July 22, 2017: Fresh prawns–all I could eat!

The rain ran off to play elsewhere during Friday night, and after celebrating St. Mary Magdalene’s Day during Morning Prayer, we motored out of our Port Harvey anchorage at about 9 am under heavy pewter skies and with light tail winds. The tide was very low, and exposed stripes of spring green sea moss, then rusty gold and chocolate brown seaweed, then the dark charcoal gray and ivory of granite rocks, and then the dusty pale yellow of dried mosses and grasses spread beneath the dark green firs and cedars decorating the shores of the inlet and of the many small islands within and outside it.

We transited the very narrow, shallow Chatham Channel through which one passes safely with the aid of accurate navigation charts and range markers placed one above the other at either end of the channel. The helmsman (Walt the Skipper today) keeps the markers ahead lined up so that they appear to be a single large “post” and a crew member (the First Mate in this case) keeps the markers behind the boat similarly lined up one above the other and lets the helmsman know if a little steering to port or starboard is needed. My main challenge was maintaining a view of the markers with Coracle, hanging from the davits at Braesail’s stern, and the outboard motor, fastened to the stern, blocking my sight from time to time! All went smoothly as we passed through the channel with its many stacks of rocks and thick kelp beds near the shores. Next came another narrow, shallow channel called The Blow Hole, and we made it through that passage without incident as well. It opened into a wide expanse of water, a milky aqua green in color (because it contains glacial till–unsorted glacial sediment) with breezefuls of glittering sun dust sprinkled across it, that led into beautiful Lagoon Cove on the northern shore of East Cracroft Island, where we found a spot at the marina’s dock for an overnight tie-up.

What a wonderful place the Lagoon Cove Marina is! Moorage fees cover free coffee and a nightly “happy-hour,” a potluck picnic around the big table in the “historic” tool shed on the shore, for which the marina furnishes plenty of just-caught spot prawns, and to which the guests bring party foods of their choice to share, along with conversation, stories, and sometimes a sing-along (there’s a guitar to borrow). At the office one can buy all the basic boating and fishing necessities (including ice cream bars, candy, chips, and soft drinks), and the “Edgewater Emporium” sells cooking/local history books and various Lagoon Cove branded items, including hats and shirts. One walks up a ramp to the large workshop, whose first room contains a book exchange and a large collection of burgees (small yacht flags) and some fascinating seashells, and whose second, quite spacious, room is filled with tools, parts, and hardware of all sorts, ancient and modern. The walkways leading past the restrooms (with showers) and up to the shop are lined with flower boxes overflowing with bright variegated pink geraniums and stained-glass-blue lobelia, and one can see old logging and boating implements and odd objects retrieved from the sea arranged along the shop’s outside wall. A path leads on up a hill to swings and the beginnings of hiking trails, past old fruit trees and thickets of roses and daisies and wild berries, and on to the owners’ home at the top of the rise, from which one can look down to Port Harvey on one side and Lagoon Cove on the other–superb views both! The hill slopes down behind the house to an expansive lawn and a ping-pong table, bean bag toss area, small tool shed (a push lawn mower, together with instructions for its use, is available inside for those who want exercise after having spent too many days cooped up on a boat, as is a pile of logs and an axe!), a fire pit for marshmallow toasting, and a trash-burning barrel beneath a whimsical totem pole, assembled from a miscellaneous collection of old, rusty, junky items, that bears a sign warning anyone who tosses cans, bottles, or other non-burnable refuse into the burning barrel that they will be visited by evil spirits AND a nasty rash!

Once Braesail was secured at the dock and registered, Walt and I, fresh coffee in hand, walked around the marina, enjoying all its unusual features. Once back on the boat, Walt continued his work on his conference presentation, I read and sent out e-mail and worked on blog posts while seated in the cockpit where my lungs could drink in the clean, fresh air, and then we both napped as the shy sun disappeared and a fine, misty rain began to fall. For our happy-hour potluck contribution, Walt baked sweet potato fries to be accompanied by hot salsa, and we joined about 30 other marina guests in the tool shed for the prawn-feed at 5 pm, just as the rain dripped gently away–marvelous! We had a terrific time chatting with the other boaters, and the food was excellent, as potluck fare usually is. After what proved to be our “super-supper,” I walked up the path to the flower gardens, house, and lawn, being refreshed by the rain-rinsed air and the natural beauty all around me. I stopped to take in the perfume of one of the large pink roses near the house, and was caressed upon lips and tongue by a few of the rain tears shed by the blossom’s delicate petals–a moment I won’t forget!

As the marina’s many shades of green and gray deepen into dark, it’s time for cabin clean-up and finalization of travel plans for Sunday, and then a sound sleep. What a wondrous day we’ve had, and I’m so grateful!

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