The Last Week

11 June

  • Up around 0700.
  • We are an hour away from Sidney and have a noon lunch date so will just hang out for the morning.
  • We motor down and check out Fulford Harbour. Nice looking place except for the big ass ferry that comes and goes multiple times a day.
  • We motor to Sidney and tie up.
  • Lunch with Geo Takach and his daughter Fran.
  • Laundry in the P.M.
  • Then Mark and Karen pick us up and take us for delicious Chinese.

12 June

  • Off the dock around 1000 hrs. I have to stop trying to turn the bow into the wind.
  • Motor past Portland Island and then raise the sails.
  • We are sailing with a ton of big ferries in some pretty narrow water.
  • It gets even more exciting by Enterprise Reef just outside of Active Pass and the Ferries have little room to maneuver and we have a lee shore. But everyone finds sea room and no one dies.
  • We sail right into Montague Harbour and drop our sails at hedge of the anchorage.
  • We anchor off the marina and settle in for the night.

13 June

  • I haul the dinghy up on deck to search again for the slow leak. No luck.
  • Load the outboard on the dinghy and set off for the marina to explore.
  • Then we head to the Provincial Park to walk the shoreline.

14 June

  • We are up bright and early and head for Nanaimo to spend out last few days in the harbour. Need to make Dodd Narrows slack at 1330 hrs.
  • We raise the sails in 13 knots and slowly jibe back and forth going down wind. It’s cold again.
  • Just before Porlier Pass we haul in the main and motor sail with the jib. We are making 6.3-7 knots the rest of the trip.
  • Winds are predicted to be 20-30 tomorrow so we decided to just head on into our slip at Stones.
  • Fuel up and back into our slip for the last time around 1430 hrs.

15 June

  • Rain. Not much wind though.
  • I buy some cleaner for the inside of the bimini (still some algae from last winter). Hosing the underside of the enclosure in the rain…it presents an odd picture.
  • We prep for a quick haulout, but then its cancelled.
  • So we grab our bins from storage and start sorting and packing.
  • And then the winds. And more rain.
  • Looks like we are inside for the rest of the day.
  • And more rain.

16 June

  • Lovely sunny morning.
  • Drop off a bag at Seair so they can send it on an earlier flight.
  • Do the last loads of laundry for stuff staying in storage.
  • Finish packing and inventorying by noon and haul everything into storage unit.
  • Clean galley and then the rain starts again.
  • Afternoon coffee with L’s parental units.
  • More cleaning.
  • Last dinner aboard.
  • Finish it off with a movie in the cockpit.

    17 June

    • Off the boat.
    • At Seair by 9:15.
    • We get to fly in a Beaver (1956); always my favourite. 
    • Only 3 on the flight so we leave 20 minutes early. 
    • And a couple of hours in YVR before we are home…

      The Last Few Weeks (Almost)

      As our spring cruise slowly begins to wind up, I bring you even more excerpts from the logs of Never for Ever.

      1 June

      • I’m up bright and early. Lots of traffic on the docks as boaters (and charterers) come and go.
      • Ian makes up some more epoxy and I patch the hole in the dinghy.
      • I check the Velcro—the glue has not held; the sealant has not cured right. Need a Plan B. And to stop using that sealant—it has failed me in almost every application since I bought it.
      • Around 2, after borrowing the car, I head downtown to pick up Leslie at the Harbour Air terminal.
      • We head to Thrifty’s for replenishment. I pick up some contact cement at London Drugs. Then we drive over to Harbour Chandlers and I get a small tube of silicone seal.
      • We wander over to chat with Canty. We are not able to make definitive plans but will try and hook up in the next few weeks.
      • We order Ali Baba pizza (delivery) for supper. Delicious and a most welcome treat.

      2 June

      • Chain is in and Ian marks off 120’ up by the office.
      • Jared comes down and checks the shaft alignment. Torques the motor mounts one last time and tightens an injector. He also tightens up the stuffing box.
      • I reattach the teak and mount the flag on the spiffy refinished flagstaff.
      • Leslie and I spray paint yellow in 30’ increments and add yellow zip ties on the 15’ increments. One of the staff comes by and splices the old rope rode onto the new chain. We are good to go.
      • We load up the chain, rope and anchor in a heavy-duty wheelbarrow and haul it down to the boat.
      • Leslie’s parents show up so we head off to the Pirates Fish and Chip place for lunch.
      • Back on board we finish loading rode and anchor back on bow. We are officially good to go.
      • We decide to wait another day and clean the canvas before we leave. So we spend the afternoon cleaning canvas and getting wet and grimy.
      • Beth (from NYCSS) is taking out Baraka 2 with some friends for the weekend and are loading up tons of supplies.
      • We also book our Iceland accommodations and tour as well as the last of the London details.

