Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Urban Sailing

We followed our past few days in peaceful anchorages with an urban blitz so that Grandpa could experience both. We eased ourselves back into civilization at Cowichan. As we pulled into the harbor I handed Grandpa the bow line and pointed out the gigantic fishing boat, appropriately named Double Decker, we would be rafting up to. Grandpa looked at me and replied, "you've got be kidding me." Nope. This was Grandpa's first experience rafting up and it was a bit strange to be lashing our boat to that big hunk of steel. It was the polar opposite of the beautiful anchorage we stayed the last few nights. Once we were properly tied up we all hauled ourselves up onto Double Decker, crossed her cluttered decks and hopped down onto the dock. Cowichan is home to True Grain Bread, our favorite bakery in the islands, as well as a cheese store and fish market so we spent the afternoon gathering and consuming delicious food. The following morning we set sail for Sidney where we perused bookstores and the evening street market. The next day we enjoyed a great sail down to Victoria where we would drop Grandpa off to meet his seaplane. I have to say that Victoria is a pretty busy harbor, especially since we just happened to be there the same weekend as the Swiftsure International Sailing Race. We arrived at dinner time and were starving (a common theme in our lives) so we headed straight to the docks and our favorite fish and chips place, Red Fish Blue Fish. We had forgotten that the pieces of fish are huge and we ordered way too much food. After we stuffed ourselves to an uncomfortable capacity we walked the docks and checked out all of the race boats. The energy and excitement was running high under the flapping of hundreds of colorful flags. We walked back to our marina as the sun set eagerly discussing all the race boats we'd seen. The next morning we watched as the race boats motored out of the harbor to the starting line. A short while later a man approached me from the dock and asked if I happened to have any motor oil he could buy from me. He was entered in the race and had a bit of engine trouble and race start was only fifteen minutes away. Luckily we had an extra quart so we handed it over to him. He tried to pay us but we insisted it was no big deal and he should just get going. He ran back to his boat and then came back to take down our email address so he could send us something. Canadians are so nice! He made it to his start in time and we saw that his boat finished the race with no problems. Hurray. We spent the rest of the morning showing Grandpa downtown Victoria which included a visit to the Empress, several cups of tea from various shops and lunch at a Tibetan restaurant. We then moseyed back to the marina, watching seaplane after seaplane after seaplane take off and land. Grandpa gathered his stuff, we hugged good-bye and watched him ride away in a shuttle to his catch his seaplane, sad to see him go. Thanks for joining us again this year. We're already looking forward to next year.

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1 comment:

  1. I missed you guys as soon as I entered the shuttle. I know you are having a beautiful time out in the wilds of Canada.