On New Year’s Day, a frosty Braesail and her occasionally-chilly (when on deck) crew left Montague Harbour and motored to beautiful Annette Inlet on Prevost Island. The crew dropped anchor in a sheltered spot after passing a number of unusual “float houses” and spent a quiet evening enjoying great food and one another’s great company.
Sunday found the boat motoring north through headwinds that set the rigging singing and buzzing and clacking in rhythms reminiscent of percussive “space music.”
The marinas in the areas around the town of Sidney at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula on the east shore of Vancouver Island were very crowded, but the ship’s water supply had run very low, and HAD to be replenished. Braesail finally found a spot on a crowded dock in Van Isle Marina, but the marina office wasn’t open on a holiday and the water on the docks was shut off because of the extreme cold. Fortunately, as the water gauge needle hovered below the “Empty” mark in the evening, Lorelette filled a pitcher and a kettle just before the last a drip or two of water oozed from the faucet. Dinner dishes were left to languish in the galley sink, and, after enjoying a good game of “Hearts” and using some of the hastily “stored” water for evening ablutions, the ship’s crew retired for the night, planning sally forth in quest of water in the morning.
Sadly, the new day brought disappointment in the search for water: Walt carefully piloted Braesail along the narrow twisting waterways that wound among the marina’s docks and he, Hans, and Martin tied her up near the marina office, where Walt hoped he could be given access to water via the hose attached to a tap at the side of the building. Frustratingly, the office was still closed because of the transfer of the New Year’s Day holiday from Saturday to Monday, so an expedition was sent to the nearby fuel depot to request assistance with contacting someone from the marina. Phoning failed, and we were discussing the logistics of carrying 5-gallon buckets of water (weighing 40 lbs. each) from the marina’s restrooms (where water was actually available!) to the boat and pouring the water into Braesail’s 220-gallon (total) tanks, when the fuel dock attendant managed to find a key, unlock the marina office, turn on the water, open the outside spigot (Walt didn’t have the proper tool on board for accomplishing this task), and send water through the not-quite-frozen hose and into Braesail’s tanks. WHEW!!
Martin, Karen, and Hans packed their gear in the afternoon and made their way back to their Vancouver homes via ferry. Walt and Lorelette planned their trip back to Anacortes, and found themselves missing their highly competent, congenial, culinarily creative crew mates. Everyone had had a terrific trip during which Braesail’s hardy five-person crew was blessed with great times and with great stories to share!
After dinner, Walt and Lorelette enjoyed a shivery walk to a small general store in North Saanich to buy a few supplies. Christmas lights spilled their silently dancing colors onto the remaining snow, and stars blinked sleepily overhead as the Day laid its head on Night’s pillows and sank into slumber. Once back aboard the boat, the two remaining mariners settled into the comfortable queen bed in the aft cabin and floated off to sleep.