Back Across: The 27-28th

August 27

Last night we had confirmed with Zak that he was coming for a visit arriving on Sunday. We had though we would be further south by now but some rearranging of appointments means we have a week’s grace. So Zak will do a 26-hour bus ride from Edmonton to McNeill and we will pick him up at the Greyhound so he can make the trip back to Vancouver with us. It should be a great trip for him.

Thursday morning is fuel day at the Sointula marina. So at 7 am sharp our next door neighbor fired up his big diesels and moved his boat down the dock. Apparently the Co-op fuel truck drives down to the pier and then fuels anyone who needs it. Also it is apparently cheaper and of a slightly better quality than going to McNeill. Huh.

So I got up. Mornings are chilly and when we opt to do without power like we did last night, there’s little I can do about that. Anyway, coffee and toast and we (I) was up and running. Someone else was a bit slower to rise and/or shine, but I’m not naming names.

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I walked the dock, received an unnecessary but appreciated apology from our big loud neighbor and checked out the facilities. Then I headed up to the office to pay my $39 bucks. Back on board I started prepping as we were meeting R Shack out in the channel at 10:30 so I wanted to be off the dock by 10.

We’d had a new neighbor arrive off our bow so getting out was mildly tight. But a friendly fellow boat gave us a good shove so we cleared the Island Packet behind us with tons of room. The fellow who owned the 40-foot Packet was a retired Ontario teacher and very distraught to hear we don’t fish. After chatting a bit he was determined we would stay a few days while he taught me everything I need to know about downrigging and then he was prepared to let us have the old manual downriggers he just replaced that were built especially for sailboats. I think my demural was a bit of a disappointment.

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We rounded the breakwater and basically idled while we waited for Dave to clear the McNeill shoal. Imagine my surprise when he came out in company with another boat. And soon it was clear that not only had he found a new friend but it was another Tartan! My last hope was crushed as they rounded the buoy, barely 50′ feet apart, two elegant swans heading for their pity date with the ugly duckling.

But when I finally fell into place in the little formation Dave gently let me know that the other Tartan (Raven) was off on a circumnavigation of Vancouver iisland and would be leaving us shortly. So there’s still
a chance…maybe…if I try real hard…I’ll be a swan too…

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We motored for a couple of hours in the calm water and sunshine until the wind started to creep up. We gave sailing a try for 15 or 20 minutes, but the fickle breeze died and we had to fire up the engine.

A few minutes after we starte the engine Leslie spotted what she thought might be a whale. And then another. But it was awfully small. We spotted a few more as they surfaced to breathe. They had an odd hump behind their dorsal fins but were too small to be whales. A little research with my app and we figured they were Dall’s porpoises.

After we entered Wells Passage I spotted something while dodging a log, and lo and behold a whale surfaced alongside us, heading back out. We watched him come up for breaths four or five times as he slowly moved away. He looked different somehow from the humpbacks we’d seen, but I have no idea if he was or not.

A few minutes later we pulled into Tracey Harbour, our destination for the night. We had heard it was nice here and that bears in the meadows were a common sight in the mornings. We anchored at the end of this medium-sized inlet in Napier Bay along with R Shack and two other boats. I set our stern towards the creek and its grassy banks and we crossed our fingers.

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Dave invited me over for a beer but Lealie opted for a nap. We caught up on the trials and tribulations of fuel filters and engine issues, and I sang the praises of Sointula’s marina. We are here for at least two nights and then we will head back to McNeill to pick up Zak. Dave might go into Sointula instead of McNeill.

I made some rice and a stir fry and the predicted rain started to fall intermittently. A few hours of West Wing and we wrapped up the day.

August 28

Although it was a warmer morning than we’d had lately, I fired up the heater since it had been raining most of the night and the air was damp. Then I boiled the water and made oatmeal muffins for breakfast. L emerged just as the muffins were coming out of the oven and had some warm breakfast.

I noticed we had left the inverter on all night and the batteries were flashing 12.2-12.3 volts, which is pretty much dead for the purposes of good battery life. After I killed the heater and turned off the inverter, it recovered to 12.5. That should do us until tomorrow. If not we have to borrow Dave’s generator and top up.

