Vendée Globe 2020

On Monday, November 8, the 2020 edition of the VENDEE GLOBE Around The World sailing race begins from the French town of Les Sables d’Olonne.  This race is the Holy Grail of Solo Sailors. 33 boats are registered for the race that will sail down the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, across the Southern Ocean passing south of Australia, rounding Cape Horn, then climbing up the Atlantic back to France. The course is 40,000 kilometres and will take the fastest boats about 75 days to complete. 

The current record dates back to 2016-17 and is held by the Breton Armel Le Céac’h, who completed the 24,000 nautical miles (over 44,400 kilometres) in 74 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds, after an interminable battle with the Brit Alex Thomson, who secured the second spot.

Most of the skippers are French but there are four Brits, one Italian, one Swiss, one Japanese, one German, one Fin,  and one Spaniard.  6 of the sailors are women

The boats are high tech sailing machines, 60 feet long, weighing 9 tones, and capable of maintaining 30 Knot speeds for extended periods of time. 

Single handed! No Stops! This race is Epic. If you are interested in following the race you can download the VENDEE GLOBE 2020 App from the App Store for free. I will post regular updates on this Blog which interested parties may enjoy. Here is one of the boats.


Our good friend Paul is a Fish & Chips aficionado.  In fact, a few summers ago in our boating days he rated all the boat accessible Fish & Chip joints around the Gulf Islands.  He considered quality of the fish, the batter, the chips, tarter sauce and cole slaw. He knows good Fish & Chips, so when he recommended The SHIP AND SHORE RESTAURANT in Deep Bay, I knew we had to try it. 

Today was a beautiful warm sunny September day, perfect for the 35 minute drive from FRENCH CREEK to DEEP BAY on the old Island Highway.

We had made a reservation and were promptly seated on the patio overlooking the marina. We didn’t need to peruse the menu as we knew what to order.  One piece Halibut & Chips for my favourite girl and two piece Cod & Chips for me. Was it good? Absolutely.  Very crispy batter, good fries and tasty coleslaw.  

The service was very efficient and very friendly too. 

If you love Fish & Chips, you must try the Ship & Shore. Check out their menu here.

Reservations are recommended. Call 250.757.8399

Just saying…

Who Loves Burgers?

Who doesn’t like a great hamburger? I love burgers and there are lots of choices in the PARKSVILLE Qualicum Beach area. Of course most  Restaurants and Pubs have them as do the big chain Burger Joints.  Some are good, some not so good. 

Today, finally I tried PAPA’S BURGERS in PARKSVILLE.  Went to their drive thru window and ordered a Deluxe Cheeseburger. $9. The young lady said, park out back and they did.

Cooked from scratch apparently and it showed. Perfectly cooked beef, with Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Red onion, &  Pickle all contained within a very nice bun. It was absolutely delicious. Like a home made burger. 

Papa’s does 11 kinds of burgers including Vegan (yikes). They also serve up Home Cut Fries, Hot Dogs, Chicken Strips, and Fish & Chips, both Halibut and Cod. If you are thirsty a variety of soft drinks are offered along with MILK SHAKES! 

Craving a great Burger? You must give PaPa’s a try. You will find them at 487 E. Island Highway in PARKSVILLE just across the road from Tim Horton’s. Open Tuesday thru Saturday!  They have a few tables so you can eat in or 

 drive thru or take out.

You can order ahead at 250-586-3743. Check out the menu here:

Great Burgers! 

Just saying…

Pub Lunches

As the world reopens as the pandemic subsides, the Pub Lunch is back. The Shady Rest Pub in Qualicum Beach has been open for a couple of weeks and seems to be thriving. We are still waiting for the Lantzville Pub, which is undergoing renovations. Might be open by July 20. 

Today I met my old friend, Beast, at the Rocking Horse Pub on Northwest Bay Road. Our server told us they had been very busy since reopening. As per the new rules, the tables are well spaced to ensure correct social distancing and the garden patio is open too. 

They seem to be offering the full menu and always have daily specials. One of today’s was a Ham & Cheese on Rye served with Salad, Fries, or soup. We opted for the special and it was a good choice. Really good sandwich. 

Sunday nights is Traditional ROAST BEEF Dinner and Friday nights they serve up PRIME RIB dinner. Call for a reservation for those nights. 

If you’ve not been to the Rocking Horse, please give it a try. Traditional British Pub atmosphere in a country setting. Lots of free parking.  They do a Wednesday night Open Mike Music night weekly and often have stand up Comedy. Check the website,

Just Saying…

Summertime Food

What a great time of year for foodies. We are so fortunate to have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in our stores, markets & farms

Among our favourites are sweet Onions. There are still Vidalia onions from Georgia in the stores. Bought some this morning. And soon there should WALLA WALLA SWEETS from Washington. There are fresh Bing cherries from the Okanagan  and today I picked up the first RAINIER cherries. They were developed in 1952 at Washington State University and are a cross between Bings and Van varieties. So sweet and so  delicious.


We have been enjoying Corn on the cob. Corn is from California and it’s pretty good but it won’t be long and  much better local corn from Silver Meadows Farm will be available. Can’t wait. Grilled right on the BBQ is how we like it. Seems to bring out the sweetness.

And tomatoes are starting to have some flavour too. The multi coloured grape tomatoes are great on a skewer on the BBQ or sautéd in a touch of oil in a pan. So good.

By the way the Beef hamburger patties at Silver Meadows farm are excellent and we tried their own Bacon this week. Worth a trip to Errington for that pork deliciousness.

Qualicum Foods had a big supply of Lamb Shanks last week so I picked up a couple and will turn them into OSSO BUCCO soon. Will serve it with creamy polenta, a food I’ve never cooked before. Should be good.

Great food to take our minds of the virus. Happy cooking!

Just saying…

First Dinner Out

Since it was such a beautiful sunny day I decided to take my favourite girl for a drive.  Roof open, we cruised through PARKSVILLE, down to Schooner Cove,  through Lantzville ending up at NESVOG’s Meats to pick up some of their great MAUI RIBS. perfect for the BBQ this weekend. Haven’t tried them? Very close to the famous Azeka’s ribs in Maui.  

Heading home on 19A, we were feeling a little peckish so wheeled into the  WHITE SPOT at Woodgrove Centre. They are open for dining in and are well prepared. It appeared that one out of every three tables/booths are in service to ensure social distancing. The staff are all wearing clear plastic face masks. No vinegar or Ketchup bottles, no pepper and salt shakers. Other wise it’s pretty normal.The dining room, bar and patio are all open. 

The food is the same White Spot fare I have been enjoying frequently since 1952 when I was treated at the South Granville location in Vancouver. I opted for a a Monty Mushroom Burger while my favourite girl ordered Fish & Chips. She loved it but it was two pieces of fish so yours truly commandeered piece #2. Tasty as always. It was our first White Spot food in 2020. Dining out is back, but it’s still a little different. 

Lots of other restaurants are open. Cuckoos in Coombs, Ricki’s in PARKSVILLE, Black Bird Schnitzel House in Qualicum. On June 28 the Rocking Horse Pub is opening and the Lantzville Pub is shooting for July 1.

Just saying…

Return of the Restaurants

Much  as I enjoy cooking at home, like most people I also enjoy dining  out in restaurants and pubs,  the pleasure of which has been unavailable to us since early March when the pandemic hit.  Take out has been available and good but just not the same as going out. Well, good news! Restaurants are reopening with new guidelines as to table spacing, size of parties etc. 

Last Friday I met my old friend from Schooner Cove at the SHADY REST PUB on Qualicum Beach. It was wonderful. We began with a cold draft  beer, our first in months. My pal ordered the Seafiod Cobb Salad  that he judged as excellent and delicious. I had been craving Fish & Chips for weeks so chose the Haddock, two pieces. It was fresh with crispy batter and pretty good fries. 

The staff were terrific and all so happy to be back  at work. Service as good and the food was served very quickly. Tom, the manager, came by out table for a visit too. By the way,  they are taking reservations. 

There are some really good pubs on the island and the Shady is one of them. Consistently good pub fare with a spectacular ocean view. If you are ready for dining out, they are ready for you.

Welcome back Shady Rest. 

FRENCH CREEK PUB is also open as is the CROW & GATE PUB  not sure about Lantzville.

Just saying…

Lockdown Cuisine

So there is a lot of home cooking going on these days with the Coronavirus Shutdown. But maybe you are really craving some restaurant food. Well, there are some good Take Out options. Here are some of them in the PARKSVILLE Qualicum Beach area. 

Salt Pizzeria. Great pizza.  Phone in your order and pick up. At FRENCH CREEK landing. 250-586-2121. We love their pizza. 

FRENCH CREEK Pub is open for Take Out Tuesday to Saturday 11-4:30. Excellent Fish & Chips. 250-248-3713. 

Papa’s Burgers in PARKSVILLE.  Great Burgers and Fish & Chips. Phone and order and pick up at their Drive Thru. 250-586-3743

Mekong River in PARKSVILLE is doing Take Out. 250-586-8000.  We love their food.

If you like Thai Food , WHITE ELEPHANT in PARKSVILLE is open for take out and delivery. 250-586-6611. We have lunched there. Nice people and good food.

Black Bird Schnitzel House in Qualicum Beach.  250-752-8500. Our neighbours ordered from there and said it was great. 

New Canton Chinese. Now located on Qualicum Beach. Same neighbours ordered for his 80th Birthday. Really enjoyed the food. (250) 752-2198

Q Burger on 2nd in Qualicum Beach are doing take out. 250-898-3450.  Have not tried but friend Tim recommends. 

Tidal Taco in Qualicum Bay are open. Take your own chairs and enjoy the view. Great Tacos. 

BOME in Coombs are also open for take out. Buy lunch or cheese. 250-586-2663

Need coffee? Creekmores in Coombs is supplying coffee on Mondays and Friday’s. Call in advance. 250-752-5343. 

If you want to do a bit of food shopping and want to avoid the big stores please try the SILVER MEADOWS FARM on the Errington Road just off 4A. Great fruit and vegetables, Island Farms Milk and Ice Cream, Portofino Bakery goods.  The best eggs from Mountain View Farms in Black Creek, north of Comox. And Silver Meadows also have their own Beef, Pork, Bacon and often fresh Roasting Chickens. 

Just saying…



As a result of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the global cruise ship industry is shut down. Much of the fleet sits idle at anchor in or near the Bahamas today. How large is this crisis?  The marks in blue on the chart below are all cruise ships.


Some research on line shows that there are approximately 200 large cruise ships globally.  About half are owned by Carnival Cruise Lines headquartered in Miami. Carnival owns Princess, Holland America, Costa, CUNARD, P&O, Seabourn and AIDA. Royal Caribbean is also based in Miami and owns Celebrity with a fleet of 41. Norwegian Cruise Lines also owns Regent and Oceana Cruises and has a fleet of 29.  There are also a bunch of other lines some with smaller ships. One can see that cruising has become a huge industry.  In 2018 it was a $34 billion industry with a passenger capacity of over half a million.  The ships employ more than 250,000 people.

I roughly calculated how much revenue they are losing during this pandemic. It is probably $650,000,000 per week.  No revenue but the ships must be at least partially crewed and maintained.  The losses to the industry are enormous.

Will the industry survive? Probably, but it may be very slow recovering. Some of the ships will be mothballed temporarily.  Some of the orders for new ships will be cancelled which impacts those shipyards.  Ports of call will suffer from the lack of tourists. Victoria, Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway will all feel the pain.

We have been on several cruises and loved everyone. I hope the industry can recover quickly

Just saying…


Brazen Poppy Bakery

Looking for a spot for a morning Latte or a light lunch?  Well, you might want to slide by THE BRAZEN POPPY BAKERY in PARKSVILLE.  I’ve enjoyed coffee there many times in the past year with a variety of friends but you could check in for breakfast or lunch. 


For breakfast they feature the Morning Skillet. Home style hash browns, 2 eggs and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage served up with toast. Or maybe a breakfast sandwich on a freshly baked bun. Brazen Poppy has some really good baked goods including Cinnamon Buns, Strudels, Muffins and Scones. I really like the Raspberry Scones. All this is baked right there every day.

For lunch it’s homemade soup and sandwiches including burgers, as well as a daily special including Perogies, Chicken a la King, Lasagna and one of my favourites, CABBAGE ROLLS. Of course, they have a full range of coffee, tea, etc. 

It’s a nice spacious joint run by very nice people. Lots of free parking too.

THE BRAZEN POPPY is in Shelly Square at the corner of Highway 19 and Shelly Road in Parksville. They are open Monday thru Friday from 7 – 5. Closed on the weekends. Check out their web site. And look at their menu. 

Just saying…