Saturday, July 31, 2004

Shoal Bay

We kept on thinking that we were just going to cruise for an hour or two and set up anchor, but the weather and the tides favored us so we hauled all of the way up to Shoal Bay. This is a great spot to stop for the views. The pub's menu is pretty basic: Hamburger's and beer. But what else do you need? We ran into one of the dock boys that was working over at Blind Channel from the previous year. It was cool to start seeing some of the same people. The dock was full when we got there so we anchored on the east side of the bay. The wind kicked up that night and scooted us all over the place. I don't think either of us got any sleep.
Toba Inlet
Kalliope Anchoring in Shoal Bay

Friday, July 30, 2004

Pendrell Sound

Sometimes I think power boaters as a general class are some of the most insensitive and rude people. Now not to offend all of the wonderful power boats that we met this summer, but I imagine the majority of power boaters are just fine, but a couple of slime balls ruin it for everyone. Pendrell Sound is a good example. The head of this bay is incredibly warm and used by oyster growers to produce starter oysters. At the entrance there are incredibly large signs that ask for a 4 kt maximum speed and every guidebook makes mention of it. So what do we have, a couple of the larger power boats have ski boat tenders and end up using the Pendrell Sound as their personal playground. Of course this throws up a tremendous wake and make an incredible amount of noise in an otherwise very peaceful setting.

But ya know, despite this, Pendrell Sound is gorgeous and should not be missed. I ended up having a really nice swim, the water temperature was about 74 degrees. Not too bad for a hot day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Isabel Bay

After we dropped the parents off, we headed back to Desolation Sound and down to Isabell Cove. It felt weird to backtrack the same section of water for a fourth time in just a couple of weeks (Parent Tour - twice, Desolation Sound Bound). But we managed to get a bit of sailing in and met up again with our friends Bob and Dianne from the White Swan. It was Dianne's birthday and we had a date at the Laughing Oyster near Lund. Now you might think that Isabella cove is a nice place to anchor and that motoring over to the Laughing Oyster might make for a fun evening, and you might even be right if the wind wasn't blowing like a mother kicking up a huge chop. Suffice it to say, everyone was pretty well beat up by the time we hit the restaurant. However, the company and food were good and we had a great time. When we finally headed back from dinner, the wind had died down and we had a nice twilight ride back to the boat.
Isabel Bay is probably one of the nicest anchorages in Desolation Sound. It is relatively uncrowded and slightly off the beaten path -- shhh, don't tell anyone!
Anchorage with a View!
Bob and Dianne at the Laughing Oyster

Monday, July 26, 2004

Parent Tour

My parents came out for a quick sail. We picked them up at Harriot bay, sailed over to Manson bay for the sunsets! The next day we did a quick loop around Despoliation sound. The view was a bit hazy because of forest fires, but the sailing was good. We then hi-tailed it back to Gorge harbor. Gorge and Manson are only a mile apart, but we ended up sailing something like 30 miles that day. Whew! The next morning we work up nice and early and motored them over to the Cortes Island ferry. They had to do a little scrambling to get to the ferry (since the boat docks and the ferry terminal are on the opposite side of the harbor!), but they made it okay and got a nice photo of us taking off.
Manson Sunset
Whaletown Departure - A rare underway photo!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Harriot Bay

We stopped at Surge Narrows on the way south. The wind was really cranking from the North that day. It made for a might fine sail.
Surge Narrows store - Notice the vote turnout (39 total!)
That night we had an adventuresome dock at Harriot Bay marina. It was blowing about 20 kts on the beam and we had to thread our way through a couple of boats. Ye hah. We made it without a scratch, so everything was good. Dave and Lisa left the next day and headed back to Colorado. We then had a scant 24 hours to get ready for my parents.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Octopus Bay

Well today is an absolutely gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky (and not much wind either).
This is a great place to hang out. We hiked up to the lake, and built fun sculptures at the cabin.
Working on the Staysail - Kalliope and White Swan Rafted Up
Bob, Diane, Lisa & Dave working on our art.
Kalliope's Memo (click for Larger)
The White Swan Mermaid on Kalliope's Bench

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Shooting the Gorge


Last night the wind kept blowing, so our sleep was kind of crappy, so I decided to head over to Gorge Harbor for a little better protection and a non-stern anchor. We waited for about an hour or two before high tide so that we could get out of the harbor. I think we had about 4' under the keel when we left. Desolation sound was pretty flat and windless but finally we poked our head out into the northern edge of the Georgia straits and we had quite a rousing SE with winds somewhere around 20 kts. We quickly set sail and headed West. The cold front that had been moving through the area could be plainly seen about 10 miles in front of us over Campbell River. It looked like this huge wall of water. We just kept on crossing our fingers hoping that we would be able to anchor before it hit us. As we rounded Sutil point we headed North while the front seemed to be moving mostly South. Somehow we managed to make it into Gorge before the rain hit, and we dropped down a ton of chain in the NW corner of the harbor. The wind was still funneling out of the SE, but I figure that it would change quickly.

