Sail past, Cowichan Bay, BC

December 10, 2006

Sail Past Cowichan Bay 2006

Onboard Fisher Boy II, Apollo, the German Shepherd looked on a little puzzled as two friends slowly waltzed to a Christmas classic. They glided by along with about a dozen others to the delight of the small but enthusiastic crowd of onlookers on Government Wharf, Cowichan Bay. George Week’s retired Fisheries boat was like all the others, bedecked and be-dazzling . Was it my imagination or did the pilot actually look like Santa Claus? We sipped hot chocolate provided by volunteers from the Maritime Centre as we watched the sail past, a new tradition in Cowichan Bay. (New compared to the First Nations canoe races held each summer in Cowichan Bay since the late 1800s.)

Apollo wasn’t the only dog enjoying an evening tour of the bay. Paelo seemed to be alone on the Vesta but Kevin was probably in the cabin.

Someone threw a friendly snowball to a friend on a boat. It was made from one of the last piles of snow from the brief but dramatic snowfall on Vancouver Island last week. But on this evening it was only slightly cloudy and it was about 6 degrees, a comfortable temperature for being on the water.

I really missed my camera so I pieced this collage (digitage) together with Adobe Photoshop 7 when I got home. There really were two little boys there but not this one. I was trying to capture the way the strings or red Christmas lights glittered along the stays of the splendid sail boat owned by Chris who also owns the pub. It took on the shape of an enormous Christmas tree reflected in the bay water. (I inserted Mount Tzuhalem, Skinner’s Bluff, Separation Point and Saltspring Island in the background.)

We almost missed this! Fortunately Dave looked out over the bay from the patio and saw the lights. We arrived at the Wharf just as all the boats swung by for their second or third turn. Imagine regattas, canoe races and orcas in August and a Christmas parade on the water in December all from our living room window.

One of the more unusual boats was the Meleet, a Chinese Junk Rig owned by Nick and Jana. Nick poked fun at one of the local stories creatively using a survival suit and the mast. (Apparently the name, Meleet was inspired by a character from a children’s storybook, the favourite of the previous owners. Jana thinks it refers to a story about a First Nations’ dug out canoe.)

A sailboat from Maple Bay had lights strung in the shape of huge stars. A small brightly decorated Christmas tree shone from the top of the mast of the Lazy Dazy.

Afterwards Dave and I strolled past the Masthead, Holly’s Cow Bay video store (2 for one tomorrow evening), to the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre open late this evening to host the sailors when they came in. One of the volunteers, Sherry, who has lived in one of the Cow Bay boat houses for many years, provided me with some information but also invited me to stay and talk to the boat owners.

We’ve lived here less than a year. I feel like I’m home.

2 Responses to “Sail past, Cowichan Bay, BC”

  1. Sharon Says:

    The visual (I do not know what to call it) at the head of this post is amazing. Did you start with photos you had taken previously, or with images on the web, or ???

    Your paintings, as reproduced on your blogs, and your photography both are remarkable. (That isn’t the word I want to use here but I’m too short of time to come up with an apt adjective.) It is difficult for me to see those paintings and not to wish that you could paint full-time. But then I see the photos and I know that they are not two separate activities, or separate talents, but part of a whole. And then there is your use of technology, and your intellectual quests….

    I have some sister!

  2. This is a amazing piece, I discovered your webpage searching aol for a similar subject matter and came to this. I couldnt discover to much other material on this piece, so it was wonderful to locate this one. I will probably be returning to look at some other posts that you have another time.

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