First Big Trip

June 14, 2009 Sunday I think it might be Fathers Day - but lets not go there - I'll start crying. Fishermans Bay, Lopez Island SUNNY and warm tis' evening. Yesterday at this time was blowing HARD and cold tis' morning

Today we started on the Dek-Coat on the pilot house and cabin top. Looks good BUT the paint is a blazing white - makes the Wasser look a bit yellow dull on the edges. It's ok - no biggie. We did go fussy and make nice rounded edges to the places that would have gone straight. Looks very nice.

Then Carl did another coat of epoxy on the diva seat. That's a big spacious seat long the back of the transom. We had a lovely cover made for it as well. Can't wait to lay on that under sail! Did some more tar on the bottom of the keels where I peeled it off when putting her on the rocks last summer.

Puppy's been a bit lethargic today. I think it's a bit cold down on the grass under the boat at night. I put out her bed but she rarely sleeps on it. She prefers the soft grass. It's wonderful to have her.

We took it a bit slower today - our excuse being SUNDAY. We took a big ol' hour long nap after our lunch. We've been hitting it pretty hard everyday. Thank god it was very peaceful and not so many people were driving up n' down this DIRT road! and the guy, Jeff, Chela's husband, has not put more stuff on his HUGE brush fire. WOOPS - spoke too soon, there goes a car by.

Yesterday we got the AIS, inverter and other electronics hooked up. It was really fun watching the ferry, Elwha leave from Friday harbor and come up the Upright Channel. We saw some other freighters in Haro and Rosario straits. We were sad when their names didn't register. and there was MOM, sitting on the hard on Lopez Island. We thought wouldn't it be funny if another boat saw us on AIS. Pretty cool and way good when/ if were in fog to see the other ships in the vicinity - how big, what direction and how fast they're going.

OK, Carl's made an incredible dinner - once again. Some sort of Italian sausage thing over rice. I need to dive into the bilge keep and pull up a bottle of red wine.

Friday June 19
welp - can't begin to say how much it is to build a boat - It SUCKS!!! No fun
Just work all the time - no lounging back and wanna take a walk on the beach - FORGET IT - to much time involved when you could be pullin' wire and making another light work when you want it!!!

Carl's gone off to take a shower. It's too much work for me to walk way down yander and place a quarter in the machine, get a split second of FREEZING water before you get it warm and it goes off. Then soap up. Grove on that. Then put in another quarter now that your hands are soapy and get it rinsed before it goes off AGAIN. No thank you - I think I'd rather take a FREEZING cold shower for free on the deck! Can't WAIT til' we're in the water once in for all! We got so many things done electrical the last few days - but it can go on n' on and never end I think. So tomorrow I think we'll mount the stove after we bin the rest of the stove area, blow out all the stuff from the fridge from painting, and line the whole stove area w/ stainless PLATE.

Sunday the 21st of June
Yesterday we've done the bottom paint. We did it in Hempel [what little we had bought from someone in the yard] BLACK. It looks so good w/ the red topsides. Really pretty. Hempel supposedly lasts for 3 years and they use it mainly on steel freighters.

I put all the zincs back on and our clothes closet in [hanging onion bags along the V-berth]. Carl's makin' bacon and after breakfast I'll be ready to take a nap! I got up @ 6:30 raring to go even thou' I was pissin' and moaning when the Hempel didn't make it all the way thru' for all the bottom paint. We had to open another can of regular bottom paint that you HAVE to do every year. So I was MAD. Plus it's such an ugly job to begin with. Crawling under those twin keels is NOT EASY and I suspect will only get harder as gravity continues to set into our old bones.

Today we hope to work a bit on the galley. Althou' Carl just said something about how we need to get the anchor all situated. Yup, the anchor might be a bit more important.

We talked to Evan today. We want some MORE metal work done. He said he's working like mad to get Joe Easrly's boat in. Joe will truck his boat to Sidney when it will get it's mast stepped by Yacht Tech.

OK, Welp had to go button a bunch of stuff down since it's raining all of a sudden, like hell!

Wednesday June 24, 2009
I probably shouldn't write at some of the lowest moments of this project. Victoria said that everything's basically f***ed up with the planets and everything is wrong. It continues to be the case w/ this deal. The latest was perhaps a costly mistake in that we wasted time and money shipping the RIGHT winch back when all along we had the OLD winch. Now with 2 different kinds and the older one being perhaps less good than the other - who knows. All I can say is that I'm so sick and tired of every time turning around - trying to make it better, working so hard, and getting slammed down again with more problems than if we had not done whatever it was in the first place. The first place being - why did we ever build a boat? Why did we think we could? There is no answer for those questions other than shear insanity.

I remember that in my childhood that I could do anything. We were all invincible. But as time wore on I found some many flaws in the parents I thought prefect, and the world would not let me accomplish what I'd hoped to. The reality of that is here over and over on this boat. Once we thought we had something worth doing. This winch thing has thrown me into despair after I thought we might be getting somewhere. Carl worked on the electricity for days and days when we thought it would only be a day. Then we wait chewing our finger nails for this winch to come and turns out we'd sent back to the factory the VERY SAME ONE THAT CAME!!!

We have no business trying to do the impossible. It may very well cause us our lives. For us thinking for a minute that we've built anything remotely capable of traveling waters unknown is bound to be catastrophe.

Friday June 26th
Launched LATE @ nite after a day of polishing and mounting the guitar in the V-Berth. Ron had to put us down in the water and was the MOST animated than I'd ever seen him. He talked at length about his floating house over in Useless Inlet. It's not far from Bamfield.

Saturday June 27th
Lopez Island docked as Carl welded the half circles on the stanchions. I cleaned and then had to shift the entire can goods to the starboard side because it was heavily listing to port when we got in the water. I was all organized w/ papers telling where everything was - now, not so. oh well.

Sunday June 28th
Took off about 9 AM from Lopez all fresh with a shower and provisions galore. We made it through customs in Bedwell and headed up Plumper Sound. We got to sail, even wing n' wing. It's good to have sails since the engine is still not really worked out and keeps alarming it's too hot. Just never ends. Guess it does when you die. We made it to James Bay on Provost Island. We knew it wasn't good in a North wind BUT last night it was beautiful and calm. So Callie, having drank sea water at Bedwell, had a stomach attack in the middle of the night. Poor Carl got up and we looked at dismay to the night darkness with huge swells and not much to show us where shore was. So we stood there thinking how could we teach her to poop on the deck? Well finally she did. Poor thing. BUT as we stood dumbfounded on the deck we watched as small fish darted around and LARGE fish chased them through the phosphorescence. It was amazing and I might have enjoyed it but for my poor doggie.

Monday - took 5 hours to sail/ motor 9 miles. We're sitting at Reid Island on the south west side where there's a wonderful gravel beach having lunch. Callie liked having a mid day walk as well. We just figured we-d best not fight the current anymore - just hang and then go with it.

My chicken salads ready - byee for now.

Wednesday July 1, 2009 CANADA day!! Woo hoo!
Nanaimo 30 knot winds on the Straits of Georgia so we ain't goin' no where. So we whip, back n' forth on our anchor. Glad it's finally holding. We were in Degnan Bay Sunday and the anchor dragged! But we got it set before bed. So we thought - and wind whipping, we never moved that night - Thank God! BUT as I took Callie for her morning walk via dinghy to shore, Carl came out of the boat screaming, "KATE, come back!!!" We were dragging like mad right out of the bay w/ the tide! So I jumped back on board and it just wouldn't hold! We'd got this new fangled anchor - but sometimes, it's best to stay w/ the old tried and true. SO when we got to Nanaimo, we went right up and got a Bruce anchor. However, w/ that Bruce on board, now the new ones' holding! [knock wood, eh?] We have a anchor alarm GPS - with all this whipping around it says we've gone 3 miles at one time up to 1.2 knots FAST! It's crazy!

