We left Port Browning marina on Monday and headed to Montague Harbour on Galliano Island, which I have written about before and is a favorite spot for many reasons. We were only able to sail a little bit, but we did see dolphins along the way – that is always a treat.
After anchoring we took a walk at the park and had a swim. The water is pretty cool in most of the bays, 63-64 degrees, so these are quick swims! Ralph calls them refreshing. On Tuesday it was Noah’s 16th birthday, so he and I went on an adventure that is famous in Montague Harbour, the pub bus to the Hummingbird Pub. The bus driver, Tommy, is a famous ex-bus driver from Vancouver who hands out percussion instruments as you board and everyone rocks out as we bump along. He stops to offer rides to anyone along the road and to point out things of interest (one thing is a very large meadow where a woman takes care of retired race horses).
The pub itself is nice enough, Noah and I shared nachos and had drinks (beer for me, a special fruit drink for him) and we watched the MLB all-star game on TV. It was a fun celebration and then we went back to the boat for spaghetti and birthday brownies.
On Wednesday we decided to check out Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island. Saltspring Island is the largest of the gulf islands and is home to lots of funkiness – artists and free spirits abound. The town of Fulford is really cute and we enjoyed anchoring there for a night. Thursday we headed to Russell Island, just about 1.5 miles away, which is a tiny island that is part of the Gulf Islands National Park reserve. At one time the island was privately owned and there is a historical home on the island. To walk around the island takes about 30 minutes and it covered with lovely trees and has beautiful vistas. We met Henri and Anne there from ArielX and two other Sceptres showed up in the small anchorage – we had a fun time socializing, kayaking and hiking. No swimming in this area – the water registered at 59 degrees! We have to draw the line somewhere.
We stayed at Russell Island for 2 nights; it really is at the top of our current list of favorites. On Saturday we went to Madrona Bay, which is near Ganges on Saltspring. Anne and Henri had given us some bait for our crab trap, so on Saturday morning we set it out. Sunday we hauled it up, only to find one crab on top of the trap (?) and one crab in the trap, which we had to release because it was a female. Oh well, hopefully next time! I shouldn’t forget to mention that we went to the fabulous Ganges market on Saturday, which is filled with work by the local artists, local foods and fresh fruits and veggies. We got ice cream.
This morning Charlie and I took Noah over to Ganges with the dinghy to he could catch his flight back to Vancouver. It was fun having a young person on board. Today it was so windy and choppy that when Charlie and I got back to the boat we were soaked! Such is boat life sometimes. We are planning to go to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island tomorrow (in Washington), so we’ve depleted our fresh food as much as possible (strange border crossing rules we have in the U.S.) We need to check out of Canada before we wear out our welcome.
Sunset kayaking at Montague
Noah and I on the Pub Bus
A beautiful collage mural by local artists
One of the giant jellyfish around here
My kayaking buddy
Pizza party with Anne and Henri
Ralph and Noah squaring off at an old form of checkers
Panorama from Russell Island views
Russell Island sunset
Catching crabs – this is a girl so she gets thrown back
Noah taking off from Ganges
Learning how to drive
Sunset at Montague
Resting during our hike at Montague Park
Beach dog taking a break
Brave Noah jumping in
Pub bus fun
Toasting his 16th!
Noah and Tommy Transit, the famous pub bus driver
Noah giving the thumbs up to classic Johns family cuisine, the spaghetti burrito
Apples growing on Russell Island
Russell Island – dog and boy friendly
Crab trap ready!
Crab trap down – this is what you see from the surface