Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ganges Harbour

I love Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island. I've been anchoring here for some 20 years. I've come over by every vehicle I've owned especially to enjoy the Farmer's Market on the weekend when the artisans bring out their wears. Taking the ferry over with the motorcycle has also been a favourite as it's allowed me to explore the interior, buying lamb and cheese from the farmers themselves. The island is famous for it's lamb but then increasingly it's famous for most of what it produces, an increasing variety each year. There's a real creativity here that has over the years attracted the finest of artists while maintaining the grass roots of the fishing farming community.

Alcoholics Anonymous annually holds a great round up here on Rainbow Road in August. Hundreds attend and it's been graced with superb weather for the camping and lamb roast.

We sailed down from Nanaimo with the intention of staying a night or two and going on to Victoria but just like my trip here at Christmas, I've been trapped once again. I love Salt Spring Marina. They have the best laundry facilities, showers, and right at the top of the dock is the best boat maintenance yard in the islands with a well stocked marine store. Laura loved the patisserie around the corner.

Moby's Marine Oyster Bar and pub have long been a favourite serving great halibut and terrific lamb burgers. When we arrived, Laura and I were happy with the scrumptious plain old burgers while the big screen tv played the Olympic hockey game.

We walked the 5 minute to town the next day and enjoyed veggie bennies at Treehouse Café. It serves breakfast till 4 and in the evening has folk and country music concerts. It's one of the real unique Salt Spring Island fares in summer when seats are set outside for people to enjoy the concerts while having coffees and cakes. The young people of Salt Spring Island are really talented not surprising given that Valdy is a regular here along with a group of other famous entertainers who have made Salt Spring home at one time or another.

Laura and I did well at Mouat's. She got gifts for her grandchildren , island clothing and toys. I love the country hardware store that has everything but all I could remember was needing propane for the coleman catalytic heaters. The weather was so warm that I almost forgot even them.

Then Sabines sucked us right in. It's one of BC's very best bookstores, both old and new but with sections for sea and history and canadiana that reflect the high level of education on the island. Readers too. I got away with only 4 books this time. Not bad given I've literally loaded my boat on other occasions.

Harlan's chocolates kind of creep out and whip your legs right out from under you. I was being dragged into the store by my tastebuds before I even knew it, $20 of chocolates jumping right into my bagged and then fuguelike finding myself out on the street again wondering how that happened.

Hand made soap was a must this time. Last time it was the honey candles. Coffee at Salt Spring Coffee when it rained then when it let up walking the short distance back to the boat for more reading.

Laura made the beef hotdogs we'd bought before leaving so we could use our whole wheat hot dog buns. Delicious with mustard and relish. My friend Alex makes the best "Grandmother's Recipe" home made mustard.

We watched another captivating episode of the intrigue science fiction series, Dead Zone and there was our friend and former neighbor, Blue Water Cruising Association member, Ken Taylor, the actor playing, of all things , a doctor. Lion's Gate Productions makes the series filmed in Vancouver and it's just great, especially when you see people you know and admire. Ken and Sharon wrote the funniest stories in Currents, the Blue Water Cruising Association journal, when they sailed In the Mood down to Mexico a few years back.

Today Laura and I have been reading. It was sunny so I put the dinghy in the water and got the 4 hp Yamaha outboard running. I imagine taking it over to town and maybe even running out into the harbor with a crab trap if I get really ambitious. I've decided Victoria seems too strenuous a trip compared to lying about in the GIRI with electric heat reading Wilbur Smith. I thought of fishing for salmon and may trolling over to Bedwell Harbour 10 miles away but it all seems a lot of effort. The Halibut and fries are calling too. Just a short walk up the dock to Moby's or a dinghy ride into town and I wouldn't have to even do dishes.

Now having blogged I'm faced with the monumental choices of what to do next, eat, sleep, read, or maybe play guitar. This sailing is tough going. Something about Ganges Harbour just saps the busy right out of a person. I'm beginning to lose the guilt even about lying about doing nothing. Next thing I'll start enjoying myself. Better get back to work soon. I don't think I can handle too much of this relaxation.

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