We have a little bit of catching up to do!
In September of 2017 we tied Finn up at the Waterfront Marina in Nanaimo. The owner there, Odai, found us a wonderful spot right near the shore protected by all of the other docks. No waves, no wind no problem! We left Finn, a little reluctantly, and went for a road trip, spent most of September and October at the farm in Hanna and then a couple of rainy months in Summerland and Penticton going to movies, having family over for dinner at “our place”. We had a nice landlubber routine for a little while of daily runs, school work, grocery shopping rather than provisioning. Running water and central heating – all very nice! On 27th December we finally got home to Finn and, as excited as we were to be back in Nanaimo, we immediately started preparing for a January 1st departure. Destination: Campbell River!
Happy New Year 2018, let’s get going! En route, we made an overnight stop at Scottie Bay on Lasqueti island and then on to Comox. Its a little chilly sailing in January but nothing gloves and a toque doesn’t fix. Poor Yasmin was a little unimpressed, she figured the trip was a little too long that day and told us all about it for the last 90 minutes of the journey. When we arrived in Comox we found a significant amount of snow and snowmen at the harbour park. We went for a nice walk and had a snowball fight. The next morning: Fog!
I was up at 04:30 hoping to make the most of the ebbing current. The fog was thick but it was hard to tell how thick because it was also very dark. In any case, Yasmin had to go ashore so she and I piled in the dinghy. Fortunately, I’d had the foresight to bring the phone along (with the GPS charting on it) because it was foggy enough that we would have had a hard time finding our way back to the boat! Hoping the fog would clear, we all went back to bed until 08:00. The fog didn’t clear but another amazing piece of technology, the radar, came to the rescue and we weighed anchor after breakfast with the radar on and the ship’s bell ringing. It was very interesting to sail in that kind of fog; it’s a little disorienting. Without the compass or the GPS we literally would have had no idea which direction we were facing much less where we were. It also becomes impossible to judge range or scale – at one point we spotted a very large whale acting peculiarly docile, as we closed we realized that it was actually just an enormous albatross. Very strange to see an albatross in Comox. Oh, no… that’s a seagull but I’ve never seen such a huge seagull. Hang on, that’s just a seagull, regular size. Hey, what’s that…
The fog persisted right through the day until we were a few miles south of Campbell River. Its amazing how many little fishing boats are sitting silently out in the fog, hiding. As we approached Campbell River there was a welcome break in the fog and some sun which was all very nice and we had plenty of time to enjoy it because our slow pace through the fog meant that we had arrived at Discovery Passage at the height of the southbound current and spent the next hour or two fighting our way up the channel to our final destination. Jerome didn’t mind, he watched A New Hope.
We were immediately pleased with our decision to move up to Campbell River; its a bit like living in a resort. There are several restaurants and pubs, extensive manicured lawns, an entire shopping centre and, best of all, a grocery store all within a few minutes walk. In fact, just after we arrived, I needed a pair of shoes for work and a new WiFi router. Did I get the car keys and go for a drive? Nope, just walked up to the stores and got some groceries while I was out too, home 30 minutes later. Pretty nice. There are lots of places to walk the dog and a park where Jerome and I can fly his model airplanes or set up toy soldiers. It turns out there is a really neat little community of people living here too!