Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound

We met Anne and Henri of Ariel X at Pender Harbour and spent the next 10 days getting an expert tour of the Desolation Sound Area and learning to use our prawn trap. After Anne and Henri went back to Vancouver we met up with Nancy and Phill of Forever Young and they showed us some of their favorite spots. For the last week we have been on our own, exploring more coves and bays. The last couple of days we have had some pretty severe weather but we are safely anchored, waiting for the storm to pass.

Now, for a little history: This area was named by English explorer Captain George Vancouver in 1792. He was tasked with surveying and charting the west coast from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Alaska. Although this area is extraordinarily beautiful, with soaring peaks, fjords and much wild life, George is quoted as saying “there was not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye” – the old beauty is in the eye of the beholder thing, I suppose. Vancouver died at 40 of an unspecified disease, but he must have been supremely depressed to come away from here with that impression.

This area is largely undeveloped, although very popular with boaters. One very odd thing is that the water in the area is much warmer than southern waters. While we have been here it has varied from low 60s to low 70s. We’ve done a lot of swimming here, and we are having such a great time. It is truly a gorgeous area. The photos can’t do it justice, but I’ll let them tell the story. We are planning to head south in a few days, working our way back to Vancouver to get read to put Toga away for winter.

Anchored at Tenedos Bay

Anchored at Tenedos Bay


Sunset at Squirrel Cove

Sunset at Squirrel Cove


Mussels grow on trees here

Mussels grow on trees here


Hiking at Roscoe Bay

Hiking at Roscoe Bay


Squirrel Cove sock

Squirrel Cove dock


Roscoe Bay entrance

Roscoe Bay entrance


Side tied with Forever Young at Lagoon Cove, Pendrell Sound

Side tied with Forever Young at Lagoon Cove, Pendrell Sound


Alfred Island sunset

Alfred Island sunset


Sad goodbyes

Sad goodbyes


Ralph and Henri - pals!

Ralph and Henri – pals!


Salmon at work

Salmon at work


Beautiful sailing

Beautiful sailing


Sailing VIsta

Sailing Vista


Melanie Cove

Melanie Cove


Deer at Melanie Cove

Deer at Melanie Cove


Low clouds

Low clouds


DInghy parking for Charlie's walk

Dinghy parking for Charlie’s walk


Outdoor chess game at Herriot Bay

Outdoor chess game at Herriot Bay


More vistas

More vistas


Rebecca Spit park

Rebecca Spit park


Von Donop inlet sunset

Von Donop inlet sunset


Beautiful, harmless jelly fish

Beautiful, harmless jelly fish


Many jellies

Many jellies


Anne and Charlie kayaking

Anne and Charlie kayaking


Delicious prawn feast

Delicious prawn feast


Catching prawns!

Catching prawns!


Bucket o'prawns

Bucket o’prawns


ArielX and Toga rafted together

ArielX and Toga rafted together


Caught one!

Caught one!


Desolation Sound views

Desolation Sound views


Entering Desolation Sound

Entering Desolation Sound


Hiking at Lagoon Cove, Pendrell Sound

Hiking at Lagoon Cove, Pendrell Sound


Hiking at Roscoe Bay

Hiking at Roscoe Bay

7 prawn

To the USA and back again

To the USA and back again

We left Madrona Bay at Saltspring Island after a rough couple of days of weather. Canada requires that we take the boat out of Canadian waters before 1 year passes. We had depleted ourselves of most food purposely, because the USA has a lot of rules about what you can bring across the border. We decided to go to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, which was about a 15-20 nautical mile trip.

We cleared customs over the phone with no problem thanks to the Nexus program, which Ralph and I applied for and were accepted into in May. That program enables us to call into customs rather than appear in person, which saves a lot of time and hassle. We called Roche Harbor marina to see if they had space for us at the docks and we were in luck! We tied up and had a really nice stay there for 4 days (we intended to stay for 2 days). Roche Harbor is party central! All three of us had fun (Charlie especially liked the dog park). Every evening they do a flag ceremony, which includes a canon salute for old glory and several anthems. They have nice restaurants and fresh seafood on the docks plus a great little market right in the marina. We loved it and will definitely go back someday. We were kind of bummed out that we didn’t buy Washington fishing licenses because everyone was catching so many crabs! We were jealous.

We decided to go to Friday Harbor next because it is the “big city” of the San Juan Islands (in fact, the only incorporated town) and we needed to do some big grocery shopping and get fuel for the boat. We loaded up with water and did laundry at Roche Harbor, so that was out of the way. When we got to Friday Harbor, the docks were packed so we just anchored in one of the coves there for the night. We discovered that the property rules in Washington are different than California in that a property owner seems to own the waterfront down to the low tide line, rather than the high tide line. So, we did some trespassing on the beach and got yelled at. But we did see some otters, so it was worth it. The next day we had heavy rain in the morning, but by afternoon the weather was great. We did one round of shopping by taking the dinghy in to town. The next day we stayed at the day moorage dock and did another 2 rounds of shopping (important to note that we have to carry everything we buy). We filled up our fuel and headed northward to Jones Island.

