We spent the Christmas/New Years holidays at the boat so that is the beginning of the 2010 updates.
As for what we accomplished, here is a small list of things:
Got the new sails checked for fit;
Installed additional handrails inside;
Made & installed some fiddles so the cushions don't fall out when healed;
Put 2 more wraps of fiberglass insulation on the exhaust pipe;
Installed the second computer display for the cockpit;
Filled all the acorn nuts with set screws;
Got the Raymarine/NMEA interface wired up & working;
So I guess that we start with the sails.
We had decided to have North Sails make us a suit of custom sails. Had the boat measured in August, the sails arrived in September, and got them up to the boat & test fitted the end of December. Kate went all the way up the mast and installed the head block for the gennaker halyard! While she was up at the top she took some great pictures of Sherpa, who is sitting next to us in the boat yard, as well as MOM.
There were some problems, but nothing that couldn't be fixed quite easily on the main and the gennaker. Looks like the genoa will have to be remade as it was 6" too short on the luff. That took a little bit of convincing, but the president of North Sails gave it the go-ahead so we are getting another genoa that will fit our boat very nice.
As for the additional handrails,
I had the measurements with me in Utah and did a little cutting & welding to make some very custom ones for the the stove guard and above the port quarterberth. Another little handhold/fiddle was made for the galley counter that is aft of the stove. After this round of handrails we have a better idea on where some additional ones need to go. So with some measurements & patterns I'll be making them soon.
Fiddles for the cushions.
Made some nice fiddles from some baseboard stock that I found in Home Depot. These should hold in the dinette cushions as well as the "couch" and the little seat opposite the head. Kate finished them with Watco oil so they give a touch of wood grain to the boat (if anyone notices those things).
Fiberglass tape insulation on the exhaust pipe.
Last summer we still had a little too much heat coming off the dry exhaust pipe. I found a local supplier in Utah that stocked some 1/8" X 3" wide fiberglass tape at a much better price than the "marine" stuff. So we got 200' of that and installed the additional wraps on the pipe. Topped it off with some aluminum foil tape to keep it all contained and help keep some of the radient heat inside the pipe. This was perhaps the worst job of the trip as there isn't much room around the pipe and working with any kind of fiberglass is nasty. It took 100' just to make one wrap on the pipe! I did a 2/3 overlap so each "wrap" makes for an additional 3/8" thickness of the insulation.
Second computer monitor for the cockpit.
Last summer we decided that we needed to be able to see the computer screen from the cockpit. My decision was to use a VGA splitter and drive a second monitor that could be seen while in the cockpit. I was very lucky in getting another 15" matching waterproof, daylight readable monitor from Argonaut as they had discontinued production last spring. Anyway after much debate about where to mount it (it could be out in the cockpit, or could be just inside on a RAM mount to swivel around, or it could be mounted in one of the aft windows). In the end we choose to mount it against the aft port window on the inside. This made cabling easier.
Filling the acorn nuts with set screws.
I was concerned about dirt getting into the acorn nuts and was looking for a way to block them off. In looking at options, I found a deal on some 1/2" nylon set screws. I ran the bottom tap into each acorn nut (MOM has 114 of them) then installed a set screw with a little bit of oil on it. Now all these little holes look a bit more finished and will not collect much dirt either.
Raymarine/NMEA interface wired & working.
We wanted to be able to see the wind data as well as the depth sounder reading on the computer screen. This took getting a special interface box that translates from the Raymarine SeaTalk network to the standard NMEA 0183 data format. It really is nice to be able to see this information next to your chart on the computer screen. I also reinstalled the repaired AIS unit & checked it out to verify that it works properly (it did).
After losing the GPS when the AIS failed last year & relying on the Garmin handheld, we wanted to have some additional backup capability. We now have 2 additional spare GPS units that plug into the computer USB port. They are waterproof and have a magnetic base so they are perfect for MOM and only cost about $25 each.
So that is about all for now. We plan on getting back to the boat in March.
Here is the log of our journey around Vancouver Island in 2010:
It's Wednesday, June 9, 2010, we've been here since Saturday. It was SO beautiful coming across Oregon, Washington. We could see Rainer from Pendleton, Oregon! Adams & Rainer looked like to could reach out & touch um' from Yakima! We had a great ride over to Lopez Island on the ferry.
Joe Earsley had his boat, "SV Sherpa" in the water. He did come by around 10 PM that night to say he was leaving fro Alaska in the morning. SO we trundled down in the morning & saw him off. It was raining all day Sunday. BUT we got our sails on & got further along towards our launch date of Thursday the 10th.
We have done several nice things for living here in MOM.
1. Reefing pad eyes so the line doesn't hang down all over when you lower the Main sail
2. Coat hooks by both sides of the door. I'd been looking for these hooks that fold down when not in use.
3. life lines mid way up the handrails
4. more insulation on the hatches
5. Documentation is complete - names' on the back transom, documentation number is affixed to the bulkhead.
6. fiddle under stove installed
7. lots & lots of line whipped & prepped with heat shrink: more sheets, halyards, the jack lines, etc etc.
We still hope to put on the reflective tape on the sides of the boat, weld the pad eye for the furler, run the piping for the manual bilge pump, install a plastic cover for the drive shaft, as well as find some space for us to live on this rig. It's all a total chaotic mess right now. But as in any river trip we ever took, it takes a couple of days & all things find a place to live & things get put away.
So we've sent our first email to our family through our PACTOR modem over the HAM radio waves tis' morning. Hopefully we'll be able to stay in good contact this year.
June 12, 2010
Left Lopez about 1, 2? I dunno. The tide went out so far that Ron was freaking out. Not a real good time to leave, but we did. Beautiful day. We started to put up sails BUT the wind just dropped. So we motored all this way to Montague Bay. It's very peaceful in here. Some very unusual tri marands that have been home built are moored here, one is huge & looks like a submarine.
Glad to have landed because between the countries, where my dog & us had gone back n' forth so many times for so many years, I let fly the rest of her ashes, & I haven't really stopped crying since. It's almost it all started over again, her dying, leaving me alone. Then to make matters worse we come up into the Gulf Islands where we've played for so many years. I just bawled. Makes me not really want to be here. Too many memories - all good but make me so sad now without her. I hope I can get past this. Feels so terrible.
A little swallow played over our boat, flapping, then swooping. Made me wonder if that was the spirit of my little baby dog. I asked her to come back as a dolphin, but none were to be seen. We did see some seals. We'd call them "guys", as in our little code to Callie that there was a dog. There were bunches of Guys right at the mouth of Bedwell Harbor. We heard the salmon are runnin'. Perhaps they were feeding?
& checking in was no biggie again. It threw them for a loop that we'd documented MOM. I had to give our State registration as well. Funny, UTAH! But no big deal & we were off again. It was mellow at that dock for a change. It's usually SO crowded. BUT maybe the season hasn't really gotten going? Don't know.
June 13, 2010
Nanaimo! Got to spend the afternoon w/ Evan - our favorite guy! We petted his kitty in the back yard of his house - then drove the pipe bender over to our MOM. He came in & we gave him all sorts of treats. It was a wonderful afternoon!
We started in Montague in 3 feet of water. We thought we'd have a bit more, but oh no! So we had to get it together very fast & high tail it outta there! Here we'd thought we could just lolly gag. BUT we did sleep until 8 am. Very unusual for us. SO we're here in Mark Bay off of the Nanaimo anchorage where we've been every summer for so many now - since Twisted. So it goes. & as we got all tucked into our same place way up in the bay near the beach where no one else can go because they draw too much water, I sat out seeing my dog wander along the shore she loved SO much, occasionally looking out at me on board. She's the angel girl now. I cried a tear or two & just willed it so that I think of the enjoyment I had when I had her. & as Carl & my mom always say, "she would not be happy if you cry". That is so true. She would get so up set. SO Callie, Sa'Boo, Baby Girl, & so many other names I called her, I'll try not to cry so much.
So… Our trip today started in a little spit of rain. Cloudy - but soon the clouds all went away. IF we had not started so early we would not have got Ol' Dodds Narrows goin' the right way @ 7.5 knots. In fact, some guy in his motor boat said stopped & warned us that it was "really honkin'" I replied, "We're river runners & he said, "Thatta Girl"! It was SWIRLY! & wow, this port was bustling BAD! Lots of freighters!
