Your failure to plan ahead does not make your crisis my problem.
I never actually told a customer that but – oh boy was I tempted over the years. Those words have therefore been ringing in my ears as I searched for charts for the past 24 hours. Yesterday I discovered that we are about to metaphorically sail off the edge of the world. My chart package runs out not long after we get past Cape Caution.
Now its not like we don’t have ANY charts north of Cape Caution. Some of the extremely large scale charts go from San Diego all the way to the Aleutian Islands. Its just that we wouldn’t want to be trying to negotiate some narrow waterway with rocks all around us using a chart that shows half the globe on a single screen.
I’ve been keeping our day to day agenda fluid, only planning the detailed route a few days in advance. Thus it was that I didn’t realize how inadequate my charts were for the area between Cape Caution and Prince Rupert until yesterday morning. Then began the scramble to locate some charts. I had to remain mindful however that I had caused the problem. As it turned out it wasn’t that hard to solve, although I did go down a few blind alleys.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service is woefully behind the times. They are responsible for all chart sales in Canada but apparently are blissfully unaware of the possibilities of e-commerce. They do however list great numbers of “dealers” on their website so this morning I started out with a phonelist of names in Port McNeill. I had the exact part number of the CD that we need from the CHS website but that didn’t prove too helpful on my first call. It took a long time on hold but eventually the dipshit I was talking to came back with the information that they had several chart atlas books. I guess “electronic charts” was lost on her. Once we got that out of the way she agreed that she should have Dennis or Don or Daniel or whateverthehellhisnameis phone me back. So far he hasn’t. However after a couple more calls I connected with Rick in Port Hardy who not only could speak intelligently about electronic charts but also had several CDs in stock. One of which now has our name on it.
So we will be going to Port Hardy rather than Port McNeill. We need to stop somewhere to restock our fresh produce and we’re almost out of eggs. Milk is running low too – we thawed out two gallons yesterday because we’re out of fresh milk. Port McNeill and Port Hardy are the two logical “last stops” on Vancouver Island before we strike out for Cape Caution. We had planned – for no particular reason – to stop at Port McNeill. Van and Nancy said they prefer Port McNeill so that was enough reason for us to stop there. The charts however are in Port Hardy and evidently the chart seller is within sight of the marina so that’s good enough reason for me. We’ll be going to Port Hardy – likely tomorrow. Weather dependant as always.