Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

2020 was a weird and unique year for me but it wasn’t as bad for me as people and the press would have us believe it should be. After all it was the press that made this year the year that it was. I just lived my life as normally as I could and ignored the press. I do not watch the evening news nor read a newspaper. I depend on a few blogs to acquire all the madness that this world has to offer – and there is so much of it out there.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Well no it wasn’t and no it isn’t. Only God knows when that day will come. Trust in him as he is in total control. In doing so you will feel all of your anxiety and fear wilt away.

I do not want to go into it but I tried to live as normal a life as I could, all things considered. I went on a 3 month road trip with my new sweetie leaving home pre Covid and coming home when the fallout of the Covid struck. We were in Tampa Florida. We had to boot it up to Detroit then cross into Canada at Windsor Ontario. From there we drove all the way to Vancouver in about 6 days skirting around the Great Lakes. The March weather cooperated and we had a very enjoyable drive. Many of the towns and villages were on Covid lockdown so the absence of life in these towns and villages presented itself to us as some sort of 21st Century Twilight Zone. But we loved it. I would love to do it again. Got home 26 March, self isolated for 2 weeks in TV heaven at my sweetie’s house then went home to my own abode here in Mill Bay – on my own.

Covid 19 brought out and continues to bring out the worst and the best in people – as per human nature. Karen’s and Ken’s abound out there.

Covid 19 is 1984 redux. A politician’s wet dream. Civil liberties be damned.

“Freedom – is just another word when there’s nothing else to lose.”

Wake up!

I have my blog here to keep me sane – at least for a couple of hours a day.

I am taking the day off tomorrow. Will be back Monday 04 Jan.

From Shakeyjay:


To everyone. Here are a couple of tunes from one of my all time favourite groups:

Same could apply for the 21st Century.

And then this bit of nostalgia:

Young and innocent days – for sure.



I Don’t Have A Title Yet…Part 5

If ya have a good name for this let me know.

“So Sid ‘s fucked off and left me with this pile of dung.”

Krofune? Dung? He always anglicized Sadao to Sid.

Looks fine to me I said. A bit weathered perhaps but it must be in fine shape.


“What’s that?”

“She. A sailboat, no, all vessels on the water are she’s, not it’s, for fuck sakes. Jesus H Christ. What the fuck have I gotton myself into” he proffered to no one, not to me, to the gulls perhaps. They cawed in comical response!

He kind of looked at me with a grinning disdain. This was not going well. I felt intimidated by him to some degree.

“Sorry, she. She doesn’t look too bad, I mean to me”

Nigel grunted, took a couple more long slugs, crushed the can and grabbed another.

“So John. What do you expect here? From me? Why are you here anyway?”

What could I say. “Pat and Sadao asked me to come and help out. Sail to Japan. Help you in doing it.  I jumped at the chance. Great opportunity I thought. Looking forward to it.

Saying nothing Nigel looked at me with contempt. What is his problem I thought to myself?

Nigel was about 33 years old. A professional sailor as he claims to be. Hired by Sadao to help him sail and deliver Krofuni to Japan. He and Sadao met each other in and around the maritime bazaars and marinas of Vancouver Harbour. My sister Pat did not take too well to Nigel and I think the feelings were mutual. Nevertheless Nigel offered to help Sadao fulfill his dream and for a modest sum would help him in his quest. Off they went. Sadao had to give up on his dream but had asked Nigel to carry on.  He agreed. Adventure I guess. And that’s where I came in.  Crew to Nigel’s skipper.


I Don’t Have A Title Yet…Part 4

If you have any ideas for a title to this latest story let me know through the comments…thanks.


I walked back to G dock down to G35, and waited alone, contemplating as to my near and future prospects in this marine environment, an environment that was entirely foreign to me. Why on earth did they ask me to do this I thought. I know diddly-squat about sailboats. I don’t know Nigel at all, what he looked like, sounded like or thought like. Nothing in common I would think between the two of us.  And where the hell was he? He knew when I was arriving this day, this hour, this time. Not a great impression on me for sure. Of course my sister and brother in law had already left and were currently in Japan I would have thought. But no note no letter just some vague instruction as to where I should go on landing.

“You must be John”

A voice, a Brit voice. behind me. I turned, shielded my eyes somewhat and there coming down the dock, about 10 feet away, was this bronze looking but scruffy looking dude coming toward me.

“Nigel?” I queried.

“Yup, in the flesh.”

He was carying a small bag, groceries I imagined, but no groceries, some beer, a six pack of Oly’s and a bottle of scotch. We shook hands.

Nigel was scruffily dressed in faded knee length brown, I think, shorts cinched at the waist by a length of hemp.  I can say this because his short sleeved, rust coloured shirt was unbuttoned, open at the front exposing a hairy chest that was pidgeon like, with its tail flapping somewhat in the late afternoon breeze. He was wearing dark blue flip-flops that flip and flopped with every step. He walked right by me, climbed onto Krofune, jumped into the cockpit, put his things down then opened the hatch to the gangway and cabin below.

