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.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

August 12, 2019 - Port Hardy and Port McNeill

We pulled up the anchor in Fish Egg Inlet before dawn so we could cross Queen Charlotte Sound early before winds and waves kicked up.  We have not been running before light yet this summer so this is the first time we have had to use our spot lights.  In addition, Kathy stood on the bow for the first half hour to shine a handheld spotlight on any logs in our way.  This was in the inlet so, yes, there were logs to avoid.  Another long day, but easy motoring.  These larger bodies of water are concerns for crossing, and we are taking advantage of calm winds when they are in our favor.

Of the dozens, or hundreds, of whales we have seen, we typically watch but many times do not slow down.  When we were close to Port Hardy we stopped to watch 3-4 whales feeding for about a half hour, since they were so close to us.  Special!
We got to Port Hardy at around 5pm and the the marina did not have room for us.  We anchored off of the public dock, instead of going to the public dock where many people were fishing.  We called a few restaurants and they were closed for the day, so we did not go to shore or anything, no pictures and not what we could say was a special spot!

The next morning we decided to head to Port McNeill and try to get in a marina there to do one more load of laundry, eat out, get a little diesel for safety's sake, and get some land time.  What a cute town and the port harbor was very nice.

The cats are always curious when we are on a dock!

Cindy and the whale art

Not much more to say on this one.  It was HUGE!

Bringing the laundry up the dock, three loads, too much for our little washer-dryer

Next stops will be in Desolation sound after we transit another body of water that can have adverse conditions, Johnstone Straight.  There are not too many more obstacles now, but we have been saving days in case we have to wait for good weather.

Monday, August 12, 2019

August 10, 2019 - Shearwater BC to Fish Egg Inlet: Green Island Anchorage

We spend an hour or so every night planning the next day, but then things change during the day as we deal with currents, wildlife sightings (delays), our tiredness level, etc.  We originally thought we would stop at an anchorage before Shearwater but decided we could travel a little further today so that we would not need to wait until the store opened the next day for groceries.  We made it to Shearwater a bit late but with enough time to anchor out and pick up a few groceries.  This is really just a marina and resort, not a town.  There are a lot of fishing resorts here.

Shearwater Resort and Marina, not much here but free WiFi!

Not quite as fun as Cindy had hoped, the ball was flat,
and it was right next to the tree.
Guess there was no sign saying you could not climb the bear........

The next morning, it was another calm day motoring south down Fitz Hugh Sound.  We again saw several dozen whales.  In fact, one came up in front of us and we had to stop our engines as it appeared we were going to run over it.

Took this video without zoom as we approached the whale. 
Steve ran and shifted to neutral, then reverse

Steve and Kathy has spent some time in Fish Egg Inlet about 15 years ago and were excited to spend some time in there again.  Coming in this time in our much larger boat, most of the anchorages seemed really small for us.  After looking at a few anchorages we ended up heading back toward the entrance to Green Island.  A pretty spot and once again, we were by ourselves.  It was plenty big enough for us.  We are seeing more vessels heading south now along these straights and reaches.

Green Island Anchorage, British Columbia

Cindy took many of these pictures.  She took all the wildlife ones shown below.

Cindy took this video of a crab we think got a barnacle that Cindy stepped on, and then the fish attacked the crab to get the barnacle.  Crazy!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 9, 2019 - Khutze Inlet BC

We had another day of motoring south.  In normal circumstances I think we would not motoro this long each day but we have to be home to make it for kids and work, and we were delayed in Ketchikan waiting for the the windlass motor to be repaired.  We are happy to report that the windlass has never worked this well.  It's great!

Heading south and the fog has lifted!

Another whale

Once we motored into Khutze Inlet, the winds calmed down and it was beautiful!  We were seeing 20+ knots of wind for the last hour of our trip to Khutze Inlet.

After anchoring and seeing those big horseflies again, bummer, we decide to go for a ride on the big dinghy.  It was a great time going up the river and then seeing seals and a bear.

Cindy puts on a bug net, since she does not like horse flies.

Heading up the river in Khutze Inlet

It was a very calm night. There is a waterfall next to our boat and it provided a wonderful "white noise" to aid in a great night's sleep.