Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scenes from Today's Walk

We had somewhat planned to go to the science center today, but looking at reviews last night where the most common word used was 'expensive', and then a GORGEOUS blue sky when we got up this morning, we decided to take a walk along the seawall towards Stanley Park.  We were feeling ambitious, and felt that perhaps we might even round the point and come back into downtown for some lunch.

Viking Star is at anchor, about at that anchor symbol just west of the Cambie Bridge. We took the dinghy to the west end of David Lam Park, and pretty much followed the seawall all the way to Second Beach, then turned  on the path that follows the north edge of Lost Lagoon and followed the water to where it says Coal Harbour Park, before following Georgia to Burrard, where we had Japadogs, and made our way back to David Lam Park.
We stopped at a huge Starbucks near Morton Park.  Thus fortified, we moved past this sculpture and continued around English Bay.

It's called A-maze-ing Laughter. 

The BIGGEST tree I have ever seen ON an apartment building

Park your stroller here!

We thought this was artwork, drilled or glued, but no.  Artist Josh Shaver strictly uses balance and meditation to place the rocks.  We stopped for a pleasant chat.

Okay, I need to take a break from the photos to tell you of a first for me!  A bird pooped on my head!  And not just me -- it was a Two-For-One shot!  Al and I were bent over a map on a table at Second Beach, and we had noticed many crows/ravens hanging around the snack shop.  I even saw one taking a bath in the heated pool.  No, really!  So we were bent over the map, trying to decide how far we wanted to venture into Stanley Park, when a shadow rose above us, and *SPLAT!*   We had to throw that map away and go attempt to clean up.  Maybe that's why Canadians call them WASHrooms?

Big Mama black squirrel

This setting swan explains the mound we saw earlier, behind a fence and abandoned.  

Pretty view of the city across Lost Lagoon

BC Place in the Evening

I posted this picture on facebook, and I like it so much I think it deserves to be posted here.

BC Place has been in Vancouver for over 30 years, but it is perhaps best known as the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  And it has been our 'backyard' for the past week.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Meeting a Friend

Deneen and I have been friends since March 2010.  But we didn't meet until today!

A modern friendship, we were introduced on facebook, by a suggestion from my brother.  She was the friend of a friend of his daughter, my niece.  He said her posts were among the most positive and uplifting he had seen, and 'She lives in Vancouver, too!  I can just see you two getting together and chatting over coffee!'

Yes, we both lived in Vancouver.  Only I was in Washington State and she was in British Columbia.

'Never mind,' I said.  'We will get there eventually!'

And here we are, today:

Deneen organized a Tea at Ardorabelle, and it WAS adorable!  And I met many of the friends I have 'seen' on facebook, and a few more!  It was a lovely continuation of our friendship.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The 'Other' Vancouver!

We had some big, unexplainable-to-us waves at the dock in McNabb Creek, so we moved back to Plumper Cove for two nights on the dock.  It was nice to get off the boat and walk around a bit.  I found some sea glass on the beach across the point.

Thursday afternoon we motored around to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.  We had intended to anchor in Mannion Bay, but found it quite crowded, quite deep, and bumpy with ferry wash.  We had intended to buy one night at the Union Steamship Company Marina anyway, so we called them up and got a slip assignment. NICE place, and cute area.  We had a wonderful meal at Tuscany that evening, and coffee and breakfast sandwiches at The Snug the next morning.  The marina facilities were wonderful, including a lounge with cable TV!  We put them on the list for possible wintering-over sites.

It was a pretty afternoon for a boat ride in to Vancouver!  We are here especially so I can finally meet a facebook friend, face-to-face.  I will be attending a Tea Party with Deneen and many of her friends on Sunday!  But we plan to stay in False Creek, right downtown, for a week or maybe two.

Rounding Pt. Atkinson

False Creek is bordered by seawalls with wonderful walking and biking paths.  This is the largest group of dogs I have personally seen being walked -- SIX large dogs!

The view from our anchorage includes BC Place, the stadium  for opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

There is a rainbow of little ferries throughout False Creek, flitting around like cute little bugs!

Our cityscape sunset last night.

We had intended to go to the Grenville Island Market today, but typical northwest rain has moved in.  It will be a long, soggy dinghy ride, but I hear there is fudge!  We will wait a little while first, to see if it lightens up a bit.

(p.s.:  we made it to Grenville Island the next day, fun and interesting place.  There was fudge, but to be honest we were a bit disappointed in it....)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Howe Sound

We couldn't have asked for a better forecast for our crossing of the Strait of Georgia on Friday!  Less than one-foot waves, and sunshine, though the haze got thicker as the day went on, and it looked like rain was following us.  The mountains showed up better than I thought in this picture!

And my favorite -- GLOSSY water!
We anchored out for a couple of nights.  I guess the crossing tired us out more than we thought -- we slept 10 hours the first night.

This is Oliver.  Can't you hear him?  'Please, sir...?'   No, we didn't feed him.

 We left Plumper Cove this morning, and poked around West Bay on Gambier Island.  Then we went up the fiord a bit, towards Squamish.  This rock is called Mariner's Rest.
A cross on top, and if you look closely, there is an anchor to the right of it.
Yes, it is what it seems.  Read more here:

Numerous waterfalls

It looks like we are slumming it tonight!  Al found out about this place on Active Captain.

