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Thursday, October 01, 2015

British Columbia by boat Day 7: Lund

We had a debate in the morning about whether to move the boat. While the night had been windy, it wasn't rough, indicating that Tenedos Bay was an excellent location. On the other hand, if we wanted to move the boat, all indications was that tomorrow would be a horrible day to do it, while the morning looked like it was going to clear. The problem with Tenedos bay was that we'd exhausted everything you could do there, while at Laura Cove or Melanie Cove, it looked like we could hike and swim.
After breakfast, however, the blue skies came and we decided to move the boat so that we'd be in Laura Cove at low tide. Piloting the boat out into Desolation sound, we congratulated ourselves on making the right call as it looked gorgeous! The scenery was moving, but as we moved into Prideux harbor, our optimism about spots opening up diminished. Piloting into Laura Cove, I was dismayed to find that despite all assurances that the place had quieted down, there was not a single place where I'd be satisfied to anchor at, given the big blow that I knew was coming: I did not want to settle for anything less than a secure anchorage.

We settled for Prideux harbor, right inside the entrance. There was little wind protection, but enough swinging room that I could drop anchor with 200' of rode! When it comes to anchoring, more rode is better, especially in tidal waters, and I felt good about this decision.

After lunch, we took the dinghy out and used it to explore Melanie Cove (also very crowded), and planned to swim in the lagoon between the coves. At low tide, we could see all the Oysters bedded along the tidal flow, and tried to think of ways of plucking the oysters. I got into my swimming trunks and waded in the water, which was cooler than the Unwin lake. After it got deep enough, I plunged in and swam onto the opposite shore, where the water was warmer (maybe 76F) but no less shallow. It wasn't a very pleasing swim. I had just started swimming back when I heard Bowen crying.

"We're going to have to drive into the harbor and get a doctor," said Arturo. "What? How about calling on the VHF to see if there's already a doctor within the area?" I said. "Great idea!"
We went back to the Stray Cat, and after I looked at the wound it was obvious that it needed stitches. I got onto the VHF and radio'd my question, and immediately the Canadian Coast Guard responded! After some discussion, they called me on my cell phone, and we had a conference call with the emergency services, where they ascertained our location, and got a team out to the Westview harbor where the Coast Guard would ferry the paramedics out to us. The plan was to get Bowen and Xiaoqin out to the Powell River hospital while we would then follow in the Stray Cat.

It was a tense hour waiting for the coast guard boat, but they arrived in good time, identified us, and tied up along us with professionalism and speed born of practice. They didn't even examine Bowen's wound, and just shuffled him and Xiaoqin aboard the high speed rescue vessel. We asked their advice on how to follow and they suggested Lund. While Bliss Landing might have slip space for us, they emphasized that it was a dirt road connection to Powell River, which would not be comfortable or cheap from Powell River.
With tension and impatience, we weighed anchor and drove out of our precious parking space. Arturo noted that the anchor came up with pounds of mud, indicating that we had dug in well and good and would have been very secure. For the first time but not the last, I kicked myself for not getting a fast motorboat instead of a sailing catamaran, which was turning out to be a ridiculously unsuitable charter for the area.

The trip to Lund was easy, and the water was surprisingly flat given the weather. Upon arrival at Lund, we discovered the public dock was full, leaving only the breakwater floating slips available to us late arrivals. Not only would it be uncomfortable, it would require ferrying Xiaoqin and Bowen in the dinghy. We opted for the hotel dock, and it turned out they had room for us. It was a tight docking maneuver, but the couple in the home-made boat a couple of spaces ahead of us moved a dinghy to fit us in better. They even turned out to be from Bowen Island!

By the time we were docked and paid up, Xiaoqin had called and said that Bowen's stitches were all done! She had to buy some medical supplies but would soon be on a taxi over to Lund. That was a relief, and gave us permission to take pictures at the "End of Highway 101" marker, and have a scrumptious dinner over looking the beautiful sunset at Lund. We even sprang for the fried snickers bar dessert, which was every bit as decadent as you might imagine.
After dinner, Xiaoqin showed up with Bowen and a bunch of bandages and medical supplies, and the crew of the Stray Cat was united once more, if a little bit exhausted and tense by the emergency. We had started the morning making decisions based on the possibility of being bored while at Tenedos Bay, but at that moment we all wished we'd had a bit more boredom and a little less excitement!

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