British Columbia The Central Coast

Shearwater: Civilization of a Different Kind

Saturday, July 06, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

The RCAF War Memorial in Shearwater

We left Khutze Inlet before David even had his first cup of tea on Thursday and made way for Bottleneck Inlet along Finlayson Channel for the night.  From there, we moved down to Shearwater – no matter how much you try to avoid it, every boating experience requires the services of “civilization” from time to time.  For us, that time is now:  We’re low on provisions, need propane and the laundry has piled up again.  So Shearwater it is!

I woke up early this morning and, with nothing better to do, loaded our dirty clothes into the dinghy and went to shore.  While I was there, I went to the store to buy some groceries.  Being Saturday and so close to freight day (the day the barge arrives with fresh provisions) the store wasn’t well stocked and what little produce they had on the shelves, was wilting.  So I took the chance and made the 2.5 nm dinghy ride over to New Bella Bella to see what they had at the band store.  Same story there.  So I went back to Shearwater, bought what Icould and called it a day. 

David stayed on the boat and took a look at the steering station.  He heard an odd sound coming from the helm yesterday and wanted to have a look.  I don’t think he ever found the source of the problem, but the noise is now gone so whatever he did (or didn’t do) worked.  Between the two of us, neither one of us felt completely successful, but we finished our jobs nonetheless. 

Meanwhile, there was a large ceremony taking place along the waterfront to dedicate a Bella Bella Royal Canadian Air Force War Memorial, Warrior Pole and mural entitled “United in History” (Shearwater is a former World War II military seaplane base).  I asked David if he wanted to go to shore to watch, but he apparently knows more about these things than I do and declined: The ceremony lasted seven hours, if you can believe it.  Every now and again, we could hear parts of the speeches over the PA system and would hardly call them riveting, yet there was a large crowd of people and they stuck it out the whole day under the hot summer sun – now that’s dedication for you of a different sort.   

Shearwater's new mural hanging above the grocery store

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