Then we cleaned up and did a few chores. I moved one of the LED bulbs to the forward cabin for Zak to use and we raised the salon table since we had invited D & M over for dinner tonight. Not sure exactly what’s on the menu: pork loin if it’s raining and BBQ chicken thighs if it’s not. Everything else will follow from that. Then we kicked back and listened to the rain. If it clears we will go explore this afternoon. If not, it will be a down day.

The sky cleared and we broke out the engines and explored. Beautiful country here although a lot of forestry remnants scar the countryside. Things like rusting steel cables and donkeys are left to their fates when the loggers move on. You’d think there would be some profit in scrapping it but I guess not. We explored for a few hours at idle, checked out a curious seal and then Leslie took over and zoomed up and down the shoreline. Kids.

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Back on board we started dinner. I decided it was cool enough that I would cook inside, so it was pork loin on the menu. I added roast potatoes and a tomato salad to the list and called it enough. The loin was still raw when I took it out the first time and a tad overdone when I took it out the second. C’est la vie. The potatoes were great but also a bit crispy. But the salad, made with lemon as its acid — which usually doesn’t work for me — was terrif! Best I’ve made in a long time. So I didn’t totally fail C.

While I was working I popped my head up and saw Dave pointing his big lens at the shore. I grabbed the binoculars and sure enough two black bears were turning over rocks looking for a tasty crab dinner. Leslie and I watched them for over a half an hour before they wandered out of our sight. This might account for the slight dryness of the pork.

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Actually during dinner, a fellow I had talked to in one of the other boats came by in his kayak to tell me about the bears — they were back. I had mentioned we’d hoped to see them and he wanted to make sure we did. Boaters are seriously friendly.

D & M arrived and we ate, chatted until dark and then it was time to call it a night. Good day. And we’ve decided to stay yet another so hopefully tomorrow will be just as good.

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Life in the Wild

We are now in week four of our trip to the Broughtons and will have to start heading homeward sometime in the next week or two. It’s been grand, and the people, the countryside and the whole ethos of the place are simply stellar.

But that’s not to say it’s any more a Garden of Eden than the next destination. There are always some snakes in the grass.

Major Concerns

Most of these issues can be dealt with by a quick trip across Queen Charlotte Strait to Port McNeill, but a sailboat like ours isn’t fast and the Strait is one of those bodies of water that isn’t always cooperative. So we left that trip until after our third week here.

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Garbage
The biggest issue for us, in that this year the opportunities to get rid of garbage and recycling are extremely limited. Most marinas will take burnables, but if you didn’t pre-sort that’s a bit of an icky challenge; and, frankly, most burnables are recyclables these days and we’d like to try to pack most of that out. And even the burning has been iffy with the dry summer this area has been having this year.

A few places wouldn’t even take pop or beer cans. It’s just too trouble much for them to haul them, and the Boy Scouts are no longer picking up.

Although it’s frowned on, we did get rid of a few organics like chicken bones overboard, but that still leaves enough that after four weeks I am running out of space in the aft locker.

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Storage is always at a premium onboard.

Water
Water is also a bit of an issue. We started the trip with a full tank of potable water, but eventually it ran low. Last year in June the spring water at Sullivan Bay was great, but apparently the dry spell meant it ran dry in early June and they have been on filtered lake water ever since. Port Harvey was limiting water altogether. Shawl Bay’s water was clear but still posted with a boil water notice

Most of the places we’ve visited have a filtration system and a mix of people who will and will not drink it. Most places also have to use ground water that is colored by cedar bark tannins and is an odd and, to some, unpleasant tinge. So once you’ve filled your tank, you are going to want empty it before adding anything potable.

There are boil water warnings at all the marinas. Talk on the dock is that they have to post the warnings even if the water is good because provincial rules demand frequent samples and testing (which must be done in Vancouver) and it’s virtually impossible for these small, isolated marinas to comply. At least that’s the talk.

Fresh Food
Expensive and rare. And you need to time it right so you hit a marina right after they’ve made a run for the best choices. Oh, and only a few marinas like Pierre’s Port Harvey and Sullivan Bay have a store. The rest stock pop or candy bars if you are lucky; otherwise you are on your own.

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Fresh food means it’s time to get cooking again.

Sullivan Bay and Port Harvey boast restaurants. Pierre’s has scheduled potluck pig roasts and prime rib nights. Other marinas will also occasionally throw potlucks like the deep-fried turkey night we encountered at Shawl Bay. So there is always food to be found.

Bread and Wine
A corollary to the above point about fresh food is the availability of some luxury items. Bread is at a premium, with availability very sketchy. Port Harvey bakes pretty much every day so if you pre-order you can get some there, and Shawl Bay had fresh bread, buns and pies for sale in the morning. But liquor was available only at Sullivan Bay, and the $32 price tag for the two six-packs of beer made me choke a bit.

We found English muffins and raisin bread to be our favorite baked goods since we always toast them and they last longer than even the famous Wonder Bread. As for booze, well, we just had to start rationing.

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Fuel
Fuel is available at Pierre’s and Sullivan Bay, which are inconveniently close to each other and Lagoon Cove which is a bit south. Given the lack of wind, we have done too much motoring for our druthers, but that’s summer in the PNW. Luckily both Pierre’s and Sullivan Bay occupy bays that are sort of crossroads in the NE part of the Broughtons so we passed them a few times during the trip.

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Lagoon Cove

Gasoline for the outboards was actually a bigger concern. A lot of exploring and a dearth of places to store jerry cans has meant we had to keep close track of our fuel levels.

Costs

The other thing to be aware of is the high cost of things that come cheaper in the south. Overall moorage is cheaper, ranging from $0.95 to $1.25 per foot. But the extras are all much higher. Some 30-amp power can be as high as $20 a night and showers can be upwards of $7.25 each. Washing and drying were frequently over $5 or $6 each, making a load of laundry cost over $11.

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Because all the water is scarce and the power generated, these costs are not unreasonable, but we have taken to showering aboard and doing without shore power if we have just been on motor or when we know we will be motoring the next day. These decisions have helped when we’ve been at marinas several days in a row.

Perks

But there are lots of perks. The people are terrific, always bending over backwards to help. Freshly made cinnamon buns & danishes can be found at most of the marinas, and Shawl Bay even offers free pancakes every morning. Happy Hours are a tradition on the all the docks with everyone bringing appies, and potlucks, as I mentioned, pop up here and there.

And the anchorages are sublime. There literally dozens if not hundreds of small private coves that offer stunning vistas and peaceful sunsets. The anchorages are the number one reason to visit, and when you get tired being by yourself the hospitality of the marinas is a welcome relief.

Just remember, none of this should deter anyone from considering the Broughtons a premier destination; It;s quickly becoming one of my favourites.
—Captain Why #post

August August August

August 24

Laundry Day
We got up and started sorting. Then we hauled 3 bags up to the laundromat and Leslie dug in for the duration. I went in search of parts and odds and ends. I ended up buying my missing Chart 3515, another LED puck light (which I later returned as it didn’t have a built in switch–oops) and some 15w-40 and an oil filter. Much to my astonishment the oil and filter came to just over $50. That’s the cheapest thing I have ever bought for the boat. The LED with a switch would have set me back $90.

I hooked up with Dave and we arranged to change the oil in the Shack first then ours second. Then I went back with a dock cart and picked up Leslie and the laundry — I helped fold. I was informed later that a fellow sailor told Leslie that a really “manly” sailor would have done the laundry, which I am ok with, as long as I can do it my way. It’s just that my way doesn’t generally meet the Leslie Standard of Excellence. (The commenting sailor used the neologism “manlihood”, which perhaps says all that needs saying, says L.)

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Apparently an oil change is pretty straightforward. The reason it costs so much for a mechanic to do it (upwards of $400+) is they charge from the moment they leave the shop. And the shops are never near the docks. It’s like getting a house call.

Anyway, the process is fairly simple and you just have to be extra careful not to make a mess. You run the engine to thin the oil and then suck it out using a special hand pump through the dipstick tube. A ziploc baggie over the oil filter helps prevent drips and spills and then you fill it back up. Pretty simple.

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The only issue I had was supposedly my engine takes 5 liters of engine oil and after 4.5 it was already overfilled. We figure that we just didn’t get all of it out, but I am not sure what else we could have done. A question for the mechanics, I guess.

Dave opted not to change his Racor (fuel filter) since he had bled the air out of the system and wanted to eliminate that as a cause for his intermittent engine issue. Logic dictated that it had to be something other than the fuel or the filter, but no one seemed to be able to pinpoint the problem.

After all that, I collect the good doctor and we headed up for much-needed groceries. Selection was poor and prices were high, but we needed a bunch of stuff so it was grin-and-bear-it time.

And of course we stocked up on booze. My resolution to give up wine in favour of cheap bar rye has not had much traction, but at least we are drinking some of our wine from a box. And the beer habit needs some modification as well. It’s hard being frugal … sigh.

Back at the boat I made the worst hamburgers ever. Ever. We had been eating some store-bought frozen patties for the sake of convenience and they’d been ok, but after my BBQ cleaning session I was reluctant to mess up my grease-free grill. So I used this aluminum tray with ribs and some air vents to ’grill’ the burgers. Unfortunately what I basically did was fry them. Blech. At least the grilling added some crispy taste; frying them just brought out the cardboard. Next time, it’s to hell with the mess. And to add insult to injury I hadn’t stopped for lunch so I was starving.

Thus ended my day.

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August 25

Cormorant Island
The next started with a hot shower and a trip back to the store. It was raining a bit but nothing too threatening. Leslie needed envelopes, I needed some vaseline for my head rebuild kit, and we wanted to try and find a new shower squeegee since we’d broken the handle on the old one. I also swung back through the ShopRite to grab a small bulb for our chart table light. Mission accomplished on all fronts.

Back at the boat we grabbed some gear and met up with Dave and Margaret. It was time to hit the ferry for our trip to Cormorant Island. This island is home to the Namgis Nation and the community of Alert Bay. It is also home to the U’mista Cultural Centre, which houses a ton of repatriated regalia. The ferry ride is pretty short and we disembarked and walked along the waterfront to the visitor’s center. The lady there was super-helpful and super-nice.

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We chatted for a bit and then wandered off while Margaret stayed behind to talk. It seems she had a relative who had taught on the island and she wanted to talk about the residential school. Nonine, the lady at the info booth, was fairly active in band politics and very open to discussing the school and the emotions surrounding it. Afterwards M told us it seemed likely that her relative taught at one of the days schools rather than the residential schools and that they had agreed to do some research and email her the results. Like I said, super-helpful and super-nice.

While Margaret was continuing her enquiries, Dave, Leslie and I walked down to the old graveyard and admired the totems. There were old ones and new ones and some fallen to the ground. Local custom is that it was the family’s choice on how best to maintain them. Old tradition was to leave them on the ground and allow them to return to nature, but some families opt to repair and repaint them instead. There were some interesting juxtapositions of crosses, gravestones, and totem poles new and old. The graveyard was off limits to visitors so all our viewing was done from the road, which is too bad because I would have loved the privilege of getting up close to some of the carvings.

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On the way back we met up with M and headed to U’mista. The story goes that in 1921 a huge potlatch (at the time prohibited by law) occurred on Village Island. This was the last straw for the authorities, and they threatened, bullied and outright confiscated all the regalia they could find and dispersed it to private collectors. In the later part of the century it all started to be returned and the local band built U’mista to house it. Unfortunately, the Centre is one of those “no pictures” galleries so I have only a postcard of all the wonderful masks and costumes. I really must ask Emma the logic behind prohibitions like that as some museums (the MOMA or the Met) allow photographs and some (the Frick or the Klimt Gallery) are simply death on the act. It usually doesn’t stop me from grabbing one or two illicit images, but for some reason I didn’t want to here. Maybe it was white-man guilt?

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A photo of the postcard I bought depicting the grizzly mask.

Did you know there were over 150 language groups on the West Coast? Their ‘divisions’ are so different and so varied compared to the Cree or the Blackfoot of the prairies. We grew up referring to them as Haida but not only is that a misnomer but actually fighting words. Literally in some cases. The first gallery in the Centre was about the residential school St Michael’s (or locally St Mike’s). It consisted of images and quotes from students. It seems the Haida were not well liked when they landed in the southern schools and fighting was sometimes an issue.

It was an interesting exhibit. Balanced, yet still capable of horrific moments. Many students looked upon their time at school as a gift. They learned to read and write, were fed and clothed, and emerged better off than they might have otherwise. Others chafed in varying degrees under the strict and often abusive tutelage of a system designed to eradicate the native culture. It was very eyeopening but still leaves many questions unanswered. And I guess there can’t really be any answers, just a sad history that is all that remains of collective memories and experiences. The most enlightening thing for me was that the whole residential school system was a solution to what was termed the Indian Problem. I’d never heard it phrased that way. It certainly does set the tone for what happened over the following three-quarters of a century.

