Perfect Place to Drop Anchor

by Dale Partridge,

For 22 years the privilege of boating on the Salish Sea was mine. A power-boater, I often set my GPS from my home in Vancouver to the wonders of the Newcastle Marine Park, part of Nanaimo's wondrous harbour. Nanaimo was an instant love affair, as the moorage was not only secure, it provided amazing views and amenities. Provisions were so easy, either docking at the gas barge, then someone would dart to the mall for food, or, whizzing over in my dinghy to spend the day exploring Nanaimo's waterfront delights. What other moorage provided so much to spoil or sustain a boaters appetites: the places for coffee or ice cream, great meals or a drink, the shopping, the waterfront park where kids excitedly crabbed from the pier or dabbled in the tide pools; and of course the chandleries and marine services that provided parts, service and repairs if needed - and with my occasional deadhead encounters [unseen logs floating vertically], I needed that too sometimes. It was a routine I looked forward to all week, getting away early to hit the water, cross over to Nanaimo and treat myself to a great meal, a dry wine and the sunsets so often seen at day's end from the cockpit. From Nanaimo, the entire Gulf Islands with all their quiet, quaint moorages, offered unparalleled boating pleasures. American boaters, small and large, would also be using Nanaimo as their portal to BC's magical Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound or to return home. Nanaimo is part of a maritime paradise, unequalled in the world. Eventually, I lifted anchor in Vancouver, found moorage here and became a resident. It's been over 25 years now, though old time Nanaimoites still say, "oh, you're new here". Doesn't matter, living in Nanaimo never gets old.

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