Family Reunion #3

Family Reunion #3

We had a couple of rainy days at the dock at Refuge Cove after Erik left.  We had about a week to spend before we were scheduled to meet up with my Mom and Bob, my step-dad.  We decided to head to Rebecca Spit Marine Park, which is another favorite place of ours.  We anchored in the park and spent several nice days there – some rain and some sun. 

Rebecca Spit Park beach

Hiking on the trails at Rebecca Spit

Fall is here

View of Desolation Sound area

Foggy morning

Foggy morning

At anchor

Beautiful color this time of year

We headed around Cape Mudge, being careful to watch for the correct tides as we had read that the conditions can be severe there.  We encountered no problems, and it was”smooth sailing” – except we were motoring.  No wind to speak of.  We pulled into April Point Marina a day early and had the dock to ourselves.  The next day our family arrived and we were able to have several days of fun on Quadra Island. 

Cape Mudge

Mom and I at Rebecca Spit

More hiking at Rebecca Spit

Trail to Chinese Mountains

Mom and Bob

Good times with Mama

❤️

We hiked to Morte Lake – really beautiful trail

Pretty fungi

Again, our time with our family went by so quickly.  Mom and Bob went off to continue their tour of Vancouver Island and it was time for Ralph and I to head south for the year.  We decided to head to our familiar stop at Texada Island in the rain and stayed for two nights.  We had a fair day in the forecast so we spent a long day at sea and stayed for 2 nights at Gibsons Landing on the mainland, which we really liked.  Even though it was only a few miles away, we couldn’t pass up spending some time at Plumper Cove park, and we just about had the place to ourselves.  Then we took the 10 miles trip to Snug Cove on Bowen Island, which was lovely (even in the rain), and then on to False Creek in downtown Vancouver for a few days.  Ralph and our friend Henri took the boat to the Fraser River on Sept 26 and the boat was hauled out.  Meanwhile, Charlie and I picked up our car from storage and met the guys at the yard.  Since then we have been busy doing the usual clean up and prep for the winter.  Almost time to go home.  

This storm was chasing us from Texada Island to Gibsons – right after we tied up we hard a real thunderstorm

Dock at Gibsons – a beautiful double rainbow, hard to capture

Talk about waterfront living – Public Wharf at Gibsons

Public Wharf at Gibsons

Gibsons

Funny – Gibsons shopping

Sunset at Plumper Cove, Keats Island

Keats Island trails

More interesting fungi on Keats Island

Meeting new friends – a swan was unexpected. The bird was absolutely silent – looking for handouts I think.

Boaters Lounge at Snug Cove – so nice!

Snug Cove at Bowen Island

Anchored in the heart of Vancouver

Granville Island ducks and geese

Out of focus but you get the idea – Fall is upon us

Rental bikes in Vancouver – complete with helmets!

Looking better after a bottom cleaning

Toga is settling in for winter

Family Reunion #2

Family Reunion #2

After leaving Amy and Jacob in Sidney we headed north again, mostly against the wind.  We stopped over at Newcastle Island (Nanaimo) where we were lucky to run into our friends aboard ArielX.  That evening we went to the dinghy dock pub, which you can only get to by boat.  It was fun to go out for an evening. 

Dinghy Dock Pub (Protection Island, Nanaimo)


From Nanaimo we travelled to Pender Harbour and then on to Texada Island, a familiar route when traversing from the Gulf Islands to Desolation Sound. From Texada Island we went to Grace Harbour in Desolation Sound Park and then to Refuge Cove, where we picked up Erik, Ralph’s son, who arrived from Seattle via Seaplane.  

Erik arriving at Refuge Sound – he loved his flight!


From Refuge Cove we headed over to Roscoe Bay Marine Park and had a lovely time hanging out and hiking to Black Lake.  We were also invited to happy hour aboard Whale Song where we had a really nice time with Garth, Merrien and Nolan.  From Roscoe Bay we made a short trip in the rain to Melanie Cove in Desolation Sound Park.  We had a little rain but more sun, and the crowds had really thinned out.  Unfortunately the water has turned colder and it is not as tempting to swim.  

