Total Pageviews

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two week cruise in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia 2011

Two week voyage to Victoria and the Gulf Islands
on the mighty Jah Mon.

Enjoy the show.
Submitted by:   Count Enrico Alfredo Ferrari

This was my best two week cruise in the Gulf Islands.  The pace was slow as we spent two days at several spots and some very short days of travel.  

It is recommended that one enjoys the journey more than the destination.

The total mileage by boat was about 270 km.

To start the journey for you, please note the maps below.  

#1 map shows North America and locates, by the red dot, our starting location
and the basic cruising grounds.

Map #2 shows the path we took through the San Juans to Victoria and then up through the Gulf Islands, over to Vancouver, and then home to Anacortes.

This map is intended to show where in the world we are cruising.

For those who want to skip ahead, you can check the entire trip here.  See where we went, and then look at the photos below for a fast read.

This document is 59 pages long and full of good information about cruising this part of the world on a sailboat.  Just limit yourself to the good stuff and leave comments to the author of the blog if you can.


Count Enrico Alfredo Ferrari

The Crew:

This trip was scheduled with our farm sitter so the Countess could go along.  Also, we imported a mistress for the Count from Las Cruces, NM, a former travel companion, Princess Polly.   To counter the feminine body count coercion was used to get the fabled Astroman Carbone to be the fabulous crew that he is.  (Astro could only free up a week but he started with us from Anacortes).

Saturday June 18, 2011:

PRE cruise:
Polly and the Count take the fully loaded ‘Subdivision’ truck to Anacortes with kayak, bedding, food, and sundries.  It was a 5 cart load day down a very steep ramp (minus tide) and 3 carts of stuff back UP to be stored in the truck.  This started at 10:45 AM.
The Count and Princess Polly hauling 2 out of the 8 carts
 to the boat.

 The boat was gutted in the galley and other spaces by Princess Polly as she ruthlessly tossed suspicious food found in the nether reaches of storage.  This included defrosting and cleaning the fridge, clearing out the dry storage, scrubbing the galley floor, and finding places to put all of her special diet food.  Polly has a diet that is gluten, glycerin, dairy and other things free so she had to know where her own nutrition was to be stored so she could prepare her food as needed.  It is easy to lose things on this boat!

There were food items that were 4 years old hidden away and dealt with by the food removal nazi, Princess Polly.

Princess Polly going in deep cleaning mode.
The Count scrubbed the deck and cockpit, filled the water tanks, and assisted Polly.  He also was the fellow bringing the carts up and down the ramps.  At the end of the day…4 PM both were whupped out of energy.  Polly was so tired she was tripping over her own feet and both of them were bumping into each other while doing the final grocery shopping.
Princess Polly in a clean and organized boat.

The Count has not counted the working days since the boat was used but speculation has the 4:1 ratio of work days vs. sailing days.  (Probably, he is just feeling put upon by having to do something.   The boat is acting like a big time sink that recently required 8 hours of swinging a sledge hammer on an impact screwdriver to loosen 1 of 4 bolts for the traveler system)  I am sure he is having crackers with that whine.

Sunday, June 19, 2011:  Day 1  Anacortes to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island in the San Juans.

The Subdivision departs Griffin Hill Farm @ 10:00 leaving the dogs and horses with Briana ( our lovely Farm Sitter).  There was an incoming call to the truck (we almost died, except the Countess answered for the Count on his cell)  from Astro who had already broken onto Jah Mon about 10:00 AM.  He was looking for the ‘LIST’ of things to do.  His initial thoughts were “ Wow, she looks good and is ready to go!”  “Boat be looking GOOD!” were his exact words, but really he was relieved that he could cruise without work.

The arrival of the Subdivision in Anacortes meant 3 cart loads more down the ramp and 1 cart from Astroman, these carts and the previous days carts meant that 9 dock carts of stuff were required to cruising for two weeks!  Do we really NEED all that stuff?

It was all packed aboard and organized while the Count and Astro filled the diesel tanks.  The boat had gone 291 miles and needed 37 gallons to top off before this epic cruise started.

Departure Weather Report:  Overcast, dry, light southerly wind, approx 60 F

Anacortes to Stuart Island.  Green is sailing and red is motoring.  The path goes from right to left on the chart.

The voyage had us motoring with the ebbing tide, west on Guemas Channel and into Thatcher Pass, entering the San Juans.  The motoring continued to just past Orcas on Orcas Island when we deployed the headsail (No main raised) for  sailing 6-8k the rest of the trip to Prevost Haven on Stuart Island.
Astroman driving with "Otto" the autopilot.

Polly did her stint at the helm try to not gybe the sail or hit rocks for an hour or so.  It was her first time sailing dead down wind (DDW) and having to avoid the natural hazards created in sailing through islands.

The Countess took the helm when the sun came out as we arrived near Stuart Island and she sailed us to the entrance.  The headsail was furled and we picked up one of the two available moorings. Cocktail hour with popcorn and cribbage were a success.

The Countess sailing to Stuart Island later in Day 1,
 note the weather improvement.

 The watersport toys were launched, both the kayak and the dink.  The Count paddled ashore and witnessed his remaining crew’s effort at rowing the inflatable to shore.

