Day 9: Roscoe P. Coltrain

Alternative title (as supplied by Carmen): We Like It in the Stern

I awoke to a blue sky and warm sun. Coffee and writing in the cockpit until everyone else stirred and we enjoyed watching the morning unfold.

Today we are off to Roscoe Bay, which has a bar at its entrance. We need to cross it in a rising tide and our calculations say 3:30-4 this afternoon. Dave’s agree. So we will head out in search of wind and tour the Sound.

We cast off 11-ish and motored up to Isabel Bay. After 3 attempts we finally made it to this bay. This was a place that Ian from Corus had recommended. Sheltered, picturesque and quiet. I have to agree it would be worth a stop.

While we were circling the bay I noticed a large black dog trotting by the stern line of one of the boats I was admiring. Then I realized it wasn’t no dog. A smallish black bear was investigating the shore and looking wistfully at the tasty people in the boats just offshore. I radioed R Shack, but by the time they got back it had headed up hill and into the trees. They saw some nice jellyfish, though, so that’s something.

One last time we weaved up the crowded Okeover Inlet and hit Desolation Sound eager to sail. There was no wind. It was beautiful and sunny and absolutely still. A power boater’s day I guess. We set a course for Roscoe Bay and enjoyed the day on the water.

There are lots of boats in Desolation Sound. Lots and lots of boats. Lots and lots and lots of boats. I guess because the Sound is so open you see them all at once but man, there are a lot of boats. Prideaux Haven is one of the it s
pots in Desolation and it must be jam packed. Our destination of Roscoe Cove had 4 or 5 boats circling waiting for the tide to turn and you could see a dozen boats already in.

We were about an hour early so we circled on motor for a bit and, after a powerboat tried the shoal and backed out, we unfurled the genoa and sailed up and down for an hour or so. At one point we hit 2.8 knots with just the foresail so the sailing being not too shabby was the general consensus. At least I thought so.

Eventually a sailboat took the plunge over the shoal and since he made it without incident we headed in as well. R Shack took the lead and slowly moved over the shoal. Their minimum depth on the crossing was 8’9″ giving them about 2 feet more than their 6’6″ draft. Plenty of space. We followed them in safely and soon we were motoring into Roscoe Bay.

R Shack Island circled around and picked out a tree then dropped anchor for a stern tie. We grabbed the next tree down and followed suit. Once again even though all the books recommend a stern tie, most boats are monopolizing space in the center—even to the point of being rude about it.

The windlass is being cranky but we got the anchor down and Leslie and I rowed in to take a wrap around our tree. This time we are close enough to be able to loop back to the boat so leaving will be much easier. While standing on the slippery rocks the local greeter-snake slithered by at the waterline to scare the h*ll out of me. 7′ people… 7′! How hard is that to remember?

Leslie took the end back to the boat while I took up slack and then C and I pulled the rope taut. Leslie then came back to shore for me. Stern tie success. And C was right, we like it this way.


6h07m 20.7nm

A bit more tidying and it was booze time. We settled on sangria and C started in on mixin’em up. Unfortunately for the enterprise she broke the corkscrew before we got the bottle of Rioja open.

DISASTER!

I immediately rowed over to the neighbors and borrowed a relief corkscrew and headed back before panic took over the Baraka Too. Thank god I was in time.

C finished up the drinks and we rowed them back to R Shack for an aperitif and visit. We decided it was two nights here and then 20+nm to Drew Harbour and Rebecca Spit before we were due at Gorge Harbour for dinner.

Back on Baraka I started the BBQ and C made some delicious, tasty, juicy strip loins. We ate in the cockpit enjoying the last of a warm day and soaked in the peace.

The real highlight of the evening was when I glanced up and noticed the BBQ, which had been off for an hour, was smoking. I threw open the lid and the BBQ brush, which I had thrown in there after I ‘turned it off,’ had melted completely through the grill like some sort of cheap Salvador Dali.

Carmen helped by taking pictures. Oh wait, that wasn’t helpful. Sigh. I had to restart the BBQ to warm up the plastic again so so could peel it off the grill. But I saved the bristles, so that’s something…

As the sun set we sat with candles in the cockpit and closed the day quietly.

