Our land adventures were wintering in Hawaii. When we got back to the Mainland we camped at Toroweap Overlook at the Grand Canyon. Watched 11 boats go through Lava Falls. Visited my family in Southern Utah. As we drove north to the boat we poked around western Nevada at hot springs then into the extreme north east corner of California for more hot springs. Very interesting territory - the Surprise Valley. Then on up thru' Oregon. Got lots of boat projects done and then
Launched on Friday the 25th of April flawlessly. THEN we hadda great sail under full canvas for a couple of hours in Fish Bay before bedding down for the nite.
1st nite, a lovely, calm nite on the IMC dock. A nice walk into town the next day.
Sunday, West Sound, Orcas Island
We came over to Orcas Island to see our friends. The dock started dancing at 10 PM - just when it was good n' dark. The wind started howling & the boat crashing against the dock. UGLY can you say, "Moving to Hawaii to hell with the boat."
It was only our second nite on the boat & NO SLEEP. So we put tons of lines out on this dancing dock, OH THE WAVES coming over it, etc. UGLY & the dock goes one way, the boat the other & CRASH again & again. I just laid there while Carl was snoring! So once we got more & MORE lines on it with MORE n MORE fenders, the sea settled down & I was able to sleep. YUCK!
So back to Lopez Island to get some more packages due in either tomorrow or the next day & we're off. Hopefully we got the worst nite out of the way & the rest will be charming fingers crossed
we sold another CD & the people asked if they should build a boat -
good thing I hadn't had that UGLY nite when I wrote them!
Tuesday April 29, 2014
Stuart Island, Prevost Harbor
We came in last night about 8 PM. Calm, lovely current led us north thru' San Juan Channel, Spiden, then around the light house to here. We've anchored here by the county dock many times. We love the view out the anchorage to the Coast Mountains. Mt Baker turned orange in the sunset last night. We have overcast skies with bits of sun here and there. Light breeze. We'll probably stay here a night or 2 before heading across the border. HOWEVER, we've got one of our boat thingies that is broken BUT we fixed it with electrical tape. So we'll see if we can get another before leaving America. Don't know if it's worth fooling around when it's a $50 item & other than that, ready to head out.
Our Davis Mega light we JUST purchased is cracked on its base. Sigh
Carl's gone off for a walk. I am making an effort to stay basically, off my leg today. I've had this sore knee/ leg thing goin' since Molikai. Don't know what's' up except when the Doc' x-rayed it, they said it must be soft tissue damage because there are NO breaks. I am SO grateful that I was able to help get the boat ready for nearly 2 weeks going up & down a ladder. BUT yesterday at low tide on the gangplank OH it started to really ache. So here I sit while Carl walks about on lovely Stuart Island.
All the shore birds, eagles, etc are here. It's so beautiful. We love the shore with the pinto horse in a big green field. All the madrona trees are in bloom.
Thursday May 1, 2014
We're in the Provost Bay at Stuart Island enjoying SUNSHINE!!! It's been lovely & the boat is SO dry. That's a new thing for us to experience up here.
We are beginning our 6th boating season - NOT building MOM, but enjoying her. We started to build her in October of 06', launched August of 07', BUT didn't really get to play on her until 08'. We did play on SV Twisted, the Catalina 22' in 05 & 06'. It's just amazing here in the Salish Sea especially when it's SUNNY!!!
OK, We had great visits with other boats in the harbor. We had a pot luck last night on shore. VERY fun. Today we got on board another boat & saw what they had done from a raw hull [fero cement] 35 years ago! Beautiful wood work. SO lovely. & since it is a flush deck TONS of room. Very cool! They even have a SHOWER!!!
Today is calm right now BUT it's supposed to get stinky later on today [30 knot gale from the south east]. So we're not sure what we're gonna do right now. Probably go check in at Bedwell OR not. Nothings a hurry this year. VERY different from the years [odd years] we go to Alaska. THEN we have to push.