“C’mon onboard.” he said

I complied and shyly looked into the cabin below. I could see Nigel from his backside placing his bag onto the table top on the starboard side of the interior.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck and more fuck, for fuck’s sake. he yelled at the bulkheads. I left the god damned hatch closed. It’s a bloody fucking sauna in here.” as only a Brit could say, in understated understatements.

You don’t fuckin say I thought. Sure enough it was hot, and not just from the stale air under the cabin sole.  In the next breath, Nigel turned, looked at me sheepishly, apologized for his outburst, grinned, and then giggled somewhat nervously and somewhat like an English school girl revealing a mouthful of yellow stained and ancient eye teeth and molars.

“Got to keep that forward hatch ajar and this hatch vent opened for cross circulation. Or it can get as hot as Hades in here in this heat.”  He paused. “Here, have a beer?”


“We’ll have her up there in the cockpit.  Wear this hat. You’ll need it until you get used to this heat.” Never heard of a beer referred to as a her!

“It’s really camel piss this liquid shit. But its cold.”

Oly’s, short for Olympia Beer, a Pacific Northwest favourite, along with Rainier Beer. Hawaii has to import everything.

We sat there in uncomfortable silence as Nigel didn’t know what to make of me and me of him. He took a huge slug from his can, looked at me, sighed, depressingly like, looked around at the surroundings.

A classic song by a classic lass


I Don’t Have a Title Yet…Part 3

If any of you have an idea for a title to this new story I am developing, let me know in the comments.

Part 1 and 2 were past posts.

The Ala Wai harbour and marina were huge. Hundreds of yachts, of various sizes and shapes: Sloops, Cutters, Ketches and Yawls. Double Enders, where the bow and stern have the same pointed aspect, Tahiti Ketches, Catamarans, and Trimarans. They were all here. No power boats. They were all berthed separately across the main channel near the Ala Moana Park. I guess they wanted to keep the stink-potters separated from the true believers.

I left G dock, walked a way over through a parking lot that abutted a park area, then a small landlocked lagoon. Not really a lagoon as it was landlocked but it was known as the Ilikai Lagoon, part and parcel of the Ilikai hotel – a local landmark as it turned out and I do recall its centrally located exterior elevator that took one from the hotel’s lobby to the top of the “I”, all the while allowing one to see the calming beauty and blue turquoise pastels of the Pacific Ocean, the Ala Wai Harbour, the Ala Moana Yacht club and the like. This exterior run was also made famous by the Jack Lord version of Hawaii “book-em-Danel” 5 Oh. The Ilikai was just many of a long line of Waikiki luxurious beachfront hotels that stretched from the Ala Moana Yacht club, skirting their way as fringes of the beach only stopping its progression by the iconic Diamond Head volcanic caldera. Luckily, not active but extinct, the sides of which was covered from its base about a third of its elevation in tropical green hues of a lush carpet like vegetation blanket, like moss, then abruptly transitions to that easily recognizable dark brown blackish coloured and bare volcanic rock that permeate the many volcanic islands of the South Pacific. The rock sides were not smooth but interspersed it seemed with symmetrical lines or cracks, seams and what appeared to be vertically oriented valleys that were all too apparent on many of the mountain ranges and rock formations on these volcanic Hawaiian Islands and those other mountainous gems of the South Pacific. It appeared as if those seams were hardened rivers and streams of lava slides or floes of long ago.  On its crown you could just make out the diamond like cluster of rock cuts at the leading edge of this ancient rock.

Waikiki Beach is not the beach one would expect. Yes it beckons one to the lush, tropical and welcoming warmth of the island of Oahu but its texture is rough; its colour a dull greyish taupe and its lustre anything but that expected in the tropics. This very narrow strip of sand was not blindingly white or soft or smooth to the touch but a rough textured morass like field. Shipped in I was told. From Norway? No way. Australia? No way. Manhattan Beach California? Yes way. And on further inspection, as I didn’t want to explore too much or wander too far from Krofune, I noticed that the line of hotels didn’t quite make their way all the way to Diamond Head but were buttressed by a beautiful beach park where many of the locals, mainly older men, played chess or checkers under the watchful eye of a statue of Duke Pana Kahanamoku, Mr Aloha, who had just recently passed, himself a great surfer, Olympic gold medal swimmer, and well respected international Ambassador of these Hawaiian Islands.  All of this would have to wait for another time as I was anxious to get settled in Krofune. Besides the hot and high afternoon sun was beginning to make its mark on my as yet acclimatized skin.

Another great tune from the Allman Brother’s Band. Dickie Betts on lead guitar. He saved this band after Duane died way too early.


I Don’t Have a Title Yet…Part 2

If any of you have an idea for a title to this new story I am developing, let me know in the comments.

