5:4 Away but not Aweigh

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Good morning.

I awoke to a dead iPhone. It had been plugged in all night but was dead as a doornail. I checked the electrical panel –all good– and switched it to a forward receptacle and let it charge a bit, but still no go. Sigh. After a bit of surfin’ and readin’ on my iPad I felt the Google-fu burbling up and discovered the hard reset (hold home button and power button for at least 10–20 seconds): voila!

Meanwhile I’d coffee’d up waiting for the the resident Doctor Slug to awaken and rise from the bowels of her berth and thought I’d start (backwards) filling in this week’s blog posts.

We hit the sack last night after a bottle of wine and were snug in our beds and just asleep when we heard a tremendous metal-on-metal crash and the boat jarred suddenly. I jumped up and headed for the saloon. Unfortunately for me Leslie had left the doorway to the saloon open but had closed the sliding roof.

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Well, my head impacted the roof at speed; better yet my head impacted the wooden handle jutting out, just to focus the force a bit more effectively. Manfully shaking it off I ducked and continued up to see a small boat with a light and two men off the port bow. I turned to the door, but for some inexplicable reason we had chosen this night of all nights to lock it. With a key. Which was somewhere.

Eventually I found the key, made it on deck and discovered the boat was the harbour patrol. The wind had caught their aluminum boat and smacked it into our anchor. So no harm done, except to my sleep. And my heart. And my head.

Anyway eventually we got back to sleep.

So now all you readers who have been keeping up will have to go back to day one and catch up. That is if I can get it done today on the flight back. Then again, it might take all week…

Leslie and I took a walk around and visited some boats and popped into a marine supply place (Skipper’s Marine Center) to ogle inflatable life jackets. Man, were the staff people ever bored. We entered a contest, got life jacket demos, were given the soft sell on a 17′ Glastron and were given a free floating keychain.

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Back at the boat we loaded up a cart with our gear and hauled it off the dock. L’s parents were there and we loaded up the van, dropped the keys tearfully off to Lorraine and waved goodbye.

Our first stop was Nanaimo Harbour Chandler. Tim had said he had an account there and we could buy anything we wanted–just kidding. We did want to look at some charts. It’s an awesome place–sort of a super hardware store for boats. We picked up a 2013 Waggoner Cruising Guide for the West Coast and Chart 3313 which is 1:40 000 charts for most of the Gulf Islands. We are total boat geeks now.

We stopped for lunch at White Spot and then dropped Stephen off downtown to shop. After a little fussing we decided to drive to Qualicum Beach for fun. Once there we sat on a bench on the shore chatting and watching the gorgeous calm Straits of Georgia. Huh, I guess someone forgot to pay the wind bill, because we didn’t see any days like this while we were on the water.

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A couple of picnic tables down, someone had left a neatly bundled bag of garbage lying in the table. Eventually a raven landed and gave it the once over and decided it was fair game. He grabbed it in his beak (it was bigger than he was) and lifted it about a foot in the air. It landed on the grass and he proceeded to drag it around a while before pinning it with one foot and pecking away. Eventually more ravens arrived but the first guy retained ownership. They’d agreed to rip it open and once accomplished, he grabbed what looked like a chicken wing and took off. He didn’t look back. When I lost sight of him down the beach he was still going. I guess he didn’t want to share. Makes him way smarter than a seagull. 1, 2, 3, 4 ravens scattered the remains of the garbage and eventually all left.

We walked down the beach but by the time we had got back someone had cleaned up the mess.

Back in the van and back to Nanaimo. We stopped at the ‘Hortons’ as L’s mom has taken to calling it–first sign of their real West Coast integration I guess–and had a pleasant chat for an hour or so.

Back in the van once more we picked up Stephen (with a few wrong turns–they are still learning the city) and were off to the airport. We are about an hour and a half early but that’s fine because it gives us some mental down time.

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Our flight is to Vancouver in a Dash 8 and then on to YEG. Crossing the Strait was fun, looking at all the islands we had visited and navigated around from the air. Fourteen minutes later we were on the ground and had an hour to wait for our connecting flight. So far I have 3 days caught up. I might get this done before we land in Edmonton if my phone battery holds out.

But Ooh the movies look good on the Edmonton bound plane. I think the rest of the updates will have to wait! Now… Django Unchained or The Dark Knight Rises?

Thus ends our week long adventure on the West Coast. We are sure to be back this summer, so stay tuned.