And just like that, April has gone by in a flash!
Every spring, as the winter storms end and the days get longer, a small group arrives to Naden Harbour to awaken the Lodge. While this time of year doesn’t nearly have the glitz and glam of on-season, it certainly has all the hustle and bustle.
It’s during this period that operations crew, joined by a group of skilled contractors, begins to take on several maintenance and construction projects that have been in the works for months. Everything from paint touch ups and appliance maintenance to major infrastructure projects are undertaken every year to ensure the QCL guest experience is constantly improving.
This year alone our rig up crew, in addition to general maintenance of the property, has taken on log replacements of both the Main Lodge and famed Totem House. They have repaired storm damage and walkways, rebuilt the heli pad, installed new generators and have done major water and septic system upgrades. Perhaps most importantly, our off-season crew has complete key maintenance projects on our docks, breakwater and fleet of premium Bridgeview boats, outfitted with Mercury motors.
It is often overlooked that our team must also put all our marine infrastructure into place during this time as it is all stored away over the winter. A small old, QCL red tugboat, lovingly known simply as “The Tug”, must tow our 4 concrete floats from the opposite side of Naden Harbour back to in front of property. One float at a time “The Tug” hooks on to the buildings and starts to tow; the quiet drone of its old diesel engine humming along slowly until each float is back in place. Heavy equipment and boats are then used to reinstall more than 700’ of walkways and fingers, which are all stored on land over the off-season. Lastly an entire crew of people are needed to pull our water, power and fuel lines down the dock in preparation for the arrival of our gorgeous fleet. The Lodge is almost unrecognizable to most before this infrastructure is in place.
It truly is magical to watch the Lodge come alive every spring. The feeling of butterflies start to kick in knowing we’re just weeks away from the low “whoop-whoop-whoop” sound of a Sikorsky 76 helicopter coming over the horizon and crackling through the radio “QCL, QCL this is Tango”. That first helicopter doesn’t just signify the opening of the season after a hard-fought Rig Up but a meeting of new friends and returning family. It brings with it memories that will last a lifetime and fish tales bigger than your wildest dreams could have imagined. There truly isn’t a place like it anywhere else on earth.