We just completed a wonderful trip through the Gulf Islands of Canada. This is a fantastic place to cruise, yet we have never visited these islands during the off season. My biggest observation from 11 days wandering through the Gulf Islands is that they are even less visited during the winter months than the US San Juan Islands. We saw virtually no boats the entire trip. By comparison, once we got back into US waters the VHF radio traffic began to increase, and we heard many familiar voices on the radio. It seems that La Conner (and Shelter Bay in particular) have a disproportionately large number of boater's that use their boats during cold winter weather. We heard quite a few La Conner friends on the radio today as we motored back though our "home waters" headed for home. This was quite a contrast to Canada where we heard virtually NO radio traffic, and we saw only a handful of boats on the water in 11 days. My suggestion? Go explore the Gulf Islands during the winter when there is NOBODY around!!!
Our kids were somewhat concerned that Santa was not going to be able to find us as we meandered through the Gulf Islands. We reassured them the he would indeed find us. But to make sure I left the anchor light on for him on Christmas Eve, where we were anchored alone in Annette Inlet. And guess what, that bright white light must have led Rudolf directly to our boat, because Santa did make a stop on "Adagio". I'm amazed that we didn't hear him land! :-)
I think that Kevin was VERY concerned though, as he got up at 3:00AM to check the tree. Fortunately, Santa had already been there. He examined the presents under the tree and even peeked at his stocking, then he immediately woke Cindy up. They unloaded their stockings and finally after waiting more than two hours, woke Kathy and I up at 5:30, even though we were not ready to get up so early. Ah Christmas. How wonderfully exciting !
|Presents galore on the new settee lounger. Christmas Day 2013.|
|Cindy and Kevin ready to play a new Skylanders game on the Wii.|
|The kids play Skylanders on the Wii.|
|A float plane landing in front of us as we motor out of Ganges Harbor at sunrise.|
|Playing one of the many games we received for Christmas.|
|Kevin eyeing a few Canadian Geese. Adagio anchored with 3 other boats.|
Portland Island Provincial Marine Park.
|Anchored in Winter Cove, Saturna Island, B.C.|
|The intense current at Boat Passage, Winter Cove British Columbia.|
|Anchored alone at Tumbo Island. This is one of our favorite places.|
|Cindy crosses the bridge that we made. She made it. Kevin made it too.|
It sunk under Steve's weight and he ended up with some soggy boots!
|Making a beach fire on Tumbo Island.|
|If you make a nice beach fire, you better take advantage of it. BBQ hot-dogs.|
Yummy! Ah, this is a nice life.....
|Cindy takes the oars on our way back to the boat.|
|We have another nice beach fire the next day (New Year's Eve day). This fire|
produces some excellent S'mores. Nice!
|Here comes the wall of fog. Two more miles and we will be in it.|
That tall landmass is Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island. Matia Island in
So, we are now home. It was a great trip. It was the first Christmas we have spent on the boat. We have spent many New Years Eve's out on the water, and one Thanksgiving, but never Christmas.
Oh, the boat ran flawlessly. We spent about 24 hours under power motoring through the islands. During our 11 days out we consumed about 160 gallons of water. That's about 14.5 gallons per day, or 3.6 gallons per person per day. With our total capacity of 450 gallons of water, we carry enough water to last the 4 of us more than 1 month! Amazing, considering the 3.6 gallons per day per person includes all of the water used for drinking, flushing toilets, washing dishes, washing hands and faces, shampooing, etc. Compare that to the US average water consumption of roughly 100 gallons per person, per DAY. We use less water per person per day than some home toilets use in a single flush! Our diesel furnace worked hard to keep us nice and toasty. Some nights were in the low 30's, so it was a chilly trip.
Reflecting back on this trip I think one of the best moments came yesterday when I asked the kids if they wanted to stay out another two weeks. The answer was a RESOUNDING "YES!". We are so happy that our children appreciate all that boating has to offer It warms my heart to know that they appreciate their time with Kathy and I, with each other, and that they also appreciate the beauty of nature. This is what it is all about.
HAPPY NEW YEARS!