Reluctant spring

Reluctant Spring

Looking for Alice ...Stepping stones in a local forest
Looking for Alice
…Stepping stones in a local forest

We’re doing OK. Just because the beaches of Jalisco are far away, and it still seems cold and wet here, doesn’t mean there’s anything to complain about. A little to the south, in Oso Washington, a massive mudslide has wiped out that entire small community. Despite appallingly unstable ground conditions, rescue crews are still looking for bodies and the faint possibility of more survivors. Tonight’s adjusted figure reduces the remaining number of missing to thirty, down from ninety. Over two dozen bodies have been recovered so far.

Skunk Cabbage ...they smell like a local hydroponic product
Skunk Cabbage
…they smell like a local hydroponic product

The East Coast of the country has endured it’s first spring blizzard with up to 120kph winds and 30 cm of snow. (There’ll be at least one more blast sometime around Easter…Well, it happens every year!) Subsequent bad weather has kept some schools closed for five days.The missing Malaysian Air flight is a growing mystery. In an age when satellites can read the numbers on lost golf balls laying in the brush this story is becoming a real-life James Bond epic.

Russia and the whole of Europe are slow-waltzing about the recent invasion of Crimea. Mr. Obama and the Pope have met to discuss growing global poverty. I doubt that either considered liquidating some of the Catholic church’s incredible wealth or to quit buying rockets.

Know the feeling? Low slack tide
Know the feeling?
Low slack tide

If you are fool enough to consider the chains of trivial event which trigger global wars and then factor into that notion the planet’s vast over-population, much of which is very hungry and discontent, well we’re head-first deep in the outhouse basement. So, the only way to make sense of it all is to quit trying and just enjoy the moment. It is all we have. Implement change by example and step out of the gloom and doom. The moment, it’s all we have!

Maple flowers
Maple flowers

A miserable slanting drizzle this morning gave way to thin sunshine filled with promise. Jack the dog and I went for a walk in the woods. Deer tracks fresh in the mud show that fawns are being born. The skunk cabbage is sprouting, blooms are now everywhere and there is a profusion of daffodils. Lambs cavort in the fields and it is still light at eight pm. The wharfinger is muttering about new contracts and increasing my moorage fees. Weeds are starting to grow on the bottom of the boat. It must be spring. March here came in like a lion so we’ll see if the bit about the lamb holds true. Jack and I took our before-bed sortie ashore. The moonless sky was clear and the stars were especially brilliant. Somewhere in the timber a Barred Owl sang its loud echoing call of Who-Hoo Hoot Hoot. There is a bog hole surrounded by blackberries above the marina. Last night a thunderous chorus of frogs burst out there. This morning the boat rides an uneasy swell as the thick cold rain pelts down again. Yes, it’s spring! See ya at the beach, I’ll be under the Corona umbrella. The only one!

Rodger the rigger ...some spring maintenance before another adventure with Betty Mc
Rodger the Rigger
…Some spring maintenance before another adventure with Betty Mc

So, seize the moment the man said. I want to step outside my incessant introspection and share some happy and even uplifting thoughts. All my endeavours are now focused on getting back south. I haven’t made any decisions other than to re-affirm that one’s regrets are usually about the things we didn’t do. I’ve been planning on taking a boat south for a very long time. I’m frightened to think of how I’ll feel if I did sell ‘Seafire.’ But it’s only ‘Stuff’. Right?

Betty Mc on the ways. This Tasmanian lobster boat has travelled here on her own keel with her owners Rodger and Ali
Betty Mc on the ways. This Tasmanian lobster boat has travelled here on her own keel with her owners Rodger and Ali

A few days have passed. Yep, I’ve been busy with stuff; more buying and selling. The little green truck is gone. It is now the property of a friend from Gabriola Island who shared his accommodations with me in La Manzanilla. He expressed great interest in the truck and now that it’s home and all fixed up, it belongs to him. I’ve managed to find a lovely older SUV (Remember?…Stupid Urban Vanity) It is in great shape and will soon be broken of any urban tendencies. I will now be able to tow a bigger trailer than the teardrop and orf we go again.

So now it’s heads-down time. One project boat to finish and then old ‘Seafire’ gets her just and overdue rewards. The weather is grudgingly admitting that it may be spring. Periods of two or more hours of undiluted sunlight are beginning to occur without rain. It’s time to get up the mast and finish installing mast steps to the top. Then new companionway doors, brightwork, more wiring and fiddly pre-voyage chores as well as the eternal pursuit of loot, ever more loot.

Betty Mc business end. all wood to the bitter end
Betty Mc business end.
She’s all wood to the bitter end

Meanwhile I’ve successfully put up a photo stream on Flickr. It’s an online portfolio of my photography to which I’ll be adding more of my camera work as time permits.

The URL is

The more a link is used it rises in the pecking order of search engines and becomes easier to find. So go ahead, hit me please. (I was amazed and humbled to discover how many Freds and Fred Baileys there are out there.)

There are even a few of us on Flickr. Next time I set up a site I’ll use an illustrious handle like ‘Aardvark Rocketman Fred.’

Jack hunting rabbits... he's never caught one yet, but!
Jack hunting rabbits… he’s never caught one yet, but!

One more morning. Now it is April 1st. The joke came last night when the power failed in phases. The dock lights were on but my neighbours and I frantically assumed the charger/inverters on our boats had failed. These are expensive devices we use to keep us dependant on the electrical grid ashore. It is amazing to realize how dependant even we fringe-dwellers are! Our collective angst was huge until we began comparing notes. Now the sun is rising into a cloudless sky. If this too is a prank, it’s a happy one.

Morning in Dogpatch Bay
Morning in Dogpatch Bay

I took an hour for myself in the middle of the afternoon. The frogs were in full rehearsal and somewhere in a far corner of the bay a pair of loons joined the chorus. Two fat cheeky river otters frolicked on the dock and I decided to go for a walk with my camera. The first three photos are the result. I don’t feel at all guilty.

By the way, come to think of it, March did go out like a lamb!

Ursa Major slightly to the left
Ursa Major slightly to the left
Life goes on
Life goes on

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor /, writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lived aboard and extensively cruised the BC Coast on 'Seafire' the boat he refitted to go voyaging, to explore new horizons both inner and outer. This blog was about that journey and the preparations for it. Circumstances prevailed which forced the sale of his beloved vessel. Now on a different tack, the voyage continues. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact me at

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