Buchart Gardens and Todd Cove
17 May 2016 | Butchart Gardens, BC
It had been ages since any of us had last been to Butchart Gardens, an incredible garden, initially designed and developed by Mary? Butchart to cover up the mess made by her husband when he dug a quarry for a lime operation and built a large cement plant on formerly beautiful Sannich Peninsula outside of Victoria, BC. Ah, a familiar story and all too true. Our readers can consider if the story applies in local contexts.
First, though, I was in desperate need of a shower, another familiar story. I walked up to the Port of Sidney Marina office only to discover a young man mopping the floor, saying the water is off upstairs in the shower. There’s been a bit of a leak. I offered my best Canadian question formation, “Never a dull moment, eh?” He offered back a nice Canadian, “That’s abouat the size of it.” Back to the boat for another day sans shower.
After checking the engine room, and downloading a movie with the wicked fast Shaw wifi in the marina, we untied the lines and headed out, around the Saanich Peninsula and over to Butchart Gardens. We carefully passed through a small zone for military practice, Whiskey Delta. Well, I had better tell you now because Katie or Deb will tell you later.....I actually cruised through it without checking to see if it was active. It was small, though, and we were through it quickly. We did not see any nuclear subs surfacing so it was probably inactive.
We cruised to Butchart Cove and saw Misty Fjord, a Grand Banks from the Rendezvous, tied up at an anchor ball. We decided to head down Todd Inlet to anchor and test our new Ultra Anchor. (I figure an anchor as expensive as this one deserves a set of capitol letters, eh?) We got it this spring to replace our previous CQR (Secure) anchor, an older style anchor that works well up here but we dragged once and ever since have been a little anxious each night we anchor in wind. Winds get as strong as 50-60 mph at times and when it blows in a deserted cove, you really want to be certain your anchor will hold. The Ultra is a newer style anchor, designed a bit like a shovel and buries deep and solid. It is also all stainless steel so mud comes off it easier. That is what causes the price to be so high. At the current cost, we hope we never lose it. If we do, stock prices will crash, banks will close, and the economy will tank, for sure.
Todd Inlet was a delightful cove, surrounded by tall Douglas Fir trees, down to the waterline. We started the generator. Deb and Katie took foredeck duty and cleared the safety line. As we dropped our Ultra Anchor I said a silent prayer that it would come back up tomorrow. It set just as we hoped it would, a tight snub and pull back after we put the engines into reverse for 5 seconds. It felt solid.
With the generator on, we got Rubber Ducky, our dink, ready to lower. We cleared the tie downs, attached the davit line, and lowered Rubber Ducky gracefully into the water. Well, reasonably gracefully. For a first-time-this-trip attempt, it was not bad. We had our dinghy brains in pretty good shape. Then, we grabbed life preservers, boarded our trusty transport and headed back out Todd Inlet to the dinghy dock in Butchart Cove. We tied up and managed to get off Rubber Ducky the first time this year gracefully, well with reasonable grace since we all missed getting splinters from the wooden dock. Then, up to enter beautiful Butchart Gardens. We did it all, including an exceptional carousel ride! I will attach pictures so you can see how truly beautiful Mary Butchart made the mess her husband created.
After exploring most of the gardens and devouring both an ice cream and a gelato, at least for me, we headed back in Rubber Ducky, saying hello to our good friends on Misty Fjord, who had returned from exploring the gardens.
Back at the boat I grilled brats and Deb fixed her home made baked beans for dinner. Katie and I had a beer to add to the delishishness. Then, we watched an incredible movie, Tim’s Vermier. It was about an American inventor and millionaire who devoted 4 years to investigating and providing a likely solution to how Vermier was able to create paintings filled with light and a lens like image so accurately and lifelike. The issue had puzzled art scholars for years. He provided one likely possibility and replicated a scene Vermier had painted as he discovered the solution. It was spectacular. Then, off to bed and the dreams of the innocent.