Friday, April 18, 2014

All charted up again

I was pretty worried by my discovery that we didn’t have charts north of Cape Caution.  Two hundred dollars later I’m feeling much better.  Mind you, I damn near stroked out on DFO’s website getting the bloody charts registered.  They assured me I’m secure against the heartbleed virus – you can scarce imagine my relief at that news.

Today we untied from Minstrel Island after our extended stay there.  I expect it may be the last time we tie up there and not because we wouldn’t enjoy going back. 


There’s dozens, maybe hundreds, of places like Minstrel Island along this northern coast which were once thriving communities or resorts but are now slowly receding back into the forest.  The dock at Minstrel must have been state of the art when it was built but years of neglect are wearing away at it.  A couple of big storms will soon tear some of the floats free and already the bullrail is starting to rot.  If we go back there in five years I expect it will already be too decrepit to trust tying up to it again. 


We weren’t the only ones enjoying the free moorage.  The Coasties tied up beside us one night, there were a couple of Indian fish boats there last night and a couple showed up for a night in a small trawler.  Its a great spot in a great location but it won’t last forever unless someone takes over the resort and right now it would probably cost more to resurrect what’s there than it would to start over somewhere else.

Today we had our favourite kind of travel day – a boring one.  We were about 8 hours underway, arriving in Port Hardy mid-afternoon.  We’ve never been here before – its always a little nerve wracking coming into a strange location.  Marilyn called ahead and the folks at Quarterdeck Marina said they didn’t care enough to have our business.  What they actually said was that they were closed for the weekend but they clearly aren’t and they have oodles of empty docks so obviously they just don’t give a damn.  We’ll remember that the next time we come by this way.  One of the great advantages of being winter cruisers is that we have a lot of dock space to choose from so our expectation is that we will at the very least get treated courteously. 

The Fisherman’s Wharf guy said they had lots of room which was clearly an exaggeration bordering on an outright lie.  They’re pretty well full to 150% capacity.  We ended up rafted with rafted boats in every direction around us.  They’ve got lots of power and there’s water on the dock so rafting is OK.  Its well sheltered in here too which is a good thing because the Coast Guard was broadcasting hurricane force wind warnings this afternoon.  I doubt we’ll be going anywhere for a couple of days now.


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