We awoke to a foggy Monday (July 4) in Welcome Harbour, and learned that the thermostat is still “in a facility in Canada,” as we’d expected. It had rained a little overnight and was not very warm outside the cockpit all day, though sunbeams clawed away at the clouds and finally shredded them in the late afternoon so that they could see what we might be doing on our sixth day here (reading, writing, cooking, napping, and doing some boat maintenance).
Early on Sunday afternoon, we shared a celebration of the Eucharist in the cockpit, where it was pleasantly warm despite the fog and cloudy skies. An unseen congregation of birds, including eagles, crows, and ravens, among others, added their voices to ours from the tall onshore choir stalls of cedars, spruces, firs, and hemlocks. I thought of and prayed for a number of the many congregations with which we have worshiped over the years.
A little later, as the fog thinned, we launched Coracle and had a delightful time motoring around some of the islands, islets, and rock formations occupying one portion of the huge harbor; the Honda outboard motor behaved perfectly over the course of our hour-long exploration. The breeze was light and the water rippled; low clouds embraced the hilltops; and the number and variety of little niches, nooks, “pocket beaches,” and bights into which we peered was wondrous to behold!
Some featured sandy beaches and some were lined with pebbles and larger stones, and a few contained bits of bleached driftwood.
Many had mats of kelp at their doorsteps, and green grass-carpets and lacy cedar-drapes near their entrances,
and most were surrounded with rough, jagged rocks draped with brown-gold weeds and pocked with barnacles. Some of the smaller openings looked to me like oddly-shaped mouths containing gravelly tongues and dark crooked teeth. Eagles surfed the wind above us and scoters (sea ducks) paddled furiously to avoid our dinghy. On a beach near Braesail we discovered the two mooring buoys that were supposed to be available to boaters–they had come loose and had washed up onto the shore!
After some hours of reading and relaxing and a dinner of pasta with shrimp, we listened to some marvelous poetry written and read by the superb English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic, Malcolm Guite, and played backgammon (I lost both games, but not by much) before retiring for the night. As I write this, Walt is making, for tonight’s dinner and for two more, a large pan of lasagna–YUMMM!