No More Pelican Man

Position: 36 39.19 S  137 38.66 E
At anchor off Kingscote
Wind: S, F3 –gentle breeze
Sea: calm  Swell: nil
Weather: mostly sunny, warm
Day’s run:  15 nm

Come 1600, Sylph made some shuddering moves indicating that she was almost free of her sandy bonds.  I did my best to help her regain her freedom.  I motored forward and backwards, I taughtened the anchor line, I shifted the rudder from port to starboard while motoring ahead wiggling her keel out of the sand keep but, in all likelihood, it was just a matter of time, waiting for the tide to come in sufficiently for her to float free. At 16.20 the kedge anchor was secured on board and we drifted out of Penneshaw boat harbour, otherwise known as Christmas Cove, unlikely to return anytime soon.

From Christmas Cove we motor sailed to anchor off American Beach in Eastern Cove, dropping the pick in three meters of water at 17.40. We enjoyed a peaceful night at anchor, a pizza and movie night, turning in late but full and content.

This morning we had a lazy start to the day - brunch and a dip over the side before weighing anchor, then enjoying a pleasant sail to Kingscote with a light northerly breeze that gradually veered into the east then south as the day wore on. At 17.13 we anchored off the town’s small fishing jetty, a convenient spot to park the dinghy on our way ashore. Our mission ashore was to do the laundry and some minor shopping. In doing these chores I was saddened to see a sign on the pelican feeding platform advising that the pelican feeding had ceased.  John, the pelican man, had been an institution in Kingscote for many years. The last time I was here was with my brother John in 2013. At that time John, the pelican man, was very much a part of the fabric of Kingscote but now it seems this vibrant man’s passion has been defeated by time. Perhaps I am approaching a stage in life, exacerbated by recent events, where I am noticing the end of things.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas.  My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me -
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine,  and opposed
Free hearts,  free foreheads  -  you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.

(From ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

My long term followers will perhaps notice that I have used this poem previously but, if there are any such followers, I trust they will acknowledge that it has indeed been a very long time since I last quoted from it.

All is well.