We took off from the Port of Nanaimo on Monday, September 22 and traveled across to Newcastle Island Marine Park, a journey of about half a mile. We needed to reset the anchor after our first try because we weren’t happy with our position and while we were hauling up the anchor to try again our windlass stopped working. That means extra hard work pulling up the anchor and chain for Ralph. Luckily we were happy with our second try. There was plenty of anchorage room at the island and the views of Nanaimo and the park were pretty. We had a peaceful night at anchor.
The next day was the first full day of autumn, and as we listened to the weather report there was some heavy weather predicted to come in. The rain started early and we decided to pull up the anchor and tie up to the marine park dock given the wind predictions (gale warnings), and the situation with our windlass which would make it difficult to reset the anchor if we needed to in the heavy winds. We were able to take a short walk at the island before the rain got too heavy. We had a fine night. It’s a really pretty place and we hope to come back again.
On Wednesday we headed across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver. There were remnants of the storm still present, and it wasn’t an easy trip, but it was uneventful. We arrived in Vancouver at around 4:30 pm, about a 7-hour trip from the Nanaimo area.
When we went to the Sceptre rendezvous earlier in September we were invited to visit some of the other owners in Vancouver. They graciously arranged for moorage for us at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. The first two nights we stayed at the Jericho Beach location and we had dinner with our friends Anne and Henri at the club on Wednesday. It was very nice, especially after a long and uncomfortable day on the water. On Thursday, intrepid Anne took us on a wonderful 10+ mile bike ride around Vancouver. The city is magnificent; miles of walking and bike trails, Stanley Park (think of a smaller version on Central Park), and a beautiful waterfront. On Friday, our friend Phill accompanied us to move Toga to the Coal Harbour location of RVYC, which is in downtown Vancouver. There was a pretty steady rain, and I felt like we were getting a real northwest experience! This is such a great spot, right across from the Park. Phill and his wife Nancy made us a special homemade lunch aboard their boat, Forever Young, and brought us a cake to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary! We are getting spoiled, I tell you.
Saturday, after a great brunch with our Sceptre friends, Phill took us to look at a couple of boat yards and we got to see more of the greater Vancouver area. We have been doing a lot of research and we are getting closer to finding a safe place to put the boat to bed for the winter out of the water where we can do work on it when we like, etc. We were sort of planning on keeping it in Tacoma, but the yard we were thinking of does not have any openings.
Sunday was a beautiful day and we went for a sail on Anne and Henri’s boat, Ariel X. It was a real treat, and we had a great time. Today it’s raining. I think it’s sinking in that the summer is over.