Monday, August 11, 2008


We have had a hard time figuring out how to end this trip. We had left our car in Bellingham, so we had hoped to find a temporary moorage there, or at least stop and pick up our car. But there are no slips available and the Customs and Border Protection folks reminded us that we have to clear in at one of the 5 designated ports of entry, which doesn't include Bellingham. So we have ended up in Anacortes for now. We had a nice visit with friends Greg and Dina and their granddaughter Kendall before heading on down the road for home.

Last night in Canada

We went over to Boat Passage in the morning to watch the current flooding out of Winter Cove and into the Strait of Georgia. I tried to convince Vicki to let me con the boat through at high slack in the early afternoon. She was having none of that, so we went the long way 'round Saturna to Reef Harbour between Tumbo and Cabbage Islands. We had a nice sail out of Plumper Sound, but then the wind died and we motored until Tumbo Channel, where we had a last short reach under sail before turning in to the anchorage. This is one of our favorite anchorages, and seemed like a nice way to finish off this summer's time in BC. The winds stayed light in the PM, so I kayaked all the way around Tumbo and Cabbage Islands, seeing a number of river otters and harbor seals along the way.

Winter in Summer

Today (Saturday) we had a short easy sail to Winter Cove on Saturna, thanks to changing out the 140% genoa for the 80% jib. We spent the morning at the Ganges Saturday market before heading out. It was sobering to sail past the wreck of the Roberts II on Minx Reef at the entrance to Winter Cove. We had seen it last year just a few days after it went on the reef. Now its barely recognizable.
Shortly after we put the anchor out, it started raining, and it rained until almost dark. We were treated to a nice sunset at least.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Upwind to Ganges

We should have changed headsails before we set out. Winds in Trincomali were blowing out of the SE, so we had to tack to get to our planned destination, Ganges on Salt Spring. One reef, then two, then we finally dropped all sails and motored from near Porlier Pass the rest of the way to Nose Point. Once past Nose Point, we had an easy reach and run to Ganges, under genoa alone.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quick Silva

We're in Silva Bay, on Gabriola Island, not too far from Nanaimo. It was not so quick getting here, actually. But fun. We even flew the spinnaker part of the day. Now we're back in the Gulf Islands, and only a day or two from re-entering the States.

Not Desolate in the least

We decided to blow off Desolation Sound this year. We had been there, and had a wonderful time with friends, each of the last 2 years, and it seemed anticlimactic to go back this year on our own. The parade of mega-yachts steaming by on their way to Desolation also may have had something to do with it. Fuel prices have had seemingly little impact on the "big boys."
We had a fine NW wind to carry us back toward home, and had an excellent run down Malaspina Strait to Blind Bay, between Hardy and Nelson Islands. This turned out to be a charming and not overcrowded spot, with good swimming and kayaking to boot. We ran into fellow Ericson owners Jon and Caroline on Grand Cru out of Victoria, whom we had not seen since the rendezvous in Port Townsend a few years ago. We also talked to folks on a beautiful traditional cutter named Fairanne, out of Astoria.
The next day we had a short run down the Strait to Smuggler Cove. We had long avoided this area due to congestion, but we got there early and enjoyed a few peaceful hours before the hordes descended for the evening. It is a beautiful cove, surrounded by glacially-polished rocks, and its easy to see why its so popular.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Less Desolate than we were

Well, the weather has really turned around! The barometer is pegged on "fair weather" and it is indeed fair. We waited for the turn of the tide to leave Campbell River, not wanting to fight the 6kt ebb, and had a leisurely sail across the Strait and back thru Baker Passage. We decided not to push on, but to find an early anchorage and enjoy the sunny afternoon. So we're back in the Copeland Islands, only a mile or less south from where we were 2 nights ago. After stern tieing to a tree ashore, we found the water was warm enough for a 20-min swim. Yahoo - this is what I've been waiting for!
This morning, the sun was shining brightly and warmly, and we had coffee in the cockpit. Then we caught the scent of Nancy's Bakery, only a couple of miles away in Lund. So into the dinghy we went, and here I sit updating the blog.

Friday, August 1, 2008

almost to Desolation

We're in Campbell River, after a fairly quick trip up the Strait from Nanaimo, thanks to steady SE winds. We spent one night at Jedediah Island, between Texada and Lasqueti Islands. It's a nice provincial park with good walking trails and beautiful rocky scenery. We didn't take a single picture there this year, as we've now been there 3 years in a row!
The next day, anticipating more SE winds, we left early, hoping to get close to Desolation Sound. The weather didn't cooperate - we had more rain than wind! We ended up, though, in a charming little cove in the Copeland Islands, near Lund.
Today we awoke to more rain, and we needed to charge the batteries and check email, so we came to Campbell River instead of heading into Desolation. We had a great sail across from the Copelands, and caught the last of the ebb tide into Discovery Passage. We're tied up at Fisherman's Wharf, amongst some humongous fishing boats!