Long dock home

Day 30 on Persistance

My empty bunk await the next sleeper on Persistance. My month long adventure on the waves has come to an end.
My empty bunk awaits the next sleeper on Persistance. My month long adventure on the waves has come to an end.
Victor and his little friend Buddy kept me feeling at home on the dock with fresh clams and oysters and a warm pot of coffee always perking when I stopped by.
Victor and his little friend Buddy kept me feeling at home on the dock with fresh clams and oysters and a warm pot of coffee always perking when I stopped by.

After a month of surviving the cold weather, the long walks to shore for showers, and negotiating my 20 AMP limit of electricity between coffee pot to laptop to  heater, I tossed in the towel and decided to look for something warmer to finish out my stay on the island.

Once the temps dropped below freezing and the dock became a precarious 300 yard trek to the bathroom each day, I knew my days aboard the beautiful sailboat were nearing their end.

My boat-lords (and great new friends) Pete and Jamie understand too. I’m happy our friendship isn’t dependent on whether I am their tenant or not.

Writing the Waves has been a bucket-list notion of mine for years. To float amidst the subtle rolling of the tide; take in the sounds of sea gulls and sails flapping all about. To be inspired by new smells and sensations while I pluck out my bits of fiction and memoir. It worked. I wrote some songs, plotted better ideas for my books and had a blast photographing my daily existence living on on the docks at Deep Bay.

A month on a boat with just a laptop, and myself–all clad in a pile of wool: done … next?

What hasn’t changed is that I continue to meet and make new island friends, find fabulous scenes to point my camera towards, and discover amazing places to dine.

If I’m not having the best Benny breakfast in BC with Anouk, Mick and Lynn, I’m having locally harvested oysters with Dave and Rose; or brilliant in-house sushi meals with Rod and Amy who just happen to invite their world class sushi chef friend over to make exquisite rolls for us all night at their private dinner party.

The Jagsters, Pete and Jami, jam on each week at a variety of pub and restaurant venues, keeping us islanders hopping.
The Jagsters, Pete and Jami, jam on each week at a variety of pub and restaurant venues, keeping us islanders hopping.

Of course Pete and Jamie (A.K.A. The Jagsters) have me over often for home cooked meals, perpetual nights of music jams, and good conversation. Canadians (in my experience) ARE some of the nicest people on Earth (don’t judge them based on the border guards you have to deal with first). No country has sole claim to being a dirty asshole around its edges.

But the stereotype which suggests your average Canadian is super nice, is one I like to propagate. I’m knee deep in friendly folk here. Hell, I’ve even made friends with people whom I suddenly discover share mutual friends of mine in the states! After about the third time having drinks with another great new friend Lonni, I find she’s also good friends with Harry and Laura from Red Lodge. Small island, small planet.

The pub crowds continue to receive me well each time I play and afterwards I always meet virtual strangers who invite me to visit, stay over, have dinner, grab a drink, go fishing, golf, sail and hike–every time I venture out. I guess when you live without the dread of war looming on your borders, have plenty to eat, national health care and golf in December, what’s there to be pissy about?

I have to remind myself that I’ve accomplished much since my first solo trek to the island. It was only three months ago that I first bellied up to the bar at the Fanny Bay Inn (F.B.I). Within moments I was talking with Victor whom I find lives on a sailboat in the nearby harbor.

“I’ve always wanted to do that, “ I said. “Live on a boat.”

Next thing I hear is this kind female voice over my shoulder say, “We have a boat you can live on.”

It was Jamie. Her and Pete were just setting up to play at the pub and overheard me talking with Victor. I was to head home to Wyoming the next morning and hadn’t nailed down a plan for how I might winter on the island until this moment.

The next morning on my way to the Ferry and a two day drive home, I meet with Jami and Pete at their beach front home and we agree I’ll be back the first of November to give living on their boat a try.

They’re amazing musicians known as the Jagsters and everyone they introduce me to seems to become a new friend of mine as well.

Being connected on this island to the caliber of creative and caring souls I seem to be finding is why I’m still  here … excuse me a moment while I turn the gas heater down … ah, life is beautiful.

This Writing the Waves adventure is my attempt at finishing some creative projects I’ve been simmering on for years. Although I have made some progress, the time I spent on the boat just trying to stay alive turned out to be a detriment to my progress with the pros.

I’m likely going to be cranking out a higher word count now in the warmth of my new abode. The cleaning lady just left, ah, fresh lemon essence coming from the bathroom now.

There are times I find myself still reaching for the apple juice jar in the middle of the wee morning hours and then I chuckle and realize I’m just ten soft, barefoot steps away from relief.

I’m ready to explore the West side of the island soon. I’ve yet to fill my ten pouch golf pass; nor have a hooked a steelhead as I’d like to before I leave this Winter. But, regardless of my leaving the boat now, and flipping to a new chapter in my travels, I know that when the weather warms again, The Jagsters will have me back on the Persistance, the wind at our back and the summer sun in our eyes.

The cabin in Parksville has all I need to winter in warmth and comfort.
The cabin in Parksville has all I need to winter in warmth and comfort.