wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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A Change in the Weather

Large and many were the drops of water that fell from the sky, their countless splashes  silvery like mercury.

Outside the wheelhouse, drops cling to the window pane. But what’s wrong with this picture?

Look at the angle between the horizon and the bottom of the window frame. That will give you an idea of how much the wave action was tipping the boat back and forth. Even in this stiff breeze, it wasn’t too bad. If it had been worse, the Captain could easily have lowered the trolling poles and thrown out the stabilizers that attach to them. When the stabilizers drag through the water, one on each side of the boat, it stops the rolling. But since I wasn’t turning green yet, we kept going without the stabilizers out for the short trip home.

As we got closer to town, we  noticed that the navy cadets were practicing their sailing lessons. The (My) Captain commented on how quickly the tiny boats could turn on a dime as the sailors adjusted the sails.

No sooner had these words left his mouth than the next boat turned … right over! The occupants were tossed in for an unexpected swim. Here they are clambering up on the bottom of the sailboat, with the mother hen hovering nearby.

Now what? It seemed to take a long time for the two women to be plucked off the hull, and even longer before something was done to right the boat. We didn’t have time to watch. They had all the help they needed so we kept going and got out of their way.

Doesn’t it just make you want to learn to sail?


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Namu

About 60 miles southwest of Bella Coola on the coast of British Columbia lie the ruins of the very small fishing community of Namu. In the 1950s, BC Packers operated a fish cannery there, but as fishing methods changed, the cannery was closed. Namu was once a popular stopping point along the coast for fishing vessels, sailboats, and small yachts travelling the coastline anywhere from California to northern BC and Alaska.

The site of Namu is much older than we might think at first glance. Long before the cannery, store and fuel depot of the 1950s, fishermen, hunters, and gatherers took up temporary residence there. Tools made of antlers, bone, and rock have been found near the site, dating back over 8000 years. Evidence in a shell midden of a hunter/gatherer cemetery dates to about 3400 BCE.

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When the cannery closed, the buildings gradually fell apart, victims of the howling winter winds, lashing rain, moisture, decay, and vandalism. For several years caretakers lived there year-round.

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They helped slow down the deterioration of the place, but finally, they too have given up and moved away.

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A few flowers strategically planted take away some of the ugliness.

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Much of the machinery in the cannery and in the buildings that supplied water and generator power is seized and rusted.

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Nothing remains of any buildings from the days before recorded history, and sometime in the future, all evidence of the old fish canning community will also be gone. It is well on its way. Unfortunately some of the evidence left behind will not decay so easily.

But just look at the price of fuel back in the days when the plant was still operating. And that is the price per gallon, not  per liter!

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So only the wildlife remains, taking advantage of the kindness of the caretakers who provided housing for them.

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