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.
This is a time lapse from this morning, swinging on the anchor. The other boats look much further away than they are - only 200' away.
I'm new to the whole 360 thing. Although technically this is a video file, it's more like a still that you can move in any direction. Shot this yesterday afternoon.
[The blog host can't deal with the 360 file, so I uploaded to Youtube, which seems to also have issues after the first time it plays. Try clicking the replay button (circle with arrow) and then hit pause. Now you can click and use the mouse to drag around your view.]
These were done with the Garmin VIRB 360 camera. Besides all the fun, I wanted to have a camera I could quickly mount on the bow rail, looking down, and see on my phone while in the cockpit driving station. For docking in close quarters.
Always great to be back in B.C., land of beautiful scenery and friendly people. Here's a view of Mt. Baker you don't really get in the US, at least on land anyway.
We cleared off the charming little village of Bedwell Harbour. When you are all set like we are, with a federally registered boat and Nexus cards for the captain and passenger(s), it is such a simple process. (Say "process" with a long "o" with me now.)
The friendly officer answers the line, asks me for my boat documentation number, which I provide. She says "Is this Robert?" "Yes." "Is Debra aboard?" "Yes." Then asks me if we have any of the banned items to which we reply that we just have a small amount of alcohol on board. "Welcome to Canada, here is your clearance number."
I fly the Canadian flag on our burgee strut and we are good to go, eh?
Okay, not asking any questions here.
Arriving in one of our favorite Gulf Island anchorages, Madrona Bay (which is aside the very busy town/marina of Ganges), we select a spot and anchor perfectly. It's great to be feeling more and more confident about placing the boat exactly where we want to end up.
Then there is this scene. It has officially been "weird water week" with numerous boats near us running aground or sinking.
When we were about 5-6 miles north of the Hood Canal entrance we heard the CG discussing a sinking 65 foot vessel in the Hood Canal. Evidently this boat is also moored in Bainbridge's Eagle Harbor. Everyone got off okay.
About the time we were having dinner they were finally able to tow this one away.
Before dinner I was very energized and washed all the salt from the hull, railings, windows, etc. Feels great to be so active again. Just gonna watch those pounds melt off, right? Even Deb got into the act and scrubbed the teak cockpit.
We had our cocktails and dinner surrounded by the kind of scenery you can only enjoy as a boater. Tomorrow we will take it a bit easier and do some Sunshine Coast/Desolation planning.