the Discovery Islands the Inside Passage

Shoal Bay, East Thurlow Island

Saturday, June 25, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

The view from Shoal Bay up Phillips Arm.

The day started off disappointingly with overcast skies and a few showers but improved late in the afternoon.  I didn't feel well, so I stayed on the boat and put together a list of possible anchorages and stops for our trip north to Fitz Hugh Sound while David went to the pub to play the guitar.  He came to pick Sally and me up around 4:00 and we all went in to wait for Mark and company (who turned the corner sometime after five) to arrive from Campbell River.

Mark got married over the winter to his girlfriend, Cynthia, who seems really nice.  They have a dog, Fanny – a playful Doberman.  And Cynthia's daughter, Georgia, is visiting from Los Angeles for a few days.  We said our hellos with hugs all around and chatted with Mark for a bit as he scrambled around putting things away.   This is when we learned about a “barber's chair” – something every local knows about . . . certainly every local with a chainsaw.

An Alder tree was leaning over and blocking the new drive to the site of his future home, so he went to remove it one day in March.   He stood over the trunk area and cut.  That's the last thing he clearly remembers.  What happened is all of the energy stored in the leaning tree was released when he made the cut and it came up (trunk-wise, I believe) whacking him in the head and scalping him in the process.  Literally.  And what remained of the tree trunk, because of the way it split, resembled a barber's chair – as they do.

Cynthia was in the laundry room when he came down from the hill covered in blood.  She called 911 and, forty minutes later, a helicopter arrived and took him to the brain trauma unit in Victoria.  Mark, being Mark,was sitting on the deck of the pub (presumably in la-la land) and asked the paramedics what they were doing there: he hadn't a clue that, just underneath the towel on his head, was an open scalp.

In as little time as it took his brother, Brad, to drive down from Campbell River, Mark was walking out of the hospital as a VERY lucky man. Thousands of others haven't been as fortunate over the years. And you'd be hard pressed to find a logger today who would have touched that tree directly – it's that dangerous. You can clearly see the scarring, from just above his left eye to the back of head,proving the point.

Speaking of loggers...a boatload of sixteen arrived around 8 o'clock  from a nearby camp in search of fun and alcohol on a Saturday night; the camps are dry, so they have no other choice than to hit the local bays when in need of a beer.  Fortunately David was just finishing packing up his guitar and we left shortly afterwards to go home for dinner, but they stayed until almost 11:00 pm and drank close to CA$700 in beers and shots.  From the boat, it sounded like they were having a really good time, one we were happy to miss.

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