Yesterday when we got here, we got the bikes loaded on board the dinghy and went to see Evan and Joe's boat he's working on. Just as we got there, Winston and Carolyn showed up! They'd just got back from a big trip east and were about to head out on their Brent Boat. So it was a fortuitous meeting. But everyone, including us, had stuff to accomplish before the Chandlery closed, so off we all went.

Today no luck going north again. 24 knots of wind and 4 foot waves. That would simply beat us to a pulp and the dog would never get on board again [I might not either]. SO we went and did our laundry, went to Trawlers for fish n' chips - some of the BEST! It was fun since Trawlers is right on the docks [in fact it's a floating dock] so we parked our dinghy right along side!

So we came back to MOM and puppy. Took her for a walk and showered at the marina park right by our anchor spot. Carl's taking a nap then we're gonna do some more little things on MOM. One thing we've got to do it this rope we have on our anchor chain - to prevent it from chafing through we've got some old fire hose we'll cut and put on where it rubs on the boat. That should help save our snubber bridle Carl made.

OK, welp, pray for rain - that's the only way this stinking high wind pattern will change.

Thursday July 2, 2009
STILL in Nanaimo in 20 - 30 knot winds. We're in a protected anchorage and it's been gusting to 15 or more. MOM is whipping wildly back n' forth on her anchor, which is thankfully holding.

The wind report is for more of the same. Now Entrance Island, a manned lighthouse a few miles out in the Georgia Straits from here, says 5 foot waves and 25 knot sustained winds. We'll stay right here. I got impatient and said we should just go south with the wind to the Gulf Islands. We may still do that, but Carl holds hope that the winds will drop to 10 - 15 and we'll be able to sail across to the Mainland. Once we get in the lee of Texada Island, we may be able to go north to Desolation Sound. However, I'm slipping into wishing we'd never said we'd like to go there thus damned into not getting to. It gets a bit annoying sitting here on the hook while precious time slips away. But, the forest of Newcastle Island, dark and pine smelling, is right here. I couldn't get off the dinghy today w/ Callie. She had to wade thru' the oyster shells to get to shore today. It's a very low tide today and a nasty beach. The shore is covered with oyster shells very sharp. I can't bring the dinghy too close or it gets punctured. So Callie had to wade a bit to get up on shore today. I just floated and tried not to get blown to town waiting for her just off shore. God, I hate this summer wind pattern.

In this eastern side of Vancouver Island, the wind turns to this ugly North West wind every hot July [hot being relative - it's maybe 70 F]. We didn't launch until June 26th putting us smack dab in the middle of this wind once we got to Nanaimo. It happened when we had Twisted in 06. We wanted to go north to Comox to see more Brent boats. We finally went back to Orcas Island, got the truck and DROVE north. We'd told each other then that we'd have a boat capable of going north someday in winds like these. Yes, MOM is capable, but WHY beat yourself to a pulp on wind and waves? In fact, I wouldn't do that to my dog! So here we sit. Occasionally, I got into a fit - thank God the book I'm reading is finally getting interesting [Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver]. I pulled the guitar out last night - that was ok, too.

OK, enough on wind. We will probably get in the dinghy, rev up our new little motor a 4 horse Yamaha, and go into town. No use in sitting out here all day when we could buy MORE stuff to work on MOM. Harbour Chandlery is one of the best boat supply places we've ever seen. It's a no frills, supply store. That's where we got our Bruce anchor the other day. I asked the guy if he could better on the price and he dropped it another 30$. and the exchange is in our favor this year. It sucked last year when we had the mast and much work done by Tony when it was at parity [that means our money was worth the same].

I'd sure like to get to Costco but its several miles from here. I want Pannier cookies!!!! You could take the bus BUT you'd probably have to take a taxi back - you know how it goes at any store. You go in for one thing and come out with a boat load!

Friday July 3
Finally outta Nanaimo!!!!!!! Ohmygawd! We sailed most of the way across the Straits of Georgia [about 20 miles] to the Mainland which is called The Sunshine Coast. It was blowing 20 + knots and HUGE waves. The boat was so healed over the rail was in the water and PLOP went my sun shower [not tied down] over the edge. Waves were drenching us! Carl had a salty head! Everything ended up on the floor - all the drawers flew out - it was a MESS. BUT we were so busy trying to keep the boat going that it was just left. I was shaking and Carl goes - are you cold? I was PRETRIFIED!!!! BUT when we finally got away from Vancouver Island and out it wasn't so bad. We went up by Merry Island and Welcome Passage and are in a wonderful place called Secret Cove. We're way way way back in this beautiful cove. We had to stern tie because we're in this tight little spot and we don't want to move around. It's wonderful to be still and NOT in the Nanaimo wind tunnel. We flew 32 miles today.

Tommorow we're not sure where we'll go. Winds are supposed to be light and there are not a whole lot of little coves to duck into. So we may just motor on up the coast. It's about 50 more miles to Desolation sound [about 2 long days]. The tide won't be goin' north until noon.

Okeedokee - gonna take Callie to shore and go to bed! Hooray!

Sunday the 5th of July
Gads, guess we've been busy! Saturday we went up to Secret Cove, Sunday to Blind Bay, Ballet Cove. It was very rocky in there and then the tide dropped so that we had to pull outta there early and we then anchored in the lee of Fox Island for breakfast. We're now underway in the Malispina Strait and I know it can be rockier than this - but it's not too bad. We're going, under Suzi - motor about 4 knots. I think we're heading to Vananda, Texada Island - but not sure. I think it'd be a riot to pull into the Yacht Club there and ask for reciprocal w/ the GSLYC. But we never know. Yesterday we sailed 28 miles in a 14 mile run to Blind Bay. We're getting used to MOMs heal. She gets right if you don't over power her w/ too much sail. We figured that out after we talked to Silas Crosby on the radio. So when we were about to be draggin' the rail we reefed her down a bit - and she came right back up. She's also able to use to Wine Vane, my dad named "You-Go" Hugo when she's not so over powered w/ sail. That's pretty dang cool. There is this white tower in the Straits here and it seems to sit in the same place day after day. Maybe we'll get by it today.

Carl made a wonderful pea/ pork curry last night. I'm trying all these hot spicy things to get rid of my rotten cold I seemed to develop after the harrowing experience across the Georgia Straits the other day.

Callie's doing ok - it's a bit rough on her. We had a cool place to walk last night. It was some little island off Ballet. Some cool little cabins were scattered about. Looked like no one had been there for years n' years. I peaked in a window of the cutest house. I could tell some woman had been there at one time. Little knicky knack things in the red painted window sills and the most beautiful wood stove in the kitchen! It looked new BUT the old fashioned kind w/ all the cool chrome curly cues. Very neat.

We talk and check in w/ Barbara on the Great Northern Boaters net every morning. We've met some nice people along the way - like Oliver and Lynn of the SV Hannibal. We checked in w/ then to see when was a good time to get out of Nanaimo. We thought we might be able to keep up w/ them BUT they have lots of experience and a better sailing rig than MOM. So they've headed way north of us now. We are gonna try to catch Silas Crosby, another Brent Boat up by Savory Island. But who knows. Carl says he'd like to lay over somewhere for a couple of days. I am right on w/ that idea. Just don't know where. I'd like to either stop in Lund or someplace and have a meal out maybe. No plans - still got about a month to play.

