Saturday, August 24, 2019

August 20, 2019 - Home: Trip End

As we checked the weather, getting close to home, we could see our calm and sunny weather was about to end.  Windy and wet conditions are coming in late tonight and will last a few days.  So we decided to head on home rather than stay out in the wind and rain.  We don't really want to try and get back into the marina when it's blowing 20-30 knots, especially since we no longer have the upper helm due to the hydraulic hose that ruptured up in Glacier Bay.  Plus, it's not much fun being stuck in the boat when it's raining sideways.

We left Cabbage Island early in the morning, crossed the border into the US and submitted our border crossing information to US Customs and Border Security via their "ROAM" mobile app.  They tried to initiate a video conference with Steve, but the software in the Friday Harbor customs office did not get updated properly last night and the video conference failed.  They then called Steve to confirm some details of our information, and were granted clearance into the US within a few minutes.  No need to divert to Friday Harbor to clear customs, which saved us many hours on our trip home.  We plotted a course towards home and made a few stop along the way to check out some possible future outings.  We were killing time so we could transit the Swinomish Channel with a favorable current.  We timed it right and got a 1.5-2.0 knot push all the way down the channel to our marina.   When it was all said and done, we arrived home (up to) several days early due to weather.................................

It was a GREAT summer!!!!!!

Here's an overview of our trip.  It's a long way to Alaska!

Some statistics from our trip:

⚓  64 days onboard

⚓  13 nights in marinas (4 unplanned nights due to anchor windlass failure), 50 nights at anchor

⚓  16 docks were tied up to, including marinas, fuel docks, and US & Canadian Customs docks

⚓  2,643 total nautical miles or 3,041 statute miles
             (similar to driving Seattle to New York)

⚓  420.7 total engine hours

⚓  4 hours on generator (solar panels did most of the work)

⚓  6.5 to 7.5 knots average cruising speed, or 7.5 to 8.5 mph

⚓  41.3 miles traveled per day (average)

⚓  6.5 hours per day motoring (average)

⚓  2 complete engine oil and filter changes

⚓  1 transmission oil change

⚓  4 fuel filters consumed (2 per engine)

⚓  1 rainy day (entire day), awesome weather otherwise with just showers here and there

⚓  8-10 foggy days, mostly in Faugust (get it?  Foggy august).  Boater's know this reference.

Thank you for sharing in this adventure with us!

The Elston's 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

August 19, 2019 - Cabbage Island Marine Park

We got up early again today so that we could go through Porlier Pass at slack water in order to get out into the Straight of Georgia.  It is one of several passes you can use to get out into the Straight of Georgia from the Gulf Islands.  Porlier Pass is just 3 miles from Clam Bay, and slack is at 7:06 am, perfect for an early morning transit. The other passes would require us to get up much earlier so we could transit at slack.  Our destination is Cabbage Island, which is out in the Strait of Georgia.  It is exposed to winds so it's only good during settled weather.  Forecast is for light winds today and tomorrow, and this marine park has been a favorite of ours.  We would not want to be here when a storm rolls in.  We arrived at 10:30 am and got secured to a mooring buoy that was at the end of the row of buoys, and had a nice big gap to the next boat.

First activity for the day was a kayak paddle.

The birds we disturbed.  Nothing from above hit us....
Seagulls on the rocks

Seals sunning themselves

Kevin and Cindy go ashore to explore a bit.

Several otters were out playing and eating
Walking around this wonderful location

We headed back to Adagio and after lunch put the kayaks back up top and lowered the big dinghy.  We wanted to do a hike before dinner.   The start of the trail is on a rocky portion of shoreline and there is no place to haul out 4 kayaks.  The big dinghy is perfect for getting to the trail.

A rope swing with a HUGE rope

You use this rope to get to the start of the trail.

Mt. Baker off in the distance.

One of several remaining buildings.  This used to be a Fox farm.

A marsh in the middle of the island.

Cabbage Island anchorage from the air

A beautiful sunset for our last night in Canada

Thursday, August 22, 2019

August 18, 2019 - Clam Bay

We got to sleep in today as we needed to wait for slack at Dodd Narrows which was not until after noon.  We were one of dozens of boats going through around slack time both north and southbound.  The currents run up to 11 knots in this area so transiting around slack is necessary to get to the northern gulf islands.  Your other choice is to go out and run the straight of Georgia and with the forecast of SE 15 knot winds, we needed to run the inside route.

Dodd Narrows southbound line of boats in front of us
 As we were were approaching Clam Bay, the winds were getting stronger, towards 15-20 knots and the ride a little bumpy so the bay came by at the right time.  We anchored and had plans to ride it out thinking that it would not subside until morning.  We were pleased that by 5pm the winds calmed down and we could go out on a dinghy ride.

Clam Bay between Kuper and Thetis Island.  No wind now.

Reebok started to like to sleep where the dash controls are, so Steve accommodates him

Looking through "the cut" from Clam Bay to Telegraph Harbor

Our dinghy ride after the winds calmed down


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

August 17, 2019 - Nanaimo

We left Prideaux Haven at 6am with plans to go half way to Nanaimo to somewhere not yet decided.  After heading out and listening to the latest weather forecast on the VHF radio, the weather was due to be calm today with winds picking up the following day.  The forecast had changed and therefore so did our plans.  We decided to make the entire trip to Nanaimo in one day, since the trip to Nanaimo involves crossing the Strait of Georgia, which can be a terrible ordeal if the winds kick up.  It was a long day but we had nice nice smooth seas for the entire trip.  We arrived aroud 5:00PM.

