Sailing & Baking

My current fantasy during the slow months during which I lament lack of customer demand, review the annual disaster sometimes called a ‘financial statement’ or, more optimistically, a ‘budget’, and dream of better days is as follows:

During the warm months when such things are possible, I’ll bake double the usual amount (which is pretty much exactly the maximum capacity of my small commercial brick oven and which I expected to be selling every week a couple of years ago but which has never happened due to lack of demand), sell half (or as much as I can!) at my main Sydney Farmers’ Market, and then on Sunday, after a good long sleep Saturday night, will load up the remaining half (more or less) of the Bake onto my new 45′ flat-bottomed gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl which will be anchored (hopefully!) in Gabarus Bay about 12 km from where I live, and then sail down boat and bread to Louisburg Harbour (about 10 nautical miles away or 1-2 hours as the boat sails wind depending) and then sell my bread there on the public wharf.

Oh what fun that will be! Oh, how romantic! (Though the hard-bitten cynical side of me suspects/expects that nobody will be interested and I’ll be lucky to sell 20 loaves! We’ll see. IF the boat makes it up here this spring from Chesapeake Bay 2000 km away (yes, am looking for experienced, cheerful crew!), I’ll be trying it out. I won’t divulge here how much I paid for her, but put it this way: less than one would usually pay for the dinghy that comes with her, and considerably less than the canvas for the mainsail alone. In short, a real bargain (appropriate for a humble brick oven baker on Cape Breton Island), albeit the catch is: she’s all the way over on the Chesapeake!! Still, one of the virtues of a sailboat is: if you sail her (and not motor her), she costs very little per mile, albeit she does need time for her journeys. But then that’s why I like sailing: it makes you take your time so that you can enjoy simply being somewhere in a natural setting. So a journey of 2000 km would mean 2-3 weeks of taking one’s time to journey simply and responsibly, but also beautifully, day by day on the Ocean. My ancestors sailed over from England to Plymouth, Mass in the 1600’s on the Mayflower. I look forward to sailing back over some of the waters they crossed so long ago.

Meanwhile, my old friend Suzanne from Dharma Days era in my previous life as hard-core Buddhist practitioners aeons ago in the Sexy Seventies (!), sent me this link:

Her intention is to encourage my fantasy. I hope those guys succeed, but at least they are going up and down the Hudson (which ends in a rather large city known as NEW YORK CITY, which has, I believe, a slightly larger population than Sydney, let alone Louisburg, so with any luck they will make a go of it.

First a picture of my boat though, albeit without sails up:

1 from sternActually, if I wanted to (which I don’t) I could build a brick oven into this boat, which is more than big enough at 45′ and 11′ 6′ beam, and sail around baking and selling. But I got this one to have a nice place to sleep in the summers instead of my mosquito-infested woodlot environment. Also, I love sailing. A picture of a similarly rigged yawl: