12 October 2017: I collected the very last of the Labor Day Chainsaw-Carving Competition scraps from the parking lot by the marina. Only the very biggest pieces were left, after having been picked over by the other scavengers in town for the last month. I hauled the monster pieces to end of the boardwalk with the wheeled dolly, and split them as well as I could with wedges and a sledgehammer. I left the biggest, gnarliest one behind, but then it appeared at the end of the boardwalk, too. I sent Joe a text, thanking him for the delivery service, and he replied, “I don’t know if I dragged it or drug it.” The log had so many knots I only managed to split off a few pieces. I couldn’t break it down any smaller than about two feet tall and two-and-a-half feet in diameter. So, Joe came over with his chainsaw and cut it up for me. There was a lot of (free!) firewood in that chunk! It may come in handy later.
25 October 2017: Ulysse visited the Shack this afternoon and invited me to come over to play French language Trivial Pursuit. Because the tide was right, we rowed Chuuchki over to the marina. Jean Luc, Cecile, and Ulysse have been in Seldovia since early September, and are living in the marina on their 45-foot fiberglass sailboat, Ad Hoc. They sailed here from France, by way of… just about everywhere. I’m pretty sure they’ve seen at least five of the seven seas.
It was my first time using the new fenders I bought in Homer at the beginning of the month, and with the lines rigged up for the Shack Beach tie-down, it took forever to tie up at the dock. Ulysse couldn’t believe it. He’s ten years old, and has lived his entire life on the sailboat, so he knows a thing or two about knots and docking. It took forever because we had to untie all the lines, take the anchor off, rig the fenders, and figure out how to use just the one continuous long line to tie up in two places to the marina float where there are no cleats. It was windy and raining, too. The wind was pushing us off the dock. I’m sure Jean Luc and Cecile couldn’t believe how long it took us, either.
After playing the game, Ulysse and I rowed back to the Shack together (he had left his bike there), and he was a great deckhand “cleaning up the boat” by tidying all the lines. However, he enjoyed fantasizing about hitting rocks and sinking, which was slightly disconcerting. Later, in fact, he told Cecile and Jean Luc that we had hit a rock and damaged the boat! He’s such a deadpan storyteller that Cecile emailed me to make sure that the boat and I were ok.
31 October 2017: Rowed to the harbor and birded the “Seldovia (town)” hotspot. Halloween prep on the Barn is in full swing, but the weather is so nice I had to go out for an hour or so. We hauled the Peapod out on October 25th, so the running line is available now. It’s super handy, because I have access to the boat no matter what the tide is doing. Chris was over, delivering the salted Wolf-fish head for the Barn Halloween centerpiece, and I asked him to help me tie Chuuchki to the running line, because I couldn’t remember the running line knot – need to work on this important skill! Walt and Sachiko have showed me a few times, but it’s always like a year in between, so I never really remember how to do it. And it’s not in any of my knot books.
2 November 2017: Joe came over with his small boat trailer and we hauled the boat out. He’ll let me use the trailer all winter, which is great, because it’s a place for me to keep the boat. With all the rain in October, Chuuchki’s quite waterlogged, and heavy. I think the water is soaking in through the plywood deck. We could hear it sloshing inside, between the deck and the hull. Wonder what’s in there? Joe says she’s got floatation inside. We will park her on the trailer and let her dry out for a while, before I start working on her. Jean Luc, Cecile and I flipped her over and set her on the trailer, hull-up.
Walt said I could use his Barn to work on my boat, while he and Sachiko are in Japan for a month. They left today. Meanwhile, Jean Luc, Cecile, and Ulysse were moving in, and will be staying at Walt & Sachiko’s for the duration. Jean Luc said he’d help me do the fiberglass work (in a technical advisor capacity.) So, I guess I am doing this thing! Everything needs to be done and the boat moved back out by the time I leave for Florida on December 11.
I will miss having my boat in the water. I’ve really enjoyed rowing this fall, and being able to just take off whenever I want (tidally dependent, of course.)
Text from Joe: “Don’t buy any paint brushes. I’ve got a big box of wonderful old ones. I’m sure you will find some that you’ll like. It will row easier when you get the water out.”