Monthly Archives: June 2015

Hauling the Boat

Tomorrow we shall leave the pink notices of Cowichan Bay behind us and haul our patooties to Maple Bay.  There we shall tie up overnight in anticipation of being hauled on Friday morning.  We have 44 feet of bottom to paint.  Anyone who wishes to help will be given a bologna sandwich and a lukewarm rootbeer at 4-hour intervals.  So far nobody has ever taken us up on this offer.

Wish us luck!

I guess this means today was my last day teaching for the year.  I am rejoiced.

To celebrate I made crock-pot soup of surpassing wonderfulness – a combination of sausage and yam and chick peas that tastes better than the sum of its ingredients.  Tomorrow as we motor down Sansum Narrows toward Maple Bay, I shall bake muffins to calm myself.  The first voyage of the year always rattles me.  I wish we could ROW there.  I find rowing very soothing.  Unfortunately, our vessel weighs 47,000 pounds and doesn’t row easily.  I imagine.  I’ve never been fool enough to try.

It’s past my bedtime, so I should retire.  Goodnight, dear friends.

Catherine Dook


Pink Notices and More

Around here, we read pink notices for fun.  What do they say?  They say, “Stop Work”.  Since most of us are not interested in work at all, we have taken this to heart.  Stop Work indeed!  Lots of us have never STARTED work.

Apparently, the CVRD wants someone to perform some construction work on the buildings.  But how can construction be performed if work must be stopped?  Enquiring minds want to know.

In the mean time, the notices add local flavour and colour to an already outstandingly funky neighbourhood, so we have just grown accustomed to them, like the paint someone spilled down the length of the docks a couple of years ago that’s still there, or the mint growing on the pierhead (free food!).

Substitute teaching continues to be outstandingly lucrative since the last strike, and John and I should be rolling in boat parts.  We looked at some upholstery fabric today.  I was especially interested in cushion fabric with a pattern of regular squares.  Even I couldn’t screw that up, or so I think.  Our present cushions are past ‘shabby’ and into ‘disintegration’.  Daily I mourn the passing of acrylic upholstery fabric.  The last stuff lasted 30 years.  Yes, it was ugly for 30 years, but it LASTED.

Even uglier was the upholstery picked out by the DPW for John’s furniture in the wilds of Kugluktuk.  The entire community had the same fabric.  It was fences and barns in a flocked 70s brown fabric – absolutely unique in its hideousness, itchiness and durability.  Anyway, my point is. . . in the fabric store John is drawn irresistibly toward fabrics with pictures on them.  This is a very bad personality trait I must train him out of.  I like boxes.  You can cut along the lines.

My latest book, ‘Darling Call the Coast Guard, the Neighbours are Squabbling!’ continues to jog along, and is selling briskly at Pier 66 Convenience Store.

May many blessings fall upon you!

Catherine Dook


Catherine Dook – grade 1 teacher for the day

The real joy of substitute teaching is that every situation is temporary.  On good days one leaves saying, “My, what a great day.  What a good class.  What a delightful school.”  On rotten days one escapes in a hurry thinking, “Thank Heaven I never have to return, and if I have any brains at all, I won’t.”

Today was a good day.  The little people were short but delightful.

I came home to find even more pink notices tacked onto walls of structures about the docks.  There is a nearby by-law officer who has gone mad.  Rumour has it that a disaffected merchant made a discreet phone call to the powers that be to protest Phil’s new hot-dog stand, but would that explain the pink attacks on the local realtor and our inoffensive, partly-built shower that’s been sitting at the bottom of the dock for a couple of years with nobody taking any notice of it whatsoever?  And the floating storage shed next to the s/v Salted Rim – what has IT done to offend?  (though someone said the storage shed notice was a mistake – a by-law officer thought it was a floating sewage barge.  I hope the owner of Salted Rim is offended.)

When I get bored of an evening, I stroll out on the docks to read the pink notices.  Around here, the drama is better than TV.

many blessings to you all,

Catherine Dook

By-law Officers – quick – hide!

The Bay has been crawling with by-law officers armed with pink notices and thumb tacks.  There is some kind of drama going on between our marina owners and the CVRD, bless their buttons.  Nobody knows what’s up, but rumours are flying through the air as thick as snowflakes in the Maritimes and speculation reigns supreme.  Is there some sinister force at work?  Has some disaffected member of the community got the CVRD on speed-dial?  Enquiring minds want to know.  I’ve sent my paint-splattered husband out to investigate.  One investigates in Cowichan Bay by putting on sneakers and hanging around the outside edge of a group to eavesdrop.  Or going for coffee at Heidi’s Lighthouse Café in the mornings, but she’s closed on Mondays, and besides, it’s the wrong time of the day.

I’ll keep you informed.

My new book, ‘Darling Call the Coast Guard the Neighbours are Squabbling!’ is selling briskly.  With luck I won’t lose my shirt.

I’ve been teaching and tutoring and writing articles and selling books – in fact, I can hardly remember what my husband looks like.  John spends his time fixing the boat.  Yesterday he crawled into the engine room to check the batteries (good!) and pump condensation water into the bilge – there was lots of it – with a $10.00 pump we bought second-hand at a swap meet last weekend.  The pump works well.  Today he installed a new float switch on one of the bilge pumps under the floorboards.  That pump now also works well.  In fact, all we have to do is fix the underwater leak in the galley, scrape and paint the bottom, buy a bit of new running rigging (our old rigging is a shame and a disgrace), and deal with whatever other problems arise, and they are cropping up on a daily basis.  What fun this is!  One takes a close look at one’s boat only when the weather is nice and one feels optimistic enough to deal with bad news.

Many blessings

Catherine Dook