Time and tide

Yet once again one sees just how fast time passes by… it is now April of 2015, the last entry here was almost 10 full months ago, and I’ve been busy.

I’d been working at More Bikes, here in Vancouver, owned by a couple of really nice folks. But for reasons of my own, mostly health-related, I went back to my former employer as a locksmith. That was in April of 2014.

The shift means no ‘holiday’ for you boy, gotta be here a year, although to be truthful I did manage to wangle a day or two off. Now that the year is up I’m going to schedule some time off. Probably in two or three small chunks as a way to maximize the benefits of time off.

An odd event though. I was in More Bikes just yesterday and they inquired whether I’d be interested in doing assembly work for them; well it always sounds like a great idea. You know, bikes, a little extra work (meaning a little extra $ to play with) but when I go to bed last night I just lay there and fretted the entire night. Worry about scheduling. Worry about mental health issues. Worry about letting people down. Worry, worry, worry.

So I’ve got to say ‘I’m sorry, but I’m going to pass. Thanks, very, very much for the thought. The thought is greatly appreciated. But I’m going to pass.’

I also face an odd and strangely limiting economic problem; my rent is based on my gross income, which sounds entirely reasonable. But my gross income goes up way faster than my net income, so, even as low on the annual income level as I am, I’m penalized by making any more money than I do.

If I work another few hours a week, for what is in the bicycle business a reasonable sum, I actually have less money in my jeans at the end of the month. Why? Because my rent goes up.


Tides, rise and fall, currents in the lives of humans.

November saw the arrival of a lovely little rowboat, known affectionately as ‘Stuffu,’ a reflection on yet one more item in my never ending collection of stuff. Also ‘Sierra Tango Uniform Foxtrot Foxtrot Uniform.’ Well, where does one ‘put’ a 14 foot rowboat?

Welcome to Jericho Sailing Centre Association. Stuffu lives there, close enough to where I might be at any given time that I can avail myself of English Bay, Bowen Island, Queen Charlotte Channel, parts of the Fraser River, False Creek. And being a member has obligations, morally at least, and I aim to fulfill as many of those as I can. Oh, and a trip to Gibsons, in nice weather. Thanks Larry.

JSCA runs a number of powered vessels to aid and assist people on the water. There are opportunities to crew those boats, and there are opportunities to exercise old skills, opportunities to learn new skills, opportunities to obtain appropriate training and recognition. All of those are valuable to me.

Most valuable perhaps is a reflection back on my youth, a comment from my father when we had a boat at the Deep Cove Yacht Club, some collection of ‘yachts’ all right. The comment, which I’ve never forgotten, goes something like this; ‘95% of the work is done by 5% of the people, 95% of the bitching is done by 5% of the people, and that 5% is never the same people.’ So I think I have some small chance to do some of that work.

And the boat. All of 14′, made in Esquimalt, it’s a Booth Enterprises Whitehall.


Not one of the fancy rigs you might find built in ( http://whitehallrow.com/ ) Victoria, no, this is most definitely a simpler, more utilitarian, cheaper, boat. But it has got 153 hours since January 1, 2015. In that time I’ve seen exactly one other ‘rowboat’ out from Jericho. Oh, and a few sliding seat boats, three or four times. But they can’t bunk down in their boats. 😉

Not as ‘nice’ as the Whitehall Reproduction boats, no. Not as lovely as boats by Larry Westlake http://westlakeboats.ca/ but most certainly a boat I can afford, can afford to use, to enjoy.

And, fiberglass or not, I’ve been out in 20 knot (37 km/hr) winds at Point Atkinson, surviving without shipping a drop of water. I must admit that I realized my mouth had been bone-dry after about half an hour of non-stop exertion – trying to navigate the maelstrom that Pt. Atkinson is so rightly known for. And now I know why.

Silly, I shouldn’t have cut the corner quite so tight, but under the circumstances it beat being run down by 36 foot sailboats that were pitching fore and aft in the same conditions.

So, dinner done, writing done, excuses made, rationales rationalized, it’s time for tea. Lemon and honey I suppose, to ease me in to an easier night’s sleep.

Before I go… I’d like to thank Larry Westlake for his incredible generosity, sharing endless, and important, pieces of ‘local knowledge,’ some of the stuff seamanship is made of. Thanks, I really do appreciate it.



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