For many years I have heard that Ganges on Salt Spring Island (Gulf Islands) is a great place to visit by boat. Gotta be a bit brief today with my text as we have only been home two days and take off again tomorrow for a five day cruise. But let's see some pictures.
One of the attractions is Mouat's, and old time hardware (and much more store). They have a very respectable marine section, so if you need something you can probably find it there.
The place has a funky vibe which is great.
Now THAT'S a dinghy dock!
Entertainment on the way in to the legendary Saturday farmer's market.
I was a bit nonplussed with the market. The crowd in this space exceeded my comfort level. There was a relatively small amount of fresh food/produce.
The goat cheese stand did however live up to expectation! But you can also buy this at the local well stocked grocery store, Thrifty.
Lovely small organic food store. They even have a bulk section, spices too. I added a bit to our stores.
I didn't count the number of restaurants, but there are quite a few. Maybe like 20. Here an old gas station has been re-purposed as a Mexican place. I thought this table with the people and the signage was a crackup.
A shot from Mahalo's cockpit. The real "find" of this trip, for me, is Madrona Bay. This is right next to Ganges and a beautiful anchorage. You can stay there and just dinghy over to town.
Was a good weekend of exploring new places.
So we are having fun with my brother and his GF being our first overnight cruisers. They flew into Vancouver and we overnighted at Coal Harbour with them. Left the next morning for Madrona Bay, which is by far my favorite Gulf Islands anchorage.
I don't have a ton of pictures to share because like everyone else in August of 2018 we are enduring a lot of forest fire smoke. You can see the unusual color of the sky reflected in this picture. And this was about half as bad as most days.
They are flying out of Roche to go home, so we planned to clear customs there. We weren't sure if we wanted to stay at the dock or anchor out, but once we got there we decided to see if they had space. They did, on G dock. The guy told me it was a bow-in port tie, or stern-in starboard tie.
I already knew the power was at the back of the dock, and I wanted the experience, so I backed Mahalo into the slip. It's a large slip, and Mahalo is so easy, it was a piece of cake.
I thought, "wow, this big slip is great!" Little did I know they planned to put more boats in with us. Within a couple of hours there were FIVE boats in the slip (one was the tender of one other boat).
We were up having a beer when the put a 36 or so footer next to us. I walked down to take a look. I could barely fit one of our fenders between the boats! But anyway, it was fine. Great that they can accommodate everyone.
When we were ready to leave the next morning, I told the guy in front of us and he said he'd move so we could depart. About all I could really do was drive straight forward. If I stayed just off the dock, I wouldn't hit anything.
Here is the starboard deck camera catching me driving from the starboard aft station. Visibility is great, and great to be so close to the dock.
You can see how the fender is crushed with the next door boat. Owner is there to fend off.
Cleared that boat and the tender. We had about 8 feet clearance to this Ranger Tug, easy enough.
The boat they put next to us is called "Happy Ending." I wanted to ask if any of them were masseuses? But I didn't.
And the Ranger they put in with us, uh, "Tuggin Fun."
I'll just leave it at that!
Check out Deb, me, and Mahalo in this well produced HYG video. This was the day we did our "training" with Captain Bob Smith. Inspiring drone footage!
If you follow the blog you'll find that my main hobbies are boating, photography and cooking. I have been making pizza for about 25 years. Always improving each year but I have it pretty down now.
Usually at home I make and knead the dough with my KitchenAid stand mixer. For the boat I decided to forego that and just make the dough by hand. It was very satisfying. After rising twice, then being refrigerated for two days, I take the dough out, separate into appropriate size balls and then let them rise again.
Our boating friends Ron and Kim gave us this cool stone pizza baker as a boatwarming present. Supposed to be like a brick pizza oven. We are going to have a pizza party and give it a try. (Here's a link to the product on Amazon.)
We are cooking four pizzas and I'm making three of them. We want to cook them one after the other, so I got all my toppings ready "mis en place" style.
Up first, pear, gorgonzola, broccoli and pine nuts. After cooking, Ron told me it's important to rotate the pizza every two minutes or so. Under the unit is a vent, in the back, that's where a lot of the heat comes in. So this one got done unevenly. Guess I forgot to RTFM.
Ron's contribution - Scampi. Deb and I don't eat garlic much, but they love it. Parchment paper is my trick for getting pizza easily onto a stone or steel. I know a lot of people use cornmeal but it doesn't work as well, and it burns and smells. Form your dough on baking parchment, add toppings, and then slide away. Pull it out about two minutes later.
Had to do a meat lovers. Uli's Andouille (if you are from Seattle you know it), salami, pepperoni, olives and mushrooms. Tasted even better than it looks if that is possible.
I was excited to make this one. We bought these enormous shrimp at Pike Place. They really are like small lobsters. I found some Mizithra cheese, which is amazing. So this one is shrimp, mizithra, green onions, aged provolone. Right out of the stone oven.
And of course we had some wine and such. And literally this was the view as I scarfed down those delicious pizzas. What a great night. I can get used to this.