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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

What do you mean the water line is frozen?

Last night as Richard was getting ready for bed, he said “oh oh”. I can hear the water pump coming on!

I’m thinking “So what?!” Its been awhile since we were boon docking, when the pump would come on all the time. So to explain the problem in layman’s terms; the water pump comes on when we are using up our ‘house’ or ‘stored’ water in Newman, which means that our water line from the tap in the RV park has frozen! We have been running the tap in the kitchen sink every night for the past few nights, as the temperatures have been dipping below 0c. But last night, the temperature was already -7C before we went to bed, so the water line had already frozen before we went to bed and started the kitchen tap. As Richard likes to remind me “Running water doesn’t freeze!”.

Now what?

Instead of going to bed, Richard had to put on his boots, coat, toque and gloves and go out to inspect the water line. He picked up the white water hose and shook it a bit to knock off any ice that had formed inside the line, and then came back inside to check on the water situation.

It seems that whatever Richard did outside got the water running again in Newman, so we were no longer operating off our onboard water system. Phfew! Another crisis averted in Newman.

We ran the taps last night in Richard’s bathroom sink, the bathtub and the kitchen sink and we awoke this morning to no issues with our water supply. The water line was not frozen! Now it was a bit annoying trying to sleep listening to running water, but once we got to sleep, we didn’t hear it!

We decided to take a drive down to Qualicum Beach today to shop for provisions, in case we do get the huge snowstorm that is being forecast for the Island this evening. It seemed that everyone else in Qualicum Beach was doing the same thing as us today, as I overheard 2 cashiers talking about how many people were stocking up, just in case. The median average age of the residents in Qualicum Beach is 65 years old, so the responsible thing to do is to stock up when there is a storm coming!

From the pictures I’m seeing of Burlington today it looks like Ontario got hammered with another snowstorm today too! From what we are hearing on the radio, it looks like Tofino and Victoria, B.C. may get the worst of the storm. Fingers crossed!

After getting our groceries, without any lineups to get into the store and minimal lineups at the checkout, we decided we needed to go for a hike. We drove to Pheasant Glen Golf Resort where we saw there were cars parked just outside the gates to the course, which meant there had to be a walking trail nearby. Perfect, just what we wanted!

Pheasant Glen Golf Resort, Qualicum Beach, B.C.

We drove into the golf course even though we had stopped by before, as the last time we where there is was pouring rain and we didn’t get a good feel for this Doug Carrick designed golf course. Doug Carrick is a renowned golf course architect having designed Greystone Golf Club, King Valley Golf Club, Muskoka Bay Club, Osprey Valley, Predator Ridge - Ridge course, and Legends on the Niagara - Battlefield Course, and many more! All fantastic golf courses, many of which we have played, so we wanted to take a closer look at this course.

Richard standing on the 10th tee looking back on the golf course.

Stunning views of the mountains from every hole.

Practise facility and driving range in the background.

Yurt! There were 4 Yurts on the golf course property, just off the main parking lot of the golf course.

Richard looking over at the communal shower shown below.

The yurts are designed for a ‘stay & play’ package or for someone who wants to come for lessons and stay on the property. An interesting ‘glamping’ opportunity, but I prefer ‘glamping‘ in Newman!

Pheasant Glen has applied to the Town of Qualicum Beach with the drawings in the link above to transform the land around the golf course into a true resort community. The plans look amazing! The Town approved the subdivision of the golf course from the rest of the development lands in January 2021. Last year Pheasant Glen hosted the ‘Men’s Canadian Senior Golf Championship’ and the estimated benefit to the community of Qualicum Beach and Parksville was $500,000, by bringing in that many golfers and officials for the tournament. Having the ability to host more people on site with facilities of a larger clubhouse as well as resort vacation homes at Pheasant Glen, will be a big bonus for the town of Qualicum Beach.

After walking around the golf course for a few minutes we drove back down the winding driveway of the golf course and we parked Jerry at the entrance to the golf course and headed down the trail. We think that every person we ran into today on the trail had a dog with them - off leash. We appeared to be the only ‘non’ dog walkers!

A nice trail with lots of rocks on it, but an easy flat walk.

Ellie with a blue tail! Apparently sometimes her tail is pink. Unusual!

Maggie with a very cute dress on! Maggie‘s owner asked if we wanted a dog. Apparently Maggie is old, grumpy and stubborn and her owner said she was just like her dog!

Checking his phone, while I’m taking photos. Squinting without his glasses.

We hiked until we ran out of forest. I think we must have been hiking for at least an hour or so, all told.

The view of the mountain above the tree line. The sun was trying very hard to shine through the clouds today, but the temperature was still -2C all day.

Stunning Vancouver Island Mountains.

After we had finished our hike, we needed to get to a Scotiabank so I could get a U.S. draft to send to Florida to pay for our Florida home insurance. Since there wasn’t a Scotiabank in Qualicum Beach, we had to drive down to the Scotiabank in Parksville. The insurance is due the middle of March, and since we have to mail the draft to Florida, we had to get on it today. Its hard to believe that we have owned our home in Florida for 11 years in March! Wow! Where does the time go?

We were planning on stopping at SALT pizza in French Creek for a slice of pizza and a late lunch. SALT was highly recommended to us by our golfing buddies Ken and Curtis from Qualicum Beach for their thin, well done crust pizza. We stopped at SALT, only to find that they were not open yet. That was a bit of a disappointment!

