Squirrel Cove

We almost didn’t get here today. That wasn’t due to any failure of anything, we simply almost decided to sit for another day in Melanie Cove. However, let’s start at the beginning.

I had intended to declare yesterday a “No Boat Chores” day and thereby give myself a day to get ashore. Unfortunately, yet another “need to deal with this today!” event occurred precluding me from any excursion. This morning, when Kay and Sam announced they were going for a hike with Matt, I hopped on the opportunity to go as well.

We hiked over the great divide, through the old forest, to the far shores. Ok, that sounds like some Lewis and Clark expedition, though the reality is nowhere near as grandiose as the round trip was, maybe, 2 hours long.

I loved the walk through the old forest. Branches generally started 20, 30, 40 feet in the air and the dense leafy roof keeps underbrush from getting too much of a hold. This makes the walk quite pleasant, especially when you add in the footpath that has been etched into the forest floor by the countless feet following the blazed trail before us. Still, there were many downed trees across the path which necessitated some scrambling, including one area where there were so many that I named it the log maze.

Along the way we saw stumps that bore evidence of logging activities at some point – places where springboards had been used, or fallen logs with smooth, flat, “breaks” where they had detached from their trees.

It is interesting, to me, how different people experience the forest. With my loss of hearing, my experience is very different than my crew’s. For me, the forest is experienced visually and through touch, the feel of the air in qualities such as humidity and temperature, or sense of footing along the path, the roughness of the bark of the trees that we are passing or clambering over. It is populated with the ghost of the bear and spirit of the animals and people that have passed through it over the centuries, as well as the more fanciful inhabitants such as branches that looks like dragon heads. My companions spent a lot of their time with their cell phones out running an app that identifies the various bird calls that they hear but I do not. They hear the birds or the snap of the twig underfoot, the rustle of a breeze through the canopy. I’m sure that they also sense the things I do, the tactile, but perhaps to a lesser degree since it occupies a smaller part of their senses, proportionally.

I had resigned myself to our staying in Melanie Cove again that night, but Rod called and proposed that we move on to Squirrel Cove that afternoon. We agreed and the process of bringing up the anchor commenced. This time I brought it up (almost) solo, just to prove that I could since it will be necessary when Kay and I are two-handing Opus back from the north. It was a long, drawn-out process, but we proved it possible. In the end, when the anchor came up, it turned out to be more mud than anchor, which made it quite heavy, so we steamed around Melanie Cove with it hanging in the water in order to wash off a lot of the mud before recovering it fully.

Sam was at the helm and she took us back out the way we had entered. Today was a day for me to keep my hands off and let them handle Opus, which they did all the way into Squirrel Cove. My only criticism would be the speed at which they took Opus through the narrowed entrance. They place a lot more confidence in the charts than I do, so I take it a lot more slowly just in case something has shifted and we strike bottom.

As Sam and Kay are new to determining an anchor spot, Quijote was first to drop anchor even though they were behind us entering. In the end, it was decided to raft up to them and I took over helm for the last bit of the approach and docking. Tonight is going to be a bit of a talk about low-speed boat handling, i.e. prop wash and prop walk, although those are something that have to actually be played with to truly understand.

Dinner was a communal affair again, with a round of the Monopoly card game to introduce Rod. Kay, present, refused once again to join in the game.

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