Cowichan Bay is a Colorful Fishing Community –
While taking a day-tour in a rental car from Victoria, a few months ago, we stumbled upon the small village of Cowichan Bay. We didn’t stop but made a mental note that this would be a place we’d like to return to by boat when we returned in June. Fast forward four months and we made true on our promise. We had glassy waters and a nice clear blue sky for our 14-mile, 6.5 MPH slow motion cruise to Cowichan Bay, the start to a picture perfect day.
Later we docked at Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf, amongst the fishing fleet and high charactered and old boats, we felt right at home. We remembered the little town on shore from our road trip, so we were anxious to get off the boat to explore. Before we could get out of the marina though we had to climb the marina “gang plank.” At the time of our arrival it was low tide, 13 feet or so down from that days high. The ramp was very steep, more like a ladder then a ramp. The ramp is attached to a pier that’s used by the fishing boats to raise their days catch up onto trucks to be hauled to local and regional seafood businesses. It was interesting at the end of the day, to watch boat after boat arrive to unload their haul. I asked Mark, the harbor master, if any vehicles had ever gone off of the tall pier, as there is only a short railroad tie used for a wheel stopper. He informed me once a few years ago, but it may have been on purpose. Sounds like a story there.
We finally got into town to shop all the stores, we walked down to view the waterfront occasionally, where there was an opening to a dock here and there. It was nice to get a different perspective of the harbour. Everything was very colorful, highlighted by a very low tide which left many boats high and dry along shore sitting on top of a green slimy muck.
Returning to Kismet, we settled in for an entertaining and educational evening watching the fishing boats return, unload the days catch (prawns that day) and restock their boats for the next days run. They then docked and washed their boats and tended to various repairs. By the time they finished it was almost dark, 10:15 p.m. The next morning I heard engines fire up about 6 am. and they were off again for another 16-hour day. I truly believe professional fishing people are some of hardest workers around.
From this view (above), you can see how steep the ramp was.
I was a little taken back by all the locks on the shower rooms. Well into my shower some grade school kids were acting up and banging on the walls in the adjoining rooms, screaming, It sounding like they were fighting, but I imagine they were just bored, waiting for their ride after their ride on a whale boat. I was happy for the extra locks though.