Tuesday, July 15, 2008

6/20 - 6/28 Alert Bay 阿樂灣

In Alert Bay we took a vacation from our vacation.

My parents came up on 7/20 and we spent a couple days with them. Highlights included going to the utterly fantastic U'mista Cultural Center, absolutely the finest museum of native Canadian (or American) artifacts I have ever seen. In brief, these items were seized by the Canadian government when the native potlatch ceremonies were banned. They were later returned and are now on display. The link above provides far more detail. What a wonderful and moving experience.

We also took them out for an afternoon of sailing, dinner at an anchorage, and a sail back to the dock. For the first time ever, we had enough wind for my dad to enjoy being on the boat. He made an admirable jib hand and helped us sail the whole way. My mom made it her job to hand the winch handle across between Jiayu and my dad, and once we were working as a team, the cockpit no longer felt small or crowded.

After my parents left, we stayed one more day several times. The wharfinger, Eric, is very welcoming and a fun guy to talk to. He helped clue us in to the goings on in town and gave us good advice on crabbing and fishing. Alert Bay is also the first marina we have stopped at that is truly affordable on our budget. It was a real luxury to have the boat affixed to dry land and spend our days lounging, walking, meeting some of the local people, and taking long, free showers, the first free showers we've had since leaving Seattle.

Considering how close Alert Bay is to the Broughtons, it is very, very tempting to base the boat there for a while, sailing through the Labrynthin archipelago and then returning to a familiar town to restock and reconnect with people.

We eventually decided to resume our journey, pushing off on 6/28 for Farewell Harbor.