Monday July 6, 2009
Savory Island. Thunder and lighting last night scared poor ol' Callie. We were ready for some rain. It's been so hot [75 or so]. We needed to wash the decks w/ fresh water after our big sail from Nanaimo across the Straits of Georgia. Carl's got the stern lines we've used on the rail - they need washing, too. So it was quite an operation to get the rain gear. It's been up in the nose of MOM and not readily available. It's been that warm and clear in the rainy sunshine coast. Carl's making pancakes! Our sister ship - Silas Crosby is anchored way way out on the north side of Savory Island here. It was way to far for me to row Callie to the beach - so we came in close. It was touch n' go. It's pretty much long shallow sandy beach way way out on all sides of this island. Some other boats are moored out and around us. But I don't know where the people are. Looks pretty sparse on the high cliffs above us. I'm not sure how you'd get up there in the first place. There is a rickety ladder but I'm so sure it's slimy!

Wednesday July 8, 2009
Teakerne Arm. It's been raining for 2 days. Today it's maybe 50 degrees and a slight wind is building from the south west I'm thinking. We got here yesterday and basically hunkered down. It rained HARD - so no enjoying a walk to Cassel Lake yesterday. We are going to baby sit the boat until the tide begins to rise since were spitting distance from the shore w/ a stern tie since it drops to over 100 feet just a few more yards out into the water. It is getting to look like fiords here. When we got here via Savory Island - said good bye to Steve and Gavin, of SV Silas Crosby, then said Hello to Harvey of Pangaea - the 50 foot aluminum boat our mast maker built about 10 years ago. We circled his boat and he told us his home port was his boat. He's a gooie duck diver only working couple of months of the year and making big bucks. Before we left to head north he asked why we were wearing rain gear - he was in a woolen sweater. It was POURING! We remembered on the way north that Cortes Bay on Cortes Island had internet - so we stopped in but it wasn't great. But I got rid of a bit of garbage, Callie got a good walk, and we found a much protected bay you could anchor in. We stopped at the Government dock and it was only 17$ for the night. BUT my goal was Cassel Lake above the falls at Teakerne. So off we went. In this arm are many fish farms and a huge log boom. There was a ferry along one shore BUT we have no idea why it's there. Very strange. We're on East Redonda Island.

We made a pot of turkey chili using our pot holders and keeping the stove on its gimbals. We had a nice south east wind BUT we motored to make chili. With this all being so new, that is, living on MOM, we thought better of doing too many things at once. Sailing would've taken us getting in full foul weather gear and standing out in a pelting rain. I'd rather watch chili simmer, wouldn't you?

Today after anchoring for the night in Teakearn, we'll walk up to the lake later as I said, when the tide turns and begins to come up. Then stay the night. Tomorrow we head for the Octopus Islands. Now we get where the tides and currents can really get crazy. So to get to the Octopus Islands we have to go through the Hole In the Wall. We have to leave here about 7 am. That'll be hard since we've been sleeping in LATE til' after 8 the other day! Even Puppy has been sleeping late! Then we spend the day and nite @ Octopus and we'll have to leave at 6 am to get through the Hole again north through the Yuclata or the Uks, as the locals call them, rapids to Big Bay. We will probably hang out at Big Bay until we can go through Dent Rapids. Dent look a bit intimidating because they are full of little islands. Sometimes the currents can run up to 12 knots through these 2 consecutive rapids. It takes due diligence and patience to transverse this part of the Desolation Sound area safely. After Big Bay, I guess we're out of Desolation Sound. We then hope to see one of Carl's HAM buddies named Pat @ Lagoon Cove. It's about 60 miles from here as the crow [or the raven in these parts] flies but probably closer to 150 or more miles by boat. We will get a chance, perhaps, to see Johnstone Strait which can really be viscous in winds. We understand you wait in Forward Harbor til' the wind is favorable, and then you go about 5 miles out and peak into the Straits. If no good, go back to Forward and wait. You have about 16 miles of Johnstone before you can get another passage away from it. We'll go up through Chatham Channel and around to Lagoon if all goes well. & that's about it - probably best be starting south after that - that is if we want to mess about like visiting Comox maybe, and Evan in Nanaimo. We still need to pick up our zincs from him. Maybe we'll even get a wee piece of metal scrap we need to mount our Self Steering remote control gizmo. We had a bunch of scrap we left on Lopez Island. We couldn't think of what we needed it for. Better we'd left it in the truck - but didn't. I said even though we'd given it to Mitch Helm, the Nautical Relocation Engineer guy of the IMC yard, we could probably get back what we need. Whew it's all too much sometimes, this boat building thing.

OK welp, do some chores and boat improvements & the tide will turn & we can get on w/ our hike to the lake.

Thursday July 9, 2009
Left Teakerne Arm @ 7 AM to catch the tides right to go thru' Hole in the Wall to the Octopus Islands. The first thing I saw when I looked out the window @ 6 am, a seal bobbing around and lots of beautiful little blue fish right at the surface. We still haven't seen any porpoise or whales. Lots of different birds and lovely sounds in the morning. I think we may have seen an otter from the cliff above the falls @ Teakearne but not sure - it's a long way down from the cliffs! We did get our swim after all. There were SO MANY people when we got up to the lake yesterday - YUCK! We barely had a place and the small dinghy dock since some idiot had parked a power boat there. So we went the other way on the lake up and up to the cliffs above & laid about in the damp moss. Callie loved that! When we got back down to the dinghy dock our little raft was the only one left. So I said - "I'm goin' swimming!" Carl stood there and said he'd better check on MOM. So I said, "Well pick me up in an hour." So he goes, oh well and climbed back up the steep hill over to the lake. We get there and there are 2 little kids! So I said to the kids "Well, we came back after we saw NO BOATS @ the dinghy dock so I'm going skinny dipping!" They just kinda stared and I ripped off my clothes & sister took brother & said, "DIVE!" and dunked his head under the water. I dove into the most luscious water I've ever been in! Carl soon followed, as did Callie.

OK, so I didn't feel gypped.

Today while we started underway towards out of the arm, I hit a HUGE log. I was so busy looking for crab pots - my greatest fear of having to dive under and rip rope away from our prop! BUT after it went along the whole bottom and scared the hell outta us, we continued un hurt. Great to have the protected skeg!!! Wow, I just looked out the window [we're under way] and we've come to this huge crossroads of Sutil, Calm, Deer passages! OHMYGAWD, gotta go!

Octopus! WOW, that is a cool place and we hiked over Quadra to the other side - Small Islet on Discovery Channel from Waiatt Bay. On the way up Calm Channel to come over here from Teakearne, we went thru' Hole In The Wall. In there was Florence Cove on Murielle Island. WOW another totally neat place! I'm not sure if you could stay there because of the currents that go thru' Hole In the Wall - BUT it was a wonderful place to stop and hang out while the currents calmed from 9 knots, to 1. Fresh water and just lovely back in there. We sailed a bit too up Calm because we were just too early and current too big.

Saturday July 11, 2009
Callie's on shore and won't come back. She's now by the stern tie so she knows if that moves, she'd better get back on. JUST now a bald eagle almost landed on her. I ran out the door and yelled at the eagle - "That doggie ain't food!" Callie didn't even notice the eagle! She's just laying there knowing the cheese is starting to come out for breakfast. I've gone back to shore via dinghy TWICE to get her and she ignores me.

OK, OK, we've been on a BIG excursion yesterday. We started @ 6 AM to go thru' Hole in the Wall back to Calm Channel to go north to Big Bay. In the middle of Hole in the Wall Florence Creek is beautiful BUT I was worried we couldn't camp there. Or I should say, anchor. BUT when we went thru' someone was there. Boy, there's a LOT of debris in that cove, thu'. BIG logs. and eagles!

