What? No fog this morning in Port McNeill? This is the first shades of pink sky I have seen in many, many mornings.
We stay a third day after taking advantage of cell service and Internet, in order to explore more of the town and surroundings. When a space opens up in North Harbour Marine, the marina next door, we move in order to refuel for an early departure tomorrow before the winds pick up.
As I walk up the ramp to the office -- on land, not floating -- I see fishermen cleaning their catches at the cleaning station. Meat goes into his ice chest, waste water goes down the pipe and carcasses go on the ground for the birds or to be washed away with the tide.
A sea gull swoops down for his breakfast and Herb sees an eagle flying low near the boats with salmon in his talons.
|One for the ice chest, one for the birds...|
Most of the commercial boats are in the marina next door where we moored yesterday, but a few are here by the ramp.
I am anxious to see what is going on with the crane and logs at the northern edge of the marina. We hear trucks and a crane motor hum from time to time. I walk, following the road across a little bridge, and turn down a gravel road when I see the sign warning of a hazardous area. I dare not go farther and nothing is happening anyway. Before I turn back, I zoom the camera for a closer look, as I do hear a faint sound.
Ah! It is a small machine...I will call it a log tugboat...probably repositioning the logs to make a boom. As it darts about, I am able to get a shot of the person at the wheel.
My return takes me by an area that my unlearned self assumes to be a display of totem poles in the works. I would like to meet the artists.
Wait! Here comes the log truck from the road winding up the hill to the north! I may miss the action I came to see. But if I hurry, I may find an opening in the fence near that little bridge where I will have an unobstructed view.
Yes, the dust from the log truck has not yet settled on the gravel road. As I wait excitedly, I hear one blast of a whistle. The truck may be on a scale. After what seems like a very long time -- two minutes? -- five? -- I hear one more blast of the whistle and the banded load of logs is lifted off the truck, which moves away. Slowly it is lowered onto the boom below. I have no idea what is being built, other than to surmise a completed boom will later be towed out.
Tucked in behind some trees on the same little road that leads up the hill is a display of unofficially the world's largest burl. The interpretive panel says it is called The Ronning Burl, donated to the town of Port McNeill in 2005 by Western Forest Products. It originated from a 525 year old Sitka Spruce in the Holberg area. It is 13.7 meters in circumference and 20+ tons. Burls form from uneven cell development in a tree due to injury or disease, and are sought after by furniture woodworkers for the natural beauty.
Late in the afternoon we grab a photo of our dock neighbors Dawn-Marie and Frank, owners of R-31 Blue Horizons.
As we have our Happy Hour captains' meeting, Herb looks out the cabin door to see a beautiful and familiar looking boat, which he thinks is Navigator, our dock neighbor back in May at Stimson Marina in Ballard WA. No way, I say, as Lynn told me they are in Partrician Cove south of Port Hardy and going next to The Broughtons. I had eMailed her just yesterday to say we would leave today and so unfortunate that we are so close and yet do not get to meet face to face at this time.
I get the binoculars and zoom in on the name at the top of the vessel -- yes!!! it is Navigator!!! in the marina we just left!!!
They don't know to look to port for a smaller Ranger Gray hull boat nestled in between the very large pleasure craft.
After we complete our plans for tomorrow's cruise, Herb, Jake and I walk over to surprise them, but are not able to get an answer. We see two of the three cats, and get a photo of Tango intently watching Jake on the dock below her window.
A helpful neighbor walking by gives me a piece of paper so I can leave a note on the door. As we return to Willie's Tug, Dr. Jake gets to take a roll in the grass and he is a happy pup!
Willie of Willie's Tug,
and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
Thursday, August 7, 2014