Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chainsawin'! Day 1

End of Day 1 of my two day chainsaw course at the Harrison Lewis Centre in East Port l'Hébert.

It's 9:20 pm, twilight, and I'm sitting in my non-electrified cabin, looking out at the shoreline. It is beautiful here. 

I have a cabin to myself, which is lovely. So peaceful and quiet – it feels like home. Except of course, that I miss Salinger.

What a full day! Breakfast at 8 and a full morning of classroom stuff started at 8:30. Lots of safety rules and explanations about how chainsaws work and how they are to be maintained.

Then, out to the big pile of wood where we all donned chaps, ear protection, safety glasses and of course, our chainsaw boots and everybody got a chance to start a saw and buck up some wood – compression on the top, tension on the bottom, then the reverse and finally a bore cut.

The saw felt awkward to me at first. I'm very left-handed and the saw is a right-handed tool. Our instructor, Patrick, strongly recommended that I learn to use it right-handed in the interests of safety.

The adrenaline pumping through me, I made my first few cuts. When I enrolled in this course, I suspected that I would love using a chainsaw and I was so right!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had several people warn me seriously about the dangers of using a chainsaw. I definitely have a healthy respect for the saw. However I feel that in time I will become a good chainsaw user and I'm excited by this prospect. While my first few cuts filled me with adrenaline, after four or five cuts, I could already begin to feel myself gaining confidence in my skills and relaxing into it.

We spent the evening sharpening our chains and chatting. Now it's early to bed for me as I expect I will be awake early in the morning (as usual) ready to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Harrison Lewis Centre, before we resume our work at 8 AM.

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