Answering email at the return of our 1st cruise of 2011, I came back into our site to check for some photos, but quickly noticed that I never did include any info on our greatest trip yet; Desolation Sound. I’ll try to catch up on this adventure soon, as it truly was a trip we can hardly wait to do again (and again, and again......). Stay tuned.
After a great couple of days with the clan Munro, we set south towards Sidney Spit. Although everyone talks about it, we still haven’t been in to explore it. With a bit of an ebb push, we headed out, but the breeze quickly picked up enough that Elsa was becoming nervous, so I begrudgingly lowered the sails. I learnt awhile ago it’s much better in the long run to keep everyone relaxed and enjoying the trip rather than tense. So we continued on under power, with the wind intensifying as we went. The wind was right on our nose, and we saw an increasing number of bare sticks as we got closer to our destination.
Other than shallow, we didn’t know much about the lay of the harbour or the wharf, so we circled over to see if there was any space. It was pretty pitchy, and I wasn’t about to tuck in to the lone tight space on the lee side without previous knowledge of the surrounding shallows, so we ended heading back to one of the outside mooring buoys (beaten to the nearer ones by others who had also ducked in to ride out the high winds) to wait things out.
So with nothing but time to kill, we began the ‘shore transfer’; the winds were too strong for me to row the whole party, so one by one I transferred everyone ashore. On the first trip Lisa -in trying to be helpful- kept pointing out that my shore target was about 45 degrees lower than the direction I was rowing.... “I know”. After about 50 yds, she re-aquanted with the differences between Heading and CMG (course made good).
Had a great walk around the island. We did the shorter 5 km loop but look forward to doing the complete island loop (around 13km) on a future visit. As we returned I went down to survey the dock, its’ approaches, and escape routes. There were some people departing shortly, so Lisa and I went back out to fetch BoB, while the girls waited for us on the dock. Knowing that we’d be departing in the early am with about 2 foot of tide, we calculated we’d have about 5 ft of water underneath to navigate with. Other boats continued to trickle away as the afternoon wore on; it turns out the park attendants come by and collect fees from boats tied up at 1800. A couple of boats remained, but before sunset the only other boat on the wharf cast off its’ lines to head home to Sidney.... with absolutely NO wind, they’d covered about 100yds by sunset (they’re the rigged boat in the sunset picture). More Photos
Our original plan this weekend was to head to Otter Bay, but it was chocked full, so we instead returned to Montague again. Although we were just there last weekend, we really don’t ever tire of the place. We had planned to anchor, but seeing as how we forgot to fill our water tanks -and there was space on the dock- we tied up for the weekend. The occupants of the boat tied beside us looked familar, and they kept looking over the same way. As it turned out, we were slipped at PRM beside them 2 seasons ago.
Basically it was just another great weekend of relaxing; throwing around the nerf football, frisbee, walking to the point, and going for ice-cream. The girls even went to the late night show @ the Park shack! More Photos
Poets' Cove/Montague LPS05/07/10
Our squadron cruisemasters served up another great cruise offering; a week long trip beginning at Roche Harbour, WA and ending up at Montague Harbour in the Gulf Islands. Several boats did the whole week, while others (like ourselves) joined in for the days we could. For us, that was the the last half; 2 days at Poets’ and 2 days rafted at Montague.
It was a straight forward trip to Bedwell Harbour (Poets&rsquo, however it was the first time we’ve ever checked in through Cdn Customs (phone in via NEXUS) and there actually be officers present. They did not actually beckon us in (but I could see them in the Customs building. To be safe, I did land and report up, but they told me that was un-neccesary, so off we went to our slip assignment.
We’ve heard about Poets’ (even cleared Customs here before), but never actually stayed at the marina before. Nicely appointed, and all the creature comforts one needs (and more!). Being the (early part of) the Canada Day long weekend, there were a few of the to be expected loud boats; including one suncruiser equipped with it’s own dancers’ pole! Too bad the dancer was carrying too much ballast for the pole.
There were 4 boats that continued on up to Montague for the last leg. It was very calm, so once again -under power- we were the first to arrive. Our Squadron’s usual rafting area was avail., so we took a nearby pin and waited for the float-illa to arrive. As they arrived and Jim set anchor for us all to raft to, Elsa and I rowed in behind him to run the stern line up around a big old fir tree. By the time we got back to BoB, the others were already tied along side Jim’s boat and we were able to come over and tie on the end.
