We anchored in Otter Bay last night, having come from Poets Cove. It's my birthday today:-) Kathryn, the love of my life, is here with me and she has been treating me like royalty all day. She's so sweet! I totally lucked out with Kat, she's the kindest, warmest, gentlest creature i have ever met. She has extremely refined massage skills also so I'm lucky boy:-) Now we are sharing a bottle of fine local wine from the Morning Bay Vineyards, a superb 2006 Pinot Noir.
Something a bit odd just happened. I have a few friends and clients on Pender Island, and actually produce the top online tourist map of Pender Island, called www.mapofpender.com.
Yesterday evening, after we anchored, i took the tender into the Otter Bay Marina to meet a client about a web site design project we have in the works. The client is an artist of the wood working variety, and i mean a REAL artist.
Apparently the manager of the marina, reported this meeting to the RCMP. For those of you who are not Canadian, RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
So i was having a siesta in the V-berth, reading my new book by Joseph Conrad, Typhoon and Other Stories when Kat comes in and says, "there is a police boat outside". I said, "really"? "yes really" she replied. I went out to investigate, and sure enough there is a police boat out there.
They said that they had had a report of 'suspicious activity' and asked me my name. Apparently, i was "walking around in circles" in the parking lot and the manager felt that this was quite suspicious. After all day aboard a boat i do feel like stretching my legs once i get ashore and I think it's safe to say that this is true of most people. I felt insulted but i told them my name. They can look me up, no problem.
Since when is meeting someone in a parking lot "suspicious" activity? Of course we both have long hair and some people may view that in itself to be "suspicous".
I suppose it wasn't too suspicious the last few times i walked across their grounds in order to spend some of my money in their cafe however. They do make a good bagel, i'll give them that and the fellows wife is quite nice. However, I won't be spending any money there ever again.
We have an office on the other side of Pender Island, where we build web sites, work with the Ptarmigan Music Society, a registered charity in British Columbia which provides music instruction to children who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and we also use that as our base for making tourist maps of the gulf islands, www.gulfislandmaps.com
After this anoying experience, and incidentally i'm not the only one who has had a negative experience with this particular dock manager, I have decided to look more fully into the Otter Bay Marina and associated condo's and see what I can uncover. I do NOT recommend this marina to anyone, based upon my personal experience thus far. You are much better off, in my opinion, to go to Poets Cove, where the dock staff there have repeatedly shown us kindness and courtesy. There is a spa there also, and a nice swimming pool and it's much more high end for the same or lesser cost for moorage, and it's right on The Beaumont Marine Park. Beautiful medicine beach is within tender distance.
While i'm on another rant i'm going to mention my last experience with the same dock manager a few weeks ago. We were on our way back to Hope Bay from Poets Cove when it became apparent that we would not make it through the Navy Channel in time for Kat to make her business meeting. We anchored at Otter Bay and i gave Kat a dingy ride up to the dingy dock just to drop her off.
As we approached the marina manager, same guy, said, "you have to pay 5 dollars to tie up at our dingy dock". I said, I'm just dropping Kat off, she's going to work". He did not reply. I was considering to go and get breakfast also but I thought to myself though, "yah right, like i'm going to give you $5 for the privlege of tieing up for 20 minutes to go spend more money in your mediocre cafe"
Last week we were moored in Hope Bay. Another boat pulled up and i caught a line for them. I asked them where they were sailing from. The fellow said, "Lopez Island" which is in the San Juan Islands. They had a nice motor cruiser.
The fellow said right away, "we just got kicked out of Otter Bay Marina" with a grin? I asked, "what for"? He said that he had gone to tie up there when the Marina manager came out and started yelling at them for not radioing in before hand. Ironically he had tied up where the Police vessel PV Driscol usually ties up. I think we all know that half the time when one radio's in to a Marina, there is no one on the other end of the radio, so one just ties up where one can and goes to look for the dock manager. So i know that i'm not the only one who has had trouble with this particular, and apparently uptight, individual.
There will be more notes on this incident as i talk to other boaters in the area to see if they have similar stories to share.
fair winds to you all, sincerely, Kmax