February 8, 2017


Bathgate General Store in the village of Egmont

It was my final full day of vacation yet I found out that morning at 7 am I needed to write a short document and e-mail it before end of business day.  But my plan was to leave my hostel in Sechelt early by 8 am to drive an hour north to Earl’s Cove and hike to nearby Skookumchuck Rapids, which will take most of daylight.  In December, it goes dark by 4:30ish pm. 

The hostel did not have any terminals, and writing 300 words on my android was possible but very inconvenient if not impractical.  The only public library in the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt will not open till 11 am.  By that time, half the day’s daylight is gone.  What to do?  I weighed the alternatives.  Take my chances and drive up hoping I will encounter a community centre with a computer connection and terminals though I saw nothing online.  Alternatively, if a dead end, return by 1 pm to the Sechelt Public Library cutting my excursion significantly. 

At the village of Egmont, just a few miles ways from Earls Cove Ferry, and past the road that goes to the Rapids, I went inside Bathgate General Store and Marina (tel 604 883 2222) and asked a young man what they have for breakfast if any. Luke said he could make a sandwich for me. 

I asked Luke if there was a computer terminal in town I can use for 20 minutes or so.  To my surprise, he said, “Why don’t you use the computer in the anteroom before you enter the store?”   And there it was a monitor with a hard drive, internet connection and printer – at no charge!  I did not notice it on my way in.  The computer was installed and made available for local fishermen to check the daily weather and tides.

There was a hiccup in opening my e-mail because the terminal’s IPL address was not recognized.  My e-mail was asking verification by phone but there was no service in Egmont – too remote from a Bell Mobility cellular tower.  Fortunately, my e-mail gave me the option of asking for my Android’s serial details, which did not require any Wi-Fi. I was in!

Luke with my tasty ham cheese sandwich
Stayed there for an hour and accomplished my mission.  Thank you Luke!  BTW the ham sandwich (fresh bun) with cheese and lettuce (so crisp), extra mayo, was one of the best I ever had at CAD$5.00 including tax!  Luke advised me on the tidal times at the Skookumchuck Rapids.  It is when the tides are at their peak that is best to watch the counter flows.

The store gives out a free map with sketch of the trails to Skookumchuck Rapids.   Posted next to the cashier  is the daily Tide Schedule posted – or you can call Sechelt VisitorCentre if you have cell phone service.

To Be Continued ...

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