Jupiter swings lazily at anchor in Hyashi Cove. The temperature is 37° and, under a sagging sky, a grey northwest breeze washes along the decks. It is cold, and after setting the anchor the crew shelters inside.
Within, the air from the boat’s diesel heaters circulates as warmly and quietly as fine cashmere. This might be the afternoon for a quiet read, a cup of tea, or a salon snooze.
But, it might be cool to launch the tender and explore the nearby marina. We pull on full foul-weather gear: bibs, hooded anoraks, boots and gloves and wooly caps. We inspect, configure and lower the dinghy from her flybridge nest. She seems reluctant, like a toddler held above the sea for the first time, to lower her pontoon sea-legs into the 44° winter chop.
A shore visit to Otter Bay offers a closed-for-the-season scene and provides little respite from the soaking chill.
This January shake-down cruise into British Columbia intends to engage all of Jupiter’s systems while visiting friends, meeting with boatyard service providers, exploring moorages and destinations, venues and menus.
On southern Vancouver Island Sidney and Victoria offer attractive marinas, accessible services, and civic composure. Reliably cool destinations.
Entering Victoria’s Inner Harbour involves sharing an active aqueous runway with arriving and departing seaplanes. Harbour Patrol is the control tower and directs us to cruise down the centerline like an airliner arriving from Tokyo, then to cross smartly from one side to the other ahead of a departing flight. An unusually cool experience.
Vessels are controlled to coordinate with seaplane activity
Victoria International Marina and its neighboring hip locavore restaurant are installed like spaceships hovering just above the sea. Subtle LED strip lighting delineates the buildings and the marina’s bull rails during the many hours that are not now daylight. Looks cool, tastes cool.
When we venture out into the secluded Gulf Islands where we have the seaways and coves to ourselves except for BC ferries plying wintery routes like snow plows determined to keep their ways open for warmer months ahead. We sleep late, yet still weigh anchor before sunrise and lower it back down after the pallid sun surrenders to the horizon nine hours later. Cozy and cool.
On a January shake-down cruise into British Columbia it is cool to follow the isocheim, to be on a quest for cool, otherwise it is just damn cold.