Friday the 2nd of May
Just before we turned off the wonderful internet we had at Stuart Island, we sold ANOTHER cd! So we had just enough stamps to affix to a cd pack & off it went to Florida. We had to dinghy to the opposite side of the Prevost Bay, then walk to a shack right of the airstrip, and then find the mail bag to send it in! On the way we met a local named Chris in his canoe with electric motor out board. He invited us to his house. Instead we got antsy & took off for Canada.
We rode the flood current up to the Wallace Islands & hadda wonderful sunset. Lovely night then morning of smooth, calm water over to Chemanious. We got our banking done, some groceries, bakery, thrift store, & now our fishing license. We LOVE getting crab & up north the crabbing is INCREDIBLE!
OK, The thrift store had some toys that I got for the Treasure Chest at Pirates Cove. So we'll head over there & fill that puppy up with these cute things. I get such a kick outta doing that.
OH I just saw some prawns down the dock here! OH yummy! They said they used cat food for Carlisle Cat food.
Saturday May 3 Pirates Cove
Tuesday May 6, 2014 Musket Cove Marine Park, Hardy Island, Blind Bay, BC
It's starting out to be a sunny day! BUT the clouds R waiting to cover that up out here over the sea. It has been wonderfully calm here althou' when we got here the south wind was raging thru' the anchorage & we thought better of staying here. BUT stay we did. We got in about 2, dropped crab & prawn pots & anchored. We hadda bath with a sun shower warmed by the SUN!!! BBQ'd lamb leg & ate our crab we caught in Nanaimo. Caught about 14 - 15 crab - only 2 were barely legal. BUT it was great to get a taste.
We got over to Degnan from Pirates Cove on Saturday. On the way we thought we lost our crab pots. What we figure is someone picked um' then just threw um' over board. We were lucky to find them! THEN our engine over heated & we had to pull things off left & right - fill Suzi w/ water & then we were good. Not shaping up to be a good day with the rain n' all.
From there in the early morning we went thru' False Narrows to Nanaimo. We thought we'd head north BUT the Straits of Georgia turned us back with 3 foot moderate waves. NASTY!!! So we settled down into the crazy, crowded Nanaimo anchorage. Took us a couple of times pulling the anchor back up before we felt somewhat ok. Carl went for a walk on Newcastle. Lucky man. I hope someday soon my knee begins to settle down with its pain & I can join him. He said he saw lots of goslings.
Early in the morning we took off to cross the Straits. It was perfect with south wind & following sea. We went north to Musket Island Marine Park. We'd been here before & enjoy its birds & aloneness.
Today we go north with the current towards Desolation Sound. We don't know how far we'll get. It's a nice day to travel. Been very rainy BUT today looks fine. It's cold & we've got the heater on!
Stopped by Lund & while too late for fuel, we got some groceries! Nice little store. The fuel dock is open 8 - 8 in the summer but only 9 - 4 right now. The store is open til' 6. We'd have liked to walk up to Jacks Boat yard & poke around BUT it was 6 by the time we got goin'. PLUS we wanted to anchor in the Raggeds [Copeland Marine Park]. It was pretty spooky getting into this little nook thu'. There's a BIG rock & it's very shallow.
We hadda nice run from Musket today. However, Malispina was humpin' with a funneled wind. When we got to Westview it all settled down & was smooth to Lund. Then at Lund there was TONS of boat wake.
We couldn't believe as soon as we got into this anchorage we sat for a minute & then someone else came at almost 8 PM! But no biggie.
Thursday May 8, 2014
We hadda great run from the Ragged Islands in a little nook on the south side to Florence Cove in the Hole in the Wall passage between Murielle & Sonora Islands. Not a great place because it is steep.
We sailed most of the 25 miles here with the BIG geneker. VERY fun. Nice to feel we had the time, the great conditions, to do that. We got up to over 6 knots in the crossroads of Deer, Calm, & Sutil & leaving Lewis Channels. WOW neat-o but a little scary. Carl did great at the helm!
We'll start our run north on the rapids tis' morning.
