4:27 Windward Ho

5:30 a.m. Zzzz

Up and off to the airport for our annual checkup (or is that pat down?) and then we start the glorious hurry up and wait game that is modern air travel.

We hit YVR from ocean side, almost flying over our final destination of Nanaimo on our approach. We were at the front of the plane so were off in a jiffy. Then we wandered down the terminal exploring before deciding Bruce needed a morning weiner. After a satisfying hot dog, we headed to tarmac level just in time to hear our names paged at our gate. Seems they had finally assigned our seats on the Dash 8 and we needed to pick up our new tickets.

After a brief wait we boarded and 14 minutes at 4000 feet deposited us in Nanaimo. Lorraine, our contact from Nanaimo Yacht Charters, was there to pick us up. We soon grabbed our luggage and headed to Stones Marina, a stone’s throw from Departure Bay ferry terminal.

Lorraine handed over our goodies: a bottle of wine, keys to both the boat and their courtesy car and a pair of free hats. In turn we grabbed our log books and signed away our lives. She then walked us down to the boat, the 32 ft Bayliner At Last and bid us adieu.

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This boat is way bigger (taller) than it looks online and very intimidating. After we snooped around a bit, Ian (another partner in the business) dropped by to check us out on the electrical and heads. We unpacked and then wandered around the marina and ended up at the pub for lunch.

Afterwards we zoomed off in the Toyota Echo loaner and stopped in at Save-On Foods for supplies. Tired, a bit dozy and not at all confident we fumbled our way through. I really should’ve had She Who Cannot Be Named do up the menu. Better yet, dragged her along to cook. Anyway we survived the experience and likely will have enough to eat for a few days yet. Next up was the booze store but we tried to keep it calm and down to just a few bottles for now.

We popped into the dollar store in search of a cheap kettle. The At Last didn’t seem to have one. No luck. I have to say that the dollar store’s already esoteric clientele is all the more odd here in Lotus Land. Strangest group of customers I ever did see.

Back in the car we headed downtown looking for a bank. We found one and a London Drugs, which rendered up a kettle so we can now have tea. We cruised back to the marina to unpack. Leslie opted for a nap (it was 4 o’clock after all) and I went for a walk snooping at boats.

Marinas are really crowded. Not so much in the neighbours-are-too-close way but more in the how-the-hell-do-I-get-this-boat-outta-here way. I have to say my confidence is a lot lower than it was yesterday. But Tim Melville, our instructor, shows up tomorrow at 9 so I suppose it will all get better.

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After everyone rose and shone we talked boating and looked through our books and generally acted all nautical.

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Then we wandered over to the Beefeater for dinner: Leslie had fresh seafood cannelloni and I went for meat skewers. I had a glass of Copper Moon Shiraz to go with and it was delish. So now it’s 9 pm BC time and we are zonked. So we made up the aft cabin and it’s nighty night.

Nighty night…

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