Lake above Melanie Cove

Melanie Cove is pretty empty this time of year

Jellyfish and reflected clouds

 

From Melanie Cove we visited Squirrel Cove and then Manson’s Landing – both on Cortes Island.  

Homemade pizza – forgot to take a photo of the finished product – it was pretty good

Buddies!

Beautiful, peaceful sailing

Fun with family!

Beautiful sunset at Squirrel Cove

Ralph, Erik and Charlie take a trip to the lagoon at Manson’s Landing

Making bread with our on board “bread maker”

Finished product – delicious!

Talking about sailing right of way rules


All too soon it was time for Erik to return to Refuge Cove for his flight back to Seattle and then back to LAX.  It was so fun to have him on board for a week and be able to show him a bit of the wonders of Desolation Sound, not to mention nightly trivial pursuit challenges!

Time to go back home for Erik – we had so much fun!

Toga at Refuge Cove dock

We’ve spent a rainy day at Refuge Cove relaxing.  Soon we will head west to April Point on Quadra Island for Family Reunion #3!

Family Reunion #1

Family Reunion #1

Our trip south from Desolation Sound included several really great days of sailing.  Most of the time it seems like we are fighting the wind, if there is any, so it was a treat. We left Squirrel Cove and stayed on the dock at Texada Island for a couple of nights, then headed to Pender Harbour, then to Nanaimo, and then to the Victoria area.  We got reservations at Victoria’s Inner Harbour, right in the heart of downtown, and docked easily at the front of the marina, right by the public way.  It was really fun to be there, so much energy with tourists everywhere and lots of street vendors and performers.  One strange thing that it seemed like, being at the dock, we were a part of the tourist attractions – lots of people walking the dock, looking in our windows, some taking photos of themselves with our boat – it was strange but OK.

Amy arrived first, and she and Ralph hit the Royal British Columbia museum right away and really enjoyed that.  Jacob arrived the next day and we all took a walk through old town and china town and enjoyed some time at a pub together (including Charlie, who has been in heaven with us all together).  Amy and I treated ourselves to High Tea at an old mansion, which was delicious.  

After three days in Victoria, we headed out to the southern Gulf Islands, first staying at tiny Russell Island where we kayaked and swam, even though the water was a brisk 59 degrees.  The next day we went to Montague Harbour and the kids and I took the pub bus to the Hummingbird – a treat not to be missed! Our last day in the islands was spent at Beaumont anchorage, with lovely hiking and kayaking.  

We are now at Port Sidney Marina after a fantastic sail here, topping 9 knots. We sadly bid Amy goodbye this morning.  Jacob and I plan to do a tour of a local distillery this afternoon before he leaves tomorrow.  It has been so wonderful to spend this time as a family, it has been very special for me and everyone has done well with the close quarters, etc.

Next up for us is that we are heading back up north again for family reunion #2! More on that next time.  

Puppy love

Sailing lessons

Beauty at Beaumont anchorage

Kayaking fun

Toga in the background

Royalty!

Swimming in the brisk water

Swiming fun with the lifeguard present

One family photo

High tea

Cute kiddos posing for Mom

This is Poutine, which we tried for the first time – delicious!

Sweet family

Pub life

I think she looks very royal

Where the action happens at the BC parliament

Rotunda at the BC parliament building

Victoria Inner Harbour with the Empress in the background

Victoria Inner Harbour

  

Fun and Sun in Desolation Sound

Fun and Sun in Desolation Sound

I realize that my last post was about 1 month ago.  There is very little internet up here.  We are still in Desolation Sound, having arrived a little over 3 weeks ago.  Since arriving we have been having mostly sunny, warm or hot weather.  We’ve met up with friends, hiked, swam, kayaked, caught crabs and prawns, hosted and attended happy hour gatherings and have had an all around good time! Since I wrote last we have been so many places – notably False Bay at Lasqueti Island, Hornby Island, Rebecca Spit, Von Donop Inlet, Walsh Cove, Toba Inlet, Melanie Cove, Grace Harbour and Squirrel Cove.  