Hadda great run thru' the rapids. Got up by Fredrick Arm & was Net Control today for The Great Northern Boaters Net. So we just shut off the motor & floated. THEN a pod of dolphin came in just as I was about to start the net & distracted me for a moment! We had lots of sea lions in Gillard Passage rapids. They like it there. Then as I closed the net, an eagle swooped down & grabbed a fish. Speaking of fish - we don't know what kind they were BUT there were thousands dead or dying in Hole in the Wall passage tis' morning as we left Florence Cove. They were 5 to 10 inches long & I think were rainbow trout. BUT I'm not sure. They were floating belly up thru' the whole place. It even stunk. We did not see them yesterday when we went in.
NOW we're at the dock at Johns Point waiting for the current to be favorable thru' the next set of rapids. We stayed here at this dock last fall. It's very nice. We understand its the whale watcher lunch stop & they don't care if you stay or not. The winds are starting from the south again. It's so great to get a little push from behind when goin' north!
Friday evening May 9, 2014 Potts Lagoon, West Craycroft Island
Last of the single digits already for May!
Well, at Johns Point yesterday we hadda lovely walk around then all hell broke loose! We were slammed against the dock with 25 knot winds from the south. When Carl was able to fend us off the dock enough to get goin, it was over 25. Then once down the channel we put up the jib. Once along Shoal Bay, the wind died. So off we went again with the "iron genny" [i.e., SUZI the motor]. We went cruising thru' the rapids at Green point just perfect. We were planning on going to Helmckin Island when the wind began to really go again near our choice of Helmckin or Whirlpool rapids into Forward Harbor. Well, glad we had that choice so we turned right into Wellbore Channel & the winds went up to 37 knots JUST as we saw a mama brown bear & her 2 yearling cubs eating on the shore. Then it got very hairy with spewm from the waves building & we saw ANOTHER mama just down the beach with her 2 cubs. Carl speculated that they were sisters! So we crawled into Forward & went all the way to the head of the bay to drop the hook in the mud of the river. There was fresh snow tis' morning up high above us. The streams were all a goin', waterfalls everywhere.
Johnstone Strait was lovely after we finally got out of Forward Harbor. I got us up around 5 am. Then we had to pull the crab pot [3 but just one barely legal], then the alarm for the engine went off!!! By the time we got outta there & on our way it was after 7 AM!!! OH well. So Johnstone is over with. That place can be so nasty! Last fall we got stuck in its Maytag effect with the 25 knot winds churning us into froth.
We came in Havana Channel & hadda bath in the cock pit. Then thru' Chatham Channel, thru' the Blow Hole, & into Potts Lagoon. We dropped the prawn trap just outside & a couple of crab pots inside. However, we saw an otter & that usually means NO CRAB. Anyhow, we'd hoped this would be a nice anchorage. JUST at the entrance is a large logging operation that has cut down not trees BUT little tiny spindles. My God, they're getting desperate! In Nanaimo there were several Asian ships waiting for pulp, lumber, whatever out in the bay. We'd never seen that many. Poor forests, poor animals. It's tragic. Then to see these little trees stripped away. It's gross. PLUS SO many fishing boats & prawn & crab boats. WOW - I guess we usually go so far north we don't see that many. Then in the Gulf Islands near the San Juan's, it's all been fished out. Won't be a thing left.
Potts Lagoon is a real ugly place. Deserted float homes, a logging operation, no pretty rock cliffs. BUT its way protected! Totally calm in here.
May 11, 2014 Waddington Bay
Just a wonderful day. Got outta Potts with crab & 40 prawn! We'd had BIG crab but all was left in the pot was FAT star fish & shells of the former HUGE crab!
We came out of Baronet Passage with a great current out & into Blackfish Sound with no orca & fighting current. Then as we entered Queen Charlotte Strait, we threw up the sails & went wafting towards Arrow Passage in the sunshine. The waves from the ocean were gentle.
We BBQd the prawn & Carl made a wonderful Cole slaw. Now he's bonin' the crab for tomorrow's omelet!
