I was first up. Hot water and, since it was pretty nice, coffee in the cockpit. Today was a slower morning with lots of Harbour-watching and meandering. I headed up for a shower and started the day refreshed and clean.
We filled up the jerry can for the dinghy with gas and topped up the forward water tank. We still haven’t had to switch to the rear tank so either we’ve been conserving, this thing has monster-big tanks or both.
Soon enough everyone was ready so we fetched Dave to help cast off and smoothly slipped off the dock and motored down the finger. Well, at least that’s how it was supposed to go. In actuality, my brilliant plan of springing the bow off stalled at about 30 degrees and I hung there. Trying to go forward with the wheel turned just took me into the boat in front of us. Eventually Dave, Bob and another helpful soul grabbed the bow and we reversed it out, essentially using a 3-man spring system to muscle the stern out. Worked.
I had forgotten two things. First the wind was pushing us on the dock and the bow is a lot harder to turn into the wind than he stern. And second, if I had rigged the spring line off the bow, the natural curve of the forward part of the hull would have given me much more angle to play with. Live and learn, live and learn.
At this point I got so busy the rest of the day that I didn’t write a single other thing. So now I am sitting in the morning sun, drinking my coffee and reviewing what was a great day.
We motored out of Refuge Cove at slow speed and Carmen took the helm. After about 15 or 20 minutes R Shack Island caught up and radioed the winds were 8-10 knots. C was into it so we raised sail and headed south-ish on a close haul.
A few tacks later we attempted to go around Kinghorn Island, but the winds started to die so we gybed and started back east-ish. The winds picked up for a bit but started to die again and R Shack radioed back to see not whether it was time to drop sail. A quick vote showed our sailing spirit and we (Carmen) sailed for almost another hour in light variable winds. Great fun.
The sun was out and we were slathered with sunscreen, but there were still a few red noses at the end of the trip. And the clouds were simply beautiful: scalloped fringes arrayed on a blue, blue satin cloth.
Eventually it was time to bring in the sails and head down Okeover Inlet. I took over the helm and we motored once again through the maze of rocks, shoals and islets. Carmen spotted what we guess to be a seal wrestling with a salmon. 4 or 5 big splashes and then nothing.
We passed the entrance to Grace Harbour and were on our way to Isabel Bay for that look-see Dave had wanted. As we passed the point where Carmen had gleefully been doing doughnuts in the dinghy I threw the wheel hard over and showed her how it was done. This was the point she exclaimed “No fair! Yours is bigger.”
I think she was trying to be dirty again.
I think our antic-filled maneuvering made Dave nervous because he radioed that we should skip Isabel Bay and head straight for the government dock further down the inlet, which was our final destination.
Actually Dave gets as antsy as I do about having a firm destination and since the government docks are usually small and don’t take any kind of reservation, it just made sense not to leave it too long. Turns out though, this particular dock is huge. A long, wide L-shape that sits high in the water, it had a couple of obvious spaces on the outside and quite a few on the inside.
I brought the Baraka Too around the breakwater and smoothly to the end of the dock (I had taken the easy spot). I think I might have this boat dialed in … knock on wood.
I walked up to give R Shack a hand with her lines and soon we were all tied up and set for the night.
We decided some exploring was in order so we mounted the motor in the dinghy and zoomed off with C in charge. Dave and Margaret opted for a cold beer on a hot day in the cool shade.
Across the inlet we found a rock beach and Cap’n C zoomed us ashore. We pulled the dinghy up on the rocks and tied it off as best we could to a bigger rock. Over the course of the hour or so we were there I had to head back to the boat and pull it up higher out of the rising tide several times. Tides rise fast!
I headed for a big log under a shady tree while the others headed up beach exploring. The granite sand comes in multiple sizes here from half-inch pebbles down to millimeter-sized grains. Mix in shell fragments and you have lovely, lovely colours and textures.
After cooling down I walked down the beach and found oyster gardens where some enterprising soul had arranged the rocks to create a protected little haven for the delicious shellfish to grow. As I turned back to find the others and show them my discovery, I discovered instead they had disappeared. I was pretty sure even they couldn’t have managed to both drown on a beach, so that left bears, cougars or psycho mountain men.
With a heavy sigh I started making my way down the cobbley beach eyeing the nooks and crannies for torn clothes or random body parts. I passed the dinghy and hauled it up again and kept going. A couple of hundred yards further down I spotted a leg dangling from a tree on the shore and swung inland. As I got closer I discover that C and L were in fact sitting on a big log between two rocks under a huge maple. They had named it May. The tree, not the log. Naming a log would be silly.
Oblivious to my distress they chatted on about rusty cables, pretty rocks and a snake. I opined that snakes were fine, but only at a 7-foot distance. After a bit of a rest we wandered back to my garden discovery and what should happen but a snake magically appeared right under my feet and slithered like a racing pro for the bigger boulders higher up the shore. I didn’t scream, but some incomprehensible noise did come from somewhere in the vicinity of my head.
Soon enough we piled back into the dinghy and I pushed us off. I had to, because Carmen already had it in reverse and was fully prepared to leave me behind. We cruised by some vertical granite cliffs and spotted what may or may not have been a petroglyph.
Somewhere around there the call of the cold beer rang out across the inlet and we steered into it and revved ‘er up. As we approached our boat, C decided to attempt the extremely difficult and dangerous maneuver of bringing the boat in beam-on to the transom. I had been practicing all week to no avail and I closed my eyes in anticipation of the train wreck about to occur. Dinghy-meister. That’s all I can say. Sigh.
We slurped down two ice cold ones and a scarfed a bag of bugles. Then it was time to clean up for our 6:30 reservation at the Laughing Oyster. Dave and Margaret beat us and wandered down to our boat. I chatted with them while we waited for the girls to ‘refresh’ themselves.
Dinner was lovely and the view spectacular, even more so as the sun began to set. We closed the place down with a couple of bottles of Riesling and some delicious deserts. It was a fine, fine evening.
Carmen and Margaret continued a prior discussion in which I learned that Margaret’s mother had been raised in Thorhild, which is where Carmen’s mother had been raised. Different generations so they might not have met but the family names should be familiar to each other. The Logie family was Margaret’s family.
At last we walked back to the boats in the last of the failing light and tucked into bed soon after.