Saturday, August 15, 2020

Rous Island

Sailboats are strange creatures. They have a personality all of their own. They have guarded secrets, mysteries, rituals, protocols, and it takes you a very long time to familiarize yourself, never mind actually ever really understanding, why things work the way they work on a sailboat. Take, for instance, our boat’s barbecue grill. It is a simple device - really just some stainless steel welded together with a burner and grill, and it runs off one of those little green propane tanks. You should be able to turn on the gas, light it up, throw on your food, and cook it until it’s done. But that’s not how this sailboat grill works. First, you turn on the gas. Then you stick a BBQ lighter into the ignition hole near the burner and flick it on. Nothing happens. You can smell gas. So you light it again, and you can see the flame, but still nothing happens. It’s only when you get your arm or head or any other body part sprouting hair close enough to the grill that it ignites and scorches off whatever hair is left from the last time you lit the grill. You then have to press on the temperature control knob to give it double the gas and really get it burning, but half the time it will simply flame out, then you have to light it again, and that usually doesn’t work until you use your other still-haired arm to light it. Sometimes it will then run for a while on its own, but as soon as you put your food in, it simply will not stay reliably lit unless the lid is left open a crack using, what I call, the sacrificial wiener. I tried explaining this whole thing to Tony last week and his first comment was, “Doesn’t that hurt?” Now it doesn’t specifically have to be a wiener (and definitely not your wiener) - it can be an edge piece of whatever you are cooking, but unless there’s a chunk of food sticking out, it simply does not work properly. But it’s all part of the never-ending fun and adventure of living on a boat.

After listening to the 9am Cruiser’s Net channel 71 boaters briefing from Roy Eaton (see for a great story of Roy’s 15 years of broadcasts) I went for a walk downtown while the rest of my gang was getting ready for the day, and by 11 or so we were pushing off the dock for a short 4.5 mile run to Rous Island, a nice anchorage just west of Little Current. It was a very windy day, but sunny, and the anchorage was calm and empty. We got anchored then spent what I think was the most relaxing day of the trip - we swam, jumped off the boat, played frisbee from boat to dinghy, caught a few perch, went for dinghy rides, listened to classic rock, and Ana and I even had naps in the cockpit while the kids left us alone. It was glorious, and such a great way to spend the last real day of the trip. Nearly every day of this adventure has been full, with a mission or goal in mind, but the goal today was just to relax and have fun and that’s exactly what we did.

We stayed overnight at the anchorage and went to bed early, as we needed to be back in the marina by 9 the following morning to meet the new owner Mark and do a full day of Bella Blue training. The end was near.

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