One of the things on our agenda this trip is to take more opportunities for hiking. We had read about a hike in Pender. Tendered over to this trailhead. Turns out it is only a half a K walk, hardly making it worth tying up the tender!
But we had a nice view of Mahalo and Garden Bay.
We headed over to Madeira, where there is a store, some places to eat. They were having a bit of a street fair and the dinghy dock was busy!
The town had installed quite a pretty garden for us to take in.
Okay this setting isn't quite as spectacular as a similar recent photo of Deb I took.
Was this just in May? Were we really in France? Really in Monet's garden? We sure were. But anyway, back to B.C.
Ace boating friend David Evans (Nordhavn guy) highly recommended Budabing BBQ burgers so of course we have to try them. And free inspiration life message! We listened to some wonderful live music. I recorded some, but there isn't enough bandwidth to upload it, what a shame.
And the smile says it all! Thanks David, for the great recommendation. We shared the table with another David and his wife, B.C. residents! They invited us to a BBQ they are having tomorrow.
But we are outta here. Tomorrow we will be in Desolation Sound if all goes well. Wish us luck.
[Hey, is that a liquor store back there????]
Yaaay, we are in Garden Bay in Pender Harbour. And what's this, a welcoming committee?
Bagpipes and kilts? Too much!
Turns out every Friday night is a "fun boat tour" here. And it's also B.C. Day weekend! So the locals are in an especially good mood. (We are in B.C., sounds like trouble, eh?)
I can't quite get used to having these boats anchored less than 200 feet from us. Not to mention sailboat anchoring technique... throw it over, then stop forward motion after a minute or so. Done! So far no bumps or bruises though. Just how they do it here.
We go for a little cruise ourselves in the tender, then return to home base. Sweet! Salmon on the bbq tonight. Explore Pender a bit tomorrow.
August 1st we finally crossed the strait. The forecast was for 15 kts of wind from the SW, which was spot on. As was the 1-2 foot wave height. So we were taking the wind/waves on the starboard beam and it was no big deal.
Arriving Howe Sound, about 25 miles north of Vancouver, the skies look a little ominous. I'm always amazed by glacier carved out sounds and fjords.
This landscape can even make huge ferries practically disappear.
We dropped the hook in an area of Long Harbor that should have reasonable protection from the predicted Northerlie. The problem was that the wind somehow missed the forecast and turned into a nasty Southerlie. I actually saw a 32 knot gust.
Having beeen dealing with this wind every day of our tip except one, it's getting old at this point. I post a message at Trawlerforum.com and our PNW Yacht Owner facebook group asking if boaters are experiencing these winds up North in Desolation and the Broughtons. What I hear is that it is really mostly a problem with the various straits. Once you are in the shelter of those islands, the wind isn't a factor.
We head out bound for Pender harbor, a nice 35 mile or so Northward trek. We encountered this tug and tow, always amazed at the enormous loads a tug can pull.
It's lumpy and bumpy until we are on a course about 45 degrees, then the wind is directly behind us, blowing about the same as our speed, 10 knots. It's eerie to poke your head out of the pilothouse and the air is just completely still.
The further we go, the better it is! Flatter seas, more sun, fun boats. Feels like boating again instead of slogging through mud.
Next post, we arrive Pender Harbour.
When we last left Mahalo's kayaks, I wasn't really happy with version one of my new hoists. Luckily we were near Gange's and the wonderful Mouat's hardware/marine/etc store there. I picked up some new bits!
For starters I picked up this braided nylon. It's stronger, and matches the kayak colors to some degree. I attached the caribbeaners to the attachment points instead of looping the lines through them. Got a new hook deal instead of the rings. I put some friction tape at the bottom of the snap hook so the line doesn't really shift.
Hoists attaching to the seat attachment points. Very clean and can be removed in a flash. Now we can easily stash the hoist under the seat while we are out enjoying the kayaks. But wait, there is more!
Now that I have really simplified the hoisting operation, if possible I wanted these same bits to attach the kayak to Mahalo. You see, the most difficult part of the entire process is moving our bodies from Mahalo to the kayak. Mahalo is super steady, and the kayak is like a greased puck on ice!
We have found that lashing the kayak to the staple on the swim step as tightly as possible is what makes the process easier.
As you see here, I'm able to loop the hoisting line around the staple and simply use the snap hook to secure. Get that butt down in the seat and deploy yourself off for some kayaking fun!
The kayaks really add to our boating experience and are great exercise. The novelty of being able to pedal them always delights our visitors.
With the new deployment/retrieval it will be even more fun to use them.
Last year I didn't have time to put much thought into a nice way to deploy and retrieve our Hobie kayaks. Here's the blog post I did when I first brought them aboard. I have been using the crane, and some nylon straps I had from tying down my previous kayaks to a trailer or car top.
The boats are often hoisted at crazy angles, not that it really hurts them, but it looks kinda sloppy.
Above is where they live on the deck when not in use and covered up.
When we go to use the kayaks, the seat and the pedals/flippers have to be installed. Last year I generally did this on the swim step, with the kayak still attached to the crane. I had the seat/pedals in a closet in the lazarette. The whole process was sort of a pain. Here they are on the table on the flybridge deck.
I realized I have a big storage locker under table's seating area that would fit all four pieces nicely. I bought some anti microbial bath mats to keep them from sliding around.
And I decided I could do the pedal/seat installed with the kayaks placed like this, now I have lots of working room and a nice surface.
Inspired by the three point hoist that came with our tender, I bought some various bits to fashion a hoist for each kayak.
First I had to figure out the center of gravity.
I measured and tied the lines to the caribbeaners. I had threaded the lines through the same mounting points for the seats, thinking these are very strongly reinforced in the hull. But the caribbeaners are just a little too small for the steel lifting rings I bought, that are large enough for the big hook on the crane.
I put the boats in the water with them, we went paddling/pedaling. I also realized those white lines would get grungy in a hurry.
So as I often do, I'll think about this for a few days and come up with a much better version in round two.