Apologize for the dearth of posts. Up here in Desolation there is rarely enough cell connectivity for blogging. And the marina (etc) wifi has been a joke. But at the moment we are anchored in Pender Harbor and seem to have a decent cell signal.
It's been quite eventful. One of the things I have come to realize on this trip is that basically everything is new to us. The boat is still new. Every anchorage is new. We have had some new mechanical gremlins to get through (engine, generator, etc).
I plan to do a series of posts on all our locations, friends we met up with and so on. But I'll wait until I have a solid internet connection.
I have been taking lots of pictures (new camera) and with the new drone as well! It's a DJI Mavic Pro 2. My first drone. I waited a long time, until the technology was really solid as well as a decent size sensor, which this one has.
This was shot in Von Donop Inlet early one morning. I got some killer shots besides this one. In the back, at right, is our friend David on his Nordhavn Mary Pearl. We met up with them several times and it was a delight.
Speaking of friends, it was quite a nice day when along comes old friend John on Sarah Brooks. I met him 3 or 4 years ago when his boat was in charter. At the time I thought a Fleming would be likely for us. He gave us some great tips via radio. Great to see you John!
We has also met up with Kevin and Allison on the Nordhavn Red Rover. They highly recommended Toba Wilderness Marina (https://www.tobawilderness.com/) so we gave it a shot. Mary Pearl was there too, along with other friends from Trawlerfest, Jim and Joyce on Sequel (the Nordie at left). What a spectacular setting.
Was really fun hosting a dinner party on board Mahalo.
Here is the setting from about 1,400 feet up. Love that drone!
This was only the second or third time I flew the drone off the boat. This is an unnamed cove on Read Island, which I have now dubbed "Paradise Cove." We had this gorgeous spot all to ourselves for two nights, and then a third with one small sailboat.
Yours truly taking it all in from the comfort of our tender. This was a magical spot for sure. Many more posts coming!
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.