Scottie Bay

Position: 49 40.161 N 124 55.560 W
At anchor Scottie Bay, Lasqueti Island
Wind: calm
Weather: sunny, mild
Day's run: 28 nm

After topping up the water tanks we got under way from Comox at half past eight this morning. Outside the harbour the wind was light but sufficient to sail, so of course we sailed. We sailed across the bar, and once across were able to bear away and run wing on wing to the south-east in the direction of Lasqueti Island. As mention yesterday it was my intention to make for Boho Bay, but the wind was lighter than I expected so come four in the afternoon we still had about eight miles to go. Admittedly eight miles isn't far, but when you are only doing two knots it can become a long way indeed. Of course I could have motored but I probably do not need to remind anyone of my aversion to motoring when other alternatives are available. In this case there was another anchorage nearby, and a rather appealing one according to “Charlie's Charts”, a well known and reputable cruising guide for the west coast of North America. Described as “a popular and perfectly protected anchorage” and less than two miles away, I decided to head for it instead.

We passed through the bay's narrow entrance a little after four, having handed sail and started the engine a short ways outside. While Charlie had said the bay was popular I was nonetheless surprised to see how crowded the small bay was. There were only two boats at anchor, the rest were secured to permanent moorings marked 'private', and a number of boats were rafted up to floating shacks. I stopped the engine and drifted, surveying the surroundings wondering whether there was enough room to safely anchor or whether I should anchor in the bay just outside. The weather was calm and the forecast was for light winds over the next two day so it would have been safe to do so. In the end I decided that, given the forecast, I would not need to lay out much cable so I dropped anchor in a spot with the most room I could find.

As I was putting the dinghy in the water to go ashore for a walk, a man in a small inflatable kayak paddled over. After establishing where I had come from, his first question was did I see much wild life in crossing the North Pacific. I truthfully said no and in very short order I found myself listening to a monologue about the Fukushima disaster, how the radio active waste was killing everything, and that within twenty years Canadians would have to abandon British Columbia and move a hundred miles inland. While I am sure that the Fukushima disaster will have serious environmental consequences for a long time to come, and while prevailing winds and currents do go from Japan to Canada, I confess to being a little less credulous to the idea of British Columbia becoming uninhabitable with twenty years. Trying to sound sympathetic to the man's concerns (and indeed I would like to think that most people are concerned about the damage we are collectively doing to the world ecosystems), I mentioned something about my exasperation with the lack of effective action on climate change, but was was quickly told that climate change was a hoax. At this point I confess that I lost interest in attempting further conversation. It strikes me that the less power and influence people have in their lives the more vulnerable they are to incredible beliefs, conspiracy theories and the like. I wonder if that is true. Anyway, I politely told him that I wanted to go ashore for a walk and that it was getting on, which was true, and managed to discontinue what I saw as an increasingly inane conversation. (I wonder if I ever come across to people like this man did to me.)

So I did not find my introduction to the people of Scottie Bay a promising one. As I rowed ashore my admittedly somewhat negative impression was not dispelled. Many of the boats I rowed past did not look terribly seaworthy, and the floating shacks to which they were tied were transformed from what had initially looked like quaint individualistic abodes into a collection of dilapidated questionable fringe-dwelling structures. Still, I should be careful not to criticise, as I think the long term cruising lifestyle can be seen, at least in part, as a means of trying to escape one's fair share of the burdens of a more conventional way of life.

Once ashore I went for a brisk walk along the dirt road in the direction of False Bay, which lay on the other side of the island. I even jogged a little bit, I think in an attempt to work off some of the frustration I felt as a result of the conversation I had just been a part of. I made it as far as the school, about two kilometres away. It was an interesting walk, the forest of tall evergreens steeply flanked the sides of the road. The area near Scottie Bay continued the maritime fringe theme, with some run down trailer homes, one with a couple of boats, several small outboards, and other nautical paraphernalia all piled up and jammed together in a small space beside it. Neither boat looked like they were ever going to see the sea again. I passed what looked like a small logging camp, elsewhere a clearing with a couple of semi-trailers sitting incongruously in the quiet surroundings. A little further along five hand made wooden letter boxes, all of different design, attached to sawn off small trees stood in a row, no sign of any habitations in sight, nor even anything looking like a possible access road leading from them. Two had faded names written on them with a black marker pen, one barely legible, and the others I could see no discernible markings at all. Presumably the postie knew which letter box belonged to who. Closer to False Bay, things seemed to get a little more orderly, with a few rural looking houses scattered about, one with a pet sheep contentedly lying on a neatly cut lawn. Feeling a lot better for the walk, I turned around and retraced my steps back to Scottie Bay.

The bay is still and quiet, only a solitary mosquito disturbing the peace. A mosquito coil will deal with that.

All is well.