The sky is getting darker - it may drizzle yet.
May 12, 2014 Waddington Bay in the rain
Don't think we're goin'anywhere today. It's pouring rain & fillin' the buckets. We've got the heater goin' & Carl's starting to make biscuits! I'm just reading about the Broughtons and thinking maybe we don't have to go around Cape Caution this year. We don't know. BUT one thing's for sure, we've got the place to ourselves this time of year. I'm sure that will change as the season gets better [weather wise].
Cape Caution is always a big ordeal. We wait by the edge of Slingsby Channel & hope the waves go down at West Sea Otter buoy. My stomachs a mess by the time we finally go round'.
May 12, 2014 Joe Cove, Eden Island
BIG 9 mile loop to go 2 miles from Waddington Bay to Joe Cove. We circumnavigated Insect Island. WAY cool with its mysterious middens and signs proclaiming it First Nations Land - "Please respect our land." It was a rainy run but very interesting.
We got LOTS of crab - all females & one had eggs she was protecting. Hope she was ok after we gently threw her out of the trap. Then NO PRAWN but TONS of rotten crab we don't know what they are. They're creepy! Not ONE prawn to be had. Spider Crab we were told later.
Now we're back in Joe Cove. There is a light wind coming in BUT lighter than Waddington. We had winds up to 8 knots in there. We thought we had a set hook BUT no mud came up on the anchor when hauled in tis' morning.
No traps set down. We're eating lamb stir fry.
May 14, 2014 Joe Cove
We went over to the midden at Insect Island yesterday. It was very interesting in that the land above the white shell beach was pretty flat. One could imagine the long houses, canoes, and a village teaming with life. Many cedar trees had been stripped of their bark, some dead from that. So much for the sign that says, "Respect our land". Whoever is pulling the bark off the trees, they'd better read the sign again! It was nice to walk around in a forest and even better to lie about on the beach in the sun. There are not too many beaches here.
Carl found a 2 pound coin from 1999. There were bits of interesting pottery white with blue print. Very pretty. But no beads and things like at Blunden Harbor. BUT then, it was high tide.
We drove the dinghy over to Lady Boot cove. It was nice BUT not as protected as we are here. It is directly on the other side of this cove on Eden Island. Looks like you could walk to the other side.
There are lots of birds & I think I heard some Sand Hill Cranes yesterday. Not a lot of birds, but some pairs swim about. Mergansers, geese, an eagle or two, herons were squawking last night. The hummingbird feeder has been bringing them in so much so that they emptied the feeder yesterday!
May15 Joe Cove to where???
Saw a Sandhill Crane fly out of the lake up the river here. The day started out very foggy & now it's crystal clear. However, some high cirrus clouds which portend a high pressure in the area. That makes for some fearsome North West winds I'm afraid. The kind that will drive us back from going around Cape Caution. Rain is predicted for tomorrow night. We shall see.
Carl's making lamb curry over rice for breakfast. We'll pull the crab pots then start er' up & see where she takes us.
May 16, 2014 Claydon Bay on the Mainland side of the Broughtons
Nice calm anchorage a way back in. WOW fuel was nearly $7/ gallon in Sullivan Bay. However, we're glad to get it so we can continue wandering around & not worrying about a fuel shortage.
We saw our first black bear over on Watson Island as we left Sullivan & headed towards Claydon. Beautiful. An osprey has been diving around in here. Lots of mergansers quaking. Very lovely place. Just inside the bay on the left is a large conglomeration of float houses & derelict boats. Seems to be tons of logging & commercial fishing going on. Not any cruisers as yet.
It's a lovely sunny day so we're off to McKenzie Bay to do some exploring. Maybe stay in Turnbull because we were told it's lovely.
Had a flock of several hundred snow geese fly overhead just after breakfast.
