October 10, 2010
We must call the full Tour de Vancouver a screaming success. The downtown Vancouver leg has had its uncertainty in the moorage department, but overall it has worked out beautifully.
Last Monday, we headed south from West Van through the drizzle. We finally reached a real person at the False Creek Yacht Club and secured moorage. The moorage manager was off to a meeting when we arrived, so Brad and Austin stayed with the boat at the check-in boat to await his return and complete the process. Meanwhile, Bryce and I walked to the other end of False Creek to check on the status of Science World particularly enjoying the abundant art along the way.
Tuesday, we scootered and rode bikes to the Vancouver Maritime Museum. We learned alot about the history of Vancouver from the maritime perspective. There was a picnic lunch next to an incredibly tall totem pole. During our meal, we were joined by a bald eagle who hung out at the very top of the pole. Bryce and I figured out the short way back to the boat over the Burrard Bridge, but our gelato stop gave Brad and Austin “first ones back to the boat” status as they rode all the way around False Creek.
Wednesday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Vancouver. We needed to move the boat from False Creek Yacht Club to anchor in Charleson Bay farther up False Creek. So, after grabbing breakfast at the Granville Island Public Market, we pulled the boat out and returned to the free three hour moorage right in front of the Market and did a little more exploring before heading up to the anchorage. We found a nice spot, anchored CAPAZ and then Brad and I had Bryce take us ashore with the bikes. We took the bike trails to Coal Harbor and then returned to False Creek ending our ride with a pint of beer at a pub under the Burrard Bridge.
Thursday’s impending weather change made it hard to get motivated to do anything more than get schoolwork done and just hang out on the boat. At 4:15 pm, we got a call that there was a spot for us at the Vancouver Rowing Club’s docks in Coal Harbor. We sprang into action, pulled the anchor, proceeded around Stanely Park and were tied up, checked in and on our way to the Gastown Spaghetti Factory for dinner by 6:30! It was a bit of a walk, but we got to see alot of the Vancouver waterfront.
Before the rains started on Friday, I hopped on the bike after breakfast and tried out the Seawall Bike Trail around Stanley Park. With the weather turning, there were few people using the trail and the scenery was fabulous. In the afternoon, we walked back downtown and found the Burrard Skytrain station and caught the light rail out to Coquitlan. We were met by our cruising buddies from Blackdragon and chauffeured back to their base of land operations in Port Coquitlan. We enjoyed mocajitos and stevaritas which were followed by cards and guitar hero. The boys were in Lego heaven with Foster and also went to cheer him on at his first basketball game.
After cinnamon sticky buns, lattes and a lazy morning, Steve returned us to the boat where we did a quick check to make sure that all was well and hopped on a bus to West Van to share Thanksgiving dinner with the Mulanians. The bus driver was completely annoyed with us because we didn’t have all coins for the fare and he said we couldn’t use paper money. Now, I understand not being able to give change, but why should the transit people care if you give them paper money or not. Anyway, we were saved by a guy with guitar who just gave us the two “twonoonies” ($2 coins, a loonie is a $1 coin with a loon on it). He wouldn’t even take the $5 bill that I had at first, but we insisted. He felt bad because he didn’t have another dollar to make it a fair trade. We insisted that saving our bacon was worth at least a dollar! Anyway, we made it out to Vancouver where the turkey was already in the oven and there was just enough to make a quick loop around Point Adkin’s Lightouse Park. We got a little damp, but we were ready for the feast the was just about ready when we got back to the house.
Today is Brad and my anniversary. After a breakfast of waffles, we hopped on the bikes and rode around the Seawall Trail in Stanely (much more crowded, with the good weather and being Sunday). After radioing the boys back on Capaz and finding that all was well, we continued south to Jerico and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club where we had a great lunch. We sat in the bar and watched a small boat regatta our in front of the yacht club. We couldn’t let this gorgeous day go by without the boys getting out and enjoying some of Stanely Park. So when we returned to Coal Harbor, Brad and the boys walked up to check out the Aquarium.
I would like to say we have “done” Vancouver, but I know we have only scratched the surface and will have to return explore it more. Luckily, we have the excuse of the friends that we made while cruising to do just that!