Eleven years. Storms. Snow. Darkness. Huge loads. Heavy, heavy things. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? Not until yesterday. Yesterday was too hard!
We bought a lot of food this town day. Stocking up. Costco. $1000.00. Then Save-On for another $100 or so. Plus boxes of dog food, 5 heavy steel bars and a 4×8 sheet of expanded metal. And, finally, a garbage can full of odds and sods. We were packed.
Don’t plan on going in again until late July.
Wind was up. Maybe 25. Seas had been working up all week. Nothing scary. A three foot swell-cum-chop is nothing to be afraid of but it can get wet in a small boat. Plus it is bloody awkward at the rocky beach. We were, of course, in a small boat. Cowardice got the better of my valour and I dropped the 4×8 sheet of metal off at a nearby sheltered dock. That was a fortuitous decision. And then we headed to ‘our sea stairs’.
The bow was describing six foot arcs.
The cooler weighed close to or just over 100 pounds. Sal couldn’t lift it. I got it on the bow of the boat and she perched just beside it. When the wave rose, I nosed in and she leapt off on to the beach. I circled around and, waiting to catch my wave, nipped in just so that she could one-arm a cooler she couldn’t previously two-arm. It came off the bow of the boat and almost took Sally into the deep. Somehow she gritted it out and got the beast onto the lowest step on the stairs. It had taken a herculean effort.
“I’ll come around again. I’ll go out, reload the bow and then surf in again.”
“No! Don’t. I can’t do that again. And we have a lot of stuff and some of it is heavier. Go around to the lee side and we’ll unload into J’s floatshed. Get the rest of the stuff tomorrow. I have the stuff that needs the freezer but I can’t get it up the stairs.”
“I’ll get it when we come back. Just lift it up a step or two so the tide doesn’t get it. And strap that rope around it ’cause the ravens will open it and steal.”
Just then, as I was keeping off, a wave washed over the whole of the back of the boat, engine and all. For a second I heard no sound. I thought the engine had stalled. That would have been a beach-crashing disaster. But it was just muted by the sea and we were still good. Sal’s idea to try again the next day was a good one.
And that effort was made today. And, of course, the wind was way, way less. We got smug. Put everything into Sal’s little boat because loading/unloading is easier from it. But the tide was way, way out. So, I had to do the Sally leap onto the slimiest of rocks and barely made it. As it was we were both completely ‘stretched out’ passing heavy goods and the seas were still enough to wash over her bow now and then. She was standing in 3 inches of water as she tried passing things.
The 30 pound box of dog food was what got her. She tried swinging it up to me but couldn’t. So she just held on to it as the 30 pounds took her in it’s Newtonian way – a body in motion will take it’s friend into the sea. Next second she was knee deep in water and rapidly slipping deeper. I grabbed her by her vest and she pulled herself back out and reclaimed the boat. I had reclaimed the dog food. No words were spoken. When we were done, she went back to the other dock. Then we carried a ton up to the existing fun cart and loaded it.
“So, how do you feel about the work-in-progress lower cart now?”
“Now? Now I think you should have done it last year, you lazy butt-head!”
“But, didn’t you think I was obsessing over it just last week? Didn’t you suggest I go to yoga instead of working on it?”
“I don’t remember. But, regardless, that lower fun cart is now top priority. Get on it!”