Harbor Days EventBy Alexander Miller and P #680 "The Red Baron" (4ea 2ad 2ar)
On Port Alberni Harbour Days Peter & I had decided not to bring our boat, anticipating congestion on the dock. I arrived late and he was a little ahead of me. I was surprised to find a fiercely gusting wind with angry whitecaps. From the parking lot I could see the torn sail of a Duck (which was already out of the water,) whipping about & flying horizontally from the masthead. Another Duck was still afloat and fully rigged, in the calmer water behind the breakwater. By the time I got down to the dock the flying sail of the first boat had been somehow tamed and its mast removed.
I was able to lend a hand in getting the second boat out of the water and her sail furled. The boat was first hoisted onto the corner of the lower dock in the angle between the edge of the upper dock and the ramp leading up to it. The mast extended above the upper dock where David Whitworth was able to stand & get control of the boisterous sail & sprit, then start to lash them to the mast - working downward from the top and then passing the rope to some of us below him on the lower dock. Once we secured the rest of the sail he was able to lift the mast out from above.
Both boats were manhandled up the ramp and loaded onto their truck but I don't remember much about that. It was a pretty busy and exciting 20 minutes or so.
The only sightseers left seemed to be a few young folks who enjoyed being buffeted around in the wind. I don't know how many vessels had originally been at the dock. There was a Friendship sloop on the inside, and the big RCMP? SAR? inflatable as well but it soon left. I don't recall what was on the outside (Coastguard?) but the fire boat was cruising around firing its hose - giving its own windows a good wash when facing upwind - and there was a small police? inflatable showing off, charging about from one wavetop to the next in clouds of spray - like a Cirque de Soleil acrobat dashing around doing handsprings.
We all retired for welcome coffee and an informal meeting after a very invigorating episode.