Photo: Uchuck III at the dock at Walter’s Cove.
Skiffs swarmed the harbor, some tied up at the dock and others hovered off the Uchuck III as it unloaded its goods. Boxes of produce for the store went onto the dock; drums of gasoline and diesel and cylinders of propane went over the side into waiting skiffs. One skiff motored away with a new stove and washing machine looking as if they were ready to use in place.
We were watching the unloading of the Uchuck III at Walter’s Cove, Kyuquot, an event that occurs every Thursday all year. Thursday is the best day to visit Walter’s Cove because you can watch the unloading and enjoy the weekly restaurant meal the town puts on for the Uchuck’s passengers. And the day after the Uchuck arrives is the best day to shop at the general store.
A young man with a toddler in tow was stacking boxes of food. He runs a kayak camp on Spring Island, he told us. “There’s a lot of logistics involved,” he explained. “We have to call in our order by Sunday or Monday so the shopper in Campbell River can shop on Tuesday so the stuff can be delivered to the Uchuck at Gold River on Wednesday so it can be here on Thursday.“
The unloading was still going on at 6:30 when we headed for the trail to the Kyuquot Inn. Since the ship arrives on Thursday night and doesn’t leave until Friday morning, passengers have to be fed. The Kyuquot Inn, which operates a coffee shop, puts on the meal. And if there’s enough food, people like us can eat too.
Thirteen of us sit down to eat family-style in the old converted school house. Huge platters of roast pork and potatoes are set before us along with hummus and pita, Greek salad, Indian dall and braised red cabbage. Dessert is freshly baked brownies. Everything is delicious.
Steve and I had brought our laptop computers and after dinner we use the coffee shop’s wifi to check our email. “Just kick us out when you’re ready to go,” Steve tells Eric, the coffee shop’s owner.
“Stay as long as you want,” says Eric. I leave this place open all the time anyway so people like you can use the wifi.”
We walk back to our boat at dusk, passing a mixture of small rundown shacks and new large fishing lodges. There’s a sense of community in this town that makes us want to come back year after year - but always on a Thursday.
Photo: Kyuquot Inn