We dingied over to the Gorge Harbor marina for a little shopping and to dump garbage (They don't actually do this anymore :-(, but we ended up buying so many groceries and such that they took our 1 bag!).

That night we had dinner at the restraint (pretty darn good!) and saw White Swan anchoring out in the bay. They managed to get caught by the leading edge of the front and got a bit hammered out there in the Straits. That night we dingied Dave and Lisa over to the White Swan for some cocktails ...

Lisa After Finishing the "Frog"


The next morning we headed over to Von Donop Inlet with White Swan. Not much in the way of wind, but we did get to go around Shark Spit point which is always challenging.

Kalliope Rounding Sharkspit Point

That night we rafted up at the very southern end of Von Donop Inlet. Dave and I managed to hike a bit towards Squirrel cove and managed to run into a deer, but luckily no bears. We had been hoping for a swim but the head of the inlet was swimming with Jelly Fish, so we decided to pass.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Desolation Sound Bound

The next morning we woke up not particularly early and Kathy made a might fine breakfast. After some serious farting around we cast off the dock and started making our way to the Copeland Islands (Nellie Bly had given us good info about this anchorage). But first we headed to the fuel docks over at Hospital bay for a little diesel and to top off the propane tanks (I had filled up here last year). An hour later we were under way and quickly hoisted sail with a smoking 15 kt breeze from the SW. We were making 7-8 kts over the grand and having a grand time until we finally hit the lee of Texada. Soon the winds died almost completely and even came out of the East when we passed in front of Jervis inlet. So it was to be a motor sail after all. We motored for what seemed like ever, passing by Powell River and Lund until finally we were at the Copelands. Well the wind was still fairly brisk out of the SW up there and we looked around for an anchorage without seeing anything we liked. After farting around there way longer than we probably should have we decided to head over to Grace Harbor. It only took us another hour to Grace and we ended up stern tying deep in the harbor.
Tipple Time in Grace Harbor
Kalliope stern tied in Grace Harbor
The next morning Dave and I rowed over to the shore to check out the facilities and to check out the freshwater lake. The facilities where excellent while the lake was slimy with plenty of leaches and snakes. We decided to pass on the freshwater swim.
Later that afternoon we pulled anchor and headed over to Tenedos for a proper swim. We ended up having a nice little 6 kt tail wind and set the Genoa. There was a boat behind us with their spinnaker gaining on us, so of course I had to deploy our spinnaker making a nice 4 kts. That spinnaker is just huge.
Flying the Spinnaker in Desolation Sound
Movements later we were in Tenedos Bay and looking for another stern tie. On the northern shore we managed to find a ring bolted into the rocks. We actually had a bit of wind broadside, so setting the stern tie was a royal bitch. After several tries we managed to get it set okay and settled down for a nice refreshing dip off the side of the boat.
Now when we I tied the boat to the stern I just tied it off so that we could get back to the boat quickly since the wind was blowing us off our stern tie. Later that night Dave and I decided that life would be tons easier if we doubled back the line, so we came up with this incredibly complex plan to retie the line without actually disconnecting any of the lines. This plan was hampered by the fact that it was dark, the iron ring was under water, and we where three sheets to the wind. So Dave goes out to tie the crazy knot and comes back not completely sure what he tied. After simulating the whole event with a piece of scrap rope lying about the cockpit we concluded that we probably had it right; however, we would wait for the tied to lower before we fixed it. Of course the tied wouldn't be low enough until 11 PM that night at which point we would likely be four sheets to the wind. Somehow it all worked out and we ended up with a line doubled back through the eye bolt. Seems unlikely that we made life any easier.
Somewhere in all of the adventure, Dave slips and puts a might nasty scrape on his arm.
The next day we hike up to Unwin lake for a nice refreshing swim. Alas, the rope swing and the tree that used to hold the swing up is gone. Gone to that great rope swing heaven in the sky. The lake is still there, and we end up having a nice swim and lounging on the rocks.
Dave and Lisa Hanging out at Unwin Lake
We got up super early and pulled anchor by 0530 so that we could hit high water slack and enter Roscoe Bay. At low water, the entrance is above water so you have to plan it carefully. As an added bonus it was trying to rain a bit and was quite cool. We arrived an hour later after motoring over to Roscoe a little after high tide. We still had 7' under the keel and did a stern tie in the SE corner of the bay. Dave managed to scrape himself up again on the Oyster beds. He was starting to look a little beat up. That afternoon we hiked to black lake and went for another swim. The water was actually warmer than the air temperature and felt great.

