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Day 15: Wrap Up

Baraka Too
1996 Beneteau Oceanis 40
Chartered from Nanaimo Yacht Charters
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16 days aboard
12 days traveling
270.4 nautical miles (500.8 km)
60.8 hours at sea
9 brand new destinations
8 nights at anchor
8 nights tied up
6 nights eating out
3 crew
2 boating buddies (3 if you include R Shack herself)
1 BBQ brush melted
∞ Great Times

I’ll post a link to some pictures as soon as I get them organized…

Day 17: Flee Fleance Fly

Abut earlier this morning we were up and around 6:40-ish. C had had a shower already and L headed up for one. I started coffee and then got to packing. I seem to have acquired some volume (and no, I don’t mean my gut).

C and I scrubbed down the exterior of the boat while L did some touch ups inside. We have to be walking to the terminal before 8:45 but we should have plenty of time.

After that we filled the water tanks and started hauling baggage out into a cart. It’s a fairly high tide so we won’t have to haul it all up a steep ramp.

Jonathan popped by and we walked through the boat. I asked about the girl in the accident and he said she walked away from it and the ambulance tide was purely precautionary.

We finished cleaning up and loaded up the cart with the last of the recycling, garbage and bags.

The charter was officially done.

A short walk to the Seair terminal and we got ready to board our flight to YVR. This time it was a Cessna 220. I sat in the copilot seat and chatted with the pilot during the trip. The Cessna has about 60 more hp and took off out of Departure Bay like a bat out of hell.

We banked sharply and landed smoothly on the river to conclude a beautiful flight with a max altitude of 500 ft. A short drive in the shuttle and we arrived at the domestic terminal and checked in.

Some morning wiener was had by all and I had the strawberry milkshake

C hadn’t picked a seat on the website and for some reason that put her at risk of not making the flight. And sure enough they had overbooked and were bumping about 6 passengers. We explained we weren’t flying if C wasn’t flying so they took our tickets and asked us to wait.

15 minutes later C had a seat and we all boarded our flight.

A nice flight with the requisite half a movie and we were home. Henday to 127th and we were soon being ignored by the cats once more.

Home, and then off to the pub…

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Day 16: Down, Down, Down, Down, Down

Windy-windy last night. Smooth as glass this morning. Granola bars, coffee and a fresh shirt start the morning. C & L are a bit in awe of my clothing management system as they ran out if fresh clothes days ago.

We’ve started to talk of home too often. Even Carmen is starting to lose her dirty as the title she supplied for today was downright pedestrian: Bulimic Gypsies and AWOL Cushions

D & M had a long night with the 20 knot winds bouncing us around so the departure time got bumped a half hour or so. We managed to lose a cushion…maybe…but the guy in a zodiac meandering around the bay this morning lost a kayak. I guess knots are important.

We putted around the boat tidying up and finally booked our tickets. We’ve decided that home sounds good so rather than stick around and rent a car to Victoria we will just head home. Unfortunately we’ve left it to late and the only, and I mean the only flight out of Nanaimo is the 9:30 Carmen is booked on. I mean it’s not unfortunate that Carmen is booked on it. Just that it’s at 9:30. That means we likely won’t get to see L’s parents.

The anchor came up smoothly–we always seem to master these things when the trips close to an end– and we headed out of Tribune Bay. The wind came up right away do we tried to sail but it died just as quickly. We motored for a bit and tried again.

We got a good hour sailing in a beam to broad reach and C has definitely got some sail-foo going on. We are learning tons about sail trim this trip. I just wish I could get the traveller to work.

Then it was winds die, motored, sails up, winds die, motored, sails up, winds die etc. Eventually we did some math, vectors and figuring and decided to maintain a course and shoot straight into Departure Bay. So we motored for an hour or so and then…

R Shack Island let out her jib first and turned into a beam reach. We waited and the joined in. Once again R Shack was uncatchable on that point of sail. As we were able to turn closer and closer to the wind we started to hit 6.4-6.6 knots and we were sure we were gaining and knew we would catch them as soon as we turned to a close haul.

And at that very, precise, exact moment, Dave radioed that they were going to turn back up away from the wind and sail around to Protection Island and the mooring buoys. It was plausible. Likely even. But we all knew that he was afraid. He smelled our wind-foo lapping over his starboard side and made a run for it. We were on fire! The 7 knot max was the highlight of the trip.

So we turned into our first and only close haul of the trip. Heeled over and doing 6 knots we screamed into the dead spot at the mouth of Departure Bay and slowly slowed down to a slow 4 knots. Just in time to meet the ferry departing. Safely past the the monstrous wake of the Queen of Cowichan, we glanced back to see the Queen of Oak Bay hard on our ass. Ferry-palooza!

