Saturday, August 1, 2020

Spanish to Gore Bay

Spanish weather was a bit icky - chilly, windy, and the threat of rain hung in the air. Our original plan was to continue west towards Bear Drop Harbour and spent another night on the hook, but somebody on the crew (not going to say who) threatened mutiny if she didn’t get some clean underwear, because she likes to wear brand new clothes every day and god knows she didn’t learn that move from me. The laundry facility at the Spanish marina was closed, and the next closest one was 20 miles away in Gore Bay, so we adjusted the plan and set out southward.

The sailing was good and the winds were higher than expected, heeling the boat way over as we crossed the open waters on the way into Gore Bay. We were last here four years ago and just happened to arrive the evening before their annual Gore Bay Festival, which provided a crazy weekend of entertainment and events. There was going to be no such luck this year as all of the festivals had been cancelled (thanks COVID!) and the level of boater traffic was also way down so we arrived to a mostly empty marina and a whole lot of quiet.

Gore Bay is the base for a company called Canadian Yacht Charters and they charter out a large fleet of boats for cruising in the North Channel throughout the summer months. Ana and I walked over to check in at the marina and I noticed that the listing of charter boats posted on the wall included a 2016 Gemini Legacy catamaran, so after settling up we went next door to the charter company (which doubles as a well stocked marine store) to inquire on the boat. The lady I spoke with didn’t seem to have any clue about the boats, and despite selling paddle boards also didn’t seem to know whether or not they sold paddles. Her colleague wasn’t able to help either and the whole operation seemed confused and in disarray. We went for a walk on the docks to see if we could track down the boat and did find one catamaran, but it was an older PDQ type. As we were looking at it another staffer from the charter company ran out to talk to us and told us he didn’t know anything about a Gemini but the PDQ was for sale, and that we could go onboard, but had to stay out of the starboard cabin as he was currently residing there. As we were boarding, some other staffer started yelling at us from office, then yelled at the guy who let us on and the whole thing was rather unprofessional. We were eventually allowed to look at the boat, and it was dirty, poorly maintained, and had a bad layout. Many boats were in storage on land so we took a stroll through there and did find the Gemini and had a good look around the exterior of the boat. Knowing that pretty much every boat is for sale, we returned to the office and spoke with the yelling man, who first tried selling us the PDQ and seemed very reluctant to even discuss the Gemini, but finally relented and called the owner, but was told it was definitely not for sale.

HQ2 arrived and we helped them get docked, then Angela and Magnus and I walked over to the marina’s laundry/washroom facility where Ana was already doing laundry. As we approached the building Ana came out, waved us away, and then told us there was an angry man who was swearing and accusing her of cutting in line. When I looked over he started swearing at us again and I told him to take it easy then he jumped up and was ready for a round of fisticuffs over his laundry spot. I ran over and delivered a flying side-kick to his solar plexus then walloped him with a flurry of punches, elbows, knees, roundhouse kicks and clothesliners. Through all the blood I noticed he was wearing a stupid Toronto Maple Leafs jersey so I pulled it over his head then speed bagged him in the face for a minute or two then finished him off with a perfectly executed DDT, just like my hero Jake “the Snake” Roberts would do. My crew all cheered then presented me with the championship belt, which I put on proudly, but not before mercilessly beating my unconscious opponent with it for good measure.

In reality, Ana wisely defused the situation and we walked away leaving the profoundly disturbed and unhappy man to fume and swear as he waited for our gitch to finish in the spin cycle.

As we walked way Angela said, “Welcome to Gore Bay.”

Our explorations in downtown Gore Bay were equally unsatisfying as many places were closed (including their fantastic Legion) and Magnus got yelled at in a convenience store for no good reason. We picked up supplies and rolled our shopping carts right back to the docks, in fact right up to the stern of Bella Blue and unloaded everything, then returned the carts and got set up for happy hour. A mink appeared on a partially submerged piece of dock and we watched as he dove down into the water, came up with a crayfish in his mouth, then proceed to disembowel it and munch up all the good pieces while leaving the claws and head in a tidy pile on the dock. He did this two more times and looked to be living a very good life indeed.

After dinner we took a walk with Tony and Angela and the kids through the marina dry docks again to see the Gemini (and had another strange and off-putting chat with the charter company guy who liked to yell) then walked a bit beyond the marina and found a nice craft beer place (closed), restaurant (closed) and an art gallery (closed). But our boats are always open so we returned and spent the rest of the evening chatting, enjoying dock Scotch, and watching a muskrat slide back and forth through water over and over and over again.

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