Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sailing SitRep 2018 #3 - "Priority One"

"Priority One" - a Neglected Sailboat
anchored in Ganges Harbour
Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

We motored across the narrow channel between Salt Spring Island and Denman Island this morning.  It took us under two hours.  Now we're tied up at the Otter Bay Marina on Denman Island.  We've never been here before which is unusual because over the 40 years of sailing together, we've tied up at most of the little coves and backwater marinas in the Gulf Islands.  Otter Bay is a cute little postcard village/harbour.  The Marina is run by Americans...or so I was warned by the regular in the boat next door.  She gave me a rueful look as she said that they took over last year and while they're's not the same as having Canadians running the Marina.  They don't promote other restaurants and businesses nearby...just their own small coffee shop and grocery store.

Yesterday we enjoyed getting out and about in Ganges.  I bought some neat crafts and even had time to work on some of my own that I brought from home to work on in my spare time. Cork horses to sell at the Christmas bazaar.  Entering and leaving Ganges harbour, we passed a sailboat that was anchored just off shore.  I noted the faded lettering on the side...the sailboat was called "Priority One".  I had a good laugh to myself thinking about the likely history behind the name.  Some guy wanted a sailboat...probably like he'd wanted a lot of other things in his life.  Those who knew him probably warned him against it..."A boat takes an awful lot of time and effort to keep up" they said.  "Are you sure you can make the commitment in time, energy and money?"

Just to provide the extra motivation...the schmuck called the boat "Priority One".  His thought process was...this will ensure that I always have my priorities straight and that I will maintain this boat in "spit and polish" condition...a pleasure to behold and a pride to show my doubting friends and family.

Well, that was probably a year or so ago.  Since then...the boat has lay at anchor, abandoned and slowly deteriorating in the steady winds, exposure to sun and owner neglect.  Now the cockle shells and seaweed cling to the hull at the waterline.  The boat would hardly move if it were motored or thick is the undergrowth below the waterline.  The sails lie on the deck.  He didn't even take the time to bag the Jib sail lying in a heap on the bow.  All kinds of crap and corruption litter the deck.  "Priority One" has become "Priority None".

Boats in general and sailboats in particular are, as the old saying goes, "holes in the ocean that you pour money into." Money, sweat and time.  We keep our boat "Limerence" (shown below tied up in Ganges Harbour) moored at a marina near our home...where we visit it at least once a week all year round.

"Limerence" tied up at Ganges Harbour
Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, August, 2018

"Limerence" was a neglected boat, almost as bad as "Priority One" when we took it over eleven years ago.  The original owner had died and his family didn't even know where he was at the time of his death...much less that he owned a boat at a Vancouver marina. On top of that...the boat was broken into and stripped of its electronic equipment shortly after they learned of its existence. Since taking over the boat we have devoted hundreds of hours to its restoration and care.

We run the motor and do regular maintenance.  Each spring we book a time to haul the boat out of the water onto drydock to clean and repaint the hull with special "anti-fouling" paint that deters growth.  Additionally, we are always planning projects to improve the functionality of the boat.  This year we rigged up a solar power panel to put on top of the bimini.  It's working like a hot damn now and keeps our new refrigerator humming.   Luckily, my partner is very handy and mechanically inclined...which saves us a LOT of money. While I'm not handy at all, I'm very creative and have sewn all kinds of textiles for the boat, curtains, cushions, sheets and rugs.

I feel sorry for boats like "Priority One". They bring out the mother duck in me...if I could just take all neglected boats under my wing and make them shiny and happy again!


Fredricton Shooting

I want to say a few words about the horrific shooting in Fredricton, New Brunswick a few days ago.  Four people, two of them police, were shot and killed by a stranger who was firing at them with a rifle from the third floor window of his apartment.

It is still very early in the investigation but one piece of information jumps out at me.  The shooter, a forty-eight year old man who had no previous interaction with police, only lived in the apartment suite for four months prior to the shooting.*  The apartment manager says he "seemed like a normal guy in every respect".  Well, I would dearly like to know where he lived prior to moving into the apartment building complex [where one of the two civilian victims also lived] .  We need to know where he grew up, did he have any past connection with military or security agents?  Were any of his family in the military or working for police of security agencies?  Where did he learn to shoot the rifle and where did he get the rifle?  Did he have any prior history of mental illness?

These are the questions I always ask after one of these gun incidents.  Rarely am I ever satisfied with the information that is provided in the M$M.  Thinking back to the last gun incident...the one on the Danforth in Toronto...where a young muslim man shot some strangers...his background was extremely suspect in terms of red flags.  Just the other day Christie Blatchford of the National Post was saying in an editorial that it appears that law enforcement has been dragging its feet on the "Danforth" investigation...the process being caught up and dragged down by the red tape that happen when a police force also has to investigate itself in addition to investigating the crime.

 All the "red tape" is just another way of perpetrating the old ploy "baffle 'em with bullsh!t"...I say.  The answers are out there.  Citizens have a right to know.  Get on with it and do the jobs that taxpayers are handing over their hard earned dollars for! 

*Footnote:  I have corrected the age of the shooter to 48 from 28.  Also, there's more information about the man in the M$M today.  Apparently he lived in his mama's basement until recently when she sold the house.  He spent much of his time playing video games.  Still does not explain where he got the gun and how he learned to shoot the gun.  Mama's got a lot of 'splaining to do about how she raised little Matty.


Anonymous said...

Hi GC,
Good Sitrep,you make some good and very valid points. Keep up the good work!
Oh ya, love the name of your boat,"Limerence",romantic thoughts of... :-))

greencrow said...

Hi Jim:

I wanted to change the name of "Limerence" to "Second Wind" until yesterday. Yesterday a huge, new and fantastic sailboat pulled into the docks. It was called "Second Wind". Knowing that there was another boat out there with the same name "cured" me.

A neglected boat like "Priority One" will only last maybe another year abandoned in the Ganges harbour. Eventually, it will be towed away to the scrap heap. Sad.