Saturday, July 16, 2016

Victoria to Montague Harbour

As you cruise north the scenery gets better and we start to realize that our efforts to get here are starting to pay off. The Gulf Islands are another section of cruising grounds that have a lot to offer. There are abundant anchorages and marinas. Unlike the east coast, the going rate for a marina is between $1.00 to $1.50 per foot. However, everything is ala carte. You pay for showers, usually 1 Looney for 3 minutes and sometimes you even pay for throwing out garbage. The Gulf Islands have just come off a severe water drought and even at best times water is always conserved. No boat washing and filling up tanks is restricted to 40 gallons per day. We only use about 5 gallons so we are golden. Some of the stops we have made since leaving Victoria are: Poet’s Cove, Salt Spring Island, Montague Bay at Galiano Island, Ladysmith and today Thetis island.
Poet’s Cove is known for its resort. It is a bit pricy because of the “resort” name, but the marina is pretty standard. As marina guests we can use the pool and other facilities. A nice swim in a heated pool felt good.

Poets Cove Marina

 The next day we headed out to Salt Spring Island and stayed at a marina there with the same name. It was a great little town with a farmer’s market, a big hardware store and a great grocery. We stocked up on supplies and I purchased my fishing and shellfish license for Canada. So far I have invested $258.00 for my quest of Dungeness crab and have not gotten the trap wet. It was time to purchase some chicken backs and get the crabbing show on the road.
Becky and Dun departed us from Salt Spring Island for their return trip home, so today was the day to set my trap and then pick it up on the way out the next morning. My anticipation of success was doubtful, but I followed every pointer I read and asked about. Go in at least 35 feet of water, stand still, drop pot slowly. Let it hit bottom, pick it up and down a few time so you hopefully have it sitting flat on bottom, mark where you are on the GPS. I also put my name on the buoy so if someone stole it they knew who they stole it from and when I went to retrieve it I was sure it was mine.
Next day we left at slack tide for our short trip to the trap. Great, we found the buoy! I had Jess grab it and then I put the boat in neural and went out back to start pulling up the trap. Eureka, crabs!! They had to be the right size and they had to be males. I caught Dungeness and Red Rock. Try measuring live crabs that claws are not held shut with rubber bands. I resorted to pulling them out with tongs and then holding them from behind as I attempted to measure with the caliper. Good, two keepers. I now have two crabs worth $129.00 each. I am now obligated to continue my quest until I am under $20.00 per crab, the going retail rate. Perhaps if I catch a salmon or two I will get into the black sooner. To be continued.
Getting things ready for the kill.

Montague Bay was great! Part of Montague Bay is a Provincial Park. We picked up a mooring ball at the cost of $14.00 per night. We happened upon a couple of other Ranger Tugs and had an impromptu gathering. After wine, cheese and some good laughs on board “Irish Mist”, we took our dingies in to the dock and waited for the infamous Pub Bus driven by Tommy Transit. The bus came in on two wheels, stopped short and the doors opened to wild Tommy, blaring music and a big welcome to the Hummingbird Pub Bus. Somehow, when you travel on a boat you become very trusting of people. If we were in New York, you would have thought that this guy just escaped from Bellevue Mental Hospital unit and stole a bus. As we entered the bus we were each handed a percussion type instrument to play and sing along as we made our way to the pub. The Mamas and Papas “Creeque Ally” gets cued up and the fun and music begins. After a 15-minute ride of music and bedlam, we arrive at the Hummingbird Pub. Expect to wait 50 minutes for your order to arrive, but more drinks are passed around and the time goes quickly. I had what is called a Caesar. Not a salad, but a form of Bloody Mary made with clamato juice. Very good! I was tempted to get another, but with a double shot and what I had on the boat I figured I was good for the night. The halibut fish and chips were spectacular. Our trip back to the harbor was just a hectic, if not more, than the trip there. Tommy had a tape of screeching tires that he promptly put in as we were leaving the driveway. Wheels screech and Tommy grabbing the wheel and throwing himself about was quite a sight. What the hell have we gotten ourselves into? We arrived at our drop off point safe and sound and all waved goodbye to Tommy agreeing that this was definitely a unique evening. We all got to our dingies and made our way back to our respective boats somewhat safely.
The next morning, we prepped the boat for departure. We got into our dingy and motored to each tug to say our goodbyes. We find that these chance meetings and unplanned adventures produce great memories.

Our view in Montague Harbour

No Caption Required

Tommy Transit at the wheel and percussion

The Impromptu Tug Rendezvous Members
Allan, Jess, Me, Linda, Jay, Patti, Mark and Jodi

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