We are back from holidays and sadly back to work – two weeks is just not long enough – I can’t wait for the day when I can say there is no end date! We had a wonderful cruise, heading up through Desolation Sound, north through Yuculta Rapids, to Shoal Bay and back south again.
The weather was perfect – almost too hot – though the wind was not always there when wanted. It was there on our delivery north however – it was there in spades! We sailed from the north end of Gabriola Island to Desolation Sound – no really – we sailed! The first day was a georgous downwind run in 15 – 25 knots of wind – hitting boat speeds of over 8 knots. We were on the hook in Sturt Bay on Texada Island by suppertime – having had a wonderful day. Day 2 was a bit more exciting – 20 – 25 knots of wind on the nose – big seas, tons of tacking, water over the decks – and us – all day. We finally arrived in Roscoe Bay around 6pm – completely exhilarated to have sailed all the way to Desolation Sound.
That is when the fun really began – after negotiating the narrow, rather shallow entry into Roscoe Bay, Owen went forward to set the anchor. He took the lashings off the dinghy, lifted the dinghy up – and the pike pole followed along with it – our poor dinghy had been impaled! Of course, as he pulled out the pole, the air rushed out of the front chambers of the dinghy – we then began a search for the patch kit, panicking for a few moments when it was not immediately found. Luckily it was located, the patch was put on the next morning and after a very long day stuck on the boat, the dinghy was inflated and all was good!
From Roscoe Bay, we hopped over to Pendrell Sound for a swim – stopped the boat, jumped off, marveled at the crystal clear warm water – got back on the boat and we were off again!
We headed up through Yuculta Rapids, stopping at Big Bay for a night on the community docks before heading out the next morning, north through Dent Rapids. By 4pm that day (Wednesday) we were anchored in Shoal Bay, enjoying a margarita on the deck of the “pub” and marveling at the view up Phillips Arm. We stayed put in Shoal Bay for another night but then were faced with a dilemma – what now?? – our whole trip had been planned on the premise that we would make it to Shoal Bay – but here we were on the first Thursday with no definite destination in mind!
The urge to go further North was strong, but planning passages through some of the tidal passes meant for some long days, and we knew we couldn’t get as far north as we would like to get (hello Broughtons!) in the time we had left. As such, the decision was made to head south again – the Friday saw us head back through Yuculta just a tad late – by the time we went through, we were fighting huge current and barely made it through. Waiting to get through Hole-in-the-wall, to get to Octupus Islands and Waitt Bay would have meant a wait of several hours, so instead we just kept trucking South, eventually landing on Read Island in a private little bay.
Owen actually cast the fishing line once we cleared Yuculta, and caught a fish! Well it was a little guy, and he let it go – but he got it!
Somewhere along the way in our wanderings, Owen managed to get a spinnaker rigged – we have had the spinny for years – but with no way to properly fly it. He had cobbled together a spinnaker pole before we left and installed a ring on the mast for it to attach to – combined with some Frankestein-like rigging, we managed to get it flying – and actually used it a few times when the wind was directly behind us and too light for any other sailing.
Our trip continued south with stops at the Gorge and Squirrel Cove before heading back to Pendrell Sound – this time to stay for a night. This was attack number two on our poor dinghy – while going to take the dinghy to shore to attach a stern line, the dinghy bumped into barnacles and promptly sprung a leak – that repair took slightly longer (well it took two tries over several days) but she is once again sound, if slightly less pretty.
After Pendrell, we headed to Galley Bay and then did a looong trip from Galley Bay to Garden Bay. The forecast had been for 10-20 knots from the Northwest so we were looking forward to a screaming sail downwind – the reality was no wind for hours (6 before we managed to sneak up the spinnaker for a couple of hours and then another 2 before we were finally anchored), lots of smoke from the inland forest fires, and heat – so much heat!
We spent a couple of days in Garden Bay and then hopped over to Jedediah Island (Boom Bay) where we met up with Mike and Alli. Finally, we made a long trip, with no wind, from Jedediah to Ruxton Island and spent our last night in Herring Bay.
As of now, we are living on the boat – because I flat-out refuse to go home (that involves cleaning and packing and I just can’t manage it right now!) – we will probably stay there until the weekend and then make a move back to a stable home – for a couple of weeks anyway.
There is a bit of work to be done on the boat – transmission issues were cropping up again so it looks like a possible rebuild there. Additionally, we were having some issues with one battery (that thankfully only showed itself on the second day in Garden Bay after the smoke had been keeping the solar panels from charging fully) – we were glad to have had the second solar panel, as we did not plug in for the entire time we were away.
Next trip may well be our delivery to Maple Bay for the long-weekend regatta.