Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old December 13th 05, 03:46 PM posted to rec.boats
 
Posts: n/a
Default On topic (sorry): A Visit to Schooner Cove

Schooner Cove

I often shun resorts. Many resorts are wonderful facilities, with first
class service and unique amenities, but certain high-tone
establishments tend to attract and encourage a group of people
sometimes overly concerned with posture, wardrobe, and speaking with an
affected emphasis on certain vowels. (Gag me). The mere use of the word
"resort" in the name of an establishment can cause me to react with
guarded skepticism until first hand experience confirms or disproves my
admitted prejudice.

We had never visited the resort at Schooner Cove, near the mouth of
Nanoose Harbour. There hasn't been a compelling reason to put into
Schooner Cove, less than an hour's trawl from our typical overnight in
Nanaimo. If the weather in the Strait of Georgia has been good enough
to justify setting out at all, we have always hoped to complete a
longer leg of our itinerary under those favorable conditions. Each year
on our longer cruises we make an effort to mix new discoveries with old
favorites, and in 2005 we agreed to include a visit to Schooner Cove
Marina at Fairwinds Schooner Cove Resort, (the "r" word not
withstanding).

We arrived at Schooner Cove on a very low tide, and were able to
observe that there really isn't an islet at the mouth of the marina.
What appears to be an isolated mound at high water is an extension of a
spit on the NW side of the marina entrance. At low water the connection
and the proper entrance are apparent, but a vessel arriving from the NW
at a high tide might experience serious distress looking for a
"shortcut" between the faux islet and the apparent headlands 100 yards
away. Once inside the breakwater, a red buoy marks the location of a
treacherous rock- but there is more than adequate room to maneuver
between the buoy and the floats. We called for a slip assignment from
just outside the breakwater, and were impressed that our radio call was
answered promptly and professionally.

A 15-20 knot NW wind was blowing into the marina, and would be setting
us off the dock in our assigned slip. Not to worry. Without even being
asked, Schooner Cove had a skilled line handler waiting to assist us- a
savvy "old salt" rather than a kid on summer vacation. During our stay
at Schooner Cove, we noticed that line handlers were dispatched for all
arriving vessels; regardless of wind conditions (or the skipper's
infamous reputation for boat handling). The dockman made us feel
genuinely welcomed to Schooner Cove. "Drop up to the office whenever
it's convenient and register, please," he said, and his tone inspired a
faint hope that a relaxed, casual, and fun time might be in store- (the
"r" word not withstanding).

As we walked up to the Marina office, I noticed that nearly all the
boats at Schooner Cove had Canadian registration numbers. Much of the
marina is filled during the winter months with permanent moorage, and
the vacant slips are used for guest moorage when permanent tenants are
off on summer cruises. US boats often comprise a perceived majority
during the summer months at the guest docks in Nanaimo, but most of the
steady stream of visiting boats arriving at the modern and immaculate
floats of Schooner Cove appeared to be Canadian, rather than U.S.
vessels. It was also apparent that Schooner Cove is a family-oriented
facility. Groups of excited kids were catching pile perch off the
docks. A rack at the base of the gangway was stocked with a supply of
"loaner" lifejackets in a variety of children's' sizes, next to a sign
requesting that parents ensure that any kids playing on the docks wear
PFD's. A fuel dock offers both gasoline and diesel, and an adjacent
enterprise rents kayaks and small sailboats for day use in an around
the marina. Planter boxes with colorful summer flowers lend a fragrant
sense of festivity to the relaxed and happy atmosphere on the docks.

The Schooner Cove harbormaster's office stocks a surprising variety of
boating supplies, certainly enough to replace or replenish the most
commonly required or expired. Across a walkway at the base of the steps
to the harbormaster's office is the Dockside Café, with beverages,
snacks, cold beer and wine, and a basic inventory of groceries. We
discovered hot coffee and fresh pastries were offered at realistic
prices.