We had planned to stay here a while longer, but we are heading south tomorrow to (hopefully) meet up with Amy and Jacob in about 10 days in Victoria.  I am hoping the photos here tell the story of what we have been up to – good old summer fun!

  • False Bay at Lasqueti Island – an honor kiosk for home made goodies

    Adorable cottage on Lasqueti Island

    Tiny post office at Lasqueti Island

    Cloudy but lovely sunset at Hornby Island

    Fantastic beach at Hornby Island

    Sunset at Rebecca Spit Park

    Grocery shopping crusing style – Ralph is a pack mule

    Best $8 I’ve spent all summer – a mosquito zapper

    Wild beach at Rebecca Spit

    Cute seals sunbathing

    Went through the passage safely

    Swirly water as currents are strong in Beasley Passage

    Readying for the big hike to Newton Lake

    Sceptres side tied at Waiatt Bay

    Trail to Newton Lake (near the Octopus Islands)

    View from Shallow Bay

    Strange things growing on trees in the forest

    Newton Lake

    Rewarded with a great swim in Newton Lake after a vigorous hike from Waiatt Bay

    When we left the dinghy it was out a ways in the water – tidal ranges are serious here

    Mother and baby seal at Waiatt Bay

Ariel X ahead of us at Toba Inlet

Anne and I being silly

Toba Wilderness Waterfall – we filled up our water tank with this delicious water

Hiking the trail to the waterfall at Toba Wilderness Resort

Fun racing against the crew of ArielX

Delicious fresh seafood

That squiggly line shows a great sail we had in the channel

Dinner aboard Toga with Anne and Henri serving freshly caught prawns – we hauled in 130 of them!

Lovely Black Lake in Desolation Sound Park

On the trail to Black Lake from Grace Harbour

Lessons Learned Lately

Lessons Learned Lately

I decided before starting to write this post that I am not going to complain about the weather (rain, wind, rain some more, thunder storms).  After all, I am living a wonderful life with my best friends (human and canine) aboard and doing something that many dream about, so complaining is not in order.  So I’m not complaining but I am wishing for some sunshine soon!

We haven’t been letting the weather slow us down.  We left Friday Harbor and spent some wonderful days – a couple of days at Spencer Spit park, which I wrote about previously and another at a small marine park called Clark Island, where we were alone in the bay! Quite wonderful.  Then we spent a few days at Sucia Island, which is another fantastic marine park – we had a great time at those San Juan Islands locations.

We crossed back over into Canada and spent a couple of days on Pender Harbour (Canadian spelling) at Port Browning.  Port Browning is a quaint marina with a nice store not far away.  We did the usual things we do while in port – laundry, provisioning, etc.  We met up with our friends aboard Ariel X and some new friends, Sandi and Andrew, at Beaumont Marine Park – also on Pender Island near Poet’s cove.  We spent a fun few days crabbing, barbecuing, kayaking – and, well – drinking.  Poet’s cove has a spa where we were able to utilize the facilities – what a treat! We celebrated Canada Day on July 1st with appropriate fanfare.

We said goodbye to our friends and resumed our slow progress north (heading for Desolation Sound where we plan to spend several weeks).  We decided to stop at Russell Island but the weather turned and we felt that we didn’t have enough protection there, so we went to Fulford Harbour (Salt Spring Island) for a night.  Since then we have been moving along each day.  We have stopped for a night at Genoa Bay, Chemainus (both Vancouver Island), Preedy Harbour (Thetis Island) and Silva Bay (Gabriola Island).  Now we are anchored in Nanaimo, at Newcastle Island Marine Park.  We are spending two nights here, most likely.

