Katie and I trailered our boat over Snoqualmie Pass from the Yakima area where we live, to Bellingham where John and Penny live and from where we would launch.
About our boat........
|A cutaway view scanned from the original brochure|
|Ready to launch|
So, let's get this trip underway!On to Sucia Island! 7-27-10
|Katie ready to swim in Fossil Bay|
Launching from the Squalicum Harbor boat ramp is a snap and soon after we put in the water we were on our way. Sucia Island, here we come!
We were heading up Hale Passage when John and Penny contacted us saying one of their engines had lost oil pressure and they were headed back in to meet the mechanic. We continued on with mostly flat water and blue skies for our first night out. We tied up to a buoy in Fossil Bay to wait for our friends to show up. Several Great Blue Herons were on the little island off the dock, otters were feeding in the bay, a bald eagle circled overhead and an occasional seal made an appearance. Katie had already decided the water was warm enough to jump in and swim. We called John and Penny and found out they got the repair they needed and were proceeding at trawler speed to test everything out on the way to Sucia. They arrived sometime around 5:30 and rafted up to us for the night. J & P were exhausted from moving into a new house, dealing with their engine issues and very ready for a vacation. Let the vacation begin! Dinner was Baby-back ribs and corn on the cob. Our foot pump in the galley decided to die after 40 years of use and water was leaking into our bilge. So, we shut the water supply off and made plans to get a replacement as soon as we could find one on our way north.
To Poet’s Cove and points North. 7-28-10
|Leaving Poet's Cove|
Crossing into Canada was a bit rough. Seas were 3-4 feet and coming from almost any direction at any given time. It made for a bumpy 2 hour crossing to Poet's Cove. The Canadian Navy were doing some on the water activities on our way across but most of our focus was spent addressing the unpredictable wave patterns on this crossing. Very "confused seas".
We headed north to South Pender Island and Poet’s Cove to clear Canada Customs. Customs is always an interesting event and you never know what to expect. This time we had to throw away our tomatoes. Of course, Katie was not thrilled over this news so she ate one on the way up to the disposal can and ate another before depositing the remaining 3 or 4 into the clean disposal receptacle. We were underway again in about 15 minutes. Pretty fast and painless. Canada always makes us feel welcome into the country. They apparently have a good computer system they use where they kept all our data on file from last year and entry was quick and efficient. The customs agent on the phone welcomed us back into Canada and wished us a wonderful Holiday. J & P phoned in from their boat using their Nexus card info. Next stop – Ganges Harbor.
|Swans and their Cygnets in Ganges Harbor Marina|
We had heard a lot about Ganges from other boaters and from reading Waggoner’s Cruising Guide. The entrance to Ganges is a long channel with lots of crab pot floats of various configurations. Float planes regularly land there and provide some entertainment as you approach the village. They have a famous Saturday Market, art galleries, shopping and lots of art influences around the community. The marina was badly in need of renovation. The docks were old, patched and in poor shape. The office manager was cranky, short tempered and rude. We decided to not go back there if we could help it. Spent 2 days there shopping, walking, relaxing and planning the next leg of our trip. We called around and located a replacement galley foot pump in Nanaimo at Harbour Chandlery, a store we really like to visit. I think of this Chandlery as a Boating Candy Store.
To Thetis Island 7-30/31-10
The next leg of the journey takes us to Thetis Island Marina, a place Katie and I liked from last year’s trip to Nanaimo. We like the laid back nature of the place, the staff and the pub food they serve. We headed up Trincomali Channel through Houston Passage, cruised by Kuper Island and into Telegraph Harbor. Kuper Island is a First Nations Reserve that has a cormorant rookery on the west side of the island right before entering the harbor.
|Cormorants nesting in the rocks on Kuper Island|
|Penny and Katie in the little boat shuttle to Telegraph Harbor Marina.|
To Nanaimo 7-31-10
We leave Thetis Island Marina at 6:00 AM for the 1 hour 45 minute run to Dodd Narrows. The current here can get nasty so we are only going through with the tide and close to slack. Skies are blue and the run looks like we are crossing a big flat lake. Early morning runs are often very quiet with lots of wildlife to see. This morning we see Eagles, cormorants, seals and a herring ball being fed on by gulls. Traffic through the narrows is minimal and we cruise through without the narrows pushing us around.
