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Robin & Jim
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Posted By Robin & Jim

We are almost finished installing the new heating system, and we should be able to start really cruising by the middle of the week.  But if you have to be "stuck" somewhere, the town of Sidney on Vancouver Island is a terrific spot.  There are little shops, restaurants, several bookstores, cafes, a coffee shop on every block, grocery stores and even a West Marine all within easy walking distance of the marina.  Since we're new to the area and we don't know anyone, having such a nice town for walking has been a nice diversion when we need a break from working on the boat.

The marina is surrounded by a HUGE rock breakwater so we don't get much of a view until we get up to the street level... and then the view is beautiful with many forested islands and sometimes ships transiting the Haro Strait.

sidney breakwater

Like we saw in France, the people around here love flowers, and there are planters and gardens exploding with color and beauty everywhere we go.  There are also bronze statues of people sitting on some of the benches around town, and sometimes we find fresh flowers in the hands of the statues.

statue with flowers

The town of Sidney has an aquarium focusing on the local Salish Sea and a little sculpture garden along the waterfront.  Jim was channeling his inner pirate one evening...

sidney pirate

We have been talking to locals on the dock as well as some DeFever friends with a lot of experience in these waters, trying to learn about the hazards as well as must-see cruising spots.  One thing we've noticed right away is what's known as "drift" - logs of all shapes and sizes that are floating in the water.  Big beasties that can ruin one's day.  So we're learning to keep a sharp lookout and now we know why people don't cruise at night.

drift

Another hazard we've been warned about are bears, and since we plan to do a lot of hiking we followed a friend's advice and bought some bear bells and bear repellant.

bear equipment

Between the drift, bears, and wicked tidal currents in some narrow cuts, northwest cruising has its challenges!

But the scariest thing we've encountered so far was when Jim had to cut the big 3 inch hole in the transom of the boat for the heating system's exhaust.  Yikes!

big hole

 


 
5 Comment(s):
Diane Koch said...
Enjoyed catching up on your activities and sounds like you're having a blast. Sharp eyes needed while underway for all the logs and traffic. Looks like beautiful surroundings. Have you put the new heater to work yet?! Keep those updates coming!
July 3, 2013 3:09 PM
 
Scott judy said...
I'd suggest a 30-06 to go along with the bear repellent.
June 4, 2013 8:06 PM
 
Doris Sanders said...
Looks like a wonderful town, but I know you're eager to get away and going on your cruise. Do you plan to cruise down to Washington at any time? My brother lives in Mukilteo, north of Seattle, not far from Everett, and would enjoy meeting you and your boat if you get down there. He would probably give you a ride to the grocery store, too!
June 4, 2013 9:46 AM
 
Jim & Cathy said...
You better hurry up and get that heating system finished afore you both freeze to death :) hope you 're having fun too.
June 3, 2013 8:11 AM
 
Peggy Bjarno said...
WOOOOOO-boy, I'll just BET that was scary! Yikes. . .
June 2, 2013 3:18 PM
 
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