Part 1 was yesterday’s post.


“Hello.” What does one say when one comes calling at a sailboat? ”

“Ahoy there?” That sounds too cartoonish, like Popeye to Olive Oil.

“Anyone home? Onboard?” Nigel?? I knew his name.

Nothing. Silence except for a slight clanking sound coming from a loose halyard somewhere on some boat somewhere in the harbour and the relentless caw of the seagulls. Nothing. I was beginning to sweat in the mid afternoon sun. There was no breeze to speak of, no cool northeast trade-wind that I had read and heard so so much about.

It was bright, blindingly so. The same acuity sensation one gets when exiting a theatre on a hot summer’s afternoon. I made a note to myself to get shades as soon as possible.

Dropping my kit bag into Krofuni’s cockpit I decide to have a look at what will be my home for the next few months, my foreseeable future. From the perspective of the G35 finger float, on which Krofuni was tied, I took a good look at her from end to end or stem (bow) to stern. She was, in the vernacular, a sloop rig. That is she was equipped with a foresail, or a sail properly positioned when raised ahead of the mast, then a mainsail, the main propulsion, providing the primary source of horsepower for the boat to move through the water. That sail’s foot or bottom portion of the traingular shape was attached to a boom, along a track that went from the mast to an end cleat, of a thingamajig contraption on the end portion of the boom. The boom itself was connected to the mast via a universal joint such that the boom could move from side to side and up and down. A topping lift, or a line attacked to the end of the boom then running up to the top of the mast, parallel to the backstay, or metal line that was connected to the top of the mast and a chainplate at the transom or stern, rear end of the boat, held the boom horizontal, about 6 feet off the deck of Krofune’s cockpit. The forward, or leading edge of the mainsail, the luff, was down as was the trailing edge, of the mainsail, or the leech, stuffed in a seamanlike folds to the boom and protected from the sun with a mainsail cover.

Her decks were wide enough to manoeuvre, to work the sails. Painted a sun bleached dull yellow with a non skid of flecked shells, hard on bare soles but stiff and skiff free to provide non slip protection when operating forward and outside the combed protection of the cockpit.. Up in the bow, in the confines of the pulpit, were a few sail bags secured to the forestay, ready to go, to hoist as they say with only their hanks showing in a step like fashion. Lines emerged out of those bags leading aft outside of all the standing rigging like sinewy snakes meandering in unison back toward the winches. Of course I can say this now, decsribe Krofuni as I am looking back on this, but at the time I didn’t have a clue, or a withering breadth of knowledge of the nautical world.

No sign of life, The cockpit was very large for a sailboat of this size. Deep and narrow with combed benches port and stsbd. The engine controls were abutted up against the stbd side combing in the after section of the cockpit while a manually operated “gusher” pump was situated on its forward bulkhead. Turns out that is was a gusher pump having an attached steel handle topped with what resembled an eight ball. For leverage I guess. I would become very familiar with this piece of kit in due course.

The cockpit went as far back as it footprint would allow ending at a narrow covered transom. The transom, or stern section, had a protective white railing attached, not robust enough to save one from hurling overboard but more for utility and functionality as cordage, various sized red and black “Scotsmen” floats were attached. Some 5 gallon buckets, whisker poles, fishing poles were also in situ as if this part of Krofuni was a catch-all for the rest of the boat. Krofuni’s was squared off at the rear by a stern that dropped to the vertical for about a foot then angled itself forward at about a forty five degree angle toward the waterline. The stern’s aspect gave Krofuni an air of sleekness, fine lines and speed. An illusion as it would turn out. Of course it was impossible to see how the bottom faired as the deep bluish green shades of surface water obscured visibility other than a few inches below the boot topping. The boot topping, that narrow 4 inch wide black painted strip that followed the waterline of Krofuni from bow to stern and separated her from the living and the dead. It provided an aspect that seemed to frame Krofuni synergistically.

The hatch to the gangway was locked so I couldn’t go below. This was taboo of course without prior permission, no matter that I was deemed crew. If you want to get off on the wrong foot with any skipper or make a poor first impression just climb aboard without permission to come aboard. This I knew

I threw my kitbag into the cockpit and left it there. I wasn’t worried about somebody stealing it for there was nothing of value in there except for a 35mm camera, which I had with me, on me. No, if someone wanted my stinky stuff they were welcomed to it. I then proceeded to explore my surroundings. “G” dock, Krofuni’s main street was very long with finger floats abutting both sides of the main dock. Probably up to 100 boats on this dock alone. And “G” was followed by “H” and “J”, no “I” apparently, preceded by “A” through “F”. Unbelievable!  An entirely different world than what I had been used to or even imagined: somewhat of a parallel universe to the tourist district and peons of the Waikiki district of Oahu.

This song was a huge hit in Hawaii in those days – Jessica by the Allman Brothers.

%d bloggers like this: