Sleepless in Ladysmith

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

‘Seafire’ in the night. The bright light is an underwater led I installed on the boom gallows to light the cockpit. The boat is as snug and cosy inside as she looks.

It is one of those sleepless nights when things are heaped up and buzzing relentlessly in my head. There is a program on the idiot box about “Micromorts.” You look it up! I’m working from notes made in the past few days and will leave this blog’s text with just these two paragraphs. There are only so many times I can write about being alone in the boat at anchor in the dark and the pouring rain. And yet here I am once again. There is no internet in the sky here and so no phone or any of the other Cyber amenities we all take for-granted. I must like it, I keep doing it. I am not really a hermit, I’d love some company on the boat, but that’s the way it is. Grumpy old fart that I can be, I don’t mind my own presence and if I’m anchored far enough from shore I can even try singing without making dogs howl or babies scream. Actually I’m on my way to Steveston, a famous fishing community a short way upstream from the mouth of the mighty Fraser River. A local fisherman there has put together a small duplicate of the Fisher Poet’s Gathering in Astoria Oregon which I attend every year as one of the many performers. So I’m off to a reading gig in the old Steveston Cannery which is now a museum. It will be fun and I look forward to meeting many friends, both old and new.

Meanwhile, in Ladysmith, the filming goes on for a few more days. Here is a quick photo essay on that Hollywood event. It is really hard to show the impact, scope and complexity of this endeavour in a small community, but I’m sure folks will have something to talk about all winter. Today, on the main street, there were two cars, complete with Montana license plates, sitting neatly on their roofs side by side, each neatly parked in their own spot. Of, course I was there without even my mobile phone to grab a photo. I am amazed at the massive crew. They all work like gears in a well-oiled machine, efficiently and with great attention to minute detail. It is done without the fumbling and waste we are used to seeing. I hope our municipal works crews have taken notes. Yeah right!

It began innocently enough with a few workers and some work vehicles. Soon the entire downtown with film-making equipment, scores of security people. The town was soon overwhelmed.
WOT!? We’ve got a UPS office! Reality and fantasy merge right down the the mailboxes..
Next door, the Wigwam Cafe, our mainstreet Chinese eatery has become the ubiquitous small town diner of Green Hill, Montana.
Our mainstreet pharmacy has become a little grocery store.
Remember these?
The local art store transformed. Not the Montana license plate on the vehicles in the foreground.
An old building on main street, currently being renovated, has become a sidewalk restaurant. Dang, these Amuricans sure eat a lot!
Generators in the alley. The sets require massive amounts of electricity. These units are incredibly quiet.
“Cain’tcha read? Huh? Git yer pitchins offa our land! The massive movie crews set up camp wherever they could. This is in the boat ramp parking lot.
Third dressing room on the left!
Now THAT’S an RV!
Actually, would you believe mobile washrooms?
The filming goes on into the night. These lofty manlifts provide dazzling arrays of lighting. It must be a long way to the washroom when you’re perched up there for hours! The hundreds of folks in the jet in the upper left corner are thinking of everything except making movies…unless it is a load of extras!
While the movie-making happens on main street, traffic has to find a way along the alleys. This wonderful old building could be a film set itself. It is reputed to once have been a brothel.
Bleary-eyed, he sat at his writer’s desk aboard his boat late into the night.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”…Maya Angelou

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

3 thoughts on “Sleepless in Ladysmith”

  1. I’m glad to see Ladysmith have a boost after summer, though I get how disruptive a film crew can be! Do you know which movie is being filmed there?

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