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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Right place at the right time!

Well today started with a wee bit of frustration. I was trying to figure out how to get my work issued cell phone and ipad converted over to Richard’s Rogers business account. No one wants to speak to me! I’m being told to fill out a form and raise a ticket. But then what? That’s what no one can answer. Anyway, I’ve parked that bit of frustration, since I was able to get the new EA at the office to assist with my dilemma and I still have time to resolve it before the end of the month.



Today was Newman’s roof repair day! Instead of sticking around to watch the gory details of the repair, I decided to take Jerry the Jeep and head into Courtenay by myself to do some shopping. I had not driven pretty much since I broke my leg in June! Luckily I remembered how to drive and how to drive a manual transmission car as well. I cranked up the tunes, and off I went to Courtenay.


It’s about a pretty 20 minute drive into Courtenay, along the coast. Some days I can’t believe how beautiful it is to live here for the winter. Today was +2C, the sun was shining and it felt so warm, I didn’t even need my gloves!

I have to say that shopping at this Walmart in Courtenay is a very good experience. The mall has everything you could need. Staples, Winners, Sport Chek, Bulk Barn and Best Buy. And the first traffic light off the highway is this mall. It is really convenient for us when we go into town. No line ups, lots of parking and a great 2 days before Christmas shopping experience.


I stopped at the Post Office in Union Bay on the way home and yeah! We had mail. A card from R&L (thank you) and one of my lens for my new Fuji X-T4. Purolator had called me this morning from Nanaimo saying there was a package for me and what was my street address for delivery? Unfortunately this RV park doesn’t allow packages to be delivered to their Office, so I told them I don’t have a street address - other than the Post Office. Purolator will not deliver to the Post Office, so Purolator determined that they could ship my package overnight to their depot in Courtenay, for me to pick up tomorrow! I wonder what this is? I’m still waiting for my new Fuji camera, but I thought it wasn’t coming ‘til December 30th! Hmmmmm?????!!!!!



I learned today that the Union Bay Post Office is the only wood post office erected before WW1 that is still in service today in Canada!



Across the street from the Post Office in Union Bay, is the Union Bay Boat Launch. The view was stunning today on the water and I could see an Inukshuk, which I know a certain friend of mine would like to see, so I had to pull in to take a closer look!


I love the “honour” system for the boat launch. Put your $5 in the bucket when you launch your boat and be off! You can see the inukshuk framed between the two signs. I didn’t take this photo like this on purpose. Sometimes photos just work out that way!


Heading over to the rocky pier I learned a bit about the history of ”Union Wharf” as this stretch of land is called. Union Wharf was founded in 1888 by the Union Coal Company and was one of the busiest ports on the Pacific Coast! In its hey day Union Bay bustled with activity; coastal ferries, tugs with barges, sailing ships, steamships and freighters from all corners of the world called for cargo and bunker coal. Huge locomotives brought long trains of coal cars from the mines near Cumberland, to the shipping wharf. A 600 ton capacity washer, screens and separated the coal. Large bunkers at the north end of the town stored the coal. Two hundred bee-hive coke ovens burned continuously and produced coke for copper smelters along the coast. Around the clock smaller steam engines shunted coal cars between washer, bunkers and the dock, loading ships from the 60 foot high wharf which stretched 560 feet out into the bay. The Union Wharf port was closed in 1961, the wharf was dismantled and all that remains of the history of the wharf is this rocky pier and boat launch.


All that is left of the Union Wharf.


During WWII a propeller was dropped overboard and lost on the bottom of Union Bay. The port was alive with industry providing coal to Canadian, allied Navy and Merchant Navy Ships. This propeller was lost but not forgotten by the old-timers. Over the years a few local divers saw it and the propeller was finally rediscovered in 1997. With input from the Pacific Divers Scuba Club, Wayne Shield, the 2nd Combat Engineer regiment (dive section) and CFB Petawawa, Ontario who were here on training exercises, they floated the prop up from its coal dust grave and brought it ashore. The propeller was given to the Union Bay Historical Society, who cleaned, painted and mounted the propeller. It was dedicated on October 24, 1999 and reminds us of Union Bay’s colourful past.


As I was standing on the wharf taking photos didn’t a kayaker come around the corner! Sometimes I‘m in the right place at the right time! Last week it was when the great blue heron decided to take off, just as I was taking photos. Strange how that happens....when you let life come to you, instead of forcing it!


What a serene picture.... the kayaker set again the Coastal Mountain range on the mainland of B.C. and the calm blue waters of the Salish Sea/Strait of Georgia.


I followed the kayaker until he got closer to the Inukshuk.


Stunning...so beautiful living here!


Not sure what I was going to arrive home to today, I pulled in to find the roof repair on Newman in full swing!


Our neighbour Steve Williams from Nova Scotia up on the roof of Newman. We were in the right place at the right time, when we pulled into Lighthouse RV park and found that Steve was our neighbour. Given that Steve has owned 3 RV’s (he currently has a 2017 Newmar Dutch Star) and also repairs them too. We are so lucky to have him next door to do this repair for us! It’s not like we can be without Newman for a day or two, to drop him off at an RV repair place! We’d be homeless if we did that!!


Steve lifting up the air conditioning unit off the roof.


The seal that needed to be replaced, because the roof was leaking, is the black 14x14 square on the bottom of the air conditioning unit. Water was pooling under the air conditioning unit and leaking through the light fixture into our living room in Newman.


Seems like we also had a nest under the A/C unit as well.


Steve, putting the A/C unit back in place.

Jim (the other neighbour, from Fernie B.C.) and me watching the repair job on Newman’s roof as paper towels are thrown down at us, from sopping up the water on the roof.


Meanwhile, back inside Newman, I decided to start with the Christmas dinner preparations. First up today was making my homemade cranberry sauce.



All the while, I’m mopping up after Newman’s leaking roof, while the repair is still going on!


Leaking light fixture, dripping on both ends!

We are not supposed to get any more rain until Christmas Day. Let’s hope this roof repair works and Newman’s roof doesn’t leak anymore!




And my interest is piqued now...what will Purolator have for me tomorrow!!!






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