Ship's Log
Friday, July 21, 2000
Sechelt to Pender Harbour

A Resort of Sorts

    I woke early and motored north past the Trail Islands. The wind picked up from the north and I was tempted to set the sails and tack all the way to Pender Harbour. But with the swells against me too, fighting them both would be futile. So I spent the day listening to the drone of the diesel engine and oiled the teak of the cabin bulkheads. I set up the autopilot remote so I could keep it below and just peak out of the forward hatch to spot hazards in the up ahead. If I needed to change my course I could do so right from inside the cabin. It seemed silly to be steering by remote, but I did get a coat on all the teak by the time I arrived in Pender Harbour at 5pm.

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Pender is a big bay with many different marinas. I have a couple of books, but they don’t describe the things that are most important to me: ie. Which one has a real grocery store nearby not just a convenience store at the head of the dock selling bait, fuel and avocados at $2 each? Which marina is the cheapest? Which have pump-outs for my holding tank? Nope, they just list them and give their phone numbers. I guess if I had a cell phone, I could just call them. But I did buy the dang book…Anyhow, for whatever reason, I ended up at Fisherman’s Resort. I think it was because they had a big sign that said, "Save on Fuel." And I figured that if they had fuel they must have a pump-out station. I am about 20 days into this thing the holding tank is starting to ripen…Not to mention that my fresh water tank is just about empty. 

As I approached, two teen-aged girls ran down the dock and asked me if I need moorage. They were the owner’s daughters and in charge of assigning boats to slips. They made me circle the bay a few times until they figured out where I would fit best. I didn’t mind, it’s not like I am in a hurry. Once settled I walked onto shore, paid and made some calls.

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I went into the store at the head of the dock and bought some essentials: transmission fluid, garlic, lamp oil, and an avocado for $1.89 Then I did laundry, took a walkpender05.jpg (54491 bytes), filled my propane tank, and returned to the boat. The marina was filled with retirees on their motorboats drinking cocktails and shouting to each other from their folding deck chairs. All the boats were lined up and I felt like I was sitting in my tent in the middle of the parking lot of RVs--a situation I’ve been in more than once. I made dinner using most of the fresh vegetables that Betsy left. I had rice and broccoli with peanut-ginger sauce. After I finished the dishes, I changed the transmission fluid. It has been having trouble going into forward. Reverse engages every time at any rpm, but forward takes a while and lately is has been taking a long while. In good weather, it isn’t a problem because it is reverse that you need to have on demand when docking or to avoid a hazard. 

When I was buying the boat, I took it for a test sail with the yacht broker. We couldn’t get into gear and we ended up bumping into a piling as we tried to leave the marina. I made a deal with the seller to split the cost of a transmission overhaul and he agreed to take $500 off the selling price. That was in July 23, 1993 and I never did get it looked at. So, I replaced the fluid and made sure not to overfill the gearbox. It only takes about a cup of transmission fluid. I buttoned it up, tested it and it worked better than ever (which isn't saying much). Then I washed the boat, took a shower, filled the fresh water tank and started working on the website. I have been too busy to really work on it. And after talking to my sister today, I realized that a ton of people are checking in daily and wondering if I ever made it out of Ganges Harbour. 

So I set up the computer in the V-berth, opened the hatch to watch the moon, and started typing. I wrote for a while then I worked on the navigation of the site, then I wrote some more. At one point I looked out of the hatch and saw a strange light in the distance like someone lit a thousand streetlights at the other end of the bay. I peeked my head out of the hatch and heard birds. I realized that the sun was coming up. I must be pretty far north…it was only 4:30. I shut down the computer and nodded off.

It's a small world after all. It's a small small world.

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