Week Two: In which Gillian learns that stoves are still hot, sailing is fun, remembers the beauty of camp, and has a hard ending to a great week

Trip two was with a group from Vancouver, Grade 10 and 11s mostly, so a bit older, a bit more able, and a lot of fun. This was my first 5 day trip and at first, it seemed to go on and on. There were a few problems, like almost running out of potatoes (so we had mac and cheese instead, which was a hit… no one really knows if you don’t tell them, I guess!). I had an intimate encounter with a pan of oatmeal cookies and my inner elbow (don’t know what that area is technically called), resulting in my first magnificent burn of the year. It is about 2 inches long.
We had a couple of good sails this trip, the first day being the best I think. We had to double reef the main because there was a decent wind out. Our first night was anchored at Bedwell Harbour, between North and South Pender Islands.

(Liz, before reading on, you have one guess to tell me where this picture is!)

From there we made our way up to North Cove, Thetis and docked at Camp. I got to say hi to Chris and Andrea, and Ben was back in the country for a bit before going back to Australia, so I saw him too. After the trainees went to bed, the crew took off to Bucks and Does for a lovely hot shower… ahhhh. The next morning, it was beautiful blue sky, not a cloud to be seen and no wind at all. The trainees played soccer on Junior Meadow and I made lunch. Then it was off down to Coles Harbour on the inside of the Saanich Penninsula. Thursday night was in Cadboro Bay where Jordan and I, with two trainees, took the Zodiac into shore to get some ice cream to surprise Karen for her 25th birthday. We had been giving her presents all day, and she loves birthdays a lot! I got completely soaked going ashore, being the only one with roll-up-able pants and no socks in my crocs, so I was the one to leap over and drag us up the beach, while splashing water all up my backside. The four of us must have been quite the sight wandering through Peppers Market in our orange life jackets, rolled up pants/rubber boots, unwashed hair, and video camera (yes, the trainees brought the school video camera so our actions can be immortalized forever). The best part was motoring back to the ship with one trainee holding a flashlight over the bow of the Zodiac as our bow light. Oh but it was worth it for Karen’s screams of delight.
Friday morning we were just “sailing” (at a speed of anywhere between 0.8 and 2 knots) south of the harbour before heading into the harbour to unload kids. Before I go any further, I want to say Friday was an interesting day. I had just come in to the aft cabin after breakfast when I hear my phone vibrate voicemail. I check the phone and it is a number I don’t recognize but an area code I do. So I go to check the voicemail and the reception has gone (it does that on the water). Up on deck I go and there is a message to call my uncle in Sarnia. Now I’m worried and go to call him back. My phone is out of credit… curses. And I didn’t even write down the number so I could use the boat phone. Double curses. Best of all, I just got a new credit card and I don’t know the number of by heart yet so I have to find my wallet, buried under clothes in the inaccessible stowage under my bed (think lift up mattress then lift up wooden slats then rummage around in small spaces with no light). Find wallet, locate credit card, top up phone, call Sarnia. My grandmother died Friday morning. My uncle was with her. It has been coming for the last little bit, we honestly weren’t sure she’d make it till Christmas, but she did, and we had a wonderful family dinner with her in December. My aunt and uncle in Sarnia have been doing a magnificent job of caring for her for the last few years and I am so thankful that Gord was there with her yesterday. Love you Granny.

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