Happy Canada Day in Montague Harbour

Position: 48 53.53 N 123 23.63 W
At anchor Montague Harbour
Wind: Calm
Weather: clear and mild
Day's run: 8 nm

Over the last two days Sylvia and I have enjoyed the sights of Ganges, as well as meeting up with Sylvia's daughter, Heather, and her son, Scott, which was a very pleasant surprise for Sylvia. Today we made a short and very pleasant sail over to Montague Harbour in a light north westerly wind , where we dropped anchor just on two o'clock. Yesterday I had made a repair to the dinghy's rudder mounts which I had damaged back in Prince Rupert, so, after tidying Sylph up, I decided to test the rudder out by taking the dinghy for a short sail. A little distance astern of us lay a blue hulled Roberts 36, which I recognised from Gibsons, owned by Tony and Carol. Carol is Australian, and Tony is a bit of everything, Canadian, Australian, and English, though originally English. I sailed across to their boat in the way of a short test sail for a bit of a chin wag.

We talked of many things while I stood in Sylphide (the dinghy's name) but chief among them was the free bus ride into the pub. This sounded like a novel experience so we arranged to meet ashore at six to catch the bus. The bus is one of the classically styled North American school buses that we are all familiar with from US movies. The driver, something of an elderly extrovert with long white hair flowing from his red ball cap over his loud red Hawaiian shirt, welcomed everyone on board. Once we were under way he announces that the ride used to be free but now we have to shake for the fare. This worried me a bit but with classic Reggae and old time Rock and Roll blaring from the sound system, he hands out various percussion instruments that we are required to accompany the music with. The driver has various items of percussion instruments surrounding the driving station, large cymbals overhead, a small drum on the centre of the wheel and other instruments I am not familiar with and am unable to describe generally scattered round about. The driver makes this trip several times a day every day of the week and I could not help but marvel at his enthusiasm and energy as he told jokes over the PA, pounded various instruments, and, presumably, steered the bus with his knees, though the thought occurred to me that perhaps the bus after many years of travelling this particular route knew the way by itself.

We handed all the instruments back as we got off at the pub, Here we enjoyed a nice meal and good company in the beer garden, as humming birds sipped nectar from blue flowers over our heads. Another highlight for me was that this is only the second pub in the world that I have come across that sells gluten free beer, the other one being from where we had just come from, Ganges.

The return trip was a little more subdued, apart from the wheelie as we took off. While the music was not quite so loud and we were not required to accompany it, everyone was relaxed and happy. We returned along the winding road towards a setting the sun, a full moon rising behind us, and the near conjunction of Venus and Jupiter stood clear and bright low in the north west.

All is well.