"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Acid Test

(We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this unimportant, utter nonsense. Regular programming will resume shortly. Maybe tomorrow...)

The last time I was supposed to go to Halibut Cove, a few weeks ago, ten foot seas on that end and a snarlin’ sideways blizzard on my end put an end to those plans. Yesterday was much nicer.

Driving down the bluff above Homer at the end of the road. That long, dark bar jutting into the water is the Homer Spit. That is where I will catch the mail boat to Halibut Cove.

When I left my home near Moose Pass, warm sunshine, a cobalt blue sky, and glistening white mountains promised a spectacular early spring day in the valley. The weather changed once I left the mountains, though, and I passed through fog, a misty rain, then scattered snow showers before reaching the end of the road in Homer.

The Stormbird tied up to its home dock in Halibut Cove, taken last summer.

At 2 p.m. sharp, Jay maneuvered the Stormbird away from the dock in the small boat harbor and moved it to the nearby commercial dock where fishing boats unload their catches.

The Stormbird took on a load of lumber and flotation foam for a new float, and a generator for someone else. Most of the homes in Halibut Cove have been built with the assistance of the Stormbird’s freighting service.

Also on board was the twice-weekly mail, a few passengers, and Clem, the patriarch of the Cove.

Clem, patriarch of Halibut Cove.

And, Tuesday’s dessert special from Lucinda, a two-layer Boston cream pie. Two layers of yellow cake, separated with chocolate custard. My absolute favorite dessert. I’m still on my New Year’s diet, so I resisted. Really. I have witnesses. In fact, I left the cabin and went up to the wheelhouse to get away from temptation.

Oh, my!

With the freight onboard, we left the harbor, passing by the rock breakwater and into open water. The steel-hulled vessel rolled through the swells of Kachemak Bay and almost an hour later, entered the protected waters of Halibut Cove. We slowed and passed the unique Saltry restaurant (closed for the winter when the population of the Cove often drops to less than two dozen, and tied up to Clem’s dock where the passengers and the mail off-loaded. I caught a ride on a skiff to my hosts’ dock. Waiting for me there was the electric golf cart so I could transfer my gear to the home I was house-sitting.

Jim and Jan were already gone when I reached their house. They had gone over to Homer that morning with the Stormbird. So, only Gerri was there to greet me when I arrived. She immediately set out to prove why I was really there, and it didn’t have anything at all to do with sitting a house.

I was there to open the door for Gerri. It didn’t matter what door, I was there to open it at her command. Just to make sure I remembered, she paused for a brief greeting, and then went to the front sliding door. I opened it.

She turned around and meowed to come in. I opened the door again. She meowed to go out. I opened the door.

She walked around to the side sliding door and meowed to come in. I opened that door.

Apparently satisfied that I correctly remembered my responsibilities and did not need remedial training, she jumped into her favorite chair, curled up in her bed and slept the rest of the afternoon and evening.

I had passed the acid test.


  1. Oh My, what beautiful landscape you live in. It is absolutely stunning! I'm glad you passed muster for Gerri and are settled in for a good visit. I feel like such a wuss - complaining about some measly Oregon rain and wind. I very much look forward to your posts and enjoy the history and pictures of your life.

  2. Your narrative makes me feel like I made the trip with you. Please check behind Gerri's chair to see if I'm there.

  3. Shaddy, just meow if you want in.