A Time Capsule in the Gulf Islands

banner telegraph harbor


281593_10150322726126648_693951647_10087394_133863_sOver the years I know there have been many upgrades, changes and additions to the Telegraph Harbour Marina, at first glance it seems that almost nothing has changed. The building was red a few years ago when I last stopped in just for fuel on our way home to Everett from the Sunshine Coast. If memory serves me correctly it was always red. Telegraph was an annual stop for the Ebb Tide (my grandparents boat) from the 50’s through the mid 80’s. This past July it became one of the stops on our 2011 cruise plan. The main building and the shower/laundry building had been painted green. Aside from that… at least visually, it is literally a living time capsule.Ron, the new owner, greeted us as our group tied up on K dock. I then headed up to see Tara, Ron’s wife, at the store to pay for moorage. As I walked up the pier I could see the concrete shuffleboard court off to the left and the swing sets up further on the right (over by the showers/laundry building). But where is the …oh, there it is, the horseshoe pit just adjacent to the swings. I continued up the walkway toward the store. Upon entering the front door I see them, the bolted down ‘diner’ stools around the L shaped coffee counter, 223853_10150322726251648_693951647_10087396_1448912_sexactly as it was when I was a boy visiting this wonderful place some 30 years ago. It made me feel like I traveled back in time and that maybe I could walk the docks one last time with my grandfather and my dad. It all came back to us. My brother and I uncorked the stories, you know the ones, “when we were kids we used too…” Of course the kids  immediately asked, “where’s the pool?” As the tide rises up over the dark rocks (sitting in the sun all day) the water heats up to about 70f. No need for a pool. Our kids (12 in the group) all swam in the bay, they played horseshoes, shuffleboard, badmitten, swung on the swings and generally loved everything about Telegraph.

The Bistro251469_10150322725921648_693951647_10087392_4539986_s

When you go up to the “store” you quickly realize that this is much more than the store and office, the Bistro sign out front is your first clue, that’s right, there’s a chef now! You will also find some basic provisions much like a little corner store. While we didn’t eat dinner there, the menu was very tempting. The breakfast was fantastic, fresh bakery items, bacon that makes you nod in approval from your first smell. The coffee… well that is a story all on its own.

Thetis Island

The rest of the island is a place that I had never really explored. We needed some greens for a dinner salad so we asked at the office if there was a market nearby.Just 1/4 mile up the road is the Thetis Island Farm Market and we took a walk to see what they had. There are a couple of stand up freezers with cuts of lamb meat in one, ice cream in another. Fresh baked pies and island made pasta sit on various tables., fresh produce and hand made items fill the 15′ x 15′ store. The most refreshing part of the market wasn’t for sale. Once you had 229671_10150325011861648_693951647_10112388_4734324_sdetermined what you needed, simply write it on the tablet next to the metal cash box, stuff your money in the box and walk out the door. No cashier, no U-scan. The honor system, it made me think that our human race still might have a chance. Oh, and the tomatoes were perfect and our salad was amazing.After a second morning of fantastic coffee, I asked about this “Pot of Gold Coffee” that we were having at the Telegraph Harbour Bistro. “Just follow the golden coffee pots” we were told.”They roast it here on the island”.Just around the corner from the Farm Market you see a larger wooden coffee pot sign that hangs at the dirt road entrance to the Pot of Gold Coffee Company. What a delightful surprise. Inside there were three or four people filling orders, one “roast master” roasting at one of the machines. Nan, the owner stepped out of the back to greet us. Turns out that they have been 253284_10150325013801648_693951647_10112423_5192042_s 281818_10150325014081648_693951647_10112425_3691732_sroasting coffee here on the island since 1982, and at the current location since 1990 In the back storage room there are stacks of 100 to 150 pound coffee bags from all over the world. Columbia, Africa, you name it. They roast to order so everything is fresh.Across the bay at the Thetis Island Marina and Pub… i think they might have a Karaoke machine, not sure. Anyway…As we sat on the dock at the end of our last night at Telegraph it was re-confirmed, I love this place.Our cruising group this year consisted of four boats. When we were planning our cruise the group was hesitant to go to Telegraph, they weren’t sure what there was to do, especially for the kids. It would be our northern most point of our cruise. I told them that it was really the only place that I needed to go to, the rest of the trip we can go where ever anyone wants to go. So we all agreed we would go for one night. We stayed three.

Telegraph Harbour, Thetis Island, BC, Canada


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