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Saturday, February 5, 2011

2010 Vancouver Island Circumnavigation (part 1)

2010 Vancouver Island Circumnavigation by Count Ferrari and Chris Edlen.

This Part 1 is about half of the trip.  A very long read, so good luck.  Comments would be appreciated at the bottom.

This map gets used a LOT and is from the Dreamspeaker
Crusiing Guide.  
Get that guide if you go.

April 28, 2010:  Stress is setting in as the boat is prepared for departure.  What did I miss?  What needs to be done before one hits the wilds of BC?  Yesterday saw the kayak installed, a second survival suit located, diesel diapers put aboard, hatch bumper washers installed, etc…  Today, another trip to Anacortes is required as I haul up the bedding and then take the prop off the outboard motor and go get a spare, lube and replace.  I am looking forward to leaving so I don’t have all these resources I can tap… 

Once gone, there are way fewer options and so one just carries on.

I got my booze aboard, the new dink prop and lock nut for the outboard, I tried on both survival suits and lubed the zipper.  They are both built for shorter folks than I but will work fine if needed.

April 29, 2010:  Today, I hope to defrost the fridge, bring aboard the kellet line,the carpet,  the extra rode I think I have somewhere, the lunch hook so we would have 3 anchors and 4 rodes (one is 200' of chain, the primary), some extra C and D batteries and who knows what else.  Astro and I will wash the decks, fill fuel, including the 5 gallon extra jug for on deck storage, and water before departing to Friday Harbor.  We will want to take some time and do a very good folding of the 115% Genoa in Friday Harbor to reduce the bulk.  That sucker is heavy but needed.

The red line shows our progress for the first 10 days.  Detailed maps below.
May 3, 2010:  We are supposed to be leaving today to transit over to Friday Harbor and pick up Chris Edlen.  Not going to happen unless the wind settles down A LOT!  Apparently it is blowing over 40 and up to 57 out near the ferry terminal.  Jay Carbon, Astroman, and I are just finishing scrubbing the incredibly dirty deck and then filling the water tanks.  We are ready to depart.  Earlier Bill ‘Bling’ Ling came by and we played two games of crib. 

Jay +1
CF  +2 (skunked them both)

Dinner at Bling’s later, Taco Salad.  Maybe the wind will die down and we can make a sprint over to FH tonight.  We are listing about 10d on the puffs sitting here at the dock.  A HC 38 with mast steps behind us is heeling to 20d!

May 4, 2010: 21nm Anacortes to Friday Harbor
The first leg of the trip.

We arrived in FH the previous day after doing 21 km from Anacortes.  10AM to 1PM in the sun and wind from the SW.  We had speeds of 6-9k but it was cold in the wind. 
‘Astroman’ Jay Gaston Carbone with the worst damage of the rounding.

Chris had a free 50’ slip for us 4 slips from his boat.  His cockpit had so MUCH stuff in it that he hid somewhere on Jah Mon.  Maybe 500 lbs. of stuff!  Dive gear,. Crab pot, food, clothes, safety stuff like two PLBs, and who knows what else.

We went up to Chris’s house where I took a long hot tub and had some good food before retiring to Jah Mon for the evening where I got in a win in cribbage with Astroman (Jay).  We awoke to 43F in the cabin at 7 AM.  Very cold but the furnace warmed it up quickly.  Love that thing working!

After tying on the two kayaks and having Jay pump up the inflatable dink on the foredeck, we cast off and motored north.  The weather has a couple of blue clouds giving us a glimpse of sun but we are motoring right into the very cold northerly. 

*May 5, 2010:  29.6 km, 43-62F in cabin without heat
Departed Friday Harbor @09:50 for Bedwell Harbor on Pender Island
 Departing Friday Harbor, clearing customs at Bedwell and then anchoring at Ganges on Salt Spring Island

Jah Mon found a very nice path to Ganges in the dwindling wind and the sun coming out as soon as we cleared Customs in Bedwell Harbor on Pender Island.  We were motoring in no waves or wind at 2500 rpm and 7-7.3 k.  The boat seems to be liking all this weight we hauled aboard.

Anchored right in front of Ganges, launched the dink in a very smooth team effort.  Loaded up the disc boots and bags and headed in to play at 4:45 PM in full sunshine.  It really warmed up outside as we went north.

Scores:  CF set a new personal best at -7, CB at +5, and Astroman pulled a 19 but did have the worst lie I have ever seen.  Hopefully we can do a photo documentation today.

Back to the boat at 7:00 for libation and popcorn.  CF grabbed a shower on board while CB put together a Putenesca (sp?) which is a brown rice pasta covered with tomato chunks, smoked salmon, calamata olives, capers, red peppers, garlic, oregano, and other stuff… Wow!

Dishes and a then a blackberry/blueberry pie and a movie… Collateral with Tom Cruise.  We rate 3+ out of 4.  Bedtime at 11:45.

May 6, 201012.4 km, Ganges to Wallace
Departing Ganges and anchoring at Wallace Island Marine Park.

Awoke to 47F in the cabin.  Pie for breakfast. 

Chris quote “this is the first time I have slept past 5:30 for months”.  He is finally starting his retirement!  Jay and I are giving him lessons…

Plan for day…

Jay figures itinerary for the next 6 days when he is scheduled to get off the boat somewhere on Vancouver Island.
Disc Golf round
Shopping for ranger cookies
Possible massage for Count Ferrari (came up with symptoms of a sprained ankle yesterday, with no idea why)

The march north got broken down into 30 mile chunks so we don’t have to spend too many hours a day steaming.  The current plan is to get to Port McNeil (near Port Hardy) on the 15th in order to pick up Rear Admiral Papajani and Legs.  Astroman will bail at Comox or Campbell River if it works out.

We had a good day on Thursday in Ganges with a round of disc

CF= -4
CB= +4 (a new Personal Best)
Astro= +11 (took off tons of strokes to a real score)

Back to the boat with some minimal groceries including some awesome Ranger Cookies from the Ganges Market.  Lunch and some crib with CB taking the game with Astro being left in the skunk stink hole!  CF just took the loss gracefully.

We moved to the government wharf and filled up with water having used 27 gallons since we left on Tuesday.  The Count got a massage from a woman who was 6’2”.  She was tall and strong but she found more bruises on my right leg!  Must have bashed it up behind the knee and didn’t notice as my entire calf is bruised and behind my knee!  No idea why…

We departed Ganges at 5:30 and put out the anchor 12 miles later at 7:45 at Wallace Island.  This is a Provincial Marine Park with very scenic sights.  We got out the crab pot and set it.  We shall see how that whole crab thing goes.

Astroman cooked up a slab of salmon on BBQ with a great salad and baguette.  Mmmmmm!

The movie was Euro Trip.  Where did that come from?  Good belly laughs and sophomoric humor following a recent group of HS grads going to Europe to look around for some pen pal cutie…  CF’s rating 2 stars for male humor.

CB showing his boat's sign "C Cruise" mounted inside the
'Boat House' on Wallace Island.

Showing off the Jah Mon sign of '09 at the 'Boat House'
on Wallace Island.  A Marine Park.
A very quiet night on the hook with placid sea and wind. 

