Monday, June 21, 2004

My good friend and business partner Chris Robertson lives over in Grantham's Landing, which is a small community on the Sunshine Coast. That's on the west side of Howe Sound, about three miles away by boat.

He has a 16' Hurston Glascraft which he uses to putt around the inlet. Yesterday he called up in the morning and asked if we wanted to spend Father's Day on the water. Duh. Anytime, I say.

He and his son Nairn picked us up at Galbraith Bay, at the Mount Gardner government dock and we headed out to Keats Island, a populated but unserviced island at the mouth of the Sound, between Bowen and the Sunshine Coast. We pulled up on the beach above and spent the day swimming, eating Brie and baguette and generally just enjoying the sun and the sea and the view. This was the beach that was used most often in the old Beachcomber's days, when the film crews would need a shot of Nic and Jesse out on the water.

We admired the odd boat that pulled into the bay, and then a beautiful gillnetter slipped in and dropped anchor. It had gorgeous lines, kayaks stowed beneath a boom and three people who kept themselves cool by jumping from the flying bridge into the water. It wasn't until we were leaving that the captain hailed us, and it turned out to be our mutual friend and sometime business client, Mike Mearns and his family. He welcomed us aboard and gave us a tour of his boat, which was originally his dad's boat, operated full time as a commercial fish boat. Mike uses it now for touring in the summer and for catching his quota of food fish the rest of the year. It's a pleasure boat which is fully equipped for west coast fishing. It's so well designed that neither use impedes the other in any way.

I don't have a boat (yet? hmmm...), which seems kind of absurd, living on an island and all. Days like yesterday remind me that it's really the only way to know the coast, and it bestows a precious degree of freedom to wander through the islands and pitch up on whatever remote beach suits your fancy, away from the crowds and the cars and the tourists.

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