A Brush with Henschel: Breaking the Silence

“I sketched and photographed amidst this cacophony for a couple of hours…”

Three fishermen were bustling around on the dock at Alder Bay as I throttled the POWERFUL 9.8 Mercury outboard (pushing my MASSIVE 14 foot skiff) down to “Dead Slow”. One was cleaning a large spring salmon while the other two took a passing interest in my boat. While I was tying up, one of them wandered over. Came the polite inquiry, “Have any luck?”

“Came back with a small one,” I replied.

Further inquiry, “What kind?”

I held up an 8 x 10 panel. “Watercolour!”

I had just been out to about as far as I dare to wander with my little outfit, The White Cliff Islets at the entrance to Knight Inlet. Striking out in the morning on an ocean that was a huge glass mirror, I was convinced it would be a serene day in an idyllic setting. Barrelling (as much as a 9.8 H.P. can barrel) across Johnstone strait, zipping through Weynton Passage, over Blackfish Sound and passing Bold Head on Swanson Island, I reached the little White Cliff gems to the tune of thousands of sea birds and not a few Sea Lions. I sketched and photographed amidst this cacophony for a couple of hours before a slight breeze came up, then made my way into the Broughton Archipelago to Twist Island where I pulled ashore and found a good vantage point to sketch Wedge Island with its imposing cliffs. I was now out of a wind that was becoming increasingly intrusive and making its presence known on Queen Charlotte Strait with some fairly impressive whitecaps. It was 2 p.m. and I decided to delay a return home because by early evening this familiar summer west wind usually had a habit of dying down.

The problem for small craft was that if it did not die down by then, you were in for an “all-nighter” which meant spending a rather uncomfortable night gazing into the darkness with no food in your belly.

By six o’clock I decided to make a break for it, avoiding the seas in Queen Charlotte Strait breaking against Bold Head in great white explosions, by circling Swanson Island.

I still had to cross Blackfish Sound but it shortened the journey just a little. Problem: the other shore on Hanson Island lay to the south and the waves in Blackfish came from Queen Charlotte to the west. This meant trying to manoeuvre through six foot waves that were hitting your boat from the starboard side.

At that point I had a déjà vu experience. This very same thing had happened to me a couple of years ago, so I knew exactly what to do: Get scared enough to go really slow, and white knuckle it all the way back!

I couldn’t believe how quiet it was at Alder Bay. The fisherman looked at the little painting and commented, “So, you painted this out there. Don’t you fish?”

“I used to fish and leave my paints at home” I responded, “but since I take my paints and leave my fishing rod at home, I’ve never been skunked!”

The painting shown here is from the sketches done that day.

Comments: email: gordon@cablerocket.com website: www.henschel.ca

Just Posted

Business for Sea Otter Eco Tours tripled in 2019

The Eco Tours season runs from May 1 to Oct. 1.

Community volleyball at PHSS

The program was formed for the community and in the hopes of getting youth off of the street.

Port McNeill Library release five-year plan

VIRL recently released its vision and operating plan for 2020 through to 2024/25.

Port Hardy awarded ‘Level 4’ recognition by Green Communities Committee

District awarded Level 4 recognition - ‘Achievement of Carbon Neutrality’.”

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Most Read