Cool neighbors, though!  A black bear and geese on shore, a loon crying, seals splashing, a young eagle fishing.  THIS is what we came here for!

Our first bear!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dinghy Dock Pub

After a fine afternoon of hiking on Newcastle Island (the bagpiper was an excellent touch!), we puttered over to the Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island for burgers and beer.  Now Viking Star was part of the view in the last photo from the last post, AND she was part of OUR view from the pub!  We tend to choose to sit inside because we are able to sit outside pretty much anytime we want.

We ended up staying for the majority of the evening, as there was a musical trivia competition going on.  It was very good entertainment, and we made a friend of Bruce sitting at the next table.

This morning after breakfast, showers, and pulling the dinghy up, we will be crossing the Strait of Georgia, bound for Howe Sound.  It looks like a flat sunny day for it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

DeCourcy Island, Dodd Narrows, and Nanaimo

After another gorgeous sunset on DeCourcy Island,

We were up early for breakfast, and so were these raccoons.

We head out for Dodd Narrows, and our timing is perfect.  We hear there is a southbound tug with a log raft in tow.   He says the current is still flowing about 2 knots, but he heads in anyway.  We see him emerge very shortly after.

His little tender tug turns around and heads right back ahead of us.  We are passing through only 15 minutes before slack current, but there are still a few little swirlies.

Just around the bend, Nanaimo waits for us!

We decided to take a slip for the evening.  It will make provisioning that much easier, and we want to explore a little and check out possibilities to winter over in Nanaimo.  First stop -- Javawocky! for fabulous lattes and excellent sandwiches made with local products. Then we stop at a little gift shop, Newfoundland to Nanaimo, where the owner is a fellow boater and gives us some pointers about some of the marinas.  We walk along the beautiful sea wall.

At one marina, we come across a most unusual 'boat':

If you haven't guessed, Nanaimo is famous for its bathtub races, and this is the escort boat!

A picture frame sculpture overlooks the tidal lagoon

The view from the pub where we stopped for a refreshing beer.  The seaplane base is a busy place!   Newcastle Island on the left is a marine park.  Protection Island on the right has homes and the Dinghy Dock Pub.  Perhaps we will go there for dinner tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunny Days!

Well, no sunburn, but my freckles are popping out all over!

The first of two sunsets we saw in Ladysmith.  We had a perfect spot, on the last row in the marina, with our back deck facing the view.  The second sunset was similar, but from the Page Point Bistro, where we were given the prime table for sunset viewing for our anniversary dinner!

The eagles here were VERY vocal, tossing their heads about.  They also used the space between the docks and the hillside as their 'highway'.  I wish I could have set up traffic lights so I could know the perfect time to have my camera ready for a flight photo.
 Yesterday morning we moved over to DeCourcy Island.  Northwest winds were predicted, so we chose to anchor at the south of the island rather than in the actual Pirate's Cove.

Otter tail! 

We did dinghy to shore to explore.  The beach was an interesting mix of stones and shell.

Our neighbors 

It was harder to find a 'window' for Viking Star.

Al decided he needs a day to work on the cap rail Cetol, taking care of spot failures.  That means I can also do some transcription work, and reading!  I am not enjoying the book I am reading, but not enough that I want to quit it.  This doesn't happen to me often, but I want to FINISH and be done!  So read, read, read.

We have observed a small parade of boats heading toward Dodd Narrows.  We will be in the parade tomorrow.  It will mean no lollygagging for us tomorrow morning!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

First 'Timmy's'!

We are in Ladysmith today, and we heard there was a Tim Horton's here, so we HAD to go!

For Al

My choices
We left Wallace Island for Preedy Harbor on Thetis Island.  We only had a brief stop there.  The ferry came in.  Geez.  We'd have to use a stern anchor to keep us pointed into the ferry wakes there!  So we pulled up and went around the point into Telegraph Harbor.

We dinghied up to the pub/restaurant -- no one around.  The store/post office was closed for training of a new postmaster.  We walked up the road to look for the coffee shop and pottery studio talked about in the guides.  Nothing.  There WAS a big beautiful property that we learned was a bible school.

The next day we took the ferry to Chemainus.  It was a cute town with murals everywhere and footprints painted on the sidewalk to steer you past them.  We enjoyed the waterworks park, and we sat on a bench and watched the workings of the lumber mill while tasting the fudge we had chosen.

After a day for chores, we have motored to Ladysmith.  Tomorrow is our 11th Anniversary, and the nicest restaurant we could find 'nearby' is here.  We are at the Page Point Marina for two nights, and going to the Page Point Bistro for dinner tomorrow night.

We are getting a surprising 'kitty fix'.  There are two boat cats here in the marina, and both have stopped by for visits!  Pearl is a fluffy grey girl, and Squash is an orange tabby boy.  AND there are about three pet stores in Ladysmith, so we saw several in town today -- two batches of new kittens too!

And the sun is shining!!!  We have been working on our first sunburns...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The End of April

Wow, the month of May is forecast to be GREAT!  But April ended with a pretty nice day too.

I know others have posted goslings already, but these are the first WE'VE seen this season!

And there were eagles eying the fluffy morsels too...

A sailboat did a 'touch and go' at the channel this afternoon.  I was watching and thinking 'You're too far over!'  when I heard the shout 'Reverse, reverse!'

Nice touch, God!  A perfect ending to April.