West wall of 'Boat House' on Wallace Island

May 7, 2010:  21.4 nm Wallace Island to Nanaimo

The run from Wallace Island Marine Park to Nanaimo through Dodd Narrows.

Jah Mon was the furthest anchored out vessel.

We got up early to get in our walk prior to heading for the slack water at Dodd Narrows, just south of Nanaimo.  We need to make the 12:45 slack water for an easy transit through and it is 15.4 miles away from Wallace so we have to start about 10:00AM to hit the timing if all goes well.

Dodd Narrows was real easy except for the racing fleet heading south with chutes up in the middle of the pass.  Good fun watching them surf and almost broach as we passed each other within 30’.

Nanaimo Yacht Club was an easy tie up and very gracious and even remembered me from last summer!  Laundry done, a small provision run and a round of disc golf at Bowen Park.  My disc golf contact in Nanaimo was home and playing disc.  Mark’ best score was -13!  He even claims a 475’ drive and has a video of him launching one down some mountain for 4km!!!

Astro =+16

Showers and a run up to the YC after taco salad aboard.  We need to eat some food aboard!  Back aboard at 9:30 after drinks and then a bit of cribbage with CF taking the game and skunking both of the crew!  CB was stuck in the skunk stink hole and was in mental anguish.

*May 8, 2010:  26nm    Nanaimo to Jedidiah Marine Park (south end of Texada island)

Nanaimo to Jedidiah Marine Park across the first bit of deadly water... the Straits of Georgia.  Very calm today.

47F in the morning after 68F last night!  Pure sun and moderating wind

 Filled up with water and provisions we left at 08:55 into a completely clear sunny day with 5k of wind, on the nose (of course).  We decided not to tack back and forth across the third most dangerous chunk of water for the trip, the dreaded Straits of Georgia.  We motored straight up to weather most of the day.

ETA around 14:00 hours

Lunch under way with lentil / tortilla soup and  a half sandwich of chicken breast.

The anchor went down at 14:00 hours!  White Rock Bay on Jedidiah Island.  It is totally sheltered from the wind and waves, but not the sun!  We are baking in it with the longjohns off and shorts and white tee shirts to fend off sun!

It is 65F in the cabin at anchor.  The Rolling Stones are playing their Let It Bleed album and the crab pot is catching our hors d’ourves.  Astro and CB are heading out to climb Mt. Gibralter while CF hangs in the mother ship and paddles around in the kayak in search of the ultimate leisure outing (this trip is turning out pretty fine so far).
Jah Mon at anchor while the crew explores Jedidiah Island.
Another Marine park in BC.

CF’s kayak adventure met up with a couple in two other kayaks with camping gear that was primarily weighed down by wine and water.  They were checking out the West settlement and then paddled over to the East one. 

There were at least 25 WOOLEY dirty sheep out there with lots of babies.  CF built a 5 ‘thruster’ on a rock promontory that is very aesthetic.  The one left behind 3 years ago was not visible.
The forest floor on Jedidiah.

A serious safety issue arouse when Astroman cut himself slicing a lime.  Later he claimed potential injury opening grilled oysters with our two sacrificial  dinner knives from the thrift shop in Ganges.
One of the two old homestead houses on the island.

Oysters harvested from the kayak.

Dinner menu:  BBQ halibut, thai fried rice with veggies. 
Hors d’oeuvers:  popcorn and fresh grilled oysters with cocktail sauce.

73F in the cabin at 5:40 PM or 1740 hours….  Sunny! No wind on the boat.

All is right with the world….  

May 9, 2010:  48.7nm Jedidiah Island, White Rock Cove (near Lasqueti Island, south of Texada0 to Cortez Bay on Cortez Island

Jedidiah Marine Park to Cortez Bay on Cortez Island

Departed anchorage at 9:40

We are just leaving Texada on our right side ( a bit different but just as long!)  

The night last night at Jedidiah Marine Park was a magic visit.  Total sun, 73F in cabin, with NO wind where we anchored.  Not another boat in sight except for two kayak campers that went by.  I caught up with them after Astro and CB went ashore in the dink to walk to the mountain top.  They only went a couple of miles and saw both homesteads and all the sheep.  That area was a technology dead hole with no email or cell phone or even the weather station on the VHF!
The bay at one of the two homesteads on Jedidiah Island.

I took the kayak and went up Long Bay to the 'newer' homestead and replaced our thruster we had planted on that bluff.  There was no sign of it after 3 years.  I left a very nice '5' that I had to haul to the top of the bluff.  The Inookshook (the NW Indian cairn stack with the two towers for legs and then a 'hip' crossing to connect the two towers and then whatever you can get for the torso) from our last visit was not there either.

Lunch today was beef veggie with pasta and half sandwiches.  Very tasty.

My leg, according to my crew, because I cannot get a good look at it, is maybe a bit better.  This is the R leg, not the 5 hours massage leg which is doing pretty well in the foot department.  All in all, good condition for an old boy.  I am taking ibuprofen to assist the bruise healing.

Our course today was changed by weather and wind.  We were going to cross back to Comox on Vancouver Island but instead are heading to Cortes Bay on the East lower side of Cortes Island.  It would have been an upwind battle all the way to Comox.  Reaching to Cortez seemed the sensible thing to do.  According to Astroman, the disc course is closest to that Cortez Bay on Cortez Island.  This is a long day of travel with 48 nm to cover.  We departed at 9:40 and expect to arrive around 18:30.  We were able to sail the most of any day so far.  ~21 nm is the best sailing of the trip so far.

On Friday, we sailed for .5-.75 miles into Nanaimo with just the headsail.
On Saturday, we sailed 7 miles into Bull Passage just north of Lasqueti Island (near the south tip of Texada Island)
On Sunday (today_) we sailed 21 miles with the best speed of 8k over the bottom!  Now we are motoring directly to Cortez.

We watched Riding around in cars with Boys last night, Astro picked it and we called it a Chick Flick and bailed on it.

I did manage a win last night in crib with Astro leading the entire event and me thinking I was going to get skunked and then a terrific comeback where I passed him in the Stink Hole!

Chris is fooling around wiring up 12v outlet that came undone and figuring out the panel switches.  Astro is having fun driving.  We are currently passing by motor through a convergent zone and expect to get a stiff Northerly on our nose here soon (it is 13:47 at the time of this typing)

Dinner after the sunshine celebration in the cockpit after arrival in Cortez Bay.  We have the crab pot set out and a building temp.  The cabin was 66F on arrival and built to 71F by 20:00.  No wind and max sun!
Astroman stumped at the nice temperatures in Cortez Bay.
Cortez Island

Star Wars III for evening entertainment, where we see Darth Vader come to existence…. Too much light saber fighting and a thin plot makes the Count rate it at 2- stars.  Special effects get it up to 2.

May 10, 2010:  Cortez Bay, Cortez Island, Discovery Islands, (North end of the Straits of Georgia).

This shows the locations of Cortez Bay better.  Many YC outstations here.  The disc golf course is about a mile away.