June 14, 2010
Mark Bay still…
We just sat tis' morning & did nothing until about 11:30. I guess I can't really say that since we spent a ton of time & energy trying to get an old lock off the dinghy motor so we could use it. Finally, on with the inverter, & out w/ the grinder, & off that old CHINA lock. Bye bye. So we put the motor on & off we went. We stopped first at Western Grace, a 55' steel sailboat in the anchorage. John was in his dinghy & Carl wanted to ask him something. "Were you guys off shore just a month ago?" Yes, we came back from Hilo in just 15 days!" So blab blab - Carl heard him on the Off Shore net. Then John gave us some good advice. He said, "When you're out there, be a mariner, not just a boater." He told us about times he'd been cut off from motor boats from the starboard side under sail - HIS double right of way & they just wave. He said it's no use to get upset - just smile & wave - be a role model. Also, the big freighters, they'll never talk to you on the radio. IF you see them, you have to avoid them. They'll run you right over & not think twice. He said when he came back this year there were a few boats going along the same direction & some never made it. Never heard from again. Also, 2 boats off San Francisco - he said, same thing, probably freighters. Also that a Brent Boat "Roan" was going along w/ them this way. He'd been knocked down & was pretty much riding on his side the whole way. There'd been some bad storms of 75 knot winds. Anyway, when Bill made radio contact w/ John, they set up a radio schedule to check in. Well, they went along like that, no problem then one day, John couldn't get him. Tried & tried, & no Roan. So John called in the Calvary - Alaska Coast Guard, Canadian. Finally, Alaska got him on the radio. Bill said he'd been so exhausted he fell asleep for a few days! So off the Coasties went not to rescue! When Bill got back to Canada, he sold Roan right away. Said he'd never go to sea again. This did not boad well for me. I've already not been too keen on the idea of going "off shore". Oh I'd LOVE to go to places - but maybe by plane? I said to Carl maybe this is why we think about our original plan of just goin' up here for half a year, the other half in Utah for the skiin'… John continued that Mexico was wonderful. You can put your boat on the hard at LaPasis [?] for the summer & come back here. So who knows - just a world of things to do & so little time to do it all.
So we continued down the bay & caught up to "TAZ", Evan's junk rig. She was out at Newcastle getting bottom paint. So we got some pictures & saw Dee, her present owner. Dee will be heading north as well. Might be fun to see her out on the water! Dee is going with her boyfriend who has his own boat. No one could agree on what boat to take, so they're taking both! She added that Sountula had a coop store. Good stuff - better than Shearwater - which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us right now. She added that Rupert has a Safeway. But she doesn't like Rupert.
OK, so we came back to the boat, got a salad made, took a nap, and then it was 3:40 just like that. We started to make the dinghy davits. We got the pipe bender from Evan yesterday so we could go ahead and start. We have been bending pipe & now Carl is grinding & stuff on aluminum sleeves he'll put in the davits to make them stronger. Like he always says, over built. We've got to get over to the showers on Newcastle Island tonight. We're both pretty ripe. We haven't had a bath since Lopez Island which seems like a long time ago now.
Other things we've done to the boat - got the autopilot going. While it won't calibrate & go a course, Hugo 2 [Dad named it] will go a straight line. So that's been WAY nice. It's nice not to hold the tiller all the time. You have to be on watch - but I cannot believe the difference to not hold the tiller as well. "Hugo" is our WIND VANE, which will hold a course under sail. & as I mentioned, my dad named it. Maybe not Hugo, but U-go. I didn't ask him how to spell it. Now it's too late - just like my regrets of not taking a movie of my dog. Too late, regret.
Long ago someone told me live life to have no regret. [Barbara @ Lake Illiamna Lodge in 1976] I'm not sure how you can do that. Perhaps I just think too much.
OK, well it's high tide now, 7 PM. Carl's out there welding aluminum - hard to make work in the wind. It's not too windy but what do you want on the back of a boat? I guess I'll get out the brie & we'll have that on celery for dinner. Another day just slipped away - amazing. Evan kept trying to pin us down on how long we'd be here - but that's tough to do. I want to get tons of stuff done to the boat - & maybe it would've been better to just stay in America to do stuff. BUT we needed the pipe bender we bought & then gave to Evan. SO here we are. It's ok here in Mark Bay. I cried last night missing my baby girl. I see her shadows in the woods near us. Eagles fly by, seals swim by & I try to think they are here to keep me company. It is so lonely without her. I never knew how much she was a part of me - well, maybe I did. I did know one of the hardest things I ever would endure was losing her. & on to of that, my dad. I do love & appreciate my Carl. Makes me appreciate him even more BUT also fear that moment, he or I that we part. Death, life, all in a days' work, eh?
June 17, 2010
Set our first crab trap in the Straights of Georgia!
& as Ekard Tolle says,:
"Life is an adventure, it ain't a packaged tour".
June 19, 2010
Jeddidiah Island: between Long & Deep Bays.
Welp, we escaped Nanaimo again! It was a great sail although I was VERY scared after last years' sail out of there. But as we went on the wind got less n' less. We got out in the Straights a bit & set the big genaker. THEN we found we got a hole from the very first day June 11th on our sail trails. Oh well, it's our training sail for these BIG sails. Just before we did the final order, it was supposed to be 1.5 gage nylon. I said we'd better make it at least 3. Good thing we did. So we laid it out on our deck & had to pull ALL the sock off then get to the hole. We got it & patched it. Won't be pretty, but oh well. So it goes. White patch on our black part.
We still have not seen any mammals of the dolphin kind. We've seen a couple of seals. Seems like since we came 5 years ago this sea was much much more alive. Sigh - I hope I ain't right on that.
So under sail today she preformed great. We're both exhausted. We hope for south easterly winds to take us into Comox. We'd like to see Steve & Barbara of SV Silas Crosby. They'll be taking off for a few years come September! They're going to the Atlantic via the west coast. Steve was talking about going to the Falklands! He was so helpful last year when we met up with him on Savory Island. Told us how to deal with our sails so not too much power. Nice to have SOMEONE who's had a Brent Boat for a few years & uses it. We could pick his brain forever & a day I bet!
Ok, welp, time to crawl into the big ol' quilt.
June 21, 2010
We've been goin' like crazy trying to make up for lost time in Nanaimo. Right now we've been goin' for about 12 hours. We left Comox early with the tide. Then when we got to Cambell River, we had the ebb that runs north to the sea. SO off we went some more. Now maybe we'll get some mellow sailing in - haha, on Johnstone Straight - not likely. BUT when we came into Johnstone it was like glass. I saw my first dolphin. Can't believe how fewer wildlife there is from the first time we came up north 5 years ago. Just seems like the earth rapidly depleting of all its natural resources. In fact, this place is just clear cut after log camp after clear cut. & we suppose all the raw logs are just going out to sea, where a Chinese factory ship just cuts it all into lumber & comes right back here to sell it. Pretty sad. Meanwhile all the garbage goes into the ocean somewhere.
So it goes - BUT on a better note - its' been beautiful traveling today. We had dinner with Steve & Barbara & family last night in Comox. That was fun. Great to see Silas Crosby, the sail boat. Steve taking off this September for a few years to sail where ever. He says down the west coast to the Atlantic.
SO our port tonight is Neville. However, it's late so probably won't stay at the dock. Who knows? It seems the early run on tourists so far. Mostly work boats out since we've been going. We've seen bunches of fishing boats - WORK. & some fisherman. BUT not a lot of just cruisers like us.
SO I'd better switch this back to the chart for Carl. Oh, we've just come up Seymour Narrows, Discovery Channel, and now Johnstone. Last year we came up all the inside channels. Miss my dog - think about all the trip with her last summer. But, she would not like this going & going , no stopping. That would be so hard on her. SO good timing not to have a doggie anymore - but oh I miss her. She was sure fun.
June 22, 2010
Pearse Islands in the Cormorant Island Marine park. We're just around the corner from Alert Bay. We're way deep into a crevasse between 2 islands. It's really amazing. It's VERY deep. So it took all of our chain. The guide book said that you may get some current thru' here thou'. I hope it ain't like that time along Barnes & Clark on Rosario. That was scary! So we're officially off of the Johnstone Straights & into the Cormorant Channel. We started in Port Neville - really far up that port. It was nice & mellow. It's been heavy overcast today - a spit of rain. We did a bit more on the davits. The eye hooks are in to hold the lifting blocks. We didn't have ebb until noon so we had some time. But as usual - that slipped away. We sailed most of the day wing n' wing. We then lost our wind so we thought we'd just get the big genaker up. We did & got a great light wind JUST as a cruise ship came down Blackney passage. So we tried to avoid it by tacking BUT lost our wind. THEN to get the sail snuffed & then lower it caught on the furler. So while we're trying to get it down, Carl left the rope clutch off & the whole thing went in the sea while we grabbed what we could. We couldn't believe how fast it came down! So it's now up drying. Learning about this stuff.