So on thru' Hole & up thru' Yuculta Rapids. No worries - perfect slack! So we pulled into Big Bay to a dock. We came up just right BUT shouldn't get there because the current was pushing us away. BIG bull kelp lay at the bottom and floated up. Seals LOVE bull kelp & as we left Big Bay north to Dent Rapids [perfect slack again - but we waited 5 hours in Big Bay], we saw a LOT of seals in the bay. OK, Big Bay. In the books it said it was a bustling community. NOW it's been all bought up by billionaires and all that's left is a Community Dock that used to be the government dock for a buck as foot. Oh, a store which basically just has beer. It was a bit sad. So you can walk a trail to Eagle Lake which we did not do. We got a great internet connection from across the bay @ Sonora Island. There was a GIANT condo lookin' thing all along the shore over there. So we did business and checked in w/ people. WOW you could skype it was SO fast! Anyway – can't drop garbage there - not even cans from beer. I didn't check on water. OK, back to the billionaires. I was told that one guy came in there and bought a marina. It had 100 slips & he tore them all out - all the docks, pilings and then made it totally private. Then south from the store is Big Bay properties which said, NO TRESPASSING. I had this overwhelming reality check of how the big bucks will take over and the rest of us will only be slaves to them. We will get more and more squeezed into a smaller part of the world as they put up signs and port guards. That's what someone on Lopez Island does - is a guard for one of those bastards at the lower end of the island! I was scared when I realized that! Good thing we're doing the boat thing and have 75% of the world covered by water I feel so sorry for the people of the land like our friends in Sandy. The world will continue to get smaller.

OK, back to continuing on from Big Bay. We went thru' Dent Rapids - great @ slack on the ebb. Then on to Shoal Bay. Great anchoring. We tried to get to the government dock [.50$ a foot] but all these stink pots [motor boats were crammed on there and they won't let you raft. PLUS you can't really get over them. We asked someone but they didn't want a dog walking over their swim platform. So we anchored, rowed ashore after a nap [we'd took off for the tides @ 6 am the last 2 days] and found there was recycling & a pub. We didn't go in but should have. By the time we'd walked the only path, it was too late to go back to the boat, get money, and row back. I felt so bad because they had a community garden and some guy named Mark who owns the pub. Herb of Chiquita 2 another stink pot at the dock, said he'd been helping build their water system. I really felt bad because we'd walked up the only trail and Callie jumped into their little water reservoir. I didn't know it was their water until I got a little closer and saw the filter. Now Callie had it all muddy. GOD, no signs. There should have been a least a sign from the bottom of the trail that said - DRINKING WATER. When we were w/ Jacques long ago traveling around here, we had to pooh on the land somewhere if there were no facilities. BUT we read that the water is chancy anywhere up here. That it comes from springs and is never treated. We've got the hose now for gathering water when it rains. When it rained for 2 days we probably could've filled our tanks. However, we weren't out that long nor water used yet.

OK, left Shoal because we wanted to get thru' Green Point rapids. Really beautiful, but once again, at slack, no worries. We saw some amazing mountain peaks. We saw some logging operations on the sides of these fiords. I really got sad seeing all the clear cutting. BACK to Waiatte bay and our walk over to Small Islet on the Discovery Passage, you could see all these HUGE stumps. While it was a beautiful forest, you could tell it was all new growth. Oh lamentations of what it must've been like when Vancouver first saw it.

OK, we got to Beaver Islet up the Loughborough [sp] arm. It's ok, but it's been windy. It had a low fog tis' morning but it's burning off. Today we have Whirlpool rapids @ slack @ 1 PM. Ah, got to sleep in and only did so til' 6:30. Then Callie wanted to go to shore by 7. Ah well. We hope to get to Port Neville and our first bit of Johnstone Strait – but don't know. It may have 30 knot winds.

Sunday July 12, 2009
Going up Havanah Channel after a brief but irritating section of Johnstone Strait. We held up on the Government Dock in Port Neville last night just pummeled by 20 knots of wind. There were gale warnings on Johnstone just a half mile out from us. Even thou the dock was free and our first one since Lopez Island, it is true what they say - nothings free. It smashed us so hard against the dock all the fenders are flat. The current was so strong that also was a huge factor. BUT it was interesting being there and there we were for almost 24 hours. We took off at 8 AM because the winds were beginning to build again out the Straits. But we got to Port Harvey and inside again by 10 am. Port Harvey is said to have facilities like a store, bakery, and restaurant. BUT we didn't go in. We'd like to get up to Lagoon Cove and see a HAM friend Carl's only heard on the radio. Then we may go around Gilford Island and touch the Broughtons before heading south again. I'd like to actually take advantage of these rotten north westerlies and fly south along the Johnstone. That's where the whales are. I saw Dall Porpoise tis' morning. The first one came right along side and blew at me - scared me to death! I saw the pretty white patches on their sides. We've seen seals on rocks and an eagle perched on top of a land marker.

Yesterday in Port Neville, we met Lorna who's the post mistress. Her grandfather homesteaded over a hundred years ago. We got to look around the Store which served as post office, home etc. until 1960. The post office is now at Lorna's just a few yards away. It was great walking around there and it had a wonderful white sandy beach. We met some nice folks at the dock - SV C U Later of Maple Bay have been married for 54 years and I saw them hold hands as they walked up the dock to have tea w/ Lorna. Very low key place - nice to be there.

Now this is my kind of Monday morning July 13, 2009
11 AM JUST leaving Lagoon Cove. Slept in, went for a dog walk to Lookout point, found out new anchorages to go in our shorter time now from Pat n' Bob, Carl's radio buddies who live here at Lagoon Cove and run the docks for Bill n' Jean. Bill is trying to sell it, however.

OK, we went out of Johnstone yesterday much to our relief. It was really picking up wind wise, wave wise. Did see some Dall Porpoise. We went thru' Chatham Channel to get around Minstrel Is. To get to Lagoon BUT we could've gone thru' the Blowhole - just didn't want to chance it. Chatham you have channel markers because it is VERY narrow and shallow. At the end of Lagoon Cover you could get to Point Harvey by trail, w/ as Bill said, "a chainsaw". But it's just thru' a saddle in the island [East Cracroft Island]. Lagoon had a happy hour where everyone was to bring a snack tray and Bill provided Prawns. Then Bill told stories & jokes. It was so FUNNY! We hiked out the Blowhole trail. That was rough - but worth it. OK, we found out what you do w/ garbage. BURN everything you can, including plastic that can't be recycled. Chop everything organic small, like citrus, and throw it overboard. So we went up to the burn barrel last night. We had a very small bag of garbage - but great to get it gone. I've saved the beer bottles and cans to take to the liquor store when we get back to civilization. You get a dime a can, or more for wine and bigger bottles. You can get $$ in the grocery store for juice bottles and pop cans.

LAGOON COVE: Has a head, & shower. Bait and candy bars - no store really. Good water!!! Fuel. Moorage, which we did last night or we wouldn't get to go to Happy Hour, was .75/ foot. It's a bit exhausting in marinas - so many people, etc. BUT it's easier to take the dog to shore FOR SURE!

Our first HUMPBACKS! We're in Tribune Channel off of Trafford Point and Carl was inside as one HUGE one, as big as the boat came up for a breath right along side. We saw a baby a couple of times, and a big one again off to starboard. We quickly raised the sails because we'd heard they like that, but we think they went chasing salmon up Thompson Sound. Neat!

