After leaving Pender Harbour, we headed across Georgia Strait for a short stop in Nanaimo for an errand and to take on a little fuel for Perfect Pitch. Perfect Pitch literally sips fuel even when we are inching our way forward at 30 knots. (For those of you not familiar with boating in a 35,000 pound vessel, 55 km/hr is remarkable. Even more remarkable is this all happens with the new lithium ion batteries so this is all powered by renewable green energy).
Speaking of energy, while refueling in Nanaimo, we were blessed to see the brand new fleet of SPILL RESPONSE boats to save us from all the environmental disasters that will occur because of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that is now under construction from Edmonton to Vancouver. These special purpose all weather Tugboats are designed to sop up any spill from the tanker crashes that will begin occurring even though there hasn't been a single issue in 65 years of this pipeline in operation.
(these are all different boats)
These boats were constructed in China. Engines and fittings from Taiwan. Partly assembled in Canada. 300,000 pounds each. Budget….only $150 million for the fleet and some operating costs.
Leaving Nanaimo our next encounter was more Tugboats. This time the tugs were rounding up log booms like cowboys rounding up cattle. Pretty impressive how these guys hop around on the log booms, seemingly without a care in the world.
After the plethora of Tugboats in our day, it seemed only logical for us to then stay the night at….you guessed it…Tugboat Island. This small island is owned by the RVYC and is one of their 7 outstations (Royal Vancouver Yacht Club where the Captain is a member in good standing). Tugboat Island is a delightful refuge for members and there is a perfect little walk around the perimeter of the island. We saw lots of driftwood, a heron in a tree and even our daily eagle sighting. It was not long before we knew it was time to pack up and start heading further south.
Before signing off, an important word from Captain Wiel about the new and improved Perfect Pitch:
Sadly, it was time to head for the home port for Perfect Pitch on Salt Spring Island. As we were passing Long Harbour and rounding the corner for the home stretch, low and behold our final sighting of one last tugboat.
Lastly, aword about our hosts….
Spending 11 days and 10 nights with anyone, anywhere can test a relationship but Sue and Wiel always made us feel welcome and it was always fun. The thoughtful efforts that go in to everyone's comfort and enjoyment, the provisioning and the extraordinary meals every single day and night is mindboggling. We can't thank them enough and their generosity is impossible to repay.
If any of you ever have a desire to go on a trip like this, just call them.....tell 'em Wilson sent you!
Over and out.