Part II: Poets Cove to Telegraph Harbour
(Continued from Captain’s Blog – Part I)
The next morning on the boat and the second without a shower. I toss around debating if the coffee will be worth the cold morning air, when the door creaks open. “Wake up. Come outside!” I put on a jacket and rush to find an otter sunbathing on deck.
She rolls from her belly onto her back. Then around to her side, trying to get the perfect position. Moving back and forth she suddenly notices our heads and scrambles to the back of the boat. She jumps over the seats and off the stern, leaving a trail of tiny paw prints.
Wide awake, I forget about the shower and remember the trap we set the night before. We squeeze our life jackets over our warm clothes and head out on the dingy again. We spot our little pink buoy bobbing in the distance. Hand over hand we pull until…Success!
The fish head completely gone. Replaced with slippery kelp and one unlucky, but colorful crab.
We measure him for size. Good enough to keep. A rock crab, the Captain says. Caught mostly by luck we happily congratulate ourselves for not coming up entirely empty handed. It could’ve been just a rock.
After cleaning our crab and some breakfast, we head to shore to Saturna Island.
A short hike on a well maintained trail leads to a pretty view looking out on the harbor and back over the Straight of Georgia toward Vancouver
Fully satisfied with our morning we retrieve our anchor and say goodbye to Winter Cove.
By mid day the sun is out and the weather finally warm. We practice sailing until the wind dies and motor over mirrors the rest of the way.
Our third night is at Poets Cove. Home to a 22-unit resort and more importantly, the first showers since Vancouver.
I gather my toiletries and a few loonies–a dollar per four min in the public bathrooms. Turns out we’re not staying at the resort as I had hoped.
In the rec center I manage four minutes of hot water before the shower dies. With the machine refusing to take any more of my coins I finish washing my face in the sink. Not exactly the Ritz. But after three long days and nothing but baby wipes, it might as well have been the spa.
Fresh and mostly clean, we treat ourselves to dinner at the hotel restaurant. A luxury after cooking on the boat. A couple cold beers and we knock out for the night.
The next morning the weather is even better. The wind really cooperating as we let the sails loose. A full day of tacking and jibing on our way to Birds Eye Cove.
After the previous nights so-so food, we’re told Shipyard Restaurant guarantees redemption. One of the best pubs in the islands.
It was. Two thick cuts of white cod wrapped in a crispy light batter. A squeeze of lemon, sprinkling of white vinegar, a dip of tartar sauce. Airy and delicious. Gone in a matter of bites.
With sweet mussels in a creamy white wine sauce, a little lemon, and crunchy garlic bread.
Another shower and a belly full of seafood. I’m getting used to this life.
After dinner we make a final attempt to catch another crab and instead find ourselves up a creek without a paddle. With our outboard motor out of gas, we give up on the crab and manage to make it back in good spirits before the sun sets.
The next day we set sail and dock at Telegraph Harbour after a full day on the water.
Inside the marina’s small store and cafe, is a fifties style ice cream counter with matching bar stools. In addition to ice cream, the store also sells cold meats and cheeses along with fresh baked bread and made to order pies. We buy one of each–pie and baguette.
Back on the boat we wait for our order. With no other opportunities for crab and our trip coming to an end, we brainstorm a recipe to stretch our prized crustacean. We gently boil him in a pot then crack open the hard shell. No part is spared for our crab and corn chowder.
After three hours our soup is bubbly and bread and pie, straight from the oven. We pat ourselves on the back, spooning up our hard earned meal. It wasn’t the seafood feast we envisioned, but rounded with a glass of white and fresh butter, it was good and memorable.
We ended with a fruit of the forest pie. Thick buttery crust with a tart filling of warm blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and rhubarb. A sweet finish to our maiden voyage.
While our visit to the Gulf Islands started slow, like most great trips, it was over all too soon. Each island has it’s own unique charm and character and that’s just the handful we visited. So if you have the chance to get off the beaten path, go for it. You might have to wait a few days for a shower, but the pie’s delicious!