That was entertaining as they cast off without distributing the bodies in the boat and the oars were not inserted in the oarlocks.  By the time they had gotten the bodies distributed  to the middle of the boat they were twice as far from the dock as they started.  Then the oars were a mystery so they were deployed as paddles.  Success….  They arrived to the dock without incident.

A hike of 1 mile over and about the Washington State Marine Park is very scenic with the water and boats on two sides of this ithmus.  Both of the harbors are very protected with maybe 20 moorings between them.

Back to the boat, the Count had a splinter (.5” ) to remove so Princess Polly and Astroman recovered the toys while the Countess did her doctoring.  The crew was commended on loading things onto the deck very successfully.

Dinner was taco salad with each building a different concoction for each of us.  This is a very accommodating meal as we put out all the ingredients and each selected from all the fresh goodies to concoct a meal.  The Count’s was too big for his tummy!

The evening entertainment was Mexican Train dominos using a double 15 set of dominos.  It was a hoot to figure out.  One needs a large table surface!

Monday, June 20, 2011:  Day 2

Stuart Island to Victoria with a stop to look at Orca whales.

We woke up to blue skies that clouded over by the time we slipped the mooring at 9:00 AM.  There was glassy water all the way down to San Juan island and then a 3-4 knot southerly filled in as we motored around to Lime Kiln Point lighthouse.
Motoring south outside of Stuart Island in the
morning of Day 2, not much wind.

The Coffee Incident

Lori was in a cleaning frenzy and was cleaning under the gimbaled stove (which is hard to reach under if one has a larger hand).  She had to tip the stove a bit to finish the rear reaches of the hard to reach area.  As she did this, she heard a clunk which was closely followed by some liquid coming down on her head.  It was the half filled French press coffee pot.  There was a protest or two issued from the galley followed by a grumpy coffee colored silver haired girl.

 As we came to the feeding grounds for the Orcas off of the west side of San Juan Island, we found there were 10-15 whale watching boats, and low and behold we were right in the middle of a pod of Orcas working their way north and they went within 100’ of us.  There were two baby Orcas that were breaching and flipping head over tail.  Total whale play that was great fun to see, very unusual for the Count’s experience!  It was as good a whale watch as one could wish.

The best whale photos we got.  Topiary in front of the
 Empress Hotel in

We were accosted by the whale researchers telling us to be ¼ mile offshore.  We were a ¼ mile as they were talking to us so no worries.  We had turned off the motor, drifting as the whales came past us, then we deployed the headsail and sailed most of the way over to Victoria, across Haro Strait.
The Countess taking a reading break from all the
 hard work of sailing downwind.

We entered Victoria’s Inner Harbor, found the customs dock, just north of the Empress and seaplane docks.  Clearing in required us to freeze the strawberries and oranges until we got home.  Otherwise it was easy to check in.  Everyone on the boat had been into Canada while on the boat previously so it was pro forma for checking in.

There was a lot of extra room at the docks so we could pick any spot and we got a good one!  We tied up stern to the Empress but far enough from shore that the noise would not be too much.
Jah Mon in front of the Empress Hotel
 Victoria on Day 2.

Astro and the Count got a glass of ice tea, sat on a corner in the full on sun and watched the sidewalk traffic while Polly and Lori found a grocery store for fulfilling the “LIST”.  Astroman found the 7-11 and we stocked up on ice and then back to the boat in front of the Empress Hotel and made popcorn and drinks for cocktail hour.

Popcorn and Cribbage

We found some ‘Loonies’, BC money name for one dollar coins, and we all went off for showers which was heavenly.   The Countess was lamenting on how ugly the US dollar is and how pretty the Canadian money is.  Apparently the US dollar is worth $.95 Canadian at the moment, which makes the BC money look much better.  $1 = 3 minutes of shower which was enough for each of us.

Dinner Menu prepared by Count Chef Enrico Ferrari:

Halibut grilled with soy, salt and pepper
Sautéed asparagus with sesame oil, lemon pepper, and sea salt
Tossed salad
Artisan bread heated with butter

Tuesday, June 21, 2011:  Day 3  Victoria all day.

Weather Report:  85% total blue cloud at 7:30 AM, no wind (at the dock in front of the Empress Hotel, Victoria.

The evening was a bit noisy for Astro, sleeping in the cockpit, as the neighboring boats were having a conversation late into the evening but the city was pretty quiet.
A great option for the Count's next ride.  A Subaru, RH drive
delivery van.

We awoke and meandered about individually until 10:30 or so, doing our trips to Starbucks for the wifi hook up and other sundry chores.  We got together as a group and went to the Royal BC inVictoria Museum, rated #3 in North America, just under the Smithsonian and ?.  It deserves rating!  What a great set of displays, it was almost too much.  In fact, we did about 2 hours seeing the Emily Carr exhibit and some ancient natural history exhibits.   A word about the exhibits would be FANTASTIC.  There was a humpback whale fetus about 18” long in liquid!  A full size Wooly Mammoth, a diorama of the beach on the outside of Vancouver Island that looked real!, an underwater exhibit that felt like being aboard Jules Verne’s Nautalis and many many others.   We took a lunch break and walked to China Town for lunch at the Fan Tan Café.
John Lennon's 1965 Rolls Royce.

