Monday, September 28, 2015

British Columbia by boat Day 4: Bowen Island

We woke up and finished provisioning the boat, and by 9:00am, Aubrey, one of Cooper's mechanics, showed up to really show us the boat around. We found several more issues, including the main saloon's bed, which would not move up and down to double as a dining table. This was finally fixed, but it took her an hour or so. All this time, she was the most relaxed check-out person we'd encountered, and we still didn't get a chart briefing, as no one had actually been to desolation sound.
We then departed the slip, only to discover that we had left Xiaoqin's aunt behind --- she was using a land toilet and hadn't told anyone! We turned the boat around and motor'd back, and then Aubrey told us she'd left her cell phone aboard the Stray Cat anyway. As I backed the boat into the slip, I heard Aubrey say, "Oh wow, you can actually do this?!" I thought to myself, "Wait, if you're so surprised, why did you lend me the boat?" Xiaoqin's aunt came aboard and we drove away, leaving Vancouver behind.

When we first looked over the maps for the trip, we noticed that there was an island near Vancouver called Bowen Island. With Bowen aboard, we had no choice but to visit it for the trip. I originally thought it'd be a lunch stop, but given the state of the boat and how late we left the slip, we decided to stay the night at Bowen Island instead, and spend the day sailing to Bowen Island. It would turn out to be the only comfortable sailing we'd do the entire trip, so it was very much worth while.
Bowen Island turned out to be quite pretty, and we arrived in time to enjoy the sunset, a hike, a visit to the library, and of course, the gift shop to get Bowen Island T-shirts for Bowen. Our son's head was temporarily (I hope) inflated by everyone saying to him, "Welcome to your island!" That night, he asked me if there was a Piaw island, a mommy island, or an Arturo island. I had to explain that Bowen island was named after Captain James Bowen, not after him, but he was still pretty happy there was a Bowen island. I would later discover that there was second Bowen Island in Australia, named after James' brother Richard Bowen.

When Bowen first heard that there was a Bowen island, he would make statements like, "Bowen island is a giant island!" We would laugh, because that seemed to be a statement of conjecture from a 3-year old who didn't really know how to read maps. Now that we were on Bowen island, it was very clear that Bowen was right all along: Bowen Island was huge, with 3,000 permanent residents and plenty of room for visitors without feeling crowded.

We examined the tide tables and decided on a 6:00am start the next day.
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