Friends and Turkey!

This past weekend was the Bluewater Cruising Association’s Annual Thanksgiving Rendezvous.  As the Rendezvous is held at Thetis Island Marina – only an hour or so away from our home dock, it is an easy one to participate in.  This year was our third visit, and the second with Julia and Charlie (the pup!) on board.

We headed over on Friday night with overcast skies and winds that changed directions every few minutes.  The wind finally tucked in once we got out of the harbor and we took the opportunity to throw out the head sail – with rain coming and knowing we would be coming in after dark, we opted to not put up the main.  As it was, we were trucking along at 5.8-5.9 knots under the headsail alone – we were going so nicely that I nearly missed the entrance to Thetis Island!  We did have a bit of a downpour as we were heading over but the beautiful sail more than made up for it.  We got to the docks and I backed us in while several members of the BCA came to take lines and help us get secured.  And with that we were there and the weekend could begin.

The festivities were not set to begin until Saturday so we took Friday as a nice night to cook on board and curl up with our books – we had the little space heater going and lots of blankets to keep the cold at bay – our next project is definitely to install the heater though!

After a cozy sleep (polar fleece sheets are the best thing ever!), we had breakfast on board and then headed up to check out the day’s itinerary and check in to the Rendezvous.  Saturday included a visit from the local Coast Guard Auxiliary – of which Owen was a member for 17 years.  We had all toured the boat previously so instead we took off for a nice long walk, followed by some more book time.  Saturday night was a potluck dinner – we went easy – opting to fry up some bacon and onions and cook up some perogies – as easy as it was, they were a hit and were gobbled up in no time.  As is usually the case, there was a ton of food and it was all so tasty!

The club put on a couple of presentations in the pub Saturday night and then we all retired back to our boats to get ready for a packed day on Sunday.

We started with a breakfast potluck, followed up by a walk for us and then a scavenger hunt had us scrambling around deciphering signal flags, hunting for stones and tying knots.  The hunt was intended to take about an hour but nearly everyone was done within a half hour – leaving a bit of downtime before the Turkey Dinner – prepared and served by the Pub.  As usual, the Pub prepared a wonderful meal, made even better by visiting with club members.

Monday dawned overcast and completely windless – and not at all warm.  We joined the club again for a coffee and a pastry and then headed out.  By noon we were tied up at the dock and the weekend was over.

Once again I couldn’t quite bear the idea of packing the boat up entirely so we took what we needed and decided we will stay down there this coming weekend.  The weather forecast looks wet and cool so it will be a great weekend to hide out below, get something yummy going in the oven and read a book or two – maybe even bring down a movie!  We will need to take bedding, etc. off after that so that Owen can start to work on heat install, but it will be nice to have one more weekend of lazing away down there!

Sunsets, mosquito hunting and dinghy boondoggles

After the rush getting the boat ready to go to the Thetis Island Regatta, followed by a long weekend of sailing to Montague Harbour to meet-up with our Yacht Club for a night, and then a trip to Bedwell Harbour to meet up with the Bluewater Cruising Rendevous for a couple of nights (and a 6 1/2 mostly motor home), we decided this past weekend that we needed a quiet weekend on the hook to recharge.

We left after work on Friday and were on the hook in Herring Bay on Ruxton Island by about 8pm – just in time to get the burgers cooked and to eat in the cockpit while watching the sun go down.

A quiet night on the hook turned a bit panicked when we realized that a horde of mosquitoes had followed us below deck – where did they come from?!  We don’t usually get many mosquitoes around here but I suspect that our looong, rainy, cold winter was the perfect breeding ground for them.  I managed to hunt a few down on Friday night, but much of Saturday was spent dispatching them.  Owen was working on something in our rear cabin and could hear the “thwack” followed by a “gotcha”, every time I went hunting one down so he had a pretty good idea as to how many I had crushed.

At some point on Saturday afternoon I managed to drag myself up on deck to re-do the lashings on our lifelines and Owen accomplished tons – installing a light in the rear cabin and installing the new oil pressure sensor.

Feeling we had accomplished quite enough (and realizing that we hadn’t actually left the boat for the day), we decided about 6pm to do a quick boondoggle in the dinghy – that turned into a 3 hour, 6.8 mile circumnavigation of a couple of nearby islands.  The engine suddenly dying when we were at about the furthest point possible from our boat led to a few panicked moments but luckily it had just overheated thanks to the seaweed that had gotten wrapped in the prop.  A couple of minutes to cool down and we were off again – thank heavens – that would have been a heck of a row against current!

This time we managed to get the hatches closed and the citronella candles out in time to prevent the influx of mosquitoes.  We had caught the sunset while motoring back to our anchorage but once the sun had gone down fully (and the mosquitoes had gone away) we sat in the cockpit and watched the sliver of crescent moon follow the same track that the sun had taken only a few hours earlier.  That left a perfect black night sky for star-watching – even the Northern Lights made a dim appearance!

Sunday morning started just about as lazy as the rest of the weekend, and then we were joined by friends who had been out on their boat all week and were on their way home.  After a quick visit, they sped off home.  Owen had made the mistake of saying that if only he had his wet-suit on the boat, he could dive and replace the nearly non-existent prop zinc – well lucky him, I remembered that it was in fact in the bow – so into the not so warm water he went!  That job being complete we finally set out for a bit faster motor home (barnacles scraped off the prop makes quite a difference in our speed!)

All in all a perfect, restful weekend and just what we needed.

Next weekend we are out racing on other people’s boats, so no cruising for us – though maybe we can make some more headway on the galley upper cupboards on Sunday.

sunsetting at Herring Bay