So tomorrow we're planning on going to a town - Alert, or Sontula or both. I don't know. We know Alert - so may just go do that. We heard the Port Hardy was not as good as those other towns. So we'll see how it all goes. We need to download our email, too. So Carl's making burger with his amazing bbq sauce & broccoli. Tough life -
June 25, 2010
Alert Bay. We've been at the Pearse Islands, Cormorant Islands Marine Park for a couple of days while we worked on the boat SOME MORE! We did the davits SOME MORE, finally the thermostat - that is, we drilled the holes for the cap that would keep more heat in the engine. So when we came over to Alert Bay it ran at 180 degrees! It had bigger holes & "Suzy" only ran at 150 - 170 [170 when we ran it for 14 hours the other day thru' Seymour Narrows. So at least we've FINALLY done that & Suzy's running the right temp. BUT I finally got my Fish finder BUT it knocked out the Ship's depth sounder… BAD BAD BAD! Then things got worse when our crab pot & prawn trap were EMPTY! But we got to Alert Bay & got our shopping done, got garbage gone, then dinner at the Passin' Thyme YUM! Then we met with SV Muse & Bob & Angie. We ended up drinking wine until midnight, got up & have sat in their cockpit drinking coffee. So right now we're putting together a pot luck breakfast! So it's fun! Like Dr. Steve said of Silas Crosby, take your time - we've got some! So whatever, it's great to talk to these guys & hang here at the dock. We stayed the night here at the community dock & it's been great! Roily, but great. So as for what the day will bring - who knows. I wanted to ride my bike down the flat shoreline street here in Alert Bay LAST time I was here. I regretted NOT doing that last summer - so I should do that! It's NOT raining this moment.. but that could change! So we're provisioned now to go around Cape Scott & on down the West Coast whenever we get to that…
June 27, 2010
Took on 35 gallons of fuel @ the Bear Cove fuel dock [$155]. At Bear cove, free showers! & they were lovely! We came from Alert Bay yesterday [23 miles]. We stopped at Port McNeil to pick up the Waggoner guide book. That was a pretty handy fuel dock BUT there was a huge fuel spill there that no one cared about & it STUNK in the whole harbor. Anyway, back to Alert Bay: We had so much fun it was hard to leave there! We met Lyle of the Brent boat Spirit Bear 1 & his cute Jack Russell terrier, Sweetie. Lyle introduced us to natives & the "residential dock" near the museum. PERFECT! & the water was so good there. Very mellow. However, Eric the harbor master of the Government docks was cool with us & didn't charge us for over night at the community dock near our favorite restaurant, Passn' Thyme, the store, the liquor store, the FREE community showers at the Eco park at the top of the hill. Then we got a hold of Hugh Glass' dad, Bob who is 80. He took us via Mercedes all over that town. WE ended up buying prawns off the dock & making a big salad for dinner. It was SO yummy BBQ shrimp with the skewers. We washed our clothes, took a shower, got to call my mom. He lives in a house 100 years old. He & his wife Jean were school teachers in Van Nuys, CA. Spent their summers in Canada up on those islands. He has several properties [LA, Sointula, Alert Bay & who knows where else!]. So it was nice. We really enjoyed him & I think he had a good time, too. As we said, hated to leave. I wanted to just take him with us!
So we stayed on the dock at the fuel place, Bear Cove for the night since they were closed. & After a wonderful fuel up, shower, we then just drifted out here in the bay making breakfast, etc. Took naps, watched that no one hit us. Now I think we'll take a little tour of the town via boat, then off to the Hurst, Bell, & Heard Island group out in the Queen Charlotte sound. We're just taking a look see. The current is flood & too hard to go against out to Bull Harbor - but it's getting time to get on to there for our spot to jump off for the Cape Scott around the top of the island. However, we've hear that it's not so much Cape Scott, BUT the Nawitti Bar just out of Bull Harbor. Steve, Silas Crosby said just go on down & hug the Tattnall Reef close to Van Isle if the Bar is awful. So we'll see. BUT the thing is to just get out there so you can pick your time. However, we're WAY off on the tides/ currents in Goledas channel. It's flood in the morning - when we need ebb to flow out. The morning pretty much the time to go - less wind & the waves have settled down.
OH! SV Muse Bob & Angie just came up! Had a bit o' a gab. She's got to go back to work tomorrow - Monday YUCK! So she's flying out right now. Bummer! OK, off we go - we've got the motor on, might as well.
June 29, 2010
So... today. I couldn't sleep with the thought of going around the top of Cape Scott. We listened to the weather reports & the new one was at 4 AM. Then we saw the other boat, Ocean Frog, was all set & going as well - so we tagged along. AT first there was wonderful large swells coming in from Japan, or where ever is all the way across the Pacific. They were smooth, & consistent. We sailed! We put up the sails & it rained, then rainbows, then rained harder. By the time we reached Cape Scott, the ocean became MEAN - downright, rotten. I said - "Let's go back". But Carl thought it would get better. Soon we were in such confused seas that the swells had mad waves on top. WORSE, there was no rhyme of reason - just vicious rotten water WAY higher than MOM sometimes. Then I got so sick! I never get sick - but I think the combo of being afraid & then I had to get our foul weather gear in a deep part of the pitching boat. That was all she wrote. Then I was incapacitated - could not help Carl if our life depended on it. WORSE we were near the shore & the waves were crashing so HIGH & hard. Soooooooooo... We're going BACK around Cape Scott & back inside. This ocean stuff is NOT for us. We're pretty sad that we couldn't take it. BUT we crawled into a harbor called Sea Otter Cove... Re group - think about it all. The boat did GREAT! We couldn't have a better craft. It's just us who ain't got the salt in our veins.
OK, well hope all goes well & we're ok - just a bit dismayed. BUT today was a wonderful gift. The ocean gave us a "big ol' can of whoop ass", & we lived to tell the story.
So we decided that not everyone is cut out for this huge sailing thing. We're self-taught, & river runners to boot. I am sad that both of us have had this dream - so romantic, all our lives to cruise the world. I thought perhaps the true freedom would be on an ocean passage. BUT after today, out on the real ocean, we both said - "nah". & We'd like to go to Baja & stuff, BUT I don't even want to go around Cape Flattery now. I can't imagine how uncomfortable, not to mention, death defying, to do any of this is. As we watched sail boats go flying around us today, we realized we just don't have the skill, nor the tenacity to do this thing. So we said, "Geez, we love the mountains & sea INSIDE. We don't have to go do this crap, get scared to death, out of control. Already Johnstone Straight, etc., can scare the livin' BEEP outta ya. So it goes - now to get back. That will be another long, arduous day we are NOT looking forward to. It will be good to get back inside. Throw those crab pots down, do a little fishin'. So it goes - off to bed.
June 30, 2010
We thought we'd waited for favorable wind on Cape Scott. It was 3 foot moderate with a low south west swell, wind 10 kts estimated. My Gads, doesn't the guy at the light house have at least a hand held anemometer to go out on the porch & get the true wind? Carl said, & then added, "too busy with his kookanee! Anyways, we'll fart around here today, re group, & who knows. I think you're very right about us feeling bad if we don't go down the coast. After Cape Scott, the Brooks just seemed too formidable & the escape too far away. Yeah, I believe these boats are incredibly stout. Eventhou' we thought all our off shore plans dashed forever, we are happy with MOM. If nothing else, we could spend the rest of our summers coming up the Inside & never seeing it all.
So let's pray for Northerlies & get goin'!!!
July 1, 2010
We're still in Sea Otter Cove on Canada Day - July 1st! The winds have finally switched to North West instead of south east. When they come from the south, they fight us, make the seas rotten, & I feel rotten. Today the winds have switched & at 4 AM tis' morning I was out on deck screaming HOO RAY! SO we're heading south along the West Coast of Vancouver Island to Winter Harbor where we understand the showers are WONDERFUL!
Browning Harbor 31.75 from Sea Otter Cove
Left there about 9 AM with the low tide. Grabbed our crab pot & only had sea stars. We've been skunked ever since we left Nanaimo. We put just pellets in those pots. Maybe we should give up on these stinky fish I got. No prawns. BUT on a better note - we're here on Quatsino Sound. & there's tons of territory to explore here. We sailed most of the day. It was so nice - 10 - 15 knots of wind & just tooled along about 4 knots. The first thing I saw was whales spouting! & Carl said they were Grey Whales/ Humpbacks! It was so pretty their breath in the morning rays. The sea was quite calm. At the end of the day it wasn't - BUT no biggie since we were running WITH the sea rather than against it. The other HUGE thing was that we were SAILING. When you're under motor power its way horrible because you're not flowing with nature. When we did Cape Scott we motored, & we were against 18 knots of south wind - YUCK! Today, just as rough as the other day at the end - huge swells with wind wave on top, BUT we were sailing with it. But now we're inside a sound & it's quiet. We went way up an inlet we never saw anyone - THEN after we anchored, someone came in & anchored right next to us! Oh well… & just as we got situated, the rain came. BUT no biggie. We're here BUT we need to re anchor because it's too shallow. BUMMER.
July 2, 2010
Welp, we kept going...
We thought better of seeing Cape Scott again. So good that we had a good sail into Quatsino Sound yesterday. We stayed in a quiet cove called Browning Inlet.
So we came into this Winter Harbor & found out we could take showers, laundry, etc. We were having a great time & heading up to walk this cool old boardwalk along the ocean when Carl was bit by a DOG! The people had it on a leash but this pit bull; Heinz 57 thing bit Carl on the leg! So then it turned into a big kafuffle. Carl's ok, but sore. It bit into his knee & tore his pants BUT not too much bleeding. So the gal who owns the dog called her vet [they don't have rabies tags here], found out she needed her shots in September! So now we've got that to worry about But pretty much figure - the dogs' been well taken care of. So we'll take off after we talk to the Great Northern Boaters' Net in a half hour because we know a guy will check in who is a doctor. We'll get his advice. What a crazy thing!
So we patched Carl up & he was ok later to go for a little walk on this cool boardwalk along the shore. This is a really neat place. We'd hoped to go further in today but it looks like we'll stick around here for the night.
There has been this fat otter along the boat all day eating things off the docks. BOY, they are BIG here. Lots of wildlife. Lots of clear cutting. & we saw whales yesterday while we were sailing. VERY COOL. We're going to go way up into this Quatsino Sound before we go down the coast further.
July 3, 2010
Left Winter Harbour & got to Varney Bay on the Marble River.
26.5 miles - under sail mostly! Lovely!
We've recovered somewhat from the dog bite. That was so traumatic. Hope we don't have to ever go through something like that again. Makes me glad I don't have that kind of liability anymore.