Lunch was really good and the girls went shopping while Astro and Count Ferrari went back to the boat for a cocktail and cribbage.   The museum beckoned and we ran into the girls in the First Nation exhibition which had an entire longhouse built inside the museum!  We toured the oldest house in BC, which had just been restored, the history of industry had a full sized water wheel, there was a mockup of the stern of the Discovery (James Vancouver’s ship), showing the captains quarters, a mining exhibition down in the caves with all the drills, a fish cleaning bench with an Iron Chink, which replaced 30 Chinese workers who had been cleaning and scaling fish, John Lennon’s Rolls Royce and too many other things to list.
Full sized working water wheel pump with
 Count Ferrari.

The "Iron Chink", cast into the front of it.
 See the top arch for confirmation of Political Correctness

Thankfully, the museum closed at 5:00 and we were able to take our numb brains to the boat for cocktail hour with popcorn in the sun and watch the late arrivals come into the dock.  There were twice as many boats for our second night and there was still lots of room at the docks.  The tourists were just not there like usual.

The Count with his admirers on the waterfront in Victoria.

The street buskers and artisans were out but not the big displays.  I guess they take some time off after the weekend.  There were many there including a fellow dressed up and looking exactly like Mr Spock of Star Trek.  He had a tip jar on his hip belt opposite his phaser.  There was no photo documentation so you will have to go and see him yourself.
The setting sun and Empress Marina, (not full).
  Jah Mon is in the center of the shot.

We were boarded by a crew from another Catalina 42, Camelot with Bob, Rick, and their granddaughter, Bridgett.  We had a good time and then back on our own for dinner we wussed out and just had some soup (good enhanced soup).
The crew of Camelot board during the cocktail hour
.  Rick, Maggie, Lori, Bridgett, Count Ferrari and Bob.

The evening was spent by Count Ferrari trying to master technology and download photos into 2 computers from 3 cameras.  Jay and Polly watched Northern Exposure while the Countess read.  Astro bedded down in the salon for a good snooze.

View to the North in the evening.

View of the Empress to the East

View to the West of Government Buildings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011:  Day 4  Victoria to Sidney Spit Marine Park

Weather:  68F at 11:00 and full sun with winds from the south about 15 MPH

A fantastic day of down wind sailing!  25 km with the headsail only.

Astroman prepared a “Hangtown Fry” for breakfast which is an oyster/egg fry with lots of additives.  The Countess declined the wonder meal but the others scarfed it down in an obscenely short time.

There was a short tour to the Empress to look at their gift shops which had incredible carvings but priced too high for us.  They started at $4,000 and went to $150,000!

We walked south 5-6 blocks up Menzies St. to the Thrifty Foods where we provisioned and walked back to the boat.  We left the dock at 12:07PM.

As we left the protected harbor and were passed by several whale watching boats we had to pound into 3-5’ seas and 15-20k of head wind with the motor.  When we turned left out of the harbor, we deployed the 140% headsail and started a very fine beam reach that had us going up to 9.4 knots and over 7k most of the 25 miles to Sidney Spit.

Polly, Jay and Lori did all the driving and they did good.  It was an exhilarating ride for the entire day trip.  We saw the Lady Washington working to weather with all sails up and flying and blew by a 45’ sailboat that was motoring (why???) the same direction as us.  We arrived at 4:30 in full sun where the temp in the cabin was rising to 75F.
The Lady Washington under sail on
the previous Wednesday race day.

Astro’s quote  “ It was a groovy safari “

Polly’s helm skills improved immensely.  She started her stint with a 40 degrees variance in direction as the 25k wind puffs took the boat to weather and then she over corrected and went away from the wind too much.  At the end of her stint, she was holding a good course that was worthy of the boat.  Good patient coaching from Astroman had a lot to do with that improvement.

The wind layed down when we arrived and we took the mooring closest to the dock in the deepest water.  Life is good!

Thursday, June 23, 2011:  Day 5, Sidney Spit mooring buoy

Weather:  Broken clouds with much sun early, very little wind

The L’il Mon comes back from the dead:

The dinghy motor had not run correctly the previous evening but repairs were not in the cards as it was too hot and the social hour had begun.  Patience with mechanical issues were NOT a priority.  This morning, the Count boarded with a bag of tools and a fresh attitude.  After chasing the lack of fuel to the fuel tank, and verifying the new fuel bulb was working properly by disassembling, the cause of the issue was determined by finding the pick up tube laying on the bottom of the fuel tank.  One coat hanger later, (thank goodness for having a plastic coated coat hanger on board), the pickup tube was recovered and installed with a hose clamp.  The  outboard Mercury is wonderful now.
The repair guy holding the separated fuel
 pick up tube from the top of the tank.

Walk About:

Sidney Spit has 21 mooring buoys and dock space for several small boats and is a BC Marine Park with access from Sidney via a commercial ferry service for ~$7.  A large group of children came over and were playing in the sand with 5-6 of them rolling a log to Haro Straits which they then jumped on in the freezing cold water.  Ahh, to be that young and tough.

Our group of 4, provisioned with water and jelly bellys, walked out to the end of the trail, sighting wildlife, deer, river otter, and eagles.  There were two eagles in the top of nearby tree when we heard a squeaking and a gaggle of immature Canadian geese (20 or so) came out on the trail about 50’ in front of us.  We were hoping we would not see a carnage of huge proportions.  Astroman saved the day by going towards the eagles to photograph them, in doing so they flew away from the geese.  The straggling gaggle joined up with some other 40 geese down by the water.  It was the largest family reunion of geese the author had ever seen.
The huge herd of geese that didn't get the Eagle attack!

