This has to be one of the prettiest ferries in the world?
This summer's cruise is supposed to take us to Desolation Sound and the Broughton's. We are getting kind of a slow start. We began at Roche, then went to Madrona Bay, next to Ganges, on Salt Spring Island.
We had some really strong winds there, gusting to 23 knots.
When we anchor, we try to be 300-400 feet from the surrounding boats. This of course means the boats that arrive late have room to squeeze in between our boat and the original neighbors. This is the radar overlaid on the chart. Those blobs are boats, and we spent the entire night with them around 175-200 feet away from us, all boats careening around their anchors.
Originally the wind was from the South. About dinner time some guy tried to drop his hook literally 50 feet from our swim step. I advised him that the wind was supposed to clock around to the North and that wasn't a good idea.
Although we had set our anchor with both engines in reverse, having the wind shift 180 caused some dragging. By morning we were only 30 feet from that shoal behind our boat (the light blue).
I had put the fenders out, and was up and down all night watching these other boats. I don't know if I'll get used to having boats so close in stormy conditions.
I wanted out of there in the morning. Ideally we would have headed across the Strait of Georgia to begin our Northward trek. But there were high winds/small craft warnings for days to come.
The WX reports were for both North and South winds on 12 hour shifts. Most of the harbors provide shelter from one but not the other. We decided on Long Harbor, which meant we could still tender over to Ganges for re-supply etc. Above photo is one of our mornings.
If you go to Long Harbor, anchor on the west side. The east side is rocky and we couldn't get the anchor to set.
With a lot of time on our hands, we did various boat projects and some other fun ways to pass the time. One of my projects this summer is artisan sourdough breadmaking. Here is my first attempt.
Looks great, tasted wonderful, didn't quite get enough rise. Some friends said it was probably the humidity, I needed to let it rise more.
Another gorgeous sunset in Long Harbor.
One of my projects is a new hoisting method for launching and retrieving our kayaks. Still a work in progress, subject of a later blog post I'm sure. It was GREAT to be out pedaling again.
Never tire of floatplanes/seaplanes going by the boat. Well except in Montague where it is non-stop.
Roasted veggies, chicken/chorizo dinner.
Yesterday we were going to cross the Strait of Georgia but ran into a glitch. As we were contemplating going through Gabriola Pass we had nice company in the form of this Nordlund. I like the lines on this boat!
We decided to overnight at North Cove on Thetis Island, which is beautiful. Had time to do a bbq rib dinner. Five spice dry rub, and an Asian sauce, one of my specialties.
A stunning sunset for hopefully our last night in the Gulf Islands for a while.
Yesterday afternoon this pretty Nordhavn arrived and dropped hook in the middle of the bay. I was up at first light and captured her in fairly stunning light.
All right, it's off to the Sunshine Coast right now!
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.
Bye bye Bainbridge, we are off for 6-8 weeks, destination Desolation sound and the Broughtons. I don't have time to document each picture below, but have fun viewing.
Briefly, we stopped at Poulsbo to fuel up at the cheapest prices in the Sound, especially when diesel is 6-7 dollars a gallon in B.C. Ended up having to wait overnight for delivery.
Then a big old windstorm came up in the straight so we planned to overnight at Port Townsend. Ended up picking up some kind of vibration and wanted to have a diver check it out. Which we did, and everything down under was fine, so the vibration remains a mystery.
Crossed with strait with 10 kts from the south and had a nice eve with friends in Roche. Headed to Ganges as soon as I post this.
Something new, artisan sourdough.
Last night as we tendered back to the boat. Canada here we come!
Last two dock carts of groceries and other stuff. Really!
Well, until tomorrow morning when we REALLY have the final carts and shove uff for points North. It's been a very busy number of weeks getting ready to go.
We had ace CAT mechanic Sam from NC Power aboard to change out a bad thermostat under warranty. Incredibly these engine's normal operating temp is 135-140. Hampton YG Service Manager Geo Tamblyn was also aboard for a full day of minor warranty issues, much appreciated although I failed to get a picture. Some photog I am?
Loading on much more food aboard than last year's three week trip, we are now utilizing space under the salon couch. Very handy and such a great touch by Hampton and Pacific Custom Interiors. We about doubled the stash after this picture was taken, and utilized the space under the cushion at left too.
I got in about an hour and a half of stainless polishing today while Deb organized food in the galley. We are both pretty tired and looking forward to heading out. It's our first time doing this on our own and a bit intimidating, but no doubt we will be comfortable shortly.
Desolation Sound and The Broughtons are our main destination, but we have no fixed schedule. We will be gone for 6-8 weeks. Cell connections are sketchy up there but I shall create blog posts as often as I can. I have a bunch of new camera gear and a super awesome drone (my first!) so looking forward to some great imagery as well.
I checked the weather forecast on our Sirius XM subscription today. We pay about $25 a month for this. I wanted to have it for when we were out of cell coverage. Ehhh, I guess I need some more instruction about how to read these forecasts?
But anyway, we are outta here.