Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gulf Islands Trip Pt.4 - The Salt Spring Hat

After two nights tied up at Telegraph Harbour on Thetis Island, it was time for us to part ways with the crew of the Tarka. They would be headed to Maple Bay and then on to Sydney and we were destined to Salt Spring Island.

Another traveler as we head south in very gentle breezes.

We had a decent breeze to begin and enjoyed the feeling of being on our own. The routing would take us around the southern tip of Kuper Island then around the northeastern tip of Salt Spring. We had a gentile wind coming from the North West and this enabled us to enjoy a very long run with our drifter sail doing the lions share of the work. 

Rounding the point headed into Ganges

The heat was incredible and we kept ourselves hydrated. The passage was very pleasant. The 20 NM trip took just over 5 hours and we arrived at the Ganges Marina just after 15:00. 

First thing on the agenda was to get up a tarp for shade. Unbelievable just what a bit of shade can do for the overall temperature on the boat. 

Tied up in Ganges- you can see the tarp and the shades we used to keep out of the sun
Charlene was excited to be on the island as she was looking forward to going to a local museum and looking up an old friend who had roots on the island. This was my first time setting foot on Salt Spring, so everything was totally new to me. The marina was very close to any and all supplies one might need to restock the pantry. We found ourselves that first evening just to be content to restock our Ice supply and to sit and enjoy our boat treats watching the parade of American boats of all shapes and sizes come and tie up. There was no question Ganges was a busy marina. 

We had a great nights sleep and began day two on Salt Spring with a walk to the local museum. It was a kilometre inland and in the freaking heat seemed longer. But the walk was worth it as we arrived at this little homestead that now was the local historical society's museum. We were greeted by a rather friendly senior gentleman who bore a striking resemblance to Sir Richard Attenborough. I thought for just a second that we would be headed to Jurassic Park!

The Farmers Society Museum
Sir Richard gave us a personalized guided tour of the treasure trove of island artifacts contained in this little homestead. It really was quite the little gem and if you enjoy local history, then you got to go to this place if you find yourself on the island. 

Meanwhile, after returning to the boat for a afternoon snooze and some boat eats. Charlene and I broke out the backgammon board. Bets were placed and the skippers confidence was high. As you can see by the picture below, that confidence was soon shattered. (I'm playing white) It did not go well and as Forest Gump would say: "Thats all I am going to say about that."

The Ass Kicking - Charlene gammoned the skipper.

The other treat in Ganges is the Saturday Market, its less that a 5 minute walk from the berth and you really get a flavour of what Salt Spring Island is all about. People selling their wares, the only thing missing was someone singing "Sweet Molly Malone,,,,,, selling cockles and mussels alive alive O." Oh wait there was singing,,,,,,

The crowd at the Ganges Saturday Market
The trip to the market turned out to be a very successful one, as Charlene, who had been searching since last summer for a wide brimmed hat, was hoping to find her prize. It wasn't long before there she was standing before a mirror trying on hats. I had seen this movie before. 
This time the ending would be different as she found something that she liked, that kept the sun off her face and could be worn on the boat. It was the tri-fector. 

Charlene sporting her prize.

The market had pretty much everything, there was art, clothing, baked goods, jams, jellies, fresh farm produce, fresh meats, fresh fish and seafood. It certainly would be something I would return to during any future visit. 

We celebrated by treating ourselves to a local fish and chip supper from a food wagon just outside the marina. We would "take out" and enjoy with a nice cold one on Corleto's cockpit, again watching the parade of boats come and go into the Marina.

A toast to a great day
But as day 3 came to an end, Charlene in her hat, restocked ice and provisions in the galley, we both felt restless to leave. But where would we go? I had only planned and plotted to Ganges. 
Sunday morning came fast and we were anxious to get moving. 

We untied and cast off from Salt Spring and I set a course for what I hoped would be a little slice of Paradise. 
Where too?
We would not be disappointed.

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