An Astroman Day:

Astro, Jay Carbin, had a good gaming day with 3 victories, including a skunk over the Count in cribbage.  Perhaps he is learning to play better?  He also, went from last to first in the Mexican Train dominos.  He humbled all of us with his fabulous laying of track.

Weather issues: 

The bulk of the day was sun with the wind building up in the PM to 15+, making the boat hum with wind noise in the rig.  There was about 1 minute of rain around noon and another minute around bedtime but that was it.

An additional use of resources:

Jay and Polly went over the cockpit with ‘magic eraser’ cleaning sponges.  It is BRIGHT WHITE now.  The Captain and Admiral approved!

The bit of rain as darkness neared inspired a new deployment of the dinghy cover.  Since L’il Mon now has a carpeted floor, it was deemed sensible to keep it dry.  Inspiration lead us to try the bottom cover on the top.  The motor on the stern gave a great tower to keep water from puddling inside and the fit was great in the moderately high winds.  Installation was a matter of about 5 minutes.  It is a unique nautical feature that is sure to draw comment and keep the dink clean as we drag it fully dressed with oars, motor and cover tomorrow.

The new use of the dink bottom cover


We had been on the hook for a nearly two days and the hot water was not hot anymore.  Showers were also needed but were lacking that warm water.  The solar shower was brought out and then the tea pot was put in use boiling water to pour into the solar shower and mixed with cold to give one shower per person.  The shower bag was placed on the deck above the front hatch and the tube was inserted into the forward shower compartment.  All four of us were able to shower in about one hour, with each getting a teapot of hot taking just a bit more time to heat than the shower was to take.  Everyone felt wonderful after that cleanup activity.

Dinner menu:  (Prepared by Princess Polly)

Chicken curry with pea pods
Sliced cucumber

Friday. June 24, 2011:  Day 6
Sidney Spit mooring buoy to start and then to Portland Island and then to Ganges on Saltspring Island in the Gulf Islands.

Weather:  Big Blue overhead and solid sun aboard all morning
Sidney Spit to Ganges with stops for finding the runaway dink and visiting Portland Island Park.

Sidney Spit Park dock from our mooring buoy.

The Great Escape:

We departed Sidney Spit before the tide got too low and trapped us there.  As it was, we had an entire foot of clearance (according to the depth sounder) and we slipped out to start north to Portland Island Marine Park that was 6 miles away.  We opened up the throttle and were cruising for 10 minutes.  Count Ferrari went below to add a layer and on his return was stupefied to find NO DINGHY trailing in our wake.  He had tied it on using a new knot he had read about in 48 N.  That knot is not going to be used much anymore.

To be fair to the knot, the line was a bit small on the towing cleat, but from here on, a half hitch is now required on untended lines in and around Jah Mon.

We U-turned quickly and spotted L’il Mon floating on his own a mile or so back.  A boat hook retrieval was done efficiently and Bob’s your uncle.  The dink was securely  towed again and we headed to Portland Island.
Tracking the scent of the missing dinghy.
  Princess Polly doing the guiding.

The missing dink, floating on it's own,
 not a care in the world.

The Great Escape (the sequel):

We entered Princess Cove on the south of Portland Island and Astroman volunteered to get the anchor hanging to prepare for anchoring in the cove.  As we were about to start our bottom exploration, there was a loud rattling of chain as the anchor made it’s escape from Astro’s dominance.  The 200’ of the pretty new galvanized chain raced out, following the anchor to the bottom, 27’ feet down.  Fortunately the bitter end was securely shackled to a cleat and the only damage was to Astroman’s psyche.  The Countess could relate as she had done the same a few years ago.

Portland Island exploration:

We anchored using that errant set and ended up just fine in the anchorage.  There was a dinghy dock that leads to trails on the island.  Boots and supplies were assembled and we dinked ashore in the newly aquired little boat.  It ran sweet. 

Portland Island, Princess Cove,
 with Princess Polly after anchoring.

The trail map at the head of  the dock showed the was a circumnavigation that went in both directions with a couple of crossover paths in the middle.  We went left and had a wonderful walk in the dappled sun on a single track that was easy to negotiate.  The path took us to a very nice shell beach in the sun where we had snacks and water.  A moving squall came in and we retreated to the woods with a solid canopy protecting us from most of the rain.  The crew of Jah Mon left a bunch of this island to be explored.  We will be back.
The Princess and the Countess hiking on Portland Island
Marine Park. 

32The trail to the left from the dock.
Count Enrico enjoying the sun just before
 we were chased off the beach by a deluge of rain.

Fire and Rain:

The target for the end destination was Ganges, on Salt Spring Island and we arrived at 3:00 PM, set the hook properly and were in the middle of setting the anchor bridle when 3/16” hail, and huge rain drops started dropping out the sky in the heaviest deluge Jah Mon has ever seen in the NW.  The Countess and the Count gained the shelter of the bimini and all aboard just stared at the intense precipitation.  The black cloud above us crackled with a blinding flash, followed closely by a huge clap of thunder.  It was extreme weather the media would report on.  We retired below for cribbage and social hour.  The big boat kept us secure and didn’t attract any lightning to it’s aluminum mast.
Coming into Ganges.  Did I see lightning?
 Big black clouds ahead.

