Published: June 15th 2009June 7th 2009
Waiting to board
Horshoe Bay ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo,Vancouver Island
June 5, Friday
This morning we headed southwest to the greater Vancouver area to visit Deb's siblings. I rode in a car for the first time since riding in the mini-van taxi in Corozal Town, Belize back in April. Prior to that, the last time in a cage was on January 31, in my Toyota truck getting out of town. It's a slightly weird feeling, that's for sure. To get anywhere in BC involves going around lakes and mountains, with occasional across lakes, and through mountains. We took the quickest route through Kelowna and Merritt, but it still took a tad over 5 hours of driving. Deb's sister Deanna is very nice, and I met her husband Tony and friend Mark. I also discovered that "personal use" of certain mind altering substances is legal in BC, but I won't go into that except to say my own mind wasn't altered. Artificially anyway.
June 6, Saturday
Deb and I rode the Sky Train into Vancouver, and did some sightseeing and shopping, then met Deanna, Tony and brother Steve with girlfriend Kat for supper. All had a great time, each one of these folks are good people in their own
right. I talked to Steve at some length, getting his ideas and advice about a good boat for living aboard and doing some exploring. Even though he is a power-boat guy, his basic opinion is that a sailboat is the only good choice if one is doing the traveling thing. He says that the absolute dependence on fuel is a definite drawback of powerboats.
June 7, Sunday
Since Deb will be visiting relatives until Wednesday, I decided to head over to Vancouver Island to look around and to try to hook up with Bob and Marilyn Osleeb. This is the couple we met in the Everglades who had the really cool "camping" sailboat. They live on Cortes Island, which involves 3 different ferry rides. I left Deanna's place just in time to be 4 minutes late for the ferry out of West Vancouver -Horseshoe Bay for Nanaimo - Departure Bay. Ah well. Next one was only two hours away, so I took my book and strolled into the little village for a coffee. When I returned to Bear, I found he'd made friends with about 25 other bikes. The ferry guys run all the bikes up to the
front which helps save room for all the cars and trucks. They also provide chocks to brace the upward side of the bike. The recommendation was to put the bike, in gear, on the sidestand and chock under the pipes, or skid plate for stability. The water was very smooth, and not much wind, so I wasn't too worried anyway. An hour and thirty-five minutes later I rolled off the ferry and headed north along the coast road towards Campbell River. I had made contact with Bob via email, and decided to try to get over to Cortes Island to camp at the Provincial Park. I made the 5:30 ferry by squeaking through as the ships horn was sounding departure, and stayed by Bear for the 10 minute ride to Quadra Island. From the west side of Quadra, I followed the road to the eastern shore, and was first in line for the next ferry to Cortes. Three cars later, up walks Bob and Marilyn to greet me. We had ridden the same ferry over to Quadra. We got a coffee and some groceries at the nearby market, and then boated over to Cortes. I followed Bob for a short
tour of Cortes, saw where he has a "workshop" for his boats and plans, saw where his live-aboard Chris Craft powerboat is moored, with one of his Big Jennys alongside, and ended with setting up BIg Agnes in the campground at the nearby park, with plans to join Bob and Marilyn in the morning.
There are more photos below