The main exhibit is the collection of regalia. I unfortunately went round the wrong way so was more disappointed with the interpretive signage that I might have been otherwise, but I will say that it still was a bit less than it could have been. There was so much left unexplained and a bit too much repetition, and it left my knowledge fragmented and incomplete. Still, it has spurred me to more reading on my own time so I guess in a way that’s a good thing. It does remind me though of how much of an art designing human interfaces– whether computer or interpretive signage–needs to be.

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We left U’mista in a happy but melancholy mood and wandered back towards town, taking pictures and enjoying the views. Eventually we hit Pass’n Thyme cafe and decided on a bite to eat. D & M had chicken wings and fries, while L had the oatmeal cookie and I opted for a Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake. I also asked for the hot chocolate with whipped cream, but was disappointed to find out there was no cream left.

Now here’s the thing about a trip to the Broughtons. People are nice. Really nice. Leslie enquired about the size of the cookie and the server (the owner) indicated a 3-4″ circle. When the cookie plate arrived there were two cookies since she had determined they were only 3″ and felt bad about over-estimating the size. And my hot chocolate showed up sans whipped cream because they were out, but she had sent her daughter down to the store to get more. So the second one (which I believe was free) was all whipped up. This sort of thing keeps happening. Nice, nice people.

I also received my second job offer on the trip. The first was to work at Sullivan Bay next season. This one was as cook starting immediately–as in in about ten minutes. Dave talked up my skills and I received an offer on the spot. As we were leaving she was still jokingly (I think) expecting me back in an hour with my apron on.

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We wandered back to the ferry and were soon home on board. Our snack choices had been ill timed and left us full and hungry at the same time. We opted for toast for dinner. And a glass of wine for Les; I was more circumspect and stuck to ginger ale. Then we crashed on the settee and watched some West Wing. Tomorrow we are off again…

August 26

Surprise, Surprise
We are back in civilization again. I know that because the moorage rates went up ($1.25/ft) and the power went down ($7 for 30 amps). North Island Marina is a great place and we will likely be back in a week or so if our plan to collect Zak comes to fruition.

Today the plan is to cast off 11-ish and cross the Queen Charlotte Strait back to Wells Passage heading for Tracey Harbour. The last few boaters we had met who anchored at Tracey had been treated to a parade of bears, so we wanted our chance. We dumped recycling and bottles, refilled the water tanks, and were off the docks at 11:02.

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Well about 10 minutes later, Dave radioed back that he was having fuel issues. Again. Right now Dave is one frustrated sailor. He said he was heading back to McNeill to change filters since they had a disposal facility. I said we’d putz about a bit and join him soon. Then Leslie suggested we cross over to Sointula which was only 6 km away. Great idea! The crossing was less than an hour and when I phoned ahead the wharfinger said that was tons of room on the shore side of K dock. It’s a municipal marina so it’s all first come, first served. I was expecting a more commercial dock with lots of rafting and poor facilities, but as we rounded the breakwater we were pleasantly surprised. The docks are nice, with power and fresh water, and the facilities (shower, laundry) were clean and cheap. It’s a great place, more reminicest of Stuart Island than the public docks we are used to. I asked at the office, and the lovely lady said that local pleasure boats rarely have to raft and visiting pleasure boats almost never have to. Costs are low ($.95/ft and $8 for 30 amp service) and the place is great.

Anyway, since the lady had said that K dock was mostly empty, I asked Leslie if she wanted to dock. I think her response was something like “If I have to. I guess.” Anyway, she piloted the boat into the marina and around the fingers and brought her up pretty as you please at dead slow so I could step off. Then she gave it a bit of reverse and completed a textbook-perfect docking. First time on the new boat! I guess I can start kicking back more often now.

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We checked in at the harbour office and immediately decided to stay the night. No point in going back to McNeill when it is just as comfortable here and a better atmosphere (long-time readers will recognize that Malcolm Island and Sointula is a socialist paradise and Leslie is madly in love with the lifestyle here). So I let Dave know we were staying and would hook up again the next day.