The hail making big splashes in Ganges.
  5-7 minutes and then sunny again.

Flaming Tortilla Incident:

Dinner was build your own burritos.  The ingredients were prepared and Princess Polly, using her highly honed tortilla skills, from living 20 years in New Mexico, started warming her wheat free tortilla over the direct flame on the stove.  She was distracted by boy’s activities and when she raised the tortilla with her tongs and discovered she had left the paper separator on it and that paper had caught fire and had blackened  her tortilla to an amazing amount.  She calmly tossed the flaming carnage in the sink and got a new one out.

Dinner was good.


On an early visit to the disc course to ascertain the course, the Count walked by the Art Sping Cultural Center and discovered there was comedy play being presented that night at 8:00 PM

With dinner and on board showers (4 of them off one small hot water tank, which is a new record aboard Jah Mon)  out of the way, we dinked into Ganges at 7:00, bought some coffee and chocolate and walked the 5 minutes to the Center.  We were able to purchase 3 tickets and we were really lucky as there were only 2 single seats, out of 350, left when the lights went down.  We were able to take in a photo contest exhibition that had ~10 works worthy of being displayed at Griffin Hill Farm.  The cost of art kept us from buying.

The “Geezer” production was two older dudes (70’s?) who discussed local incidents, BC politics, old age issues, in a very funny manner for 1.5 hours.  They brought on a singer that told the tale of the Cuttbert Gap, which was a story about the boardwalk on the water around Ganges harbor.  One group started in the south and one built from the north and when they got to Cuttberts property, were told to go jump in the bay. 

There were many old age jokes that only the elderly would totally understand.  One of which was comparing newspaper obituaries for the older folks to Facebook of the newer generations.  There were many others including the hand to mouth gag which any of us would model for you readers on request.

We were able to dink home at 9:45 PM without using a flashlight.

Right and Wrong:
Astroman wanted to be sure that I included the data that Count Ferrari admitted, voluntarily that he was wrong.   Selective memory on the part of the author had already deleted the above subject from his otherwise fabulous brain.

Princess Polly added that she was right about seeing lightning ahead from a couple miles out of Ganges as we were motoring across the flat glassy sunny water.   The weather was just too nice where we were to consider that possibly she could be correct.   We all poo-pooed her, but she was proved correct as noted in the weather description above.

Saturday, June 25, 2011:  Ganges, on Salt Spring Island Day 7

Weather;  High overcast, 62F @9:35 AM

Astroman is creating a third round (for the voyage) of Hang Town Fry, which is an oyster, egg, braut, onion, and sweet pepper concoction that is consumed by three of us (the Countess does not do eggs) in VERY short order.  YUMMMMMM….

The day’s activity were the draw for going to Ganges.  Hippy crafts fair for the girls to shop at, with Astro in tow (bad Achilles strain from a twist while hiking on Sidney Spit), while the Count went off for a round of disc golf at Mouatt Park.

The Count encountered 4 young fellows about to start their game of skins and asked to join in.  No problem.  This was a friendly game with no money at stake but pride as the reward for a good game.  The Count was not able to win a single ‘skin’ although he shot reasonably except for the drive on hole 3 where he parked a disc in DEEP offshore brush.  Farewell yellow Roadrunner.

After the game, Astro was acquired and then lost again, beer and a case of tonic stashed in the dink, Astro was found again and he and the Count took the provisions out to the boat.  The Count made popcorn and had a solar shower while Astro picked up the girls.


Grilled halibut

Evening Entertainment:

Mexican Train Dominos:  Princess Polly scored a record 437 in 4 rounds while the Count took the first three and finished (finally) in 1st place with a score of 47.

Sunday, June 26, 2011, Ganges to Montague Bay on Galiano Island, Day 8

Weather:  Marine layer of clouds to start and to full sun by 10:30 for the entire day
This chart shows two days of travel, 5km and then another 8 km the next day.

The Loss of Crew:

Astroman started his intrepid journey of public transport by bribing a bartender with a $12 tip to drive him to Fulford Harbor ferry on the south end of Salt Spring.  From there he took the ferry to Swartz Bay, then the bus to Victoria, and the Spirit of Victoria to Seattle where his loyal lovely wife Karen will pick up some scruffy, dirty, limping form of the usually dapper Jay Carbin.  We will miss him.
More Shopping:

Polly and Lori shopped till they dropped and did $30 worth of laundry, returning to the boat around 2 PM.  It seems there is a direct India hookup as the girls were able to buy ‘gently used saris for $20 and belly dance mirrored belts for their next belly dance performance. 

They were in a bit of a tizzy as the Count did not show up until 4:30.  He had been gone all day on a disc golf adventure.

The EPIC disc golf tournament:

Alternate shot, picked partners disc golf tournament at two private courses.  This was the title of the tournament according to Andrew, who owned the 10 acres for the initial course.  There were 12 players in all.  The Count had seen Dennis (and played with him in previous years) in town on Saturday and contact was made and the partnership was jumped on. 
Count Ferrari and Dennis his disc golf partner in the Ganges parking lot.

Dennis picked up Count F at the dinghy dock and then drove to the course way up on a hill on Salt Spring.  What a driveway!  Apparently all the drives are steep on this island and the ones we went on were very long.  The house was spectacular and the course was very tight and technical with lots of up and down.  No discs were lost but several tried to escape.

