We motored for about two hours on a beautiful but largely windless Sunday morning to the little resort town of Madeira Park in Pender Harbour, a sizeable and complex configuration of islands and waterways that serves tourists and those involved in fishing. We arrived in late morning and were told that we could tie to the dock for one hour without paying a fee, and Joy, Martin, and I therefore hurried off to the market to buy groceries while Walt hiked a mile and a half to another store to get a piece of wooden dowel that we hoped would fit exactly inside the hollow shafts of our “ex-oar,” thus repairing it so that we could row the dinghy for pleasure and for stern-tying in small spaces. We made it back to the boat in JUST one hour, headed for Ballet Bay off Blind Bay to the north, and Walt found that his oar reconstruction plan worked—HOORAY! Even better still, the alternator that seemed to be lifeless on Saturday night mysteriously and miraculously recovered its functionality–perhaps the spilled diesel fuel that had drenched it dried sufficiently to allow its resurrection. Who knows what happened? But, in any event, how thankful we were!
The boat’s batteries were finally charging well enough to allow us to continue our northward journey to Princess Louisa Inlet, the “Holy Grail” for boaters, who consider it one of the most awe-inspiringly gorgeous of all anchorages, and which we had not visited for over 20 years. YAAAAY! So  we motored through Blind Bay and into Ballet Bay during Sunday afternoon and dropped our anchor in a beautiful spot in which the boat could swing and sway beneath the star-spangled sky. For dinner, Martin cooked the fresh-frozen spot prawns we’d bought when we landed in Pender Harbour, and Walt grilled local corn on the cob (cooked in their husks after being buttered and salted) and zucchini chunks. We celebrated the Eucharist around the “downstairs” table instead of at the handy fold-down table in the cockpit we use on warm evenings, and we considered all we had for which to be thankful!

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