Mar 22, 2018

Fuel on the Dock and Old StoreWe needed fuel on our way back south and stopped at a place called Blind Channel on West Thurlow Island. There were two small floats, and numerous fuel drums. A jetty to shore connected to a long boardwalk at the edge of the forest, which led to a small general store. A young man was called on to put on his rain pants, stick a pump into one of the drums, and pump the lever until our tank was full.

A hand-painted sign read “For Sale.” Edgar noticed.

The Move

Edgar hated the shift work at BC Air Lines, the daily commute, the repetition. Blind Channel would present new challenges, and freedom to set the agenda. It just might be possible to swing it with the sale of the house in Vancouver, and then the place would have to provide us with a living. However, Trudi and I were attending Simon Fraser University, Alfred was sixteen, and Robert was ten. There were no schools in Bind Channel. The Vancouver house was a two floor duplex, with Annemarie’s parents living upstairs. We were comfortable, and if Blind Channel was ever going to comfortable we’d have to make it that way.

The boys said “let’s go for it,” and Annemarie said “no way ever.” Edgar continued to extoll the benefits, and she finally agreed to a partial concession. They would fly up and have another look at the place, but if it was raining again that would be it, a definite no.

Blind Channel RainbowThe January day turned out to be frosty, sparkling, beautiful, and the house was shortly put up for sale. Trudi found a place to rent nearby. I would stay there until the end of the semester in May and then take a break from school for “a year” to help out. Alfred and William would continue school through correspondence. Annemarie’s parents, in their late sixties at the time, also had a tough decision to make. There was an empty house available for them at Blind Channel and Wilhelm was all for it, but Therese couldn’t imagine living in such a place. They argued, looked half-heartedly for another place in the city, and finally decided to give it a try too.

The neighbours once again had some entertainment when large plywood boxes were assembled in the driveway and household goods began to disappear into them. A flatbed truck with a fork lift arrived, and the crates were loaded onto the coastal freighter the “Loughborough Princess” for the journey to the Blind Channel dock. Edgar, Annemarie, Alfred, and William headed north with their yacht Pamar at the beginning of March 1970, with Oma and Opa to join them by plane from Campbell River. I found my way there after finishing my semester at SFU the following spring.

 

Adjusting

Edgar and Annemarie met after the war working at a craft shop in Germany, creating decorative objects for people trying to rebuild their homes. Aesthetics were always very important to them, and the condition of the property they had bought was painful. There was no garbage pick-up, and evidence of the industrious residents of by-gone days was everywhere. There was no money and no heavy equipment, so cleaning up and beautifying the place to match it’s gorgeous setting would be a slow, hard process.

The Boardwalk to the StoreWe had voluntarily moved from a first world to a third world lifestyle. Power was on for a few hours each evening, provided by a one-cylinder Ruston diesel equipped with a massive flywheel to keep the voltage more or less steady. We had running water supplied by a spring up the hill, but that became unreliable in the winter. We spent many hours hiking up into the forest to disconnect sections of the black poly line and hauling it down to the ocean to thaw. For back-up, we were lucky to be living alongside a creek.

If anyone wished to phone us, they would dial 0, ask for the Campbell River Radio Operator, and get placed in a queue. If it was during our stand-by time of two hours each evening, and if the channel became available during that time, we would get the call. In the meantime, we listened to the conversations of workers in the logging camps in the area. If they remembered and asked for privacy the other end of the call would be blocked, so it was necessary to use some imagination. There seemed to be a common theme to the conversations.

“Where were you last night?”
“Where did the money go?”

“ Hi honey, I have to stay in camp this weekend. Love you.” “Operator, I have another call.”
”Hi darling, see you tomorrow.”

Pamar at anchor in Howe SoundWhen the technology moved on, we heard complaints from our neighbours. There wasn’t much else for entertainment. We did have an AM radio, and we’d slowly turn the dial, trying to pull something in. A snatch of a great-sounding song faded away into the static, to be replaced by a preacher in Texas booming off the stratosphere. Then we found a wind-up gramophone in an attic with some old 78s and grooved to the sound of “I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair.”

