Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Days 18, 19 & 20 - Relaxing in Nanaimo

Sunday,  July 31, 2011.
Woke to clear skies above but cloudy across the Strait over on the mainland side.  It got rolly for awhile from an easterly swell that came through the Newcastle-Protection Is gap.  We had a lazy morning and went to town around 1000.  We found a French bakery (in my opinion, not as good as Olympia’s Bread Peddler) called Mon Petit Choux and had breakfast sitting outside.  I then said good bye to this crew and walked them to the car where they left about 1200.  Their boat trip is over.   

Newcastle Harbor evening
I walked to the store and got a few provisions since the next crew is not supposed to arrive for three days.  I also decided to stay at the buoy I was at instead of anchoring so I had to purchase three days of moorage.  You pay for moorage at the small cafe on Newcastle Island.  The cafe was packed with people wanting ice cream and lunch.  I felt sorry for the gals behind the counter with this onslaught of people pressing up against the counter.  I simply waited until the gal said, "Can I help you?"  I told her I wanted to pay for moorage when another lady with four kids interrupted us wanting ice cream.  I was in no hurry and said, "Go ahead."  Finally the counter lady returned to me, obviously frazzled, and we proceeded to settle the moorage bill.  Not until I left the building did I discover that the name of the boat was mis-spelled and the moorage dates were all wrong.  Rather than return to the madhouse, I figured I would fix this with ranger as he made his rounds later checking the boats at the buoys.  

I spent the afternoon listening to music and relaxing while the generator ran.  The day was quite cloudy, but around 1600 the clouds started to burn off and by 1700 it was clear.  It turned out to be a gorgeous, wam evening.  I barbecued supper and sat out on the deck with a nice cold drink and a cigar enjoying the Newcastle Harbor scenes.  I was enjoying just being alone.

Monday,  August 1, 2011
Happy BC Day!  Day was sunny and hot until very late in the day.  Newcastle Island was filling up fast with families and people.  Each Newcastle ferry that arrived was packed with folks wanting to spend the day on Newcastle Island.  The harbor was filling with boats.  People cruised by the MV Independence in small runabouts, dinghies, kayaks, small day sailboats, and canoes.  A colorfully painted houseboat anchored nearby and put up a sign and sold hot dogs from the boat.  It seemed that all of Nanaimo was either on the water or on Newcastle Island.

I ran the generator to put a chill on the refer and a charge on the batteries.  Yesterday I bought a couple of books to keep me occupied while I waited for the new crew.  Besides reading and doing crossword puzzles, I spent time cleaning up the boat from dog hair.  It was amazing how much dog hair I vacuumed off of the boat.  Part of yesterday's crew change was that the dogs went back home too.  I love having the dogs on the boat, but it was nice to have a break from them too, especially getting rid of the dog hair.  I also did some chores - thoroughly cleaned the head and organized the aft and main cabin.  I made a list of victuals needed for the trip home.  And I thoroughly checked the engine over for the last leg home.  Finally about 1530 I went on a hike around Newcastle Is which was fun, but tiring.  I forgot how long 7 km was.  Walking along the eastern and north sides of Newcastle Island was nice because there was a nice breeze blowing off of the Strait of Georgia, but when I walked down the west side of the island - whew it was hot.  As I walked around the island, I remembered reading a previous log book post where I had crossed the Strait in the morning, then walked around the island with the boys, went to town to get groceries, and made supper.  That was about 10 years ago and I must have been in better shape then than I am now. 

I came back to find all the ice I had bought the previous day had melted so I went to buy some new ice.  I came back made a nice cold drink and prepared a supper of red pepper/chili rubbed pork chops and a refreshing cold sunomono salad.  Sunomono is a refreshing Japanese salad of cucumbers, vinegar and sugar.  After supper, it became very cloudy and cooled off; it definitely wasn’t as nice an evening as it was the previous day.

Tuesday,  August 1, 2011.

Last day in Nanaimo. The new crew is supposed to show up late this afternoon to help me do the last leg home to Olympia.  I think I was ready to leave Nanaimo.  It's a great place to wait but I was ready to leave and continue the trip. I took some time to check the tides and currents for the next few days, listen to the extended weather report, and finalize my itinerary for the journey home. I had thought about some alternate places to stay, but I stuck with my plan of Montague Harbor, Friday Harbor, Hope Island, Kingston, and then Olympia.

I had a lazy morning.  I made a nice hearty breakfast.  Went to Newcastle Island and took a brisk walk followed by a refreshing shower.  All of yesterday's crowds had gone so this morning I pretty much had the island to myself.  I finished my book that I had started and glad it was a fictional story.  A part of the story was that the US was about to go to war with Canada.  And did a couple of crossword puzzles. Then I went in to town with a stop at the Chandlery to get stove alcohol (it's so much cheaper here only $10 per gallon) and a few other things, then to the grocery store to get some final provisions, and a stop at the liquor store.  By now it was 1600 and the new crew was scheduled to arrive.  All I needed was a bag or two of ice.  I was waiting in the Zipper across from a fishboat, when the owner of the fishboat  "Ocean Mistress" came down and filled up a wheelbarrow full of ice.  He said with a big grin, "I'm gonna make a ton of margarita's with this.  If you want some ice, grab a shovel aboard and help yourself."  I thanked him and helped myself to filling a 5 gallon bucket I had with ice.  Just then the new crew showed up.

We returned to the MV Independence, stowed away gear, discussed the next few day's itinerary, and made a nice supper.  We had plenty of nice cold drinks that evening thanks to the Ocean Mistress.

Independence Sunomono Salad Recipe
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t sake (optional)
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • a drop (or two) of fish sauce
Place cucumber slices in a bowl, add remaining ingredients, mix well and let sit chilled for 30 minutes or more before serving.  Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top.  As a serving variation, place a portion of sunomono in a small dish and top with a tablespoon of fresh picked crab meat or fresh shrimp or prawns.

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