Cowichan BayBy Catherine Dook

Cowichan bay

Where do you find the best ice cream?

We had sailed around the Gulf Islands for a couple of weeks, dropping the hook wherever we wanted, and then lying there for days so relaxed as to be in an altered state of consciousness. John called it euphoria, but I called it a ‘coma.’ Whichever it was, we had a wonderful time.

Our two solar panels, shiny with the brilliant sunshine of July, kept our refrigerator running so well (at least during the day) that I was able to keep artisan bread dough chilled, half-a-dozen Mars Bars hard, and a litre of milk safe for human consumption until we poured the last of it into our coffee and had to open a can of Carnation Evaporated Milk. Dinners were leftovers at first, then canned chilli, then canned soup, and finally pancakes - once I’d assessed the harm factor of night-time room temperature on my two remaining eggs. Lest anyone feel pity for my husband, be aware that he was born in England, a land not famous for its cooking. I could never have married, say, a Frenchman or an Italian. Actually, considering my culinary ability, I may have been restricted to only this one, undiscriminating man. Fortunately, I think my husband’s accent is cute.

“Honey,” I said, “Would you like a treat?” We were at anchor in Genoa Bay.

“Do we have any Mars Bars left?” he asked.

“It’s hot,” I said. “I was thinking more of ice cream.”

“We don’t have any ice cream,” he replied. “Our freezer is too small, and besides, it melts every night.”

“I bet Ben, wharfanger and muffin man, sells ice cream. He sells everything else in his store at the marina.”

“Oh, all right,” John said. “Are you going to row?”

Yves At Udder Guys Yves at Udder Guys - gourmet ice cream at Cowichan Bay 

We’d left Cowichan Bay without an outboard because our outboard repair man, Tony, had selfishly taken time to haul his own vessel and paint the bottom. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except we own an inflatable Zodiac dinghy with windage from hell, and every afternoon a convection wind blows straight into Genoa Bay.

We climbed into the dinghy and I rowed and rowed; I arrived gasping at the marina and crawled onto the dock, nose down and hind end elevated.

“Ice cream,” I said. My voice was determined.

Ben, wharfanger and muffin man, did not disappoint me. There, right by the door of his store, humming softly with the kind of self-satisfied smugness that comes of unlimited electricity not dependent on solar panels, was a rectangular display case full of thirteen flavours of bar ice cream.

“And which,” I asked Ben, “Is your favourite?”

“King size chocolate and caramel Klondike,” he said. There was no hesitation in his voice.

“Three dollars and twenty-nine cents!” I exclaimed. “Cheap!”

“Plus tax,” said Ben smoothly. “Will that be one or two?”

Genoa BayGenoa Bay, Inuksuk in background.

Now, there is no ice cream as delicious as the ice cream you can buy when your vessel is at anchor. As we prepared to sail further into the Gulf Islands, I was dying to find out what excitement in ice cream lay ahead of us. I knew that as our water supplies dwindled and our clothes and hair became sticky, compared to power-boaters who all smell nice, we would come up short in social situations. As we sailed further into the heart of darkness of tinned food and souring milk, I was sure that the ice cream we would find would seem more and more wonderful.

I was not wrong.

While anchoring at Montague Harbour, I let out 350 feet of chain completely by accident, which was 10 feet better than my personal best three summers ago. We only HAVE 380 feet of chain and the end isn’t fastened to anything, so this is bad.

“Darling,” I said. “We MUST mark this fool anchor chain in such a way that I can actually READ it as it rattles past at incredible speeds. Also, those little stand-up plastic ties give me the finger on the way past.”

“Three hundred and fifty feet,” John moaned. “Can you pull some of that chain in? Please?”

Marine StoreMarina store Genoa Bay.

As the dutiful crewmember I am, I fired up the anchor winch and 150 feet of chain rattled back into its locker. By the time I was done, John was also ready for ice cream. We climbed into our Zodiac and rowed to Montague Harbour Marina. Our spirits rose with every stroke that brought us closer to the marina store. John was so pleased he hardly critiqued my rowing technique at all.

