Three Hundred

Skyfish. This is one of the favourites in my archives. Little fish in the sky, just another sign of the times.
Deeper in the heart of Dogpatch. Two boats which sunk in winter remain where they went down. For a better look, come back at a lower tide. Unfortunately few of these folks are mariners who know or care how to maintain a boat and that the price of freedom is responsibility. They acquire these old boats as cheap housing and then just move on when the dream goes bad. Someone else has to pay.

This is blog 300. Thank you, dear readers for all your support. I’ll be the first to confess that I’ve written and photographed all of these blogs primarily for selfish reasons. It has helped me retain the shreds of my sanity and ,at times, given me a sense of purpose. I hope in that affirmation of our humaness, both ways, there has been a light grasp on saneness for you too; especially in the last few months. I know I’ve bemused, amused and irritated folks, some have been downright pissed off with me. That has all been intentional. The pot must be stirred to prevent the stew from burning.  I want to do my small part in provoking people to ask questions. It’s good to know folks actually read my material and find any sort of stimulation. I’d love to share a hug and and a mug with each of you. Problem is, I’m too clumsy to use a mug with a six-foot handle.

Sidetrack. While waiting for some work to be completed I strolled along a section of rail line new to me. Still within Nanaimo City limits it was amazing to find a place of such serenity in the midst of industrial parks.
A symbol of the times. Locked. Closed. Go home.

I spent most of my younger years cowering in massive insecurity, even afraid of my own shadow and of what other people thought. Then one day I’d had enough. Something or someone tinkled on my head (An epiphany / hepissedonme?) and woke me up to the reality that I didn’t want any part of normal. What I saw in my world bored and even disgusted me. Normal? Who me? Whichever illusion of normal there was held little appeal for me. This is a poem I’ve had framed on the bulkhead of every boat I’ve owned. They are the words of Jean Gau, a man who sailed alone around the world twice. So far as I know, these four lines are the only creative writing he ever did.

They did not understand the dream

which charmed the seas of his voyage

since it was not the same lie

taught in their village.”

To me it means that if what you do with your life only makes sense to you don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. In fact, I find that if I am going with the flow, and am receiving no challenges from the status quo, I’m doing something wrong. I prefer to drink upstream of the herd. I’ve learned to sit patiently while everyone else wrestles to get off of the plane. I’ve finally achieved the art of driving sensibly which usually gets you to the next stop light or gas station where all those who roared past you sit waiting. There is also merit is letting others work the point and discover the radar traps! Haar!

Tragic beauty. This baby rabbit, recently dead, seemed especially poignant. I wonder what has happened to me,  this old hunter who was once unmoved at the demise of other creatures. Now I have an increasing difficulty seeing myself as a superior being to any other species. I am part of an alien organism which just can’t fit in, even among each other.

At the moment I’m as confused as everyone else with all the things that are right and wrong all at the same moment, even within the same edict as it is uttered by yet another bureaucrat or elected official. With both Canada and the US being shepherded with their respective Mr. T I am completely flummoxed by what they say. Accountability is no longer a political virtue.  A comedian, Steven Wright says “I took a lie detector test last week…No I didn’t.”

Where the hell is Stockett BC? Turns out to be on the southern edge of Nanaimo. Now you know.

Today I found myself within the hell of a Costco store. I hate box stores at the best of times because they bring out the worst in people. Give them a reason to show up in masks and it gets very interesting. I needed to make an inquiry at the service counter and arrived to find the staff there stifling laughter behind their Covid masks. An elderly gentlemen was attempting to return a half-package of toilet rolls for a refund and was furious that he was being refused. I can’t imagine the thinking that would prompt someone to decide he purchased faulty dunny rolls after using half a sack. A little later I was in a Canadian Tire store and overheard a conversation between two cashiers about odd customer behaviour. I threw in my anecdote about the toilet paper geezer and drew a poker face. The lady said, “That’s nothing. Two days ago we had someone try to return a porta-potti, after they’d used it!” I cannot think of anything polite to say.

Jack’s new pee-mail station. Workers told me they built these to prevent horses from accessing and damaging trails. Yeah right! Lift your leg and hit send.
You will conform! A sign post describes all that is forbidden beside pee-mail station 49. I am completely confounded by people who go to the bother of cleaning up after their dog then leave the bag hanging in a tree like the one on the right. WOT? It WAS a lovely day.
There’s a big wind-up key in the back where it says TONKA. What a motorhome I could build out of this beauty, as uneconomical as it must be. I can see the desert in the background. Verily, verily thou shall not covet another’s rig.
Fresh shoots from the old root. An ancient Arbutus stump sends out new growth. I wonder at the determination of life in all its many forms no what the adversity.

On that note Jack and I are heading into the backwoods for a few days. The world in all its madness will get along just fine without us and we without it. Perhaps things won’t seem so weird when we get back. May the rain gods be compassionate.

Psychedelic Rose. I’ll find the name of these exotic blooms but for the moment I like their mystery.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”— Lao-Tze

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

4 thoughts on “Three Hundred”

  1. Hi Fred, Congratulation on your blog 300. Not having been a long time reader it has been mostly enjoyable. When I get a chance and time it opens your earlier blogs to be reviewed. Mostly, I enjoy your photography skills and eye for the unique and odd subject opportunity. Look forward to the next 300 👍 (stay safe)

  2. Hi Fred, actually I think your “rose” is a cornflower, although I prefer to call it “Love in the Mist”. We have them in our yard in Shearwater. Keep the blogs coming, always enjoy them and love Jack.
    Stay well,
    Karen Kristensen
    Can you send me the name of your favorite radio station in the desert please?

    1. You are dead right on my flower, just my weird sense of humour. KGFN, 89.1 Radio Goldfield Nevada. Googling any of those should get you there.

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