•    Gibsons Cruise   

    The SLYC Spring Cruise to Gibsons was held on the Victoria Day weekend of May 16/17/18. Wow, we couldn’t have asked for better weather! It may have started out a bit grey, but the skies soon cleared, and the sun was blazing away at summer temps! My parents had arrived from Nova Scotia only a few days previously, where they’ve only just seen the last of their mountains of snow finally melt away. Quite the change!

    White Feather, Hale Pau Hana, and Free Spirit II all started out from the Creek in a small convoy, that is until the breeze finally piped up around Spanish Banks, and we set our sails… and different tacks. Stubbornly, Bowen Island refused to yield to my heading, so Hale Pau Hana had to tack around it. The wind was nonexistent amongst the Popham Islands, but always a lovely little trip through there so we didn’t mind.

    We arrived at Gibsons to find Irish Cream already there, and the dock party soon began. Others who came by ferry joined in – David and Anne, and Peter and Marge. When the party got too big for Hana’s cockpit, we just moved up to Irish Cream. What a great day to sit out and enjoy each other’s company in the sun!

    Interestingly, the skipper of Free Spirit II was nowhere to be seen – it turns out JJ loaned the boat to Jean and Richard, who brought along their friends Bill and Denise too. For a couple’s weekend, Free Spirit II worked out just great, and it was very gracious of JJ to loan them the boat. Earl Grey might be jealous!

    Dinner was at the Waterfront Cafe, where we had a whole section to ourselves, the food was excellent, and the ever-exuberant owner, Art, was a most gracious host. We followed that up with oysters at Smitty’s, the oysters were delightful, the thumping music a bit less so. Morning saw us at Molly’s Reach for brunch, we were lucky that they could squeeze our whole party in at one big table. The eggs benny were scrumptious as always. And the bottomless cups of coffee!

    Later in the day, some of us more energetic types decided to take on the challenge of climbing Soames Hill, that conspicuous large knob that’s a notable landmark when approaching Gibsons from north of Keats Island. It was quite the uphill hike, but the trails are well marked, with stairs for much of the way, and the view was stunning. A long walk followed back to town, but ice cream at Mike’s Place made for a well-deserved treat! It was great to have an extra day in Gibsons, courtesy of the long weekend.

    Monday saw our fleet head back by way of going north of Keats Island, the fine breeze coming up Thornborough Channel made for some of the best sailing I’ve seen in a long time… over 6 knots on the GPS, and hardly more than a ripple on the water, the sailing was smooth as glass. Of course it never lasts, though we did *almost* squeak around the north end of Bowen before the breeze died.

    Some interesting information: Gibsons Marina is under new ownership, as of the very weekend we were there, and we are told that there will be more visitor moorage. Some 17 slips currently, and likely more to be available in the future – so that’s good news!

    Photos courtesy of Rory and myself:


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