7:15 Oyster Experiments

Good Morning!

Up and at ’em in Montague Bay. The Bayliner has an electric range and a generator so morning coffee/tea involves firing up a small diesel. Not quite the quiet solitude of mornings in a sailboat.

We toasted and oatmealed up and I grabbed a quick rinse in our fancy-dancy shower and then it was time to motor. I fired up the twin diesels and secured our tender, and L slipped the bow line off the mooring buoy.

A few minutes later we idled out of the moorage and I revved them up to about 2200 rpm and we were heading south across Trincomali Channel. It looked like about two hours to Brentwood Bay in the Saanich Inlet, which was the day’s destination. After we entered Captains Passage by Saltspring I opened up the throttles and we hit around 17 knots.

The plotter said that would cut only about 35 minutes off our route and I knew we were guzzling gas like crazy, so I cut back to a calm 11 knots and away we went.

We passed a few ferries and a lot of beautiful homes. As we turned into the Saanich Inlet Leslie took over and I snapped some shots.

About 15 minutes out C got on the VHF and called the marina. The connection was pretty bad so we changed to the newer flybridge radio. It was a bit better and we confirmed they had a spot and that they knew we were crazy sailing fools with a monster 42′ powerboat. We signed off and told them we would call when we were closer.

I took over and the crew prepared to dock, putting out the fenders and lines. As the marina came into view they came back on the radio and confirmed there was a nice easy berth at Charlie 8 and 9. A small dodge around a 45-50 footer and I brought it alongside a nice empty dock.

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We tied up, chatted with the dock guys and then plugged in and got ready to explore. There’s a sushi place here and we are just in time for lunch. There is also a free pool, free showers and a spa. Our plan is lunch and then freeing the tender up to zoom over to the dingy dock at Butchard Gardens.

Sushi. Yum.

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C and I made a pact to try some oysters on a half shell as neither of us had tried them yet. Our lovely waitress helpfully picked out a few local bays to sample and we ordered an assortment of sushi. But, much to our dismay/ delight, the oyster chef had not yet started his shift and they were unavailable. Oh well, the sushi was excellent.

Back at the boat we unshipped the tender and headed across the bay to the Butchard Garden dingy dock. We tied up and headed up the ramp to the secret boater’s entrance and forked over the entrance admission.

The Japanese gardens are right there and we started the afternoon in calm serenity. Next up: formal Italian.

The problem with these tourist attractions is the tourists. The problem with path-based tourist attractions is you tend to be stuck with the same tourists over and over. But it’s ok, we are magnanimous and it was all good.

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A scorching hot day but a pretty place to visit. The roses looked a bit blown but everything else was pretty damn fancy. We stopped for soft serve and got dirty on the lawn for a break. But then it was back to the trenches.

I was surprised I enjoyed it so much; gardens usually aren’t really my thing, but the scale and history of the place added a nice spice.

Eventually we headed back through the Japanese gardens to the tender and scrambled aboard. A nice tour of the seaside and we made a dubious docking back at the Pearl. This tender has a center steer and I haven’t got the hang of docking it at all.

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After a brief pause I climbed back aboard and took it out into the inlet to see what she could do. After I opened her up she clawed her way into a plane and started skimming across the water at an awesome rate of speed.

Soon it was beer time. After a cold one we toured the wharf, checking out the boats, and headed to the pub and our date with ‘Oysters on a Half Shell’

They were out. And out of mussels as well. We almost cried. Instead we ordered a couple of Fat Tugs and drowned our sorrows in pulled pork and chowder. Dinner was good. Leslie decided to repeat lunch and had the sushi… Mmmmmm. A nice stroll after dinner and it was back to the marina.

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On the way back we saw a raccoon under the boardwalk. We were about 15 feet away, as close as I’ve been. Even better about three minutes later a small kit popped his head out, eventually followed by two more. Mom and two of the babes walked off down the beach but eventually No. 3 decided that he wasn’t going to left behind and charged off to catch up.

Back on the boat we unfolded the chairs and opened a nice cold bottle of French white to accompany the sunset. Unfortunately it was a red we’d stuffed in the fridge by mistake. Oh well… it goes well with the oysters…

Anyway we’ve settled in to enjoy the evening:

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