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Day 10: Sunshine, Swimming and Solitude

A beautiful blue-skied, sunny morning filled with the soft calls of the Basking Carmen: “Wick-wick.” “Wick-wick”

Right around 8:30 powerboats started weighing anchor and by 9:30 we’d lost over half a dozen. That still leaves a dozen boats here, but it has certainly opened up the landscape and it is all that more pretty now. C and I sat in the warm morning air, I in the shade, she in the warming sun, and we watched the slow exodus.

After the coffee and wakefulness settled in, I fitted out the dinghy and rowed over to chat with Dave. The people from next boat over, the 50′ Beneteau from Nanaimo Yacht Charters called Belle Serena, were out in their dinghy trying to start their outboard with very little luck. They called over looking for a spark plug wrench so I grabbed Dave’s and rowed it over to them.

In the ensuing conversations and multi-boat mechanical advice from various neighbours, they eventually gave up and called Ian. I offered them the use of our dinghy while we were here since we could use R Shack’s. Another call to Ian yielded the suggestion we just gave them ours, which was pretty much a nonstarter for me. As it sits now I lent them our dinghy for the day with the option of them keeping it if Nanaimo Yacht charters will deliver a new motor to Rebecca Spit. We will see…

We putzed around for a bit and I decided to make some eggs for a lunch while we waited to hike up to the lake. L bowed out but C suggested mutzy eggs on toast. I pointed out the impossibility of that given the poor toaster output, lack of proper lids for the pan and overall poor cooking utensils. And much to my surprise (not) Carmen argued. After our argument (as usual) I gave in (as usual) and Carmen got her way (as usual).

And, as usual, Carmen was right. The eggs, which involved much improvisation and some black magic, were nigh on perfect. My only criticism was one of my eggs had an uneven portion of whites. Life is hard.

After lunch we sat and sunned until Dave rowed over. He and I headed out to the shoal with his lead line to take a sounding. It was about 5′ an hour before low tide. Not sure if that info will help or hinder our calculations.

After we got back we picked up Margaret and headed back to Baraka Too to tie up the loaner dinghy and get a tow to the mouth of the creek that flows down into this bay. We beached the dinghies and tied them up.

A short hike up along the creek through a shady dense forest brought us to a fresh water lake and we waded for a few minutes in the warm water. Back on the trail we climbed up and then descended down to the lake shore where a series of flat, warm rocks lined the shoreline and a crowd was already swimming and sunbathing.

We joined in by dabbling our feet and sat and enjoyed the beauty of BC. Dave and I chatted in the shade while the ‘women-folk’ sat like pretty maids on the shore. Eventually Margaret was driven from the sun and joined us in the shade and one by one the others joined us. The water was so warm and the lake so so beautiful.

Reluctantly we headed back to the dinghies, smiling and greeting all the people headed for the warm rocks. Back at the creek’s outflow I cut down to walk in the water and yet another snake leaped out to startle me. I seriously need to a send a note to someone. I have a seven-foot snake rule; how hard is that to understand? This is my 3rd snake-startle this trip. Egads!

Dave towed us back to the boat and they went off for a tour of the bay while we indulged in a beer and a sunbath. The fellow from Perigee kayaked by and started chatting to me. A gregarious fellow, he talked through Dave showing up for a beer and Carmen sighing loudly and stripped off her top and diving in. He kept talking while I madly snapped pictures but finally gave up when I started to strip.

I then joined C in the water and left D and L to amuse themselves with beer and their own fine company. After a small swim I crawled out into the warm sun and somehow, with great appeal, C enticed L to dive in and soon they were paddling and dabbling around the boat. That made me happy.

Dave and I figured out tomorrow’s departure and then he finished his beer and made to leave in the loaner dinghy so we could row or paddle around in R Shack’s tender. Instead of rowing back to his boat, Dave got boat-to-boat mermaid tow service. Lucky dude.

After a bit I hopped back in for another swim and then we all hauled ourselves out to dry in the sun like a bunch of beached seals. Carmen open the rosé and we sipped wine and baked. After a bit I hopped in R Shack’s dinghy and rowed off to the shoal for fun. The tide was coming in so after I struggled valiantly through the narrow point I finally started the motor and putted out into the Sound for a look. Not a lick of wind anywhere.