“Left,” he said every now and then, or, “you’re going to hit that boat at anchor.”

We docked at the government wharf dinghy-dock, where you are allowed two hours free moorage, and walked to the store at the marina next door.

“Eight flavours of scoop ice cream,” I gloated. The marina store serves Island Farms ice cream, made from contented cows who live on farms near Vancouver. You can always count on Island Farms ice cream for quality and taste and – who am I kidding? It was summer and we’d just anchored and this was ice cream - I was prepared to love all of it.
Lauren stood patiently behind the counter waiting for me to make up my mind.

“Black cherry,” I said aloud. “Double chocolate. Lauren, what’s your favourite flavour?”

“Maple walnut,” she said promptly.

“Then it’s mine, too,” I said.

Montague HarbourMontague Harbour Marina store.

Before we left we shopped for KD, canned goods, apples, and milk, and took note of all the useful things you could buy there, like fish flashers, striploin steaks, paper plates, and utility candles. They sell my books, too. I love that store.

A few days later we hauled anchor and left for Port Browning. The tide was with us most of the way and Navy Channel was not too harrowing, except abreast of Active Pass, where the current tossed our heavy vessel about a bit, but as we entered the Port my tension increased.

“Left,” I told my husband. “Don’t hit that boat at anchor.”

We anchored, and again I let out too much chain and had to pull yards of it back in. We were only in 23 feet of water and by the time we were done we had a 7:1 rode and were so well stuck in, I was thrilled with myself and ready for more ice cream.

The marina office sells seven flavours of bar ice cream. I couldn’t believe my luck. And then we walked down the road to the Driftwood Mall and there, at the Vanilla Leaf Café, we found another eight flavours of Island Farms ice cream AND baked goods.

“Sea salt Caramel,” Kenta told me, “and the date squares are my favourite.”

Delicious. And nearby we found an actual supermarket where you can buy whatever your heart desires, though we settled for a carton of milk, two oranges, and enough ground beef to make spaghetti that night.

LaurenLauren in the Montague Harbour Marina store.

Before we left, we checked in with Talisman Books, whose owners have a wonderful collection of new and used titles, including mine. I love that store, too.

“Darling,” I said, “I don’t want to leave.”
But all vacations must end sometime, and so with ice cream on our lips and reluctance in our hearts we hauled anchor and aimed the bow of Inuksuk for Cowichan Bay and home.

We were tired and our vessel is heavy. Our docking was ragged, but neighbours caught lines and cradled Inuksuk into place. Then we tied up and I went in search of more ice cream.

Ice cream embraces Cowichan Bay like bookends embrace a library shelf. At one end there’s The Udder Guys, with a friendly staff, retro candy, and 24 flavours of hand-crafted scoop ice cream to die for. Docking is hot work and there’s nothing like a scoop or two of Yves’ fabulous flavours to give you a reason to live. To my sorrow, he makes the ‘whisky’ flavour only for the Christmas market.

Alisha With a KlondikeAlisha with a Klondike cone at Pier 66 Convenience Store.

I staggered in the doorway exuding diesel exhaust with rope-burn on my fingers and hunger in my heart.

“Ice cream!” I cried. “What’ve you got?”

“Everything,” Yves said. His quiet voice was full of confidence.

I left $5.25 poorer with a scoop of Wild Blackberry ice cream in my fist.

By the time I got to the Pier 66 convenience store at the other end of the strip, my cone was eaten, enjoyed, and digested. There, by the door of the store in a case all its own, sat 16 flavours of bar ice-cream

“And another four flavours in tubs in the stand-up freezer,” Alisha told me. “Not bad, considering we’re competing with a gourmet ice cream parlour.

And so, my quest ended as it had begun at Genoa Bay – with a king-sized Klondike Cone.

Ice cream. It’s ALL good.

 

Related Articles

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...