Flashback Part Deux

Sunday December 1

It’s about 10.30pm and Andrea, Wendy and I are just hanging out, having a tea

Wendy gets a text from Luke…Willow is in trouble

She’s in real danger of falling over onto her side

Luke is very concerned and there isn’t a lot he can do at this point…he just has to wait with her and hope for the best. It might take all night and it’s raining and really cold. We tell him we’re going to drive out there and bring him some dry, warm clothes

We grab everything we think he might need, headlight, toque, mitts, raincoat, umbrella, sleeping bag, hop into the Civic and drive out to Gibsons. He said he’s moored at the pier in front of Smitty’s Restaurant so we park as close as we can and head down the stairs to the docks

We hear Luke shout and head towards the sound of his voice….

‘Yikey Carumba’ (that does not look good)

Apparently, a local businessman offered Luke a safe spot to moor Willow. It’s right in front of Smitty’s Restaurant and therefore close to work and…Luke can sleep on board. Perfect right?

Unfortunately, the bottom here needs to be dredged and tonight the tide is going out to it’s lowest ebb…which is less than a foot. Willow is stranded on her keel and without the water to support her, she has listed so heavily that her starboard gunwale is sitting below the lip of the pier and underwater. If she flips right over, she’ll flood and she might lean so far as to hit the very expensive boat moored nearby (either scenario is very bad). Right now her entire weight is being held by one stanchion…and it’s threatening to give way under the strain

Luke has used some rope and climbing pulleys to rig up a system by which he can ease the strain on the stanchion and, as the tide comes back in, lift Willow’s gunwales free of the dock’s cement lip. The tide is on the rise now and, if everything goes right, Willow might be safe again by 1.00am

We go inside Smitty’s with Luke to warm up for awhile. Around midnight we head back out to the dock. The tide has lifted the gunwales free of the dock. She should be okay now. Luke loosens the pulleys and ropes to their normal tie off and…there, that should do it (i prescribe rest…and plenty of water)

It’s still going to be a lonely, cold vigil for Luke but he has a warm place to sit and the danger has passed. Of course he’ll have to move Willow again later today, before the afternoon’s low tide

Wendy and I head back home to finish our tea

Monday December 2

Yoga in the morning and Andrea comes along for her first Sunshine Coast Yoga experience. After class, we grab a coffee and head back to Roberts Creek. It’s a beautiful cold and crisp day and when we get to Davis Bay, we just have to stop and get some photos

Later, Andrea joins her new boss for a visit with one of the families she would be partnered with (if she gets the job). It goes amazingly well…and although it still hasn’t been confirmed that she has the gig, it is certainly a great reference when the family’s mother (whom you’ve only just met) hugs you and says, “You’re a lifesaver!”

Wednesday December 4

Today is Renee’s birthday (bonne fete Renee) and J.J. is at home, preparing for her birthday dinner. Wendy and I drive over to visit. We have some tea, some roasted sunflower seeds and watch J.J. clean Prawns, lettuce and other tasty treats

The view from his home is amazing and, as the clock rolls onto 4pm, the sun begins to dip over the mountains in a most delightful way. Wendle and I say farewell to J.J. and head down to the beach for a closer look

Thursday December 5

Yoga again to start the day. Laurie (from Pedals and Paddles and our 1st Aid buddy) is at Yoga and, after class, asks Andrea, Wendy and I if we’d like to drop by her place for tea (ahh…yeah)

Her house is lovely (and most festive)

Once the tea has simmered, we all curl up in the cozy living room, sip, chat and enjoy our blessings

Dave drops by too and he and Laurie tell us that they will be in the line of boats on Saturday…are we going.


You know…Saturday, December 14th…the Annual ‘Christmas Carol Cruise’…people decorate their boats and then a whole line of them steam up and down Sechelt Inlet with everyone singing Christmas Carols. Apparently there will be a big crowd of spectators and a bonfire at Porpoise Bay Park

“Count us in!” (hey, you should come too…it sounds awesome)

Yeah, but make sure you remember to bring some hot cocoa (or buttered rum)


Thursday night is Ping Pong night in Gibsons. Wendy and I have missed three in a row and we’re concerned that our skills (never good to begin with) may have suffered from the layoff

Not a chance!