So we headed out of Winter among tons of otter. No wonder we had nothing - once again in the crab trap. We had 3 baby halibut, that's it. BUT under sunny skies we got outta there & set sail. We sailed all day up Quatsino sound. We had up to 20 kts of wind - down wind. It was a blast! We did it all, wing n' wing, reach, etc. No BIG genaker. Didn't need it! It was lovely coming up here. So we hit the narrows just right & into Varney Bay, dropped the pot, then anchored. NOW what a wonderful evening it has been. We dinghyed way way up the Marble river. It was full of baby seals & moms, eagles & their eaglets, ouzels, kingfishers - you name it. The river wound around & started to get these huge walls & gouged in caverns. We came to a rapid that went right into a big deep cavern which was full of logs trapped inside! I want to stay here another day & go up there again BUT I want to line the raft around that rapid & go up further! Carl thinks I'm nuts BUT it's just SO cool I wanna go up more & more. The water is crystal clear. Those baby seals & moms were so curious about us. We haven't seen otters so maybe we'll get some crab. Saw about 9 baby mergansers, too. This place is so cool.
Carl wants to go on to Coal Harbour. It's the last whaling station in North America. It closed in 1967. There is a bus that you can catch to go to Port Hardy. I thought that might be fun. Maybe we should take our bikes. BUT before we face the big city [hahaha], I think we should hang here a day. The Coast Guard was predicting gale force winds around the Brooks/ Cape Cook in the next little while. We don't need to go anywhere near the sea right now. In fact, no need for at least a week! I want to go way up Holberg Inlet. The guide book says no one goes. It's too long - 18 miles [36 round trip] no anchorages. BUT it said it is a fiord. It shows mud at the end - so who knows. This place has been pretty much raped for resources. Rupert Inlet, just around the corner is a strip mine. Everywhere you look it's clear cut. Yup, we missed the pristine wilderness by oh, 100 years… That's why this river is so special. Not much sign of man.
July 4, 2010
Varney Bay, cloudy, rain all night. Cool - probably 50 F?
We're staying here today. Not much reason to move about. We want to take the bus to Port Hardy from Coal Harbor - just for the hell of it. BUT figure tomorrow would be better on a Monday. Port Hardy is only 8 miles from Coal Harbor.
While I had some time, I wanted to list the things we have done to improve MOM this year.
Painted Top sides
Name, hailing port, federally documented
Auto Pilot & remote
Pad eye on furler
Spotless Stainless on anchor guard, rails
Fish finder which seems to have destroyed the Depth sounder.
Compass on steering station
Hook for whisk broom aft
Stove gimbals filed
Hatches foamed & painted: still need to fill in some spaces, paint again
Installed another light over table
HF radio and email system installed & working
Reflective tape along shear line
2 hanging small racks: galley & head
Snubber: use only one, & shortened
Mirror in head
Installed new PV system & controller
Folding hooks by companionway
Self tailing winches on mast
In Varney Bay, I freaked out because these eagles were diving at another eagle. The eagle in the water couldn't get up to fly. I yeller, "we've got to do something!" Carl said, "Do you know what those talons would do to our dinghy? It would shred it!" SO I started to cry when Carl said, "Look, it's swimming to shore!" Sure enough, there it went. The other eagles were harassing it - crazy! But it swam & swam & got to shore. We couldn't see around the corner where it landed. So we didn't know if it had a big fish or what. But when we dinghyed over, there was an eagle on shore & it flew off. Crazy!
& we got one big ol' crab today!
July 8, 2010
WOW, the first week of July gone by already… YIKES!
OK, we've had tons of adventures - so time to catch up now that we're in Klaskino Bay further down the West Coast off of Brooks bay. We've got a lovely anchorage behind Anchorage Island. LOTS of rocks around including the Steel Reefs to get into the Inlet… SCARY!
We were in Quatsino Sound for 6 nights. First night, Browning Inlet, 2nd, Winter Harbour, Varney Bay 2 nights, then Coal Harbour, last Hecate Cove with Dave at his private dock & lovely home right on the water looking out of the cove.
Winter Harbour: The dog, Lucky" checked out as NOT having rabies - thank heavens. Carl's dog bite is healing nicely. No crab, in which we deduce it may have something to do with otters. In Varney Bay we got lots of crab - NO OTTERS. None in Winter - LOTS n' LOTS of otters.
Coal Harbour: a store open from Tuesday til' Saturday. The bus leaves to Port Hardy @ 9 & 3. Can dump garbage & get water at the Government Wharf. Not a real good anchorage in the N- W winds. Good holding BUT threw us around a bit. We had talked to people who had a cougar on their porch that morning. As we walked by that evening, I jokingly said, pointing to their cat, "Look, a cougar", & the guy nearly jumped out of his skin THEN told us about their encounter that morning. BOY, that was bad timing on my part! We heard shots & he said, the "CO' [conservation officers] were called & it sounds like they shot the cougar." We met Dave [Hecate Cove/ Quatsino] here & he said they had over 36 cougars spotted in Coal Harbour, "Highest concentration of cougars on the West Coast".
Took off early from there & motored way up Holberg Inlet. Little log camp there & a GREAT pub/ restaurant called the "Scarlet Ibis". We had spinach pie & fish n' chips. VERY good. The dock was all dilapidated & it was interesting tying up there. It was a short, pleasant walk up to the pub. Then the north west winds filled in & we sailed back down Holberg inlet until we got to the narrowest part where we caught up with log boom & tug boat towing it! We lost our wind & it was pretty touch n' go thru' there all squished in.
Then we waited for the flood to subside a bit before going thru' the narrows. We found our pots, one prawn, and lots of crab - all females. Then we just sat - the Holberg inlet was pretty calm - then a North West wind started howling. We found MOM will drift nearly one knot forward laying a hull. So we need to do some more experimenting - perhaps the stay sail to keep it hove to. Joe, Alaska Joe said his boat would NOT heave to with a reefed down main. It keeps trying to "round up". BUT he has a fin keel. It's all an experiment with these boats… That's for SURE.
OK, we left Hecate after showers & laundry @ Dave's & the Fly n' Fish. We rode out on the ebb on glass at first, and then the winds picked up as we got near Koprino Bay. THEN I saw a HUGE whale tail right off the starboard beam! We watched as these whales would blow, and then shoot straight down with tails in the air!!! It was amazing. We were going to stay inside BUT then found the sea with swells, some wind, so we went down to the next inlet down -
It was a nice sail, then the wind died & we motored between the Steel reefs & into a pleasant, CALM bay. The swells were building. I thought 2 meters, BUT Carl said, maybe 5 feet. When we got in we saw otters. So it will be interesting to see if we get any crab. Then a huge school of herring came in. It formed like a black cloud under our boat & thru' the inlet. AMAZING> SO, we've now got up to date. We had Dave's boysenberries on pancakes tis' morning. It is totally calm. & I think we'll put the motor on the dinghy & go on up the inlet exploring. We may come back, pull anchor & go on down to Klaskish Inlet next. & at some point, make our way around the Brooks Peninsula into Columbia Cove [we understand to be the first good anchorage after the Cook Cape. The Brooks looks amazing. VERY rugged, high mountains on it. & Soliandra Island at the end looks daunting. I never thought I'd see the weather, "settled", but we may have a bit of that now. Its 40 miles around the Brooks. I'd welcome calm. YES, we'd love to sail, but after Cape Scott - we're into CALM SEAS!
July 8, 2010 Klashkish Inlet
LATER in the evening…
Welp, calm seas - NOT. We left about 5 to Klaskish Inlet - all the way back into the end of it. You have to go thru' some real narrow narrows. Pretty neat. Then the only other boat is steel - maybe a Folks 39? Named Tango. We saw another ketch rigged sailboat come out of the inlet about 6 PM. We couldn't believe they would want to fight the seas we were just coming in off of. It was horrible once again. This time, south wind. Then the swells were north westerly & it was flood. So between that all it was HUGE waves VERY close together with wind chop on top. NASTY! We awe struck as we watched a wave totally whip us sideways on the beam, then watch the back of it SCREAMING towards shore. The back sides were really terrifying because they were HUGE! It was another "experience".
Now were anchored & right in front in a tree is an eagle just sitting there watching the fish go by. A couple of little otters swam by. The wind is dying down. We're SO happy to be way in here so calm, no waves. Looks like it'll be another peaceful evening. BUT we looked at the calendar & realized we'd best be getting on down the island. I can't believe how the time is slipping away. Never seems to amaze me how that happens. At least next year there will be no time limits - except by the winter.
July 10, 2010
WOW! We did it! & under sail! Up to 7.50 knots some times! We've pulled into Columbia Cove at the south end of the Brooks Peninsula. It is the first place you can ditch in from the ocean in the Nasparti Inlet in the Checleset Bay. We left Klaskish Basin @ about 5:30 AM. Absolutely dead calm. We went out to the sea & saw it mellow. So off we went. Before long we put up the sails & with only 10 knots of wind, didn't do too well. Then out towards Solander Island the wind built to 20! WOW WEE did we ever go! The swells were pretty big but once we turned south around the outside of Cape Cook, we were riding the swells easy. We saw albatross! Puffins! It was great! I was a little shaky & scared - but Carl did fine. After we rounded the whole peninsula, the wind was behind us at 17 - 23 knots & we FLEW 7.50 knots! That's' amazing for us. Made us think of the T-shirt we saw from some sail boat race in Seattle that said, "Never have so many been so scared going so slow." BUT that was fast for us. We had reefed the main early - thank God, & also the foresail.