Now, for lessons learned lately.  We were leaving Preedy Harbour and decided to go to Pirates Cove on D’Courcy Island.  Our guide books talked about the beauty and popularity, so I’ve been wanting to go there for a while.  We were getting close to the destination (in unpleasant weather – not complaining) and Ralph zoomed in on the chart because we were aware that the entry to the cove could be challenging.  Well, turns out that the entry was not only going to be challenging, but impossible for us at that time – the entry is very shallow and we would have run aground.  Also the depths in the bay were very shallow (our draw is over 6 feet) – we decided that this destination was not for us, although there were a lot of boats in there.  Luckily, Gabriola pass was favorable at that time (the currents run in the passes and you have to be cautious) so we headed for another destination.  

Lesson 1 – Check chart for appropriateness destination before leaving.

We went through Gabriola pass and headed to Silva Bay – a confusing and fraught route as it turns out. We made it fine, but:

Lesson 2 – take the time to check ahead on chart plotter and make way points when a confusing route is coming up.

As I may have mentioned, the weather was rainy and very windy – we docked easily at Silva Bay at Page’s Marina and tied up the boat.  We ran a line through the toe rail to try to keep the boat more steady in the tumult.  

Lesson 3 – Don’t tie lines through the toe rail.  In the morning, our dock line was worn through. 

We departed from Silva Bay and followed our trail on the chart plotter from the trip in.  The wind was behind us and we put up the head sail.  About 10 minutes later, the sail went flying.  I couldn’t figure out what happened for a moment – but the bowline knot had come loose from the sheet that was in use (a sheet is a rope that is used to attach to a sail).

Lesson 4 – This lesson could be to check your knots, but really I think the bowline coming loose was a fluke – this has never happened to us in 15 years.  I think the lesson comes in what happened next, which was that Ralph told me immediately to put the boat in neutral (we were still motoring, getting ready to put the main sail up) – the sheet could have easily gone over board and wrapped around the propeller, but it was retrieved and we were able to get the sail under control.  I think lesson 4 is to stay calm whatever happens.  

So we are still learning – a lot, really. People I meet sometimes say things like, “Oh, you must be a good sailor”, or “You must love sailing”.  The truth is, I am learning.  I’m probably not a good sailor yet, even after all these years, but I think I am a good boater – and I do love boating and the gifts that it gives me – peace, lovely nature to entertain myself with and wonder at, and time – to read, think, sleep – so many wonderful gifts. 

Shore leave in the rain

Preedy Harbour anchorage (Thetis Island)

Funny sign in Chemainus

On a mooring in Chemainus

Some sun and a nice passage through Sansum Narrows

Anne of ArielX – Happy Canada Day!

Fun with our pals

Henri celebrating!

Showing support for Canada

Showing support for Canada

Caught two crabs! Yum

Sign at a Port Browning farm – not sure what is coming soon

So many lovely sunsets

Spencer Spit Beach

Double Rainbow!

Double Rainbow!

Anchored at Spencer Spit

Spencer Spit Beach

Spencer Spit Beach

Island Hopping

Island Hopping

After a lovely stay at Russell Island, which has to be one of my favorite spots, we hauled anchor (Ralph hauls, I drive and give moral support) on Thursday, June 9 and headed to Mill Bay Marina on Vancouver Island.  We arrived in a heavy wind and sea condition for the area, but we docked ok at the marina.  We arrived a day early for the Sceptre rendezvous so we could clean up, do laundry and some shopping before everyone else arrived on Friday.  Mill Bay is a nice little town with a great shopping center nearby and we took advantage of that.

We really had a fun time with the Sceptre folks and 4 boat/owners attended for the first time, so we got to meet some great new friends.  I think the rendezvous was a success and a great time was had by all.

After the rendezvous we were invited to a fellow Sceptre owner’s home about 5 miles away along with ArielX.  We were both able to tie to a mooring in front of Ron and Leoni’s home in Brentwood Bay and we enjoyed a really great dinner of locally grown foods including lamb and beef and a fun card game afterwards.  

