INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
Setting up the new abode...
The next day we did not return to the job site. Overcast skies threatened rain and we were glad to avoid another wet trek out. But the main reason was to do as instructed; we were to put up the tent. We proceeded in opening the bundled package
Not tempting fate, and with the knowledge that in this late date in October our days were shortening, an average of about four minutes and 53 seconds daily, this was the reason for our long hours working the sites. The sooner we were done the sooner we would return to the city. These shortened days, compounded with our long hikes to and fro meant delaying our scheduled two weeks’ time period.
We really did not want to delay our work further but we sacrificed the one day to get the new tent situated.
Learning from the mistakes our three men in a two man tent experience during our first week here, we make sure to find an area that was relatively flat. Our sleeping bags were to be placed flat on the ground the need to lie unhindered by bumps and inclines ensures a more comfortable sleep. That is, once acclimated to the nights becoming so freezing cold that even pads can’t prevent the cold to permeate to the base of the bag and chill your bones.
Clearing the brush, stomping the grassy stalks flat we place our tent halfway between the lagoon and the beach. At first we feared that flooding would threaten this lowest elevation of the terrain turned out to be a better decision as we would later find. Along the edge of the beach was a ridge of high sand that we need to climb over when coming and going to the beach. During inclement weather the storm winds rush inland from sea at high speeds and colder temperatures, yet we sat in relative safety from these gusts because of the height of this ridge. Our little depressed lot was beneficial for our comfort.
We created furniture out of debris found on the beach. Flotsam awash on the shore brought in all kinds of materials that were either blown off the decks of passing ships or purposefully tossed overboard. There was always some kind of material sporadically washing to shore there. Pallets and such were apt for makeshift tables and chairs and shelving.
The furnace provided (borrowed from an igloo) was another matter. Too small to provide any lasting heat for the new space available. There was little choice in this. If anyone were to appear to claim it we would surrender it surely. But no one was going to. We were sure of that.
Once finished the layout was simple. The tent’s entrance was situated northward toward the common trail visible through the swaying grass; eventually our traffic would create a small path to the door. Locating our sleeping bags to the far side of the tent away from the gusts of the door when entering/exiting, mine southwest and his south east. Laying dry grass under the sleeping bag pad gave us adequate insulation against the colder ground at nights. A created pallet table, cookware shelving and cooking stove at the center by the support post. The stove for heat was to the south of the tent, at our bag’s feet, where a chimney hole dictated its placement. And the most important comfort, not available in the smaller igloos, a laundry line hanging in the northwest corner to dry all of our sodden clothes. This luxury definitely needed that first week of constant rain here.
Our new abode spacey and where we did not need to duck into or shuffle around in was definitely more comfortable than our previous arrangements.
That afternoon Jim tasked me to collect driftwood to fire the furnace. Not knowing the amount needed I came back with a small pile of kindling. A couple of larger trunks were dragged over the ridge to the tent. Looking at the pile Jim was sure that it was not enough. So I had to chop up the trunks. He insists on my using the chainsaw but being a novice in its operation I stated that I could cut it with the bow saw available and conserve the fuel in the chain saw.
He was hesitant, surely knowing that I was not going to cut up enough to keep the fire going. Assuming that our evening was not to be as cold, he conceded and proceeded in making our dinner.
As he anticipated, that evening our stove died out long before we even hit the bags for the night. We started burning the kindling as soon as it darkened that evening; It turned out to be a cold that night and we woke frozen to the bone. The body feeling like a solidified sack of cement we stomped around for half an hour to get circulation going. Once our body heat produced enough warmth in our iced solid clothes we started our day.
So in future I made sure to cut excess. Fortunately the washed up lumber was plentiful. Enough to keep us supplied in the time we expected to remain here.
In the proceeding days we had developed a new system. I would collect the driftwood and Jim would cut it to usable cords with the chainsaw. This, of course, was my idea, still hesitant in using it for lack of knowing how. I suspect Jim knew but was forgiving.
The one absolute accessory for our new home was a clipping Jim had taken from a newspaper. It had a promotional black and white photo for an upcoming film called “The Girl in a Swing”. On it the actress Meg Tilly sits on a swing that hangs off a tree branch. Clothed in a wide brimmed hat and summer dress where the hem of the skirt surely to hike further up in the draft from the sway, threatening to expose more of her already generous exposed thighs. She was looking equal parts of innocence and seductiveness. The attached article promises the film to be an erotic escape to the commonplace English countryside. She became our companion, our crush and obsession in our isolation.
I knew Jim would be a while at the latrine (an isolated spot in the brush far from the tent where a shovel laid ready to bury discarded matter) if I found that picture missing from the post.
the tent was more comfortable than previous arrangements and the begrudging expressed soon was replaced with satisfaction. During the rains the leaking was isolated to the chimney access hole, an acceptable inconvenience.
This was to be our final abode for the remainder of our time here.
About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.