After anchoring just at the edge of the anchor zone (marked by buoys) by the Newcastle Island Park, we dinghied to the Dinghy Dock Pub for dinner and then dinghied over to Newcastle Island for walk in the park.  The entire island of Newcastle is a beautiful park!

Nanaimo top left, Adagio bottom, Newcastle Island middle top,
Dinghy Dock Pub dock to the right

Eating out!  Dinghy Dock Pub

The large checker board at Newcastle Park

Newcastle Island shoreline

Pulp stones on exhibit.  They cut these many years ago out of the sandstone quarry.
They were shipped all over North America and were used to make pulp for paper.

The water at our anchorage was 71 degrees.  Wow!

In the morning the Port Authority boat came around and told several other boats to move.  Many boats had anchored outside the anchoring zone.  We were tempted to do this yesterday as well, since at least half a dozen large boats had already done so.  But, we managed to get inside the zone, even though the anchorage was very crowded.

Boats being told to move.  They had anchored outside the anchoring zone.
We had anchored just on the line and were not asked to move.
  It pays to follow the rules.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

August 16, 2019 - Desolation Sound: Prideaux Haven

We left Pendrell Sound along with many of other boats.  It was a boat parade leaving.  A few of the boats may have been tucked away in a small cove out of the wind, but we imagine most had the night winds we experienced.  We are tired!  Once entering Prideaux Haven, the most popular spot in Desolation Sound, we were surprised at how many boats were inside.  After Alaska and northern BC, where were almost always the only boat in a bay, it is a shock to enter a small bay and see 30+ boats anchored close together.  We ended up going into Melanie Cove (a side cove off Prideaux Haven) just as a sailboat was leaving so we anchored in his vacated spot the middle and did not worry about a stern tie.  Well, we did worry but other boats were able to come in and find a spot for themselves.  We considered moving to a stern tie, but there is room for a few boats to anchor in the middle without a stern tie.  

Getting ready for kayaking

Survival in the rain forest

A swim in 73.5 degree water

Cindy and Kevin on the bow

Drying off after a swim

Monday, August 19, 2019

August 14, 2019 - Desolation Sound: Pendrell Sound

We transited most of Johnstone Straight and then exited into a side channel and dropped the hook in Cameleon bay last night.  That set us up for transit through three rapids today that will lead us to Desolation Sound.  Timing is everything here at Dent, Yuculta, and Gabriola Passage as these rapids are faster than we motor.  We really only make 7-8 knots and many boats and people have had been lost here as the currents can run upwards of 12-13 knots, with serious whirlpools that have swallowed both boats and people.  We timed our arrival for slack water and were surrounded by many other boats doing the same.  We transited the three rapids in a flotilla of boats heading in our direction.

We arrived Pendrell Sound to 76 degree water but with many boats.  We saw so few boats north that now this feels crowded to us.  We have not been here for many years and it appears that there was a forest fire several years ago, that was a shock to us.  We have been here at least a dozen times before and never had water this warm.  It is in the swimming pool temperature range now.  76 degrees!

After trying to decide where to go, we decided on a sort of secluded spot near the oyster farm area.  There was no activity at the oyster farm and the depth was not ideal (a bit deep).  The only way to anchor here, due to the steep shoreline, is to drop the anchor in deep water, back the boat towards shore, and then take a line to the shore.  This secure your boat with it's stern facing shore.  On our first attempt we backed up and the anchor just dragged. so we pulled it up to start over.  When Kathy took her foot off the deck switch the anchor kept coming up.  The switch had broken.  Steve ran quickly to the engine room to kill power to the anchor windlass.  Fortunately he made it before the anchor reached the boat.  We then spent the next 15 minutes floating in front of our anchor spot while Steve replaced the deck switch.  We have spares for just about everything!  On the second attempt, we anchored in over 80 feet of water and backed up to about 35 feet deep and did a stern tie.  Success.  It is nice having children that can be crew now and not too young as the last time we were here, over 7 years ago with them.  We spent the afternoon and the entire next day here playing in the warm water.  It was a nice break from all the motoring south.

Kathy and Cindy rowed over and Cindy climbed up the rocks
to take the stern line around a tree.  It then comes back to the boat.

Floating in the warm water

Cindy jumping from the boat deck, Kathy in the water

Kevin Jumping

Steve, his turn

Float plane did a turn over our boat before landing in the water
to drop or pick people up from a 130' yacht just around the corner from us

Another Cindy jump

Our beautiful spot, stern tied to a tree on the rock wall
This sound has been awesome for us but our second night here proved to be a sleepless one.  In our entire summer we have had nice calm nights.  The wind here our second night would be calm at 5-8 knots and then gust to over 20 knots, sometimes 25-26 knots.  This puts a lot of strain on the shore tie line.  These winds went on throughout the night until 6am or so.  We slept a bit late which was fine since we are planning to move to Prideaux Haven, only a few miles away.