November 3rd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Robbie sinking

Today we set off to look at another of the islands, Quadra.  The plan was to catch the ferry across, pitch the tent, + stay the night there, + then visit Cortez, another island, the next day.   Anyway…a good start.  Robbie told us all to get up at 8.30, to catch the 9.00 ferry.  We ignored him, + slept on, eventually arising to fix a leisurely breakfast – fried eggs + toast.  So, by the time we were ready to go, it was getting on for 12.  The ferry ride was unexciting, + then on the island Robbie drove us out to a beach out there.  It was a nice place, and for just about the first time we had some sun.  Found a couple of small home-made rafts, + Robbie was doing quite well punting it… till he fell off.  Fortunately, Val got a picture.

We’d planned to camp there, but the camping site was shut, + Robbie didn’t fancy an illegal camp.  So, we drove off to another part of the island that Robbie thought would be good.  En route, the silencer dropped off Robbie’s car, so our resident mechanic, Brent, got out to fix it, while Val, Liz and I passed time with a Frisbee.  Out at the place we were heading for, it was really nice, an old deserted wharf.  We spent some time exploring around there, speculating wildly about buying land there + farming.  Again, tho’, no place to camp, so we decided to scrub plan A, + return to the motel, after going to a bar for a drink first.  Had one (Robbie and I played pool) then another, then discovered we had an hour to wait for ferry, so one more for the road.  On the way out, Liz slipped off a log + bashed her head, then a mile down the road, a flat tyre.  By the time we changed it, missed another ferry, so back to the pub for another pint.  Finally, made the next ferry – all pretty pissed + singing our heads off.  When we got back, Liz made some mushroom tea, then crashed out, swiftly followed by Val, and, later, Brent.  Robbie and I watched telly + played crib.  Finished the night watching a film, “Fuzz”.  Mushroom tea basically useless, + I drank loads.

Interesting to hear a mention of Cortez, and also early, idealistic plans to acquire some land and start farming. Unlike so many dreams (mine especially, but then it is my diary) this one was to come true. In a couple of years, Brent and Liz became part of a communal farm on Cortez, called Linnaea, and they have been there ever since. Brent has become an expert on permaculture, and for many years they ran residential courses there. Meanwhile, Liz became the island’s paramedic, and despite their relatively hippy-ish lifestyle, had to keep a freshly-ironed white shirt ready, in case she was called away in a helicopter, and had to present a professional appearance!

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