Despite all that, we didn’t feel deprived. It felt like an adventure.

March 21, 1970
Letter from Annemarie

We had a lovely ride in the dusk around our neighborhood. The landscape can only be called beautiful. The yellow boat rides very well and this was the first time I was out in it. I really enjoyed myself. There were about thirty cormorants on a rock. In the evening light they looked like cacti, but when we came near they all flew up and away in a single formation.

When we came home, we had a good dinner with plenty of ling cod. Our neighbour Gunnar Lande caught so much that he gave us about thirty pounds. If we could only send some to you.

Alfred went sailing in the dinghy today. It was between tides and the sea was flat, with only a slight ripple and a perfect wind for sailing. He went swish along Eclipse Islet and out of sight. He was gone for a long time and we started to worry. The tide had turned and the rapids were starting to run. The wind had died, and when Papa went out he found him going backwards trying to row against the current. Alfred said of course that he would have managed after a while. It just would have taken a long time. During the course of being towed, he only got wet up to his belly button.

Robert got wet too. He was playing over by the big creek. There he saw a few hundred small crabs, all scuttling around fighting. It looked to him like they all wanted to eat a tiny one. He felt he had to rescue it. He grabbed it out of the middle, took it to a safe place down by the water underneath a stone, and sank into mud to his knees. He was frightened but managed to get out fast. He had a long warm bath and felt fine again.

Maxl is such a hard-working dog. He is not fat any more, but eats a lot. He has to dig holes, when the men dig in the ground, and he has to carry big sticks, when the men carry things around.

It was a beautiful sunny day. The air is so bright and clear and clean. It is so lovely here, that I am slowly beginning to feel a quiet happiness inside of me.

Love,
Annemarie

http://www.blindchannel.com/

Related Articles
Canada
  • 28 March 2019
  • By Ethan

Blind Channel Resort

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
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 ...

Valvetech Bridgewater MarinaFor many years now, we have used gasoline in our cars and trucks that contains some amount of ethanol, a form of alcohol, and just as a few drops of water combine almost instantly in your Scotch, moisture from the atmosphere can combine with the ethanol in the gasoline that is in your boat’s fuel tank.

Your motor vehicle has a sealed fuel system to control evaporative losses that are a source of air pollution. Fuel is moved into the engine under pressure and any drips that might escape, drop onto the pavement. The engine is open to the pavement below. In an inboard boat, the hull is below the engine and any drips will collect in the bilge with potentially explosive consequences. 

Read more about gasoline containing ethanol......

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
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 ...

Four WInns HD 180By Andy Adams

The Four Winns HD 180 is the kind of family boat I love to drive and enjoy. It’s very approachable, even for less experienced drivers and the accommodations and scale are like a comfortable family car or SUV. It all feels familiar and part of that is the Volvo Penta V6 200 SX stern drive. The engine is inboard; built into the boat and unobtrusive in use.

That is unless you shove the throttles open. Then the performance side of the Volvo Penta V6 200 appears with instant throttle response, partly a result of the variable valve timing and partly because of the direct injection system. 

Read more about the Four WInns HD 180.......

 

ILCA DinghyAustin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.


“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50- year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher.

Read More about the ILCA Dinghy............

Destinations

  • Prev
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...


The DocksBy Katherine Stone

Docks are well-lit and wide to accommodate dock carts.

Steeped in tradition that goes back to one of the oldest towns in Canada west of Quebec City, is Penetanguishene. This bilingual community of 9,000 is located in the middle of Huronia on the southeasterly tip of Georgian Bay in Simcoe Country, Ontario. The name is believed to have been derived from Algonquin (also believed to have come from the Wendat, Abenaki and Ojibwe tribes) meaning “place of the white rolling sands”. 

Read more about the Hindson Marina..........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...