      3 June

      • We cast off around 1000 hrs and fuel up.
      • Then we roll out the sail while we are still in the harbour and head to Dodd Narrows for the 1300 slack.
      • We sail all the way to Dodds and roll in the main for a transit about an hour early. A Hunter in front of us balks twice at the entrance and on their failed second attempt we scoot by and smoothly transit the narrows.
      • On the other side we raise sails almost immediately in 10-12 knot winds and start beating south. The next two sailboats, and a few minutes later Baraka 2, all raise their sails as well and we all crisscross back and forth. Eventually we all split off to go our separate ways.
      • We arrive at Clam Bay, Thetis Island still under sail around 1600 having put less than an hour on the engine all day. We anchor on the south side in 20’ of water with our shiny new chain.
      • Leslie goes for a long evening row.

      4 June

      • Lazy day.
      • Around 1100 we put the motor on Laughing Baby and transit the Cut to the Telegraph Harbour Marina.
      • Most of the boats from the Hunter Rendezvous are gone but we chat with Lawrence for a bit and promise we will make next year’s Rendezvous. (It will have an ABBA theme!)
      • The rest of the day is relaxing in the very still waters of the bay and watching all the boats leave. There were 15 or 20 when we arrived and we are down to 5 by the time we settle in for the night.
      • Beautiful sunset!

      5 June

      • A slow morning. Only 3 boats left by the time we decided to move on.
      • It’s still glassy calm, so we motor south towards Prevost Island or maybe Ganges on Saltspring.
      • As soon as the water is hot, I grab a shower.
      • James Bay on Prevost is our preferred destination and as we approach, it appears there are only two converted fishing boats rafted together in the deeper part of the Bay. Score.
      • We drop anchor in 30’ of water on a falling tide and settle in at the end of our 120’ in about 22’ depth. Perfect.
      • We row ashore and explore the mudflats before heading over to the camping area on the west side of the bay. This bay is now part of the Gulf Islands National Marine Park Reserve. We grab a map showing all the reserves and realize we have been to many of them already.
      • Another quiet evening. We are joined by two more sailboats but one leaves around 8 o’clock.

      6 June

      • Up around 0730 to another sunny day.
      • I catch up on some blogging.
      • We hit the reef at low, low tide (1015 hrs) and do some exploring.
      • Ongoing Bald eagle/raven battles keep us amused.
      • With the motor on the dinghy we head out into Captains Passage and check out Selby Cove and Annette Cove. Two more anchorages on Prevost Island for next time.
      • In the afternoon we hike up rough trails that run north along the peninsula.
      • After some bushwhacking we hit the top of the hill and take some images and enjoy the sunshine and view.
      • Beautiful sunny day.

      7 June

      • wakeup.
      • loll around.
      • Eventually we take off and hike inland. Then we cut across and bushwhack down into a valley before heading back to the cove. No groomed trails here but some really nice hikes nonetheless.
      • Cold and rainy evening.

      8 June

      • Up early in the rain. Slow motor to Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island dodging crab traps in the limited visibility.
      • Tie up at Ganges Marina.
      • Wind is up but the sun slowly comes out.
      • We check out downtown, Black Sheep Books, acquire some back-up wine, a few souvenirs and buy a few things at Thrifty’s.
      • After Eight (a 150’ yacht owned by the Wheaton family of Edmonton) comes in and ties up at the government wharf.
      • Back at the boat we unpack and then head out again for a bigger tourist experience.
      • We check out all the shops, talk art in the co-op gallery and smell some awesome soaps. L buys a card with a drawing of Mona Lisa— there is a series each with a different version done by a class of school kids. A great idea.
      • We now have a new dish drain pan!
      • Dinner at Moby’s Pub. Probably the best beef dip I have ever had. Really, really good.
      • Quiet night aboard; we have wifi so we catch up on some Netflix.

