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Saturday, September 3, 2011

All Catalina Rendezvous and Disc Golf Trip in the Gulf Islands 2011

Summer Disc Golf Cruise and Catalina Rendezvous,
Gulf Islands, BC, 2011

This blog entry is a by product of cruising to BC for Disc Golf and attending an All Catalina Rendezvous at Thetis Island in the Gulf Islands. 

Jah Mon carried us UP and back flawlessly and the two of us aboard had fun.  Bling and Count Enrico Ferrari (author) had too much to eat and amazing comfort to weather the perfect conditions.  See below for details.  Please try and leave comments.

Bling and Count Ferrari in Telegraph Harbor with Jah Mon behind.

August 23, 2011:  Day One  Anacortes to Ganges via Bedwell Harbor for clearing customs:

Filtered Sunshine and 61F in the cabin on departure, no wind.

 51 nm for the day.

Getting started:

It was too easy by far.  All I had to do was get to the boat with my bedding and clothes and we took off from Anacortes by 8:30 AM after arriving to the boat at 8:00.

Blingster Ling had done all the food shopping on the previous day and then put it all away on board, filled the water tanks, and what ever else needed doing.

Bling checking the charts and Washburne's tables.

Once away from the dock, we consulted the 2011 Washburn Tables with the Canadian Current Guide to see if there was an advantage to find with the tides.  It lied….  We found anti-water most of the trip (water flowing against us, measured by comparing the GPS (Speed Over Ground measured with satellites) to the knot meter, which is water flowing over a paddle wheel as we move.  This Current Guide with the accompanying Washburnes was referred to as Lie-burns for the rest of the journey.  

Note:  The color of choice (pink) for the trip route below on the going out trip is a bit light on the chart below when exposed to the internet.  You will have to either look close or consult the daily moving maps below, green is the route of our return trip.
The route of the Mighty Jah Mon for the entire trip.  Roughly 130 nm. over 8 days.

The biggest push of the trip was the one from Anacortes to Ganges.  No issues!
Red is motoring and green is sailing.  This is our route from Anacortes,
clearing at Bedwell, and then finishing at Ganges on Saltspring Island.
  About 50 miles.

The wind came out to play for about 5 miles as we neared Boundary Pass.  We sailed as fast as 5.7k but eventually slowed and started the ‘iron spinaker’ which pushes us nicely at 7+ knots.

Clearing Customs:

We entered Bedwell and tried out the Man Over Board button on the GPS to see if we could locate a bit of jetsam which fell over.  We were able to retrieve it after we cleared.  The button gave us a good starting point for looking.

As I waited for a phone to clear customs on, I noticed an old sailing buddy, David Stearns who was clearing just in front of me.  He was on vacation with 2 @19 year old girls (one his daughter), his wife Rain, and her mother on a very nice C&C40 that he maintains for one of his clients and gets the use of for doing so.

Clearing Customs at Bedwell Harbor.  3 phones to a central
office and a manned (this time) local station for the inspectors.

Note:  The fellow in the orange tee shirt is Captain Dave Sterns
who was my watch Captain on the 1998 Vic Maui Race.

We followed them up to Ganges (his first time) and we anchored while he got a dock so they could do sight seeing better.  We deployed a crab pot just on the outer bit before the main harbor of Ganges

Evening Activities:

Our anchor was set before 5:00 PM and popcorn was made and iced drinks were good accompanied by cribbage.  We are playing lowball and then highball crib alternatively.  As of this writing (on Day 2) CF has 5 wins and Blingster has 5 Losses. 

The Blinster wondering just how he has sunk so low in
his cribbage skills.  It must have been the salt in the popcorn.

August 25, 2011:  Day 2  Sitting in Ganges

Severe clear (Hot and Dusty) all day.  It is 77F at 6:44 PM in the cabin with air flowing nicely from front to rear.

Doing projects while cruising:

The day started with projectos.  Anchor washdown pump and varnish

We moved the anchor wash down pump lower because Bill said it would increase the pressure.  After doing this for 1.5 hours we tested it and no improvement…. So it goes.  There are other potential issues in the plumbing we will explore later.  The lack of pressure was finally enhanced by taking the anti-siphon out of the infeed line as it was introducing air to the line and lowering our pressure.  The extra water now feeds the new electric head with too much water.  So it goes.

