Captain’s Blog

Part I: Montageu to Winter Cove

After a full day on the water we awake in the Gulf Islands. Montageu Harbour, one of many in the chain between BC and Vancouver Island. It’s cold. Really cold. Not exactly what I pictured when we decided to charter a boat for a week long sailing lesson.

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Below 50ºF everything moves slower. The mountains still asleep under their blanket of fog. The water just beginning to stir. Our bodies waking, one limb at a time. With our eyes and nose breathing in the cold air, I take a good look around. It’s actually a beautiful morning.

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After a long stretch and a hot cup of coffee, we head off to Ganges Marina on Salt Spring Island. As we pull up, the dock is wide and welcoming.

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A scene from a story book, the sleepy town is warmed by brightly colored boats and buildings.

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One of the most populated islands, we find everything we need, including fish heads for bait

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A weekend farmers market, where we fill up on gooey, cheesy poutine

Deep fried dutch baby with sweet and savory, jams and chutneys

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And chilled local oysters. Overlooking the marina, with cocktail sauce, red wine mignonette, fresh horseradish and lemon.

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Restocked and refueled we board the boat and set out for Winter Cove, where we learn to properly anchor the 40-ft vessel. We deploy the heavy anchor, put the boat in reverse, and dig it deep into the sandy mud.

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With life jackets on we untie our dingy and after several attempts, we’re off.

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In search of the perfect spot, we explore the little cove for some time. We decide on one and to my relief, the noisy engine powers off.

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With the motor silenced, the sky is still. The water, calmer than before.

We open the cage and pull out yards of rope

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Without a how-to-guide, we toss our fish heads in and snap the cage shut.

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Then slowly lower one foot at a time until we hit bottom. Our buoy floating on the surface.

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With our trap set we head back to start dinner. As the sun sets, our night is filled with visions of garlic butter and black bean crab. We fall asleep, fingers crossed. The next morning…

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