Tuesday July 14, 2009 Wahkana Bay
It's a high cloudy day w/ a misting. We've got an ebb tide and we're so far north that means it's going out of the Queen Charlotte Sound into the Pacific. We're just off Tribune Channel We think we might go to Braughton Island maybe Sir Edmond Bay. We don't know. It's a bit frantic now that tomorrow we're thinking we'd best start heading south. Sigh. When we got up into this cove to walk puppy, there was bear sign. It's beautiful stream over dark sculptured rocks. BUT I was really kinda scared. It's a very eerie feeling up there in those woods. In the guide book it says it has a trail to a lake. However, it's very overgrown. You can start ok, but it quickly peters out. Bear sign right away off the rocks. There's a lot of biting no see ums.

Wednesday July 15, 2009
We took off yesterday @ 3:30 from Cyprus Bay on Broughton Island. Not that we wanted to. It had a nice shore for Puppy, and we had a nice walk up an old logging road, but we were inundated with horse flies. We had to get out of there. Plus every afternoon it has blown so hard that I knew it'd be good to get out of that protected anchorage and sail. So off we went up the Kingcome Inlet. Oh it was great sailing. I said to Carl we hadn't just sailed for fun without regard for where we might end up. We ended up in Moore Bay. It's a beautiful wide open bay with tons of little coves. We picked one right over next to the inlet between the mainland and Gregory Island in 40 - 50 feet w/ good mud holding. We took the dinghy over to Shawl Bay for a little look around.

Today we thought we'd get some boat projects done. So just as we started and the tide went down here came a swarm of horseflies. So we packed up ready to set out for places unknown. I had to take puppy to shore one more time and as I got there there were NO HORSE flies! So I went back to MOM and left puppy on shore & said, Let's close all the hatches and door & get to work. We did & we weren't too bothered again until we were working outside putting insulation into all the hatch combings. I swatted flies and Carl glued neoprene. After a while they finally went away and we took a nice bath. We put down the ladder & I went for a few dives and a sea swim. It was wonderful since we'd been pretty hot all cooped up in the house all day working. Puppy whiled away the hours on shore. I finally took her some water but she had no interest in going back to the boat. She was so happy just lying on some grass under an old stump near the ocean.

Yesterday as we left Wahkana Bay up Tribune Channel, we saw lots of Harbor Porpoise jumping in the air and performing all sorts of tricks. As we drew near they came right up to the boat. We finally realized they were playing off our bow! Carl and I took turns standing on the bow watching them glide back and forth right under MOM's nose. It was SO COOL! They were having so much fun! They would sometimes turn and look at us from just under the surface. They looked so smart and very playful. They'd go off & catch up to their buddies after a while then another group would fall in under MOM's bow. You'd see them shoot from the left or right and fly under the boat. It was such a treat!

Tomorrow we said we'd begin heading south as the 15th came. SO it's here and sadly we talk of getting back. So I think we'll go to Echo Bay for a museum. and maybe go to Bootleg Bay for our anchorage. One thing's for sure, I'd like to go to Village Island to visit the remains of the natives who once plied these waters. and perhaps, as the North West winds have blown pretty much all summer, we can sail down Johnstone Straight south.

Hey - we sailed out of Kingcome Inlet! We got up to 12 knots of wind on the starboard beam! So we sailed into and out of Kingcome! Good practice. BUT once we came around by Bradley Point our wind was shielded by Gregory Island. I think that island wanted Callie back for the day.

Yesterday we did some insulation on the hatches until we both ran out of glue and neoprene. We ground down the fridge hatch a bit more. The stainless was catching at the bottom as we lifted it.

Today I think we're heading towards Echo Bay. There are 2 marinas and it doesn't sound like a good place to stay the night since it's so busy. However, I'd like to check for Inlet and maybe walk over to Billy's museum. He's from this area.

Thursday July 16, 2009
WOW - whew what a day. We got to Echo bay and found a dock to dinghy to shore for Callie. Then we got talking to someone, found out about a museum thru' the woods over the stream. Before we knew it when we got back to the boat it was 3 PM! We went over to the fancy marina and found a store with FRESH stuff! Not to mention the bay has high speed internet!!! Then SV Joshua, a replica of Sloucum's boat [the first guy to solo around the world] came in and invited us to Happy Hour at a funky looking dock across from the fancy one. We got to eat fresh halibut, prawns, salmon as well as some other lovely things. Callie had to do her thing so we had to go. It was neat because the guy who ran the museum, Billy Proctor, came to the party as well. So we heard stories about this place. Like the bay here was full of trees last winter from a landslide up Tribune Channel. Billy get the wood and sells it. I guess if the wood falls into the sea from a natural occurring landslide, it's free for the taking. If you can boom it up and drag it somewhere, it's yours. This guys' like 70 years old. Then I heard some guys telling the story of a wolf that had Billy's dog Goldie cornered in his porch and he had to shoot it. Billy told us there's been a grizzly bear roaming around. Now we're on Gilford Island. We were on the other side of this island in Wahkana Bay. I took Callie over to that cool stream but felt very VERY uneasy. There was bear sign but old. Now Billy tells me I probably had good reason to feel that way!

We got on the subject of Loch Ness and sea serpents. Billy said he's seen one off of White Point. Then we all got into this discussion about them. Billy said that Loch Ness's nessie is a huge eel. Anyway - it was an interesting conversation about fishing and such. & how it is to live in this part of the world 365 days of the year. He said he has always been within 10 miles of here all his life. He was born in Port Neville "in a shack with a midwife". His dad drown when he was 8. His dad was the postman and on the way back from Port Hardy - well, he just never came back. Billy has a great museum he calls his junk. He's got so many interesting things he's found in old cabin sites and on the beach. He's never had anything stolen except by a Jehovah Witness. He said this gal had asked to buy this old Watch Tower from 1942 and Billy said no. & when she left he looked & she had lifted it! All the stuff is just out there. and while he kinda hangs around when you're in the museum, he doesn't really watch ya. In fact, he had a whole flock of people in there when we were leaving after going down to look at his boat and he was sitting out on his porch. Ah well. So anyway, it was great he showed up for the pot luck later.

Note: Lacy Falls, or The Falls as Billy calls it, was not running. It's too dry.

Friday July 18, 2009 and Today – Saturday
We're at Village Island today. We left Echo Bay around 5 pm. We had a great time @ Echo w/ Billy Proctor, Bill on Joshua, George and Louise on Surf Scoter [yes, spelled weird], & Pete and Doreen of Pete's Packet. It was hard to leave since it was Happy Hour again and we'd made friends. Earlier that day, Phillip [Captain] on Aurora Explorer, a 90' freight carrier, had come into Echo and turned completely around. Now that bay is small. It was amazing. We knew they were going over to Billy's so we hopped in the ding' and walked thru' the forest & over the stream again to see them in Shoal Bay [where Billy's is next bay south on Gilford Island]. Phillip docked the Aurora on Billy's dock but she went way out away. He anchored it by putting down the vehicle flap in the front and planting it on the rocks. So we hung out - all the activity and Phillip came up the dock & asked if we were the ones w/ the Brent boat. Turns out he'd had Evan pull together a hull over 20 years ago. Phillip is French Canadian, I assume, and he didn't remember Evan's name but called him, "Not Brent, but the hee'pee". We laughed because Evan's not what we'd call a Hippie! I asked how far he'd got. He said that Evan did the hull and then he had these guys doing the detail & they had messed it all up. He said he should have learned to weld and done it himself or better yet, had Evan do it. So no lead, insulation - and he bagged it. I thought how great it was we had persevered but it wasn't easy. I told him the only way you finish one of these is just that, perseverance and being totally nuts.

