Out from Under

Image: Towing the Awen out from under the clouds

We’ve been preparing for this moment since December. Finally, we are underway. Everything has been packed. Our two boats, the Moody Blue and the Awen are ready to go. Our newest “vessel”, the Kipper’s Folly, a 21′ herring skiff (bought to be a landing craft at our new home), is loaded with plants and looks like a floating greenhouse.

In the early morning light, I ease the Awen out of Rushbrook floats in Prince Rupert. I am still very new at this, so I’m distinctly uncomfortable running our beautiful sailboat, but I know that Ken must bring the Moody Blue out of the dock behind me. I idle the Awen quietly just off the breakwater, waiting for the Moody Blue to catch up to us. The morning is relatively clear of fog – the first decent morning in about two weeks. Typical of Prince Rupert, our “sunny” weather has become days of fog, with a clear break for about an hour or two in the afternoon.

The Moody Blue has pulled up alongside the Awen now. Ken tosses me the tow rope for the Kipper’s Folly, which he has towed out behind the Moody Blue, and I quickly tie it to the Awen’s stern while Ken rafts the Moody Blue up to the Awen. Although it takes some doing (the Kipper tangles in its tow line and the Awen breaks the tow line we were using for her, and needs to have a stronger tow line set up), we eventually got the boats organized for the trip down south. In the lead, our faithful (and powerful) old Moody Blue with a Gardner engine gutsy enough to tow the fleet. Then second in line is the Awen, full of bounce and vigour, and constantly threatening to snap her tow line. Finally, just casually floating along is the Kipper’s Folly, disguised as a small floating island under plastic. What a fleet we make! Ken compared us to the “rag-tag fleet” from the old Battlestar Galactica TV series.

We are travelling slowly southward. We figure the trip will take us 8 to 10 days to complete. During the day, we ride in the Moody Blue as she tows the fleet. At night, we anchor up and raft the 3 boats together, sleeping aboard the Awen, which will be our home until we get a cabin built on our new property. When we started the journey, the sky was typical Prnce Rupert grey, but gradually on the second day of our trip, the clouds began the break up, and we started seeing blue sky ahead. It is a strange moment – blue sky ahead, grey sky behind. We feel as though we are pulling out from under … rainy weather, our old lives, the crazy industrialization that is taking over the north. It’s like a breath of fresh air … revitalizing!