This is a day of sitting around  and hopefully playing some disc golf.  Rumor has it there is a course within 2 miles of the bay.  It was 54F in the cabin before the heat was turned on.  That is the warmest morning so far.
Boys having fun in the sun.

A bit of wind from the north with a few blue clouds and shadows as of 09:50.

The crab pot was a skunk this AM.  2nd can of cat food applied and pot moved to just outside the bay in 40’ of water.

Astro is departing tomorrow and CB and CF are heading north to do battle with the big current at Yuculta and Dent Rapids next to Stuart Island in Big Bay.  We need to be there ahead of slack water by 1 hour and then plunge in and try to stay out of the whirlpools.  There will be anti water on the other side too so although the journey will be long in time, it will likely be short on distance covered.  We will see.

Off for a round of disc on a foreign course!  Life is good.
CB is inside the  Cortez Disc Golf Club house

Astro adds scale to the outside of the Cortez Disc Golf
Clubhouse.  A very organic structure!

Did I tell you we covered 48.7 miles yesterday with a following wind which we sailed about 25 miles!  Much of it in long sleeved tee shirts.

We had a good morning here at Cortez Bay (near Squirrel and Refuge Coves).  Tomorrow Jay is getting a ride to the ferry by ferry worker going to work!  Perfect, as there are no buses or cabs on the island (Cortez)

Any whooo...  We went ashore at 10:00 this AM and started walking and walked out about 2 miles where CB and CF thought the course was while Astro was thinking we should have gone right at the start... Turns out he was right but after two short hitch hiked rides we were dropped off at the course.  It is a very nice 18 hole course in the woods on the side of  a hill.  Very tight but great fun.  Tonal targets and Mach IIIs.   I will play this again this summer most likely if we get up here in the boat.

CF = -1
CB = +13 left a disc on course somewhere
Astro = +16

So I introduced Astroman to the miracle product of the Magic Eraser, or Mr. Clean sponge.  He had never seen one but found that it takes off the worst scuffs off of the gel coat with ease!  He got started in the cockpit and just went nuts!   It was a sunny day, so I fed him snacks and drinks on demand and he just sponged away for hours!  The entire cockpit and transom were GORGEOUS on his retirement.  

I felt I had to take advantage of that cleanliness and followed up with a wax and polish over the area.  Jah Mon was looking good!  Astro had made an excellent contribution to the voyage.  Too bad he couldn't stay longer.

He did manage a ride from a local ferry worker for the next morning.  Siri was really cute, she gave us all a ride back to the dock from the disc course that evening.    I am assured he had a good run home on public transport through Campbell River.

So with Jay off the boat tomorrow, CB and I will head north through Big Bay where you flew into to meet DT and me on the first Jah Mon.  We will be doing PM traveling for a bit until we hit Johnstone Strait.  There we will want to start early and get off the water in the PM if we are correct on how it works there.  Danger water.

Astro with an action photo of his approach shot.  Target
is in the shadow on the left and it appears his disc is
heading to the right.   Hmmmm...
The currents off of Big Bay are such a big deal that makes us have to hit them at slack.   That shouldn't be too hard as we have to travel 22.9 miles N and we are giving it 3.5 hours to be there an hour early so that has us leaving at 11:00 to make a 3:30 hw to ebb shift at Big Bay.  If that seemed complicated, think about us going over 4 times to be sure we had it nailed.

We are marching north to Port Mcneil to meet the Rear Admiral 9 (2-4 weeks?) and Legs (4-5 days).  The plan is to rendezvous on May 15.  It could be close.

Sunshine and fair winds or glass smooth water.  It is 73F in the cabin at 3:44 and climbing until 8, like last night!  I am in shorts and white tee shirt.  I even put some varnish on today on some rough parts in the cockpit.  Two nights on the hook is restful and a very nice break from constant travel pressure.

May 11, 2010:  6.5nm, Depart Cortez Bay, Cortez Island, stop at Squirrel Cove Public Wharf and shop at the Squirrel Cove Store and Trading Co. 

The short hop from Cortez Bay to Squirrel Cove for supplies.

Departed at 7:42 after lifting our anchor at 7:20 after delivering Astroman to Siri and on his journey homeward.

There was a cluster as we raised the anchor since it brought up another anchor and chain (the second time for Jah Mon).  We released it on the public whart for someone to use for future mooring.
Jah Mon dredging with anchor and finding another one.
Catch and release for us this time.

We had wall to wall blue with a light northerly wind so we motored here and arrived at 8:50.  Showers, provisions ($125) and garbage dump.  A very fine selection of upper end groceries but we are experiencing sticker shock with a small 4oz locally made dark chocolate mint candy bar going for $3.58!

35.1 nm Depart Squirrel Cove, transit Yuculta and Dent Rapids and arrive in Cordero Islands just north of Mayne Passage, on Cordero Island between West and East Thurlow Islands.

Jah Mon as the only boat at Squirrel Cove.  We were very early
in the season.
We stopped for supplies at a very expensive but with good stuff and public
wharf in Squirrel Cove.
 Cortez Bay, Cortez Island to Cordero Islets via several rapids.

The long run through many rapids near Big Bay.  We hit 5k of antiwater in Dent Rapids.

This will be our most technical challenge as the rapids can run 12-14k in both directions with lots of whirlpools at max current.  Since the boat will only go 7k we have to pay attention to the tide and current.

Both of us have seen 2’ overfalls there on 100-150’ dia. whirlpools that have a center about 4’ below the edge.

What happened? You may ask…. We hit our timing perfect for the book calculations but the current was not reacting on a timely basis as the slack water was running 5k against us in two places.  Fortunately, we were able to maintain 2k faster than the river current we were in.

About 3:30 or an hour later we finally got some ‘pro’ water to run with us but we got to our stopping point at 4:30 and didn’t get to use it long.

We anchored inside a group of small islands in the sun and no wind.   There was a 70’ commercial fish boat already there and a 45’ sailboat came in behind us.  We only saw 10 boats all day.  That location at the end of the day was absolutely beautiful and pristine.  We had a great sunset and bowl of popcorn!

We  watched Snatch and rate it at 4/4 stars.  A Brad Pitt movie made in England, kind of like Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  We might watch it again tonight with sub titles since we couldn’t understand the accents like we might have.

We went down hard at 9:30 after the movie and dinner of steaks w/mushrooms and capers and a tossed salad.  We didn’t even use the furnace that night.

*May 12, 2010:  64.5 nm  Depart Cordero Island to Port McNeil on Vancouver Island.

The VERY long day from Cordero Islets (one of the top 5 anchorages for the trip) to Port McNeil.

Jah Mon departed 8:30 AM with no wind and 3 knots of ‘pro’water as we went over Green Point Rapids right away.  Clouds and no dew or rain.

There was tense moment when the motor slowed down as we were in the middle  of a 3 knot river rapid and I had to turn to the other tank for fuel.  We went 203 miles on that first tank, 30 of which we sailed.  No worries after the switch of tanks.
Johnstone Strait.  Can be a bear but today was flat.   We
took advantage and did 62 miles!
The watermaker wouldn’t turn on the previous day but we didn’t want to fool with it underway last night so this morning we tackled the electrical fitting with Master Electrician Christopher of owner of Electric Man on San Juan Island doing the show.  He was crawling around looking at voltages and fittings with corrosion control as he went.

