Under The Wires

Montague Morning
Looking north from our anchorage. This mega motor-sailor drew me in. It has no character but sure is grand.

Montague Harbour, Victoria Day Weekend Saturday (Already a week ago) We’re anchored off the north beach of Montague Harbour. There are boats around us but nothing in comparison to the plastic mat of floating Tupperware inside the harbour itself. You can probably walk across that bay by stepping from boat to boat. I wonder if yachts are included in the calculation about the tonnage of plastic debris littering the world’s oceans. I know, I own one too. At night, the dazzle of all the mast and deck lights looked like a piece of the city. I guess I simply don’t understand getting away from it all.

Now THAT’S my idea of a real boat. Rugged Westcoast beauty with a low-maintenance hull and work boat toughness.
Hit me!

No name, no flag, shit-brindle-brown hull and dead lovely. A fine-looking tugboat conversion kept us company as we left Ladysmith Harbour.

Jack under an ancient yew tree at Montague.

Looking northwest into the Gulf Islands. Wish you were here.

The Yew Crew

In the heat of the afternoon Jack dug a hole and settled in.

North Cove, Thetis Island.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a small farm with a beach? Hey that’s my cow under the Corona umbrella.

There is the usual hub-bub of screaming babies, yapping dogs, whining runabouts and jet- skis, loud raunchy music, shouting, squealing young people and a few grumpy-looking older farts; like me. I’ve never anchored off this beach before and generally avoid the harbour itself, especially during the summer “Yachting season.” I don’t like going where the crowds go and I don’t like the high-voltage electrical power lines which hang over the harbour. It is all nice enough I suppose with all those folks trying to hurry up and relax. Jack certainly likes all the other dogs and the easy digging in the shell beach. There are always annoying people and it seems that the most imposing, noisy characters stop and hang out next to you. One group stopped and dig for clams right on top of the dinghy’s beach line. Apparently I’d beached the skiff on the only place where there were clams. I just let it be.

Western Trumpet Honeysuckle…don’t ever call me that again! This wildflower is a passion of hummingbirds and its stems were often used by natives for bindings and weaving.

Stonecrop in bloom on Portland Island. It was once revered by pagans and placed over their doorways as a protection against fire.

In the lazy calm of Sunday morning the sound of waking children drifted across the flat water and mixed with the honking of geese futilely defending their territory. Dogs yelping happily on the beach played with sticks. Jack and I rowed ashore to join them.

No mooring above the high water mark. Aftermath of a winter storm at Port Browning.

A Petrel dinghy. Ever heard of one? I can’t find any information. It is made of beautifully formed aluminum!

An incredible view from the pub deck at Port Browning. You can see across the border into US waters. Jack was even permitted to be with us on the deck. How civilized!

The Stern Light.

We meandered on south to Port Browning. There is a lovely pub with a spectacular view, a fine beach and best of all, a broad lawn where dogs are welcomed. Now on Tuesday morning we’re waking up in another beautiful anchorage on the south side of Portland Island. Sleep is glorious, long and deep in the gently rocking boat, once you’ve jammed your salt-sticky toes between the sheets. It is placid with a rich light and calm waters. Seabirds mutter on the shore among a profusion of flowering stonecrop. Too soon we’re back at the dock in Ladysmith, four days shot past as if in a dream. We live in this wonderful part of the world, it is our home. Sometimes that reality is taken for granted and a trip through the Gulf Islands is a great way to refresh the appreciation of where we live. And, by the way, not once did we have to stop and shuffle papers with any officialdom. Let’s hope no-one decides to build a wall.

Seafire anchored at Portland Island.

One of the fabulous beaches on Portland Island. An old man later sat in that inflatable dinghy, still well up on the shore, and practiced his rowing strokes. I thought it was hilarious.

A real boat. A beached peapod, rigged for sailing.

A view from
Portland Island into Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island.

Our final stop along the way was Telegraph Harbour on Thetis Island to take on a little fuel. $200. bought 132 litres! That’s almost $1.50 per litre, in a country which has plenty of its own oil and natural gas. It makes economic sense for me to sail on down to the US for fuel where the price is approximately half of ours and it is a resource that came out of our ground! Yep another yelp about the chicken farmer who goes to town to buy eggs.

Does this hurt your eyes? It was intended to. A sunrise over a fantastic wee private island next to Portland Island.

Evening dreams of some place far away.

Sleeepy! You are getting sleepy. Jack nods off after a long walk ashore. Portland Island has wonderful hiking trails.

Still sleepy.

The sun has been beating down out of a cloudless sky. Slopes and meadows which usually stay green until early summer are browning already. Mid-summer flowers are already in bloom. This spring has been an orgy of blossoms, a rich, massive display of exotic colours. Blooms which usually linger, this year have suddenly come to their end. On the sea, there is a thick oily-looking plankton bloom which most of us agree we’ve never seen before. Fools and new-comers predict the weather but I suspect we may be in for either an incredibly hot, dry, smokey summer or it will turn wet and cool. It is a given that there will be a lot of complaining no matter what happens and certainly global warming will be blamed. No matter, each day is all we have and we may as well do our best to enjoy what we have. If I am not on the boat painting furiously to take advantage of the fair weather I’ll be on the beach under a Corona umbrella.

An eagle buoy. Yep, that white stuff is bird droppings, usually cormorants and gulls.

“Stop waving your back flippers at that boat. See! Now they’re pointing one of those THINGS at us.”

Seafire’s lovely old rowing dinghy. Keep on floating.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”…. Will Rogers

8 responses to “Under The Wires

  1. This was great Fred – I really enjoyed your photos and your narrative … you made each stop come alive.

    Like

  2. I prefer to be away from everyone too, but my dad is a social butterfly!!!🤣.
    Beautiful pictures as always:)

    Like

  3. Well maybe a social moth. He’s great and I wish I could be more like him.
    I envy your parent’s relationship, they’ve found a balance without giving up themselves. I hope you’re over for a visit, it’d be great to chat with you.
    Fred

    Like

  4. That’s correct. You win the boat! More on it in my next blog.

    Like

  5. you are too kind
    do you have a Grumman canoe to go with it?

    Like

  6. No but I’ve had one. for a good laugh Google up ‘Mr. Canoe Head.’

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s