Saturday 26 December 2009

"Lively water"

One of the most interesting  boats in the Shipyard School Raid in British Columbia this year was Bus Bailey, a traditional handliner built in the 1930s to fish for salmon around the islands off Vancouver. Owner Colin Masson won a leg of the Raid under oars alone, and he reveals the secret in his new blog, Colin's Rowing and Sailing Stories.
It's very simple - he rows a lot. In the summer he commutes from Gabriola Island to his work at the Pacific Biological Station in Departure Bay.
Colin's first post is a long one but well worth reading right through. He covers his childhood exploring his local bay with his kid brother, the joys of fishing when he was finally deemed experienced enough to venture out of the bay, how Bus Bailey came into his possession, the history of handlining and the types of water he experiences:
Waves and wind, or the lack of them, dominate the daily conditions. As with snow to the Inuit, they come to me in a myriad of forms and shapes, many of which I’ve come to describe with words and names of my own. Often in the early morning, the waves are short, slurppy and choppy as the north-west wind resists the tide moving along Gabriola’s exposed shore. Sometimes they make for what I call “lively water,” with following waves on the starboard quarter - slightly countered from a pressing south-east breeze. Just occasionally, there is a flat calm, with no discernable movement showing on the slick and glimmering surface, save the inevitable wash from a distant boat or a ghosting zepher-breath.

I like the lively water best as I slowly work my body and the Bus into an intuitive all-connected movement through the water. It’s the ‘magic zone’ that I search for. The one that has me smiling – even breaking out in laughter between gasps for air.
 It's great stuff.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up to this wonderful post. It might be worth adding plans for these boats in carvel and S&T are available from Larry Westlake. The Brightside design,in S&T from just 3 sheets of 6mm ply, are very detailed.


Larry Westlake said...

I saw that you have some information and links about Colin Masson's "Bus Bailey" Handliner posted. RFP followers may be interested to know that plans for the "Bus Bailey" are now available.