Soon I begin to get cold and realize that I need to move around to keep myself warm. Deciding that I won’t go far, I move my bags so they are not in plain site, even though I doubt this is the kind of place where I need to worry, and start to walk further down the pier. After watching the gulls for a while swoop and holler I walk back towards the bus stop. As I walk I notice something sticking out of the water moving, almost waving at me. Is that a flipper of something? A whale?
I walk quicker, down to where a woman is also watching the water, right where I saw that strange shape flap at me. As I get closer I see that indeed there is something. A whole bunch of them too! They are seals, not more then ten feet from the dock, floating lazily all together, as if dozing the way one might see a pile of puppies piled on top of one another.
I ask the woman who is watching, what are they doing? She says they are just playing, relaxing. And I guess they are. As I watch a few of them leave the group, do a somersault or two, and return. Another sticks it’s tail in the air as if doing a handstand. And one starts talking to us quite emphatically. Ahh, so I was hearing seals earlier.
The woman tells me that there was a herring run here just a few days ago and so all the seagulls and probably these seals are fat and content with herring full bellies. Perhaps they are lazing around as they digest their big meal.
I ask her if she’s headed to Lasqueti and she says that yes, indeed she is and that the ferry should be here any minute. “But it’s only five,” I say. “I thought it comes at five thirty.” She explains that it comes at five and then we load everything on and then it leaves as five thirty. I thank her for this information and head up to the little bus stop like shelter to grab my bags.
I put my big pack on one knee, one arm in one strap, and then the next arm through the next strap. My school pack goes on the front like a baby, and I start walking down, back to where the seals are . Suddenly my ankle rolls, something I could usually regain my balance from quickly, but with my heavy pack on I go down. The sharp metal of the ramp that is meant to keep people from slipping cuts through my new Dickie’s pants and into my knee. I’m glad that’s all it cut. As I get up and dust myself off I look around and wonder if anyone saw my foolish fall. Yes, it looks like a few people did, but no one is running to help or ask if I am ok. I get the feeling that people take care of themselves here and unless they know you, you’re on your own too.
By the time I get down the dock a little unmarked metal boat has pulled up and not quite a dozen people are started to load it up. This walk-on only boat is the ferry to Lasqueti it seems.
I put my bag in the back and gather the courage to ask the single crewmember if I could get a band-aid or something from their first aid kit as I could feel blood starting to run down my leg. He asks how big a band-aid I might need and I show him with my hands. Soon he has handed me three butterfly band-aids and two alcohol swabs. As I pull up my pant leg and he sees the blood he hands me a rag and a bottle of water. Then I am on my own.
The gash isn’t too deep but it is ugly looking enough to make me a bit woozy. I do my best to clean it up and then lay my head back and close my eyes. The day is windy and rain is starting to come down. It looks like it is going to be a choppy ride as the boat is also quite small. I decide my best bet for not getting seasick is to take a nap, and so I do.