(i don’t see a ball…are you actually using a ball?)

Moose and J.J.

(you look like you’re bowling)

Friday December 6

Wendy begins the day by helping Jim prep for another catering event

So…Andrea’s references have checked out and her new boss and co-workers (yes they hired her) like her a lot (“you like me, you really like me”) and while I take the Civic and go to the gym, she and Wendy head out to check out a rental property in Gibsons

The home is on a beautifully wooded lot and they have chickens…

And an adorable puppy named Chuck

Andrea takes the place. When she returns in January, she’ll be our neighbour…sort of. She’s a ten minute walk away

So let me get this straight…you’ve been on the coast for a week and you already have a job, a home and a puppy…and we’re having ice cream for dessert tonight

How are you feeling about all of this Andrea?

(‘feeling good is good enough’)

Saturday December 7

Andrea is leaving for the mainland bright and early. She grabs a suitcase and leaves the house with us. We say, ‘Au Revoir’ only…’cause she’ll be back in a month to kick off her new life as a coastie

Andrea…it was an absolute pleasure

Wendle and I are heading up to Dakota Ridge for a ‘Volunteer Training Day

We meet up with Brian and Renee at Strait Coffee and have a nice morning cup ‘o wake-up. Then we pile into the Jeep and start the drive up the mountain. Brian and Renee look resplendent in their snow suits. Brian tells us that once a year, there is a Helle Hansen super sale over at the Sechelt Legion…and today is the day. From the back seat comes the emotion strangled sound of Wendy’s voice squeaking out something that sounds like…”Shopping!” (ooh boy)

There are several trucks ahead of us on the old logging road that leads up to Dakota Ridge and they’re kicking up a lot of dust…which provides the perfect filter for a lovely photo of the forest we’re passing through

A little higher up and we start to hit snow

Brian is driving, and the challenge (and excitement) of driving on these roads is evident on his face

There isn’t a lot of snow yet but it’s effect on the landscape is already stunning

We spend most of our training day inside the two Quonset huts. It’s a gorgeous sunny day (look at that sky) but it’s also freezing…and particularly so inside the steel Quonset huts (who’dathunkit)

Wendy and I are paired with Brian and Renee for the duration of the winter…which is really, really good. They’re both very cool, very efficient and they’re veterans. We have a lot to learn from them. Our first shift will be on Boxing Day

The descent from the ridge is made under much clearer conditions (no dust) and the views are spectacular

After we part with Brian and Renee, Wendy and I head over to the Legion for the sale (you thought i was kidding?). Wendy buys a hoodie at an insanely good price (and that’s enough to satiate the shopping urge)

Later in the day, Wendy will go with Jim to cater the event…it’s the Christmas party for the local paper ‘The Coast Reporter’. She’ll be back around nine this evening. As she’s driving to Sechelt, she stops again in Davis Bay to take another great pic

Sunday December 8

We stopped for a day to clean and put up our Christmas decorations

Later, Luke came by to do some laundry and fill us in on his adventures. Willow is safe and, other than some minor repairs to the stanchion, sound. He has found a safe mooring for her at the docks in Gibsons. He’s also located a great insurance broker in Sechelt and has locked up the additional maritime insurance he was seeking

In the evening, Luke heads over to Martin’s place (Up The Creek) and Wendy and I drive over to Chris’ new place in Bonniebrook for a beautiful dinner of Turkish chicken, a game of cribbage and some three-handed euchre (i manage to lose at everything)

I do love your new place though Chris (and the chicken)

Well…you’re pretty much up to date now. And I’m pooped. Sleepy Steve is heading off to bed (Wendy’s already cutting zees)

Goodnight all

Moose and Wendle


Check out Charlie’s cool Dino-Doggie sweater (tres chic Charlie)


Photo Credits

Flashback – http://misadventureswithandi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/FlashbackFront.jpg


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