|Radar image of Dodd Narrows|
|The approach to the narrows|
Nanaimo is only another 1 1/4 hours away. The winds picked up a little as we approached Nanaimo and the seas got a little bumpy. Winds coming off the Strait of Georgia have quite a long fetch and can produce some rough water, but we entered the harbor before they had time to build. We motored to the Port of Nanaimo where we had phoned in reservations. This is where I finally get to repair the galley foot pump and shop at Harbor Chandlery. 8:45 and we are docked on the south side of J Dock. Nice to have time to shop and work.
|Nanaimo Port Authority offices|
Nanaimo has done a very nice job with their waterfront marina. Very clean docks, helpful staff, great laundry and some of the nicest restrooms and showers we have found on our trips. The buildings show a modern maritime theme and the shops on the waterfront area are not too touristy. Good gelato and ice cream available to go with the lattes. A "quick" trip to the chandlery and I am in the middle of installing the foot pump. It only takes 4 screw holes to complete the installation but 2 of them require hand drilling. I mean using a vise grip on a drill; bit and HAND DRILLING the holes. The space was too tight for the drill where I have to drill the last two holes. I had a great thought of going to buy a small right angle battery powered drill and ended up walking around the city of Nanaimo without finding the drill I desired. Lesson learned---just drill the stinking holes and stop wasting time looking for the easy way out. 3 hours later the pump is installed and we have water working again! Great pump, a Wahl Gusher II, that pumps on the up and down stroke. Now we'll need to retrain ourselves to make sure we still conserve water.
We checked at the office for the weather and Whiskey Golf conditions and decided to leave the next morning. Winds are suppose to be calm in the late morning and Whiskey Golf is inactive for the day. We went to the grocery store nearby to get stocked up and prepare for our crossing. For us, this is Big Water we'll be crossing. I check all systems this evening and we are set to go.
8-1-10 Nanaimo to Pender Harbor, Madiera Marina
|Leaving Nanaimo with Second Wind following us|
|Our friends John & Penny with Second Wind|
in the middle of the Strait of Georgia
|Madeira Marina with fresh seafood on the dock. |
Should we get crab, spotted prawns, salmon,
ling cod, halibut or....all of the above.
8-2-10 Madeira Marina to Egmont - Back Eddy Marina
Loons near the marina woke us up with their calls this morning. We fixed ham and eggs, toasted English muffins, tea for Molly and espresso for Penny, Katie and Joe. Joe and Molly brought blueberries with them so they went aboard Second Wind to make a fresh blueberry pie for tonight's dessert! Now were are really ready to go to Egmont and Back Eddy Marina. We leave at noon today and make it there by 3:11. The trip begins by heading up Agamemnon Channel and turning south towards the Sechelt Inlet and Skookumchuck Rapids. Egmont is a nice quiet marina and our last chance for fuel before running up to Princess Louisa Inlet (PLI). They have the cheapest laundry and also the fastest laundry we've run into. Beautiful scenery begins to develop. It is obvious that we are proceeding up a set of fjords with steep drop offs, deep water and huge glaciated mountains towering above the inlets.
|Looking out from Egmont towards the Harmony Islands|
and Jervis Inlet.
|Back Eddy Marina @ Egmont. Notice the narrow|
channel next to the light on the rock. This is mentioned in
Waggoner's Cruising Guide. Worth avoiding!
8-3-10 Back Eddy Marina to Princess Louisa Inlet
We start the morning with another great breakfast of scrambled eggs with fresh corn cut off the cob and added to the eggs, bacon, toast, tea and espresso. Showers at the marina and we are all set to go. Joe made a "quick" run to the bakery to bring back warm cinnamon rolls for the trip and more bread.
9:10 and we are off! The air looks like there are forest fires somewhere in the area and a haze is developing over the mountains. 34 miles to go to PLI. We plan to catch a flood tide to assist us as we shoot for slack water at Malibu Rapids, the entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet. The scenery just keeps getting more and more spectacular as we head up Jervis Inlet.
|Heading up Jervis Inlet|
|Canoe Pictograph to the right of the tree|
|Around every bend of Jervis Inlet a new stunning|
mountain vista opens up
|Self serve grocery store in Telegraph Harbor|
|Sunset in Cowichan Bay|
Next year-----Desolation Sound.