Westview Marina in Tahsis Inlet
Sunday morning we slept in a bit. It was well after 10pm when we returned to Samadhi from the previous evening’s campfire. We got ourselves prepared to time our passage up Tahsis Inlet on the incoming tide so there was no rush to get moving; sleeping in felt great. We weren’t able to sail up the inlet but seeing quite a few sea otters made up for the constant noise of the motor. Up until this passage we had only seen single otters, while cute it didn’t compare to seeing an entire raft of them. We have rarely left the dock without seeing Dahls porpoise, have often seen orca, an occasional minke, fin or humpback whale and we’ve seen hundreds of river otters (right up close and personal as they lived on the marina docks). Never mind harbor seals and sea lions – this family has seen thousands. We joke that the kids have no idea how their life experiences differ from so many kids because they no longer even bat an eye at seeing the previously listed wildlife. Sea otters in the wild, however, was an awe inspiring experience for all of us. We think, and maybe we’re giving them too much credit here, that today Victoria and Alexander really realized what our family adventure is all about just by seeing those cute, cuddly little creatures floating on their backs with their adorable paws touching their whiskered faces in what looks like surprise. We hope they understand as we continue our explorations what we’re doing this for and how their lives are different than the norm. Everyone was flying high from the experience and Dan even offered to go below and wash the dishes so I could continue watching for otters. I wasn’t going to say no to that so my high continued. UNTIL a black boat with flashing blue lights pulled up alongside and asked to board our boat, I was being board by the Royal Canadian Police. On top of that as they pulled up they called me “sir”. I’ll admit I haven’t been doing my hair but I was wearing a pink coat! Likely they were confused by the woman driving with the man down below with soapy hands and a dishtowel over his shoulder. Anyway, they were very friendly and checked out a few things and stayed with us for about 10 minutes for a chit chat. After they left we made contact with the marina we were staying in for the night. We knew that the marina is for small sport fishing boats and had specifically asked about the logistics of us getting into the marina, the slip and our ability to subsequently maneuver our exit. As we pulled alongside the marina we discovered that maybe they hadn’t ever had a 55 foot sailboat on the inside float. A few dock lines and fenders had to be moved, we had to reevaluate our entrance and exit strategies but after about 5 minutes we were docked without incident. Dan did a great job anticipating how Samadhi does not maneuver and adjust according using patience and knowing how to get her to maneuver even if it means we have to briefly go the opposite direction we want to go. He’s amazing and a crowd gathered to watch our show. They literally have about 95% of the docks filled with 25’ or less sport fishing boats and the rest a little bit larger old fishing boats, Samadhi was quite a sight in with them, and we more than once heard comments like “what are they doing here?!?”. The backdrop was amazing and the marina had laundry, showers, fresh water at the docks, diesel at the fuel dock and a little bar & grill. They even let Dan & Victoria take their car to the village for a little grocery shopping. They have a fish cleaning / processing facility at the dock and the eagles loved the leftovers. At one point there were 11 eagles enjoying a free meal. You’d think an eagle would have a fierce screeching call but it is really more of a sing-song tweeting sound and we fell asleep listening to them just outside the boat.