After a peaceful night we departed for Gowlland Tod Inlet Marine Park, only about 1.5 miles away.  This park is on the other side of Butchart Gardens near Victoria.  We had a really nice stay there – it is such a quite place.  For the most part, people don’t use their outboard motors but row instead to preserve the quite.  Near the dock are many nesting boxes for the migrating purple Martin and we enjoyed watching them swooping around.  There is always great birdwatching here. 

Again we hauled the anchor and moved on, this time to Sidney Spit Marine Park.  We have been having quite a few rainy days but enjoyed a 5 mile hike around part of the Sidney Island.  Apparently there are hundreds of deer on the small island, but we didn’t catch sight of any.  

This morning we are in port at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington after crossing the border on Monday.  We are required to take the boat out of Canada once per year and it was probably less than a 20 mile trip here to Friday Harbor.  This is a great port and we are making the most of our shore leave.  We plan to head out of here tomorrow and visit some more of the San Juans before returning to Canada.  

Carting groceries and getting exercise

Statue honoring Popeye, Port of Friday Harbor Seal

The Port of Friday Harbor seal, Popeye

Sidney Island

Sceptres racing

Toga and crew racing in our first race!

Beach at Sidney Island

Banana slugs out in force on Sidney Island

A neighboring boat took some shots of Toga in the sunset at Sidney Spit, just before a rain storm

Eagle watching

Leftover bricks from a brick and tile plant on Sidney Island

Leftover bricks from a brick and tile plant on Sidney Island

Ralph and Charlie rowing back from shore leave at Tod Inlet

Rainy day at anchor

So many jellyfish of all sizes at Tod Inlet – I think they are fascinating

At anchor in Tod Inlet

At anchor in Tod Inlet

Nesting boxes for Purple Martins at Tod Inlet

View from Ron and Leoni’s house, Sceptres at dock and on mooring

Such large jellyfish here

Such large jellyfish here

My major award for my performance in dinghy basketball

Lovely Mount Baker

Sceptres arriving at the dock, all hands and paws helping

Sceptres arriving in the strong weather

Lovely shopping center at Mill Bay, Vancouver Island

4

Cruising – aka Boat Maintenance in Exotic Places

Cruising – aka Boat Maintenance in Exotic Places

We were dropped in the water on Saturday, May 28 at Shelter Island Boat Yard and Marina. We arranged with them to stay in the slip at the lift overnight so we could take care of a few things before heading down the Fraser river. We departed around noon on Sunday when the tide was slack and falling, so that we would get a boost from the current. As opposed to last year, the trip down the river was uneventful (we ran the engine a long time at the slip this time!). We did notice that the depth sounder was not working, but hoped it was due to the muddy river. 

When we reached the mouth of the river (about 13 nautical miles) and entered the Georgia Strait, the conditions turned uncomfortable. The winds had turned the day before leaving the seas confused and lumpy. Combined with motoring, these conditions create seasickness for me and Charlie looked a little green as well (still getting our sea legs for the year). Luckily the tide was with us and it is only 12 nm’s across the strait to Porlier Pass, so we managed this in about 2.5 hours. The current was still running through the pass and was with us, sweeping us through. Instantly the conditions were changed – warm breezes and smooth seas – Paradise! No luck with the depth sounder though, it looks like we are going to have to put in new instruments.   For now we have a hand held depth sounder and Henri loaned us another.  

We had arranged to meet Ariel and crew at Princess Bay on Wallace Island. This is one of Anne and Henri’s favorite places and they wanted to introduce us to it. We swung by last year but it was too crowded for us at that time. We pulled in and side tied to Ariel at around 5 pm – just in time for cocktail hour! It was very peaceful in the bay and we had a beautiful sunset. The next day we spent exploring the island – what a wonderful place! We are reading a book right now by David Conover, who along with his wife Jeanne, purchased the island in the 40’s for $20k.  

