Texada Island—“Sheet Harbour West”

Texada Boat Club

18-19 June 2012

As we were reaching up the Malaspina Strait, we debated about where we should make a reprovisioning stop before we arrived in Desolation Sound.  A resort marina near Grief Point was pricey and commuting to Powell River complex. Powell River’s docks are crowded, difficult to enter and also pricey.  Lund was a possibility, but tiny and perhaps too far along.  So we chose Sturt Bay on Texada Island.   We’d anchored here last year, both going to and coming from Desolation Sound, and found it fine, easy and pleasant even.

But skipper was hesitant—there was a squeak in the front end of the engine that the mechanic in Canoe Cove had not managed to eliminate despite many hours of labour.  Oh well, at least he’d discovered that we needed to replace the fresh water pump on the engine, thereby avoiding disaster.

Karin insisted.  We’d find a mechanic and every other thing we needed at Texada.  It’s like the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, she insisted, full of self-reliant, resourceful people.

Found on the dock

So we hauled into Sturt Bay, site of an old lime kiln, and once a booming marble quarrying town.  We anchored in a lovely nook near the Boat Club and rowed ashore, where we were greeted by the Warfinger.  He gave us a pamphlet on the history of the island and town, another one outlining a historical walk, and suggested a mechanic we might contact—not too expensive, good and honest.  We walked through the little town in the hot sun—Texada has a greater number of sunny days than any other place in BC—appreciated the flowers growing everywhere, were greeted and directed to the store by townspeople, and repeatedly offered rides.  We were able to shop for everything we required, then driven back to the docks by the clerk.  Later we were driven up the hill to the Laundromat at the RV park (the cleanest most pleasant Laundromat we’ve ever seen while on the water); we bought some local chicken and turkey eggs, and called the mechanic.

Texada with a view

Monday morning at 8am we rowed him to the boat.  He diagnosed our problem as loose belts (that’s what we’d told the guy at Canoe Cove it was!) and changed them, then helped us sort out three additional problems.  Within an hour he was done—great service for a good price, a “house call” even.

Texada Island United Church

Bravo Texada!  It is quite like Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.  We felt very much at home there and laughed not a little at ourselves for liking this place so much when sometimes we complain about the remoteness of our hometown. How much harder still to live on an island where virtually every industry has shut down, and BC Ferries is cutting back the numbers of its runs!

Island worlds

About Karin Cope

Karin Cope lives on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. She is a poet, sailor, photographer, scholar, rural activist, blogger and an Associate Professor at NSCAD University. Her publications include Passionate Collaborations: Learning to Live with Gertrude Stein, a poetry collection entitled What we're doing to stay afloat, and, since 2009, a photo/poetry blog entitled Visible Poetry: Aesthetic Acts in Progress. Over the course of the last decade, with her partner and collaborator Marike Finlay, Cope has sailed to and conducted fieldwork in a number of remote or marginal coastal communities in British Columbia and Mexico. Their joint writings range from activist journalism and travel and policy documents, to an illustrated popular material history of the Lunenburg Foundry entitled Casting a Legend, as well as their ongoing west coast travel blog, West By East.
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2 Responses to Texada Island—“Sheet Harbour West”

  1. susan says:

    Lovely to hear from you guys and glad you enjoyed the wilderness. Sounds very familiar and you must have felt really home sick. We’ve had a lot of rain, and yes Marike, fog nearly every day!!!

  2. Betsy Wilson says:

    Passage to the TURKEY EGGS & more

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