Billy has a new neighbor he's leased a bit of land to. Her name is Nikki and she is a naturalist & takes people out on nature tours. She's building her own cabin. We went over to see it and she didn't notice us w/ the generator going & her polishing [sanding] her logs inside. The cabin has a great view. She'll be able to watch everything from there including whales! Anyway, she has a couple of blue healer puppies that Callie just loved meeting. However, by the time she got back to her cabin and working, both pups were sound asleep, right beneath the generator and we didn't even wake them!

OK, that's about it in Echo - now for Village Island. We got here about 7 pm. We went to this old broken down dock and climbed up the hill. When we got inside this dark forest we found bear sign and an old huge building. As we went on we came to a trail with thimble berries growth over your head. You could barely see the trail. I was really not too thrilled about going down a path, who knows where, surrounded in over the head brush. BUT we saw back in many little houses totally overgrown. Many fruit trees. We came to a place you could go down to the beach. So we went along and came to another trail up. That's where we found the totem pole in the book. BUT now it's totally mossed over and looks like the sea wolf & I think it's a bear will be gone to the elements soon.

This small token of the native civilization and today were off to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island further north. There is a native museum and several totems poles. I'd really like to see a photograph of Village Islands inhabitants and what the Village looked like when it was inhabited.

OK, now its evening and we're in Alert Bay, Cormorant Island, @ the edge of the Queen Charlotte Sound. This place is full of totem poles. It looks like it was a great port at one time - has a very fancy boardwalk. But now there are lots of empty buildings w/ the windows broken. Sad. BUT we were able to get to the grocery store and pick up lots of produce! Hoo Ray! & to Passin' Thyme, the yummy restaurant. We walked down by the Native Cemetery. No trespassing BUT it's still pretty cool to see all the totems from the road.

We sailed a bit today. Just after we left Knight Inlet and headed out into the Queen Charlotte Sound. It was great. But then we ended up beating against some current so down the sails came again. We're whooped pretty well today. When we were waiting for a favorable tide from Village Island, I said, "Let's take the dinghy all around the island." Well we had this nice protected area to start after we left the remains of the Native Village - I can't believe how overgrown it is!!! OK, nice protected area, then the tide changed and we were going up stream. THEN we finally get to the end of that and now we have horrendous winds & current making huge waves. I was VERY glad to get back to our big boat. I asked Carl when I have big ideas like that, squelch them please! BUT we did circumnavigate Village Island. We saw nothing more than rocks and trees just like every where else. Oh, a couple of eagles - just like everywhere else!

I think we may pop around on our bikes here tomnorrow. It's a pretty neat place. OK, nite nite

Sunday July 19, 2009
Alert Bay back to Port Neville - sailed most of the way down Johnstone Strait! WHEW! It was a down wind run so you had to stay on top of it. Hugo the wind vane could do so much, but then the following sea got BAD. It really started throwing us around towards the end there. But it was another good experience. It was blowing around 20 knots from time to time. We just unfurled the head sail. Thank GOD! Because that was hard enough. and we ended up on the outside of the dock @ Neville again. So beat to death again. We tried to pull into the inside opposite [or the west side] but there was nothing but planks sticking out from under the dock that would hit your boat. You'd have to have some big ass fenders to not have problems. So we just resigned ourselves to the outside again.

Alert Bay was awesome. Not only did they have a garbage dumpster at the top of the municipal dock, but the liqueur store was right there as well. Restaurant with yummy stuff made from scratch, the market, even a RONA! The place was lousy with totem poles which was what I was after to see. The palisades, or walk way along the shore were old world. That is you could see this bit of Britain in the walks. There were fountains, park benches that looked out to sea, and picnic tables and grass here and there. The buildings, once you got to them, were like the old west with false fronts. They were built right onto the road. So that got a bit torturous since we'd not seen a car in a few weeks and weren't used to looking for them.

Tis' morning Carl ended up working on the internet. Great connection there. So I got to walk around a bit more. Ran into the crew of the Katie J. We'd seen them @ Echo Bay a couple of days prior. It was funny because I'd said they had a good name for their boat - their daughters. So I'm in the Visitors Centre and the lady of the Katie G comes in & says, "I'm looking for a Kate." Then I think it's one of Hugh Glasses relatives. I was very confused. So with all that straightened out we walked back to the boat.

Municipal Dock: be sure to park INSIDE of it because when the cruise ships go by it HAMMERS your boat on the outside. Literally 5 - 7 foot waves came in JUST AS We'd tied up Saturday night. It was awful! We stayed the night not finding any info. On paying, etc. BUT we heard the marina charged just for parking a dinghy! Not that we could drive into it's tight quarters anyway. We went outside looked in and said, forget it. BUT there were still a fishing fleet - which we thought good.

Tomorrow - well, who knows. BUT we are heading back. We want to see Evan and perhaps our friends in Sidney before getting back to Lopez. So here we go.

Another wonderful Monday July 20, 2009
Sailed almost all the way from Port Neville to Kanish Bay into Small Inlet on Quadra Island. We had a blast going down wind in up to 20 knots leaving the Johnstone Straits into Discovery Channel. When we came into the inlet, there were several boats. BUT they're all leaving. Perhaps so close to Campbell River now people taking day trips. OR it really does shallow up so much you can't get out! Tomorrow we hope to hike up to Newton Lake. We've both taken a bath and Carl's laying down now. I got the clothes that need washing soaking. Not quite ready for that chore as yet. WOW it was cold coming down from Neville. You could see up towards Alert Bay it was all fogged in. Yesterday it was totally clear when we left there. So good timing there. We were commenting that sometimes you have to WAIT for good weather to go on, BUT yesterday I wanted to ride my bike around Alert Bay, or The Bay as the locals call it, but we had to move on. Today I'm glad we did. So it was very cold until we turned onto Discovery today. The trees just luminated warmth.

Earlier, I hailed the John P. Tully, a Coast Guard ship to see if they could pick up our AIS. We had a nice talk. He said we registered just fine and that we'd spelled MOM right. He said we came in as a yacht. We both laughed at that for this is a Brent Swain steel rig - we don't usually think of as a yacht.

37 miles today under sail for 34 of it!

Wednesday July 22, 2009
On our way from Comox to Lasqueti Island under sail! We came from Small Inlet on Quadra Island yesterday. It was a horrendous night that night. The winds came up, we drug anchor, once we finally got the anchor up, it had a big rock stuck in it. It was just nasty! What looked so peaceful from our walk from Waitie Bay [Octopus Islands] a week or so before, was really a hell hole! We were going to walk up to a lake, but the next day all we wanted to do was get outta there. So out to the Johnstone Straight again where it was REAAALLY blowing, we set the foresail and sailed, all the way out of Johnstone, into Discovery & into Seymour Narrows sometimes @ 13 knots of speed! But Seymour was too much rapids So we had to drop the sail and start the motor. Once again I was glad Carl has so much river running experience! So we went on past Campbell River [looks pretty industrial] and a fast little motor boat came speeding up & hailed a big hello from Alert Bay! It was the guy with the boat service center! Then we finally left Campbell River where we were met with a huge river of current flowing into the Straits of Georgia and way into the south. It was so swirlie in there that once it spun us all the way around 360 degrees. Carl was not amused and I was laughing! It wasn't bad wind [we had full sails up] so it really was just funny. One time it looked like we were sailing south but the GPS showed up sweeping sideways EAST! So Carl got serious and started the motor just to get us out of the pull of that river. We gave up the sailing and just pointed south to Comox.