A hotel occupies most of the large building adjacent to the harbor, and
marina guests have complimentary access to an exercise room, a swimming
pool, and a hot tub. The Fairwinds community includes a nearby golf
course, as well as several hundred developed and available home sites
situated to take full advantage of the easy golf course and marina
access. Golfing boaters are invited to reserve tee times.

A series of old newspaper clippings displayed in the hotel lobby
details the general history of the area. Schooner Cove Marina and the
Fairwinds Community and Resort are located on Nanoose Head, on property
that was formerly used for a number of industrial purposes. The Giant
Powder Company built a factory here in 1911, and Nanoose Head was
temporarily known as "Powder Point." Explosives and fuses were produced
by a crew of about 100 workmen, and sold into a thriving market
consisting of loggers and farmers as well as Allied armament
manufacturers during the First World War. On the first day of January,
1918, a storehouse filled with nitroglycerine blew up and leveled most
of the factory. Due perhaps to light holiday staffing the blast
resulted in "only" two deaths, but the explosion was reported to be
easily heard as far away as Vancouver. While there are doubtlessly
small bits of the powder plant scattered over a wide area, we learned
about another enterprise that once thrived on Nanoose Head and promised
to be easier to find. We set off on an easy hike to "Brickyard Bay."

We walked along Dolphin Drive, passing through an area of waterfront,
water view, and golf course homes. People seem to be coming and going
in great numbers, with a flurry of new construction underway. We
noticed perhaps 1 in 8 existing homes sporting "for sale" signs, as
well as an encouraging number of signs freshly amended to "sold." If
there is a real estate boom in the Fairwinds Community, it's likely due
to the exceptional opportunities we noticed for second home or
retirement living. Some of the homes along the road are older and
humbler, apparently erected decades ago. Many of the more contemporary
golf course homes and newer water view buildings are thousands of
square feet, with a full complement of modern luxuries and are offered
at prices consistent with upscale housing in other desirable
communities.

The 5-acre at Brickyard Cove proved to be worth the hike. Deep
red-brown brick rubble protrudes from park trails, with formerly sharp
edges worn smooth during a long human lifetime of footfall and
weathering since the heyday of the kilns. Clay for the bricks was dug
out of quarries now forming the lakes and fairways of the nearby
Fairwinds Golf Course, and the same barges that delivered coal to fire
the furnaces would haul the finished bricks to market. Trees grow atop
a large mound in the middle of the park, and where the soil has fallen
away one can see that the exposed roots have snaked through piles of
discarded clinkers in search of good soil and water below. In some
cases where the trees appear to predate 1911, someone has apparently
used scrap bricks to shore up the eroding mound around the erupting
roots. As the years go by, the trees permanently ensnarl and entangle
greater numbers of their supports.

A shallow lagoon at Brickyard Cove traps enough heat in the rocks at
low tide to provide pleasant temperatures for summer swimming at high
water. Local families dove and splashed in the warm water, while a few
teens and twenty-somethings sprawled on the warm rocks (exposing skin
to the limits of "decency") in an attempt to trap an elusive NW suntan.

We sauntered back to the marina, passing a house where three deer
rested as unperturbed as house cats in the front yard. Deer must be
plentiful in the area, as many homes have netting surrounding roses,
apples, and other well-known deer attractants. The domesticated,
browsing deer may well prove to be enough of a nuisance to elicit mixed
emotions among the local residents, as one "Deer Crossing" sign had
been adorned with a handwritten series of "K"s below the official
lettering.

We returned to Schooner Cove Marina just in time to order dinner at the
Laughing Gull Pub. Give the Pub a good solid 7.5 for well-above-average
food and an 8 for friendly and efficient service. An unused doorway at
the main entrance to the resort hotel implies that there may once have
been a more formal restaurant here, and the absence of a more deluxe
eatery seems unusual in a resort community. (There may be a more formal
restaurant associated with the golf course). During our dinner at the
Laughing Gull, we decided that there were additional trails and sites
we would like to explore (we had heard rumors of beaver dams and
wilderness lakes nearby). We reached a surprisingly spontaneous mutual
decision to stay a second night at Schooner Cove, (the "r" word not
withstanding).

