If you have been following our intrepid adventurers, you may have come to the conclusion that we have been permanently stuck in the arctic ice that has invaded the lower mainland of British Columbia. Is Braesail and her expedition going to emulate Scott or Shackleton? Does the presence of two Norwegians (Lorelette and Hans) bode well for a repeat of Amundsen?
If all the marinas further up the Georgia Strait are insisting (after a certain Austrian-French queen) laissez-les boire whisky (or for the Norwegians, laissez-les boire akvavit ), a sentiment with which I might normally find myself in agreement (except for the fact that the stuff can’t be used for shower water, and lacking bathtubs, we have no appropriate vessels for champagne), we are faced with a choice: head up to the hardware store and buy a bunch of jerry cans to ferry water from the marina office to Braesail (Now let’s see, 20 litres or 5 gallons weighs 40 lbs or 20 kilos. About 200 lbs or 5 cans is the most you can move in a dock cart. 210 gallons will take 40 or so trips and at about 15 minutes per trip, we are looking at about 10 hours of work) or find some place where we can get water. We called the Nanaimo Boat Basin. Nope. Frozen up. We called the Nanaimo Yacht Club. Nope. Lines blown out. We called the PetroCan fuel dock in Nanaimo Harbour. They have three of their four hoses still working. Hmmm….
That’s 30 miles across the Strait of Georgia in the middle of winter. Five hours of travel on open water for a glass of water and a hot shower? Do we do it??
Of course we do it. We’ve already had our margaritas, so the nice, warm, sunny Gulf Islands sounds like a real reward. And real, authentic, Appellation d’origine protégée Nanaimo bars. Next year in Princess Louisa!!
A few hours later we tied up at the PetroCan dock, topped up the diesel, and filled (at least one of our) water tanks (stay tuned!). We then headed up the channel to the still snowy docks of the Nanaimo Yacht Club. (Now, no complaints. Nanaimo is north of the Gulf Islands.)
Tying up was a challenge. Just a bit of powdery snow on the docks. Like I said, Nanaimo is north of the Gulf Islands.
The next morning, we woke to beautiful skies, still winds, and just a bit more snow. Like I said, Nanaimo is north of the Gulf Islands.
And if 10-15cm of snow isn’t enough, the water tank gauge was reading just a bit above half! Have we sprung a leak in our tanks? Is this trip changing from a margarita cruise to a “I wanna glass of water” cruise?
Not deterred, Martin and Karen hopped in the dinghy, rowed (and put-putted) across the harbour to the fuel dock to get some gas for the dinghy, and headed out to explore Newcastle Island. Hans went ashore to get Nanaimo bars, and Walt and Lorelette just enjoyed looking out the windows at beautiful scenery from a nice warm boat.