Yup, the last long weekend was a busy weekend. About 40 youth and associated mentors heading out and away for a few days of camping, fishing, trail-building, archery and anything else that seemed like a good outdoor idea.
We set off in two vessels, one a speedy affair with room for nine, and the other a larger, more sedate boat with room for all the gear and space to spread out above and below. Going out, I was in the smaller boat, coming back, I traveled in the larger. Both were fun, with the voyage out being busier. As the larger vessel was cruising slowly and steadily toward our destination, the smaller boat zipped about, looking for favourite (previously successful) spots to fish, and to pick up and drop prawn and crab traps.
Two traps contained many prawns, and these were a mainstay for an almost midnight feast later that day. We ended up eating so late because the zodiac and tin boat transfer from the tiny offshore dock to the beach near base camp took quite a few journeys. All that gear and all that youth – thank goodness for young people when it comes to pitching tents and stowing gear in the rain and near dark.
The rods and reels proved far less successful over the weekend, with very little success in hooking a fish. A large sea cucumber got a bit of a surprise and was no doubt mightily relieved to be returned to the deep. The prawn and crab traps did not deliver either. Oh well.
The rain fell from the moment we left Friday afternoon to just before dawn on Saturday, when the skies cleared and warm sunshine was an almost constant companion through Saturday and Sunday. A fair number of mosquitoes were also near constant companions, but not unbearably so.
The weekend was visibly bear-free, aside from frequent scat sightings, and some splashing in the early hours from across the narrow channel. Nothing to be alarmed about. I alarmed a bald eagle that was perched atop an old stump at the point of the spit – I think it may have been my early morning pee break that startled her, causing her to fly off somewhat sooner than she may have been planning. A magnificent sight (the eagle, not me peeing…)
The dry and near windless days allowed for perfect archery conditions, and it was good to see the young ones honing their technique and improving their accuracy. They were able to display their skills to a group of ten elders who visited for the day on Sunday.
Prior to the arrival of the elders, much effort was put into further improving the trail through the forest from the beach to the camp. And you’ve never seen a tidier base camp than how it looked for that afternoon – when grandmothers and grandfathers visit, it had better look right!
When the elders arrived on the beach, they were welcomed with a song sung by a young warrior. His voice was strong and steady, and his song echoed back from the low mountains surrounding the inlet. A memorable moment from a trip with many fine moments.
We awoke on Monday to low cloud and a threat of rain. After the warmth of the previous two days, it was something of a relief to be able to pack up and shift all the gear back to the beach and on to the boats in cool conditions. And would you believe it, once we cleared the inlet and headed out into wider waters, the clouds fell behind us and we sailed under blue skies. A certain OldPlaidCamper might have dozed off up on deck, lulled to sleep and pleasantly tired after a very good long weekend.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
10 thoughts on “Boats, bows, rods, reels and traps”
To hear about the elders coming and the younger person singing to them, warmed my heart and of course I smiled about the camp being clean for when the grandparents come. I love the shapes of the land as seen from the boat. Well, not perfect conditions this weekend for getting out birding but am happy for the rain. the earth needs to have her thirst quenched and maybe it will slow down that forest fire in the north.
Thanks, Jane! Seeing young people step up and take responsibility and care is about as good as it gets – hope in what can sometimes seem miserable times.
I certainly hope you have the rain the North desperately needs…
Glad you drew distinctions in magnificence there, especially in the early morning startled eagle scene. But magnificence stands out boldly from this weekend experience: from elder watching to youthful outdoor labor, from bear (scat) splashing to a soulful warrior song in splendid country. Great work, PC, and thank you for sharing it.
Thanks, Walt! The eagle got an apology…
The inter generational interactions were a delight to see, and cause for hope when it sometimes seems in short supply.
I hope your long weekend is going well!
Awesome, Adam! I’ve started “working” with the youth again (helping coach my high school alma mater’s basketball team) and a couple of things strike me immediately: How thirsty they are for instruction that doesn’t come from their parents, and how Western cultures generally lack in the traditional child-rearing avenues sans the commercial element, be it cliche (“It takes a village.”) to the ancestral (“aunties” and “uncles” pitching in). Regardless, it’s an often frustrating yet rewarding undertaking. Good on you, OPC!
Thanks, Bob! Yes, being involved with youth is a mix of frustration and delight, but delight invariably wins out as the village, aunts, uncles and associated others step in to provide what young people often need. It’s more complicated than time, care and love, but that’s a good place to start.
I hope you’re having fun with coaching the basketball, and manage to keep up with the pace – certainly my challenge…
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!
There was so much to smile at in this post from that first beautiful photo to the two fisherman bundled up and being ignored by the fish, eagle sightings and the wonderful scenes you described about the base camp and the song sung by a young warrior. It sounds that these outings have been a fantastic experience for you and the youth in the community. Loved the photos and the story and hope you’re enjoying the weekend!
Thank you! There was much to smile about the entire weekend. Given the chance, young people surprise and delight, and are more than capable of rising to challenges – I struggle to keep up!
I hope you’re having an excellent long weekend!
LikeLiked by 1 person
You hinted at a big upcoming weekend a few weeks ago, and the suspense was great, and so was this post, pc. You did a great job writing this, including the big picture along with some of the telling details. All along the way the spirit of nature and all it offers in terms of weather and wildlife was organic and free-flowing in your narrative. I was so peacefully lulled into the event, that when we got to the part about cleaning up the site, getting ready for the elders, and the warrior’s strong and steady song echoing in the woods, I broke into tears, for the sweetness of it all. It is so marvelous that these young folks have this opportunity, and a tip of the hat to you for the caring and guidance you give them.
I’m so happy you enjoyed this one, Jet. I admit to having a lump in my throat when the song was being sung, seeing and hearing traditions and elders receiving respect.
This trip was quite ambitious, what with combining youth and mentors from three smallish nations and all the associated planning and manoeuvring to get everyone together. These days, the different nations are like sister and brother to each other, and there’s tremendous spirit and energy when they get together. I know I’m lucky to have a part in what goes on, and could never have imagined I’d get to be where we are right now.
Thank you for your lovely comment, it’s very much appreciated!
LikeLiked by 1 person