I slowly meandered back to the Baraka Too and climbed up for a little more bake. About quarter to six we all cleaned up and got ready to row over to R Shack Island for dinner.

Dinner was slow-cooked steak with Memphis hand rub, an amazingly fresh garden salad, corn on the cob and wild rice. We had brought a Riesling/Gewurtztraminer blend, which was one to remember. After dinner we retired to the cockpit to enjoy the cooling air and finish off another bottle in one of the prettiest places I’ve been in a while.

All in all a great way to end a great day.

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Day 11: Spitting Distance

What. A. Beautiful. Morning.

Up at the crack of 7, I had a coffee and started getting antsy. “We should go. We should go. We should go.” It had a nice back beat with some synth and just a hint of steel guitar. Still, I think I was annoying Carmen.

Belle Serena headed out and I started doing what I could with still-sleepy crew and then just sat and waited. Waited. Waited.

Eventually Dave and I moved the schedule up by about an hour and we started to go. We cleared the shoal by 13 and a half feet in a falling tide so I’m happier than not we went a bit early.

No wind again so it was a calm sunny motor for a few hours out of the Sound and across the Strait towards Quadra Island.

I’ve got better cell service so I’ve gone back and added pictures and routes to the last few posts.

It was a warm, uneventful 4-ish hours and as we rounded the spit into Drew Harbour I called Ian and inquired about our outboard. He said someone would meet us at Herriot Bay Marina so we opted to go straight there while R Shack Island anchored. I called the marina but they didn’t know anything, so we motored in anyway. About 5 minutes later they called back and our motor had arrived.

We tied up on the outside and met the young lady on the dock. I walked up to get it and we wheeled it down to the boat. Unluckily for us it was low tide so getting it down the ramp and the old one up wasn’t the easiest task. But we got everything loaded up and cast off for our anchorage.

Over at Rebecca Spit we tussled with the current for a bit but got a solid anchor down and started cleaning up.


5h44m 28.6nm

I quickly motored over to R Shack to check in and stayed for a beer. We decided to head in to Herriot Bay for a few supplies so I meandered back to Baraka Too and roused the crew to action. 40 minutes later we piled in the dinghy and started off to Herriot Bay.

But the dinghy gods have been angered, and the outboard quit halfway across the bay. I tried to start it to no avail but luckily Dave circled back to offer a tow. Humiliated, I sat while he towed us in and all the other boaters pointed and laughed and laughed. Well, maybe not, but it felt like it.

We walked up to the store and grabbed some supplies and a bit more beer. Then back to the boat to pull fruitlessly in the outboard before giving up and accepting yet another tow back to the mothership. Once back I stubbornly worked on the motor and eventually got it running, but it cut out again and then would bog down on anything more than an idle.

So I called Ian. Unfortunately he was a bit distracted because the car with our motor had gotten into an accident on the way back. I hate hearing things like that. As far as he knew everything was all right, but he was waiting to hear more. He suggested a quick plan of action and I let him go.

As it stands I am letting the motor settle and C is making baked pasta for dinner. We ate in the cockpit and draped a sheet from the bimini for shade. It was delicious as usual. After dinner L and I rowed ashore, took a short walk along the spit and watched the boats at anchor twist in the fading sun.

Another special day.

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Day 12: Hot Summer Night

Blue sky.
Sunshine.
Lapping water.
Morning at sea.

It’s going to be a hot one. Barely 8:30 and C and I have already abandoned the sun for some cool shade.

I did some laundry and putzed around. L worked on some book reviews, C worked on some knots and I fought with the outboard. After a while I thought I had it mastered but it conked out again after 10 or 15 minutes. I think I have officially given up.

Dave rowed over to say hello and we think we might spend the day on the beach, just walking and hanging.

So we floated on the water and enjoyed.

Sometime after noon Dave and Margaret rowed by and said they were headed for the beach. So I hustled and rustled the crew and we headed beachward. C and I decided to paddle. We got there. Eventually. We should so be a tv show…

Once on shore we beached the dinghy and tied it off to a big tree. We crossed over to the channel side and beachcombed for a while. I brought Leslie 4 rocks. Carmen brought 2 shells but wouldn’t share. She’s like that. I won.

