Saturday, July 21, 2012

Despite some sketchy weather and unreliable weather reports, we headed out for a nearly one-week trip on the boat. There is always a moment, mid-way through packing up the boat that you wonder why on earth this trip seemed like a good idea. The skies were overcast, the stuff we had to cram into the tiny boat seemed like far too much for it to handle, and yet the things themselves didn't seem like the right stuff to bring. We loaded on five bikes, three kids, two adults, groceries and clothes aplenty, towels, bathing suits, books, games and just about everything else except the kitchen sink. Although that would have been handy…

As soon as you pull out of the marina into the open water…a different feeling takes over. You start to feel the rhythm of the waves and the hum of the engine sinks into the back of your brain. We all relax into the job of being on the boat. 

We had an easy first day jaunt over to Poet's Cove on Pender Island. It's one of my favourite spots to go with the family. Nothing entertains our kids like a pool. And a heated pool means they stay in even longer.

We arrived that evening at around 7:30 and pulled into our little slip. I cooked hamburgers on the grill attached to the front of the boat and tried to ignore the spitting rain. I was doing a great job, until the spitting turned into more of a deluge. We ate dinner inside and then Eric took the kids to the pool (since they were already damp) and I cleaned up and put the beds together. 

We awoke to sunshine. I went up to the little cafe for coffee and carrot muffins and then it was into the pool for the next six hours. Seriously. Six hours. I read and read. "The Family Fang" is an hilarious read, if anyone is looking for a good summer book, by the way. There is nothing better poolside than a cup of coffee (or a pina colada…but that wasn't happening), a book and three kids entertaining themselves and each other.

We set out by around three, en route to Sidney Spit and to our reciprocal marina in Sidney itself. We couldn't resist a quick tie-up at the Spit, since the evening was so warm and the beach was beckoning. We ditched our shoes at the waterline and walked along in the sand, doing a wee bit of exploring. It was a hard job tearing ourselves away to the reciprocal club. It was so tempting to light up the barbecue and stay by the beach, but we stuck to our plan and motored into Sidney. 

The marina was a little way out of town, so after squeezing into a super, super tight spot on the dock (we had to ask the sailboat behind us to move about a foot and a half), we settled in for the night and planned to take the bikes into town the next morning. After our successful trip to Sidney over Spring Break with the Warringtons, we were excited to get back to the bakery with the ginormous apple fritters. 

The bike ride in was the perfect length and the kids did a great job. I have found that I do better leading the group, since being the caboose gives me mini-heart attacks at ten second intervals. I see the kids wobble slightly or wander a smudge to their lefts and my heart spends the whole ride in my throat and I feel like a fishwife shouting from the back to "keep right" and "pay attention…eyes forward!!!". Instead, I can set a nice, slow pace and let Eric do the worrying. 

We made it in to Sidney in one piece and gave the town a good walkabout. We got fritters and scones and cookies and pizza pretzels and veggie roll and nanaimo bars and mint brownies. It was grand. 

We also picked up a little net for the kids to dip in by the boat and grab minnows and sticklebacks. It was $1.50 and has entertained them for hours already. A good buy. 

We departed for Sidney Spit and snagged a great spot right by the ramp to the beach to spend the night. As soon as we were tied up, the kids bolted from the dock and swam in the freezing cold water in to the beach. The girls raced, but as you can see, Finny got a bit of a head start. She was too excited to wait. 

I made dinner of hot dogs and chili, which I delivered onto the beach and we ate while being assaulted by sand flies. We feasted on the remaining bars from the bakery in Sidney. 

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