I walked slowly backwards on the concrete dock, uncoiling the yellow shore power cable in front of me. Behind me, there was a small exodus of sorts coming from the Fishermen’s Bar & Grill up on the hill. We were keenly aware that Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals had just ended, and it was clear that these Canadians weren’t particularly pleased with the outcome.
“Who won?” Rory called to a young lady stumbling past on the dock. He had one knee on the deck and was making off the aft mooring line to the cleat.
“Boston,” she muttered, not raising her head.
“Yes!” Rory replied, adding a not-so-subtle pump of his fist.
Stopping at the electricity pedestal, I looked up to watch the exchange.
“Pardon me, sir, but I think your exuberance is ill-timed and inappropriate for your surroundings,” came her polite reply.
That’s a lie. She didn’t say anything like that. I don’t know if it’s possible to break one’s own neck, but her head whipped around with such force that I half expected to hear a snap.
In truth, “F#&* you, Americans!” is what she shouted. A few nearby folks stopped and looked, and for a moment, I wasn’t quite sure which course this situation would take. Rory simply made a few more figure-eights with the line, and the despondent woman turned on her heel and continued down the dock.
He looked at me and gave a shrug.
“If someone cuts our lines tonight,” I said, “I blame you.”
Three days previous we departed from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and slowly motored north via the Inside Passage. My 36-foot trawler had performed beautifully, with only a clogged cooling water strainer to trouble us. In fact, my fine little boat handled the seas – especially the swells of Queen Charlotte Strait – much better than I.
Shearwater was our fourth stop, and marked the halfway point for our week-long journey from Seattle to Ketchikan.
In those few short days we saw eagles, whales, waterfalls, breathtaking snow-capped mountains, and stunning sunsets. We anchored in the solitude of a small cove, navigated through strong currents, and tested the prowess of our craft. And we forged a bond that only comes through real adventure.
The halfway point was cause for celebration. At least, that’s what my much saltier friend Ian told us all. And who are we to argue? Celebration, in this case, meant uncorking the bottle of rum that Rory had brought along.
So, seated on the flying bridge of PEREGRINE, we raised our glasses to another successful day, to smooth sailing going forward, and to making new friends in Canada.
Oh, no one cut our lines, and we left without further incident.