susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Friday 1 September

Up and eager this morning - we're leaving! Everything is made ready - lines brought back to the mast, bottle of Screech secure in my blankets down below.

Cast off!

And as we drift backwards out of the slip, the engine cuts out. J tries it again - and again - and again. Every time he puts it into gear, it stops dead. We're floating gently downwind towards the boats we helped R & S avoid a few days before. Oh the irony ...

'Shall I pull out the jib, J?' I enquire, as he wrestles with the engine. The jib blossoms - the wind has a lot of north in it and takes us down the Arm - we could sail ...

But J takes up a mooring buoy and rings Kenny the diesel genius, who is coming to Halifax today as it happens.

I fetch him in the dinghy, using the outboard for a change - and get a soaking again! But it's sunny. K and his toolbox are dry, and he spends most of the rest of the day delving inside the engine, his language getting blue and then bluer. Finally, he's qualifying it - 'c********rpardonmylanguage'!

He gets a phone call - he's burying a doberman pinscher the following day - he has a pet cemetery. I'm struck by the, to me, unusual combination of jobs. And there's a story behind it.

Many years ago, K's son came perilously close to drowning, saved by the icy water freezing his systems, and by his dog marking the spot where he was underwater. Miraculously, he was revived unharmed, and his dog was honoured for his part. K had a piece of land, determined to give the dog a proper place to be buried when the time came, and thus was born the pet cemetery.

This evening, I dinghied to the club for the Friday night jamming session - 2 guitars and a pretty mandolin as counterpoint. Old C&W and blues. How I enjoy singing! Afterwards, there was a party on one of the boats, and I was putting off dinghying back - in the dark, on my own, and funnily enough, worried about using the outboard. But there was no escaping - so I pretended to be brave, started up the outboard (instant forward, no gears) and putt-puttered into the dark feeling very small, dodging the moored boats, until I saw the riding light J had put in the rigging - home, and for a change, dry!


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