Away from the Roll of the Sea

Chase Me (2)Home again safe and sound from an alternately becalmed, lively, serene and terrifying (exhilrating, to Jim) sail… We often joke when we are out sailing that we are in the business of ‘making scenery’ for everybody else.  Funny how serene a sailboat can look from a distance as it heels over in the wind.  But don’t assume its occupants are likewise sighing in serenity!

Take this picturesque schooner for example—evidence of a very windy day!… How much wind do you suppose it takes to fill such sails? We had a taste of it!  Just having come through our most harrowing bit of wind and sea  ever we saw this schooner heading where we had been… Just after I snapped these shots he thought better of catching all that wind and took in his biggest sail.  I could only wish we had been able to do the same…Schooner2P1070443  Twenty knot wind and choppy 3-foot waves are not serene to me… but it can certainly look wonderful from a distance….

No, what I enjoy most about sailing is the scenery I get to see, not be!


the tranquil evenings at anchor or dock,

Manson's LandingP1070373

and the quiet waking to see blue sky where stars had been when you shut your eyes…


(provided you haven’t sunk in the night!)  Yikes.  We saw this poor boat at a dock we visited… but that’s not a thought to think when you’re thinking of things you like about sailing…

sunken boat

So will leave you instead with an enchanting song that captures serenity for me…

Away from the roll of the sea

Small craft in a harbour that’s still and serene,
Give no indication what their ways have been;
They rock at their moorings all nestled in dreams,
Away from the roll of the sea.

Their stern lines are groaning a lullaby air,
A ghost in the cuddy, a gull on the spar;
But never they whisper of journeys afar,
Away from the roll of the sea.

Oh, had they the tongues for to speak,
What tales of adventure they’d weave;
But now they are anchored to sleep,
And slumber alee.

Come fair winds to wake them tomorrow, we pray,
Come harvest a-plenty to them ev’ry day;
Till guided by harbour lights they’re home to stay,
Away from the roll of the sea.

Ahh…. now that’s serenity…


“And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Is.32:18

Desolation Revisited

Desolation is defined as:

  • A state of complete emptiness or destruction.
  • Anguished misery or loneliness.
  • Desolation

    When Captain George Vancouver charted these waters in 1792 he found this area so remote and foreboding he called it Desolation Sound. Pity he didn’t come sailing in the summer…



    With its endless coves and inlets Desolation Sound is a boater’s paradise,


    And at this time of year it is anything but desolate!

    desolation boaters

    Seems that everyone is looking for a place to be alone, a little ‘desolation’, a little down time.

    Wordsworth had it right:

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune…”

    –William Wordsworth, first lines of his sonnet (1807)

    So we thought we’d have another look at this paradise just beyond our doorstep (2 1/2 hrs. sail time away) and see if there was room for us to be alone here too!

    We had company for supper the first night…

    The water was some of the warmest ocean water we’ve found yet. Delightful swimming!


    And we dinghied ashore for a hike to the top of this steep little landmass—


    –through cool  ferny  rainforest where we met the jolly(?) green giant…


    …right on up and over, to warm and dry arbutus/salal forest and a view of a lily-clad lake far below…


    And of course there were flowers to take pictures of…

    P1070263salalsalal bloom

    When we’d had enough of enjoying the desolation, we invited out some friends for company and steak dinner (which they so graciously provided!)


    …and hosted a slumber party for all the tiny night creatures which wheedled their way through screens and under sheets and feasted on us all the night long!  Note: There are worse things than mosquitoes; now we know.  Did Captain Vancouver meet these formidable pests in his travels?  And what did they do without “Off”?! Even a boater’s paradise is not without its little miseries…

    But the beauty of the ‘desolation’ here far outweighed the inconvenience of sleeping with ‘bedbugs’ and I’m ever so grateful for the captain who made it all possible!P1070241
    Jim and Lindy


    Touring Paradise

    Well, OK, so right up front let me confess, today it’s not paradise.  Here we are in July, the 4th of July no less, and I’ve lit a fire in the woodstove to ward off the damp chill of another rainy gray day…but I’m reliving the happier days we’ve had this week…

    Company rarely comes this far off the beaten path.  But this week we had a second cousin visiting from England—his first visit to Canada.  So we had to do the royal tour of Powell River and surrounds…P1070112
    We squeezed in all the adventures we could starting with a tandem ride around Inland Lake.  Yes, we have more than one tandem so we in fact double tandemed around the Lake on a brooding-but-not-yet-raining morning, stopping for snacks and stone ‘skimming’, finishing the 13km. circuit just before the rain began in earnest.

    P1070125 On a fine windy day of mixed sun and cloud (and a bit of spitting rain) we headed off under full sail to find sanctuary in our beloved Copelands.   With just enough wind and mishap to make an adventure we had a full day of it—the motor quit at an important interval, but was readily diagnosed and put right.  Jim’s long beloved hat went overboard, and then the pike pole that was to retrieve it!…The pike pole was retrieved despite high winds ably manipulated by Captain Jim.  Unfortunately the old felt Fedora was lost from view in the scuffle and likely sank. sigh.

    P1070146 But the islands were lovely as always…

    On the lee side, out of the wind I wandered on a cliff among the treetops where little birds flitted and tweeted about finding refuge from the wind.  Hummingbirds came diving to spin in space staring at this new sight—an interloper in their private arboretum…


    We had a campfire and introduced our company to the marvels of roasted marshmallows and the sticky sweetness of some-mores…And ‘smokies’ too were a first… Hotdogs never taste so good as roasted on a stick over a campfire.


    Tromping about we looked at oyster beds and found these strange mysteries recently sprung from the earth… not iron at all, but some sort of fungi…


    And eventually, when we’d eaten, napped, hiked about and generally delayed as long as seemed feasible waiting for the wind to die down a bit, we headed homeward the long way, tacking,  into an only slightly diminished Southeaster.  My captain was in his element; I was glad to get back to finish that piece of the tour!

    yellow flowers crop

    And so goes life in paradise—much like where you are…not all sunshine, but always an opportunity for adventure of some sort…