We had to take a circuit breaker out and bolt the leads direct with a bolt and clean multiple fittings  before actually getting the thing to work and now we are making freshwater from the salt and even though it is only at 5 gallons an hour that is better than nada!

We were able to do this 7 hour task because the weather is totally flat water for this transit.  We have a cloud cover for the first time today but the water is flat and the wind is mostly non existent.

The plan had been to take a port about half way to Port McNeil and do the crossing of Johnstone tomorrow but when we saw the mill pond water we just had to go.  It could be close to a 60 nm day. 

The Telus email coverage and Chris’s cell phone both came back when we got into Johnstone.  It had gone away for most of yesterday.

We have an ETA around 19:00 PM and hopes of getting dinner tonight a  full breakfast tomorrow AM.

After a couple of repairs (small stuff) we will go back to the local islands and check it out until the Rear Admiral shows up on May 15 (3 days early).  That is not a bad thing since we got across Johnstone Strait VERY SMOOTHLY!

Arrival at Port McNeil Public Wharf.  A great location to town.

Actual arrival was 6:45 and we just overhauled a 38’ sailboat (just purchased in Nanaimo and going to Prince Rupert) we had been seeing for 8 hours.  We docked simultaneously on parallel finger piers.  He had a bit further to travel than I did as he took the inner finger and I took the outer.  It was a fun tie up together.
The Commercial docks off our stern and up against the break water.

It seems the locals always come in to lay against the piers with the prevailing wind.  I don’t get it except if you are short handed.  We took the blow off the pier position and were blown off in the evenings with 10-18k winds each afternoon and evening with no wind in the AM so far.

Overview of Vancouver and days 7-12

The yellow line shows the messing about the Broughtons and then the green line shows actual sailing to Hurst Island
and getting to God's Pocket.  That was some hooting winds in the 20s and a bit of rain.

May 14, 2010:  Still lying in Port McNeil.

Laundry day, breakfast at the Dry Dock restaurant with crib.  They supplied the boards and the cards along with an EXCELLENT breakfast.  I had the Ship Wreck scramble with everything thrown in under a hollandaise sauce.  I am sure there was no fat or cholesterol involved…

We found a computer fan for the watermaker at the local Home Depot/Furniture store for $7.99.  Pretty cool.

My goal is to put wax on the cockpit prior to JP and SJ arriving tomorrow.  4 bodies on the boat will be twice as cramped but then being cramped up next to Sara Jane is not a hardship for me.

Chris’s to do list:  Clean BBQ, check fresh water pump for leaks, install watermaker fan, check inverter breaker, clean his head, watermaker salt pump leak fix?  The captain will be handing in tools to him as needed.
Our Naviguessor and Weather Monitor.
REAR Admiral John H. Papajani

Sara 'Legs' Papajani on board for 4 days.

JP brought the Volvo Ocean Race history on DVD and we were all happy to be sailing in the flat water we found.

May 16, 2010:   26nm Port McNeil out to the Broughton Island Group

The red dots showing our too short visit to a part of the Broughtons.

John P and Sara Jane joined the boat last night from Braindamage Island.  They had a 6 hour drive from Victoria which they arrived at from Port Angeles in Wa. State, on the Coho ferry.  Yet another provisioning run this AM and with too much food we headed off to an island exploration in the Broughton Islands.  A very poplular summer cruising ground and one to which Jah Mon might return next season.

Legs and the Count Naviguessing
Departure was at 9:40 AM in overcast sky and no wind, 61F.  We motored out the channel to the nearest Marine Park and were amazed at the way cool anchorage 6 nm from P. McN.  We explored a couple other bays including a NW Indian longhouse on Village Island that needed 300 men to set the ridge pole apparently.  It has been abandoned since 1970 and is pretty overgrown.  It was a nice stop for an exploration.

Our path through the Brougtons.

From Village Is. The destination was Crease Island with a most excellent anchorage where we saw the only sailboat of the day.  They had come over from P. McN. too.   A Tartan 34 that is real cute with a couple on it.

Cribbage tournament for the past two days…. CF and JP 2 W, SJ and CB 1 W
Watched a  couple of Paladin, Have Gun will Travel.  Fun

May 17, 2010:  11.2 nm Crease Island to Pearse Group

One of the top 5 anchorages on the trip, near Port McNeil.
Departed @ 14:30  arrived 16:30

Prior to departure we had a leisure outing in the kayaks and dink.  We harvested 8 crabs and had a dandy lunch with half of them. 

It was a sunny day until we picked up the anchor.  Rain came while we motored through the rocks and foreign currents and NO wind.  It was very pretty out.  

We had a bit of internet coverage when out in the bigger water (open and away from rocks) and then none in our anchorage as we were tucked into a rock canyon that was totally gorgeous and protected 360d.

Snatch was the featured movie but the subtitles wouldn’t work??? Needed but not totally.  Still a fun flick.

May 18, 2010:   39.5 nm Pearse to Port McNeil to God’s Pocket
The run, sailing, to Hurst Island and God's Pocket Resort.  Rain and wind to 20k.

Departed Pearse Islands at 6:15 arriving Port McNeil at 8:00. We all showered and said goodbye to SJ. We stocked up on last minute stuff and still forgot to get more good coffee, butter and who knows what else.

The wind was building from the S when we left and so we were able to sail again about 20 miles to near Port Hardy and then started to motor sail so we would arrive before dark.

The printed out weather recorder with the stations on it
for recording what is current weather.  The stations
change as one moves up or down the coast.
JP prints out his weather noting sheets.  He listens to the weather channel and has a form he has developed to fill in all the numbers, like predicted wind speed and actual current observations.  It makes it WAY easier to analyze the incoming weather as all the data is in front of you.

The weather radio lists the same weather stations and observations each day with 4 updates a day.  He has been training CB with this too.  I am really glad they are doing it as I find it VERY tedious but cannot argue with the result.  I do have them trained to find a part of the boat I am not in when listening to the Wx station.

The biggest rain of the trip hit us here, NW of P. Hardy.  A HUGE deluge came down and made us suit up in foul weather gear in spite of the roof over the cockpit.

Arrived at God’s Pocket on the W side of Hurst Island and tried to anchor 5-6 times and didn’t find any holding ground we wanted to test with the 40 knot winds predicted for the next day.  We ended up rafting to a dive boat on the little dive resort dock, run by Annie and her hubby who was in Vancouver at a trade show.

This island is a Marine Park so we will walk about some and sleep well knowing we are very well sheltered from the storm.  Very tired and barely able to read until 10.

May 19, 2010:  Sitting in God’s Pocket on Hurst Island. (left side and middle of island)

Note: God's Pocket is where the red dot is.  A resort for diving and kayaking.  Not a good anchorage but sheltered if
there is wind and you can tie up to their docks.  Also, the only trails we found on all the Marine Park Islands.  Hurst
is a Marine Park.  We weathered 50+k winds while we stayed for 3 nights.