On our second day at Schooner Cove, we followed a map detailing a
series of trails in the forested uplands behind the marina, the golf
course, and the luxury homes. What a treat; we could have been a 50
mile hike rather than a 50-minute walk from civilization. The larger
trails were once logging roads, while some of the smaller branches are
just wide enough to walk between bordering underbrush. We did indeed
discover pristinely deep dark alpine lakes, dramatic rocky outcrops,
beaver lodges, and a bright carnival of wildflowers blossoming in every
glade and clearing. The upland hike is suitable for anyone in average
or better physical condition, and we were surprised that we encountered
so few locals taking advantage of this incredible resource within a
short and easy walk of their homes.

We can recommend Schooner Cove Resort and Marina, (the "r" word not
withstanding).
For many boaters, Schooner Cove might represent a viable option to
Nanaimo when plotting a course across the Strait of Georgia or while
waiting for a weather window. We so enjoyed our stay that we allotted
an extra day to enjoy it more fully, and we'll look forward to future
visits here. Only one of my expectations was notably unfulfilled; I
wasn't able to marvel at even a single individual attempting to impress
us mere mortals with a $5000 wris****ch, an aloof posture, or a phony,
egalitarian accent. Hurray for that!


  #2   Report Post  
Old December 13th 05, 05:32 PM posted to rec.boats
John H.
 
Posts: n/a
Default On topic (sorry): A Visit to Schooner Cove

Very nice, Chuck. I'm sure if I lived in your neck of the woods, I'd be boat poor. You've just got
too many wonderful opportunities for travel in the Puget Sound area.


On 13 Dec 2005 06:46:04 -0800, wrote:

Schooner Cove

I often shun resorts. Many resorts are wonderful facilities, with first
class service and unique amenities, but certain high-tone
establishments tend to attract and encourage a group of people
sometimes overly concerned with posture, wardrobe, and speaking with an
affected emphasis on certain vowels. (Gag me). The mere use of the word
"resort" in the name of an establishment can cause me to react with
guarded skepticism until first hand experience confirms or disproves my
admitted prejudice.

We had never visited the resort at Schooner Cove, near the mouth of
Nanoose Harbour. There hasn't been a compelling reason to put into
Schooner Cove, less than an hour's trawl from our typical overnight in
Nanaimo. If the weather in the Strait of Georgia has been good enough
to justify setting out at all, we have always hoped to complete a
longer leg of our itinerary under those favorable conditions. Each year
on our longer cruises we make an effort to mix new discoveries with old
favorites, and in 2005 we agreed to include a visit to Schooner Cove
Marina at Fairwinds Schooner Cove Resort, (the "r" word not
withstanding).

We arrived at Schooner Cove on a very low tide, and were able to
observe that there really isn't an islet at the mouth of the marina.
What appears to be an isolated mound at high water is an extension of a
spit on the NW side of the marina entrance. At low water the connection
and the proper entrance are apparent, but a vessel arriving from the NW
at a high tide might experience serious distress looking for a
"shortcut" between the faux islet and the apparent headlands 100 yards
away. Once inside the breakwater, a red buoy marks the location of a
treacherous rock- but there is more than adequate room to maneuver
between the buoy and the floats. We called for a slip assignment from
just outside the breakwater, and were impressed that our radio call was
answered promptly and professionally.

A 15-20 knot NW wind was blowing into the marina, and would be setting
us off the dock in our assigned slip. Not to worry. Without even being
asked, Schooner Cove had a skilled line handler waiting to assist us- a
savvy "old salt" rather than a kid on summer vacation. During our stay
at Schooner Cove, we noticed that line handlers were dispatched for all
arriving vessels; regardless of wind conditions (or the skipper's
infamous reputation for boat handling). The dockman made us feel
genuinely welcomed to Schooner Cove. "Drop up to the office whenever
it's convenient and register, please," he said, and his tone inspired a
faint hope that a relaxed, casual, and fun time might be in store- (the
"r" word not withstanding).