A little while later Dave and Margaret joined us and we sat on logs in the shade and chatted. Soon enough though Margaret got antsy (I think she gets that from Dave) and prodded Carmen and Leslie into action, forcing Dave and I to have to choose between remaining comfortably in the shade and shooting the breeze or following along. We followed.

Along the way C spotted a big dog but thought its butt looked funny. That was apparently because it was a deer. A couple of deer in fact. She eventually figured it out, though, cleverly waiting until she was sure they were deer before pointing them out. Then not so cleverly ruining the cleverness by admitting she had originally thought them funny-butted dogs.

Tons of driftwood, shells and pretty rocks littered the beach and we eventually crossed the spit to the inside where tons of swimmers and picnickers were littering the other beach.

We snagged a picnic table in the shade and drank some water. D & M opted for healthy apples as their snack du jour; we had a bag of cheezies. Hopefully Margaret won’t think too badly of us. Afterwards we headed back along the park path up the spit towards our dinghies.

Back on board we eyed the water while R Shack’s crew went for a tour of Drew Harbour. Eventually the hot sun was too much and we (C & I) eased our way into the cold, cold water. There was some shrieking involved. What was even more interesting was the strength of the current. It was stronger than my lazy breast stroke; I had to switch to my side stroke to get back to the boat. When I let go of the bow, I would drift past the stern in 5 or 6 seconds.

Fun stuff and a great cool down. And I was smart enough to take off my underwear first this time! My swimming companion, however, was not. When we hauled ourselves out my drying time was half hers. Prior planning prevents poor performance, I always say.

Then it was beer time. We had rigged up our sheet to keep the sun out but I wanted to bake in the sun so I crawled out on the beam and baked. D & M motored by on their way back and offered the use of their dinghy.

After our beer C and I paddled over — much to Dave’s amusement — and switched boats. A long leisurely tour of the bay brought us back to the Shack and we dropped off the loaner dinghy. Along the way we saw an 80’+ sailboat called Celesteel and a couple of monster Ocean Alexanders.

Tomorrow we will take off for 10 if the wind is up and closer to 11 if it is calm again.

We said adieu to Dave and paddled back to Baraka Too. Another beer and some relaxing and C, getting restless, headed below to make dinner.

Dinner was French toast, with our imported French white pepper and a bottle of Joseph Faiveley red (Cote-D’Or). Delicious.

Mildly drunk, we hung out in the cockpit and enjoyed the cooling breeze as the sun slowly set.

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Day 13: Sailors’ Night Out

We were to be off at 9 if there was a wind, 11 if not. I guess it’s 11 … Sigh.

We practiced knots for a while and watched the dog party on the beach. It’s amazing how many people have bigger dogs (Labs and such) and how much work they are at an anchorage. Dog in dinghy, row in, walk dog, dog in dinghy, row back, dog up and on boat, wait 2 hours, repeat.

Lots of boats leaving this morning. We will up and out by 10:30. We have a reservation at Gorge Harbour but checkout time is noon so there is no point getting there early. And it’s only about 6 nm across Sutil Channel and then down through Uganda Passage so it won’t take long.

Dave lost a water bottle overboard so he dinghied out to retrieve it then popped by for a quick hello. We will take off around 10:30.

10:15 comes by and we start upping anchor. I’m out front on anchor duty so I can see what the issues are with this boat’s anchor locker. It’s slow going and R Shack Island beat us out again, but we were soon on our way.

Around the spit there was still no wind and we crossed the channel heading for the zigzag path that is Uganda Passage which goes across the end of Shark Spit. A few minutes up the channel and we turned heading toward the entrance to Gorge Harbour, which is the gorge the harbour is named for.

It is a narrow entrance with steep rock sides that opens up after a couple of hundred yards into a huge harbour.

Just before we hit the entrance Dave radioed back to say he’d stalled. This is an ongoing issue he’s been having with vacuum locks and pressure systems. We swung back to follow him in ready to grab a bow line and effect a tow if necessary. It wasn’t necessary.

Into Gorge Harbour we radioed ahead and had to do laps while several boats fueled up in front of us. But by and by we pulled up to the fuel dock and filled ‘er up. Then we cast off, switched sides and tied up in our slip.


