So what have we been up to this last month as it has been quite a while since our last post. In a nutshell, we’ve been up to everything. We spent a week anchored in Nanaimo harbour doing boat projects (thanks for all the woodwork, Dad) and visiting my parents on Protection Island.
Although she was an awesome boat dog all summer, I think Charlotte was happy to be back on land.
My Mum’s oldest childhood friend, Christa and her husband Horst, arrived from Germany mid-August for a visit with my parents. As they are keen sailors, my parents had arranged to rent a boat for a weeks trip through the Gulf Islands. We buddy boated with them for the week and visited all our favourite spots – Silva Bay, Montague Harbour, Winter Cove, Long Harbour, Ganges and Telegraph Harbour. Tanja and Brad, and Brad’s brother John and his wife Pam joined us for the weekend on John’s boat s/v Passages, so we had quite a clan by the end of the trip.
The weather was perfect and we actually sailed every day (unheard of for the Gulf Islands in August).
We left my parents at the end of the trip and sailed back across to Vancouver with Tanja and Brad as crew. After 6 frustrating attempts to anchor in False Creek (we snagged a huge metal object on the bottom the first try and couldn’t get our Rocna anchor to drop the right way for the next 5 tries…and did I mention we broke the windlass again on try #4???), we settled just off David Lam park. We spent a very busy 4 days in Vancouver attending all our final appointments, shopping, sorting our garage, catching up with a few friends etc. Unfortunately we only got to see a fraction of the people we wanted to see, as we simply ran out of time and energy.
While we enjoyed our time in False Creek, an expected visitor at 5am on our last day in town reminded us that it was time to move on. I was awakened by a small splash outside the window, and being the paranoid sole that I am, I poked my head out to make sure all was well. To my complete surprise, I watched as a man clad only in his nickers slithered out of the water and into our dingy. If I’d been more awake I would have grabbed the flare gun or the pepper spray, but I only managed a “Can I help you?” as I popped out of the hatch and stood on the deck (with Gary close behind). The man paused, looked at us, and then slithered silently back into the water and disappeared. He re-appeared about 20 feet away from the boat, turned, gave us a cheeky little wave and swam off. We watched him swim back to David Lam park, where he stripped off his wet drawers, put on his dry clothes and sauntered back into the urban jungle. Gotta love the city…
We moved the boat to Blaine at the end of August, and spent the September long weekend sailing with Gary’s cousin Karen and her husband Rob. They are always wonderful to have on board – they are keen for anything, always want to complete a ‘job’ (thanks for fixing the sail cover!), and are great cooks and great company. We had a lovely time cruising through the San Juans for 4 days. We all tried out our new inflatable stand up paddleboard, even though the water temperature was 13oC! Good incentive not to fall in. Charlotte likes the board as well, and it will be a good tool to get her to shore when we are down in Mexico.
We left the boat in Blaine for a week while we went back to Ontario to surprise Gary’s Mom for her 70th birthday. She was surprised (pleasantly, I think). In addition to our surprise, Gary’s auntie Lee (Karen’s mom) planned a surprise lunch at the Grand Tappattoo Resort on the lake with 20 guests. It took a lot of fibbing and outright lying, but we got her to the resort unaware that anything other than a lunch with one of their friends was planned. She was almost speechless when all her friends from the lake came out to greet her.
We got extremely lucky with the weather while at the cottage – Ontario actually had summer for a few days! The water wasn’t exactly toasty, but we did go swimming in the lake a couple of times (19oC water). We made better use of the hot tub though. We helped helped Gary’s parents do a few ‘cottage-closing’ chores and had a nice relaxing visit.
We arrived back in Vancouver on Sept 11th and made a quick visit to Nanaimo for the weekend. Then it was back to the boat for 4 days of intense work while we completed the “must do” list of boat projects. We finished on Sept 18th and had a celebratory/goodbye dinner with our friends Malcolm and Dina (who will be driving our car down to Guyamas, Mexico where their boat is currently moored) and Jim and Kathy (who’s boat happily survived the recent hurricane in La Paz). We look forward to seeing both couples down in Mexico!
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