After the girls were ‘caught’ with a poor securing of the dinghy bow line on a previous trip ashore, Jim thought it would be a great idea to ‘float’ t/t BoB about 20’ off shore while the girls were off exploring yet again. As we waited and watched, I’m glad we were out of earshot because if the language the kids were using was anything like their hand gestures to each other....... After Jim ‘came to their rescue’ he made the mistake of fessing up to the prank. I think he’ll have to watch his back for a while. More Photos
Although we had planned to FINALLY visit Jones Island, we elected instead to head directly to Sucia and spend 2 nights there instead of one. Rowing in to the dock, Lisa & the kids met up with Barry (from Freedom Too). We saw many boats from earlier stops on this trip... seems like many are doing the same loop. There’s a new (to them) blue 26M behind us on the next finger over at PRM (middle eastern name) that was there. We were on a mission as we set off for our walk this time -completing the Snoring Bay Trail meant that we had hiked ALL the trails on Sucia.
Todd & Cheryl appeared again in their dinghy; with a near 7’ draft and in a cycle of low tides, they were on one of the outer park buoys. They invited us over for drinks & appies later on -where we had a wonderful time visiting and the girls had a wonderful time petting their dogs.
The next day we headed over to the China Caves at Shallow Bay; Elsa still enjoys climbing around in them. With the low tide and a sandy beach as her easel, Megan decided to get creative with her artwork and do some large scale drawings. Cool.
It was sooo nice to get out for more than a couple of days; the week went by way too fast. The only real nice thing about this trip coming to an end is that as soon as we get home we’ll be preparing for our Desolation Sound departure next weekend! More Photos
Stuart Island is just a short, couple of mile hop to the north of Roche. On our way out of Roche we detoured over to the Seattle YC outstation to say hi to Todd & Cheryl, but there was no sign of them. Continuing on to Stuart, we overtook them as we entered the harbor -they were off exploring in their dinghy. We drifted and chatted for a little bit, then continued on to find a mooring buoy.
There’s lots of walking on Stuart, so we began with a walk to the old island schoolhouse. On the way there, I got a chance to remind the kids to always look where your stepping; as we stepped off the path to let a local ATV past, dad proceeded to step right into a patch of stinging nettle! At least I also found some Manilla plant to show them how to rub it on the whelts to ease the itch of the stinging nettle!
Still energized, we elected to continue on to the Turn Point Lighthouse (3.7mi each way). It was a wonderful walk, but with all the hills -especially the steep ones near the Point- it ended up being more than we bargained for! On the return trek the kids picked up a couple of glow in the dark San Juan Pirate t-shirts at the honour store. More Photos
With another blustery day in the forecast, we opted for an earlier departure from Sidney Spit. We got into Roche at 0750, just before the Customs Office opening time of 0800. While dialling up to clear on the Customs phone, the dock officer showed up for his opening shift, so I asked him which would be preferred and he said to hang up and just wait for him to open up. As we proceeded to check in he began to inform us that we shouldn’t have touched dock prior to his opening -which was new to me. After I produced our BR number, he then acknowledged that it was okay. Originally unsure whether to stay or continue on to Stuart, we elected to stay and pulled in to the guest docks for slip assignment. After securing the boat we went up to grab a coffee and met up with Todd and Cheryl -owners of BWY. They were taking a well deserved week off after hosting their annual rendezvous at Friday Harbour. There were 2 other 26Ms there, and later on met up with a 3rd mac owner that trailered out from eastern WA with his daughter. We had enjoyed a lot of the creature comforts last time we were here, so the girls already had a list of ‘to do’s. But new to us on this visit were the Bocci courts up by the old lime furnaces. Dad and Elsa OWNED the courts as we played a couple of games. More Photos
This was the beginning of a week of Lisa’s vacation time. With our upcoming trip north at the end of the month, we decided to scoot over to the Gulf Islands then proceed to the top end of the San Juans for a little mini-cruise. After last weeks ‘oops’ with not reserving moorage, we booked in advance for the Caribbean Dinner special at Otter Bay. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten together with the Munro’s, so it was an added bonus that both Lucky Money and Mary Rose could both make it. The ‘event’ was not very well organized. The food was great, but some of the ‘people skill’ issues that we found with the management team that took over last year were present again. With the increased transient moorage prices, I’d rather go to Poets’ or somewhere else. More Photos
Normally we’re into some sort of boating weather to get us into the spirit of our‘big trip’ planning, but if we keep waiting..........
