Oh Canada! Pt 2

Day 3-4

After leaving South Pender Island, I was headed to Prevost Island with several small anchorages to chose from.  There  was supposed to be a favorable current on the west side of North Pender, but I didn’t find it.  Crossing Swanson Channel was like a game of Frogger with the ferries and commercial traffic. Once into Captain Passage, the wind seemed to spin around me constantly, and although I tried to sail I was becoming increasingly frustrated and decided to motor – there was still ferry traffic to Ganges and Long Harbour to be avoided.

I was a bit disappointed with the anchorages on Prevost Island, but to be honest, most of that is being alone and not experienced at solo anchoring.  Glenthorne Passage was lined with large houses and wasn’t the feel I was looking for. I felt it would be like camping in a subdivision. Annette looked beautiful, but was quite narrow and much shallower than I am used to. It had multiple obstructions to avoid at the entrance, one of which was marked with a rusty pole. I had high hopes for Selby, and it was gorgeous, but my guide book wasn’t up to date. A large home had extended a dock into part of the anchorage, and a dilapidated floating dock covered in seals was centered in the rest of the best part. That is one way to keep the riff raff out. I moved on. James was quite open to the path of a dozen ferries and I preferred a quieter night. Montague Harbour on Galliano just went to the top of my list, and was only a few miles away. It was on my agenda, just not this soon.

I was pleasantly surprised that Montague Harbour’s marine park had dozens of mooring balls. They are white with a yellow stripe and cost $12/night (cash only). The park official comes by around 4-6pm (always),so if you don’t have a dinghy you can still use the mooring balls. The harbor was calm and I took the dinghy in to the marina to catch the bus to the Hummingbird Inn Pub.

Tommy Transit is a local celebrity, and it is a bus ride like no other. Everyone gets a tambourine or maracas and the music comes on-loud. Tommy has a drum mounted on the steering wheel and numerous percussion instruments overhead. The bus runs hourly until 10p but the route closes late September.

The marina also has moped and kayak rentals, and Galliano is a LONG island.  You could make a day of it if you wanted. The mopeds were $22/h up to 3h, then $20/h up to 7 h, or $109/day. I might consider it on a future trip because I miss my Vespa, but I wanted more water time.

I had my first dinghy ride in the dark in search of my boat, sporting an inflatable solar Luci Light strapped to the chest strap of my backpack. I had left another colored Luci Light on the back stay to light my US flag and was surprised at how easily I found Rubi. It is true what they say about finding your way back in a sea of anchor lights. Do something original. I keep forgetting about the neon glow sticks I have stashed aboard.

I spent the next day relaxing, reading and enjoying Montague Harbour. I was in no big rush.

Wednesday morning I was getting a little worried. There were gales reported just north of me and it was a rocky morning. Strangely enough, a few miles away at Ganges, only 5 kts were reported. I had breakfast and got the dinghy outboard back on the boat which is a work out all on it’s own. My diesel heater is a bit sooty at the moment so I spent a little time cleaning. By 10a the wind had calmed significantly, so I fueled up at the dock and left so see what was next….I had four possible plans.


Vikings and the Po Po

We were on a leisurely trip to a state park island for a club event. I had a shelter reserved and more than usual boats arriving. As I came in to dock, a Sheriff was on the dock inspecting boats.  Interesting.

They didn’t seem very comfortable with boat things because they stood back when we were docking and were rather quiet as we tied up. I asked if there was a problem and he said “we will just let you do your boat stuff first”.


So we took our time as I mentally clicked off the things I needed for a Coast Guard inspection and where they were located. We tied up, didn’t like it, moved it, moved it again to leave more room for another boat, debated on spring lines, retied. They waited. He complimented our docking.

Mr. Sheriff asked me for my registration. I went below and came up with a small three ring binder which houses my registration, insurance, Logan’s rabies certificate, etc.  The front bears a map of the boat with a color and number coded map of the location of all thru hulls, pumps and tanks.
The officer was was having a hard time holding the binder and filling out his paperwork, so KS held it open for him like a writing desk. I asked three times if he wanted my Washington Boater’s card (even though I have no idea where to find it), and he declined. He said that I clearly had one because I knew about it. Note to self…find card.

“Do you want my cat’s Rabies certificate?”

“No, I don’t need that”.  I knew that, but I was finding it amusing to be overly helpful.

He asked about a CO (carbon monoxide) sticker I should have inside. I had no idea what he was talking about, neither did KS, and she has been sailing far longer than I. He was telling us it bore a symbol of a guy in a coffin.  Surely I would have recognized this by now?

“I have a carbon monoxide detector, isn’t that enough?”

No…you must have this sticker.

“Why? How will a sticker help?”

“Well….(his eyes go up, in that way that means you are remembering something) it shows people that come on your boat they could die from carbon monoxide.”

“OK”, and I looked at him in that “really?” sort of way, and he shrugged.

I also learned I had put my registration number on the wrong side of my registration sticker on one side of the boat. Dire mistake. Verbal warning. CG can’t read R to L, only L to R. Funny when you are hanging off the foredeck putting these stickers on….you only hope the letters are the right way up. Things in the front, stay in the front, no? I am a symmetry kind of girl.

As I was discussing with the officer about the man in the coffin sticker, I realized that as I moved my head, I felt movement up there. I was wearing horns. Actually I was wearing a knitted Viking hat, but bore horns. To his credit, the Sheriff’s officer never cracked a smile, but the realization of my hornage distracted me.

I received a pink slip saying I had been inspected with the two infractions noted, but only a verbal warning. I told him firmly that the registration sticker situation was not going to change until 2017 (my horns shook a bit at this) because I was not going to scrape off decades of stickers. “OK, show them your pink slip if you get inspected again.”

Shortly thereafter, while discussing this craziness down below, I pointed to the oil discharge placard that I am required to have, and noticed a sticker. A man coughing. Not a man in a coffin! I have lived on the boat for a year and a half and never realized that sticker was there.

Is there a point? Know where your STICKERS are located and wear horns when talking to the Po Po.