Moving synopsis:

Total miles logged to this dock:  341.88nm
Sailing miles estimated:  57
Motor sailing estimated: 41
Fuel rate of consumption:  .665 GPH
Total fuel burned as of 1st arrival in P. McNeil:  33 gallons

The view of God's Pocket Resort from the water.
Annie, the owner of God’s Pocket Resort, with her husband Bill have a lot of a work to do here and have done a lot of work to make it nice here.  They have been here for 12 years and are doing dive resort excursions with cabins and food.  They have two larger dive boats to 45’.  They have a lease on 4.5 acres from the Parks Department, out of the 500 on the island.

CB, JP, and CF took two hikes today on Hurst Island.  The first took a shore side route and then went up a creek bed to the top of 265’ high mini mountain for a good view out to the wild wind work out in the Charlotte Straits  to the north of us.  It was a very technical hike with lots of ‘ducks’ where one has to go under a log across the trail in a ducked position.  I used my 36” inseam to straddle over many of them.  We also saw newt eggs in the stream that were close to hatching.  It was gorgeous up there and windy!

A cabin front at God's Pocket.
After lunch and sending out a small email on the very slow link we have here in Annie’s bunkhouse kitchen.  Chris got his skills going to the highest bidder as he talked with Bill about an electrical issue there was on the desalinator that needed a phase converter from the single phase genset to the 3 phase needed by the surplus government desalinator unit they purchased.  Water is hard to come by on this island as they use a spring and used to haul it in by boat!

Tomorrow I will be handing tools to the Master Eman while we trade mooring for e-work.  Maybe showers too, as the hot water on the boat is now cold until we run the motor for a couple of hours.  Showers are $2.50 here if we have to pay retail.

After a lunch of soup and the last of the steamed fresh crab, we hit another trail that took us to Harlequin bay and we tried to get out to Queen Charlottes Strait but it was a longer walk than we wanted to do.  We will do this walk tomorrow when we might be seeing 40-50k winds out there while the Jah Mon lies snug on her rafted mooring. 

Dinner is pasta with sausage in a red sauce with spices including a half cup of fresh chopped garlic!  No fleas here.

One of many hummingbird here.
Annie was invited to attend the crib tournament as she was on her own here and likes to play crib so she ended up as the Count’s partner which was fitting as she is actually an Austrian Countessa!  Her father was a Count and her mother was a Baroness and came over from Austria.

The tournament started out grim for the Count and Countessa, nearly getting skunked on the first game as our largest hand was 6.  The second game saw us in front half way through and then we never looked back for either of the remaining hands and finished with 2 wins for the C&C and one for the combined crew. 
(Got to hand them a crib bone to keep them playing).

*May 20, 2010:  Sitting in God’s Pocket on Hurst Island

CF awoke early, 5:30 to howling wind and driving rain.  The storm is upon us and we are in a great little hurricane hole on a dock (rafted to a 45’ dive boat).

We will have to run the motor a bit to charge batteries and make some water while we do that.  CB and CF are going up to work on the resort electrics and hope to trade moorage and showers for the effort.
The entire day was a weather to not be in.  Rain and cold all day.  The good news was we were under a roof.  The bad news was Chris had to scratch his head to electrify a used, huge desalinator, rescued from some large freighter for use at the God’s Pocket Resort.

The owner, Bill, had done some wiring and was lucky he hadn’t cooked the system.  Chris had to figure the schematic, as there wasn’t one for all the components or any manual until Annie found one with minimal data late in the day and confirmed Chris’s analysis and his flawless execution.  CF and JP handed tools and did little assignment tasks, like hold the flashlight and hang and wire up circuit breakers while CB did the tech wizard stuff he does so well.

Unique furniture and fire pit at God's Pocket.
We ended up staying 3 nights for free with his efforts and hopefully they will be getting water in the next 6 months or so.  It is just a HUGE effort to get something like this to work and the resources are at least 20 miles away in P. Hardy, plus keeping the rest of the resort running with a total staff of 4 (two summer temps).  It boggles our mind how much work there is to this small kayak and dive resort.

A small example of the resort cluster was last night as we are watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2*), and Annie came down around 21:00 and asked Chris if he could help her get the other generator going.  She was on the phone with Bill for an hour and no love. Chris came back in an hour and had been successful but shaking his head on the non standard wiring issues he had been coping with.

Annie wins the ‘most positive attitude award! 

May 21, 2010:  55.5 nm  God’s Pocket Resort on Hurst Island to Bull Harbor on Hope Island

Clear blue skies and no wind in the AM.

Chris, Annie, Count Enrico, and Rear Admiral Papajani
Photo with Annie and crew with JP doing the photo work by trying to figure out how to run the self timer on his camera…. He had never done it before.

We checked email and weather and were departing around 10:00AM.

It was easy, fine motoring after the storm.  God's Pocket was a good spot to be in the BIG wind.  On to Bull Harbor
and then rounding Cape Scott.

Motoring to Bull Harbor
We motored to Bull Harbor.  CB and CF attempted to get the watermaker running and were only able to get 2 GPH, but that was better than nothing.

We saw the Nawitti Bar and the breakers on it, as well as the path for  going around it if the tide is not slack. Slack tide will make it lay down, but otherwise it stacks up wave on swell and can be a problem area.  This is one of the reasons we are watching tide and weather so close.

JP has us sailing around with just the headsail, with CB driving and me making notes on the Leisure Log.  The wind is starting to build to the 10-20k forecast for this area.  The swell is just now noticeable at about 2 ft. but there was no wave during our little journey.  I have heard that one should listen to the forecast for wind and tide from the Cdn. Coast Guard and take it at it’s word, that forecast is deciding our actions tomorrow.

CB and JP decided to sail about a bit so they took the boat to weather with the little genoa to the little island inside and blocking the swell of Bull Harbor.  Short tacking the beaches on both sides at about 30-50’ from shore and the depth only got to 80’ as the least reading coming in.
Jah Mon anchored in Bull Harbor on Hope Island.  Village at the head of the bay.

Anchored in Bull Harbor on Hope Island with 140’ of chain out and expecting 25k wind tonight.  We went ashore on the Government of Tlatlasikwala (first nation) dock which is a VERY nice unit.  They had an electrical generation station which was new and feeding the 4-5 homes at the head of the bay about 2 miles distant.  The infrastructure here is amazing for the electrical and water.  Even the gravel road was nice.

We couldn't find anyone to give money to but the cruising
guides say you should so we did try.

A very nice dink pier.

We hiked to Roller Bay on the weather side of the island and we astounded by sea, waves, rocks rolling, in a beach full of cobble stones hissing and moving with the water.  The beach of roller rock is the tallest I have ever seen at 25’.  I had hopes of finding a glass fishing float in this remote wild place.  JP found a plastic Japanese float about 3” in diameter.  A good find!  There was a large sea otter playing around in the surf by a small peninsula where we were walking.

It was difficult to find the path to the beach but we kept poking around eventually we broke through to the north side of the island.  Big winds are always here it seems.
Count Enrico and Chris walk on large rolling rock
on Roller Bay.

