14
Aug
15

Cortes to Port Townsend … by public transport

Big shell.. one day it will have all the creature comforts

Big shell.. one day it will have all the creature comforts

Cortes is like Tioman in many ways. A island of 1050 full time residents, and unknown number of tourist in summer. So there is no bus service and no cab service. Walk is the way to get around, and if you are lucky, a local passing by will offer you a ride. The tourist with vehicles will drive right by…. but hey, what d’ya expect right?

CortesBay (4)

Calliste at Don’s dock. What a treat!

On our 1st night, we tied up to Jonathan’s dock. He had a cabin, but it has nothing in it and certainly no internet. We walked up the road looking for his main house, and met neighbor Jenny tending her farm, and then met Ruby who was living up a road before Jon’s. Nice folks. Finally found Jon’s place. It was a grand… un finished house…

Manicured path from dock to house.

Manicured path from dock to house.

From there we walked up to the RVYC… got internet password from another guest there … ūüėČ well, me the internet pirate… but I am desperate! … I read that internet is precious on Cortes as it is a private service provided for the island, and its not a large bandwidth. .. I promised to not abuse that bandwidth, so all this blogging is only done when I am back stateside.

We found that there is no wifi reception on Jon’s dock… so we paddled over to the public dock and viola, we could get it there ūüôā . We asked around, trying to find Don’s dock.¬†Its the next dock over. A short¬†distance to the public dock… and yep, could¬†get wifi… but just barely and not reliable. Wish we could get on Seattle YC wifi as they are much nearer… maybe we’ll meet somebody that would help us out. .. Anyway, some is better than none, so we moved Calliste over to Don’s. As we were kayaking around the bay, we met Alan and Emily on Sookie, a Falmouth cutter. And there was a 34ft BCC on a private dock too. Its a gathering of Hess’s boats right here in the bay.

Next day, I was bored enough to think that I am going on a¬†3 hours walk to and back from Mason’s landing. Had to check out the¬†“downtown” of¬†Cortes.¬†It was 8 mins to walk from the dock to the road… then is it left or right? A steep¬†climb up is to the left…¬†so I walked right, only to find it leads around the cove. Now to walk all the way back up the hill and beyond. Why is there no signs and distance markers … Life on the island eh…

The grand waterfront at Victoria harbor.

The grand waterfront at Victoria harbor.

50mins into my walk, few cars passed and never stop even tho I waved. Finally got a ride, and it turned out to be the owners of the 34ft BCC. OMG, small world! Doug is dying to know more about them and here I am meeting them without him. HA!

Got small fresh grocs from the store…¬†but¬†I didn’t walk over to the coop where I hear the selection is¬†better… wanted to catch a ride back with those guys… picked up some travel info¬†while there.¬†To check out online later.

Cute little water taxi. They are decorated just like colonial land taxi.

Cute little water taxi. They are decorated just like colonial land taxi.

We had to¬†route ourselves¬†back to PT somehow… need to get Fordie over here.. feel so stranded without our own means¬†of getting around. .. Cant be walking 3hrs each time for limited selection of grocs and as with most island prices, it¬†expensive. Okay, so I used the limited internet and managed to put together a¬†plan. Booked online and saved a bit of money…

24th Jun, 0830hrs, walk from Don’s dock. Dump garbage (C$6) at public dock. 0900hrs, the Cortes Connection van picked us up. Was a hoot riding the van round island. Went by Squirrel cove, an Indian reserves community, Whaletown ferry dock. The van goes on the Cortes-Quadra ferry, 45 mins ride. Drives 10¬† mins over to Quadra-Campbell ferry connection, gets on the ferry ahead of all the cars lined up for the ferry ride.. Its a confirmed ticket to Campbell, and it got us to the Island Link bus pick up point at Tyee Plaza right on time. All for C$39 for 2 of us.

1130hrs, Island link arrives on time and picked a full load of 18 pax. Was a comfy ride… but no plush reclining seats. 4hrs 20mins¬†on this bus with 5 mins stop at Comox and 10 mins at Nanaimo ferry… we needed to stretch our legs for sure… Oh, BTW, there is no stop long enough to get food. Lucky us, I cooked ginger fried rice this morning in anticipation of being hungry and no desirable food stop.

Houseboats at Fisherman's wharf

Houseboats at Fisherman’s wharf

1550hrs, arrive at Victoria conference centre. Its a short walk (10 minutes) over to Blackball ferry terminal.¬†We packed light, knowing that we have a lots of walking to do today, but its still 2 handfuls and a bother. Have 3.5 hrs to kill before the next ferry to Port Angeles and too much baggage to wanna walk around town, we just sat at the terminal and indulge in the free wifi.¬†After all updated with emails and world news,¬†Doug was happy¬†to sit around and watch the stuff while I walked with just the camera over to Fisherman’s Wharf. A 20 mins walk at least, hope¬†to get dinner from Barbs.

Well, there’s lots of pictures to take around this historic city. Grand colonial buildings and¬†waterfront touristy businesses. I like the cute water taxi concept. Instead of running it as a touristy business, it is really a cab service to the community and the charges are really like cab fare. $5 per ride or get¬†the day pass, and monthly pass is also¬†available. And check out the community of house boats. So colorful.

Long queue for fish and chips.

Long queue for fish and chips.

1820hrs, at Barbs. Long queue deter me¬†from getting the dinner. It¬†wasn’t enuf time¬†to¬†stand in line and get the stuff. I decided to walk back, and just in time for gathering our stuff. 1915hrs, we are on board MV Coho. 1930hrs, on time departure. 2100hrs, on time arrival… but it wasn’t until 2130hrs that we cleared immigration.

Being late in the evening, we had to walk 1 mile to the hotel… sure there were lots of hotels on our route that cost lots more than our budget for hotel stays. 2230hrs, it took us 1hr to walk 1 mile uphill and will our bags… at least it was cool …

25th Jun 0900hrs, at bus stop just outside hotel. That’s nice for a change. Got¬†on bus 30¬†to Sequim and caught the¬†last morning departure to PT. 1130hrs, we are re united with Fordie! Yep! We hope we dun have to do this again… but I know that 1 day we will have to¬†reverse our route back to Cortes and return with Calliste….

 

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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