Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's a Chilly Rain

So I’m sitting here at the pc reviewing my summer…looking at photos of spending time in Nova Scotia. Trying to review in my mind and with pictures, of where I paddled, sailed and canoed…what better way to spend a rainy morning on the eve of Fall?

I’m looking at photos and making notes, as I didn’t write down every place I paddled each time, but so far the count is; 40 trips ON THE WATER…none in the water, but floating with some type of boat. Most were in a Kayak, some canoeing in the spring, 5 sails in the Blue Jay and 2 sails on a Compact 19.

Exploring the Door

September 20th To the MO Bridge
September 10th Detroit Island
September 9th North Bay
September 7th Chambers Island
September 2nd Bay View Bridge to Ship Canal
Aug 28th Sail Peanut to Sturgeon Bay Quarry

Exploring Nova Scotia
Aug 9th Kayak Toddy Pond, ME
Aug 5th Kayak McNutts Island, NS
Aug 4th Kayak Shelburne Harbor, NS
Aug 1st Kayak Blue Rocks, NS
July 31st Kayak Hubbard’s Harbor, NS
July 31st Kayak Lower Prospect, NS
July 29th Kayak Tancook Islands, NS
July 27th Kayak Graves Island, NS
July 25th Kayak Meisners Beach, NS

Around the Door

July 11th Sail Peanut to Quarry
July 9th Sail to Green Island
July 7th Kayak to the Sturgeon BayYacht Harbor
July 3rd Mag and Dad sail around Dunlap’s Reef
July 3rd Kayak to White Fish Dunes
July 1st Sail in Sawyer Harbor
June 30 Kayak Sawyer Harbor
June 28th Kayak to Strawberry Islands
June 26th Kayak, Tennison Bay to Horseshoe Island and Eagle Bluff
June 25th Sail Sawyer Harbor
June 22nd Kayak to Big Creek from Sunset park
June 19th Sail Sawyer Harbor
June 18th Kayak in Sturgeon Bay
June 16th Kayak in Sturgeon Bay
June 14 Sail in Sturgeon Bay
June 13th Kayak in Sturgeon Bay
June 11th Kayak up Bay Shore Drive
June 9th Kayak in Sturgeon Bay
May 30th Kayak SB
May 25th Kayak Sturgeon Bay
May 20th Canoe Europe Lake
May 12th Geisel Creek Canoe
April 12th Geisel Creek-Canoe
April 7th Geisel Creek-Canoe
March 21st Geisel Creek-Canoe

It was better year than I thought…and it is not over.
Door County, WI is a wonderful place to live.

Maybe as the days become cooler, I’ll share some trips…I was too busy playing all summer to sit inside on a computer.

I moved up here in 1976 from the Chicago area to Play Outside. Too stuffy and crowded down there. I Worked OUTSIDE in the shipyards as a Ship-fitter until 1991. That was Dirty, Rough, Dangerous, Demanding, Fun, Exciting. I learned a lot there about problem solving as everything had to be custom fit. CAD was in its infancy and not that accurate…Working there was great in the fact that you received an assignment from the supervisor, if you did well, you were left alone and just did the job, the less questions you asked the boss, the more he liked it…just do the job and get another one. So that was great, I had a lot of freedom, it was just a dirty, dangerous, place…if you didn’t pay attention you’d get hurt. Burnt, hit by some piece of metal, grinding dust and steel shavings in the eyes, having to dodge have a pad eye you were pulling on with a jack because your partner didn't put enough weld on it, fall into a hole, cut by a tool. Not getting hurt was a combination of working smart and just staying lucky.  So now this story is wandering away from the water, but not far, the shipyard is ON THE WATER. I’m wandering because last week I saw a couple friends, at one time or another we were partnered in the shipyard…we were telling stories, practicing for the old man’s “Liars Bench”…that in ten years we’ll be on…sitting downtown, reminiscing, exaggerating our exciting personal histories.

Just to illustrate some of the danger is a story Rick told. There were several old tankers that plied the Great Lakes, the Amoco Indiana and the Amoco Illinois. I had a scare on the Illinois while walking in a dark passageway (made more dark as I had just been out in the bright sun)…I stepped into the passageway and my right leg found an open manhole that led to one of the water ballast tanks…it scared the *%& out of me as I dropped to my crotch when the one leg went down, wondering how far I was going! I can still remember that feeling.  There were a few scrapes down my leg from the metal studs the cover was bolted down to.  I was just little excited after that…back to work.
Anyway one of the boats was being scrapped and Rick was spending his days and weeks, burning the boat apart with a cutting torch. Day after Day…burning steel, monotonous.... All the fluids were supposed to have been drained from the piping and tanks. This day he had cut off a section of a pipe, and then went further down the pipe to cut off another length. When his flame blew into the pipe, it ignited a bubble of gasoline still inside, which exploded out the end of the pipe and in a fiery mass splashed back toward him off a steel bulkhead, covering him in burning gasoline. Rick thought he was literally going to be toast, but because everyday he was burning with a torch on lead painted steel, Rick was wearing a full face burning shield, respirator, full leathers, helmet, and gloves. That gas burned only on the surface of his leathers and melted the face shield down onto his skin, so he only received a few burns around the edge of his face…lucky. After he slapped it all out, he could not believe only his face was hot. Someone on the other side of the boat saw what happened and called the rescue squad, but Rick had already left by the time they were on the boat. Rick went down to the nurse’s office. She was preparing for a burn victim as he walked in…she told him they were getting ready for this guy who was badly burned and he would have to wait…Rick said that was me, I need some ice on my face…one lucky man he was and shortly back to work he went. That’s the only way to be…if ya worried all the time you couldn’t work there.

Enough sitting, I have to go play…the rain is stopping.

No comments:

Post a Comment