The house of Andrew, our host for the first of the two
 courses.   The Countess would live here!

On hole 14, the Count was able to score the only ACE of the round.  (That is a hole in one).  No money pot, but the glory was wonderful with high fives around the entire group.  12 is a lot to play as a group but it was fun to watch all the guys do their different styles of play.  In this game, only one of the partners drives, the other approaches, and then the first player putts.  On the next hole they trade places.  So it was kind of like playing with 6 and it moved pretty well.  On the second course we split into 2 groups of 6.

A tonal target nicely sited on a curved tree with lots of guardians.

If one hit a horse on the second course you added 3 strokes!  There were no wranglers in our group except the Count.  It was very entertaining to watch them try and move the 4 horses off the 18th tee after we had play 35 holes and were pretty well done in.

Sav and John, the winners, walking with Dennis in the
sun and the daisies on course 2.

Our partnership of Dennis and Count Ferrari did not finish in the money but we had fun.
We were 2nd for most of the first round, holding par for 10 holes or so when we melted down taking 4 strokes on one hole.  The Ace took off 2 but then we started to add again and finished the round +4.  On the second we took another 7 finishing +11 with the winners being Neg 2 and second place being +1.

The drive back to the dock was happy and tired, too much heavy breathing out on the course.  Happy good byes until next time and the Count loaded up his kayak and paddled out to Jah Mon. 

A note on Dennis
This fine fellow was playing up to 5 rounds of disc golf a day, 7 days a week last year.  He went out did 3 rounds the day before the tournament to get his skills honed.  The Count was very fortunate to have him for a partner!  Not only was he skilled, he was great fun to hang with.

Heading out to Montague Bay:

Polly and the Count loaded the kayak, pulled the anchor and swabbed the grunge off the deck while the Countess took us all the way to Montague Bay.  The one hour trip warmed the hot water just enough for showers and charged the batteries a bit.  We found a mooring buoy (there were several available) and tucked in for an early evening.
The bakery boat was still doing business (probably without salt still)  and the huge 151’ After Eight, apparently named after the owner had 8 children, (he is a car dealership owner) had proceeded us there so our mooring selection put us as far as possible from any generator noise.
One of the larger boats sharing our anchorage.
 After Eight, 151'

Popcorn and reading, followed by pasta, steak, and veggies. Then there was Skipbo card game, in which Polly won the first one and the Count took the next 3.  The restaurant bus was running and in earshot from our mooring.  It picked up passengers at the park gate @ 7:00 PM nightly and took them to a pub on the other side of Ganges, returning them around 9:30 or so.  That is a very entertaining thing to do, as there is a driver who likes old time rock and roll at pretty good volume!

It was a very still night otherwise.

Monday, June 27, 2011Montague Bay to Wallace Island, Day 9

Weather;  Marine layer overhead at 8:00 AM, should burn off.  No wind, 59F outside temp.

The clouds never did burn all the way off.  We got bits of sun and small showers off and on.  Not the big soakers, just a light sprinkle to wash off the salt on the deck.  We departed at 10 AM and had a two hour run north.  Flat water and no wind.  Polly did most of the driving.

We anchored in Princess Cove, the northern bay on Wallace Island, taking the entrance position instead of going back in the cove where one would have to stern tie.  No problem though as our dink was good to us and took us to the dinghy dock at the middle of the cove.

From there we walked to the southern bay and UP dated the Jah Mon sign with some fresh black felt pen work.  This sign had the start date of ’09, a visit in ’10, and now in ’11.  That sign house is one of the most fun things there is in the Gulf Islands.  We next walked north to the tip of Wallace to check out the campground for kayakers and the view from same.  It was a good walk. 
Count Ferrari UPdating the rock with felt pen
renewing the '09 Jah Mon sign.

Countess Lori showing off the newly spiffed
 Jah Mon sign on the window ledge.

Dog Note: 

We have seen several mini-Schnauzers cruising.  I still like the little dudes but with the entire tail and ears.  They don’t need to be clipped like a show dog.  Just let them get scruffy and when the hair is too long, shave it off.
Princess Polly showing off the trees and moss
 on the hike on
 Wallace Island.

Movie Debacle:

There was a movie on board that looked like a Morgan Freeman movie but on opening the case it was a movie called the People vs Jean Harris.  It was  recreation of a trial with testimony and some small narrative.  The Count bailed first, then Princess Polly, but the Countess had to know what happened.  Strange movie for sure about a death in 1980 that apparently happened.  The woman was convicted on very insubstantial evidence and sentenced to 15 years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011:  Day 10  Wallace Island to De Courcey Island and Pirate’s Cove

Weather:  Overcast but no rain or wind.
Motoring in sun and no wind to Pirate's Cove from Wallace Island.  (Park to Park)

We motored, with dink securely tied behind at a stately 5 knots (not in a hurry) up the inside of Valdez Island after cutting through Mowgli Island and the Secretary Islands.  Our destination was Pirate’s Cove, the site of the last rock bashing by Jah Mon.  We entered on a rising tide, going .2-.4k, feeling our way between the narrow channel markers very slowly.  The Countess was on the bow looking for rocks.

The Count had some local knowledge of what NOT TO DO as he did that last time a couple of years ago and spent 1+ hours on the rocks in a howling wind.  NOT FUN.
This time it was good.  No rock collecting by the keel this time on the way in.
The treasure chest had all sorts of gaudy treasures.
 Nicely done by the Parks dept.

