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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
"Pugwis" is the name of the 18-foot, 'Fraser Raider', double-hulled aluminum ocean-worthy boat that's now sitting in our front yard. It may be ugly, but it's a bloody tank! Come round for a peek at the newest addition to the family ...
The New Yard Ornament
Maternal grandparents visited Alex recently, bringing something with them - a boat named "Pugwis". "Pug-the-Tug" is an 18-foot Fraser Raider, built in the early 80's. It's a double-hulled, welded aluminum, shallow-veed 'landing craft'. It's substantially more sturdy than it is aesthetically pleasing.
Originally used as a work boat for hauling supplies and equipment to the 40-acre family property and cabin on the east-facing shore of Indian Arm, it's been some time since it's seen service. With rising moorage costs, it was relocated to dry storage, but with rising Vancouver-area land prices, even this was becoming expensive.
During the evening in which "Pugwis" arrived, we were treated to an oral history of the steadfast aluminum craft and the beauty of the property (which I've not yet visited). Lubricated with vintage grape nectar, we learned that the original name was going to be "Modnoc", a basackwards name that describes perfectly, a vessel which holds sea-fairing chaps.
For more information and pictures about "Pugwis", read on ...
A Win-Win for Everyone
As ugly as "Pugwis" might be, we're mighty proud to be granted the right to use her. The waters off Vancouver Island are teeming with prawns, crab, salmon, halibut and oysters. Many of our neighbors talk about fishing and crabbing and we're eager to expand our horizons! (Read: Eat some great seafood!!)
I'm not sure how the offer was made or who was the first to suggest it (It was probably Rachel's father, actually.) But it's one of those great 'win-win' situations that works out for everyone. The Pilley's win, because having the boat here means saving the monthly dry-dock storage fee. They also know that the boat is being looked after, cared for and utilized (and appreciated). Obviously, we win, because we have access to a solid, sturdy boat that's perfect for prawning, crabbing and fishing. (And, as an added bonus, Rachel's friend's husband works at a Marine Supply Shop, where they work on boat engines.)
Monolithic Yard Toy
It'll be a while before we get our feet wet, however. Part of the reason is that the 50-horse, two-cycle Mercury engine that powers the boat is in a state of disrepair. It needs to be examined, to determine if it's worth overhauling, or we'd be better off with a new (used) four-cycle engine. With offshore currents in the Straight, it's important to have a reliable engine.
It's also a heavy bugger, weighing in at nearly 3,000 pounds (boat, trailer + motor). While our Chrysler Grand Voyager is "rated" to tow up to 3,500 pounds, we're very leery about doing so, because of the (well established) transmission problems.
So, on the one hand, we're pleased as punch to have use of such a sea-worthy craft, but on the other, it's probably going to mean swapping out a vehicle for something that can actually TOW the bloody thing. In truth, with a 5-acre property, it's probably something that we'd have to do anyway, so it's not that big of a deal. (Being tapped out from buying the house/property, thought, means we're not relishing the outlay.)
The boat needs some TLC, but we're hoping to have it up and functional (with the ability to tow it) by the summer. We've still got to find prawn and crab traps, get fishing licenses and acquire our sea legs and some nautical knowledge. (This boy is from the California desert and although loves the ocean, hasn't spent much time on it.) It should prove to be interesting.
We'll keep you apprised of our progress and regale readers with any humorous tales (which, we're sure, there will be a few). If we're lucky, we'll be catching our own prawns, crabs and halibut by next autumn. And if you come up for a visit, prepare yourself - you *might* get wet!!