Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Captain Speaks

The Captain Speaks
Limerence Captain (again) freezes
when asked about '70's South Seas Adventure

As per usual "Old Salty" the Limerence Sea Captain, demurs when asked to recollect memories about his sailing trip to the South Seas and Australia/New Zealand in the '70's in a farrow cement '36 foot sailboat he and two buddies built themselves on a shoestring budget.  One of his partners in this outlandish escapade, Trevor, is actually writing a book about the adventure.  Last I heard it is being called "The Adventures of Natural Hy".  "Natural Hy" was the name the three 20 somethings called their boat.  After building it on a shipyard in Granville Island In Vancouver and launching it in 1971...they decided to take it on a "shake down" cruise around Vancouver Island.  Well they just got out of Sooke, BC south west of Victoria, when they ran into strong winds and heavy seas.  They were forced to turn back on their maiden voyage.  Undeterred, they continued to plan and collect provisions towards their cross Pacific ocean voyage to Australia...which they set out on in August of 1974 and returned in September, 1977.  None had ever sailed to any great extent previously and the boat they built had certain fundamental flaws due to their inexperience as builders but which they ignored, so driven were they to accomplish their mission. 

Luckily, I didn't know the Captain then and just met him after his return in 1977.  Otherwise, like his parents and family, I would have lost a few years off my life worrying about him and his crew-mates.  In those days there was no GPS and they navigated by the stars.  They endured 19 day storms on the South Pacific Ocean and encountered one Rogue Wave that caused a knockdown where the entire boat was submerged.  "The Captain" happened to be on deck steering at the time and his partners didn't expect to see him again when they were finally able to open the hatch and emerge back onto the deck.  There he was, pretty much where they had seen him last...his words, calmly spoken?  "It's gone." (referring to the wave).

Like I say, Trevor, one of the partners in the hair brained scheme/adventure, is writing a book about it and I have done some of the editing.  I can tell you, the book will be a heart-stopper.  Trevor has agreed to allow me to publish one or two chapters as a special page on this blog...if he ever gets it ready for publication.  In the meantime, readers will have to be content with the above video...from a man of very few words.

We are currently moored at the government wharf in Nanaimo, the second largest city on Vancouver Island after Victoria, BC.  This city has changed a lot since we started sailing here over 30 years ago.  The new wharf  tourist area is top notch with wonderful high end restaurants and small curio and souvenir shops along a seawall walkway.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to walking my dogs along it and doing a little bit of early "Christmas shopping" in some of the shops : ). Thursday, early morning we sail for home...the Captain and his motley crew.

Nazareth Cover of Joni Mitchell Song
"This Flight Tonight"

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