Soon enough we furled the genoa and reeled in the main for the last time. Them we motored over to the fuel dock and tied up for some diesel. Just to end the trip on a good note I dropped the fuel cap into the water and hopelessly watched it sink. F*ck.

I called the NYC office and they gave me directions to our slip. I screwed up the entry as I mistook the right slip, but eventually sidled her up and we tied off. A bit of cleanup and it was Miller time. D & M will dinghy up and meet us at the pub 7:15-ish.

C&L walked the recycling up and them headed for the pub. I hung out on the dock to flag down the dinghy. We had a great last meal and reviewed the past weeks and had one last visit. But all too soon we walked them down to their tender and said goodbye.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege and we are so grateful for the time we’ve spent with Dave and Margaret. Thanks again guys.

It’s a bit late to pack so it will be up early tomorrow and then we say goodbye to Baraka Too.

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Day 15: Cinnamonny and Warm

I woke all excited to join C on an adventure to hunt down the World Famous Blackberry Cinnamon Buns!

But alas she had made it up and out before me and was just arriving back with 3 warm cinnamon buns. But the water wasn’t boiled so the morning wast quite perfect. Close though.

We devoured the buns in the cockpit and roused L so she could partake. And so she partook. After we’d finished licking our lips we went for a walk and visited the stores that weren’t open yet. Yes, we do have a poor sense of timing.

Eventually a wool sweater store opened up and we pawed through the $200 merchandise. It’s a beautiful little village with an emphasis on little. We stopped by the water taxi office to say good morning to the cat we’d met the day before. He ignored us like any proper cat would.

Back in board I rowed over to R Shack island to check their charts; I haven’t got one for Hornby Island. No big surprises. The wind is up tight now so we might get some sailing in on the crossing.

It was another warm bright morning and we watched the small fishing boats come and go and the big aluminum water taxis haul people, kayaks and even 3/4 ton trucks back and forth to Savary Island. Worth a visits next the I think.

All ready to go we cast off smoothly and headed out. As soon as we were clear of the breakwater we unfurled the genoa and tried a little motor sailing. R Shack Island followed us out and tried to hoist their main as well, but there wasn’t quite enough wind.

We motored past the shoal south of Savary and as we passed the buoy we rolled out our main and headed SW on a broad reach. R Shack once again proved faster and soon swept past our stern and passed us. I got a few nice pictures though.

The winds proved fickle again and our starting SOG of 5 knots faded to 4 then eventually 3. It was a nice crossing but when R Shack dropped their reacher it was time to give up. We’d managed to sail about a third of the way so it’s better than we’ve been doing this past week.

To use ourselves in the crossing I promoted puppets shows, a singalong, historical reenactments, mime shows and bikini sunbathing. My crew are definitely not the participating type. Still, I amused myself.

Tribune Bay on Hornby Island is a huge bay with a broad sandy beach and tons of boats anchored. I maundered and waffled, wandered and whimpered and eventually picked a spot. Just before we dropped anchor I changed my mind and went to my second choice. Yup, I am decisive.

Then we let out too much rode and the rope started to run. We hauled it back in and got the chain back on the gypsy. A quick tug and the anchor was set.

We tidied up and cracked some brewskies. Long day. Only 35nm on the water, but a little over 7 hours dock to anchor. After about half of my ice cold Thirsty Beaver, Dave rowed over to offer us his dinghy. I turned him down but offered him a beer instead. Margaret’s too pooped to walk the shore tonight (and I can sympathize with that) so it looks like the beaches of Tribune Cove are a next time thing.

C started the pizza process and we fired up the stubborn BBQ. I’m on keep-it-lit duty so here’s hoping I don’t screw it up.

One minor mishap, but the pizza is cooking away: mmmmmm! Her homemade sauce is a spicy delight. I can hardly wait…

Pizza was great. There was a choice of BBQ and oven. Both were equally zingy! C and I polished off another bottle of red and we sat back sated and happy. Afterwards the ‘girls’ amused themselves with planning a fictional old-tyme dance party. At least I hope it’s fictional.

The sunset isn’t as nice as last night, but any sunset on the water will do; I’m not fussy. The wind is up. Might be a bouncy night at anchor, certainly more so than we’ve had on this trip. And maybe some sailing home tomorrow.

Tomorrow is 36 nm or so to Nanaimo. Then some boat cleaning, a last dinner with D & M and one last night aboard. Still no home plans. We really should have done something about that. Oh well, c’est la vie.

I will say I am ready for my own bed. Probably the only thing about sailboats that really wears is the uncomfortable cabins and berths. One supposes if one had their own boat you would have better foam and at least buy a boat with an appropriately sized berth. I don’t think I have been able to stretch out in bed once.

Regardless, life is fine and it’s soon time for bed.

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