I ended the last post with us in False Creek with a dead dinghy outboard. We tried many times to start the engine and were seemingly successful at times. The motor would run quite nicely for several minutes before stuttering, coughing, backfiring through the carb, and then dying. It certainly seemed like a fuel or carburetor issue. Rainer was especially persistent, pulling for all he was worth long after I had given up.
Here he is taking a well-deserved nap after all that work. We finally gave up and tried to find some professional advice. Unfortunately, all the real estate around False Creek is way to pricey to allow lowly marine mechanics to run a business. So we shopped around at our next stop, Nanaimo, and found someone immediately who would help us, assuming we were there. We told them we’d bring the motor in on Tuesday.
In the meantime, we did the touristy stuff on Granville Island, and bought some decent bread and landjaeger. For those of you who haven’t been to the Granville Island Market (I highly recommend it!), it makes Pike’s Market in Seattle look more like a piker’s market. We were able to get around quite nicely with the dinghy, thanks to Rainer the rower. I’m sure that duty is listed somewhere in the first mate’s duties. We got together with my old friend (and fellow Saskatonian) John for dinner that evening. It was good to see him again and catch up on our lives.
The next day, we set off for Nanaimo, about 40 nautical miles away across the Straits of Georgia. We had no wind to start with, but once we got out of English Bay, it filled in nicely from the NW. So we set the sails and headed across on a close reach in 12-18 knot winds. We just about made it most of the way on one tack. It was a good sail.
We got there late in the afternoon, dropped our anchor, and gave Ilse a call to let us know we had arrived. Megan and I got to know Ilse a few years ago, and have been friends ever since. When she had learned that I was coming to Nanaimo with a German-speaking friend (she’s of Austrian extraction), she promptly invited us over for dinner with her and her husband Buzz, a quite distinguished scientist. (Look him up on Wikipedia)
Once again Rainer’s rowing skills came in handy to get us across the bay and into town. We took a cab up to Ilse’s place and were welcomed like family. Ilse had made a goulash with a potato/pasta German thing that was a lot like gnocchi (Schupfnudeln vielleicht?). Whatever they were, we made pigs of ourselves and ate everything in sight. As it turned our, Buzz had made a similar trip around Vancouver Island in the 80’s. So he got out the album of the trip and gave us a taste of what was in store for us.
Ilse isn’t much of a beer drinker, but in preparation for our visit, she had gone to the local liquor store and asked for something that an aficionado such as me might like. This is one of the beer that she bought for us –
We had a good laugh when Rainer commented about the octopus on the label. Ilse looked surprised, looked at the label again, and said she had thought it was a vagina!
The next day, we took advantage of Ilse’s hospitality, and had her drive us around to drop off the motor and then again to pick it up after repairs (a few carb adjustments and a fresh spark plug did the trick) were made. We had a great time, and Rainer made new friends. Thank you, Ilse and Buzz!