After we left SALT, we decided to drive back to Fanny Bay and grab a quick snack at home to Newman, and then I saw a sign for the Qualicum Beach Airport!

We had been told - we can’t remember who told us though - that the Qualicum Beach airport had a great restaurant.

Sure enough, the restaurant was open today. What a great name for a restaurant!

We waited and were shown to our table. There were only 2 other people in the restaurant at 3pm, but we were told that they were sold out for dinner on Saturday and Sunday, with this being Valentine’s Day weekend.

Happy Hour was just starting when we arrived, so Richard indulged in a glass of Pinot Grigio. Not a bad price for a small glass of wine!

We ordered and while we were waiting for our food we had the best views!

Plane at XQU airport!

We were interested to see what was all about, but we could not get the website to pop up. We did learn that there is currently no scheduled service from Qualicum Beach to Vancouver, but they are working on it apparently. The airport has been in operation since 1954 and a number of operators do fly out of the airport including: Sunwest helicopters, Skydive Vancouver Island, Sealand Flight as well as the restaurant - Final Approach, and 30 local planes that fly from the airport.

Richard had the homemade seafood chowder soup of the day. He said it was delicious and as good as the first seafood chowder he had from the Fanny Bay Inn!

Richard also had the Friday fish & chips special. Cod battered fish. Delicious light batter and flaky fresh cod!

I had the arugula poached pear, bacon and goat cheese salad, which was light and delicious!

We really enjoyed the food and the ambience at the ‘Final Approach’ restaurant at Qualicum Airport and we learned from our server that the restaurant is quite busy with locals who enjoy the food year round at the restaurant Wed-Sun. Our server and her husband had sold their businesses in North Vancouver and decided to move to the Island after having had a vacation home on Sproat Lake (past Port Alberti) on the Island for many years. When she found out that we were wintering on the Island she said we had to watch out for the ‘Herring run’ in the spring. That is something we are definitely looking forward to now which is coming in early March and which we should have a first hand view of from our spot with Newman in Fanny Bay!

We headed home after another busy day and when we got home Richard flipped the furnace on, only to find out we were now out of propane! At -1C going down to -2C overnight, Newman was freezing inside! Richard immediately called St. Stephen to check what to do next. St. Stephen asked Richard to check if the ignitor where the fuel goes into the furnace was trying ignite. I assisted Richard as he went out to listen to see if the igniter was going on, as I turned on the switch to the furnace on inside Newman. Sure enough, the igniter was trying to go on, but the furnace was not igniting, as we were out of propane. Richard called St. Stephen again and he said he would be up immediately, as he had promised us, to help change out the main valve and regulator, as well as a ‘t‘ valve on the propane tank on Newman. St. Stephen had gone somewhere to pick up the parts we needed, and had told us to drain our propane tank, so he could come and do the changeover, once we were out of propane. Our problem if you will remember is that our original main valve on the propane tank in Newman was rusted on and would not allow us to switch over to a separate 30 lb propane tank that we had purchased from Costco. We can’t move Newman to go and get more propane if we run out until the basement door is fixed with the new hinges we got shipped from Kentucky, so we have to rely on the propane deliveries coming every two weeks from Viper Fuels.

The look of concern on Richard’s face as he called St. Stephen to let him know we were out of propane and what was he to do?

We put our electric ceramic heaters on until St.Stephen arrived. Richard warmed up the kettle to make St. Stephen a cup of tea and next thing you know, we’ve blown a circuit breaker and we have no heat from the electric heaters! Richard had to go and flip the circuit breaker a couple of times, to keep the ceramic heaters going. All the time this is going on, I’m sitting with my hat, scarf, and coat on, under a blanket in Newman, trying to write today’s blog!

I could hear the hemi engine of St. Stephen’s SUV arriving and I was so happy to know he was going to fix our propane tank on Newman. Our other neighbour Jim and Richard both went out to meet St. Stephen. Next thing I knew, the banging started! The valve was stuck and no amount of banging or twisting with a wrench would get the valve unstuck. Finally, Richard sent Matt the RV park owner a text asking him if he had a bigger pipe wrench which would get the old valve off. Matt pushed everyone aside and quickly got the valve off the tank. I was not aware of what was going on outside at this point. All I knew was that the banging had finally stopped!

St. Stephen taking a picture of the work that he just finished. We found out tonight that St. Stephen had been certified to work with propane back in Newfoundland, so he definitely knew what he was doing!

New brass connections and we are now hooked up to the 30lb propane tank, which we need to have last us until Tuesday, when Viper Fuels are coming again to fill Newman’s onboard propane tank!

St. Stephen sure saved the day today, coming before he had even had his dinner and working in the dark and the cold to help us out! We do appreciate him and are so lucky that we just so happened to book into Lighthouse RV park in between him and Jim from Fernie. Thanks to Jim, our neighbour as well and Matt from Lighthouse RV Park who both were out in the cold helping to get the valve switched. The RV community is amazing! It is so nice to know that everyone has our back and that us Newbie RV’ers aren’t going to be ‘roughing it’ without heat or hot water, during this cold snap!

it is nice and toasty now in Newman. Thank goodness! I had visions of having to go all weekend without propane and worrying about blowing the circuit breaker every time we plugged something new in!

It can snow all it wants now. We’re cozy and warm again in Newman! Provisions have been bought and the leftover chilli from yesterday is warming my belly! MMMMM!!!

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