Day 60 we hopped over to Plumper Cove marine park on Keats Island in Howe Sound and picked up a mooring ball for the night. While at anchor a man from another boat jumped in and swam over to us to say hi. He came to tell us he liked our blog and that it was cool to run into us out cruising. When I asked him how he learned of it, he said he was a fan of the Westsail 32 and was just Google searching all things westsail. This was the first time that we realized that some folks other than just friends and family are following our adventure. Plumper Cove was a really nice spot, not too busy and only a mile and a half from Gibsons. It had a lovely grassy area for a picnic and we got Maddie flying a kite for the first time which she loved. We met another cruising couple with a little girl a little younger than Maddie at the park and had an impromptu afternoon picnic. They were out on their sailboat “Northern Valour” a CS 33.
The following day we braved stronger winds rounding Bowen island and tied up at the Union Steamship Company Marina in Snug Cove. Now being tied up in the richest municipality in Canada (West Vancouver/Bowen Island) (Moneysense.ca 2017) I thought it might have a stuffy feel to it. I was surprised to find it had a welcoming and down-to-earth kind of feel where I didn’t feel out of place. The boats in the marina were a mix of very modest smaller boats to larger more comfortable liveaboards but nothing approaching a superyacht status.
There was one boat in particular though that was tied up at an adjacent dock only 100′ away. This little sailboat of approximately 24′ was borderline derelict status that hosted a forest of marine life clinging to its hull. Later in the evening before sunset there was a man, whom I presume to be the owner, onboard puttering around. He hoisted the jib which hung like an old cheesecloth in the to the forestay in the breathless evening air. It was soon apparent that he was not about to leave the dock for an evening sail but rather he wanted to be sure that his two buddies that showed up soon after knew they were on a sailboat. In no time it was a full on riffraff party complete with a stereo blasting gangsta rap, copious beer drinking, and other smokables wafting across the marina. It was like a tailgate party on the dock. At one point one of the buddies was doing “doughnuts” in his inflatable dinghy with a little outboard motor. It was quite the scene and this carried on well past sunset until they all pile into the dinghy and zoomed off out of the harbour with only the cherries of their cigarettes to light the way. Did I mention we were tied up in WestVancouver/Bowen Island? Now I’m not judging anyone here, everyone has a right to have a good time, I was only surprised as it was the last thing I expected to see and hear in the quaint and beautiful village of Snug Cove. The only part that bothered us was the noise as it was a bit excessive and we didn’t want it to wake our two little girls sleeping below.
The next day we headed across to the West Vancouver Yacht Club. We had our slip arranged the day prior so we knew exactly where we were going but it was a very tight squeeze into the slip and there was a moderate cross wind to factor as well. Luckily I had my expert teammate Chari on the foredeck to ensure that we made it alongside without scraping someone elses boat or our own hull.
Heading across English Bay to False Creek in Vancouver was pretty exciting. Chari was fascinated by all the deep-sea vessels anchored in the bay that we got to see up close. We entered False Creek by passing under the Burrard and Granville street bridges. The shores on both sides of the channel are congested with a multitude of marinas thick with boats in every slip and backed by towering glass and concrete condo towers.
As we passed the first designated anchorage we heard someone whistling at us from another boat. It was our friend Stephen from Tango. We circled around and motored by close to exchange greetings and get information on anchorage options. We found a spot nearby and just across the channel from Granville Island. It was a neat way to experience Vancouver while still maintaining the security bubble of our little floating home.
Everything we needed was just a short dinghy ride away, which made reprovisioning quite easy. We had my brother Murray come join us onboard every evening he was available. Maddie loved having Uncle Murray there to play with too.
The waterway of false creek is busy with little passenger ferries, sailboats and powerboats coming and going, tourists on paddleboards and in kayaks, larger party boats taking guests on dinnercruises and dragon boats. Some boats passed by our boat a little closer than we liked.
We also happened to be there for some fireworks, which made False Creek an even busier waterway. We enjoyed the fireworks from the comfort of our boat, while the girls slept.
We explored Granville Island, Science World and a playground while we were there. It was fun to focus on Maddie and watch her have lots of fun. The toddler exhibit at Science World was a highlight.
After 4 nights anchored in False Creek, we were ready to get out of the busy city and sail across the Strait of Georgia back to the Gulf Islands.