There was an Express 37 raceboat (Manana)  that followed us in.  He had tried to come in earlier but had tapped lightly with his 8’ draft and had been waiting for the tide to fill in some.  Jah Mon’s 7’ draft gave him hope and he was able to find a way in on his second try.

We anchored in the middle of the Cove, without using a shore tie,  around 1:00 PM, had lunch and then went for a walk on shore.  There are two dinghy docks in this cove and quite a few trails, some of which run over to another cove on the south shore of the island but there is no dink dock there, just camp sites.
Looking carefully, you will see a very nice 5 'thruster'
 by the driftwood fort, built by Count Ferrari.

Another CF  5 'thruster' on the spine
 near the entrance to the cove with the tide out.

The same 'thruster' when the tide is most of the way in.
  Entrance to Pirates Cove. That is a log in the foreground.

Our next destination is Silva Bay.  It is only 5.5 miles away but there is Gabriola Passage between here and there which needs to be timed with the tides so one goes through there at slack water.  The problem ‘du jour’ is when the first slack occurs at 9:40 AM the tide is too low for us to get out of Pirate’s Cove so we will have to wait for the 4:00 PM slack water and exit at high tide.  That means spending the day at pristine Pirate’s Cove, kayaking, hiking and watching the sky. 

Princess Polly looking for action on the bed of moss.


That bit is all good except we are low on water having switched to our last 27 gallon tank while at Wallace Island.  (The captain forgot to get water at Salt Spring).  We are rationing water to essential purposes like coffee and dishes.  We should make it.  There are many perils in cruising, having water is a basic need that should be tended to.

There were 4 boats spending the night here so the crowds must be somewhere else.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011:  Day 11:  Pirate’s Cove on De Courcey Island to Silva Bay Marina on Gabriola Island

Weather:  Broken clouds with blue in places, 64 F at 8:00 AM, no wind

Grounded boat incident:
Catalina 36 stuck on right side of entrance.
 Jah Mon in background waiting for more water
in the entrance to Pirates Cove.

A Catalina 36 came in at 5k at low water, had a bit of lunch and then was motoring out.  I figured he knew the channel.  HMMMM.  Apparently not!  He was high on a rock for 1.5 hours.  Count Ferrari took the kayak out to check the channel at low water.  He also went around a couple of little islands talking with 4 different raccoons and seeing an island with a very deluxe set of water toys.

Raccoon having breakfast.
Private island with water toys next to Pirate's Cove.

The movement line is the wrong color, it should have been green.
 We sailed down wind through Gabriola Passage!

Jah Mon lifted her anchor around 3:50 PM and we tied up in Silva Bay at 5:00 PM after sailing all the way through Gabriola Passage.  That is no mean feat as the wind moved about but it was all down wind for us or on the beam. 

There was a boat dragging her anchor as we entered the bay.  Apparently there is a bit of silt over rock so it is hard to hook up here. We were all glad to be going to a dock. 

We got in and tied up to discover there was no water on the transitent docks.  We had to go over to the fuel dock and were only allowed 27 gallons.  They are very short of water out here.  It was enough to get us to Vancouver so all was still good.
Jah Mon in Silva Bay Marina

There was a good free wifi here on the dock up by the office.

Count Ferrari was waylaid by Dean on Trident (a Bavaria 42) and his bottle of Laguvullin scotch whiskey ($150 a fifth in BC and Laphroig is $200!).  Anyway, CF missed dinner and had a great conversation instead.  Probably a good idea since we have been eating up a storm. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011: Day 12:  Silva Bay on Gabriola Island to Vancouver BC

Weather:  Mostly blue with a predicted wind from the SW going to the SE later in the day
Sailing the entire way (25 miles) to Vancouver from Silva Bay.

It was a slow start to the sail but it was downwind and then the wind built and by the time we got to English Bay just outside of Vancouver we were going 8.9k over the bottom!

The sail started as a broad reach and went to a close reach but it was constant and a smooth  trip all the way across the Straits of Georgia under sail.

We decided the front head is dead today.  It is NOT trustworthy to get rid of stuff as it should be so we are cutting our losses and abandoning it while it is still full of clean salt water.  It is good to have a boat with two heads today!


We pulled into False Creek YC on a strong incoming tide and the western docks are really affected by the current.  Jah Mon was tided into our neighboring boat with her  beam to the other boat’s stern.  It took some fending off but we slipped into our assigned slip eventually without damage except to rotate our neighbor’s BBQ on his stern pulpit, which was straightened out before he saw it.

With the assistance of Jocelyn, our 16 year old wharfinger and other boaters we made it in and settled down to showers and popcorn.
The False Creek Yacht Club in Vancouver BC

Hindsight advice… tie up to the lineal pier until the tide flow has slowed, which it will.  The outflow tide is no issue on the west side.
Jah Mon next to the Granville Bridge in Vancouver.

The girls had an issue with the dock key and could not open the dock gate with it.  HMMMM… we will have to give lessons on that.

Friday, July 1, 2011:  Day 13:  Vancouver’s False Creek YC

Weather:  Broken clouds with bits of blue, no wind

Count Ferrari spent the day (Canada Day) trying to find propane for the galley bottle.  After lugging the sucker around on shore and all over False Creek, using the shuttle ferries ($15 for an all day pass) he was unsuccessful.  The propane filler on 4th and Main was closed and the propane on 3rd and Burrard was only the exchange bottle type.  We will use the BBQ bottle for now.