We said so long to Ariel on Tuesday morning and headed to Montague Harbour on Galiano Island where we picked up a mooring ball at the provincial park. We had lovely weather and took a long walk. We had some rain and clouds over the next few days and on Thursday we decided we would head over to Ganges on Salt Spring Island (this is a major hub here – sort of like Avalon for those of you who have been there) to stock up on groceries. We fired up the engine and noticed that we were not getting cooling water out of the exhaust. So, change of plans! We spent the rest of the day diagnosing our problem. We first ruled out failure of the water pump and then spent a couple of hours trying to unclog the raw water inlet. The bonus was we got to stay at Montague another day and we were invited over to one of our neighbor’s boats (Rikki Tiki Tavi), which is a home built catamaran. Very nice boat and excellent craftspersonship!  

Friday morning we tried again for departure and were successful. We headed to Ganges and were there in about 2 hours, anchored in the bay. We ended up staying for 2 nights because we were comfortable, and why not? We spent our time working on things aboard, stocking food and drinks and taking long walks through town.  We left Ganges on Sunday and headed over to Russell Island (another 2 hour trip), which is where we are for the time being. I know I wrote about this island last year – it is a small island park which is just lovely, nice trails for walking and beaches. We love it here.  Summer is off to a great start!

Toga splashdown

Exiting the Fraser into Georgia Strait

Motor sailing across the Strait

Heading through Porlier’s Pass

Happy to be in the gulf islands!

The welcome Eagle

Anne getting a warm greeting from Charlie

A pair of Eagles

Princess Bay

Beautiful Gulf Islands sunset

Tranquility

Ralph and Henri inspecting David Conover’s truck

Beautiful trails at Wallace Island

Beautiful trails at Wallace

Wallace Island yacht tribute

Anne and Henri

Someone left this hand carved gnome in the woods at Montague

Toga on mooring at Montague

Low tide at Montague

Montague Harbour beach

Ganges resident sentiment

A profound question

Artsy photo – Ganges

Pano of Russell Island

Russell Island Beach

Beach walk this morning

Lush and beautiful trails

Ready for Summer

Ready for Summer

Over the winter Ralph worked on many boat related projects while I was consulting as a Civil engineer.  We wrapped up everything at home and packed the car to the brim (it is still amazing to me what our CR-V can hold) and headed north on May 4.  There was barely room for Charlie!  

We met up with Jacob, visited and had lunch in Morro Bay.  It was so wonderful to see our son, as always.  Otherwise, the trip was uneventful and we arrived at the boatyard (in Richmond, BC – south of Vancouver) on the morning of May 7.  

We have had weather ranging from sunny and hot to cold and stormy since we have been here.  Ralph and I have been working on so many things to get the boat ready  to go, from heavy cleaning to engine work.  Now we are in the process of getting ready to leave our car behind and take off for the gulf islands.  We will get put back in the water on Saturday afternoon.  

This area is mostly agricultural and industrial, and we do enjoy hanging out here (although not specifically in the boat yard – it is dirty, sometimes loud and generally a place of non-stop work at this time of year).  The other day we were out grocery shopping and along the way picked up some strawberries that happened to be from California.  Then we saw a farm stand and bought some BC strawberries.  I was expecting there to be a great difference but the truth was that we couldn’t tell them apart.  Among other things, they grow blueberries and cranberries here.  

Of course we mix in lots of fun with our work.  I took a trip to Minnesota for my Dad’s wedding and got to spend some time with Amy and the rest of my family there.  We also celebrated my birthday last week with a sail aboard ArielX with our friends Anne and Henri.  Life is good!

Will update you once we are on the water!

Hardly any room for Charlie

Catching up with Jacob

Happy times!

With my best girl in Minneapolis

Took a break to attend Dad and Mary’s wedding!