May 16, 2014 Burly Bay, Mackenzie Sound
Took a big trip around thru' & everywhere today in the sunshine. We even sailed all the way to the end of Mackenzie Sound. Stopped for lunch & a bath in Little Zimmo Bay. Looked kinda bad to get in there then found it was nice. I wanted to stay but Carl said it dries & we wouldn't be able to get out til late in the day with high tide. Looked in Turnbull Cove but didn't really like it. The wind whirled around all directions. We set a prawn pot right outside and hope for the best. Overflow Basin as storming out in a big waterfall as was Roaringhole Rapids. I can't believe people anchor up in Nepah Bay thru' Roaringhole. It looked like there wouldn't be much water left the way it was "roaring" out of there & throwing up a huge mist cloud.
Second Black Bear came out in Burly - our Burly Bear
May 18, 2014 Pruth Bay, Hecate & Calvert Islands
Whew, we made it around Cape Caution today. We're beat. Yesterday when we were going to go into Drury Inlet, we would have to wait 2 hours until the tide was right in Stewart Narrows. SO here it was perfectly calm & foggy out in the Strait of Queen Charlotte. So I said, "Let's go north!" So off we did & we would have been able to go around BUT at Allison Harbor, Slingsby & Schooner Inlets, the wind came up & it got choppy & sloppy. So in we went just short of Cape Caution by 10 miles! Oh well. We hadda lovely night in Treadwell Bay at the top of Slingsby. At 5 AM we took off in dead calm at the end of flood the beginning of ebb. Ah nice! We had eagles flying overhead & then the fog rolled in then away again. The crossing was smooth with large swells by the time we got near Egg Island. Ah BUT here we are at Pruth Bay & we've already got a walk on the beach & our internet chores done. SO nice they let us do internet & walk thru' the grounds of the Hakai Beach Institute.
West Sea Otter buoy is not "available." We have always depended on the buoy to be less than "1 meter." So we went with Egg Island & Pine island light stations reports of very little wind & just chop. Plus at 5 AM tis' morning it was very calm. ALSO: the weather said that all the north island of Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Sound & Hecate Strait would have seas ease to 1 meter.
May 20, 2014 Rounding Cape Caution
We have found Slingsby Channel & its ebb to be very violent along the lines of Cape Mudge. We read that its ebb current can be felt several miles out into the Strait creating steep, nasty waves. We've seen it & it's isn't pretty. We have tried to get past it or to minimize its effects in efforts to make the crossing of Cape Caution as calm as possible. This method we have tried twice & found it works for us. Anchor in Treadwell Bay inside of Slingsby Channel. The best set up is to GO at first light BUT at the tail end of the flood current or near slack. As it turns to ebb you should be well away north or nearly OUT of Slingsby.
As we neared Cape Caution Saturday from the Broughtons, the wind built but the swell was low. It got very sloppy at Allison Harbor on the Mainland. We ducked in & rode the flood current into Schooner Channel towards Slingsby & anchored in Treadwell Bay by early evening.
At 4 AM Egg Island light station reported wind from the north at 5 knots, seas rippled & Adenbrooke 2 foot chop and north wind 10 knots. The wave height forecast said, Vancouver Island north, Queen Charlotte Sound & the Central Coast, seas one meter. West Sea Otter buoy was not available.
The fog rolled in and out BUT fog indicates no wind. As we rounded Cape Caution we found the swell very mild. The winds did build to 20 knots at Adenbrooke light station BUT we were at Pruth Bay by then. We did have about 10 - 15 knots right by that light station. The strongest winds were in Kwakshua Channel coming into Pruth.
May 20, 2014 Pruth Bay Tuesday
Saw several Sand Hill crane fly over head tis' morning.
Our sea adventures have begun again for the summer of 2014 It's raining HARD right now - as it should here on the wild WET coast.
We plan to go north to Culpepper Lagoon & look around in the Fiords
Hunt for hot springs in Gardener Canal
BUT here in Pruth walking the beach is lovely. We need to make a provision run we hope in Bella Bella. We plan on going up the west side of the Spider Island & into Hunter Channel to get to Bella Bella then from there?