Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013 - Gulf Islands, Canada (Part 1)

Merry Christmas from Canada!

We are spending the holidays exploring the Canadian Gulf Islands.  Now, we've spent years roaming these waters during the crowded summer months, but never during the middle of winter.  We are hoping to visit a new place or two, locations that are generally so crowded during the busy cruising season that we have always passed right by them.

We had planned to leave on Friday December 20 at about noon when school got out, but several inches of snow closed school for the day and the wind kicked up to about 30 knots.  Cindy and Kevin wanted to play in the snow at home and were not too interested in being couped up inside the boat missing the white fun.  So, we decided to stay at home Friday and leave Saturday morning instead.

We hit the fuel dock on our way out and chatted with Tony (now working part-time at the fuel dock since his retirement as an on-air personality on THE prominent AM talk radio station in Seattle) about our destinations.  One place we hope to visit is Wallace Island.  Tony has been there before and mentioned that he left a memento in the the cruisers cabin. 

It was cold outside as we motored a long day from La Conner to the customs clearance station at Bedwell Harbor on South Pender Island, BC.  After we cleared customs we had time to drop anchor nearby and settle in before dark.

Anchored in Bedwell Harbor, BC 

Kathy out for a row in the light rain just before dark.
Kevin and Cindy both enjoy reading, anytime, anywhere!
We got up early Sunday morning to do some motoring in the dark before sunrise.  It's always good to practice before you have to do it in an emergency.  We learned that our new exterior lighting needs a little tweaking, and also that a few interior lighting issues exist that make forward visibility less than perfect.

Motoring out of Bedwell Harbor in the dark.

Two of our new "Night Lights".  they are bright, but it takes a lot of candlepower
to illuminate the water to any level of usefulness.  We aren't there yet.

Sunday was a pretty short day of motoring heading to Wallace Island.  This is a place that we poke our bow into every summer, but it is always packed full of boats so we have never opted to spend any time there.  Well, things are quite different during the winter.  We were able to actually get right on the dock which makes shore access so much easier than when you anchor out and have to dinghy to shore.

At the dock - Wallace Island Provincial Marine Park.

Cindy "exploring" the rocky shoreline of Wallace Island

The old cruisers cabin.  Decorated with thousands of items from previous
boating visitors to this wonderful island.

The beautiful north end of Wallace Island
We ended up spending a few days here.  This is a nice island with a good trail system that goes from one end of the island to the other.  We walked most of the trails and very much enjoyed our time here.  Oh, we found Tony's memento which he left here years ago, when they were here with Gary and Ellie on Tangywasser (also from Shelter Bay, and friends of ours).

Tony (aka Big T?) left his mark here 6 years prior to our visit.

The north end of wonderful Wallace Island.

There are a lot of interesting stops during a hike along the main trail.

Kevin gets ready to test the home-made slingshot.  Perfect slingshot stick
courtesy of the Wallace Island trail.
We departed Wallace Island around noon on Christmas Eve day.  We are headed to Annette Inlet, which has been a mandatory stop for us every summer.  We really enjoy this bay in the summer.  It is well protected from all weather.  It is not very crowded.  It is fun to kayak, and it's also a great place to turn the kids loose on the sailboat, or the kayaks.  We also swim here during the warmer summer conditions.  This time we had the entire bay all to ourselves!  Wow, this would never happen during the summer.

We left the anchor light on so that Santa could find out boat.  We hung our stockings over the "fireplace" with care, and then watched a movie together on our new lounger.  The settee in the salon can now convert to a bed, or a great place to lounge and watch a movie.
Zappa takes a Christmas nap.

Putting our presents "under" the tree.  Christmas Eve.

The stockings hung above the "fireplace"

No, our kitty Zappa was not one of the Christmas presents.
Try to tell him that though  :-)

Getting ready to watch a movie on the new salon lounger.
Christmas Eve.  Will Santa find us.....?


  1. Hi Steve and family; Glad to see your having a great time on the "new boat". Have you guys read the book Once Upon An Island. A very cool story that tells about what it was like to live on that island in the early 1900's. Happy new year to you guys.

    1. Hi Russ,

      Great to hear from you! No, we have not read that book. We will have to add it to our collection. We have read "the Curve of Time", and "Revisiting the curve of time". Both great books. Happy New Years!