Blossoms and Boats

Red Dogwood in full glory.

Well, the exuberant celebration of spring blossoms is winding down. I’ll post a couple of Dogwood flower photos,.They’re now all gone from the trees. We’re into the black cottonwood, or alder as they’re commonly known here, season of blowing seeds.

Cottonwood seeds ready for launch.
A drift of Cottonwood seeds. Only one in a million needs to take root.
Until the next rain, the stuff will be everywhere. Doesn’t this look like a warm and fuzzy creature?

It’s clear why they’re called cottonwood. The Scotch broom is in its spring bloom, much to the misery of allergy suffers. There will be a second flowering in late summer, but for now we’ll just worry about what we’ve got on our plate. Already, there is a smell of smoke in the air which heralds forest fire season. that’s just too darned early.

Standard White Dogwood blossom, British Columbia’s floral emblem
Dogwoods downtown
Apple blossoms, just to help the perfume in the air.
Scotch Broom, an invasive species that tortures some allergy sufferers. I think the flowers are beautiful.

Before I go further I should mention a really awesome shop I visited up in Courtenay. A good kayak store is hard to come by but Comox Valley Kayaks have been in business for many years, and for good reason. I’d never stopped in before but was looking for a couple of items I could not find anywhere in Nanaimo. Even without my kayak along they fitted me out with the perfect items and at a fair price. The service was great, the staff knowledgeable and friendly (Even the lovely black German Shepherd) and the inventory quite impressive. I’m recommending them because I am that impressed. They only offer what is reasonable to expect, and all too rare it seems. That makes it commendable.

The Ladysmith Maritime Society’s own wooden boat fleet. Lots of varnish, elbow grease and love.
The ‘Ontario’ the way we used to run our navy.
The grates of wrath. No place for bare toes.
Morning calm, head of the parade is ‘Herself’
Now where’d I leave my mug?
Foredeck detail of a 1954 Chris Craft
Hit me
What is there to say?
The name says it all
A stack full of pipes
A gleam in her eye
The office

There was a wooden boat gathering in the Ladysmith Maritime Marina last weekend where ‘Seafire’ is moored. I walked the docks early on Sunday morning before many other folks were up and about. My camera whirred. Now these folks are gone home to more varnishing and painting and I’m left here praying for some cloud cover to do my own painting out of the direct sunlight. So without any social comment (for a change) I’ll simply post my photos and hope you enjoy them. By the way, the mystery about the little aluminum sailboat in the last blog has been resolved.

That little tin sailboat again. There were over 1400 of these sold. Where are they now?

Lou, one of my faithful readers sent me information which reveal the boat was sold by Aerocraft Petrel Sailboats in the US. The boat was designed by the famous Philip Rhodes and built by Alcan Limited right here in Canada. Go figure huh? One photo I found shows a boat with a Transport Canada approval that indicates it was also sold by Eaton Viking. Cool! Thanks for the help Lou.

‘Herself’ and nothing but.

If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.” …Bob Marley

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor / writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lives aboard 'Seafire' the boat he is refitting to go voyaging, exploring new horizons both inner and outer. This blog is about that voyage and the preparations for it. In spite of the odds against it, the plan is to sail away this fall and lay a course southward. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact him at

7 thoughts on “Blossoms and Boats”

  1. Hi Fred – I love that pic of the Petrel – I used to teach at Pier Four Sailing School in Toronto where we had a fleet of Alcan-built Petrels. Every couple of years we’d have to drill out the floor rivets and replace the floatation bats hidden underneath. We’d also sand them down and repaint them with Tremclad rust paint every season.

    [Image result for petrel sailboat]

    They were tough buggers too – during one class one of our boats was hit by a float plane on a take-off run – the mast and sails came right off – everyone was uninjured and hull stayed afloat. The aircraft sustained thousands of $ in damages and the pilot lost her license. We repaired the boat and put it back in the fleet.

    I didn’t know it at the time, but one of the other young instructors working with me on these filthy projects would become my wife in 1990. We’re still together, sailing the BC coast when we can, almost 3 decades later.

    Thanks for the great photos and words as usual. You help me make it through some days when I’m working in Calgary and longing for the sea.

    Rob Keith

    Assistant Principal
    Branton School
    403-777-7440 ex. 2223

    The content of this email & any attachments are confidential & intended for the named recipient only. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately, delete the email, do not copy or disclose to anyone. This communication is intended for the use of the recipient to which it is addressed, and may contain confidential, personal, and or privileged information. Please contact us immediately if you are not the intended recipient of this communication, and do not copy, distribute, or take action relying on it. Any communication received in error, or subsequent reply, should be deleted or destroyed.

  2. Well, you seems to have had some great days along the docks. There is an annual Colin Archer gathering in Risør, Norway. Hundreds of “Sjöas” but build in Norwegian wood. You would enjoy that too. Pär Pär DomeijYouTube / paer domeij +46702738728

    Den tisdag, 29 maj 2018 7:30 skrev seafireblog :

    #yiv8779745487 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8779745487 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8779745487 a.yiv8779745487primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8779745487 a.yiv8779745487primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8779745487 a.yiv8779745487primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8779745487 a.yiv8779745487primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8779745487 | Fred Bailey posted: “Well, the exuberant celebration of spring blossoms is winding down. I’ll post a couple of Dogwood flower photos,.They’re now all gone from the trees. We’re into the black cottonwood, or alder as they’re commonly known here, season of blowing seeds.” | |

  3. Fred – what a nice tale you tell. I also love the bountiful spring blossoms which herald the start of Spring and are at the whim of the weather … one stiff wind and they are scattered here, there and everywhere.

    The boat portion of your post was interesting as well. I like the Bob Marley quote – I often finish off my posts with a fitting quote as well.

  4. We are now seeing a few great classic wooden boats as we get closer to Annapolis. In Norfolk we’re seeing all the ships of war! Impressive but not nearly as pretty as the boats in your pics. Thx

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: