Oh I do like the sound of all of that.
I love the idea of where you are going. Patagonia is yet another one of those god forsaken spots that I would really love to visit. When I was reading Magellan's story a year or so back the description of that area made it sound worth the cold and nasty winds.
Yes, to me the absolute splendor of the place far exceeds all of the often quoted adverse conditions. My high altitude and high latitude mountaineering and my trips to the arctic have taught me a few things on how to remain comfortable in extreme conditions. We're taking enough creature comforts with us to take some of the bite off the discomforts and hardships.
Think I might have to add Sooke Harbour House to my stop offs when and if I finally make it to BC. Looks good. Me and the Wombette like a bit of the old degustation.....
You'll love it. The Sooke Harbour House was named One of the five best Country Inns in the world in 2000 by Gourmet Magazine and second best hotel in North America. As well, it was called the sixth best small hotel in North America by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The restaurants wine list has been awarded the Grand Award by Wine Spectator for having one of the best wine lists in the world.
Sinclair Philip has owned Sooke Harbour House since 1979, and in the days when I was a wine importer, he was a very good client. He is a proponent of seasonal, regional and whenever possible, organic foods. His menus focus on local fish and shellfish as well as on a wide variety of organic herbs, vegetables, salad greens and edible flowers from the restaurants year round gardens. Local foragers supply wild mushrooms, wild seaweed and berries.
Your cockpit snacks look the go as well. "Bagels and cream cheese with capers and lox, dishes of yogurt and mugs of freshly brewed coffee. Our lunches alternated between hot paninis and arrays of cheese and crackers with fresh fruit, olives, artichoke hearts, nuts and so on." Yep, I can see the appeal in all that but please, tell me, if you would be so kind......What in heavens name is a Bagel Toaster ? Emphasis on the toaster. Why does a Bagel need, or indeed want, its own toaster ?
Maybe North American bagels are bigger than those in Oz. Here they are too thick, even after slicing to fit in most toasters, so we have specialized bagel toasters. We chose a Braun HT600, a toaster that can accommodate very thick and very long slices of bread from non-standard loaves. Our bagels tell us they love it, and would have nothing else. Besides, its brushed stainless steel goes nicely with the rest of the galley.