      9 June

      • up early and watch the HMCS Raven cast off the outer dock. They leave two crew ashore who then catch up in a RIB.
      • We shower, top up the water and cast off.
      • 1.75 hrs later we drop anchor alongside two other boats off Russell Island, another Gulf Island National Park.
      • It’s low tide so we hit the shore for a couple of hours of beachcombing along the midden beaches. Starfish, sea cucumbers and we actually get some video of barnacles feeding. I love low tide.
      • The anchorage starts to fill up with 10 or 11 boats here for the night.
      • While we are chatting, it occurs to me that the name of the guy who’s Bayfield bumped into us in the middle of the night had said he was headed to see a friend in Prince Rupert. And his name was Cole. And he had a Bayfield. I ran for my cellphone and loaded the YouTube app. Yup, the Cole who banged into us was Alfie from the Life is Like Sailing YouTube channel that I watch. Cole had helped Alfie take his boat up to Prince Rupert last fall. Small world—I just wish I had figured it out sooner.
      • We make a reservation at Port Sidney for Sunday night—gonna go visit some peeps.
      • Skipbo for evening entertainment

      10 June

      • Lots of powerboats=generators disturbing the morning silence.
      • We take off for a hike and manage to do the whole island. Probably not more than 3 miles or so total.
      • There is an old Hawaiian settlement here: apparently there were lots of Hawaiian workers who decided not to return home and settled the coast.
      • Snakes! Clam gardens built along the north shore! Hidden rose gardens and massive clematis!
      • We go past the groomed trails and hike to the eastern tip of the island.
      • There are 21 + boats in the anchorage by the time we get back.
      • A Fine Madness is a big ketch filled with students from Lethbridge. The program is called Literasea. Stuck on a boat with a dozen or so teenager? No wonder the Captain took a short walk on the island by himself 🙂
      • Lunch!
      • We count them up and realize we have only spent (as in paid cash for) 9 nights in a marina. There was almost a week on the hard in Stones and probably about 6 other nights in our slip. But other than that, in almost two months we have paid to stay only 9 times. Pretty sweet.
      • The anchorage must be a common party spot on weekends because a half dozen of the powerboats all seem to know each other.
      • Another crib blowout.
      • 23 boats in the anchorage when we retire for the evening — 10 of them sailboats.

      The next, next week or so

      More excerpts from the logs of Never for Ever.

      16 May

      • Off the dock at around 1045 hr
      • There is a nice NW wind and we are heading south…
      • We roll out the jib and then, around noon, we raise the main.
      • after a while we were back to motor sailing but around 1400 we caught the wind again and had a lovely downwind sail to the bay (Sturt) at Van Anda on Texada Island.
      • Pulled into the Texada Boat club into our favourite spot around 1545 hrs.
      • an American Bavaria pulls in in front of us filled with gregarious friendly boaters heading to Desolation
      • Then a cutter-rigged Nauticat (very unusual) from Victoria ties up along side them. Nice boat.
      • Had a lovely chat with Bob, the wharfinger. Seems the pub and restaurant might actually be reopened for the main cruising season. Bob ( his wife actually) maintains a database of batters so he always greets you by name when he comes down to the dock.

      17 May

      • off the dock around 10.
      • it’s a grey day and the winds are 15-20 from the SE, right on the nose…sigh, Malaspina always does that to us. Maybe we should have kept going yesterday with the lovely downwind sailing.
      • L is jonesing to sail so around noon she convinces me to raise the sails. We haul out the main with our nominal “first reef.”
      • I man the helm for the first 20 minutes or so then she takes over. We add a bit more reef and she and skippers the rest of the day.
      • We tack back and forth for 3 or 4 hours ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 knots of SOG.
      • At one point we cross in front of a huge barge by a couple of hundred yards. We had the nominal right of way, but he was a tug under tow with limited maneuverability so had precedence.
      • Drop sails around Quarry Bay — the same place we did last time we beat down Malaspina. Great day.
      • Dropped anchor in Garden Bay around 1745 hrs

      18 May

      • I call the Pender Harbour Health Centre to see where L can see a Dr. about her ear. They say they can see us around 11.
      • We dinghy over to Maderia Park and then meander down the Sunshine Coast Highway for 15 minutes or so, encountering our very first Turtle Crossing along the way.
      • I have to say that was a great clinic. Small towns are great that way.
      • We stop at the pharmacy on the way home, load up on drugs and head back to the boat.

      19 May

      • Up anchor at 0930.
      • Fuel up on the way out and then head south to Smuggler Cove for the long weekend.
      • Just outside Pender I spot a small; blue boat and check it out as I have every other small blue boat. Turns out it is indeed Kismet and Peter (from Victoria).
      • After a brief chat on the radio we decide to raft up in the middle of the Malaspina. There is zero wind. we visit for 15 minutes or so and then say our goodbyes. Peter is headed north to start work at Heriot Bay (Kayak guide at Spirit of the West Adventures).
      • Arrive Smuggler Cove around 1300 hrs. Stern tie on second try. Cross currents are a real bugger.
      • Three Hunters in row after we tie up.