Dave Sterns, on Fairwind, motored out fairly early heading to Montague.  We may see him and his family again.

The varnished wood over the winch pockets is the only exposed wood to the weather and does get a bit beat up by the winch handles and feet treading as one boards the boat.  Both were sanded, taped off, and then varnished by 1:30 PM.  A second coat was applied at 5:00 PM when we returned from shopping and disc golf ashore.
Note the foot print.  Someone wearing that shoe size put it
on the not dry varnish.  Who could have done that?

Disc Golf Report:

The disc golf score was revenge for Bling as he took the Count by 2 strokes!  He shot a terrible +1 and the Count shot a much worse +4!  Tomorrow, we hope to make amends and shoot better.

Evening Activities:

An iced drink was required before all the food shopping commenced so we found the nice beach side bar and grill and relaxed.  That was restorative.  We both thought today was the hottest day of the year so far.

The planning was done to figure out it should be a short 4 hour motor to Thetis Island where we will join the all Catalina yacht rendezvous in Telegraph Harbor Marina.

Solar shower to the rescue using the teapot to heat the water and then dinner with Sockeye salmon, grilled oysters, beans, and coleslaw.  MMMM…..
The anchorage in Ganges.  Note the weather!

The evening under clear skies was quite warm so we had some ice water and settled down to watch an episode of the HBO series Breaking Bad.  Bedtime shortly after.

The inner harbor at Ganges on the Public Wharf.

August 26, 2011, Friday Day 3  Ganges to Telegraph Harbor on Thetis Island

26 nm

Weather:  Severe Clear, temperature to mid 80s and very little wind.

A short tally was made from 7:30 to 8:30 AM on seaplane activity.  We had 3 arrivals and 2 take offs in that time span.  This place is the most active seaplane port either of us has ever seen.

After a light breakfast of yogurt and granola, we dinked to shore and made our way to the Telus store to see if they could convert a ‘Tracfone’ to a prepaid phone that would work in BC.  Of course, that wouldn’t work.  Bill bought a charger for his phone, since he forgot one of his own and his Verizon phone works up here on his Canada plan.

Disc Golf Report:

We started our disc play with two rounds of disc golf at Hart Memorial Disc Golf Course, located just above the town of Ganges on Saltspring Island.

BL:  shot a -1 and a -2
CF:  shot a +1 and a -7 (finally a good score!)

The Count is showing his score with his sign language.  Neg 7 ties his personal best.
This is a great fun course, just a 5 minute walk from the dinghy dock in Ganges.

Heading to Thetis Island:

Back to the boat with more tonic, no red floaty thing for the port corner seat (we have the green side by the BBQ on starboard) , and some olive oil.  We took the anchor up slowly as the mud from the bay saturates the links of the chain and makes it just gross!  It took a lot of spraying from the weeny salt water wash down pump to clear the mud but eventually it was done and we were under way.

Anchoring technique note:  

When anchoring in a known mud port, be sure and take your time when leaving.  Take UP some of the chain. Then get the boat ready and by the time you are ready to go most of the chain will be cleaned naturally by just getting it off the bottom.  One may need to repeat this process if anchored real deep but this technique greatly reduced the amount of mud brought in on the chain.  One needs to keep an eye on things at this point if the anchor releases early but with an all chain rode, mud can be a problem coming into the boat.

The crab pot, set 2 days ago,  was located using the MOB (Man Over Board)  on the GPS and we found one male, two female and a large starfish.  We kept the male and tossed the rest.
Our path for the 20 miles from Ganges to Thetis.  Very flat water with very little wind.

We motored north and Bling created a fabulous lunch of brauts, onion, peppers, cheese and eggs with a starter of sautéed oysters.  He even cooked and cleaned the crab.  He was having too much fun and his shoulders were crying out at the end of the day from too much activity.

Arrival at Telegraph Harbor saw Bling put the boat on the dock nicely.  We had lots of help as we were the 33rd Catalina to arrive and a few came in after us. 
It was difficult to get a shot of all the Catalinas.  The docks were very nice as was the staff at Telegraph Harbor Marina.

