It was early summer of 2010.
The time was very exciting because my husband and I, both being teachers, were about to begin our much-deserved vacation. The first few days were spent preparing the boat for the holiday and finally, we were ready to enjoy the ocean. Our first destination on a Friday was the swimming bay just across from Ladysmith. What a wonderful evening it was with the moon rising across the harbor!
The next morning, my husband was feeling so confident about our trip he even allowed me to drive the boat. After checking our maps and GPS, we left the harbor and were travelling at about eight knots. All of a sudden, we heard and felt a huge thud under the boat. We looked in the water and realized we had just hit a shoal extending from an island.
The island was on our GPS but not the shoal, and, as well, it was a minus tide. Obviously I had driven the boat too close to shore. Yes, the island was Coffin Point, very appropriately named.
Firstly, we called our insurance and let them know what happened. Then David, my husband, took over the wheel, thank goodness, and tried to start and manouevre the boat. It did move but only at a very slow speed.
We then called the Maritime Society Marina to see if we could come to their dock. The manager of the dock answered in the affirmative and was very helpful and on-hand when we finally arrived.
The first plan he suggested was to hire a diver to learn about the damage. Mr. Sealegs Kayak was over before the end of the day and assessed the destruction. One rudder was missing, the other bent back, and both propellers were curled up. He was not certain if the shafts were bent or not. The good part was that the boat hull was intact.
Next we needed to find a marine mechanic with whom we could trust our boat to be repaired properly. The dock manager and Mr. Kayak both suggested Ladysmith Marine Services. There is no boat lift in Ladysmith, and we were quite hesitant to put it on a trailer because of the weight. The owner, however, assured us that this was possible.
By Monday evening, the boat was hauled, and he and his son began the repair. We were able to find a motel in Ladysmith since we could no longer stay on the boat.
Not only did we have the assistance from the aforementioned but now we were offered accommodation and an extra car by a catamaran owner moored near us, as well as car transportation by the owner of The Transfer Grill. The lady with the great clothing and furnishing store on the corner, Nancy’s, invited us to come to her house for a barbecue.
Needless to say, David and I were overwhelmed with the generosity and support of Ladysmith. Within a week, Ladysmith Marine Services had miraculously repaired the boat, and we were on our way.
Our holiday had been enhanced with the knowledge that Ladysmith was a very special place. At the end of our summer, David and I went back to Calgary, a place where you work, to begin the last year of our careers before we retired.
All year, we were considering what our retirement should look like, and each time we thought about it, Ladysmith came to mind. This is the type of community where we wanted to live.
In July 2011, we moved into our home in Ladysmith, and now our boat is at the Ladysmith Marina. Since we moved, our decision has been confirmed, and we continue to receive the friendship and support from the town people. David and I feel very fortunate that we have been able to relocate here.
This is a beautiful place to live and the people are truly genuine. Ladysmith is a very special community!
Cecilia and David Grimstead