British Columbia the Gulf Islands

Waiting to be Set Free

Thursday, May 16, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria stuck at the customs dock in Bedwell Harbour, South Pender Island.

West Sound on Orcas Island has been a favourite stop of ours for years.  It’s not the anchorage itself that makes it special, it’s our friends, Bill and Sylvia, who live there.  We met shortly after we arrived in Washington back in 2008 and have made a point to see each other ever since.  In fact, neither David nor I would consider the cruising season to have officially started (or ended) without stopping by to say hello. 

We had a really nice visit and leaving is always a little bittersweet, but we moved on this afternoon for Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to check out of the US with customs.  There’s rarely a time that we go through the process without nearly causing an international incident, but I’m happy to say that checking out went very smoothly and we were soon on our way to Bedwell Harbour in Canada to check in. 

According to the copy of Waggoners, a popular cruising guide for the area, that we have aboard Bedwell Harbour is open from 0800 – 2000 starting the first of May.  We arrived shortly after 6:00 pm with two hours to spare.  There was nobody here, which isn’t unusual, so David went up to the hut to call.  He was gone for over a half an hour, which is unusual. 

Come to find out, they actually closed at 1700 (time to invest in a new copy of Waggoners) and we’ll have to wait until 0900 tomorrow to check in.  David explained that we have a dog aboard who refuses to use the boat as her personal restroom, even in emergencies, and was given permission to shore Sally as long as we don’t make any purchases while on land. 

A few minutes later, another boat from Seattle arrived and we helped them tie up to the dock.  David told them about our situation and the captain went up to have a try for himself.  He got a different agent on the line, was promptly cleared in and on their way in a matter of minutes.

If first you don’t succeed . . . so David went back up and called again.  He got a different agent on the phone but the conversation ended with the same result – we’ll have to wait until tomorrow.  So here we are, once again, tied to a dock waiting to be set free.  At least this time will be short-lived and we can be on our way in the morning. 

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