Saturday, August 9, 2014

Newcastle Island and our own Fun Island

Well, if leaving Mudge wasn't hard enough, we met some mighty big waves and wind on our way from there to re-provision in Nanaimo. It was a tricky patch of water. The kids went from bravely holding onto the front railing (as you can see above), to retreating down below, where they felt pretty grim and a tiny bit scared (a glimmer of which you can also see in Lukey's face above).

It was such a relief getting out of the waves that we decided to tie up for the night off of Newcastle Island in Nanaimo harbour instead of subjecting ourselves to six or more hours of being battered on our way up to Hornby.

Since we were somewhere sheltered and tied up (and the wind forecast indicated we might be there for a few days), we decided it was the perfect opportunity to break out our "Tropical Breeze" floating island. It was an impulsive Costco purchase, made after an intense campaign by the kids while we were already pushing a shopping cart filled to the brim. We relented, but quickly wondered when the heck that monstrosity would come in handy. Luckily, we figured an electric pump would make short work of blowing it up. Unluckily, we don't have a functioning electric pump. That's what foot pumps and husbands are for...

The only downside to our lovely spot was the kids' sheer terror at the  abandoned boat tied up next to us. The ironically named "Golden Dawn". We had a lengthy discussion about how much it would cost to get the kids to sleep alone on the Golden Dawn. The numbers started low. Lukey said $10. The more we talked, the higher the numbers went. Eventually, Finny got to $100,000 and Lukey was over a million (although at one point, he was good with $60 cash in his hand that he got to hold the whole time he was on the boat). Molly was a straight no. 

"We" finally got the floating island up (that's the royal we...I think I pumped for about three minutes). It makes a huge difference to how much time the kids (and adults) spent in the water. It was well worth our splurge purchase at Costco. 

It was hard to tear the kids away from our own island of fun, but a bigger island was also attracting our attention. Newcastle Island is an awesome place for a family. There are spectacular beaches and lovely big grass fields...perfect for a hot game of soccer and a cool dip.

We ended up playing a big best of three games over the course of our stay off Newcastle. It was Finny and Eric versus Molly, Lukey and me. The games were...competitive.

The swimming was a bit more relaxing. 

The huge rocks off the coast of the island heat up in the sun and make for really nice bathing. 

The weather couldn't have been nicer. The afternoons and evenings have been scorching for this whole trip. Perfect conditions for boating, which basically amounts to camping on the water. 

I don't know why Lukey looks so freezing in this picture. It wasn't cold at all.

The winning shot...

At one point, Lukey and I picked up an impromptu game of throwing rocks at a distant oyster shell. It was fun. Then Eric joined. When he missed a few throws, he did what any one would do. He picked up a giant rock, walked over to the shell and dropped it on top, pulverizing it. 

Game over. 

Mid-way on our dinghy paddle back to the boat, the kids decided to jump out and swim the rest of the way. 

Eric joined them. 

I have to say...I am not a huge salt water fan. And I am really not a huge cold water fan (too many cold lake summers at GBC). But the weather was so warm and island was so much fun that I went swimming every day. A new record for me, for sure. 

Turns out that our impulsive Costco purchase was a real success. Sometimes that happens.

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