      20 May

      • Cove fills up. Up to 10 boats at one point just in front cove; more in the back one.
      • We head off to Thoramsby Island to explore beach. Hot and beautiful.
      • Call and make a reservation at Gibsons Marina…full. 🙁
      • They call back a bit later and say a spot opens up 🙂

      21 May

      • Raise anchor by 8 am.
      • A long motor to Gibbons.
      • We cross the bar (shoal) mid-tide in 10 feet of water.
      • It’s a tight squeeze into our berth; barely a few inches wider than the fender. Docking successful!
      • L’s Uncle comes down to pick us up and we head to Roberts Creek for lunch and a visit. Stunning hillside home!
      • Dinner is at the pub.

      22 May

      • Quiet day while Leslie works on her presentation.
      • I clean the boat. It needed it.

      23 May

      • Move 2 nm to Plumper Cove.
      • We anchor with a little less scope than I want as the winds start to climb.
      • There is a older gent in an aluminum powerboat towing around stray logs…Relic lives!
      • Eventually the boat behind us moves to a mooring buoy so we let out more scope and have a bumpy night.

      24 May

      • I can see the bar through my binoculars and at low tide, with the wind, it looks like one big long standing wave.
      • Winds die.
      • Explore Keats Island and do the Marine Park Loop. LOTS of uphill!

      25 May

      • Raise anchor around 0945 hrs. We take the long way around Keats.
      • I take a shower and L runs out the jib in 12-15 knots of wind. We leave the engine running because we want to charge up the batteries for our stay in Nanaimo.
      • Bumpy but we do 6 – 6.5 knots pretty consistently in 15-19 knot winds.
      • Pull into Nanaimo Harbour around 1430 with the winds still around 15 knots.
      • Decide to set anchor using the wind. Works, but when I go to set it using the engine I get the dinghy painter caught in the prop (the whole story).
      • Stay at anchor until we can get a tow the next day.

      26 May

      • 0100 hrs we are up and fending off a Bayfield with too much scope that banged into us. Decide to raft up for the night.
      • 0630 hrs we cast off the Bayfield.
      • We go into town to shop and walk.
      • Visit NewCastle Island at low, low tide. Almost zero water between the two islands.
      • Ian from NYCSS shows up with crew and tows us to Stones Boatyard.
      • Hauled out and on blocks for at least 24 hrs.
      • Cut painter from prop shaft. Turns out the motor mounts are broken. Now we are here for the weekend.

      27 May

      • HOT!
      • Drop off L at Harbour Air for her seaplane ride to #YVR
      • Scrape teak from hatch and flagstaff. Sand.
      • Fill stripped holes for strap brackets in dinghy
      • Remove anchor chain and rode

      28 May

      • Resand teak
      • Meet Jim (from Sea Esta X) and Gwen wandering the yard. They are there waiting to pick up Tim and Donna at the ferry.
      • Laundry day.

      29 May

      • First coat of varnish on teak.
      • Take down bimini to replace worn velcro and try and build dams from silicone to prevent water dripping.
      • Drilled pilot holes for reattaching strap brackets in dinghy. Drill hole strait through 🙁 Luckily the brackets have watertight gaskets so I can stop the damn thing from sinking.

      30 May

      • Cold and rainy.
      • 2nd coat of varnish on teak
      • 2 mounts go in in the am.
      • Tim and Donna drop by for a visit.
      • The last two mounts are installed.
      • Try and replace impeller in knot meter. I get it out but a replacement is $120+ so I put the damaged one back in.
      • I scrub the anchor locker and get it ready for new chain.
      • Supposedly we are back in the water at 09:30 hrs tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

      31 May

      • Up at 0530 hrs. Why? I have no idea.
      • Spot Canty at the boat lift dock so I go down to chat with Paul and Kristie. They are in for bottom paint.
      • As soon as the lift drops Canty, it comes for Never for Ever. We are back in the water. Jared checks engine, tightens injector and Darcy hops aboard to help me move us back to a slip.
      • The boat has shifted a bit on the stands so we need to let it settle for a day and then they will check and align the shaft.
      • Put the final coat on the teak.
      • Anchor is still ashore, waiting for new chain and splice.
      • Darryl stops by and we have coffee. Being on the hard is certainly turning out to be social…
      • Haul out dinghy on foredeck to clean and prep my drilled hole in hull.
      • Alas no chain (it’s G4 and a special order) until Friday
      • I’ve got highspeed so I watch Rush on Netflix. Not bad

      The Next Two Weeks — or so…

      Let’s continue on with a day-to-day summary of our trip to date shall we? That means I can just copy notes out of the ship’s log, add an observation here and there and be absolved from doing any real writing. Ah laziness…