Eight Inch Slug on the Way to Black Lake
That afternoon the front really moved in and we started getting 25-30 kt gusts in the bay. It was quite the drag fest with boats going everywhere. I wasn't real happy with our anchor and we ended weighing anchor. Dave was out in the dingy and almost got flipped by a couple of the more powerful gusts. After 20 minutes of motoring around and trying to anchor out in the center, the wind died down enough so that we could get re-anchored

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Garden Bay Blues

Our Georgia Straight crossing from Nanamio was pretty uneventful. We managed to sail a bit towards the end but mostly motor-sailed. We entered Pender Harbor and made our way back to Garden bay where we stern tied. It was high tide and we hadn't stern tied in about a year, so when everything was done, we ended up with a little less scope than we should have. A couple of hours later White Swan showed up and rafted up with us. I had them drop their own anchor out a bit farther. It was a good thing, because that afternoon a squall came through first blowing like crazy from the south then switching 180 and blowing like crazy from the north. We had all kinds of boats blowing this way and that. That evening we had a might fine dinner with Bob and Diane aboard Kalliope.

The next morning Kathy and I moved the boat over to Sunshine Coast marina in Madeira park (less than a mile away from where we were moored). TheWhite Swanhead off to Princess Louisa Inlet. The Sunshine Coast had really good Internet access and a really nice hot tub. From there it was a short dingy ride to Maderia Park and their excellent Grocery store. We had lunch at their most excellent hamburger stand (located across from the IGA) and spent the rest of the day getting ready for Dave and Lisa (I also squeezed in a little hot tub time).

Later that evening Dave and Lisa arrived from Colorado via a bus from Vancouver. They had cruised with us last summer in the San Juan's and were ready to give it a go again. After we picked them up we went to the pub for dinner and drinks. They even kept it open for us even though we didn't get back until pretty late. When we left the pub it was pretty damn dark. It was quite the challenge to dingy across the harbor and find the boat..
Kalliope at Sunshine Coast Resort

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Echo Bay and Pierre's

Lagoon Cove and Pierre's are both excellent examples of why we really like coming up to some of these out of the way marina's. At Lagoon Cove you get free food and get to meet tons of your fellow boaters. Now these boaters also no where you can get free food, so you just keep on going and living off the bounty of the land. In Pierre's case the bounty presented itself in the form of a 100 lb pig and plenty of libations. Now who would have expected to find a pig picker out here in the middle of friggin' nowhere? Not me anyway.
The Main Attraction
Pierre His Self
Don't Forget the Texas Pete
The Bread Lady
Buzz On Inn
Echo Bay

North to Nainaimo


We get up nice and early so that we can squeak through Dodd Narrows at noon as we head to Nanamio. Mostly an uneventful day. When we get to Nanamio I call UK to see about the sails. It seems that they have sent my old Genoa (Oh yeah, I left it with them) to the Port of Nanamio. I went emailed the wacky sail photos and he concluded that the sail was cut wrong. I ask if he want the local rep to come out and he says no. So BJ comes by again and we pull down the New sail and put up my old sail once again. Jeez. Of course BJ and I start looking at the sail and conclude that real problem is that the luff is STILL to long. The jib halyard is completely topped out. This information I do not relay to UK because I don't want a hacked up sail. I will either use a new Sailmaker or have them re-measure. What a pain in the ass.

That night BJ, Tricia, Kathy and I went to the Acme for some find food and some good jazz. They put us in the VIP room where we managed to indulge in some wine and spirits. They make some might fine martinis!

The next couple of days we hung out. We used the Internet facilities, restocked the Groceries, watched the Dragon boat races, and generally stayed pretty busy. BJ and Tricia headed North for the Copelands and about a day later the White Swan showed up. Of course we had to take them to Acme and listened to jazz at the Katz club (I guess Acme just bought it. Very Cool).