The COUNT by the Count:
This is the dock count of the various sized Catalinas that arrived for this shindig.  The total was 32 boats, all having fun.
Simon passing out wine for all.  What a day!
Group snacks provided by all.  Some really tasty stuff showed UP!

(Catalina has built many different sizes, below are the sizes that showed UP.)

The Marina store in the background had good snacks and ice cream.

August 27, 2011  Saturday, Day 4,  Telegraph Harbor Marina on Thetis Island

Weather:  Severe Clear, temps to 80F in the main salon with all the hatches open.

Walkabout for a view:

            Bill and I walked the 1 mile to the ferry landing and toured the estate that is now a Bible Camp.  It is a gorgeous groomed 20 acres, with a nice dock and beach facing Vancouver Island.  The photos don’t do it justice as the area is so parked out and immense.  It is hard to document…. So it goes.

Scheduled Official Event:

            There was a tech talk session moderated by Simon Cox, owner of Yacht Sales West on Vancouver Island.

I suspect it was good and it was well attended but we missed it by going for our walk.

Boat Repair: (Aboard Jah Mon)

 Made the hatch seal dog ready for installation once pop rivets are found.

            Took the anchor chain out and re-installed the mud filter at the bottom of the anchor well.

            Count Ferrari mopped off the deck with the 1/8” deep dew that was beaded on the entire exterior of the boat.  The process of doing this 3 days in a row made the deck real nice and clean.

            Bill washed the floor, shook the carpets and polished everything below in anticipation of visitors during the open boat time.  Everyone who came aboard was amazed at the size and layout.

Dinghy Race:

This was a big deal and great fun.  Once it was determined by ruling officials, the race was 2 stages with a winner take all third round. 
The START with starter Simon Cox.  Note the blindfolded rowers.
The TURN and only mark on the course.

Note the white water generated by the frantic oar work!

The FINISH or the next start.  Very crowded either way for blinded rowers.

Stage 1:  Soft bottom dinks

Stage 2:  Hard bottom dinks

Championship Race:  All dinks

A serious deviation from the norm was the requirement the rower was blind folded and the partner navigated by communications to the rower.  This lent a seriously entertaining ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ feel and was approved by the Press Corps covering the event.

The Count appointed L’il Mon (tt/ Jah Mon) to Press boat and covered the event but the photographer thought he caught a video of the races.  In reality, all he caught was the staging of a start and a bunch of stills.
The 'Official' Press boat for the dinghy racing.
Walking the Dock:

We took boat tours all about the dock and met some very fine folks, everyone is having fun.  The potential next boat for CF is the Mk 2 320.  Blingster is stuck on getting a 42.  I keep telling him my boat is for sale for a reasonable price!

Toured sized boats remembered… 30,320,34,38,47

Small World Note:

The Countess and myself had taken a trip to Scotland for September 2010, as we were talking with Ralph and Trish aboard their magnificent 470 they were commenting on seeing the Antiques Roadshow at the Blair Atholl Castle near Pitlochery.  For the readers of this blog, it will take no leaping feat of memory to know that we too were there that day!  We all found that remarkable.

Dinner and Awards: 

This was cooked by crew of Yacht Sales West and served by the staff of the Marina in a very nice pavilion with over 500 yacht club burgees hanging over our heads.  Anacortes Yacht Club (CF’s YC) was represented on what could be construed as the oldest hanging row.  Burgers, Caesar salad, carrot cake, and BYOB.

Three C-42 groups were at our table.  Camelot with Rick and Bob, Comocean with Sonya and Greg, and Jah Mon with CF and Bling.

In the sponsor drawing Jah Mon pulled out two Standard Horizon hats, Comocean got a weather station, and Camelot got a Tee Shirt and hat.  All the boats won something with one of the better prizes being a Kuma BBQ.  There were Icom hand held VHFs, GPS’s, Wifi enhancers, etc….  It was a good giveaway.  Thanks to the sponsors, may they keep prospering!

Odd gifts were awarded, like the anti aging sunblock to the oldest (1976 C-30)  boat there, while the newest boat (2008 C-320) got some baby powder.  There were many other gag gifts, kudos to Silva and Simon Cox for imaginative awards.

