A Good Season (Continued…)

The 2013 Summer Season Sparkled

Another prawn festival was due at Powell River, but we missed it by a week. We did however have Jim Coulton and Donna Koleszar jump in their boat and join us for a few days in Desolation Sound. We visited Gorge Harbour, Refuge Cove, Squirrel Cove, Toba Wildernest Resort and the new lodge at Homfray Channel. Trails have been added at Toba Wildernest for those who enjoy hiking. We also checked out the anchorage at Ramsey Arm. It was a beautiful place to visit and to stay during calm conditions. We were impressed with the take-out meals at the new Flying Squirrel at Squirrel Cove and the art gallery at Refuge Cove. Big Bay was quiet on the way up to Cordero Channel and somewhat busier on the return trip. We stopped at Shoal Bay and spent time with newfound friends as well as owner Mark MacDonald, then moved on to Blind Channel. More new friends and sadly we learned of the medical state of Laura Richter. She passed away later in the summer and many who know the Richter family share their grief. The Richter’s must have had a really tough time coping with business as usual during that very difficult period. We moved on to spend some time with fellow Monaro owners John and Maria Sehmer and their friends from Ganges. Cordero Lodge was being cared for by new owners and had received a new coat of paint, for starters. At Sidney Bay in Loughborough Inlet we had the pleasure of meeting Dane Campbell, a fellow magazine writer and coast settler who, with his wife, have spent many years homesteading in that bay. They have a dock for overnight visitors and it’s a good place to tie up while waiting for the winds to abate in Johnstone Strait. We ended up the cruising season with a visit to the San Juan Islands. Time in the San Juans included stops at Spencer Spit, Stuart Island, Blakely Island, West Sound, Olga, Rosario and Deer Harbor. We particularly enjoyed meeting up with friends in their new-to-them American Tug and the boaters at Stuart Island.

A Good Season

The 2013 Summer Season Sparkled

Gibsons

After a slow start to the season, 2013 saw a lot of activity on the water. Carla and I spent five weeks cruising the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound and the Cordero Channel area. A prawn festival at Cowichan was the highlight of our first of three trips. It was busy, good weather, and we met up with several boating friends as well as a number of boat owners we had not met before. This trend continued through the summer. Several stops at Ganges gave us the opportunity to meet more boating enthusiasts, visit the stores that sell our books and take in the Saturday market. We checked out the new library and enjoyed the local bakeries and restaurants. Ladysmith Maritime Society, Telegraph Harbour and Thetis were highlights with us spending some quality time there. Nanaimo was a good stop where, after some business with our book distributor there, we took a break and spent time with family and friends. Our trip up the Sunshine Coast included visits to Secret Cove and meeting with friends and business associates, Pender Harbour where we ran across some long-time friends helping David Pritchard and Jennifer Love at Fisherman’s Resort marina. Val and Gerry Louden had recently returned after 18 years sailing around the world. A visit to Westview had us using the newly opened path linking the main dock with the visitor docks extension. The wharfinger Jasmine Brown directed us to her ice cream stand at Lund. We visited the new harbourmaster at Lund, Darlene Denholm. She had us call on her delightful daughter Chelsea at Snug Cove’s Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island on our way home. Snug Cove was busy in the midst of a festival featuring classic boats and a market. We stopped at Gibsons and checked out their new floating loading dock and a good restaurant that was open early in the morning. [To be continued]

Haida Gwaii Hot Springs

Will the Waters Flow Again?

Hot Springs Island DSC_0672

The hot springs at Haida Gwaii are dry, following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month. Will the waters return? I doubt it. And that is a shame, as the impact on tourism to the islands could be affected. It surely will not deter folks from visiting the islands in future but there will be some disappointment if the hot springs are no longer functioning. Unless…the pools get sealed and filled with water from another source, then heated (propane furnace) to simulate the springs. After all the pools are in place, and there are structures on site that serve as change rooms and showers. I am sure many would be pleased to see that take place as an alternative.

Steveston Harbour

New Imperial Landing Pier Draws Visitors

Imperial Pier Steveston 2012

The new dock at Steveston is proving to be a popular move by the city of Richmond. Now to add to the embellishment of the harbour, a paddle sport facility has been added to the pier. Tony Dales, owner of the local cycle and paddle store, has a kayak rental facility on a float behind the new facility, having moved that business to Richmond from Ladner. Steveston Harbour, in this writer’s opinion, has long been in need of a substantial visitors dock. There is a large community of boat owners on the Fraser River and the village of Steveston is an ideal place for a day cruise year round. Marine stores, restaurants, the historic Cannery and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard are among the many draws to the village. A farmers’ market is a regular feature on weekends, coffee shops abound and the fish market on the docks is a busy weekend feature. Local residents have commented favourably on the placement of the new dock at the Imperial Pier. They have expressed agreement with visiting mariners that future expansion of this dock to embrace a larger segment of the waterfront would be a welcome addition in due course. The Imperial Pier dock offers up to three hours of free tie-up and a fee for time beyond that.