Music Festival Pender Harbour

Pender Harbour Garlic Festival

Tuesday, August 23, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

The newlyweds

We left the Copeland Islands Friday morning and motored south to Westview to fill up with fuel and water.  They're still in the process of adding new docks for temporary moorage and the new fairway is extremely narrow – limited to one boat at one point because of a shallow extending out from the seawall – but because of its convenience, worth the extra aggravation. Thirty minutes and CA$454 later, we were on our way to Pender Harbour.

It was a long day.  But a good one.  I love travelling along this stretch of water.  We're both fairly relaxed and have some of our best conversations while sitting in the cockpit enjoying the view as it passes us by at a leisurely seven knots.  That's not to say it isn't a mean piece of water.   It can be.  But we pick our days and most of them have been like this – flat calm without a breath of wind.   The only problem being that the weather has really started to heat up and Sally's stressed.  While the rest of us are shedding clothes, she's stuck wearing a fur coat which is still too thick for these temperatures.

We arrived in Pender Harbour in the afternoon and I took Sally to shore in search of information on the 2nd Annual Garlic Fest which was to be held on Saturday and Sunday. I thought it was taking place in Madeira Park – a short walk from the marina.  But, come to find out, it was being held in Lions' Park – some 10 kilometres away.  As luck would have it, I asked a gal at the grocery store if she knew of a shuttle and she ended up offering David and I a ride.  We took her up on the offer and met up with our friends, Gary and Tani, at the park sitting with Gary's family for the night.

All and all, it was a great festival with amazing food (garlic, garlic and more garlic!) and entertainment.  The music started off with Valdy, a Canadian folk musician who began his solo career in the early 70s.  He was very popular in Canada, second only to Gordon Lightfoot, and received several awards along the way.  Not only was he good, but he was entertaining and had the crowd laughing and clapping along with him.  Next up was Larry Cook whom we had heard play at the Garden Bay Pub last year and really enjoyed – both times.  And ending the night was Dr. Fun and the Painkillers, Gary's band, who had the remaining crowd on their feet and dancing the rest of the night – it was great!

Because we weren't planning to go to the wedding on Sunday, we hadn't made arrangements for a rental car –something that would have come in handy for the entire weekend.  But Gary insisted that we come and worked it all out.  A friend of his, Andy, would pick us up at the marina and we'd use their car to drive home so they could drink.  The only problem: allergies!  I've been struggling with them since we left Shoal Bay and Sunday was my day to be down and out – literally – so David ended up going by himself and had a wonderful time while I stayed home and filled myself with just about every drug I could find.

Shortly after he got home, some time after 2:00 am, the wind started to pick up and blew for days.   Garden Bay is famous for being a mediocre anchorage when the wind blows and it's common for people to drag.  With me knocked out by allergy medicine, d's second anchor watch of the season was born (the first being Frances Bay).  But he wasn't alone: lights were on throughout the anchorage and people were up checking their positions.

With the forecast for strong winds in Malaspina Strait, the same stretch of water which was as smooth as glass a couple of days ago, we waited until today to leave and were greeted with 20+ knots of wind from the south and white caps.  But, for once, we were going the right direction, north, and were able to sail.  It wasn't a great sail.  With the sea state, we were only able to make 5 to 6 knots, but we did sail and that's all that matters – chalking up number four for the season!  But we left our departure too late in the day, so we tucked into Ballet Bay for the night and will continue on to Desolation Sound Marine Park in the morning.

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