long harbour mist
Long Harbour awakes to an early morning mist

Today, after day after day of glorious sunshine is a rainy day. Frankly, its nice to have a day out of the sun and enjoy the contemplative mood that the low clouds misting over the tops of the hills create as we pass them.

We’re at Saltspring Island at our yacht club outstation. It’s our last stop on our holiday it has a pool and a lovely playground, a pool and did I mention that it has a pool? It’s a wonderful place to finish up and watch our son turn into a mer-boy before heading back to reality in a couple or so days.

I can’t believe how quickly a month has gone by. As the crow flies we are about 250km south of our most northerly point… that’s a lot. Especially when you think that we travel at a pace that is about as fast as a person jogging.

It’s been a fantastic month, we’ve definitely pushed our boundaries and earned our stripes as novice cruisers. I’m looking forwards to heading home and casually dropping ‘cruiser-eze’ into conversations because now I feel like we’re on the ‘inside.’  I’m waiting for my first chance to say “Oh, we can just drop the hook” in a very casual-it’s-totally-not-a-problem-and-I’m-not-stressing-at-the-thought-of-anchoring kind of a way. The other thing I’m dying to do is to make up the name of a bay …something like ‘Stubble Cove’ and slip it in to a conversation – sort of like “Oh yeah, we just love to drop the hook in Stubble Cove.” I just want to see if people catch me on it, or just nod and agree in exactly the way I do. Seriously… No matter how many places I visit around here, I still, on a daily basis meet people who rave about amazing places that I’ve never even heard about. My apologies to the people who told me about a ‘lovely little anchorage’ at Hole In the Wall. ….I didn’t believe you, but apparently that is actually a place, I found it on a chart. Turns out It’s a beautiful secluded anchorage inhabited only by people with very large balls…. it’s surrounded by crazy strong rapids.

The young man has come a long way on this trip too. He tells me daily that he loves being on the boat and he loves this life. If I ask him which is better power or sail he doesn’t hesitate. “Power”…. we’re working on that. He also reminds us daily how much he wants us to get an outboard for the dinghy. Frankly I don’t see the point. When I’m rowing him about, he likes to sit at the back and ‘drive’ using his imaginary outboard. He does it all, from pulling the starter, to giving it some good revs by turning the handle in order to get it warmed up.  I LOVE that thing…. It’s quiet, runs on air, eco friendly, light… What more could we ask for…. Propulsion probably.

I’m no M. Wylie Blanchet yet, but after exploring more of BC than I’ve done before I understand her love for this place. I feel like I underestimated cruisers before now. It takes a lot of skill, luck and plain old gumption to cruise these waters. My journey from racing to cruising has taught me a lot more about seamanship than I ever expected but there’s more than that. A racer friend of ours was over last night, sharing tales over a Dark n Stormy or two. He’s just bought a new racier boat and is excited about all the new prospects it offers him on the race courses. It offers him less cruising options though. “Ah, Desolation, who really needs to go to north anyway” was his comment.

We do. There’s a raw kind of magic up there and I feel the pull.









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