Sunday, August 30, 2009

Next Year

I was in the back yard assessing—as gardeners will—what worked and what didn’t. The mantra of a gardener is, as we all know, “next year…” So it was with this in mind that I cast my eyes around the yard to determine what had to be done differently next year. A small potted geranium caught my eye. I had bought it because I loved the color and the shape of the flowers and the leaves. I hadn’t any planter to put it in, so I just put it in a pot thinking I’ll let it grow and it can become a mother plant—to take cuttings and then next year I’ll put them in all my container planting.

On surveying the plant, it seemed to me that it had not grown a single new leaf all summer. It had just stayed the same size. I wondered at this until it occurred to me that it had never stopped flowering all summer either. It had always had a half dozen or so of those retina-burning scarlet flower clusters even though I had neglected it all summer.

Well and good, I thought, but I had wanted the plant to become robust and large enough to take cuttings and it was still as small as it ever was in it’s little four inch pot. I determined right then that this winter, I would take it in, and rip off every blossom….and cut off every new flower bud….to force the plant to use it’s life to not just produce a few beautiful flowers, but to become large and robust enough to use to propagate more of it’s kind. I determined to wound it—and then to nurture and fertilize it over the winter season.

Isn’t this what Father sometimes does with us? It is not that our flowers don’t please Him, or that He wants to destroy us…though it may feel that way. Possibly there comes a season when He has to take the drastic measure of ripping off all that we cherish and find our meaning and value in—in order that He can make us fit for a higher and better or bigger purpose.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

C-Dory gathering at Nanaimo

JULY 30 - AUGUST 3 Nanaimo C-Brat get together.


We launched at Tulista (Sidney) using the long term parking—we purchased a season pass for $120 which is a good deal considering that we will save $8 for each day of parking/launching. The Sidney area is often calm when all others have wind warning so It seems good to have a pass there. It was around 11:30 am when we launched and the tide was up over 2 meters so the launch was smooth…winds light…skies blue. It is a heavenly day – 34 degrees.

We toured along the west shore of Saltspring Island tried fishing for a while through Sansom Narrows as there were lots of fish under and big ones jumping but we caught none. Pulled in to Burgoyne Bay to check it out and tied up to a buoy and made our lunch. I am always hungry the minute we launch…haha.
After lunch we explored along tent island at the tip of Kuper Island and then into Telegraph cove which is between Kuper and Thetis island. The water temperature was at 76 degrees and so it made a swim inevitable. Then we passed in front of Capernwray Bible college and cut back across to Chemainus where we had a reservation for the night. We tied up in our slip at the marina which is right beside the ferry terminal and then went up town for ice cream. Came back and read the newspaper and then had a nice cool shower before going to bed. The sun is going down and it is 9:10 Pm. It is warm enough we will have to sleep with the hatch and windows open tonight.


We slept well and made our breakfast thinking we’d wait till slack tide (2 PM) to go through Dodd Narrows but the harbour master told us it would not be a concern to go through earlier with the power we have so this we did at around noon after a leisurely tour past Ladysmith and Cedar. We were a little nervous though as there were three boats coming through towards us….two large cruisers following a sailboat which made them go slower than they maybe would have liked.

Anyhow, arriving at Nanaimo, there were fellow “C-Brats” watching for member boats and guiding us to our spot and helping us get tied up etc. We have been getting to know Bill and El of the Halcyon, who have lived on a boat for over 20 years (and not a big boat….one like ours) Also, Susan and Tom of the Susan E, Ruth and Joe of the R Matey, Steve and Beledia of the GOYO… and others….There are over 20 boats here.
Friday night the group had made arrangements to go to the Dingy Dock Pub on Discovery Island for dinner. Most went over on the little ferry/shuttle….but we took our boat over. Shared mushroom caps, a crab and bacon melt and a side of chilli prawn…yummy.


Saturday we were free to do our own thing so we shopped around town a bit. Leroy went to west marine with a few of the men and I went to a boat store downtown and checked used book stores etc. In the evening we had a big potluck supper on the dock. I brought a greek salad and rhubarb squares….Tom had gone crabbing and brought a bunch of crab…cooked and cleaned….lots of good food.

We have been learning from everyone else. Talking about modifications, equipment, fishing, prawning…tours and destinations…and generally getting to know some of the other boaters


More visiting in the morning and then at 11 we had booked a brunch at that lovely restaurant overlooking the harbour. Wonderful place for breakfast! Then we got gas and headed to Dodd Narrows once again some time before slack tide with our new friends, Roger and Cheryl in their boat, “In Cahoots”. Once through the narrows, they went on to Chemainus and we went the other way, exploring De Courcy and Ruxton Islands..along the west side of Valdez and Galiano and down the west side of Saltspring.

We had planned to pull in at either Retreat Cove or Montague Harbour on Galiano Island, but I had heard there was a dock at Conover Cove, on Wallace Island so we thought we’d go and investigate that first to see if there might be a spot there. We got there and took up the last spot on the dock. Boats were anchored out all over the place. It is a beautiful island and I had a nice swim in the cove, and we took a hike around. Saw the little old buildings where the little resort had been. I had read David Conover’s books years ago, “One Man’s Island” and “Once Upon and Island” so it was fun and interesting to visit the island…which is now a beautiful park. We are hoping for good weather when Cairo comes in September so that we can go for a little overnighter there again.


We had been warned that racoons would visit our boat, so we made sure that everything was put away before we went to bed….but sure enough there were lots of muddy little footprints all over the deck when we got up.

We decided to check out several public docks and bays on the way home and we did go and look at Retreat Cove, Montague Bay, and a couple of places on Pender Island. Then we went in to Port Browning on North Pender and then out under the bridge which joins North and South Pender Islands, into Bedwell harbour where we drifted and made our lunch. Once we got going again, the wind was starting to come up a bit and we were getting a little tired, so we headed toward Sidney rather than check the parks at Piers Island and Swartz Bay. Found Tulista boat launch very busy…but I held the boat at the dock while Leroy went for the truck and soon we were pulled out and on our way home.

We had a great time…explored some new territory widened our horizons somewhat again….and gained a little more experience….all good. Arrived home tired but happy.