As we walked up to the Marina office, I noticed that nearly all the
boats at Schooner Cove had Canadian registration numbers. Much of the
marina is filled during the winter months with permanent moorage, and
the vacant slips are used for guest moorage when permanent tenants are
off on summer cruises. US boats often comprise a perceived majority
during the summer months at the guest docks in Nanaimo, but most of the
steady stream of visiting boats arriving at the modern and immaculate
floats of Schooner Cove appeared to be Canadian, rather than U.S.
vessels. It was also apparent that Schooner Cove is a family-oriented
facility. Groups of excited kids were catching pile perch off the
docks. A rack at the base of the gangway was stocked with a supply of
"loaner" lifejackets in a variety of children's' sizes, next to a sign
requesting that parents ensure that any kids playing on the docks wear
PFD's. A fuel dock offers both gasoline and diesel, and an adjacent
enterprise rents kayaks and small sailboats for day use in an around
the marina. Planter boxes with colorful summer flowers lend a fragrant
sense of festivity to the relaxed and happy atmosphere on the docks.

The Schooner Cove harbormaster's office stocks a surprising variety of
boating supplies, certainly enough to replace or replenish the most
commonly required or expired. Across a walkway at the base of the steps
to the harbormaster's office is the Dockside Café, with beverages,
snacks, cold beer and wine, and a basic inventory of groceries. We
discovered hot coffee and fresh pastries were offered at realistic
prices.

A hotel occupies most of the large building adjacent to the harbor, and
marina guests have complimentary access to an exercise room, a swimming
pool, and a hot tub. The Fairwinds community includes a nearby golf
course, as well as several hundred developed and available home sites
situated to take full advantage of the easy golf course and marina
access. Golfing boaters are invited to reserve tee times.

A series of old newspaper clippings displayed in the hotel lobby
details the general history of the area. Schooner Cove Marina and the
Fairwinds Community and Resort are located on Nanoose Head, on property
that was formerly used for a number of industrial purposes. The Giant
Powder Company built a factory here in 1911, and Nanoose Head was
temporarily known as "Powder Point." Explosives and fuses were produced
by a crew of about 100 workmen, and sold into a thriving market
consisting of loggers and farmers as well as Allied armament
manufacturers during the First World War. On the first day of January,
1918, a storehouse filled with nitroglycerine blew up and leveled most
of the factory. Due perhaps to light holiday staffing the blast
resulted in "only" two deaths, but the explosion was reported to be
easily heard as far away as Vancouver. While there are doubtlessly
small bits of the powder plant scattered over a wide area, we learned
about another enterprise that once thrived on Nanoose Head and promised
to be easier to find. We set off on an easy hike to "Brickyard Bay."

We walked along Dolphin Drive, passing through an area of waterfront,
water view, and golf course homes. People seem to be coming and going
in great numbers, with a flurry of new construction underway. We
noticed perhaps 1 in 8 existing homes sporting "for sale" signs, as
well as an encouraging number of signs freshly amended to "sold." If
there is a real estate boom in the Fairwinds Community, it's likely due
to the exceptional opportunities we noticed for second home or
retirement living. Some of the homes along the road are older and
humbler, apparently erected decades ago. Many of the more contemporary
golf course homes and newer water view buildings are thousands of
square feet, with a full complement of modern luxuries and are offered
at prices consistent with upscale housing in other desirable
communities.

