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Back to the islands

We are anchored off Sidney Spit tonight and just watched an orangy glowy sunset together in the cockpit. After a week in the town of Sidney, it feels marvelous to be at anchor again. We got quite a number of jobs checked off during our visit however and were even fortunate to be able to borrow a friend-of-a-friend’s slip for the week while they were hauled out at the boatyard.

After searching for a shop able to make new tangs for our masts the past few months without success we found the exact stainless tangs we needed at a local rigging shop here (Yachttech – excellent!). It was really nice to be still at the dock for hauling Michael and his tools up and down the masts about 12 (more!) times to get the shiny new tangs installed. (Our old tangs had obvious pitting and corrosion and were in desperate need of replacement). Wondertime’s rig is finally offshore ready which is a good feeling.

In Sidney we also had our first adventures at getting around town without a car. This being British Columbia the girls were over the moon at getting to ride on our first double-decker buses (top level, front seats naturally). We were fortunate that there was a route that ran right near the marina we were staying at (North Saanich) all the way to downtown Sidney. We took away several valuable lessons during our trips around town via dinghy, foot and public transportation:

1. Make sure you have broken your fresh $20 bill before you get to the bus stop that is miles away from any open shops.
2. When you are traveling with two young children, bus drivers are really nice about letting you use your transfer that is hours expired.
3. Bring your raincoat, especially when you are in Canada. Even in July.
4. It really is worth it to buy a local map when preparing to walk through the industrial part of town with two short-legged people in tow searching for a small rigging shop hidden amongst auto repair shops and lumber yards.
5. Before you haul your two tired and hungry children 1/2 mile to the bus stop, then wait 15 minutes in the rain for the bus, then ride 10 minutes to your stop, then hike another mile up the hill to the pub you are dying to eat (and drink beer) at…call to make sure minors are allowed in first.

Even with eating ice-cream almost daily in town we were more than ready to head back out to the islands after a week of the hectic “getting stuff done while we have the opportunity.” This morning we hopped across the bay to Sidney Spit marine park to wait out some strong winds that are forecast in the Strait of Juan de Fuca the next couple of days. After that we hope to catch a few quiet early morning windows and finally reach Barkley Sound by early next week.

Until then, we are enjoying playing on the (finally) sunny beach and clear cool water here at the spit. We sure enjoyed the wifi, hot showers, laundromats, garbage bins, West Marines and fish & chips shops. But digging our toes in the warm soft sand of the islands together is all we truly need.

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