Watching our charts and GPS, we notice a prominent rock on the starboard side called Victoria Rock.
We actually go between it and Victoria Shoal, and think of our daughter Victoria. She is a very nice lady, but we stay clear of the rocks!
A more pleasant sight is a kayak with a colorful sail. He should not have as much concern threading his way through all the crab pots as we do.
Crabbing must be good this season.
Now on the Canadian side of the border, we get familiar with the ferry routes.
South of Ladysmith Harbour we pass the town of Chemainus and enjoy the cloud formations and populated area.
Ladysmith is on the 49th parallel, and its turn of the century architecture has been preserved. Our first glimpse is very pretty.
Its name is carved into the landscaping.
It is still a working harbour and we see many, many logs in the water near the shore.
Well, a few are not near shore, and we watch very carefully as Willie's Tug makes her way past them.
When we arrive at the newly renovated guest dock, we know we have made the right decision to come here.
We see a 'social area' with two outdoor grills and picnic tables for our use.
We do not radio ahead, but Mark the dock manager meets us and takes our lines to tie up.
He gives Jake treats as we register for our moorage.
Mark gives us a map of the town, a key to the showers (free) and laundry room, and tells us how to get to the grocery store.
There are many purple martin houses, and we appreciate their help with the mosquito control.
We contribute to the recycle container, which in turn, contributes to the upkeep of the bird houses and guest services.
As we do need provisions, we take Jake and begin our walk to town. Mark directs us to the set of steps up a high hill. He tells us a car from the store will drive us and our purchases back to the marina.
However, we are glad for the exercise one way.
An interpretive panel shows a hiking trail that goes from coast to coast (on Vancouver island).
Also at the foot of the steps and behind the interpretive panel is -- I'm going to call this a sculpture.
I like it.
Then up we go. This is the first hill.
The path leads across the railroad tracks...
...crosses the Trans Canada Highway....
....then goes up this hill.
....and I stop on the conveniently placed park bench to rest and let my heart rate slow. Herb confesses that his heart rate is elevated also.
Well, I did say we are glad for the exercise.
Finally, level ground and we enjoy seeing the preserved store fronts as we make our way on down the street toward the grocery store.
And then we see it. The 49th Parallel Grocery Store.
Health laws do not allow Jake to shop in the store, so I relax at one of the refreshment tables, while Herb makes all the menu decisions and purchases.
A child cries for Jake to come to her, thinking it is her dog. I've heard it said that all Golden Retrievers look alike.
She loves the kiss she gets from Jake. I think he likes it too.
We expect a work truck to transport us back to the boat, but are delighted with this shiny new looking vehicle.
There's room for us and the groceries.
And Jake gets his own carpeted seat.
The carpet may have something to do with pets' toenails on leather upholstery.
Back at the marina, we investigate the area. Part of the museum is a wooden boat, C. A. Kirkegaard, maintained by the non-profit Ladysmith Maritime Society.
The social area is very inviting, and we are impressed with the hand painted banners throughout the marina.
There are purple martin houses on every pole.
Herb starts dinner before we discover the grills in the social area.
At the end of the day, volunteers collect the aluminum cans from the recycle containers to turn into cash that will benefit the purple martins, social area and Ladysmith Maritime Society.
Willie's Tug is ready for a peaceful sleep after a pleasant day.
Willie of Willie's Tug,
and Walldog, Willie and Jake