Friday, May 4, 2012

Don and Darlene

We met some good people over the years that we spent in Whispering Pines and we have stayed in touch with several of them.  Last weekend Don & Darlene arrived from Alberta to spend a week out here.  As we have done with other guests, we waited at the yacht club reciprocal dock and they caught a cab from the airport.  Then we hustled out of Tsehum Harbour to get out ahead of a low tide because the water in there can get really thin on a low. 

We had planned to drop the prawn traps and spend the night anchored close by but the weather was so nasty that once we got the traps down we decided to just go back to the dock at Cow Bay.  By the time we got to the dock it was calm but how do you know?  When we got to the dock Lance was loading prawn traps onto Currie’s Mermaid. 

The commercial prawn season opened out here yesterday.  Lance can haul about half the traps he is allowed to set on his boat, which is typical for the prawn boats we have seen out here.  Usually they get the boats loaded up with half of their traps the night before opening and stack the balance of the traps on the dock.  Lance wanted to fish further away from Cow Bay so he didn’t want to return to the Bay to pick up his traps and he figured the docks where he wanted to fish would be full of local traps so he hired Currie to ferry his traps out to where he would be fishing.

On Tuesday morning we went back to Saanich Inlet, pulled our traps and then anchored in Tod Inlet, just outside Butchart Gardens.  I can’t remember if I was in Butchart Gardens when I was a kid – I likely was because mom & dad like d to visit that kind of place.  They pretty well leave me cold – I appreciate how much work it must take to maintain them but I’m just not sure why anyone would bother.  This one must be a little gold mine though so that would be a strong motivation.  It cost $120 for the 4 of us to wander around inside the park for maybe 3 hours – it seemed longer. 

We spent a pleasant night anchored in Tod Inlet with Shirley and Gerry on Seagate and they joined us for the rest of our week.  On Wednesday we headed up Sansum Channel into Chemainus and across to Telegraph Harbour on Thetis Island.  That was where Lance was waiting to drop his traps which worked out well for him because Marilyn had baked a big batch of bread while we were underway.  We rafted up to the Mermaid for a visit and dropped off some cinnamon buns.  Lance’s crew was busy baiting the traps.  They use both the prawn bait pellets that we have been using and larger bait cans with anchovies inside.  The theory is that the bait attracts the prawns and the anchovies feed them to keep them around. 

After a night in Telegraph Harbour we came around through Houston Channel and Trincomali Channel to Ganges Harbour.  We’ve anchored here before but never tied up in town and never spent much time in town.  Its pretty yuppified and overrun with greenies but otherwise a very pretty place.  I’m sure we’ll be back but I really need to print up some “I heart farmed salmon” bumper stickers.  I think they’d be a big hit in this town.

Today we’ll hang out at the dock, wander around town a bit and end up back at the dock at Sidney North Saanich yacht club.  We had planned to finish up Don and Darlene’s visit with prime rib at the club but when Marilyn phoned to confirm our reservation yesterday Isobel told her that the cook had abruptly quit.  So I guess we’ll be having drinks at the club and something on the barbeque.

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