The ladies went off to Granville island by shuttle ferry ($5.50 RT) and the loading dock is just about 200 yards from our slip.  Very handy.  There were HUGE crowds over there and more coming in every minute.  There was parade with horse headed girls on stilts and then hockey dudes on stilts and a band and somehow they were able to part the waters of the crowd and make their way around the island.

After returning to the boat, the Count dumped off his empty propane bottle and had a beer and a bit of a read.  Then, cowboying UP, he headed back into the Granville Island melee.  There was a circus with performers dropping on silk ribbons from a mast on a sailboat, magicians, several bands, and a HUGE crowd (as mentioned but cannot be overstated).  One coffee later he had located the girls and then watched them finish their shopping.

Back to the boat by 3:00.  We had popcorn and showers and messed around until 7:30 PM.  We then set out for Davie St. and found a great Lebanese restaurant “King Donair (?)”  where we had donairs (sp) that are essentially pita bread that has been filled with meat, fresh veggies, sauces, then stuck in a George Foreman type of grill and served like a burrito.  MMMMMMM!  For $6.50 too!  It was wonderful.

Then a walk all the way to English Bay, turning right at the bottom of the hill and then walking into Stanley Park, turing around and then walking to Canada Place and watched the fireworks with the crowds.  It was fun.  At 11:00 the fireworks ceased and we walked home to the boat in 30 minutes or so.  A big night of walking but we might be putting on weight with all the eating!  All is good.

An oddness: 

During the fireworks about 1 out of 5 were holding up their cameras to take a video of the fireworks.  How strange is that?    I hadn’t even brought my camera so no documentation which would have been noteworthy. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011:  Day  14:  Vancouver’s False Creek Yacht Club

Weather:  Wall to wall blue with very little wind.
Motoring around shallow water to Point Roberts Marina and customs.

We are setting up to depart here at 9:00 AM.  It should be a nice motor some 38 miles to Point Roberts for tonight’s destination and customs clearing.

Arrival at Point Roberts @ 3:30 after leaving Vancouver at 9:15 AM.  We had anti water of up to 2k most of the way down and on an ebb tide.  WTF?  We should have had some pro water but it never materialized.  Speculation from the Count is the river flow was inputting so much water it came in and flowed north.  I know that sounds weak but it is all I can come up with.

When we got close to Point Roberts there were 7-8 boats out doing a day sail in the sun.  There were 3 other boats checking in while we were too.  We all had to phone in and then wait for a Customs person to come to the dock and give us a clearance number.  The whole thing took about an hour.

I was able to walk to the fuel dock and get registered using my reciprocal deal.  The entire cost was $5!  Showers are 4 quarters for 6 minutes in very clean facilities.  We are going to try the restaurant (open under new management for 3 days now).

The good news is there was a propane refilling device here so we are good to cook on the BBQ and the galley again.

Polly and Lori left their dock key in the shower room and had a fellow climb the fence at the head of the dock to let them in.  They have a time with dock keys!

The new restaurant is worthy and was very good.  CF had the chicken pesto pizza, the Countess had the pasta with veggies, and Princess Polly had the halibut and veggies, all for $52 US.

Sunday, July 3, 2011:  Point Roberts to Anacortes Marina, day 15

Weather:  It was about 63 at 9:00 AM with sun and a westerly wind of 8-10k which went eventually SE as we approached Rosario Strait from the north.
The last day's travel.  Starting with a nice reach with a wind went forward to come straight on our nose, so we motored the last 18 miles.

The might Jah Mon hoisted both mainsail and 140% genoa for the sail away from Point Roberts.  We had speeds up to 8.7k as the current was with us all the way down and into Anacortes. 

We had to motor into the wind as it went forward to come straight at us and we didn’t want spend time sailing up wind.   Life is really tough on this trip.  All downwind sailing!  We had many miles of it, the amount of downwind sailing on this trip is the most ever.

We caught the tide change just right and arrived around 2:30 PM.  Tired but smiling.  2 hours of boat unpacking and cleaning below decks saw us off the boat and homeward bound.  It was a tiring day as any day on the water is but the sun and boat made us all glad it was experienced.

Damaged boat parts:

The front electric head is to be replaced as it died a death 3 days ago and we had to all use the aft head which was flawless but does go to a holding tank instead of our on board sewage treatment system up forward.  (Lectra San)

The lazy jack has a wear point in it and needs some attention.

The cabin top needs cleaning and wax again.

The dodger will need some re-stitching

The numbers:

We traveled a total of 267 km.  Fuel used was less than 25 gallons as we still have ¼ tank on the 25 gallon aft tank.  None was purchased in BC.

Dock fees were basically $1.50 a foot ($70-$75 a night) unless we were able to use our yacht club reciprocal which we did use in Vancouver ($56 for two nights!) and in Point Roberts ($5.00 for power) which pretty much covers the annual dues.

A guess on the sailing distance has us going by wind about ½ the way under sail and all down wind!

Would we do it again?  ABSOLUTELY!


  1. Awesome log. What a super trip. The picture captions are quite funny and it's cool that you included the maps along the way. Thanks and welcome back.