Apres Dinner:

Grabbed a shower in the marina shower, which is very nice, while most  of our mob were still at the table. 

On into the evening, we talked with 2 fellow pilots (Bling being the pilot), Keith and Bob who just got a very nice C-34, Walkabout.  Darkness dropped and the wind never showed up.  It was very peaceful.

With a time of 9:30 as we went below, we lit up Captain Ron DVD and were entertained until too late (midnight).  It was a good day.

August 28, 2011:  Sunday, Day 5, Thetis Island to Ganges on Saltspring Island
20 nm (See chart above with exact return route and sailing not quite as long.)

Weather:  Severe Clear, a bit of wind to start and then not so much.

Jah Mon backed out of her slip on H dock using the engine and immediately set the headsail and we sailed out of the harbor waving goodbye to all and showing off our sailing skills at speeds up to 2kts.  It was a reach to start but then a short tacking series in the last 1/2 of the entrance before we were able to relax a bit in the relatively open water.

Catalina Racing in big boats:

2 hours later we had been passed by about 15 boats and traveled maybe 2 miles.  We got a bit of a race when Impulse (1986 C38) with Paul and Donna came out and challenged us for an hour so.  We ‘raced’ for about an hour.  There was two boats with FULL cruising stuff, dragging dinks and only sailing with the furling headsail deployed.   There was a moment when Impulse gained significantly, giving evidence of nefarious dealings with the headsail flogging… iron spinnaker? When they experienced a 360 turn in the light air they retracted their sail and headed home to Lady Smith Harbor.  The C42 liked racing the older C38!  It was ideal racing for the Count and Bling  Jah Mon was not last!

The wind gave UP and we also started our motor and gave chase to those motoring cruisers.

There were 2 C42s, a C 310 and a C30 directly in front of us as we got moving and we kept up with 42s.  Bob and Rick on Camelot (1989 with a Autoprop?)  were able to move a bit ahead of both Comocean (1993 w/Max prop) and Jah Mon (1994 w/Autostream) over the 20 mile run.  The smaller boats went behind us and we caught up with a couple more C-30s and ran them down too.  It is nice having a bit more speed than the others under power.

We deployed our crab pot on the way into Ganges and marked it with the MOB button on the GPS.  (no result the following day).

We hooked UP to our bit of mud in Ganges and we played a round of disc golf. 

BL = +2
CF = 0

We had a great evening aboard having white King salmon and salad, playing cribbage and watching Euro Trip.

August 29, 2011  Monday,  Day 6:  Ganges to Port Browning on N. Pender Island

12 nm

Weather:  Sunny with a 10-12k Southerly and an incoming tide.

Jah Mon motored UP wind to the point of Prevost Island and then unfurled for the all too short run up Captains Passage, with the tide behind us and a close reach moving us at nearly 9 knots with just the headsail.

As we hit Navy Channel the wind shut down for a couple of miles and then went to on our nose so we just motored and figured we would have hot water for showers and lots of battery. 

As we entered Port Browning, we were able to sail downwind in the sun for the finish which improved our attitudes.  We anchored and just had steak dinner, played crib, and watched some silly sit coms.  We must be getting old as we had time to go ashore, walk 45 minutes and get in a 27 hole round of disc, walk the 45 minutes back and get to the boat before dark.   We didn’t do it

Being anchored here in Port Browning is very soothing.

August 30, 2011  Tuesday, Day 7:  Port Browning to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island USA

Weather:  Southerly wind at 8 knots (on the nose) and mostly clear skies to exit Port Browning.  Clearing and wind dropping to enter Friday Harbor.

Disc Golf at Pender Island Disc Park:

This park is 25 years old and has 27 holes.  It is easily the most physical course I have played on.  There is a LOT of UP and down.  The first 9 holes are played on top of this huge rock using tonal targets and then there is next 18 holes that go around and over the rock.  Hole 10 must have a 150’ vertical drop!  There were several groups, mostly family or couples today, but we mostly didn’t see them as the course is large enough to keep everyone separated.

Some holes are killer long with rises in elevation.  Some are shooting blind through many trees.  All are fun. There are tournaments held here by the locals that attract over 200 players for a given day.