It's a LONG long way back into Comox Harbor. Plus there's the Comox Bar that is shallow so you have to follow these buoys in. It took quite a while to get there. We did find the Brent Boat Anchorage and met w/ Hayden, who just launched his boat 2 weeks ago! It's all foam and not much else, but it's a start. So we celebrated! He's still staying on land til' he gets a couple more things installed. So he left us almost midnight! I left a bottle of champagne and congrats again on his bed tis' morning.

So here we are now approaching Lasqueti and Hugo has the helm. We hadn't been able to really set it w/ down winds and rough seas. But he's doing well. I've got to get back out to look around, but I don't have to hold the tiller! I think we're shooting for Jedidiah Island and its excellent hiking trails - but who knows. We are really just enjoying sailing and getting to know MOM.

Before we started building MOM we took a local ferry out here to Laasqueti. It's full of those serve yourself, honesty pay booths with everything from fresh veggies to cookies! Cookies that were warm! We had a blast riding our bikes around. Carl recalled that there was a Cadillac that just drove by us a million times. I think all the cars are UN registered and every once in a while you see a burned out car just left on the side to the road. I guess they just drive either until they run out of gas or quit! OK, getting close, so better go out.

Thursday July 23, 2009
Ohmygawd, I cannot believe how fast time is going! OK, we're at Jedidiah Island, Deep Bay. It said it was protected from northwesterlies, but we're rocking around a bit more than I'd hoped. Today we're going to hike up to the homestead and take a look around. We may or may not move to another anchorage - but not sailing off too far. Yesterday we sailed most of the way here in a down wind, following seas. It was wonderful and relaxing until I got on a beam reach & healed the boat over for a bit. Carl was concerned we were off course - BUT it was thrilling for a moment. Hugo, the wind vane did well when I had light enough winds to fuss with it. Even with the big waves it did ok. It was nice to have Hugo take the helm while Carl napped. We'd stayed up late w/ Hayden the night before - we were both bushed.

Saturday in Nanaimo.
Last night the anchorage was full of loud music and drunks. Welcome back! Yikes - this place is crazy. We left Carolynne and Winston Bushnell in Boho Bay just off of Lasqueti Island under sail! However, once we were in the Straits of Georgia, the wind died and the seas were flat. Since we anchored last night at about 5 pm, we've had horrible winds that have thrown the boat all over. It makes for a miserable dinghy ride, too. BUT we got over to the liquor store and took back all the beer bottles, & did our laundry. Got some ice cream at the store! Then we knocked around the boat yard @ Stones and met Tyler who is fixing up an old steel boat built by John Hutton.

Today we went into town to return some of the equipment we'd bought before leaving here last time that didn't work out @ the Chandlery. Hit Trollers on the wharf - YUMMY! Then we picked up Evan at the library and he & Carl are now making some bits we needed for the auto pilot and the chain snubber. I hope Evan comes back for lamb dinner tonight - but I think he likes hanging at his house in the evening watering. It's bloody hot!

Saturday night we had the MOST amazing fireworks - first nature did her thing with a freak lightening storm with 2 rainbows over the anchorage. Then later, man did a show to kick off the bathtub races on Sunday. The bathtub race is these little boats shaped like tubs that have outboard motored on them. They used to race all the way to Vancouver, but now they go out to Entrance Island lighthouse, then around it, back to Departure Bay. They have to get out of their boats, run up the hill, and ring some bell. Sunday we got to see the start of the race. It's crazy! Once they get out of Nanaimo, they have a support boat that follows them.

WHEW, finally got OUT of Nanaimo!!! That was tough. We spent Sunday having coffee, met Joe, Barry, and of course Evan. But Storch Sails showed up - Barbara and Garhart. It was a BIG learning curve from there. We took them out to MOM. They measured and fussed. They put ol' MOM down for being a bit on the hillbilly side of things. So we were a little dismayed after we took them back to Nanaimo. The next day, we met them at the boat basin and they took us out to Boat Harbor & their loft. Funny, they were working on a spinnaker for Tony Lyon! Anyhow, we got the full tour of the laser cutting technique, etc etc. It was great - Gerhardt took us through all the kinds of fabrics, pictures of the art work they can do, oh it was overwhelming. But basically he told us [mind you, a racer's perspective] that our boat won't sail unless we do all these crazy things. It was intense. But we listened. I hope we learned. There is no way we would ever get that chance where we live in the winter! Anyway, it was good of them to spend all that time with us. We did learn a LOT. and now we're on our way to Leach/McBride sails in the next couple of days. We hope we can hook up w/ Christopher and LeAnn from Orcas Island, perhaps this coming weekend. We'd LOVE to see our friends Barbara and Gerry in Sidney, BC. LOTS to do - hard to get it all done!

OK, So Monday we'd thought we'd get out of Nanaimo. We got the auto pilot all ready to go out and calibrate w/ the bit of metal Evan had welded up for us. BUT NO! It doesn't work and we're going around in circles just out of Nanaimo trying to dodge ferries, and barges, sailboats, motorboats & HUGE logs. It was crazy then the thing started to shutter and pop off its pin. SO I said - well, let's take it back - we're HERE. So today, we took it back to the Chandary and they were so GREAT. They said they'd give our money back or send it in to get fixed. So we chose FIX. Then we visited w/ Evan for a long time. It was SO HOT! YUCK. Then off we went. We finally got out of there @ 3 PM! SAILED to windward like mad, then once we got around Gabriola, we sailed southbound perfectly w/ a nice downwind! BUT we didn't make it to Politer Pass. BUT we're between Kendrick and Valdes Islands & it BEAUTIFUL. It's just off Gabriala Passage. Puppy and I went right to shore. I'd seen this eagle sitting on a log when we came in. I scared it away [didn't mean to] and found it had been eating a baby seal. Felt so bad to see. I had to pet it - it was SO SOFT. Speckled - really beautiful. Ah well, such as life. Right then a seal was in the bay eating fish and slapping all over the place. Life goes on.

Tomorrow, south some more.

Sunday August 2, 2009
WOW, been a while. We've been underway, I've been under the weather and taken out of commission, & now we're back in the States visiting friends.

OK, once we got out of Nanaimo, we sailed healed over and crazy until we reached the edge of Gabriola Island. As we went around we started sailing down wind - ah, sweet, but slow. and once we passed Silva Bay, our wind all ran out. We anchored between Kendrick and Valdes Islands. Lovely. Then motored in the morning down the Straits of Georgia [and it was STILL bloody hot] into Action Pass & thru' to the Gulf Islands. The water turned from Frazer River green to blue and clear. The best part is it got COOL! We anchored in Sidney, Tsehum Harbor [great holding]. We got together with Rick McBride and he measured our boat. We were quite pleased with his suggestions and comments. We were sad we didn't get to see our friends Gerry and Barbara Hogeson. They did not feel well & the heat was taking it's toll on them. However, on the water in the mouth of the bay, we were COLD! It was wonderful and I quickly recovered from my stomach flu. We rode our bikes up into town and everythings quite accessible there. We also got to see SV Sherpa, Alaska Joe's boat. She's looking great and we wish Joe & his crew a safe journey to Whittier, Alaska come mid August.

From Sidney we motored to Oak Harbor and met up with Byron of SV Go IV It, & Alex of the Origami website. We were able to get a tri-sail from Alex from his many things he has. It was great catching up with those guys and sitting on MOM sharing stories into the night.

We woke to a mirror surface there in Oak Harbor. SV Alagoru was sitting on her keels up close to shore. Byron came over for a quick hi and breakfast & we were off to America. WHEW, what a day. The Juan de Fuca straits were rotten and rough. PLUS, once we got to Cattle Pass, we got thick fog. So it was another new experience for us - rolling beam seas, in fog. As we entered San Juan channel going north, it was flowing 6 - 7 knots. We had huge lateral waves on the sides. All these boats were screaming out of the pass against the current, in the fog, towards us. It was terrifying.

