British Columbia Hot Springs

Bishop Bay Hot Springs: Soaking It Up

Tuesday, February 09, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller

Blame the sunshine. Blame the natural hot springs. Or blame the good company. But nobody was in a hurry to leave Bishop Bay. Nobody aboard Cambria, anyway. And we were more than happy to pick up on Friday where Thursday had left off with some kayaking, soaks in the hot springs and another cookout at the campsite. It was brilliant! And short-lived.



The barometer had been sitting steady at 1015 Mb for the last few days but a cold front moved into the area early Saturday and dropped the temperature . . . along with some more rain. John (SV Gypsy Woman) was eager to continue south and make his way home to Port Townsend to see his lady, so Impossible Dream and Gypsy Woman left the anchorage that morning at nine o’clock. By 11:00 am, they were back. David radioed to make sure everything was alright. It was. But the wind was blowing 25 knots from the south in the channel with a corresponding sea state, so they decided to wait until Sunday. Tom added that he heard someone trying to hail us on the radio – it was Jim and Laurie aboard SV JouJou!

They came into the bay and rafted up to us for the night and another great evening. The reunion was short and sweet, however. Jim and Laurie were eager to make some more southing as well and they left Sunday morning shortly after Impossible Dream and Gypsy Woman. As for us, we’re not ones to leave a hot spring in a rush and whenever we stop in Bishop Bay, we linger. Sometimes it’s to our detriment and sometimes it’s to our benefit. We won’t know until the next forecast period if there’s a price to pay for our idleness but today there was, in fact, a benefit.

There were only two boats left in Bishop Bay: us and a fishing vessel making their way south. Shortly before lunch, there was a knock on the hull – a young guy called Jesse came by to offer us a frozen sockeye before they left. We said no, but thank you. He was surprised by our refusal and couldn’t quite understand it, even when we told him we don’t really care for salmon and it would go to waste. In hindsight, I wish we would have taken it and then whapped him on the head with it. But we didn’t know then what we were about to find out.


It’s common for boats that visit Bishop Bay to leave something at the bath house with their name on it. In 2013, during our first visit, David made a sign out of a cedar plank and hung it in the changing area where it remained, untouched, for two years – even surviving a complete clean-out by the local yacht club in Kitimat.

I went to the pools after lunch for a long, hot bath and was getting changed when I noticed “BJ” on our sign. BJ? Who’s BJ? And what are they doing on our board? And then the penny dropped: The buggers aboard the fishing vessel (who had just so kindly offered us a salmon) took our sign down, turned it around, wrote their names on it in permanent black marker and hung it back up. I bet young Jesse had a real surprise when he came over to Cambria this morning only to find out we were the boat sign they’d poached . . . along with that sockeye.


Note: This blog was written on Tuesday, 25 August 2015.


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