Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Rain

I am awakened at 0430 hrs. The rushing waters under the hull sounds like a babbling brook. The rain on the cabin top sandwiches me between the two and I'm not certain where I am. Oh yes, I remember, I'm on Walker island and I'm going on a down river trip. Shatoosh is bobbing like a cork in the eddies created from the log jam at the up river side of the dock.

The rain comes and goes all day long with a few lasting breaks later in the afternoon. All my earlier caulking attempts have paid off, not a drop is entering the boat. After a meager, non holiday breakfast, I start to tend to my list. I added some things that I want to get started on to prepare us for the pacific ocean.
1. I get the 2 survival suits out and decide that Joyce will wear mine and I will wear Jean's old one. We will wear either the suits or life jackets throughout the entire trip.
2. I pull out the manual hand bilge pump and find a new user friendly spot for it behind the cabin door.

3. I find a new place for the inverter behind the VHF radio. I charge my camera battery, as it needs 110.

4. I run the engine to charge my house batteries and check all the fluids, belts, fittings and batteries.

5. During a rain break, I untie Pashmina and unload her to the dock. Scrub her down. The rain comes again which washes off the cabin top. Thank you, Mister Rain. It clears, and then I stow her back on top and cover her up with a tarp. Later I will put the survival bag and drinking water in her. How nice that the rain cooperated with my plan.

At one point there were 3 eagles chasing each other in some kind of mating game. The male osprey brought fishes to the nesting mother, I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye; a flying single duck headed for a broken piling next to shore. It was a female Wood Duck and she landed inside the top of the piling. Wow, what a rare find. How lucky am I to get to see this one, but the rains continue and another sweet vision appears with the next rain break. Mother mallard with her newest brood of 6 adorable yellow babies out for perhaps a maiden voyage. She is heading for Shatoosh but when not able to make head way against the current she leads them to shore and I follow them for a long time with the binoculars. She weaves them through brush, over branches and they scurry as fast as they can. Some get behind, but get a burst of energy and they look like they are shot out of a cannon, as they leap forward and close the gap. I've always said to myself, all you have to do is go somewhere, anchor in a remote place and nature will provide the best show in town. You have to be quiet, just sit and watch. I'm never disappointed. Oh, majestic Columbia, you know how to please me.

My life gets very simple on board. The farther my trips stretch out, the more I fall into a deep rhythm of the river. The pull of the tides, the rush of the current, the ever changing weather. You soon surrender to it all and love every minute of it. I relax to the beat of the universe and I am happy to see another generation of life evolve out here in the back waters.  Oh Columbia, I am going to miss you.