Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movin’ on

We’ve been getting around a lot the last few days. I have a project in Idaho that I will be leaving for on Tuesday so we have been getting as much water time before that as possible.  On Wednesday we left Sidney in what looked like marginal conditions but with a good forecast and headed up Satellite Channel toward Cowichan Bay. 

We’ve been dreaming about surprising Jim & Judy by parking in their bay and phoning them for a long time now.  I think the surprise was complete.  When we arrived in the bay Marilyn phoned and told Judy “there’s a lot of snow on your roof this morning isn’t there?”  There was a bit of a pause and then Judy came back with “could you repeat that.”  Apparently Jim had just stopped watching the naval exercise that was happening in front of us and had noticed another boat entering the bay when the phone rang but of course neither of them had any reason to think it was us.

That day we tied up at the government wharf in Cow Bay for a visit with Jim & Judy.  Somewhere during that visit they mentioned that there were some new docks in Cow Bay and that there might be moorage available.  It took a while to track down the proprietor – he told me on the phone “I’m not very reliable” – but when we finally connected he did have space.  Not only did he have space available but it was at a significant discount to what we are paying in Sidney – about 2/3 of what we are paying now. 

We had never considered Sidney to be a long term arrangement.  Back in November I paid them for 3 months, mainly because that is what they wanted, but we always intended to look around once we got over here.  Neither of us expected to make a moving decision this soon but Cow Bay seems like the ideal arrangement for us.  It’s a working marina – there’s probably just as many if not more fishing boats tied up there now as there are pleasure boats.  It’s a neat community with lots of funky little shops and a great atmosphere.  From a boating standpoint it’s a well sheltered bay with protection from pretty well every direction.  Its also really close for visiting with Jim & Judy.  The only possible downside is that it is even farther from the mainland but we’re both thinking now that we’ll spend a lot of our first year in the islands around Vancouver Island so being close to the mainland maybe isn’t as important as we initially thought.

Yesterday (Friday) we chugged our way back up to Cow Bay, had lunch on the boat with Jim & Judy and then went up through Sansum Narrows and down into Maple Bay.  They enjoyed seeing all the familiar places that they know on the Island from the water side and we were just having fun sharing our boat with them and seeing new places.  I tracked down our unreliable marina proprietor and signed the moorage agreement.  Then I gave him a cheque for five months rent that was significantly less than what I paid Van Isle for three months.  Last night we left Gray Hawk tied up at Cow Bay and spent the night in Cobble Hill with Jim and Judy. 

We’ve had a very busy week.  On Thursday we rode the transit bus into Victoria and found the “Ship’s Registry” branch of Transport Canada.  That’s an incredible waste of manpower but at least they were pleasant to deal with.  What they are doing should take minutes and be completed online.  Instead it will take weeks if not months and be done entirely manually.  But like I said, they were very pleasant about it.  We’ll be back at least once and likely twice so I’ll have to remember to look through their dog eared volumes  that are piled on shelves by the door to see if I can find mention of Bethiah Jewitt.

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