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FROM the LOG of OBSCURITY

2004.06.05
Letters from
John Zimmerman (Zimmy)
Newfoundland, Canada
Southern Coast

To: Bruce Franz
Salisbury MD

Dear Bruce,

Presently, I'm tied up on a wharf in Burnt Islands, a little east of Isle of Mort. It was my first cruise and try out sail to make sure everything works. It was a beautiful day on 6-02-04 in winding my way through the Burnt Islands. I was happy in my navigation when all of a sudden, there was a clank, and my engine stopped. I was in the channel between the rocks with a mild NW wind. I went to let out my anchor, but it was in 40 to 50 ft. of water, and by the time I had it out, I was on the island rocks on the east side of the channel. I got a call into Port- aux - Basque, and was talking to them, fending off my boat from the rocks with my boat hook, when I saw two fishermen motoring out in a skiff with a Honda four stroke 50 hp. They towed me and a fish net and a line wrapped around my prop back to the harbor. The 50hp. could hardly pull me and the net back.


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When we got tied up, I found out that a group of women working in the New Museum saw me heading for the rocks, and sent the two fishermen out for me. After several times of trying to get the line off the prop, the women and men from the Museum stood on the bow on the port side, about 10 people, and then the prop was exposed, and the line removed. The net was identified as the brother's of the Edgar Cain who towed me in. When I hit the buoy and net, I was going 2 knots in the middle of the channel heading towards a green buoy marker, and did not see the buoy at all. It was either under the water, or I just didn't see it. The brother who towed me in, and the net owner absolutely did not want any compensation for the damages done, and didn't seem upset that I ran into their buoy and net. Maybe there's another story to that.


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For the past three days, there were high gusts of wind. I was able to see my breath in the morning, and had to bundle up in the boat to keep warm. This afternoon, the Harbormaster, Jim Little, took me to his home, and his wife did my laundry, and I was able to take a shower. It got warm, and I was out on the porch helping Jim's relatives put siding on his house and drinking a beer.


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Two days ago, I was in the boat, and I heard a big thump in the cockpit. When I inspected, a big Golden Lab was in the cockpit and wasn't very excited about being there. He was either exploring my boat, slipped and fell in, or smelled the garbage in the cockpit containing leftover fish remains from the dinner last night. I finally got him to smell my fingers, and was able to get my arms under him to lift him approximately 5 feet above the boat. It was not an easy feat.


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The winds are slowing down, and after they do, and it's a nice day, I think I am going to Pettites, the town that has been resettled.


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After you left, I rented the car the next day, and stayed on the boat in Isle of Mort. When I woke up the next morning, there was a hard frost on the boat, and realized I can't consider beginning to work on it 'til 9 o'clock in the morning. I rented the rental apartment at Littleton's for one week, then went back on the boat. I replaced the batteries, their cables, the electric wires to the bilge pump, and lubricated the switch to the auto helm to get it working. The engine turned over.


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After doing repairs on the mast, and painting the bottom, I was ready to be put over. Then I was able to clean out the cabin of the dodger, self steering gear, boom, sails, and other menagerie. While at Isle of Mort, I walked the Harvey Trail, which is dedicated to George Harvey, his daughter Ann, and his son Tom. The trail is just a beautiful walk along the headlands and ocean. The Harvey family rescued 163 people from the passenger ship, "Dispatch", in 1828 using only an open skiff, and in 1938 they rescued 25 people from a cargo ship, the "Rankin". George Harvey received a medal from the British Admiralty and 5 Pounds. George insisted the medal be given to his daughter, Ann. There is now a Coast Guard vessel called, "Ann" in honor of Ann Harvey.


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Guess what, Barry from "Barry's Bar" invited me along with his brother-in-law to have moose meat for lunch. Today, I was given a canned jar of moose meat from Jim's wife. Ain't I the big cheese!


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And that's my world today. You can share this with anybody.

JOHN


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