SO here we are in a blowie cove - but we've got to rest after almost 9 solid hours totally ON. So we're having lamb & pork n' beans. THEN we're going to BED! The sun is shining - unlike the other side of the Brooks where it was rainy - which is more to my liking. I don't like this sun - it's too much. Probably about 70 degrees! YUCK! Give me 55 - 60 - oh yeah!
Another treat back @ Klashkish Inlet was HAM operator & West Coast expert, Rolly VE0TI of MV Tropic Isle came by for a visit. We had an impromptu dinner of his huge salmon fillet, squash & potatoes. It was SO good & so fun to meet him.
July 12, 2010
Kyuquot Sound Ho!
Sailed from OuOukinish Inlet, skipped the Bunsby's, & went right on up to the sea & sailed down 24 miles, so far, into Kyuquot Sound. As we entered the Sound, whales greeted us by slapping their huge tails right towards us!
We stayed last night up OuOukinish Inlet just at the mouth of the Power River. We tucked way up in & still, we were blown around. Salmon were really jumping all over the place. No crab in the pot, thou', WELL, we had a little rock crab & a bottom fish.
SO the cool thing is that we sailed almost all the way here, then ANCHORED without turning the motor on! We are so excited. We've only done that one other time @ Hunter Bay, Lopez Island. We're here at Rugged Point because we've heard you MUST take the walk out to the ocean & so forth. So we're finally making some breakfast - we had rice before we really got underway @ 6 tis' morning - it's now almost 1 PM. Carl's cooking stew because it's SO COLD! Then I bet we take a nap before heading out on the walk. We did not want to get up today BUT knew we must for nature in this wild West Coast does NOT wait for sleepy heads. IF you want to make tracks, you Must get up early because about right now the HUGE winds come us, & it REALLY get's nasty. As it was, we had 20 - 24 knot winds & up to 8 knots boat speed [just for a second]. We had to reef in the head sail BIG time.
July 12, 2010
WOW what a day! We left Ououkinish Inlet about 6 am. We were gonna go thru' the Bunsby's just to check it out - BUT naw. I said, "Let's head to sea & get sailing!" So we did & it was awesome - althou' 2 meter seas. What a difference experience does to a person. So we got to Rugged Point. Anchored off of sailing, no motor! Dinghyied in & hiked the trails out to the beach. It was SO wonderful. Then we sailed on up to Petroglyph Cove. NO ONE HERE & totally protected. Dropped a crab pot, had showers [sun shower] & a nice dinner, tapioca pudding with Dave's black berries, & bed bed bed! Tomorrow we'll poke around Fair Harbour, maybe stay in Dixie Cove. Then on to Ezparanza Inlet which will be nearly 30 miles of sea time - OUCH. Those swells & wind waves really knock you around. BUT we're really getting the sailing dialed in.
A letter to a fellow boater about what to do on the West Coast:
We've heard that so many people RUSH around the Brooks Peninsula & don't spend much time north. & we found ourselves pretty much alone in that part of the world. Don't miss the hike out to Roller Bay at Bull Harbour. NICE walk, & wildlife. Sail WAY off away from Cape Scott. We stayed too close to land & it was horrible.
Sea Otter cove has a mushy walk out to Lawry Bay on the north west corner of the bay. Wear you gum boots @ make a LOT of noise. Bear sign everywhere.
Now, Quatsino. We spent a week there. WONDERFUL! Winter Harbour had showers: use the one on the right & you can both shower. It goes a little cold, BUT it comes back. Wash/ dry 4$. Can get rid of garbage, bottles, etc. ALSO: had a boardwalk that was fun. ALSO we heard there was a hike out back of town to some old growth. Just ask the Wharfinger Bob, or Micky, his helper. Micky said there's a tree almost 30 feet around. We sailed all the way up to the Quatsino Narrows. It was a great day. WHALES! Varney Bay - YOU MUST! Take your dinghy up the Marble River at high tide. Coal Harbour: you can take a bus to Port Hardy from the store @ 9 & 3. We have an antenna & got internet at anchor there. It was interesting walking around. The whale jaw bone is up by the fire station. HUGE. They've had a lot of cougars IN TOWN. One was shot the day we were there since it had been on someone's porch after their cat that morning! NOW the best part: Holberg Inlet & the Scarlet Ibis Pub. Don't be afraid of the float/ dock. Just be creative. The Pub - WOW, I had Spinach Pie, Carl fish n' chips. The food is amazing! It's all made from scratch. Then we sailed almost all the way back down the inlet! We stayed with someone we met in Coal Harbour at Hecate Cove. Pretty calm & quiet.
Once around the Brooks, people. If you can, DON'T stay at Columbia cove. Lots of People. Althou' we hear there's a good beach walk. & it blew like stink in there. Rotten. The Busnby's are busy. We stayed way up the Ououkinish on the Power river. Windy, but we were alone. There's a huge eagle nest at the top of the inlet.
Kyuquot Sound now. We're in Petroglyph Cove with NO ONE & it's sweet. Rugged Point was SO COOL! Get ready to walk n' walk there. We heard you can keep going if willing to ford rivers. OK, that's it so far.
July 13, 2010
Dixie Cove in Kyuquot Sound.
We've gone nearly 30 miles today just poking around this sound. We went as far as Fair Harbour [YIKES] & Easy Inlet. We took a walk at Easy BUT it was nerve wracking because of all the bear sign. We'd hoped to get to a lake - but it was not to be.
We started in Petroglyph Cove. We found NO petros. More bear sign & I got nervous.
Then we took off, tried to sail but the wind died. Motored into Fair Harbour. Tried to dock BUT were turned away. It looked crazy there with trucks running up n' down a dirt road, then motor boats launching. It was a blessing when a guy turned us away from the dock. So we went out - tried to sail BUT wind died so we put up the genaker. We were doing so good when we looked ahead & saw a rock in the middle of the channel coming up quick. SO dropped that. Carl called it MAGNET rock! So we continued to Easy Inlet & Carl was not into it - but talked him into going for a walk. Of course', that entails anchoring [& it was DEEP in there] then deploy dinghy, then row to shore. Not just hopping out of a truck. First thing fresh bearshit. VERY scary. But we walked, over 2 creeks & gave it up, back to the boat.
Then we came to Dixie Cove. It's so sheltered. Way way WAY up into a back basin. & NO ONE is here! Except the eagles, otters, kingfisher & company. I found a beautiful feather. We had the last of the lamb & squash dinner. Now I think we'll stay tomorrow. Not sure BUT we figured out - we haven't just stayed anywhere except Alert Bay. When we've stayed 2 nights it was Sea Otter & Bull Harbour because we were scared to go on & were waiting for weather. So in the 2 months we have to play, it might be nice to just chill.
July 15, 2010
Esparanza Inlet: Zeballos today from Dixie Cove. Crab! 2 rock crab. We actually had several - all small or female. No prawn. We met Ann n' Mark aboard SV Blue Rodeo yesterday. Had a lovely time & a G n' T. They're going to go to Mexico for the winter in their 50 foot boat. Then they hope to go across the South Pacific.
We came into the sea in about 10 knots of wind. All it did was die down on the way here today. But the seas weren't too bad. It looked like fog & we got the RADAR goin' - but it all burned off & we had another huge sunny day.
Catala Island in the Rolling Roadstead was beautiful as we went by & into Ezparanza Inlet. As we turned up to Zeballos, we got the genaker out & sailed for about 20 minutes with it. For all of the hassle in getting that sail set up, it sure doesn't seem to go very long. BUT the fore sail on the furler we've really been using with these northwesterly, behind us winds.
In Zeballos, we walked around, got our bikes out & took a long ride down to the river & beyond on a nature trail. It was really beautiful there with high cliffs all around. It was an interesting town. In the 1964 Anchorage, Alaska tsunami, it hit there & threw a bunch of building way up higher on shore! We had another nice down wind sail when we left.
After a long day in Zeballos @ the Government Wharf, we sailed to McBride Bay. NOTHING good for anchoring except this one place behind an island. & when we got somewhere that wasn't 300 feet deep, there was a cable! & right around the corner, a floating house with blaring lights, and a generator! So much for peace n' quiet.
Tomorrow we may go to Tahsis, then on down to Bodega Bay. We may go up one of the inlets east of there - but who knows. We get to sleep tomorrow & I'll probably be up at the crack of dawn! Today we got goin' at 5 am… so we should sleep quite nicely. Especially after a shower at the Government wharf!
July 17, 2010
Bodega Bay; 5 AM
Beautiful sunshine AGAIN
Today I think we'll go to Friendly Cove & pay the Natives to land, go see the church, but more intriguing is the walk out to the light house. Then I think we may stay at St. Gurutis for the evening & go to sea tomorrow. There are more inlets to see here in Nooka Sound, however, it is actively getting clear cut & it's nasty everywhere you look. We hear that Flores Island further south has some old growth left & is now a protected park. It's getting old seeing this land raped & pillaged. We understand there are NO efforts to re plant, either.
We got a spot at the Government wharf - however, we forgot to tie up INSIDE. We so know better! Later, the winds had changed & it was beating MOM against the dock. HUGE waves were coming into the stern - UGLY!