Many floats to be found here on Roller Bay.

Wind Blown trees on Roller Bay.

Back to the boat, popcorn and libations with dinner prep of halibut, Chinese salad, and baguette.  MMMMM…..

Saturday, May 22, 2010, 55.5 nm Bull Harbor, Hope Island to Winter Harbor (Quatsino Sound)
20-25k winds, motor sailing into a beat until we turned left and down the coast.  It was nice to get behind some land
at the bottom of this trip!

Attention: The Rear Admiral has taken control of this narrative…
Out of our bunks at 0615, wind NW 20k. The boyz had some coffee and I had some juice. We suited up in our foulies, reefed the main, raised the anchor, and headed for Nahwitti Bar. We needed to arrive at 0730 to hit high water slack current, we were 1min 30sec late. The bar crossing was uneventful.
Count Enrico working hard going around Cape Scott.
Winds in the mid 20s at about 45d apparent.
Spelled at the wheel every hour!
We motor sailed in 25 knots under the main heading 240 to Cape Scott, the most northwestern piece of dirt on Vancouver Island.

Cape Scott.  Do not go too close
Entering Quatsino Sound.  A long day!

Winter Harbor Fuel Dock and Store 
Halfway to the Cape we unfurled the small genoa and kicked her into gear. It was a lot of work keeping Jah Mon on course with the 8’ to 10’ NW swell meeting the remainder of the 6’ SW swells from the 50k winds from Thursday night. Once we rounded the Cape the seas settled down so we shut down the engine, furled the genoa and began our 30 mile downhill run into Quatsino Sound with 15-20k on the stern with a full main, gibing when needed.

We rounded Kains Island into Quatsino Sound and dropped the main, proceeding by motor to our anchorage at North Harbour on Matthews Island.
Showers in the forward head as a reward for battling the elements was a VERY good thing.  The flat water inside here was welcome and we hope to spot other wild life.

We’ve just finished an excellent curry soup and are preparing to watch “The Lady Vanishes”, an early Alfred Hitchcock filrm. Life is good today.

The Rear Admiral returns you to your regular scheduled narrator…

Side Note:  We refilled the cabin candy jar and emptied it in the same evening!

Beddybye at 9:30

May 23, 2010:  Outer Quatsino Sound: North Harbor to Winter Harbor then on to East Cove

Astroman's crab snare.  Still a virgin device despite effort.
We had a very quiet night and did some fishing for crab with Astroman Crab Trap.  So far, nada.

Off the hook at 11:00 and a slow troll to Winter Harbor of 30 minutes and 2 miles.  No cell at the fuel dock but we were able to get water, no worries.  We were told we could get a cell signal off the CG lighthouse at the entrance to Quatsino so we are motoring out to check it out.

Lots of art on the Winter Harbor
board walk.
We had left our hiking boots at God’s Pocket Resort and hope to get them back, either in inner Quatsino Sound at Coal Harbor (where we will leave the Rear Admiral in a week or so) or get them sent CF’s home base in Arlington eventually.

Winter Harbour’s most famous tourist attraction is its boardwalk that runs in front of a dozen or so of its waterfront houses. Each house has a unique interpretation of gates and fish cleaning stations:

Fish cleaning station.
Gated Housing.
Gate to a local habitation.
One of the fishing resort cabin / dock at Winter Harbor
More fish art on the boardwalk at Winter Harbor.


Sunday May 23, 2010  10nm North Harbor to Winter Harbor to
East Cove, Koprino Harbour
North Harbor on the left was very quiet and tranquil.  East Cove on the right is one of the top 5 anchorages for the trip.

East Cove has the feeling of a maritime version of Hobbitville. Every tree, bird, rock, and otter has a extra bit of color and glow.

We set the crab pot in hopes of snagging a meal. We’ll check it in the morning.

The night ended with us watching another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. After being gone for four years a man comes home to make amends with his estranged father only to learn that his family is not what he expected.

Anchored in East Cove of Koprino Bay in Quatsino Sound.  Way pretty!

Monday May 24, 2010
East Cove, Koprino Harbour

It may have been small but it had enough
relations for dinner for 3!
We slept in and awoke to another overcast day. Our Captain and provider set out with his fishing pole to catch lunch and what dah ya know... we had delicious rockfish tacos for lunch!  After lunch Chris and John checked the crab pot and it contained one legal denizen of the deep. We took him aboard and rebaited the pot, dreaming of his cousins that will join him in our pot for tomorrow’s dinner.

We watched Superfly (rating of 3*) after battling the two computers to get one to play it.  One would only give us jerky motion and the other wouldn’t give us sound for a few minutes.  Eventually we got it and watched the period piece with a GREAT Cadillac Eldorado that JP is drooling after.

East Cove, one of the prettiest anchorages ever!
A page from Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide.  The best guide we had.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010:  __nm to Pamphlet Cove on Drake Island with a scenic to other bays from East Cove in Koprino Harbor.
A messing about day, short mileage and high in scenic value.  Julian Cove, where we ended up was our first Black
Bear sighting and very protected anchorage.  Don't go too deep into it or you will find mud!

Showers today, even if we have to heat water on the stove!  That is the Captain’s decree.  Overcast and drizzle, 52F in the cabin first thing.  There were some shadows every now and then with the odd blue cloud.

We have cell phone coverage here but no internet access off the modem.  We got one message in but the coverage is only a bar of service or none.  Cell is 1-3 depending on how high off the water you are.
Julian Cove

We are in Julian Cove south of the Quatsino label on that website I sent.  I have 3/5 bars on the internet and we might just be here for two days as it is a very nice anchorage.  No other boats are any where around us except for the odd work/fish/prawn/tug boat.  
Too much food again.

The weather is overcast with the odd blue cloud and sun shadows and rain.  I got in my shower aboard as we motored the 4 hours to get here from the last anchorage which is on the left side of the blue zone of the Quatsino Park.  That was a very nice place for two nights too.  
Log carrier going to a mill near Julian Cove.
Count Ferrari in the 'port' kayak

We are officially gunkholing and not moving each day because we just don't need to.  Our plan is to be in Coal Harbor on Friday (in 3 days) and it is only 2 hours away now.  There is a timed bit in the Quatsino Narrows that we have to observe as the water can go 9 knots if we hit it at the wrong time.

John and Chris wait for the results of the crab pot set.

I made a hash using Astroman's home grown beef, that was frozen solid by our little freezer, for lunch for the boys and now JP is off on a kayak and Chris will either be taking out the crab pot (we got three ready for hors de oerves later today) or he will take a shower... gosh darn, that shower truly felt GOOD!
Chris in the 'starboard' kayak.

I will try and figure out how to send a bit of the log with photos and maps now *that we have a good link to the web.

May 26, 2010:  Sitting in the rain at Julian Cove, Quatsino Sound

Messing about in L'il Mon in Julian Cove.

We awoke around 7:30 and 52F in the cabin and contemplated a day of rain and no wind…. Trapped with others in a confined space and drinking coffee and hot chocolate.  It was decided we should have pancakes with real maple syrup and CF’s concoction of strawberry freezer jam.  A was a good low carb start to the day.

