British Columbia the Inside Passage

Pender Harbour

Thursday, June 21, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

David enjoying a Father's Day sail across the Strait of Georgia.

We left Nanaimo late Sunday morning and made our way across the Strait of Georgia for Pender Harbour, a group of small communities that share a common bay along the Sunshine Coast.

What little wind we saw, eight to ten knots on average, was coming from the southeast – dare we hoist the sails?  Absolutely.  For a boat that currently weighs in at a hefty 30,000 pounds, Cambria moves well in lighter winds.  Though it wasn’t an exciting sail, only making five to six knots along the way, we managed to cross the Strait silently for a change, without the help of the engine.  Not a bad way to spend Father’s Day, not bad at all.    

Pender Harbour is a conveniently located stopover for boats travelling to Princess Louisa Inlet or further north to Desolation Sound which makes it somewhat of a nautical crossroads where, if you wait around long enough, you’ll meet up with someone you know.  This time around it happened to be Doug and Terri, a couple we met two years ago in Shoal Bay, who are en route to Reid Island in the Discovery Group.  It was really nice to see them both again and catch up on what’s been happening over drinks and nibbles with plans to meet again on Reid – funnily enough, the last time our paths crossed was also in Pender Harbour during the 2010 Jazz Festival. 

Earlier in the day, I finally tackled the Mount Daniel hike, the tallest point in Pender Harbour.  For years I’ve been threatening to find the trail head so that I could hike to the summit, some 1400 feet above sea level, where there’s a beautiful view.  I should have known it was going to be a long afternoon when it took close to an hour to reach the trail head but, forever the pig-headed optimist, I carried on.  The sign at the base read that the actual hike was “moderate” and would only take fifty-five minutes. Great.  Though not hiking-fit, Istill figured I could knock it out in forty-five minutes and, even with the long walk back to the dinghy, would be finished in plenty of time for drinks with Terri and Doug.  Not so.  But I hadn’t come that far only to turn back without seeing the view, so I climbed and climbed until I finally made it – one hour later. 

The view was impressive and worth the effort it took to reach the summit.  Once the trees cleared, I could see across the Strait of Georgia, past Texada to Vancover Island.  But my time was limited, so I took a few pictures, grabbed the strongest stick I could find to help me make my way down and left.  It was only then that I realized how steep the trail had been – just about every step of the nearly two-mile long trail was downhill, giving my knees a real workout.  I did, however, manage to get back to the boat before Terri and Doug arrived. 

But the highlight of our time here was last night when some friends from Sechelt, Tani and Gary, drove up to have dinner with us aboard Cambria.  We hadn’t seen them since September of last year and there was a lot to catch up on and little time to do it in.  We all did our best though, and had a great evening together before we had to take them back to their car in Madeira Park. 

And once again it’s time to say good-bye to Pender Habour, something we’re always sorry to do, and continue north …. 

The view from Mount Daniel.

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