We got to Customs @ Friday Harbor, checked in, then went on to Fisherman Bay to check when we haul out [Aug. 14th]. Then over to Orcas for LeAnn's birthday party. It was a HUGE, full day. By the time we had a burger at the party, the pain of being thrown around on the Juan de Fuca was beginning to set in. I could hardly get up. We had a lovely sleep and are beginning to recuperate. We're going to take LeAnn, her mom and Aunt, & Christopher out on MOM today. It's a beautiful, cool day - so ought to be nice.

Wednesday August 5, 2009
Hunter Bay, off of Lopez Island - overcast and lovely! There's a BIG beach for Callie & it was very calm all nite here. UNLIKE Eastsound! Eastsound, althou' we had all you need right there in the little town, was a HUGE wind tunnel. It was NASTY! Good holding in MUD, Thank God - but nasty wind that has a long long fetch so the waves were big. It made it quite the feat to get into the dinghy as it was thrown all about the minute you thought you or the dog might step in it. SIGH, the quote, "The only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude", Bob Bitchin. We stayed 3 nights. BUT we got to sail with Chris and LeAnn on Sunday, Saw Le' for her birthday Saturday night. Monday we worked on MOM [finally drilled the holes in the thermostat for Suzi, our engine and a couple of other things. So when we motored from Eastsound to Lopez Sound, we had no alarms go off! It was a wonderful thing!

So we came up into Mud Bay and saw 2 junk rigged steel boats. BUT it was way too shallow in Mud for anchoring, so we came north over to Hunter Bay. Here we have a calm bay, not too much fetch. So as we came into it, a great wind started to blow yesterday afternoon. We ended up sailing for a couple of hours in and around all the boats anchored here. We only got one stinky look - and I told Carl, We probably better go a stern, not on there bow. PLUS the wind JUST died as we got to this guys' bow - so I didn't blame him! BUT it was SO FUN! Most everyone waved or just watched. It was like in Sidney Harbor all the little kids were sailing around in their little dinghies. So we came up to where we wanted to anchor, dropped sail, dropped the hook, and here we be! Let's see if we can sail off the anchor - might be a bit trickier since were right here on a sandy beach near rocks.

Today we may take our bikes to the public dock and go riding. BUT that's a LOT of effort - so who knows. BUT I don't think we're going anywhere, anchor wise, until tomorrow. Then we need to make our way around Lopez and on up to Fisherman Bay for Friday, my sister, nephew, his wife and four kids are coming out to the boat. It'll be an adventure!

Saturday evening, Stuart Island, Prevost Bay. Ahhhhhhhhhh.August 8
It's so peaceful here. Just the skimming of seals over the mirror calm water is all that causes ripples. Carl's making dinner and a mess at the same time. Oh well, worth it! We've had quite a busy time. My sister from Palmer , Alaska, and her son & wife & 4 kids came on board yesterday. We had a wonderful time. The sailing was perfect. I think all had a great time.

When we got to the truck last Saturday, our truck was just fine. When we got to it this last Thursday, the back window was all shattered. So it goes. We got some big cardboard, and duck taped it to hell, & hope we make it back to Dutch and Vacation Village in SLC.

Hunter Bay on the west side of Lopez was another wonderful hang out. We stayed 2 days then came around to Fisherman Bay. Last nite after we got the window dealt with, and truck parked, I said, Let's go across the bay to Canoe Island, Indian Cove on Shaw Island. So it was getting dark, sunset, and we cruised on off the docks @ IMC & onto the cove. This morning there, it was a hub of activity. As it turned out, it was the start of a BIG paddle race. Ironically, there was to be a sailing vessel race from Friday around Shaw Island as well. SO we watched all the paddle powered stuff go out [oh some were paddle powered, too. Then we went over to Friday Harbor to see about 100 sail boats begin their round Shaw race!

We had a wonderful sail thru' the havoc, then onto Stuart Island. It's SO lovely. I think we're staying for a few days. Not sure. But no reason to really move on til' our next sail bid Thursday the 13th from North Sails.

I hope we get to see an orca before we're gone.

Sunday and rain
Haven't had rain since Savory Island! It is wonderful for it is SO dry here. We had a calm night. No wind. The water is like glass. We're anchored over by the county dock west of the usual state park buoys. Last night we watched a junk rigged steel pilot house come in. We went and talked w/ Dave & Kathy on SV Further. She is 33' and 25 years old. She is frame & designed by an Englishman of who Dave couldn't remember as he is a wood boat guy usually. This is his first steel boat and he's not quite used to having dust bunnies in the bilge instead of water!

Puppy and I had some walks tis' morning but pretty much Carl's thinking about the outside panel of instruments we need, and other assorted boat projects for the coming year & also cooking a big ol' corned beef. One of the last dinner's I saw my dad enjoy was a corned beef Carl had made in St. George. Dad had not been eating like he used to for about 2 years. Man, did he ever go for that corned beef! I miss dad. I wish I could just call him up. I've got his hat here from Stuart Island's treasure chest. Dad wore it all the time. It's still got the sweat of his brow. I cannot wash it away. Don't want to - I have his same oily skin.

Tuesday August 11, 2009
Westcott Bay near Roache San Juan Island [good holding looks like mud, small gravel beach for Callie]. We walked out to the lighthouse today. The museum was worth seeing. Bought a couple of magnets. It was a beautiful walk with everything so fresh from the rain. It really rained hard last night. Today we got a wee sprinkle at dinner time. We couldn't believe all the people walking out to the lighthouse today. LOTS - I guess everyone had cabin fever after being cooped up for a couple of days with the rain. Yesterday we read a whole book in one sitting "Kite Runner" about Afghanistan. Very very sad. Glad to be in the San Juans and I hope we never get to that point. So savage. Could we get to that point?

Today we sailed - it was so great. I love sailing - it's so relaxing. We tacked back n' forth along Haro Strait. When we were out at the lighthouse, there were lots of huge freighters going by. Not one did we see as we crossed back and forth along the shipping lanes tis' afternoon. Really good.

So we go on tomorrow to Lopez Island again to wrap it up. I began to cry tis' evening - but figured it would only ruin this wonderful evening feeling sad. Carl said, "You're just going back to take care of a bit more business. It'll be all over soon." I can hardly believe how fast it's all coming up. Selling the rest of everything. It'll happen and we'll be free. I LOVE living aboard MOM & will have it no other way soon. Endless river trip - oh yeah.

Back at Lopez when we got to our truck last week, the back window was broken. Not that anyone had deliberately done it, we just figure Ron did when he's on his mad mow job Sundays. It was fine Saturday, we came back Thursday from wonderful Hunter Bay, and it was busted. So we put cardboard in it. Now not one drop of rain has fallen since Savory Island so very long ago - and it's rained like a bugger since we have a cardboard window. Sigh. WOW, Savory Island - before Desolation Sound!

When we wrap it up in a couple of days, we will have been on the water for 7 weeks - 49 days. and I just can't get enough. The only time I was ready to pack it in was when I was still feeling ill @ Eastsound in that wind tunnel. It was horrible there. I had been so sick when we left Nanaimo - SO SICK. So in Eastsound Carl got me some Pepto Bismal and that did the trick. I haven't felt one bit quezey after that. Thank God - that's horrible to feel that way. and every terrible smell, like stink pots what we call these power boats - GOD, I'd damn near die. and in Eastsound those guys were dragging anchor & had to start the engine to pull away from us before they plowed into us! That's when I really started to feel ill again. Pink stuff, don't leave port without it!

Sea Shephard