and Mayne Passage. We retired to the boat, resolute in our goal of getting terrifyingly inebriated.

So, uh, that didn't happen either. Yes, folks, that's right -- the crew of Juichi were too lazy to get drunk. Now, mind you, I was all for accomplishing that goal. In fact, I was just about to make a set of weaponized gin and tonics when Ron and I had to jump up and help a trawler come into their slip (they'd lost a prop to a collision with a log). Ice cubes in the glasses, we headed out and were treated to warm Kokanee as a reward for our helpfulness. Some disparage Kokanee as a lesser beer -- "raccoon piss" and "Sasquatch beer" -- but I enjoy it, even warm. It is a tasty beer. Turns out, Ron enjoys it at least twice as much as I do, given numerical evidence of that afternoon. One beer turned into two, and then... well, the ice cubes were melted by the time we got back to Juichi. Alison, in fact, had to come get us, wondering where we'd gone. We made our excuses, said our thanks for the pints and offered our wishes for luck with their prop and prop shaft (ouch), and headed back to Juichi. Now for the drinking!! No. We had a cocktail, Alison made shepherd's pie that turned out to be more stew-like than pie-like because I'd pulled creamed corn instead of regular canned corn out of the stores in the hold (but was extremely tasty nevertheless), and then went to bed.

The morning of the 4th found no reduction in the amazing amount of water pouring out of the sky. Pouring. Really. Like a monsoon, but cold. Oh, did I mention that it suddenly was no longer summery? Yeah. Summer stopped dead on the 2nd, had a jolly wake on the 3rd, and was buried in the cold ground on the 4th. Fall made it clear that we were now on his turf. My personal log reads, "Wet today. Very Wet."

We headed out into Mayne Passage, and turned down toward Johnstone Strait. The rain let up for a few moments as a pod of Dall's porpoises played in our bow wake. Alison and I rushed forward like giggling kids, and she got some really great video and photos. We got to Chatham Point, turned down Discovery Passage, and before we got to Okisollo Channel (our next course change) another big pod of Dall's decided to come play with us (vid here). We turned into Okisollo, went thru Upper Rapids (excellent driving again by Capt. Hicken in the very strong and confused current), and entered the Octopus Islands.

What a treat for the eyes! Part of the Octopus Islands are designated as a marine park. We slowly motored thru the islets, passing up a calmer, slightly more idyllic spot with a difficult stern tie for a more open spot with room to swing. Good plan. As Alison set the hook, the rain picked up in earnest and the wind started to howl. Williwaws pounded down over the islets into our little bay, battering Juichi to and fro. We scampered below, stripped off our soaking foulies, got into our dry woolens and settled in. Because we'd had a longish day with lousy weather and few opportunities for good eating, we were all quite peckish but none of us had any good ideas. So we snacked. Now, when you have a crowd such as this one, the snacking is really dangerous. Mixed nuts, carrots and blue cheese, "guacamole" chips (seriously, wtf?) and salsa, grilled cheese sandwiches, multiple trays of nachos -- mayhem. All this mishmash was washed down with glass after glass of cranberry-like cocktails. We polished off a gallon of faux cranberry juice in our drinks in far too short order. The sugar, the salt, and the odd variety all combined to ill effect, sending Ron to bed with a sour stomach, Alison up the next morning with a sour stomach, and your faithful narrator infamously gassy throughout the whole time period.

In our next installment, running rapids at Hole in the Wall, waterfalls at Teakerne Arm, and Thai food in Powell River. Gotta go fold laundry now.

No comments: