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.