the Inside Passage Vancouver Island

Chemainus, BC

Saturday, October 24, 2009S.V. CAMBRIA

Telegraph Harbour sits between Thetis and Kuper Islands – the later belonging to the Penelakut First Nations people. It’s a nice anchorage with excellent protection from the wind and good holding in mud but, once again, we were disappointed to find the best spots taken by moorings and marinas and barely managed to squeeze in amongst them. In the summer months, it’s one of the Gulf Islands’ most popular places, but it’s very quiet this time of year – all of the craft shops and art galleries on Thetis are closed for the season – leaving walking the paved roads one of the few remaining distractions. The other, a ferry ride over to the the town of Chemainus, the main reason for our stop.

In 1982, the lumber mill in Chemainus was closed taking the main source of income with it. The community responded by inviting internationally known artists to use the buildings throughout town as their canvas to attract tourists and save their economy. There are now forty murals depicting their history with one currently “under construction”. We chose a beautiful day to make the crossing and walk the streets viewing every one of them under sunshine and blue skies increasing our optimism for a settled fall season. Unfortunately, the fine weather was short-lived.

After spending the remainder of the week waiting out rain with more forecasted to come tomorrow afternoon, we decided that we weren’t accomplishing much by staying out at anchor. We haven’t been able to make the progress through the islands that we’d like and most of our time has been spent inside keeping warm and dry rather than exploring, giving us no real reason to carry-on. It’s never easy to put away the anchor and we’re both a little disappointed, but it makes more sense to move down to Victoria and plug into a marina for a while. At least there we’ll have plenty of opportunities to escape the boat during the day, even if it is raining!

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