      Boat Log

      5 May con’t
      – We spent the rainy day in Squirrel Cove hunkered down, out of the rain.
      – Nothing to report.
      6 May
      – Raised anchor around 0945 and motored back to the public dock.
      – Leslie went ashore to mail some mail (Mother’s Day cards).
      – Then we set off north, anticipating a nice downwind sail in 10-12 knots of wind.
      – And the wind died.
      – Arrived at Cassel Lake Falls in Teakerne Arm a few hours later.
      – Spent a looooong time trying to stern tie in 100ft+ of water and just downstream from the falls. We finally managed to get the boat stable on our third stern tie position.
      – Hiked up to the top of the falls and then on to the lake. Beautiful!
      – Back at the dingy we rowed along the coastline before heading back to the base of the falls.
      – Once aboard the winds picked up on the beam and the stern got closer and closer to the shore — not sure if the anchor was dragging or the long rode in deep water was adding to much play into the system…
      – A brief discussion resulted in the prudent decision to up anchor around 1630 and set off for Von Donop Inlet.
      – Side note: my allergies were kicking in and I was hacking away and choking like I haven’t done in years.
      – 17-20 knots of wind right on the nose: sigh.
      – We anchored in the first cove by the lagoon at 2015 hrs.
      – Anchor was making a weird noise all night.


      7 May
      – Upon consultation we decided the noise was unacceptable and pulled up the anchor to move further down the inlet.
      – We are the third boat the. This counts as the most crowded we’ve been since we left Nanaimo.
      – L and I are both now exhibiting signs of bad colds. Did we pack cold meds? No.
      – Nice sunny day and L explored the inlet by dinghy.
      – Spent some time on the point overlooking the entrance.


      8 May
      – Colds fully installed and raging. We feel like crap.
      – We decide to head for some sort of chemical relief and up anchor for Heriot Bay
      – 2 hours later, Heriot Bay is full, so we tie up at Taku Resort.
      – L docks us masterfully. She’s been doing a lot of docking this trip.
      – We pay up and head for the store for Sinutab and NeoCitran and doughnuts for lunch.
      – Later we hang around the boat suffering pathetically.
      – Dinner is the pub at the Heriot Bay Inn. Burger and a Hermann’s for $12: w00t!
      – Just before we go to bed, while brewing a batch of NeoCitran, the propane runs out. Switch tanks at night in the rain or wait until morning, knowing coffee will have to wait?


      9 May
      – Try to make coffee and remember previous night’s decision. Crawl out on stern to change propane tanks. Make coffee.
      – More hanging around pathetically.
      – We make a trip back to the store for some milk and produce.
      – I checked the public dock to see if Peter from Kismet was there but no.
      – More hanging around. Possibly even more pathetically.


      10 May
      – Still sick but tired of being sick and tied up to the dock.
      – I forgo my morning doping and we cast off for Octopus Islands
      – First we stop at Heriot Bay to refuel and refill our empty propane tank
      – We are way early (3 hours) for slack at Beazley Passage so we tied up at the Surge Narrows Public Dock.
      – I forgot about the note about the cross current and screw up backing in twice before I jump off the stern (dock line in hand) to just wrestle the damn boat in by hand.
      – Someone forgets to take boat out of gear before aforementioned jumping to dock.
      – L saves the day.
      – Finally tied up we chat with the locals, explore the post office right on the dock and walk up the road (track) to the local school.
      – No roads here, no power, no services — just cool residents living the life.
      – A couple of hours of hanging around: pathetic love: medium.
      – 1700 hrs we cast off again and negotiate the “rapids” with no issue.
      – Arrive in Octopus Islands with one boat in the centre cove so we head to the northern-most cove and swing in the middle by our lonesome.


      11 May
      – We are joined by two other boats.
      – Colds continue; considering labeling ourselves a “plague ship.”
      – L throws her back out to make life even better; adds Robaxacet to drug regimen.
      – It rains off and on.
      – I go for a small row, but we otherwise huddle below.


      12 May
      – Rains on and off, sunny in between.
      – Going stir crazy, so we head off for a row around the islets.
      – We encounter Brad and Jan from s/v Longreach just arriving back at their boat in the other cove. They have been crabbing.
      – After turning down their offer of crab due to extreme crab-related ignorance and then turning down their offer of free wine due to plague-ship status, we finally relent to accept a couple of pre-cleaned crab and cooking instructions. Super-nice people who have been living aboard for years and traveled to Mexico, the South Pacific, Japan and back.
      – We return to the boat for the now traditional hanging around pathetically.
      – For dinner we boil up the crab, I make up a lemon mignonette and garlic aioli and are now initiated into the ranks of messy crustacean consumers. Good stuff.


