the Discovery Islands the Inside Passage

Shoal Bay, East Thurlow Island

Sunday, September 05, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

Shoal Bay from the lookout.

It rained all day Tuesday leaving no reason to go to Bute Inlet, so we hunkered down below decks for the day until the rain slowed to a spit and I could take Sally to shore for her evening trip. Mark, who had gotten back from Campbell River that afternoon, was walking from the pub to his cabin and invited us to dinner. I had already started a meal for us aboard but he wasn't going to take no for an answer, so I went back to the boat to get David for what turned out to be a great evening all around followed by a special dinner on Wednesday, planned entirely by Bill, to celebrate Mark's birthday – an incredible storyteller who's exaggerated tales always end in laughter. By this time, needless to say, we'd given up any prior ideas we'd had about leaving and settled back into life at Shoal Bay – hikes up to the lookout, visiting with friends and working on the property.

Friday morning, Mark went back to Campbell River to drop off Nicholas who's on his way to Vancouver for a few days before travelling to his next farm in Vernon, a town situated in the valley between the Coastal and Rocky Mountains. David and Bill went with him. We're in need a few provisions and the trip to town saves us the hassle once we do finally leave. Roger and I stayed here where we enjoyed a quiet day – him working the pub, me in the garden, and Sally keeping an eye on the chickens just in case they were plotting their escape.

The guys were a little late getting back, so I ran the pub in the evening for an hour or so while Roger went to the neighbour's for dinner. There weren't any customers, they'd already been and gone, but it was nice to sit on the deck enjoying the view while having a glass of red wine and waiting for my man's return from the sea. They got back around seven o'clock – a twelve hour day – and were tired, so we skipped dinner and called it an early night. The good news is that we're back in business and have enough food to last us until we need to be in Pender Harbour mid-September.

Sunday was the day we'd been waiting for, the Labor Day Beef Roast, and David spent most of the afternoon making Yorkshire Puddings as our contribution to the potluck while I caught up on some knitting. Unfortunately, the weather's put a damper on the event. While it hasn't rained, it's been blowing a gale out in Johnstone Strait for the past two days and, because most attendees are locals, not many people have been able to make it – including our friends Rick and Gerri Lee. But it was a good time nonetheless and the Yorkshire Puddings were a big hit along with the delicious gravy David prepared to go with them. It seems the only thing we forgot was the mashed potatoes!

Tomorrow's the big day. Unless it's raining or foggy, we'll be leaving at eight in the morning to catch Dent and Yuculta Rapids as slack water. It's been a brilliant month here and we hate to go, but we'll be back next year which always makes it a little easier. You know, sometimes it's the anchorage that's special, with its majestic scenery or beautiful hiking trails, and sometimes it's the people you share it with. Shoal Bay seems to be the rare combination of both.

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