We left the dock at Skyline Marina, Anacortes late Friday afternoon, with a plan to spend the night at Henry Island, before heading to Bedwell Harbor in the morning to check in at Canadian Customs. However, we had the first day spoilt by two incidents, both of which could have spelled an early end to the trip!
First, right outside the marina at Skyline, I stopped the boat to allow Rebecca, who was driving the Whaler, to come astern, climb aboard and rig up the tow. A 40ft Carver or something, driven by an absolute MORON, chose to accelerate immediately outside the harbor entrance and bring his boat, followed by a 4ft wake, very close to where we were maneuvering. Luckily I spotted the impending tsunami, yelled for Rebecca to back away and watch out, and then jumped back into the cockpit just as the giant wave hit English Rose, and flooded the cockpit. I would have been washed away had I not jumped, and we were lucky not have the whole boat flooded. It’s really hard to be friendly when affected by inconsiderate power boaters who drive around at speed without any thought for what is happening behind them. I gave a few choice words across VHF on 16.
We had a nice cruise to Henry Island, but on arriving we had incident number 2. As we walked Sophie ashore, an off leash dog from the only other boat on the dock came charging around aiming straight for us – its owners chasing it and yelling at us to beware. As the dog arrived, he circled us a couple of times, then attacked Sophie. Our poor little dog was shrieking as I stepped in to drag the attacker off her. Grabbing him by the scruff of his neck with two hands (he was quite a bit bigger than she), I tore him away and slammed him to the ground in a submission maneuver until his owners caught up. They were full of apologies, and fortunately Sophie was unharmed, but shaken. We had visions of our holiday ending in an emergency vet visit, or worse …
Despite this inauspicious start, we left Henry Island, checked in at Bedwell and arrived at Ganges later in the morning. Ganges was very quiet, and although it was market day, usually a busy, fun and crowded affair, the whole place seemed deserted. Are we just early in the season? Is it the weather (which of course has been awful recently), or just the malaise of the economy?
I discovered my new Garmin electronic chart for Canada was no longer functioning. So we decided to head to Nanaimo where there is a West Marine, to try to get it replaced. So Sunday saw us cruising against a 22 knot wind to take Dodd Narrows on the late afternoon slack. We stayed at the Nanaimo Yacht Club, who extend a welcome to visiting yacht clubs. On Monday morning, the good folks at Nanaimo West Marine did the right thing by this customer. Although I had no receipts or anything with me, they happily exchanged the SD card for one that worked. That’s an example of perfect customer care in my book. A big thanks to the staff at Nanaimo West Marine.