Today was all smiles leaving Buckaneer bay, with the pink of the sunrise in our wake. We are all headed down to Chemainus Harbour on Vancouver Island to celebrate our last day in Canadian Waters. Our night in Buckaneer Bay treated us well, thankful to be waking up in the calm and prepping for the trek across the Strait of Georgia heading south. The 40-mile trip took us around 4 hours and the sun poked through the clouds enough times to finally burn through.
Our venture brought us through Dodd Narrows once again, really showcasing our growth with the boats and our confidence aboard them. Deception led the fleet and stood by as each vessel conquered one of their last navigation feats. Once underway again, the sun followed us the whole way into the harbour, eyes gazing across the horizon peeled for marine life. We passed by Ladysmith Harbour heading into Chemainus and chatted about the history of that harbour’s original name being Oyster Bay, as it was a predominate source of oysters for the indigenous communities, covered extensively along the south shore.
The jitters of wrapping up this trip are starting to set in, but it seems like it won’t truly feel real until we cross the border again. So, we cruised along Stuart Channel towards Chemainus, enjoying our present moments in the sun. Chatting a bit about looking into the town of Chemainus, discussing a bit of its history, and what kind of activities we can venture into once we are all tied up. Chemainus is known as, “the little town that did” given its small but mighty labor forces thrived in fishing and forestry in the late 1800’s. However, once these resources were depleted the town was restructured and reimagined, earning worldwide fame for their giant outdoor wall murals and retaining a magic that leaves an impression on its visitors.
Our fleet was so fun to watch cruise today, as you can see the obvious growth and new levels of comfort having lived aboard these vessels for 12 days now. Heading south, adjacent to our path heading north into Canada, it was hard to miss the trees having caught flame with bright fall colors as we hugged into the shorelines of Vancouver Island. It feels as though we escaped into a very quiet paradise for these days in Desolation Sound and getting closer to the border has shaken the recognition of the current seasonal transition back into us.
Touching down on the docks of Chemainus was exciting for the fleet as they hit the town, experiencing the magic that Chemainus is known for. Some of us went out to dinner, walking around before being seated and loving our last day this far north. Sniffing the air, our docks were kiddy corner to a raft of freshly cut cedar dominating the air and really solidifying us having moved into fall, as our marina too was flanked with trees shifting into their own fall attire.
These last few days have been so incredible to the point that discussing the next few days of transiting back into the states has made a few of us emotional. We’ve grown so close as a family and fleet that it doesn’t feel as though our adventure is really reaching its end. Leading to us taking up a bit more documentation and focusing on valuing our time together more often than letting it pass us by too quickly.