      13 May
      – L need internet for some last minute conference stuff, so we decided to head off to the Toba Wildernest Resort on the advice of friendly neighbourhood boaters.
      – We up-anchor 30 minutes before slack at Hole in the Wall — everyone else does as well and as we leave the Islands they are once again empty.
      – We circle outside Hole in the Wall (up to 11 knots of current at max flood!) waiting for exact slack. Two trawlers come through from the other side about 8 minutes early and we head in as soon as the clear the pass.
      – The gap between the two islands takes about 30 minutes and is narrow and beautiful the whole way.
      – As we cross Calm Channel we get internet again for the first time in a bunch of days.
      – No wind and we motor for a few hours easterly towards Toba Inlet.
      – Approaching the Wildernest Resort we radio in and they tell us they are still closed until June 1. Bugger. Stupid friendly neighbourhood boaters.
      – So we head south to Waddington Channel to check out Walsh Cove.
      – Walsh is beautiful but involves a stern tie in 60-80 feet of water. And we’re tired. And still sick. And Prideaux is only 1.5 hrs south. So we decide to continue on.
      – We anchor in Laura Cove (Prideaux Haven) around 1820 hrs. Since we are the only boat we just swing in the middle. Long, tiring day. We take drugs and go to sleep.


      14 May
      – I’m feeling better. -ish. The cold has receded leaving only the post nasal drip of a bad allergy attack that wakes me up in the middle of the night because I’m choking. L’s back is good but the cold seems to have settled into her ear…
      – I mention the H-word. Discussion is deferred.
      – Internet is too spotty so we head out into Homfray Channel to get a good signal.
      – Work done, files uploaded and tasks completed we circle a bit and decide against returning to Laura Cove. Tomorrow is supposed to be another crap day before the weather clears for a week or so. We have laundry to do and some groceries to get so we decide to head to Lund.
      – And possibly I am getting a bit stir crazy and need to walk around…
      – We arrive at Lund around 1330 and they have one spot left just the perfect size for us. We tie up and decide against paying for power.
      – We go shopping, restock on drugs and olive oil.
      – And take a short walk.


      15 May
      – It rains all night
      – I throw on my rain pants over my pajamas and head up to Nancy’s Bakery for fresh, warm cinnamon buns. Mmmmmmm.
      – L works and I head in to do the laundry.
      – More talk of hospitals and doctors (L has to fly in less than 2 weeks and the ear needs to be dealt with by then). Discussion deferred again.
      – We walk up to the Historic Lund Hotel and I have the “World’s Best Clubhouse.” When I ask the waitress if it really is, she admits to being a new employee and uninformed about the possible superlative nature of the clubhouse.
      – It is a damned good clubhouse. The waitress later admits to asking the cook to ensure its superlative nature and he decided to add extra bacon to push it over the top. Lucky me.
      – We buy Harbour House’s Whelks to Whales to further our knowledge of all the undersea life we have been examining on our almost daily rows.
      – A short walk ends back on board with some relaxing, coughing and generally time-wastage.
      – Then it’s time for wine.

      Our first ummm… 2 weeks

      It’s been busy 2 weeks. A lot of change, a lot of settling in and a lot of re: readjusting, rearranging,repositioning and rethinking. I am surprised on some levels how smoothly it has gone; and on others I remain sceptical about the amount of success we can claim in actually adjusting to life back on the boat. Still, we’ve got time and intend to let matters take their course.

      I am going to do a post over at neverforever.ca detailing some of these issues but I thought I would do a quick catch up of the day to day of the last two weeks or so.

      Log

      20 April

      • Travel from YEG to YVR. We caught a cab to the South floatplane terminal and had a bee in the Flying Beaver while we waited for our flights. Our extra bags almost tripled out 35 lb baggage allowance so we paid an extra $25. Still a good deal.
      • It was sunny in Vancouver but we landed in Nanaimo in a light rain; it remained sporadic for the rest of the day.
      • We walked over to Stones Marina and collected the boat and gate keys from the new Marine Store. We loaded our gear on board and started unpacking.
      • There are at least 3 owners on dock right now so we share the keys to the courtesy car around. Owen from Keykera (the Hanse 40) lets me know when he’s done and we pile in to buy supplies.
      • I carelessly stuffed my reader in the front pouch of my carry-on and when I stacked it on top of the rolling luggage and then we dropped the whole mess it turned out that half my screen was now inoperable. Since I didn’t want to read only half a book (only the bottom half) we decided to seek out a Chapters. Since we were at it we bought two (one for each of us) and then skipped across the parking lot to Save On to provision.
      • Despite our careful lists last spring we still managed to to buy things we didn’t need like laundry soap and tinfoil. A lesson learned for next year.
      • IMG 0180

