British Columbia Hot Springs

Bishop Bay Hot Springs: Leaving the Springs Behind

Tuesday, July 02, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

Bishop Bay Hot Springs in quieter days

What a difference a day makes!  The weather is starting to clear, the barometer is holding steady and there’s nothing but fine weather in the forecast for the next week as the Pacific High finally seems to be setting in.  Thank goodness! 

The weather isn’t the only thing that’s changed in Bishop Bay.  So has the atmosphere.  We’d expected the holiday weekend to be the busiest time but, as it turned out, today was the day.  We saw the normal group of arrivals – people stopping for the night on their way through, others taking a short break from fishing, and a group of campers.  But then we were invaded by morons as one boat after the other, seven in total, descended upon the anchorage. 

For the next two hours, they turned a relatively quiet spot into complete chaos.  They seem to be a group of novices with only one or two stronger sailors among them, guiding the way.  The apparent leader jumped in his over-powered dinghy and buzzed between boats to hand out advice without any care or concern about his wake, knocking Cambria around in the process.  People were yelling, usually at each other, while they attempted to anchor, stern-tie and raft up.  But the real excitement came when the boat next to us, a very nice British couple out of Vancouver, left in search of a quieter place to spend the night and a spot opened up on the dock.  One of the boats from the group that had been securely anchored jumped at the chance and rushed to take it. 

For one reason or another, the couple attempted to release their stern line and winch the anchor in at the same time – the husband at the bow and the wife in the cockpit.  Not surprisingly, the line to shore got caught in a tree or rock in the process and wouldn’t come undone.  His wife yelled his name:  John.  John. John.  With as much urgency asif the boat were sinking, yet he was the only one in the anchorage not to hear it.  At the same time, she had her hands on the line while it was taut, presumably trying to pull it in, and is really lucky it didn’t release from shore on its own, snapping back at her and causing serious injury.  Fortunately, somebody soaking in the hot spring tub responded to her calls and was able to untangle the line from shore – the husband remained oblivious until the anchor was up and he came back to the cockpit.  They eventually made it to the dock, but not without hitting it first.  Amateur hour.

Once they were finished wreaking havoc in the anchorage, they took over the bath house . . . for nearly four hours.  There were at least a dozen of them soaking in the small tubs and piled onto the deck, leaving no room for anyone else who might want to use the hot springs.  And those who weren’t at the tubs were either chatting loudly along the dock or blasting their VHF radios into the air.  All and all, they really spoiled the mood of the place and put a damper on our final day here – but in all fairness, we let them. 

Yep.  Our final day.  After a lot of thought and consideration, we made a decision: we’re heading back down to the Central Coast.  Now that the Pacific High looks like it's making its return, we want to set ourselves up to go around Cape Scott and start our season on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  So it looks like Bishop Bay will be our highest latitude for the season at 53°28.220 N – not too shabby.   

Leaving Bishop Bay looking out to Tomkinson Point

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