It’s Been a Long Time Coming…Its Been a Long Time Gone…

We left Canada on March 27th, 2020. Had to. Covid don’t cha know. It was in charge, we weren’t. U.S. insurers don’t like it when the insured is in a foreign country. Especially a country like Canada whose costs and charges make them a bargain if said insured returned to the US for treatment and had to pay the US rates. Go figure… Just an idle thought… We were worried… so we left for the States. All in all a good choice.

So… in October (2022) We were finally able to ease back across the border sans raw eggs from the US, more than 2 bottles of wine each, a few beers under what was allowed, citrus fruit… and absolutely no marijuana… legal in Washington and Canada, but do not cross the border with it. Full stop. Period. Not much of a problem on all accounts really.

We checked in at Sidney. Tied up at the customs dock and called Customs via a salt encrusted bakelite handset attached to an ancient rusty metal box. A perky customs agent with a smiling voice checked us in. All in all, a delightful, quick, easy experience. The usual if you have nothing to declare and nothing to hide.

Leaving the Customs dock, we sashayed further into the marina and settled into a position at the end of F dock behind an older 60 foot woodie that was in pristine condition. Beautiful thing to behold it was. Two things of note at this juncture. Several additions to our navigational maneuvering and visual awareness assisted with our effortless swizzle swazzle into position on F dock. Newish stern thruster, new Odyssey batteries for the bow thruster, a recent de-barnicaling of the Bow thruster props, and a wireless backup / docking camera… made the maneuver as smooth as a mill ponds surface, and as anxiety free as a spa day at the Rosario Hotel on Orcas Island.

Ships stores restored via our dock cart wagon, foot power, and stops at our favorite Asian / Canadian market and a Canadian liquor store. Done. Off to our next destination.

About 2 hours later… as the boat meanders, versus as the crows fly… we entered Todd Inlet and sought an appropriate anchorage. GN found her spot handily with the assistance of maple leaf reference points scattered about the surface of the inlets water. “No! Not the one on the right! The brown one sort of to the left of the middle. That’s where I want you to drop the anchor!”

“Damn you!” came the retort through my head set… “Position the damn boat where you want it and tell me when to drop it! Besides the leaves are moving with the current!”

And so on… The First Mate does have a persuasive argument, eh? Our final location:

Fine foodstuffs were had by all. Good wine swizzled… and in the morn after a cereal / berry repast: Butchart Gardens via our dinghy chariot to the back boaters gate.

The mariners dock at Butchart. It does pay to cruise during the “shoulder season”. The crowds are gone…
The boaters gate just up from the dock
The magical entrance to the Japanese Garden… the first phase of Butchart started over 100 years ago.

Next Post: The Japanese garden and Dahlias…

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