In a frenzied make work program, CF and CB took everything out of the fridge and did a defrosting and total fridge cleaning in about 15 minutes.  It was a good thing to do as we could barely get the freezer door closed due to ice build up.

Around noon the rain slowed enough for CF to go out and inspect the crab pot… no keepers.  That expedition found issues with the high pressure floor in the dink.  The floor was not pressured at all, resulting in wet CF feet from all the rain and a pooling of same wherever he moved his feet.

A break in the weather allowed us to pull out the floor bladder and effect a repair in about 3 man hours.  We have high hopes for a successful repair.

A game of crib ensued with CB doing the winning getting his first personal ‘W’ and JP getting another ‘N’ for nineteen on the Astroman data collection system.

Lunch was too much food using the left over soup as a warm up and then the leftover hash.  CB is in for a nap, CF on the log update, and JP reading.  Inside cabin temp @15:48 = 64.9 F.
Where the bear was but it was too distant for our cameras.

More rain.  It appears we are making a run at the Quatsino narrows tomorrow to get positioned for dropping off  Rear Admiral JP.  The forecast is for rain for the next 10 days.  A bit dismal sounding for now.

Wildlife sighting of NOTE!  A big Black Bear arrived on the beach as seemed to be chowing down on the grass around 9:00 PM.  Our first bear sight.  Very cool.
JP gets the shot with his big lens on his fancy SLR Nikon!

Alfred Hitchcock Presents and two Have Gun Will Travel for the evening DVD play.

May 27, 2010:  9 nm from Julian Cove to Varney Bay in Rupert Inlet above the Quatsino narrows exploring the Marble River and then to 8 nm to Coal Harbour.

JP had us getting up at 0 dark thirty so we could be early for the slack water in Quatsino Narrows.

The Rear Admiral had read about a dinhy exploration that takes place at the end of high tide in Varney Bay but first we had to transit Quatsino Narrows.  The tide book #6 said to be there at 7:30 AM…. We were moving at 6:15 as JP got us underway on his own but making enough noise so sleep was impossible.  We arrived at the narrows at 6:30!
Note the turbid water and the white caps... It was a very
easy run through the narrows.  Lots of eagles.

Arriving early against the finishing ebb found us in 5k of antiwater but we made it through, but slowly in spots.  We anchored in Varney Bay after touching bottom on some sand/mud in the entry of same.  JP had us a bit close to a shallow bit at the entrance.  He was watching the GPS chart and managed to find an uncharted shallow bit. 
The anchorage in Varney Bay.  We
dinked from here up the river to the
overhanging rocks.  Way cool!

We backed off easily if uncomfortably at first, tip toed around the low point at low water and anchored off Mrs. Varney’s (deceased) house of Varney Bay.   The dink was deployed in record time, around 5 minutes with all hands helping get the thing in the water off the foredeck, mounting the 10hp Merc, fuel tank, oars, sponge, GPS, VHF, and bailer.  It was cool having the operation go that smoothly and quickly.

JP attaching the VHF to the fuel tank in his unregistered photo resizer that was untested prior to his departure.

Chris and I went fishing and only caught a crab on a hook, not even a keeper. 
JP, messing with electronics prior to going up the river
in L'il Mon.  We didn't bring extra batteries though.

Back to the boat for our up river expedition.  The Marble River dumps in right there and there were supposed to be caverns up there somewhere so off we went.

High water is a good idea since we saw the rocks at depths that looked like 2’ or a bit less.  We slowed down and crawled through those thin bits of water.  As you might observe on the little map above we went in quite a ways and our GPS died of battery failure so we don’t exactly know how far we penetrated the river.
Going up the Varney River.  Do it at high tide.

The caverns were totally cool and the photo shown doesn’t do justice to the awesomeness of it.  Maybe the video clip will show more.  There was water coming out of a spring under the rock overhang that was fascinating and lots of little caverns cut out in the sandstone, kind of like Sucia Island.
The overhanging rocks had a small
creek coming out of them.  One of
the best adventures of the trip.

We motored upstream to the base of the rapids and chickened out on running through the uphill water that was running about 8 knots or so.  Had we done so we might have made it to the lake shown on the chart.  Next time.

Back to the mother ship and with the dink torn down in less than 5 minutes we were underway to Coal Harbour.  There were several fish and prawn working boats there and only one 45’ bit of dock open and we took it!  We were the only yacht on the dock but the guys were friendly.  We were able to buy a frozen tub of prawn tails from a shrimper (maybe a bit illegal but we did it).

We found the last slip at Coal Harbor.  It is a public
wharf with lots of water and easy garbage disposal.

JP made arrangements for renting a car in Port Hardy (8 miles by road) and CB and CF had showers in the very nice little cabin, watered the boat, and got rid of garbage on the wharf.  The store there was being remodeled and had very little to offer.  The museum at the WWII hanger was overlooked but would be a good thing to check next time.

We took JP’s rental to Port Hardy and started the laundry, went to dinner at Sporty’s  and had Cobb Salad and wings… not too bad.  Then back to the Laundromat at the Electronic’s store and RV campground (where RV’s go to die) and transferred to the dryers.  Then off to the Overwaitea grocery which was well stocked with all kinds of good stuff and found another $100 worth of stuff to add to the boat.

Back to the boat with the clean clothes, more food, more beer, and full bellies.  We had a glimpse of Port Hardy and decided it was a good thing to see by car and Port McNeil was a better spot to load up on groceries.  We got lucky!

Two bits of Have Gun Will Travel and then crashed .

May 28, 2010:  Friday   27.4 nm Coal Harbor to North Harbour via Winter Harbour

A one day run to get to the staging area to make the jump around Brooks Penninsula.  A very big chunk of the island!
It is just Chris and I from here on out.  It would be lonely otherwise.  NO boats except for commercial and the odd
sport fishing boat.

JP departed at 6:30 and we left at 7:10 and caught the last of the ebb through the Narrows and found 10.7k over the bottom going out with the tide.  It was a very flat bit of water with some residual swell showing up at the opening of Quatsino Sound.  We turned right into Winter Harbour and found two Canadian CG cutters doing a crab survey (according to the store owner).  We found some more things we couldn’t live without for $46 and then went on down to North Harbour to anchor.   The odometer on the GPS broke the 500 nm today, but that includes a bit of dinghy work too.

Tuna fish sandwiches and naps… 1.5 hours for CF and 2 hours for CB.

We had 4 sea otter sightings near Winter Harbour.  CF talked to the Tanu, a CG cutter and found the conditions for getting around Brooks Pennisula to be a better shot in the AM.   The plan is to get up at 5:00 and head out in the mixed wind (light) wind before the SE wind shows up.  In theory we will be transiting the convergent zone, catching the last of the NW before the SE shows up for the next week. 

We have about 45 miles to get to shelter in Kyoquot (Ky- u- kit) Sound from the SE winds which are predicted to 10-30 depending on the day.  Whatever…. We are trying to avoid punching our nose straight into the wind, waves, and swell.

