Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We spent last week visiting cruising buddies.  We had a great visit with the crews from Gavia Arctica, Toketie and Cop Out.  The last two boats left Canada with us and Toketie sailed back from Australia and have their boat at Maple Bay on Vancouver Island, while Cop Out was sold in Langkawi. We went to Saltspring Island to see Cop Out home. They have recently renovated, adding a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and big walk in closet.  Wendy is a potter and at the moment they are building a potting studio below their main floor. 
While we were there a cement floor was poured and the walls were being framed in.  She will have a beautiful view of Ganges harbour.  A load of gravel, oh excuse me, a yard of 3/4 inch crush was delivered to make a driveway into the studio and to spread on their road.  Barry and I promptly dug in :) and loaded up first wheelbarrows and then the back of Ken's truck and proceeded to spread the gravel around.  As you can see there were compensations involved.  The hot tub was enjoyed by all at the end of a hot dusty day. 
It was nice to be afloat again, if only briefly on Toketie and we had a great visit with Linda and David.  The Captain of Gavia Arctica slaved away in the kitchen and produced a wonderful meal while we were there.  They have a home full of antique furniture and it is beautifully decorated. We really enjoyed catching up with our chums, it was great to catch up with them once again. 
David, Linda and I on Toketie in Maple Bay
We are headed to Calgary tonight and then on to Trinidad in the morning.  We are all ready to go, Doug our brother-in-law after putting up with us for almost a month is very kindly driving us to the airport.  We thought we had a buyer for our X-Trail but it turns out there are a few more things wrong with it than we thought.  We are leaving with our cousin to sell for us.  I hope there are not too many surprises when we get back to Cat's-Paw IV.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

                                 MOVING DAY                            
Well we accomplished one of our primary goals in returning to Canada today.  We consolidated our "stuff" and moved it into a smaller storage shed.  It took us three visits to the unit to trim down what we were going to keep.  We made three trips to the recycling area conveniently located 200 meters down the road, and three trips to the thrift shops in the Duncan area, managing to cull about 10 boxes worth.  What it comes down to is that we are going to save about $30.00 per month, which doesn't seem like much but over a five year period it would mean about $1,500.00 and that is a new main sail, so I think it was worth it. 
We were lucky and a smaller unit was available during the time period we were here in B.C.  It took us about an hour to transport our goods from one area about 100 meters to the other side of the storage area.  The mean red machine was loaded up and it coasted around the lot and manoeuvred around the stuff that was piled up outside the new unit. 
Note the mattress on the roof.  
All the heavy stuff was at the back of the old unit, on the bottom, so in order to get it in the back of the new unit all the lighter stuff was piled up outside awaiting the heavyweight boxes which were unearthed and transported to take their rightful places against the back wall.  
The old unit with the heavyweight big boxes against the back wall
The smaller newer unit with the boxes neatly piled in the back and the rest of the miscellaneous stuff added in at the end.
Barry really wanted me to get rid of that ironing board, but the frame is really heavy duty, and it is the best ironing board I have ever had, and just couldn't part with it.

 It was an interesting exercise, going through all the stuff.  I couldn't believe some of the things that had been packed and stored for 8 years.  There were half used bottles of shampoo, Q-tips, and the junk holders from the kitchen with pencils, old batteries, etc.  I guess I didn't get a chance to go through that stuff before it was packed up!  I could stand to throw stuff away for about two hours at a time and then I would just get overwhelmed and have to tell Barry I just couldn't do it any more and it was time to go back to Sherran's place  The first day I was completely ruthless, especially with my clothes and I gave lots of my old work clothes away.  The second day I went through a lot of my casual things like sweaters and fleece pants.  I just couldn't let go of most of them and we will pay to keep them for those cold Canadian winters that will be in our future. I am not sure but I think Barry managed to part with the container of socks he had!
The Lange Family
Now it is time to continue to work on accomplishing our other main goal in coming back to Canada, visiting with family and friends.  We are currently staying with Barry's older sister, Sherran and her partner, Doug, who have kindly let us stay with them.  We will be here longer than any other place we stayed in our trip across Canada, it is very kind of them to put up with us.  We have been spending lots of time visiting with Barry's Mom while we are here.  Now that our stuff has been taken care of, I want to get together with former cruisers that are in the area, Lynn and Debbie, David and Linda plus Ken and Wendy.  It will be great to catch up with them. The four months we have been here has flown by but it is a long time to be without your own space.  I am longing to get back to the boat and complete the repairs that are needed.