Birthday lunch with Anne and Henri

Celebrated my birthday sailing aboard ArielX

Got the satellite radio installed

“Closed for the season”

“Closed for the season”

We put Toga to bed and left the boatyard on Sunday, October 18 heading east. We decided to take the long way home and head to Winnipeg (i.e. “Winterpeg”) and then head south to visit Minnesota, where my Dad now lives and Amy goes to law school at the U of M (Go fighting Mondales!).  We had a lovely drive across Canada Highway 1, the Banff area was particularly beautiful.  We noticed that there were some signs of winter – snow in the mountains, etc.  The title for this blog post comes from the signs we saw all along the way, everything was closed down! Campgrounds, Visitor’s Centers, etc.  Canada was getting ready for snow.

We crossed back into the United States in North Dakota and headed to the Twin Cities.  We had a really nice visit with my Dad and his fiancee, Mary, and, of course, our darling daughter, Amy.  We also got to visit some of my other relatives and an apple orchard! It was an all around good time.  We headed east from the Twin Cities and visited Mount Rushmore, staying a day ahead of snow forecasts, and the monument was very impressive.  The next day we visited Yellowstone, which has been a lifelong dream of mine – I was not disappointed.  I loved it!  Still, we were a day ahead of a predicted snow storm. We kept wondering if we had snow chains somewhere in our car.  Luckily, we didn’t need them.

After Yellowstone it was a race home, stopping in San Luis Obispo to visit our wonderful son, Jacob.  It was a fun 2-week long road trip, but we are glad to be back home in Redondo Beach for the winter.  I hope to see as many of you as possible while we are home.  Thanks for following along on our adventures!

Getting Toga winterized was a lot of work.

Getting Toga winterized was a lot of work.

Toga put to bed for the winter

Toga put to bed for the winter

Our sidekick, Charlie

Our sidekick, Charlie

Snowy Mountains

Snowy Mountains

Lake Louise, Banff

Lake Louise, Banff

Simple, Canadian rest stop - had the place all to ourselves!

Simple, Canadian rest stop – had the place all to ourselves!

World's largest Teepee. Medicine Hat, Alberta

World’s largest Teepee. Medicine Hat, Alberta

Quaint motel in Brandon, Manitoba (at least on the outside)

Quaint motel in Brandon, Manitoba (at least on the outside)

So happy to see our Amy

So happy to see our Amy

University of MN auditorium

University of MN auditorium

University of MN

University of MN

Apple tree at the orchard

Apple tree at the orchard

Beautiful fall colors

Beautiful fall colors

Dad and Mary

Dad and Mary

family photo!

family photo!

family photo!

family photo!

Minnesota cousins

Minnesota cousins

Mount Rushmore - quite impressive

Mount Rushmore – quite impressive

George in profile

George in profile

Snowy

Snowy

Snow threatening of the way to Yellowstone

Snow threatening of the way to Yellowstone

Little geysers everywhere

Little geysers everywhere

Lower Yellowstone Falls

Lower Yellowstone Falls

Upper Yellowstone Falls

Upper Yellowstone Falls

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The

The “artists paint pots” at Yellowstone – so amazing!

The

The “artists paint pots” at Yellowstone – so amazing!

Yellowstone herd of buffalo

Yellowstone herd of buffalo

Old Faithful doing it's thing!

Old Faithful doing it’s thing!

Morro Bay beach with Jacob

Morro Bay beach with Jacob – loved to see our boy!

End of Summer

End of Summer

The weather turned cool and rainy around the last time I made a blog post (3 weeks ago). Since the last time I posted we visited Grace Harbour, which was beautiful even in the rain. The day before we arrived there was a bear sighting, but we didn’t spot any. While we were there we met Bill, Paddy and Libby of Seastrand – we would take our dogs for shore leave on the same schedule and we visited each others boats.   When there was a break on the weather we headed out of Desolation Sound. We were heading to a port called Westview to re-provision and fill our water tanks, etc but when we got close enough to check on dock space they were full. We headed to the nearest other port, which was Van Anda on Texada Island. We were still a ways off when the engine RPMs started to go crazy. We shut down the engine and sailed even though there were only a few knots of wind. It turned out that the alternator arm snapped. Ralph was able to make a temporary repair to get us to the dock at Van Anda.