CB is putting together a prawn Pad Thai for dinner after listening to the weather channel.  He and JP were very nice to CF by taking it to the cockpit to listen to the updates.  A valuable thing to do, listen that is….  Weather looks good for tomorrow with a hoot to 30k tonight and easing to ‘light’ Saturday morning from the NW and switching to SE on the afternoon.

CF is getting the popcorn together for our cocktail hour.  CB is drinking near beers which cost the same as the stuff with the alcohol in it which CF is having tonight.

We went over the foredeck with extra lines, tying off the kayaks extra well and the spare diesel jug, in preparation for the open water of the Pacific on the following day. 
May 29, 2010:    64.4nm Quatsino Sound to Kyuquot Sound around Brooks Pennisula (another danger zone)

IF you look close you can see a yellow line that is our voyage in Quatsino and Kyuquot Sounds.

CF was up at 4:48 and we were underway at 6:08 after breakfast and coffee.

The main was raised before the anchor in windless conditions in our anchorage.  We motored out at 2600 for the day and found broken swell that got up to around 8’ with confused leftover wind waves from the evening.  We motored for exactly 10 hours with our hook down in Dixie Cove on Hohoae Island.
It was our longest day at 64.5 km.  Brooks Pennisula is one REALLY large obstacle to get around.  We had a windless day.
The Path of righteous passage was sunny and the only wind was behind us with the main only helping slightly to none.  We never deployed the headsail in the biggest run of our circumnavigation as there just wasn’t enough wind.  We didn’t mind, in fact we both were apprehensive about this part of the journey and were very relieved it was a boring easy day.  It was also our longest day for mileage.

We did a bit of exploration in The Bunsby Island group and were VERY surprised to see another cruising sailboat right astern a quarter mile back as we entered into Gay Passage as indicated.  The mystery boat, who didn’t answer the hail on the VHF was a Morgan Out Island 41 (seen in orange below)  with two dinks.  He turned into Scow Bay in this very beautiful Marine Park.  This is the anchorage that got away! 
You can see the rocks guarding the entrance into Kyuquot Sound.

We wanted to get tucked into Kyuquot Sound as the forecast was for SE (the wrong direction for our trip) winds up to 35 for the next 3-4 days.  With that in mind we ran a bit extra mileage than we had planned and found a bullet proof and totally charming inner Dixie Cove on Hohoae Island.  Our hook was set at 16:08 in the sun and a 360d wind direction at 8k in this totally protected and beautiful cove.

This is the anchorage that got away.  The Bunsby Island Marine Park.  We were trying to get tucked into Kyuquot
Sound before some big winds arrived so we drove right on past.  Very pretty at the orange dot.
A close up on where we went and the entrance to Hohoae Island's Dixie Cove.  Another top 5 anchorage!

The star indicates a tight pucker string moment going through the rocks…

This shows most of the anchoages we found in Kyuquot Sound.  We were trapped here because of big weather outside.

Getting through all the rocks was totally dependant on the GPS as the charts just didn’t have the detail.   This area around Walters Cove has more rocks than anywhere we have ever been.   

Our arrival in Dixie Cove saw two sea otters inside after spotting another 4-6 sightings during the day.  After hooking up and having a libation and popcorn for cocktail hour at 16:30 we crashed for a nap with CB going 1 hour and CF doing 2 hours!

CB was putting the dinner together with BBQ salmon we had caught last summer, a salad, and baguette heated in the oven.  Yummy for sure. 

We watched The International with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.  Rating it 2+ stars.  We have to use CBs computer (one year newer than CFs) for the video as CFs computer jumps around on the feed of video.  JP’s solution was to upgrade to Windows 7 and add as much RAM as I get into the box.

Stars were out as we checked the sky before crashing into bed.  It was mill pond still and gorgeous.

May 30, 2010:  Sitting in Dixie Cove on Hohoae Island

Rain, rain, and more rain so far at 50f outside and did I mention rain?  Inside chores today with aspirations of going fishing and crabbing.  A game of crib, the closest so far, saw CF nip CB by 2 points in a come from behind 14 point first count and pegging finish.  Other domestic chores include washing the floor on hands and knees, writing the log, figuring out how to resize photos for the log without the water mark using MS Office.  It just might work using MS Office Picture Manager.  Who knew?
Dixie Cove, one of the top 5 anchorages.

Other discoveries include watching the amp meter as the different systems cycle on and off.  Did you know a computer sucks around 3 amps to keep running with the furnace taking 3 amps, the water pump 5 amps, and we just don’t know how many amps to bring out Mr. Sun!

Another Electric Man discovery is the fact the 2500w boat inverter on Jah Mon is a square sine wave and that 110 volt power will cook electronic stuff plugged in to charge over a long time line.  A pure sine wave inverter was added with a 300w output and that is working well for all the E stuff.

The rain stopped around 14:00 and we set the crab pot in totally flat and mirrored water.  Then we went fishing and tried for dinner in one fish.  We caught several rock fish but all too small for a one fish dinner.  Then we tried at the end (near 17:30) for one bait fish for the crab pot. 
Rugged Point campground.  We had to go ashore and to the
outside to get our weather report.  Our boat VHF weather would
not receive inside Kyuquot Sound.  We used the handheld unit
to get a report and then hide another day inside.

As we were doing this fishing from the dink, we had thrown back a 7” rock fish that seemed too small, even for bait and he swam down and then reappeared on the surface.  The thought occurred to us, we could use him as fall back bait if we didn’t catch something as we fished on.  He was floating about 9’ away on his side.  Out of NOWHERE, with a literal WHOOSH, a bald eagle flew in, wings blowing wind on CB’s neck, and taloned the little fish up.  He banked a 180d turn nearly over out heads and away to a moss covered rock about 50’ away where he had a great little meal!   His wing span seemed about 5-6’ and he/she was very handsome bird in full prime

This was our closest wild life adventure for the trip so far.

Dinner followed popcorn and libation.   CF used left over salmon in doctored bean soup with oven heated grain baguette.  The movie of the evening was a Dennis Quaid film called The Day After Tomorrow which we rated .5 star for the special effects.  Pretty lame movie.

May 31, 2010:  Dixie Cove to Rugged Cove and then to ???

Woke to rain again… hmmm, there seems to a bad pattern developing.  Breakfast was fresh baked oatmeal muffins with peanut butter, freezer strawberry jam and butter.  We will do that again.
This is the extent of mainland civilization.  Note the propane bottle.  We had to use this photo to find out if they had
propane as our cooking bottle ran out for the galley.  3 gallons gone in just one month!
Diesel and water were available too if you got there at the right time.  Not much to buy in the eating
category though.

The plan is to armor up with rain gear at 10:30, pull up the hook and drive the 6 miles down to the S entrance of Kyuqout Sound and explore the best white sand beach in BC, according to the cruising guides.  After we hike around a bit the thought was to go to Fair Harbor looking for fuel (down about 18 gallons with about 40+ in reserve) and also to check if there is any wifi hookups.  Atkins Cove beckons in the north bit of KY Sound so maybe that will be our destination.   All the coves in here are within an hour from Dixie Cove.

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