This course is spoken of in reverent tones of voice through out the disc world in southern BC.  For those going in by boat to Port Browning like us, there is a one hour hike UP to the course and a just short of an hour down.  This can be mitigated by taking a taxi for $15 (for as many in your party as you have for the one price) and the local island taxi is a Lexus RX 350h that was new in 2009.  Pretty styling!

Bling trying to make sure he doesn't go left!  One can see the target , a pipe with red stripes, hanging just to the right of the baby Douglas Fir tree.  He sank the putt for a par.  All holes are played for a 3 par.

Looking down from Tee #10 to the target about 100' below.  Pender Island has a great 25 year old course.
It was a one hour hike UP to the course from Port Browning but the weather was cool enough so it felt good to burn off some of the excessive amounts of food we have been taking into our bodies.

Blingster:  +2 for the 27

Count Ferrari: -4 for the 27

It was fun playing but it was wearing on us too.  We still needed to walk back and that only took 50 minutes as we took a shortcut down a listed property to the water where we followed the beach back to the Port Browning Marina.

Departed Port Browning at 1:30 PM and arrived at Customs in FH at 5:05 PM

Weather:  Bits of clouds, 6-9k wind on the nose to start going to on the nose with current on the nose to finish.  Temps in the low 70s.
Note:  The current was totally against us as we neared Friday Harbor so we sucked over to the edge of the water and tried to dodge some of it and it allowed us to gain on those boats in the middle.

We had up to 4 knots of anti water as we approached FH!  Clearing Customs was very pleasant for the 2nd time in a row.  We found out from Officer Specht that the software for their computers was written in 1985!  No wonder they are a bit stilted in keying in all that information each time we clear.  Canada has a much newer system that brings up all the pertinent data with just the entry of the boat registration number.

We were able to use our reciprocal YC status to raft up to another yacht, Dream Weaver, with the Fildago YC.  The odd thing about this big cruising ketch was their amazing number of fenders.  They had 5 large balls on each side.  Where do they keep them?  They leave them tied on at all times…..  Never without a fender.  We hung ours on the outside to accept any other rafters as one can raft 3 deep at Friday Harbor’s San Juan Island YC reciprocal dock.  No one came.

Evening Activities:

We then we went visiting Chris, Mary, and their goldendoodle Piper.  We were able to bring some food from the boat and use it for a fun dinner and even got showers out of the visit. 

Back to the boat by 10:00 for a couple of sitcoms and then bed.  It was a quiet night except for the ferry starting up around 5:00 AM.  (This is always an issue in FH)

August 31, 2011:  Wednesday, Day 8:  Friday Harbor to Anacortes

Weather: Overcast and 55F (The coldest day of the trip)

Departed at 9:00 AM and bucked major antiwater most of the way home.   There was a good run across San Juan Channel where we pointed the boat at the middle of Shaw Island and used the left to right tide set to take us all the way to the entrance of Up Right Channel without adjusting the helm.  It was a good run there but then we hit antiwater and more antiwater, getting UP to 3.5k near the Anacortes Ferry Landing.

We were able to use our reciprocal YC status to raft up to another yacht, Dream Weaver, with the Fildago YC.  The odd thing about this big cruising ketch was their amazing number of fenders.  They had 5 large balls on each side.  Where do they keep them?  They leave them tied on at all times…..

Thank you to the readers and others:

For those who managed to doggedly pursue every last golden nugget of word smithing on display here.  I give condolences and thanks.  If you have a boat, look for any excuse to get out and use it.  If you don't, find someone who has one and buy them a treat and suggest going out.  Most boats need crew and I am very happy that Blingster can come out with me so thanks to him too!

The McGuffin this trip was to the rendezvous for all Catalinas.  It was my first and not my last.  There is evidence in my previous blogs of an All C-42 rendezvous in May and another one is coming in September which I am planning on attending down in Pouslbo, near Seattle.  Thanks to the organizers of all of these events.

Finally, Thanks to any reader who can leave a comment on what was deemed worthy in this blog!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog and report!

    Bill Wertz
    AirWaves C42 # 1065
    Friday Harbor, WA