Then we headed into town. The main part of town and the ferry docks where we had visited last year were about 3 km down the road. There are free bikes you can borrow, but we opted to walk. It really is beautiful and friendly here, and everyone waves as they drive by. We picked up some fresh-cut rosemary at the garden exchange, which, by the way, had moved from across from the museum to beside the info centre. We mulled about the fresh snap peas but decided to pass. Then we walked over to the Co-op and picked up some orzo, chocolate chips, and a couple of pork loins. Next we skipped across the street to the bakery and had a coffee (me), a C-Plus (Leslie) and some peanut butter cookies while staring across the strait.

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Back at the boat we settled in for some writing and reading time in the warm sunshine. Then it’s nachos for supper. Life is good.

Foggy Passages

August 23

We got up and checked the weather. It looked like there was wind out in the Strait today but it would calm after the next few. The plan had been to visit Billy Proctor and his museum today and then go a short distance to some anchorage, then head across the strait tomorrow. But with the prospect of wind we decided to go to McNeill today and give up on Billy.

Today is Zak Day… I walked up to the cell-phone booster by the store and sent him a birthday text. Supposedly he is coming out to visit in a week so I’ll give him a hug then. We just have to figure out where we will be and how to get him from Vancouver to wherever that is.

After we cast off we headed down Fife Channel. i decided to veer off and take the narrow but scenic Indian Passage so we could swing by Eden Island.

  
And the sun was shining on Eden Island
As we slowly drifted past
Flowing hills, cool waters, forests tall
Such a peaceful place to pause or stay
Or landscape to finally rest

It was a beautiful passage and the monks and crannies certainly warrant another visit. As we emerged from around Eden Island we caught sight of R Shack Island with her main up and slightly behind us.

At the entrance to the Strait you could see the fog flowing in and gently creeping up the sides of the islands. But since R Shack was having intermittent rev issues again we decided, what the hell, let’s sail in the fog. So we did. Since the forecast was for 15-20 we decided to start with a reed in.

We sailed for 40 minutes or so tacking back and forth between the rocks and islets at the mouth of the channel. The visibility was the worst we had ever experienced at less than a 1/4 mile. The radar was working fine and the only other boat “in sight” was R Shack although we couldn’t actually see them after the first tack.

Unfortunately, despite the forecasts, the winds slowly died. we shook out the reef but eventually we had to fire up the motor. We left the main up though, just in case. And then it got really foggy. It was eerie and tough to maintain a course without a lot of concentration but we managed. At one point as we were coming up on Penfold Islets I actually steered towards them to try and get a sense of the visibility. The sky overhead was starting to show some blue but ahead was only gloom. When I finally spotted the big gray-green mass of the rocks and trees they were well within the 1/4 mile range ring.
 
 

As we approached the sw corner of Malcolm Island the fog continued to dissipate and eventually R Shack slowly appeared out of the most 1/3 of a mile off our port bow. and the sun peeked out creating a great rainbow around it.

  

 

Passing the point of Malcom island we entered the Cormorant Passage and the winds came back. So we killed the motor and rolled out the jib. And then the winds started to climb. When they hit gusts of 20 knots there were rumblings of mutiny so I veered off the wind and coasted for a bit. After some negotiations we tried again. Too tacks and the rumblings started again so we finally hove to and put in a big reef.

Then we sailed in 12-15 knots with gusts up to 22 knots. Gusts are killer since you get used to the angle of the boat and suddenly it tilts over like a drunken teenager and you have to reorient (read that as get over being terrified) and then it settles again. Then the whole thing happens again and again at random intervals. Kinda nerve-wracking. But we sailed all if Cormorant Channel and finally dropped the sails outside Port McNeill.

  
R Shack shot this one of us sailing. Check out the heel!

It was late-ish (after 5:30) when we rounded the breakwater headed for North Island Marina. My slip assignment was the end of B-dock, stern in, starboard tie. And for the first time this trip, there was no one to meet me in the dock. It was a bad bad bad docking; my first in this boat. And it was bad. Bad bad. Let’s put it this way, it took 6 people to get the boat in backwards. Bad.

One of the best things about civilization was clean water for the tanks and honest to god garbage bins. No more garbage! First jobs after we finally got tied up.

Then we signed in and decided we needed a beer and greasy burger so we headed ashore to Gus’ Pub (note the proper use of the possessive…Leslie certainly did). I had Gus’s Famous Double Burger (my apostrophe not his) and was stuffed to the gills afterwards. The it was back to the boat and time to sack out. Long, long day.