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Sydney and Sails

Well last night was interesting. Yesterday, several boats started leaving and we kept on adjusting the raft until we had four boat left. During the night the wind really picked up with a new low coming through and the rafted boats ended up broadside to the wind. Of course everything sounded wrong and about 3 am three sets of heads popped out of three different boats at about the same time. We quickly decided that the raft up needed to be broken up immediately. So under the glare of a half dozen mast spreader light we cast everyone off. Lucky for us we already had our anchor out so we really didn't have to do much besides fend everyone off. Strangely enough, it was quite a festive event and overall pretty low stress considering.
Later the front moved on through and the rain started dumping in earnest.
The next morning I dingied Mike and Diane over to Roche for their early AM Sea Plane flight to Seattle. It had just let up on the rain, but was apparently still dumping in Seattle, so they had to wait a couple of hours for everything to break up. Meanwhile, I dingied over to White Swan and Bob and I went to retrieve my Danforth Anchor along with his rode (the end of which was attached to a fender floating behind us). After we that mess up, we hauled up my Primary Anchor and the hauled up my secondary anchor. The last 50' is chain and we hauled it by hand ... whew. Bob and Diane then headed to the docks while Kathy and I dropped anchor again and promptly went back to sleep.
About noon we woke up and managed to snap a photo of Mike and Diane taking off.
Mike and Diane taking off next to Nelli Bly
After some more serious slaking, we headed off to Sydney to pick up our hopefully shortened Genoa. We had a really nice sail and managed to get some hitchhikers. A pod of about 20 dolphins rode our bow wave for 30 minutes. Kathy and I hung on the foredeck while they surfed our bow below. Very, very cool! Nelli Bly left about half an hour after us and managed to spot some Orcas about a mile North of us.
Since the wind was blowing 15-20 kts, the whole Port of Sidney docking experience was quite a challenge; however, we managed to make it in without too much problem. Earlier, people had been getting pulled into the water because of the strong winds.
BJ & Tricia showed up a bit later and we had a nice Greek dinner downtown (Sidney has a million Greek places).
I called up UK sails bright and early so that they could bring my sails over. Lo and behold they hadn't even started re-working them. That is why I sent them the sails two weeks ago, so that they would be ready when I showed up! They did promise me that the sail would be delivered by 10am the next morning. So we will see.
The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, booze shopping and doing several boat repairs (like replacing my stern tie that I sold to the White Swan the year before).
BJ and the UK sales rep helped my pull the Genoa down again (this is something like the 4th or 5th time we have done this in the last month!). The new sail slid up quickly and looks okay on the dock. We won't really be able to tell until we put some wind on her. BJ & Tricia take off for the Princess Islands while Kathy and I clean up the boat. Meanwhile, we are getting booted out of the Marina. The Seattle Yacht club has reserved damn near the whole marina and the guy that has our space is waiting for us to leave. So under a flurry of activity we cast off and start heading north. We don't actually know where we are going but I guess we will figure it out somehow. I go down below and plot a course to Monteque Harbor. We were there last year and it is an easy Harbor to anchor in, plus there is a really cool pub that we wanted to try out.
But first, it is time to try out the new sail. We are on a broad reach and I unfurl the new sail. Hmm, there is a big pucker that runs from the luff all of the way to the clew. This does not look right. So I spend about 20 minutes farting with it and call UK. They give me suggestions, but no luck. So I snap some photos. (The furled sail on the right is actually the Staysail. Also notice that the draft is way aft.) UK has a rep in Nanamio, so the rep will supposedly look at it. We sailed for a couple of hours and then I went to start the motor. Nothing. I went below and banged the starter with a hammer and she fired right up. Just another day in the life.
That night Kathy and I dingy ashore and wait for the bus to the Hummingbird pub. The bus used to pick people up at the marina, but now picks them up at the main road after a little incident. Seems like the brakes gave way one day and the bus crashed through one of the marina's buildings. Oops. Of course Kathy and I didn't know this, so we waited until we saw the bus pass us by on the hill. Luckily we were able to pick up a ride with someone from the kayak rental place. The Hummingbird pub is really a fine place and we managed to tiredly make it through dinner. As we were finishing dinner, who appeared before us like an apparition, but Saint BJ. I guess Nellie Bly didn't feel like messing with a stern tie so she had anchored in Montague as well. So they joined us while I related the days activities. When I got to the part about the starter, BJ suggested that we take it apart and rebuild it --- "15 minutes," he says. At this point Kathy start laughing uncontrollably (and really hasn't stopped). Afterward there was a lively discussion about starters and spares and all kinds of wild and crazy things.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Roche Harbor Roundup

Ever since last year when we met Nelly Bly at Eagle Harbor for the 4th of July, BJ has been bugging me to meet up with them at Roche Harbor for the 4th in 2004. Well his persistence paid off because we managed to sneak out of Fossil Cove before low tide left us aground (a -3 tide that day). We had a bit of motoring and a bit of sailing as we made our way over to Roche. Supposedly, BJ's mom had a place all picked out and all we had to do was raft up. Of course this was not to be the case and we were the first to arrive.
Dec 17th --- okay, It is unlikely I will write a bunch more. However, I will post some photos.
Daily Planet, White Swan, Nelle Bly, Kalliope, White Swan, Narrow Path
Nine Boats, Count 'me Nine!
After this was taken, the wind started picking up and we had quite the twist up. A couple of the boats left and that left us in an even more twisted state. About 3 am on Monday morning, BJ, Bob and myself all woke up at the same time hearing something slightly goofy. The wind was on our beam and putting a lot of stress on the anchors, so we busted up the raft and everyone went off to their own corner of the harbor to anchor.