All that stuff… The ayes, the hyper-country-loving, flag-bearing; the slow talking…. it’s all true. Canadians aren’t in a hurry, and they’re incredibly polite. At all times. Even when under pressure. There’s no standing in line at the market without some idle chit chat with the guy in front of you about Jen and Ben, or dinner out without a good 10 or 15 extra minutes from the overly chatty (also kind of awe-inspiringly slow, forgetful) waitress about the drum circle in the park. You’re out of Malbec? Oh well, I love a good Pinot. You just found out you can’t serve oysters today? No worries, scallops sound GREAT!
Brits. Men in non-ironic suspenders. Indecipherable accents. Its Canada. It’s how we do! No worries.
Embracing the easy come, easy go Canadian sensibility, we left Clam Bay this morning en route to Nanaimo. Up and out early, through Dodd Narrows, which is so narrow and blind dog-legged that you have to radio on approach to alert boaters waiting to come through that you’re heading in. (I have come to love the radio. Maritime manners plus ass-saving!)
We were an hour and a half past slack tide (unplanned), so we had a well, let’s call it a brisk current to ride. No problem. EV pulled us through without a hitch, we bobbed across the white water on exit, cleared the south-bound boats holding for us, and set our sights on the final five miles of the day. Piece of cake.
The seas were rougher than expected, and with the current against the wind, we bucked three to four foot waves the whole way in. Nothing scary, but we stayed alert and monitored the radio. It’s Canada, bitches. We take whatever you got, and go running after.
Speaking of which, Running into a headwind is hard, but not as hard and docking in high winds. Or low winds. So, pulling into our slip in the marina was the hardest part of the day, given the 20 or so mile an hour winds that had built up by mid-day. But no problem.
We got our assigned spot, found it after a circle of the marina, and with a very polite and calm dock master to give us a hand, Loren docked without fanfare, as he is wont to do. Even with winds blowing us into the side of the dock.
Not such um, smooth sailing shall we say, for the two boats that came in behind us. The First one, with a clearly experienced captain, came in tight, almost clipped us, raised the tension, but with help from everyone on the dock, managed to pull in without taking out half our transom.
Mr. Two–an aggressive captain, driving a monster 50-footer, carrying a screeching, panic-stricken tweaking basket case of a woman, and two yelping dogs–not so much. Too fast, too sharp, too harried. Now there’s boat on boat, the screecher is screeching, the captain is yelling, the dogs are barking, and the lovely couple on boat number one are doing what you should never do: putting their bodies between the collided boats.
Luckily the calm Canadian (dock master) was there to get the captain back on the boat, couple Two out from between the bow rail and the bbq, and to help ensure we all stayed on tasks, grabbing lines and getting them tied up.
No one got hurt, wine was exchanged (and hopefully insurance info), and we made haste back to our peaceful oasis and took a nap.
On our way to the marine store, we spotted this sweet Colony Park family truckster with wood paneling and maroon velour interior. Keep it coming, Canada.