Jones Island is a truly picturesque and serene place. It is a small island with bays on the north and south. We anchored on the north side and it was dreamy: wonderful kayaking and quiet. There was a really nice trail and we saw several deer. The next day we headed northward again, this time to Sucia Island. Another gorgeous place to love! We stayed there and enjoyed the beauty for two days.

The next day it was time to reenter Canada. We called in to Canadian customs, and although the process was a little confusing, we are officially checked back in. We spent a night at Montague and then headed for Nanaimo via Dodd Narrows. We are now at the Nanaimo Yacht Club, which is great! We were able to do laundry, fill water, grocery shop, etc. Everything is pretty handy here. We are preparing to head back across the Strait of Georgia to Pender Harbour and then northward to Desolation Sound. We have wanted to go there for so long, we are very excited. We are meeting up with our friends Anne and Henri of ArielX, who can show us the ropes a little.

Cute name for this service

Cute name for this service

Roche Harbor glory

Roche Harbor glory

Gardens at Roche

Gardens at Roche

We miss you too!

We miss you too!

Some of the bounty on our dock

Some of the bounty on our dock

Island beauty

Island beauty

Rain at Friday Harbor

Rain at Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor is a busy place

Friday Harbor is a busy place

Jones Island, south side

Jones Island, south side

Approaching Jones Island, North side

Approaching Jones Island, North side

Jones island harbor

Jones island harbor

Sunset fro Jones Island

Sunset fro Jones Island

Kayaking buddies

Kayaking buddies

Sucia Island

Sucia Island

Breathtaking views from Sucia

Breathtaking views from Sucia

Underway

Underway

Nanaimo Yacht Club

Nanaimo Yacht Club

Delicious dinner

Delicious dinner

Prawns from Roche Harbor

Prawns from Roche Harbor

Charlie is on dish duty

Charlie is on dish duty

Anchored at James Island

Anchored at James Island

James Island deer

James Island deer

Sunset at Sucia, looking east

Sunset at Sucia, looking east

Sunset at Sucia, looking west

Sunset at Sucia, looking west

Sucia moon

Sucia moon

Made chile verde in the pressure cooker - it was great!

Made chile verde in the pressure cooker – it was great!

Moonrise at Montague

Moonrise at Montague

Gulf Islands Cruise, Part 2

Gulf Islands Cruise, Part 2

We left Port Browning marina on Monday and headed to Montague Harbour on Galliano Island, which I have written about before and is a favorite spot for many reasons. We were only able to sail a little bit, but we did see dolphins along the way – that is always a treat.

After anchoring we took a walk at the park and had a swim. The water is pretty cool in most of the bays, 63-64 degrees, so these are quick swims! Ralph calls them refreshing. On Tuesday it was Noah’s 16th birthday, so he and I went on an adventure that is famous in Montague Harbour, the pub bus to the Hummingbird Pub. The bus driver, Tommy, is a famous ex-bus driver from Vancouver who hands out percussion instruments as you board and everyone rocks out as we bump along. He stops to offer rides to anyone along the road and to point out things of interest (one thing is a very large meadow where a woman takes care of retired race horses).

The pub itself is nice enough, Noah and I shared nachos and had drinks (beer for me, a special fruit drink for him) and we watched the MLB all-star game on TV. It was a fun celebration and then we went back to the boat for spaghetti and birthday brownies.

On Wednesday we decided to check out Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island. Saltspring Island is the largest of the gulf islands and is home to lots of funkiness – artists and free spirits abound. The town of Fulford is really cute and we enjoyed anchoring there for a night. Thursday we headed to Russell Island, just about 1.5 miles away, which is a tiny island that is part of the Gulf Islands National Park reserve. At one time the island was privately owned and there is a historical home on the island. To walk around the island takes about 30 minutes and it covered with lovely trees and has beautiful vistas. We met Henri and Anne there from ArielX and two other Sceptres showed up in the small anchorage – we had a fun time socializing, kayaking and hiking. No swimming in this area – the water registered at 59 degrees! We have to draw the line somewhere.

We stayed at Russell Island for 2 nights; it really is at the top of our current list of favorites. On Saturday we went to Madrona Bay, which is near Ganges on Saltspring. Anne and Henri had given us some bait for our crab trap, so on Saturday morning we set it out. Sunday we hauled it up, only to find one crab on top of the trap (?) and one crab in the trap, which we had to release because it was a female. Oh well, hopefully next time! I shouldn’t forget to mention that we went to the fabulous Ganges market on Saturday, which is filled with work by the local artists, local foods and fresh fruits and veggies. We got ice cream.