We took our bikes into town. We passed another marina advertising Mexican Cantina. BUT we've had poor luck on Mexican food in Canada - so we passed. BUT sad for us. Because we went to the store [great produce, by the way] & they had a little greasy spoon. We waited over an hour for not so good food. & NO margarita either. BAD DEAL. But Carl & I played our first game of chess. He said it was all coming back to him - how to play. Of course' he won. BUT it took him a little while.
So we're so glad we stopped at Zeballos because that was a "real" government wharf with a place to put your used oil, garbage, water. & not to mention, the wonderful shower! Tahsis had NOTHING that way. You could probably find that further down at the commercial marina. That was a BUSY place. They had fuel, too.
To Tahsis yesterday, we fought wind all the way down its channel, & then the winds had shifted [thus the beating at the dock] & it was even worse going out! If lunch had not taken so long, we probably would have gotten a good wind out. WE did get Internet!
We figure it's just going to get more and more civilized as far as services and towns go now. Up north it was a little more sparse. BUT we've found you can get what you need, fuel etc everywhere. BUT we did not find produce, good stuff, until Tahsis.
I got up so early today. I think the birds were even louder. Now an eagle is whistling. This is a nice bay up towards the top of Bodega Island, west side. It was tricky coming in from Tahsis Inlet through Princella channel. You had to really watch your chart for rocks. We dropped a crab pot. We'll see what we get as we go south down Kendrick Inlet to Friendly today.
July 17, 2010
Friendly Cove BUT real name: Yuqout meaning 4 winds. "During the day", JoAnn the light station keeper said, "it blows every direction." It was fun talking with her and learning about sea glass. Met her cat, Smoky. She said a bear visits them every fall. They, her husband, have been there for 6 years - "24/7". She does the 3 AM report. They used to be long haul truck drivers for "48 states & 6 provinces." I said, "Do you get tired just staying in one place? Jo Ann said, "No, we love this. & long haul is not good for you." She showed us her beach glass jewelry BUT the cool stuff she brought out in a box. A lots of marbles, lavender & red glass are oldest. & ONE trade bead - called a red something. They are form Russia. I said I understand that the blue beads are from Spain. She said the round ones are BUT the square ones are from Russia.
We met & paid Margarette. The keeper of the Cove & her partner Jim, & her son. She is of the Band who is in charge of up keep. $12 a piece, but she said it was "negotiable". In my poorer days that would have been music to my ears. But no worries. The church was cool BUT more the land was so wonderful. There was so much to see. As we got there someone said, "Whales!" & sure enough, they were breaching right out of the water. Jim said they come right up on that shore to rub the barnacles off. He added that the Orca go to Robison beach to do that. I think that's in Johnstone Straight - not sure. It was an amazing beach. All of the stones were so smooth. Much neater than Roller Bay, I thought.
Margatte spent some time with us in the church telling us a bit about her clan. She said between Kyuquot & Gold river there was some 7000 of her people. JoAnn the light station keeper [not light houses anymore, the lights are separate form the house] said that they figure this place has seen habitation for over 4000 years.
This is the place where the Nooka Agreement was signed between Spain & England in 1792. Basically some white guys ignored the Natives & said it was ok to exploit it as you wish. Bodega Y Quadtra sent Vancouver a gift of cheese & fruit when Van' arrived. Basically saying we've been here a long, long time - we've got cows, fruit trees, etc. Nooka Sound is where Captain Cook re fitted his ship before his last voyage. Of course, Cook never made it back. He was killed in Hawaii. BUT his ship had lots of sea otter pelts which then were sold in China. When the world found out, this place exploded with commerce for the next 20 years.
Tomorrow we rise early & head for Hot Springs Cove. On to Flores Island & some old growth trees I HOPE! Out to sea again for a long long way out. The rocks, Estavan, Perez, go way out to sea & it is very shallow. Where it is shallow, the seas are harsh & sharp. We have found it best to go at least 2 - 5 miles out into the ocean to avoid the roughness of the re verb ration of the land pushing back the waves.
As they say, "Chew"…. Good bye…
July 19, 2010
We're up Sydney Inlet by Hot Springs Cove.
It's finally a nice sunny day after 2 of fog & cold cold. But ok for bathing in hot springs. However, Hot Springs is close to Tofino - a BIG tourist place. Many many boats come there & it was too much for us.
We're happy to be somewhere where theres' no body tonight. We caught some crab & had buffalo steaks & crab, salad tonight. Tomorrow we'll head further south - but don't know where. We're going to see the RCMP in Tofino for one of the tour boats took a shot - or played "chicken" with us. We were just putting out of Hot Springs. My head was down on the deck cleaning out the crab pot, Carl at the helm when one of the big fast tour boats thought they'd come straight at us at 30 knots. At the last second he veered away BUT I could have hit him with my crab pole. So we called the Coast Guard BUT the said we had to contact the Mounties when we get to Tofino. SO it was more hassle than it worth - BUT it scared the hell out of us, not to mention putting all those people at risk on HIS boat. If we'd just turned a bit, he'd hit us. We're steel, them rubber. You do the math - who would've won that match?
So it goes - we're getting into tourista land & we don't like it.
July 21, 2010
Matilda Inlet: Gibson Marine Park. Foggy tis' morning, but sunny last night
We came from Young Bay under sail yesterday & past Ahousat & into Gibson Marine Park. NO ONE HERE! Hooray! It was busy by the store & docks at Ahousat, then past that, no one. We've got the herring jumping, seals catching & I saw a salmon leap into the fray as well. We went over to the "hot spring" & while it's a nice big cement pool, it's NOT warm in any stretch of the imagination. BUT I found a trail behind it & with our gum boots, we'll go explore today. I think we'll put the motor on & explore these coves & inlets', maybe Ahosat too.
From here we're not sure. We may go over to Herbert Inlet & West White Pine Cove, or move into Bedwell Sound, Cypress Bay & Quait Bay. BUT we don't know. We were going to go into Tofino BUT as we read about it with its bad current, shallow waters & absolutely INSANE crowds, we're thinking not. We will probably go into Uclulet BUT we really don't need anything. I may run out of beer, but I can live - maybe. However, Uclulet is the first place to get in off the sea & the entry way for Barkley Sound - our last playground before going around the bottom of Vancouver Island & back to Lopez.
Now, that's going to be an interesting day - going "out" to the Juan de Fuca & on around. Its 40 miles from Cape Beale [south west end of Barkley Sound] to Port Renfrew/ San Juan harbour. 30 more to Sooke, then 10 or so to Beecher Bay. We were thinking it was 60 to Renfrew SO we were a bit relived to find it wasn't that far to the first duck in OFF the sea. We understand we need to leave early BUT the flood into Juan de Fuca doesn't start until after noon come the first few days in August. So we're just planning a bit ahead, thinking about it. It's a biggie.
July 21, 2010 Later…
We took a hike out to the sea from back around the warm springs tub. It was foggy but very pretty. Saw wolf tracks. Now we're over in West White pine Cove. We sailed over here. Very nice. & what was REAL cool was the BEAR! We sat for a full 45 minutes & watched this male eat butter cups.
Now Carl's making Mexican food & I'm just in from the sun shower which was NOT very warm. It was foggy most of the day w/ very weak sun coming through once in a while.
July 23, 2010
Gibson Cove: Herbert Inlet; Clayoqout Sound High fog
We had a beautiful day yesterday. Buttercup the bear came on down to the beach again down in West White Pine Cove - which really isn't named, so we're naming it Buttercup Bay after the bear. We were enjoying what seemed a wilderness when back in the trees a truck went by. So we thought we'd go up to this road for a walk. The brush was so thick; we tried to find some way to get there BUT no way.
That is the thing we've found. We thought that the West Coast would be so much more wilderness. Instead it is covered with roads. Many end in clear cuts or boat ramps. There's a ton of small fishing / trailer boats, and places to re-supply.
Back to Herbert Inlet. It ends at the edge of the Strathcoma Park which has some of the highest mountains on Van Isle. It was beautiful back at Moyeha Bay & there was a little nook you could probably anchor in - but there was already a trailer boat there. A wide river delta fills the end of this bay with high cliffs and mountains all around. Cotter Creek came into the side with an old wooden boat on shore. There was even a high cliff waterfall. Very beautiful & we had a crystal clear day to see it all. Then we came back to Gibson Cove. We have the prawn & crab traps going. Cross your fingers. We've had 11 crab, & 4 prawn. So not real great.
We were talking about great scenery tis' morning and decided that for spectacular mountains & sea, the "inside" was better. That the Straight of Georgia rimmed in the Sunshine Coast & Van Isle was amazing. & going up all the rapids to skirt around Johnstone Straight is gorgeous with mountains. Teakerne Arm near Desolation Sound seems like a fiord. In fact, we had to anchor in 60 0r 70 feet right near the edge, then stern tie pulling the anchor right into the side of the downfall. IT was deep in there.
July 23, 2010
15 miles from Gibson Cove
We hadda wonderful day. I got us up early - don't know why. We started way up this inlet & motored down - no wind to sail. & no crab in the pot BUT we got over 40 prawn!! Some of them were quite large! I BBQd' um' later. So the morning...the fog started to burn off & we went out to these islands way out to sea. First we saw whales! Then on we went to our own little island called Blunden. It has a wonderful sandy beach & trails out to the sea side. Our guide said NOT to stay over night - so I hope we don't regret that we are. We want to get a sea jump tomorrow to go down to Uclulet - 30 miles of open sea. So instead of being way up in the inlets, we're out here. Bill McCloud will meet us in Uclulet tommorow! We're so excited to meet him - & give him a big kiss for calling you!
