Saturday, November 12, 2016

Culture Shock!

After our exploration of the sea cave at Port Alberni was done we headed to our staging ground of Dodger Channel to spend a last night on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's an extremely beautiful spot, it feels so rugged and open.

Bright and early the next morning Isaac and Emma once again raised the anchor and we set off for the Strait of Juan de Fuca in foggy, glassy swells. I love quiet misty mornings like this...especially when we can see orcas off in the distance.

Conditions in the strait were calm and we motored most of the morning. The sun broke out and winds finally picked up so we were able to raise the sails and enjoyed a lovely downwind sail. Jason even motivated the crew to drag out the gennaker which we somehow managed to keep in the air and out of the water which is always a happy thing. When winds picked up to about thirty knots we dowsed the gennaker and continued to clip along downwind at a good pace.

After thirteen hours we finally pulled into Victoria. We docked in the heart of downtown Victoria at 8:30pm which gave us just barely enough time to high-tail it to our favorite fish n' chips spot in the world, Red Fish Blue Fish, which was due to close at 9pm. We stepped off the dock, after 2 1/2 months of wild solitude, straight into the Victoria Buskers Festival. It was seriously crazy culture shock. To go from thinking that having ten people around is a lot of people, to stepping into the middle of a crowded musical festival in a big city was surreal and just a little bit mind-blowing. It was a crazy experience to wrap our dazed minds around as we hustled towards the always-long line for our share of delicious fried salmon.

After dinner we headed back to the boat. At the head of our dock the string duo of Tequila Mockingbird were jamming out tunes from their well-loved cello and violin. They were seriously good. As the hour crept closer to 11pm we pulled our exhausted selves away from the fun and collapsed into bed.

The following morning Jason came beaming back down into the boat. He had recognized the boat in front of us as Nereida of Gene Socrates fame and he had just had a conversation with her. Gene is the oldest woman to have circumnavigated the world solo, nonstop and unassisted. She has now done it three and half times and is gearing up for her fourth. Amazing! We all casually, ambled up on deck in hopes of having a few words with her. It was so cool to meet this quiet, mild-mannered woman from England with such incredible experiences and successes under her belt.

After our conversation with her we spent the morning checking out the sights and wandering around the city looking for good sushi. After lunch we polled everyone and it was unanimous, everyone wanted to leave the city and head back out to hang on the hook, so we bid the big city farewell and headed out.

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