To Nanaimo Then Home
In Retrospect, December 2015
I left off in the last narrative at Musket Island Marine Park, where both Ian and I had a chance to capture spectacular late summer cruising images. I'm grateful to Ian, who shared some photography tips with me which I continue to use. (He's a professional photographer, so it stands to reason he'd have some good tips to share.) The evening before we left Musket Island, we celebrated Ian's birthday with a "boat-made" cake.
The next morning we headed south to Nanaimo in gorgeous calm weather. The mountains were all out on display and the sun was warm. We needed to meet Ian's plane (once again, Kenmore Air) and we liked his chances of departure much better than had experienced for Mark and Fern in Gorge Harbour. Nanaimo has a waterfront path that runs from the Nanaimo Yacht Club (where we would get moorage) right to Kenmore Air's terminal near Departure Bay.
We spent the next day and a half walking a lot, experiencing Nanaimo's sights, in between laundry, grocery shopping and computer troubleshooting. They have a wacky picture frame at the Harbourfront Park, looking out across Swy-A-Lana Lagoon and across to the mountains beyond the Sunshine Coast. We took advantage of that, taking several pictures with different combinations of us. We found a different Greek Restaurant, closer to the Yacht Club, with even better food. We listened to the town bagpiper, and watched as they shot off the ceremonial cannon. Just prior to Ian's departure, we had brunch in an Old Town cafe.
We saw Ian off on yet another Kenmore Air flight, and then headed south the next morning. There was a brief try at fishing, adjacent to Gabriola Passage, and then we headed to Chemainus, a new destination for us. The town bills itself as a tourist destination, with lots of old fashioned murals on building walls. We found the people friendly, but the town somewhat closed up after Labor Day. We found an African restaurant which was quite popular, and quite good, but only one African dish on the menu (which we both ordered). By the time we finished to walk back to the boat, there were people waiting for tables.
After that, we voyaged in succession to Bedwell Harbour, Friday Harbor and Port Angeles, planning to meet Mark there for the voyage down the coast. A few memorable moments: The lunch we had as we approached the US Border, knowing they would likely take away most of our produce. It was quite delicious and a nice inspiration.
As we approached the border, there was a beautiful line of fog that hovered just there - almost as if it were saying: "Welcome to the Land of Mystery."
In Port Angeles, we needed to do laundry. Unlike most places, there are no machines in the marina, and no laundromats close by. A Yelp search turned up two laundromats: The one closer by had lower ratings, and user comments about the number of drug deals being transacted, and the litter of used hypodermic needles. We elected to try the other one.
Mark arrived, and we departed at sunrise for the trip down the coast. It was an uneventful trip (perhaps the best kind) and we motored most of the way. As we proceeded westward out the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the fog began to close in, and at times the visibility was quite limited. Once we turned the corner it lifted somewhat, but we still didn't see any sun until we were most of the way up the Columbia River.
Crossing the bar was a non-event (the best kind), and we anchored for the night in the Tongue Point Lagoon, enjoying "boat-made" pizza for dinner. The next day we were glad to get back up the river to St. Helens, finally arriving home to rescue some of our apple crop from the marauding deer!