The 5-acre at Brickyard Cove proved to be worth the hike. Deep
red-brown brick rubble protrudes from park trails, with formerly sharp
edges worn smooth during a long human lifetime of footfall and
weathering since the heyday of the kilns. Clay for the bricks was dug
out of quarries now forming the lakes and fairways of the nearby
Fairwinds Golf Course, and the same barges that delivered coal to fire
the furnaces would haul the finished bricks to market. Trees grow atop
a large mound in the middle of the park, and where the soil has fallen
away one can see that the exposed roots have snaked through piles of
discarded clinkers in search of good soil and water below. In some
cases where the trees appear to predate 1911, someone has apparently
used scrap bricks to shore up the eroding mound around the erupting
roots. As the years go by, the trees permanently ensnarl and entangle
greater numbers of their supports.

A shallow lagoon at Brickyard Cove traps enough heat in the rocks at
low tide to provide pleasant temperatures for summer swimming at high
water. Local families dove and splashed in the warm water, while a few
teens and twenty-somethings sprawled on the warm rocks (exposing skin
to the limits of "decency") in an attempt to trap an elusive NW suntan.

We sauntered back to the marina, passing a house where three deer
rested as unperturbed as house cats in the front yard. Deer must be
plentiful in the area, as many homes have netting surrounding roses,
apples, and other well-known deer attractants. The domesticated,
browsing deer may well prove to be enough of a nuisance to elicit mixed
emotions among the local residents, as one "Deer Crossing" sign had
been adorned with a handwritten series of "K"s below the official
lettering.

We returned to Schooner Cove Marina just in time to order dinner at the
Laughing Gull Pub. Give the Pub a good solid 7.5 for well-above-average
food and an 8 for friendly and efficient service. An unused doorway at
the main entrance to the resort hotel implies that there may once have
been a more formal restaurant here, and the absence of a more deluxe
eatery seems unusual in a resort community. (There may be a more formal
restaurant associated with the golf course). During our dinner at the
Laughing Gull, we decided that there were additional trails and sites
we would like to explore (we had heard rumors of beaver dams and
wilderness lakes nearby). We reached a surprisingly spontaneous mutual
decision to stay a second night at Schooner Cove, (the "r" word not
withstanding).

On our second day at Schooner Cove, we followed a map detailing a
series of trails in the forested uplands behind the marina, the golf
course, and the luxury homes. What a treat; we could have been a 50
mile hike rather than a 50-minute walk from civilization. The larger
trails were once logging roads, while some of the smaller branches are
just wide enough to walk between bordering underbrush. We did indeed
discover pristinely deep dark alpine lakes, dramatic rocky outcrops,
beaver lodges, and a bright carnival of wildflowers blossoming in every
glade and clearing. The upland hike is suitable for anyone in average
or better physical condition, and we were surprised that we encountered
so few locals taking advantage of this incredible resource within a
short and easy walk of their homes.

We can recommend Schooner Cove Resort and Marina, (the "r" word not
withstanding).
For many boaters, Schooner Cove might represent a viable option to
Nanaimo when plotting a course across the Strait of Georgia or while
waiting for a weather window. We so enjoyed our stay that we allotted
an extra day to enjoy it more fully, and we'll look forward to future
visits here. Only one of my expectations was notably unfulfilled; I
wasn't able to marvel at even a single individual attempting to impress
us mere mortals with a $5000 wris****ch, an aloof posture, or a phony,
egalitarian accent. Hurray for that!


--
John Herring

Hope your Christmas is Spectacular,
and your New Year even Better!
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So where is...................... *JimH* General 186 November 28th 05 03:29 PM
This newsgroup is at least 71% off topic posts - TAKE IT SOMEPLACE ELSE! Chuck Tribolet General 8 November 14th 05 06:18 PM
OFF OR ON TOPIC [email protected] General 43 November 11th 05 02:46 AM
Cedar strip technique, cove up or cove down? [email protected] Boat Building 2 November 6th 05 07:15 AM
Squirrel Cove Village [email protected] General 2 October 18th 05 11:04 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2019 BoatBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Boats"

 

Copyright © 2017