July 25, 2010
Spring Cove: Uclulet SUNSHINE!
We went from Blunden Island yesterday with no wind, motoring to Uclulet. It was rough - but here we are. No fig so we were able to see the mountains along the coast. Very beautiful. We met VE7SWM, Bill McCloud & his brother who drove out from Port Albernie. It was so great to meet them. We sat on board, and then went to dinner at the Pub. HALABUT! YUM!
We got water, garbage chucked, beer bottles turned in & supplies gotten, we went out to Spring Cove out just a bit from Uclulet. It was TOO busy in that town for us. So we're just laying low for a bit. Perhaps take a dinghy jaunt then take off for Pipe stem Inlet to begin our Barkley Sound adventures.
Blunden Island was WONDERFUL. On the way there we saw whales around the Whaler Islands. Blunden has trails leading over to the sea side. It was too foggy to see much. The anchorage was a bit windy & rough at times - but doable. A fish boat came in late at night & joined us. No crab.
BUT we did get over 40 prawn in Herbert Inlet at the mouth of Gibson Cove.
This is an email I sent to VE7KLU, Barbara of the Great Northern Boaters Net.
We have a great wireless connection here in Spring Bay. I wonder if we'll get outta here. It's been at least 3 weeks since we have had internet. Talked to mom last night.
YEAH, it's been very enlightening for us to go around this island. Someone asked us today if it's been any better at sea. Yes, & no. Yes, we've grown more accustom to our boat, the way she behaves, WISH for wind when we've got BIG waves, etc. HOWEVER< when we came from Blunden Island yesterday the 30 odd miles - NO wind, motoring, it was still rough. It beats us up. I was able to sleep a couple of times on the settee amidships & cover my head with a blanket so I did not know INSANE the world was "out there". That was nice. BUT then I'd go up & out to take over the helm for Carl & there he was gripping the tiller with waves towering over MOM. THAT I don't think we'll get used to. We've both agreed we are going to re-evaluate our long range plans [those of selling out & moving on board]. We appreciate the tenacity of those who can go off shore. We don't know how people do it...
For now we're so happy Rollie & Steve [Silas Crosby] talked us into continuing. Yes, we are glad we did. It is beautiful out here. We're on the lip of Barkley Sound with so much to see & more time to spend. We'll shoot for Lopez August 7th to meet up with Mary Mom & brother, Kirk. We'll put SV MOM on the hard once again the 13th of August. & we will go to Alaska next summer. For now, I'll keep my home in SLC but still try to sell our farm [http://virtual.moab.ut.us] & perhaps get our ski passes again for this winter. That's as far as it goes right now. GADS - we're glad we found out we're not much for seafaring! The INSIDE offers a lifetime of adventures. & we're so happy we have MOM. As you said one day, "I sense a love affair going on with MOM", true true. Her light & airy pilothouse & knowing all her in n' outs... STEEL! Well, she's a perfect ship for these waters!
WOW< I've gabbed away -
isn't it wonderful.
Thanks for being there everyday on the NET. That is so kind of you to give so much time & positive vibes to all who check in.
July 26, 2010
Pipestem Inlet: between Refuge & Hillier Islands near Lucky Creek
Beautiful day! We sailed mostly under the genaker after leaving Spring Cove. We then packed it up & went by dinghy to Lucky Creek. WOW! It was a series of DEEP clear pools connected by waterfalls. You had to swim from one to the other to move up the canyon. One pool was so deep it was black.
That was truly a most wonderful day spent up there. Carl did not go further than the first big pool. I took some chances & jumped off cliffs into the deeper pools up high. I didn't even get close to touching bottom - yet the pools were crystal clear. Delightful waterfalls danced in all shapes & lengths. I have never seen such a beautiful place nor swam in such a lovely pool [s]. The first pool revealed the theme of this trip - a white eagle feather. I wonder if Callie has come back as those. In all my years of seeing feathers, I've only seen one other white feather except this trip. One in Klaskish, the other in a Lucky Creek pool. & the first one with Callie on the Snake when we ran from Moose on down through Alpine Canyon for a week.
We dropped the prawn & crab traps, bbq'd pork chops & had rice/ peas curried. LOVELY wonderful day. I love this Barkley Sound!
July 27, 2010
High marine fog tis' morning here near Refuge Island in the head of the Pipestem Inlet.
This place is COVERED in oysters!
BEAR tis' morning. Looks like a small female picking through the oysters. She disappeared for a while into the forest & is now back. Or perhaps another. We've seen 2 sightings of bear now.
We're going to dinghy around to Cataract Cove a mile across the Inlet. We have crab & prawn traps to pick up on our way out to the Pinkerton Islands eventually. We're just taking it easy here in our last sound [Barkley] before heading around the last of Vancouver Island. We are NOT looking forward to the sea time for nearly 100 miles. There are duck ins 40, then 30, 10 & finally Victoria - BUT the Juan de Fuca straight is notorious for foul, rotten seas. Funny, the first time we saw it out of Rosario Straight by the San Juan's; they had predicted gale force winds. We got to the bottom of the east side of Lopez Island & it was a POND! But since then we've had to rodeo bucking bull rides on the Juan de Fuca. BUT I just hope we have wind at our backs & a flood tide in for a good sail.
July 28, 2010
High marine fog tis' morning again here near Williams Island in the Pinkertons.
We set the pots again. We got 2 nice rock crab yesterday & several SMALL prawn which slipped away as the trap came out of the water. Carl tried his hand at crab cakes & YUM YUM! Very good. Rice flour, corn meal & coconut flour, one egg, ½ C canned milk & water, parsley & Cajun seasoning.
We took the dinghy all over last night through these islands. Very pretty. Saw the usual birds - Kingfisher & eagles. There are some floating houses. One is just about to slip into the sea by us. Very sad since it's a cute place. There seems to be some abandoned fish farm stuff. Ugly. Also some clear cutting on Van Isle. I wanted to go walk on the logging road - but we skipped it last night.
We've had some coolant come into the water I must sponge out from the leaky "dripless" drive shaft. So we got into the back compartments to see if we could find the culprit & we did. In the rush while building the boat we checked the skeg for leaks. The valve that runs the coolant into the skeg, or the one that comes out into the engine, is leaking. Carl recalls he did not remove it after the test & put the appropriate sealant on it to prevent this type of leakage. Unfortunately, he'll have to work in that rotten little space to do it once we're on the hard again. So now he's thrown his back out finding the leak & is laid out on the settee asleep. We'd hoped to try to find some wind & just sail around today - but not now. It doesn't look like there's any wind anyway. Small cats' paws are making their way into the anchorage - but of us 3 boats, none of us has moved today. It's the second day of grey dismal skies after a long haul of sun, so I think we're all hunkered down - no motivation to move.
The Broken Group is just south west of us here. We thought we might sail around, pick our pots up, then saunter on down into there after we sail. Who knows. No place in particular to go, & not much we're hoping to do - so who cares. AS one sailor put it, "just more pretty anchorages".
July 29, 2010
Nettle Island - just 3 miles from the Pinkertons - BUT it took 16.4 miles!
We left "A-Train, & Blue Rodeo", both Dachell sail boats, 60 & 50 foot respectively at the Pinkertons tis' morning. Ann, from BR came over & chatted a minute just as we were pulling our anchor. So that was nice. She happened to mention the Port Albernie Yacht Club on Fleming Island. We had no intentions of going there - BUT did. We just sailed across Imperial Eagle Channel & ended up there.
BUT first we picked out crab pot - 0, then 80 prawns! YUMYUM!
So we sailed under only the head sail over to the Deer Group & took showers & a hike at the PAYC. VERY nice. & all UN locked for anyone to come & hang out. However, it was a buck a foot to stay over night, so we got our showers, water [boil it] & off we went back across sailing to the Broken Group. SO we're nestled way up into the Nettle Island in 20 or so feet. We've got the prawn trap out & the crab [we got some salmon heads from the fisherman @ PAYC]. Another note on the PAYC, they had a club house, with microwave, full kitchen, everything, BBQs to use. It was an amazing out station. All for anyone to enjoy. I hope it stays that was & that people really do pay their moorage.
July 30, 2010
Effingham Inlet: from Nettle in the Broken Group
Started out foggy & then ended up SUN until 8 PM & here comes the fog…. Rollin' in off the sea.
We got Dungeness crab today - 3 beauties. We had 8 in the pot. But 5 little female red rock & these beautiful HUGE dungie males. This is the first dungies since Varney Bay! We've had some reds, but they're hard to deal with. BIG claws, but not much meat otherwise. Dungies have MEAT!
So then, no prawn. Such a surprise after the 80 the day before! But then they were left for 2 nights before, & this day it was just over night.
We saw the A-Train people picking up their prawn trap & they didn't have much either. So off we went to Effingham. We dropped that prawn trap out at the inlet mouth, & crab is in here with us @ 60 feet with a salmon head in it. OK!
We sailed all the way into Effingham. We even put the genaker up for a time. It worked very well in these light winds. As we got to the end of the inlet, the winds came up to 15 or so. So we sailed w/ the fore sail only. When we got up there, huge mountains with snow on um' loomed above. We saw a couple of whimpie waterfalls. Nothing of note. We put the auto pilot on & headed on back to the mouth & our anchorage, it's a lovely spot. We had just enough time in the sun to take sun showers. Then that was done.