Once we got near the harbor we noticed that Seastrand was also headed to the same dock. We had a very nice happy hour that evening about Seastrand. The community around Van Anda was peaceful. Walking along the road, everyone waves at you while you are walking. It’s very sweet. We heard someone say that the island population is 600 people and 3,000 deer – that wouldn’t surprise me!

We stayed at the dock for three nights and then headed south again. Ralph was able to make a sturdier temporary repair to the engine and we felt comfortable heading out, with a good forecast for sailing weather. As things tend to go, the forecast wasn’t quite accurate and we got hardly any sailing in, but we made it to Pender Harbour where we stayed anchored for several days, again waiting out foul weather. While we were there we met some people from San Diego who had built a house there with a dock to keep their boat – it’s a great location for cruising.

Once again a weather window opened and we headed to Plumper Cove on Keats Island, which is in Howe Sound northwest of Vancouver. We stayed at the park dock for 4 days and enjoyed the lovely walks in the campground while the wind raged in Georgia Strait.

We left the dock early and headed to Vancouver, soon wet from a rain shower. We arrived and anchored in False Creek, which is in the heart of the City. It’s a little bit of shock at first with the water taxi’s racing by us many times a day, lots of boats coming and going, party boats making noise, boaters of all types getting their exercise, etc. We were anchored near the home of our friends Anne and Henri and have been able to meet up with them several times and enjoy their company. Soon after we arrived in town we picked up our car and went to take a look at the marina we had made arrangements with to keep the boat during the winter. Unfortunately for us there was a misunderstanding and it turns out they don’t have room for us there. For the last week we’ve been looking for moorage. There are a few options and we hope to have something settled soon. For now we are at a dock in the slip of a friend of Anne and Henri’s, which is comfortable for us. We recently went to visit Bill, Paddy and Libby at their house/farm and had a wonderful dinner.  Vancouver is a great city with great people and we are enjoying it.

Burrard St Bridge crossing Flase Creek

Burrard St Bridge crossing Flase Creek

Anchored in Vancouver with lots of activity around us

Anchored in Vancouver with lots of activity around us

Grace Harbour

Grace Harbour

Cloudy but no rain

Cloudy but no rain

It's apple season!

It’s apple season!

Dave's shed I guess

Dave’s shed I guess

Dock at Texada Island

Dock at Texada Island

Little pies were for sale right up from the marina - selling out of someone's house.  One blackberry and one apple.  Yum!

Little pies were for sale right up from the marina – selling out of someone’s house. One blackberry and one apple. Yum!

Pumper Cove Park dock

Pumper Cove Park dock

Leaving Desolation Sound

The beach at Plumper Cove

Sunset at Plumper Cove

Sunset at Plumper Cove

Heading to Vancouver in the rain and fog

Heading to Vancouver in the rain and fog

Point Atkinson

Point Atkinson

As we entered False Creek we noticed this boat on the beach.  Sad.

As we entered False Creek we noticed this boat on the beach. Sad.

Anchored with the lovely city in the background

Anchored with the lovely city in the background

Vancouver

Vancouver

Shore trips in the rain

Shore trips in the rain

Canadian Money - I think this is $15.35

Canadian Money – I think this is $15.35

Visiting with Bill, Paddy and Libby

Visiting with Bill, Paddy and Libby

Charlie makes himself at home

Charlie makes himself at home

A beautiful bridge - was until recently the widest in North America

A beautiful bridge – was until recently the widest in North America

At the dock in False Creek

At the dock in False Creek

The same beached boat, viewed from land.  I wonder how long it will be there?

The same beached boat, viewed from land. I wonder how long it will be there?