I was only supposed to have 3 boat rides today but, due the bizarre sailing schedule of the Gulf Island BC ferries, I have two more. At some point I will get to Diane's on Pender Island (preferably in the daylight).
My first boat ride of the day was from Newcastle Island back to Nanaimo. My pilot today was Rick, but I also saw Dale. To make things easier, I removed the bags before loading on the boat. Mary, on the other side, helped me by holding Betsy so I could load the rear panniers without taking the stack off. Thanks to all of you, Dale, Rick, and Mary. It has been my pleasure to ride upon your cute little ferry boats.
On the road again, I followed the route directions out of Nanaimo. I was going to attempt to make the 11:55 ferry to Salt Spring Island (boat ride #2). Although I don't think I would have made it anyway, I definitely didn't make it due to an encounter with a fish hook in Betsy's rear tire. I thought the ride seemed a bit bouncy for awhile. Then as I came through an intersection and made a slight turn, I recognized the feeling of a flat. Fortunately, I was right near a restaurant that had a picnic table right next to the road (not a great place for eating if you ask me, but a good place to change a flat). I got the flat changed and was back on the road pretty quickly (not nearly quick enough to make the earlier ferry).
My next ferry option was 1:00. I was starting to despair that I wouldn't make that one, but no fear, I made it with a good 20 minutes to spare!
The ferry from Crofton to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring was just a 20 minute crossing. Just enough time to hit the washroom and then have a little snack. There were 3 other touring cyclists, but none of them were very talkative.
Once on Salt Spring, I headed to Long Harbor for Boat Ride #10. Do to my apparent inability to read the ferry schedule, I thought the ferry was at 3:25 to Pender. But, no. Today is Friday and the boat does not sail to Pender. It goes to Galiano. So, off I went to Galiano. I could stay on Galiano, but I really want to see Diane and she won't be home tomorrow. So, that means I take the ferry from Galiano to Pender. However, the ferry doesn't go to Pender. It goes to Mayne Island, then I have to transfer to another vessel to get to Pender (thus boat rides 11 and 12). I will get to Pender at 6:50. Then I have to ride to Diane's.
I wrote the above while waiting for the ferry from Galiano to Mayne. I made it to Mayne and then transferred to another ferry to Pender without any problems. I met two other cyclists who were also transferring at Mayne to go to Pender. Mark is from the UK and Denise lives (I think) in or near Vancouver. Mark is on a long trip and Denise is out for a long weekend. We spent the entire ferry ride to Pender chatting about various bikey things. I'm planning to stay another night on Pender at Prior Centennial Provincial Park so I will likely see Denise again as she is also staying two nights on Pender.
After getting to Pender, I followed Diane's directions and had a pretty fast trip to her house. She has a beautiful house basically across the road from the water. I had called her from Salt Spring and told her of my ferry snafu. I wasn't sure if I would make it. But, I'm really glad I did because we have had a lovely evening chatting and a delicious dinner. Tomorrow she'll head out for her thing and I will head to Prior Centennial. I'll stop at the library for wifi and also check out the Saturday Farmers' Market.
I think five boat rides in one day is about the maximum. Any more and I would have been in the dark! Oh, and I got to go to another island (even though it was only the ferry terminal, I'm still going to count it)!
I didn't take a whole lot of photos today, but here's a few (out of order as usual--the third should be first, the last should be second, the second should be third, and the first should be last--the last photo is all the bikes that were on the ferry from Galiano to Mayne. They had all been on since Tsawassen.)