      21 April

      • Sunny 14°
      • The morning started slow as we bounced back and forth from the NYCSS office to the boat listing deficiencies (missing cushions, missing dish rack etc.) and straightening little details out.
      • L’s parents picked us up around noon and we went out for lunch and coffee afterwards.
      • Back on board we engaged in more unpacking, tackllngour storage locker. Our initial intent to not haul it all was soon abandoned and the only thing we left behind was a couple of pillows and a comforter as NYCSS had supplied us with linens. Still, I got my favourite pillow and our fleece sheets so the boat is over supplied with linen.

      22 & 23 April

      • After some humming and hawing we decided to stay on dock settling in. There were a few issues (a lose wire, I wanted to replace the dinghy painter etc.) and the evenings were on the cool side and we like the electric heat. So we took the time to acclimatize both physical and mentally.
      • By the time we had moved everything around the boat had been transformed from the stark charter boat to something more akin the home we were used to.
      • We did dinghy to Newcastle and walk around for a bit. My stomach had been unsettled for the last couple of days and remained that way for more than a week; I took to having late afternoon lie-downs. I still don’t know what the problem was but I stopped taking cholesterol meds I had recently been prescribed and things have settled. L is convinced its a psychosomatic coincidence but I am not so sure. I will restart them in a day or two and see how it goes.

      24 April

      • We finally cast off and motored the  long 1 nautical mile to the anchorage off Newcastle Island.
      • The weather is unsettled but not unpleasant
      • When we hopped in the dinghy to take a run into town the outboard seemed to be seized. I couldn’t pull the start cord for love or money. A bit of investigation and poking around found that the engine was fine but the transition was in gear. A little more poking around found a bolt lying loose under the engine. I managed to retrieve it and fasten the bracket for the transmission shifter cable and voila! We motored back to NYCSS and borrowed a deep socket to tighten it back up and we were good to go again.

      25 April

      Rainy.

      We went to run errands in town. Picked up some loonies and twoonies for laundry and showers and some more fresh produce. I also snagged a second frying pan and a bunch of odds and ends of kitchen ware from the dollar store.

      We hiked to the lake on Newcastle and enjoyed the rest of the day.

      IMG 0203

      26 April

      • Sunny.
      • We weighed anchor and motored across Strait—no wind to speak of.
      • About half way through Welcome Passage — a narrow passage between South Thoramsby and the mainland — we were hailed by a tug that had just passed Merry Island behind us. He let us know that the tug way ahead of us was coming into Welcome passage as well and that we should be prepared to make room for the two tugs and barges to potentially pass each other in the narrow passage.
         
        I assured him we would.
         
      • I checked the AIS and it looked like our CPA (closest point of approach) for the tug ahead would be four minutes or so after I intended to turn off into Smuggler so we relaxed and just kept an eye on him.
      • We pulled into an empty Smuggler Cove a little before low tide. We went a bit deeper into he Cove than we usually do and managed a pretty decent stern tie manuever.

      27 April

      • Sunny.
      • We paddled around and hiked part of the trails. A quiet day.
      • IMG 0217

      28 April

      • Sunny.
      • We pulled out and made the short motor to Garden Bay in Pender Harbour. There was big powerboat anchored off our stern but he left a little later. Once again we were the only (transient) boat in an anchorage.
      • There was a small aluminum boat tied off to a mooring buoy (I thought)  a few boat lengths off the end of our rode but I ignored him. Turns out he wants on a mooring buoy but on about 80 feet of rope road and when the small powerboat returned to take over the line from aluminum job we were closer to  30 feet. I talked about moving with the owner but decided to see what would happen.
      • We headed in to Madeira Bay to buy some meat and a few forgotten provisions. We checked out a few places to potentially eat dinner and eventually motored around the point and checked out the Painted Boat Resort and made a reservation at their restaurant.