2h16m 10.4nm

All tied up, we filled the forward water tank, which we had finally emptied, and settled in on a scorcher of an afternoon. It’s beautiful here and the marina/resort has showers, laundry, store, pool and a restaurant. Expensive, though: $1.65/foot.

Today I am wrestling with the fridge. I thought it was choking on the battery power but it seems to run continuously on shore power as well. An email to Nanaimo Yacht Charters leaves me with just running the engine. That’s sailing…

I wandered the docks for a bit and checked out the resort. A quick beer with Dave and then we booked C’s flight home. Still not sure of our agenda.

Afterwards I headed up for a shower. Clean. The problem was that my damn mosquito bites stared itching again. Back at the boat a refitted 136′, 1930s motor yacht had appeared across the finger from us. Stunning boat. Acania.

Dave has tied his boat 6 ways from Sunday and is going to run up his engine to see if he can stall it. He has a pressure gauge on his fuel line so he had me stand at the helm and run it, in gear, at 2200 rpm. Me? Nervous? Abso-f*cking-lutely. But in the end, it worked. He figured out it’s most likely the fuel filters.

C, L & I sat and had a pre-dinner beer and talked future, present and then tense. Grammar people… Huh. The conversation varied and roamed. Anyone want to win a cookie? Guess who said, “You whip it out and suck it while you’re at it.”

Dinner in the patio was delish with another stunning view and warm evening with great company. After we walked back to the boat we enjoyed a glass of red in the cockpit of Baraka Too and then said good night.

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Day 14: Lund Ho

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Morning and a hot shower. Aaaaah.

Yesterday we got a tour of the Acania. The owner must be used to gawkers and is extremely generous in allowing people aboard. There must have been continuous tours while he and his guests–about 6 of them — were up having dinner.

There was original 1930s furniture, teak, brass and amazing features. There was even a prohibition bar that featured a drop-down wood panel that hid the bar from apparent sight.

Morning featured showers for C and I and watching the Acania cast off. Soon enough it was our turn and we sprung off the bow (successfully this time) and motored out into the harbour to wait for R Shack Island to catch up.

Outside of Gorge we raised the sails and tried to sail on a beam reach in light winds. After a couple of hours we gave up although R Shack seemed to be making way more way than us. Left us in the dust they did… We motored to Baker Passage and tried again and managed a pathetic 1.9 knots. Eventually we once again gave up and headed for Lund.

We spotted what we thought might be minkes but turned out to be extra-vigorous dolphins; weren’t disappointed, though. All too soon it was over and we headed for the Harbour. l radioed ahead and they gave us a space on the breakwater 🙁

R Shack Island followed us in and we started to tie up.


5h28m 18nm

As someone left the main docks I radioed the wharfinger to ask if we could have that space. He told us to hold, then offered me a short spot on the dock and said R Shack could raft up if they wanted. We moved over but Dave demurred.

We tied up, paid up and had a cold beer. Dave is going to change his fuel filters to try and deal with his stall and we are headed up to see what we can see.

We composed a poem in honour of C’s knots:

Perfection
Fast
Pwned
Knots by Carmen

It’s scorching hot and has been a muggy day so when we stepped in the air-conditioned store it was a wave of icy cold. Then when we stepped in the beer cooler it was positively Antarctic. We shopped around then headed to the pub at the Historic Lund Hotel for a cold beer and nachos.

Back to the store for more beer and nachos (for later) and retired to the boat to decompress, for me to have a quick cool shower and for Carmen to call her mom. Hi Grace!

A couple of hours later we gave up on the idea of a late supper. L had read/napped, C had communed with the wind and I had wandered the docks to see what could be seen. Watching the sun slowly set over the Georgia Strait, we were delightfully surprised to be serenaded by a lady and her bagpipes from up on the hill overlooking the harbour.

Dave and Margaret came by after their dinner at the hotel. Tomorrow looks to be another motoring day. We said goodnight and they rowed back to the Shack. L came up for air and we had some wine/hot chocolate and took a million pictures of the sunset.

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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.


7h06m 35.5nm

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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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.


6h57m 38.1nm

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 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 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…