I’m the Holder of Fenders

Last Sunday – August 14 – was the highlight of my BC trip. It was the day that Daru, Steven and I went to Wai Whare.

Must appreciate … know nothing of sailing except that you kinda need some wind (but it turns out that power motors are useful too!) After having had the Breakfast Feature (the 2+2+2) at the local diner, we packed up my luggage and took the bus to the marina! Took the bus – I was impressed with this alone as I come from Edmonton, home of the horrible transit system. As we were sitting on the bus enjoying our close view of the trees (it was a double-decker bus), it was realized that the Fish was left at home. This might be an issue as the Fish is the holder of the keys.

I was getting super anxious to see Wai Whare. My friends had upped and left Edmonton to be able to have a boat and sail weekly, and now I was going to finally be able to see the love affair they were so involved and elated with. Walking around with Daru and Steven, you can’t help but notice how enthralled they are with sailing – a new boat always catching their eye and speaking the terminology with such enthusiasm (although we still all agree that a 2-mast boat could just be called that, and not, oh what is it? A catch???)

I finally see her – what a beautiful boat; so mignon (a french word that means ‘cute’ but seems a bit more grown-up). We load up my luggage and they start to do the stuff they need to do (what ever that is). They gave me a job – I’m a fender! Well, not really, I’m the holder of a fender (that white cylindrical thing that hangs off the boat – sometimes, I’ve seen them blue in colour as well). My job is to make sure that the port side of the boat doesn’t hit anything. K – I can do this – it is simple enough. In the end docking to come out of the slip seemed to go quite well and we were on our way!!!

As we pull out at what seems to be an incredibly slow speed (maybe it was slow ‘cauze I was anxious to get out to the open waters …), we have a minor and distant encounter with a very large boat. I now understand why Daru is the Captain. When Steven was asked ‘what are you going to do?’, his response was ‘I don’t know’ – as it was explained to me later, you want your captains to know what to do under pressure. Steven is very happy being the helmsman.

We have passed the breaking point and are heading into open waters – well, kinda open since there are islands all around. I was hoping to see some major marine life, and I did get to see some seals and variety of marine birds, but no porpoises. Daru said they liked to play in the waves of the water on windy days. Today was not a windy day. I don’t think we ever got above 2 knots under power of sail and when we were in a ‘dead’ pocket of water, we just started the motor and headed to a ripply area. I liked sailing – it is very calming. Oh, but we did see two jelly fish and they were gross! They were as big as a circular throw pillow on a couch and we were looking at them from the underneath – not the best view.

We had to head back so that I could catch my flight back home, but I would have loved to have stayed for a few more days and just gone out on the boat every day – it’s unfortunate that necessary life has a way of getting in the way of wanted life. As we were heading back, Daru showed me her impressive move of moving the foreward sail from port side to starboard side – cool!

Back in the marina, I was holder of fenders again and we docked. It seemed to be like a pretty good dock to me – my measure of success: no damage to things.

We locked up and said our goodbyes. But be warned Daru and Steven – I’m coming out for another visit – it was just too much fun to only do once!!! —Amanda Read

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