      29 April

      • Raining mostly but it cleared late afternoon.
      • When I poked my head up in the morning the anchored power boat was bumping off our bow and the owner had come out to make sure we weren’t scraping up the side of our boat. Nice guy. So I gave in and we moved the boat a couple of hundred yards further out.
      • I’d forgotten onions so we dinghy over to the Garden Bay Pub docks and walked over to Henry’s. They didn’t have much at this time of year but I did grab a couple of onions.
      • That night we motored over to the Lagoon Restaurant at the Painted Boat Resort for a lovely dinner.
      • IMG 0239

      30 April

      • Sunny with partial cloud
      • A couple of hours motoring into 15-20 knots of wind (will the wind ever go my way in the Malaspina Strait?) we arrived for an Illicit docking at Westview marina. Dock 6 was empty because they were doing repairs. But we figured since it was Sunday we should be ok until morning.
      • We topped off the tanks and got set to go if we had to cast off early.

      1 May

      • Very rainy in the morning, but a lovely sunny afternoon.
      • We cast off mid morning. The Marina manager said they wouldn’t be doing any work until later in the day.
      • We decided to try our luck in the Copeland Islands. We found a one boat nook between two of the southern islands and stern tied  a few hours before low tide. All the rocks were awash and it was pretty easy to manuever in. We did later discover a wreck that showed up in the narrow bit coming in that was awash at low tide and noted it for when we were heading out.
      • We hiked the shore line for a few hours and rowed around a few of the islets, enjoying the sun and warm weather.
      • DSCN1782
      • IMG 2076

       2 May

      • Partially cloudy but the winds are climbing.
      • We decided to l and the winds were predicted to climb and we were stern tied beam on to them.
      • Leaving at high tide was a bit more exciting as you couldn’t see the wreck or the rock and had to guesstimate. The chart plotter wasn’t overly accurate so I pretty much ignored it except to get my bearing. And coming off the stern tie in the wind swung our stern towards the other shore a bitt to close for my comfort. But all turned out well.
      • Thurin Channel  between the Copelands and the mainland is narrow and a tug with a log boom was just entering from the north. He didn’t answer a hail on 16 so we decided to cross his bow and pass on the starboard as he seemed to be drifting to his port.
      • We turned into Desolation Sound proper and decided to check out Prideaux Haven, a very popular destination in high season. We pulled into beautiful Melanie Cove just in from Prideaux a few hours later and there was only one boat in Prideaux which might house 40 or 50 in summer.  And there was one lovely green boat from Victoria in Melanie Cove that we passed as we anchored at the far end.
      • The anchor chain bound in the windlass and we had to do some MacGyvering to get the anchor down. 

      3 May

      • It was rainy but we suited up and explores & hiked some rough trails. We are obviously some of the first as I had to clear a lot of winter deadfall. It will be easier on the next crew.
      • Then we rowed the cove and explored the shoreline. We spotted our first Lions Mane jellyfish: rusty orange with tendrils 2 feet long streaming behind a 3 or 4 inch jelly. Really fascinating.
      • IMG 0290
      • IMG 0313

      4 May

      • I awoke to misty swirls of cloud disputing in the emerging sunlight.
      • I had coffee up in the cockpit for the first time. there was a crack and a rock plunged into the water over on the north shore. I don’t know what it was but  less than five minute later a series of reverberating cracks and bangs on the south shoer echoed through the cove and then a tree sedately dropped into the water with a big splash. It was an extraordinary amount of noise.
      • The laptop batteries needed to be recharged so we flipped on the inverter for an hour or so while we enjoyed the morning. Unfortunately I forgot that I had plugged in the electric heater in Powell River and since we had opened the hatches to let some fresh air in andmositure out no one noticed it blowing hot air in the v berth. I came down to check the SOC (set of charge) on the batteries and was astonished and dismayed to see it sitting at 53% (letting it drop below 50% is extremely hard on the batteries). An quick investigation revealed the heater as the culprit. This meant we had to either motor for a couple of hours or find a dock to plug into.
      • We decided to head to Squirrel Cove to do laundry a few days early. It might have been a good choice anyway as we passed 6 boats heading east  on our way west.
      • We tied up at the Squirrel Cove public dock (with 30 amp service) and walked our laundry over to the Squirrel Cove General Store. We started the loads and picked up some fresh produce and some more wine, then enjoyed the sunny afternoon. Three hours or so later we cast off, with clean laundry, fresh supplies and topped up batteries.
      • We dropped anchor deep in Squirrel Cove all alone in an anchorage that literally can hold hundreds of boats. Two more boats showed up later in evening but it was till pretty peaceful. We BBQ’s some chicken and went out to explore and try out the underwater housing on my small action camera.
      • IMG 0317

      5 May

      • Rainy in the morning. Clearing as I type…
      • We decided to stay in Squirrel Cove; we’ve been moving too much lately. All the other boats have cleared off and we are alone again.
      • L’s baking cookies.