Piers Island: Day 1… On the road, or err, air, and sea I guess too�

2 08 2004

Queen of VictoriaHave you had that dream where you are just falling asleep when your alarm goes off? You feel like you never went to bed, and in your REM induced semi-coma you try to figure out why the alarm is chiming. Time is somehow suspended and the synapses are firing through some different denser material. This is how Day 1 started.

When the curtain of fog finally lifted and I remembered had all the packing that I was supposed to do the night before, time slid back into 78 from 33 1/3 (yeah I�ve switched a record player between speeds, how else could I know every word of Barry Manilow‘s Greatest Hits Triple Platinum. You know he writes the songs that make the whole world sing!).

I�m up, I�m showered, I�m forgetting, over packing and only 5 minutes behind schedule, but security is moving fast, Ben and Allison slip us in line, and I�m eating a $6.95 breakfast burrito, the whole of which, entirely fits into the palm of my hand, before I know what I�m doing. My nephew Cameron was a champ, I had to fight with Dennis for walking time and the flight attendant slips me 5 or so extra Biscoff Cookies so life is grand.

8:30 AM is an early flight for a Saturday but it put us in Seattle by 9:30 (PST). We flew a non-NW airline so the terminal walks were hefty, for us, as well as the kiddies. The bags took a while to pop out and the clubs were hidden in oversized. The �SUV� we reserved from National was a Jeep Liberty. I think that the one we were signed up for had many similarities to the one I have pictured here. We did out best to keep cool and get a real sized people and cargo mover. An hour later we were on the road.

We were headed to Tsawwassen just over the Canadian Border for the BCFerry to Swartz Bay. We had a 2:00 PM reservation. So we were trying to make time. Our hunger, the prejudices of others, a mislabeled compact car, Arby�s Market Fresh Sandwiches, and a BC holiday conspired against us, and left us with a 3 hour wait for the BCFerry�s Queen of Victoria to whisk us away to Vancouver Island.

Ben Slack Lining at the Tsawwassen Ferry Dock What a learning experience today was. Who knew that there is a day called BC Day that mandates a day off, if and only if you ride the 2:00 PM TsawwassenSwartz Bay Ferry on the Saturday prior. Many BC-ians are going to be off work Monday. We found out quickly that our reservation wasn�t about to hold up the Ferry. Also that the $15 reservation fee is only to get you in line to pay the ~$50 per car to get a lift. We lost that $15 just like we lost our spot in line. There was some grass for Burb to practice chipping, a few snack shops and rest rooms, so we were able to enjoy the pre-exodus festivities with the rest of the VI or Bust crowd. The highlight of the wait was the slackline, but then when isn�t it?

The 1 � hour ferry ride was just a taste of the scenery to come. After I wrested Cameron away from Dennis again and walked him circum-ferry style into his own little dream land, I caught a bit of top deck scenery, and then retired below decks for some catch up in the rental Impala.

Once on the Vancouver Island at Swartz Bay it was just a quick bit of exits and back roads to get to the �A� dock at Canoe Cove Marina. The Apex was right where it was supposed to be and fired right up. Ben and I started over with almost all of the bags and a couple of maps that look about like these: Canoe Cove Map QuestCanoe Cove and Piers Island Map QuestPiers Island. Ours had a few lines and a list of buoys and reef markers, that led us to a pier that seemed like the one. We decided tie up and go check the address of the house. As we came up the pier we were greeted by our neighbor Mr. Kristianson, who had just gotten off the phone with Charlie. We were way past due and Burb didn�t have his cell pone on. We got squared away, unloaded the luggage, and in the house.

I stayed back while Ben went back for load 2 of the grocery getters. I got a call from Charlie while Ben was bringing the girls and Cameron, and gave him the late arrival story. The girls got here and we arranged the rooms for sleeping while Ben went for round 3 for the groceries and Dad. It was just finally getting dark when the whole crew and all the food was safe and at �The Sag�.

What a day, and in the end, worth all the wait.

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