When we met up with Greg, Terry, Jim and Phebe yesterday morning, Terry urged us to make a stop at the town of Cowichan on Vancouver Island. Since it’s situated only 7-8 miles south of the town of Duncan on Maple Bay, where we planned to reconnect with long-time friends for dinner, we made it today’s destination.
It rained hard last night, and this morning the air was warm and thick with humidity as well as smoke from almost 500 forest fires burning in the interior of British Columbia. We made the trip south to Cowichan slowly, then settled in at Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf because it has laundry facilities and is immediately adjacent to the village. After showers and laundry, we wandered the streets and sidewalks of Cowichan. It turns out to be a delightful little town full of restaurants, galleries and shops with none of the touristy feel of Chemainis, the town we visited two days ago via B.C. ferry. We puttered along for several hours, buying only one item, a “Super Solar Shower 5-Gallon Black Bag” for future use when we’re tied to buoys and don’t have power to heat hot water on our boat. We’ve seen zillions of sailboats equipped with these on this trip. Most of the power boats we’ve run across are larger than ours and equipped with generators which can be used for heating water when anchored out.
At 5:00 we walked to the Rock Cod Cafe to meet long-time friends George and Marlene Blumel who we haven’t seen in 3 1/2 years since we got together at Whistler for skiing. Cathryn first met George and Marlene 30 years ago when she crewed on Lightning sailboats on a racing circuit. George was an intense skipper, and Marlene was his always-cheerful sidekick. We became fast friends and have kept in touch over the years, attending their daughter’s wedding, visiting at their home on Maple Bay, and exchanging letters, emails and photos periodically. We had a delicious dinner, lively conversation, and caught up on each other’s family news and other major life events. We’re very pleased to have seen in them and promised to connect again next summer when we make another boating trip to Canadian waters.