We’ve wanted to do Desolation Sound for a couple of years, but this year it looks like it’s going to happen. YES! Even better, another couple from our Langley Power Squadron were looking at heading up there, and we’ve managed to align our blocks of vacation time (okay -Lisa’s time, seeing I’m off for the summer) so that we’ll do the cruise together. Lisa and I have begun getting our ideas of ‘have to’ ports & bays of call together so we can begin to plan our route. It would be great to have a 3rd week, but we’ll gladly take the two. We can’t wait.
Six weeks later than last year, we finally got out for a weekend in the boat. Admittedly, last year was early, but it’s been 2 months since my last race crewing for Robert, so I’ve been feeling a little like a caged animal.
It’s not that we haven’t prepared for it; we’ve installed a Wallas paraffin oil heater as well as mounting a larger/longer anchor roller to accommodate the 10kg Rocna anchor we picked up during last season. I got a local stainless steel fabricator to make me an arch (external of the canvas cockpit enclosure) to mount my antennae, and Lisa has sewed up great binnacle cover out of black sunbrella.
Anyway, we had planned to attend the first LPS cruise of the season (last week of April), but a windy, bumpy Georgia Strait suggested otherwise. So we puttered on the boat, had lunch, and returned home instead.
So all of us couldn’t wait to head over to Port Browning for the May long weekend. We had an uneventful trip over, via Georgeson Passage. There were quiet a few boats already in, include 3 vessels from the Bellingham Squadron -it was great to meet up with them. Friday night was nice, but cool, so we elected to wait until Sat. night for the movie.
Saturday started out as a beautiful morning -sunny and warm. Elsa and I rowed out around the point to set our crab trap, then I hoisted her up the mast to attach the flag halyard that I forgot to run when putting the mast up. A local prawn boat came in, so we picked up a pound of fresh prawn to have as part of our main course for the Sat. night Appetizer-Potluck, but by the early afternoon dark clouds started settling in. Just as we were about to start the Pot Luck up on the field, the clouds opened up. We quickly got another tent out, and everyone got as cozy as we could and managed to stay (mostly) dry. The rain did stop after about an hour & a half, but there was a cold wetness that took care of any thoughts about having the movie that night.
All throughout the weekend, anyone with traps were loading their catches into some in water holding tanks that some of the members have, so by Sunday afternoon, we had a sizeable feed of crab for everyone. We set up some tables on the end of the wharf, in the lee of Dave & Sandie’s ‘Bayfield’. Jacquie counted 52 people and 15 LPS + 3 BPS boats. It was another GREAT cruise planned out by our cruisemaster’s Jeff & Leanne.
Sunday afternoon blew pretty good, and the forcast for Monday was similar to worse, so with our girls having dance classes in the early afternoon, our best choice was to head off early Monday morning. Originally I was thinking departing around 0800, but we ended up heading out around 0715. The trip back was comfortable for motoring back home -light/increasing winds, but only 1-2 foot chop at that point. The worse was the slop off the head Point Roberts. So we headed into our slip, gave BoB a good cleaning and headed home to mow the lawn. More photos
It’s been a while in the planning, but it was a great feeling to finally be bound for Desolation Sound; travelling with some LPS friends, Jim & Pam. They moor out of Vancouver, so we’re meeting up at the LPS rendezvous at Gibsons, and will continue on from there. We’ve got a loose schedule/plan, but who know how it will play out -we’ve had so many helpful suggestions from others that have already made the trek.
We had a late departure from PRM as I experimented with towing the dinghy with the engine left on its transom. We ended up being late checking in to Cdn. Customs at Jericho, but when I called in to inform them of our adjusted ETA, they informed me that they already had us down as having cleared!!! Oh well, not too many extra miles travelled. It was a small turn out at Gibsons, which made us feel a little guilty leaving the next morning (instead of staying another night), but North was calling.......