For lunch today we had the last of the prawns from yesterday with the yummy sauce Carl made & curried rice. For dinner, a light salad, & now tapioca.
As we came into the anchorage, the usual eagle, & sometimes, as the case was tonight, being chased by seagulls. At Lucky Creek these seagulls were really screaming at these eagles. They were relentless chasing them away. Then we saw they had the cutest little chicks - all grey & fluffy. We were trying to identify them in the bird book thinking they were some kind of plover. BUT finally, we saw these grey guys & the seagulls together. & they were all bent over as if to get some food. AHHH, babies! No wonder the seagulls were so up set! They were SO noisy - it was kind of nice to get away from there.
July 31, 2010
WOW - last day of July: Effingham Inlet
This was a great anchorage. Very calm. I heard little of the chain dragging on rocks like we had in Nettle Island. That was so loud & constant I could NOT sleep. Carl is making his now famous Crab cakes. They are SO yummy. We had lots of crab, got dungies, BUT still, and made cakes. 16 cakes!!!
So we don't know where we're goin' today. I'd like to get internet in Uclulet for Monday so that I can start the process of RETIRING!!! So today might be a day where we set up to get in there. It's wrappin' up. I don't want to think about it. BUT it's not too bad not having to work the whole year… Just see.. I'm not so worried about the sea time - but it's a long way out the Juan de Fuca to Lopez. I'd like to stop & see Barbara & Gerry in Sidney - but who knows.
My mom & brother are coming - so they say. That remains to be seen. I don't think they'll get much time on Lopez Island. They are stopping at some good friends on the way up in Washougal, Washington. I'm encouraging mom to spend time with her friend there. Her friend Edie is 92. How many times do you think you might get to see that friend when they're that age? Yes, our time here is very short. We look forward to next year when we have some much more time, will go up to Alaska, & not have to be any where any particular time. Ahhhhh…
July 31, 2010 later…
We're once again in the Broken Group. Turtle Island, Dodd Island in a cove. Went 17 miles today. Again sailing aimlessly… Great sail! Saw WHALES & a bear at the anchorage tis' morning. But the whales… WOW, right near us. We were under sail so just tacked around where they were. They came up real close. A couple of times came up & looked around. They were rolling in the kelp. It was SO neat!
Now we're deep in the Broken Group in a very calm anchorage. There's some boats around. We couldn't get it all to ourselves - but ah well. It IS August long weekend here in BC.
While sailing aimlessly today, we started on a port tack across Imperial Eagle channel towards the Broken Group. With 8 - 14 knots of wind, swell from the ocean, & at least a foot of wind chop, MOM sailed without anyone holding the tiller 30 - 60 degrees into the wind. Both the main & foresail fully furled. If the wind was stronger, the better the course she held. If it grew light, she would fall off. At no time did she round up.
Of course, without the helm, I was able to see the whales. First I saw the spouting, then the arms waving - on their sides. Lots of fluke time. I think we had both, humpback / grays & minke. The ones that were closet to us in the kelp I think were minke. They had a small dorsal fin.
We've also been using "Hugo" the wind vane a lot. He's been holding a course pretty well. I even tried it with little wind with the genaker & with consistent wind all the way up Effingham Inlet, it held the course.
August 1, 2010
WOW, August. I think this may have been the fastest summer going in my life so far. It's foggy but not as thick as it's been. The water is perfectly still. I woke to Eagle calls. While outside a seal glided past before diving right near MOM. I haven't heard much of the thrush here in the Broken Group of islands. I heard them yesterday in the mouth of Effingham inlet [not the island - yet…]. Carl's still sleeping & it's late. So I just putter around, did some yoga, reading, trying to be quiet. I think we're going to Uclulet at some point today just to get internet for tomorrows call to the URS [Utah State Retirement Systems] to begin the process to finish working October 31st! HOO RAY!
August 2, 2010
Effingham Bay off Effingham Island CROWDED w/ boats. Foggy
Today we were in Uclulet, Spring Bay so we could have internet. I called the Retirement Systems & started the process of goin' OUT! Ya Hoo…
Then had nice chats w/ mom & sister.
We headed over to the fuel dock, got rid of a small bag of garbage [a weeks' worth] & got ice cream & water. We headed towards the Broken Group again. Out to the prawn trap - only a dozen - but nice fat ones, & only little crab. We sailed all the way from Uclulet, some 12 miles.
On the way we began to see whales in the fog. They eventually got really close to us & went a stern of us & gone. A sea lion, we think a female, started swimming along side of us. At first I heard this huge breath under the dinghy up on it's davits [on the stern]. I was freaking out - WHAT!!!??? Then she came right along side of us in the cock pit & looked at us. She was at least as big as us & brown. Since she did this several times, I think she may have been fed by the fisherman. I don't know, but she sure stuck with us. Then way into the Broken islands, we heard another group of whales way out into the fog, & another big breath of something. I call this the heavy breathing trip today. Cause' we didn't spot the whales, we heard them!
August 6, 2010
Sooke after Dodger Channel, after 2 days in Effingham Bay
FIRST, Effingham. FOG… but some nice walks. We went up & anchored at the head of the bay. There's a walk over to the other side & where there may have been a native village. Stayed 2 nights & rested… Unfortunately, while anchoring, Carl cut his hand on those sharp teeth of the anchor winch. NOT GOOD… The next day we explored all the other islands that face the sea from the Broken Group. Stellar Sea lions - big males hollering… All beautiful brown, black & blonde in the faint sun thru' the fog on the outer rugged rocks.
The Broken Group is beautiful, but crowded. & it's FULL of rocks, many just under the surface. We did get crab up by Nettle Island but only has small, or none by Turtle & Effingham. Lot's of prawn off the east side of Effingham!
Wednesday: went to Bamfield to get some onions… There's a store w/ a dock as soon as you come on the right. BUT if we're ever there again, it would be good to go back in the basin, park on the left & walk up to the store there w/ a pub with 5$ hamburgers on Wednesdays. The produce boat comes on Thursday. We had a nice sail over there.
Then off to Dodger to set up for the sail south. Dodger is lovely and worth some time there. It was a neat anchorage between Diana & Haines Inlands.
Thursday: Started in fog @ 06:30 AM. Calm
We had to motor all the way to Port San Juan: Renfrew. Then the winds turned favorable - north west. Before that they were light on our nose. Carl was heading right for the middle of these fishing nets when I got up from my nap. He didn't put 2 n' 2 together & see the tender boat that had the other end of the net. So we had to skirt around the back to the tender… Geez… BUT Carl saved the day later @ 4 PM when all hell broke lose after HIS nap.
I was at the helm having a lovely afternoon, watching shearwaters glide, the fog begin to lift. Oh, 15 knots of wind, wing n' wing. Then it started to build to 20, then up to 27 a couple of times. We were skirting along @ 8 knots! The waves are kind. Although we're beginning to surf. I'm thinking - "wow, we'll be home before ya know it!". Then Carl rises from his nap @ 4 PM, which, indecently, coincides with the change to ebb in the Juan de Fuca. The waves begin to hit us so hard from the stern; it twists MOM into a broach. So we get the main down - HARD to do with 20 knots or more downwind. Then it got really bad for the next 4 hours. We had the foresail down to a napkin, & Carl was holding her steady with all his might. I'd try, but it would try to broach every time I got the helm & I just couldn't hold it. The waves were SO brutal. So we were heading for Beacher Bay another 5 - 6 miles past Sooke - but I felt we'd better get into Sooke or die soon. At one point in this madness, I was coming out of the pilot house & was literally thrown across the cockpit & almost OUT of the boat.
We anchored right inside Sooke basin with SV Liberty & Spree of Bainbridge Island, who also made the hell run this day. We've been playing tag with them since Bodega Bay in Nooka sound. Spree inspired us to sail up wind in Kendrick Inlet. We later caught up with them in Friendly Cove to find out they're in their 80s! Liberty said they always sail.
Today - we hope to get to Oak Bay to look for Byron, another Brent boat guy, & maybe walk up into the town there. It's a side of Victoria. We'll see. We are so beat & I got up at 6 AM saying - "OHMYGADS, we gotta get up & catch the flood - I never want to see an ebb in Juan de Fuca again!" Kinda like Scarlet O' Hara - "I will never be hungry again." So we're up, gonna go for a walk on the Sooke spit RIGHT off our stern [woops, a little close], & GET! It's already windy - or I should say it really never died down. It was still blowing us all over @ 2:30 AM! We had the anchor drag alarm was on for a radius of 120. It kept going off at 90 feet…
Sunday Oak Bay, Victoria.
We've been hanging out recuperating from the final leg of the circumnavigation around Van Isle. Yesterday it rained VERY hard all day. We caught up with Byron & Hayden, fellow Brent Boat guys. We got over to the Vietnamese Noodle house in Chinatown, then to COSTCO for cookies. Walked around this area. Nice, but looks better today in the sun. BUT the winds have come up again - big time. We're heading to Sidney, & Teum' harbour to see Barbara & Gerry when the tide & currents are favorable today. Off to America very soon after. Mom & brother should be arriving on Lopez Island some time late tomorrow afternoon. I can't believe I'll be back at work a week from tomorrow. Couldn't sleep last night. But won't be long…