This morning Charlie and I took Noah over to Ganges with the dinghy to he could catch his flight back to Vancouver. It was fun having a young person on board. Today it was so windy and choppy that when Charlie and I got back to the boat we were soaked! Such is boat life sometimes. We are planning to go to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island tomorrow (in Washington), so we’ve depleted our fresh food as much as possible (strange border crossing rules we have in the U.S.) We need to check out of Canada before we wear out our welcome.

Sunset at Montague

Sunset kayaking at Montague

Noah and I on the Pub Bus

Noah and I on the Pub Bus

A beautiful collage mural by local artists

A beautiful collage mural by local artists

Russell Island

Russell Island

One of the giant jellyfish around here

One of the giant jellyfish around here

My kayaking buddy

My kayaking buddy

Pizza party with Anne and Henri

Ralph and Noah squaring off at an old form of checkers

Ralph and Noah squaring off at an old form of checkers

Panorama from Russell Island views

Panorama from Russell Island views

Russell Island sunset

Russell Island sunset

Catching crabs - this is a girl so she gets thrown back

Catching crabs – this is a girl so she gets thrown back

Noah taking off from Gnges

Noah taking off from Ganges

Learning how to drive

Learning how to drive

Sunset at Montague

Sunset at Montague

Resting during our hike at Montague Park

Resting during our hike at Montague Park

Beach dog taking a break

Beach dog taking a break

Brave Noah jumping in

Brave Noah jumping in

Pub bus fun

Pub bus fun

Toasting his 16th!

Toasting his 16th!

Noah and Tommy Transit, the famous pub bus driver

Noah and Tommy Transit, the famous pub bus driver

Birthday brownies

Birthday brownies

Noah giving the thumbs up to classic Johns family cuisine, the spaghetti burrito

Noah giving the thumbs up to classic Johns family cuisine, the spaghetti burrito

Apples growing on Russell Island

Apples growing on Russell Island

Russell Island - dog and boy friendly

Russell Island – dog and boy friendly

Crab trap ready!

Crab trap ready!

Crab trap down - this is what you see from the surface

Crab trap down – this is what you see from the surface

Gulf Islands Cruise

Gulf Islands Cruise

We left Vancouver Rowing club on Tuesday as the tide was rising (we had a small issue with low tide upon entering) and headed across the Strait of Georgia toward Porlier Pass.  We had a light southeast wind and had a really peasant sail across the Strait.  The pass was calm, as we went through at about slack tide.  We decided to try to anchor at Clam Bay, but it was crowded and there wasn’t really a good place to take Charlie ashore.  So we decided to head for Preedy Harbour, a familiar place with a nice dock and warm water.

We had a calm night at anchor and the next day we decided to take a long walk and see both marinas that were close by:  we walked to Telegraph Harbour and looked at Telegraph Harbour Marina, which was really quaint and homey, and Thetis Island Marina, which had a nice pub.  We spotted a farm market neat Telegraph Harbour Marina and went in to find that it was based on the honour (nod to our Canadian friends) system. Can you imagine? Meats, fruits and veggies, fresh baked goods – it was amazing! We ended up picking out a zucchini for dinner, some tomatoes and some cherries.  The cherries were the best I’ve had in a long time. We had another peaceful night at Preedy Harbour(warm, swimming water temp).

The next day we headed to Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island, and anchored; Noah arrived by seaplane in the afternoon.  We did some provisioning at the great market at Ganges and headed out the next day.  Our first stop was Bedwell Harbour at South Pender Island.  We picked up a mooring at the provincial park – what a lovely place.  Noah and I took the dinghy out with Charlie and explored the beach and a little bit of the campground, and we also kayaked around the bay.  We took the dinghy over to Poet’s Cove resort and rubbed elbows – a very nice place.   We had a very calm night at anchor.

The next morning, Noah and I decided to take the kayaks out and had a lovely paddle around with Charlie.  He likes to sit on the bow of my kayak.  We decided we would go to Port Browning, which was about a 7 mile trip.  We had a nice motor/light sail and arrived at the lovely harbor. We anchored and had a fun afternoon and evening, filled with games and popcorn (it was raining).  Our night at anchor was peaceful.  This morning we decided to try to get a spot at the dock at the marina in Port Browning, as several household chores were piling up (grocery shopping, trash, recycling, etc). The marina is really comfortable, and has a pub, cafe, store and a grocery sore within easy walking distance.  Tonight we are barbequing steaks and relaxing at the dock, having fun with Noah.  He swam in the marina pool and we’ve enjoyed warm showers. Life is grand!

Self-serve farm market! This place was amazing.

Self-serve farm market! This place was amazing.

Treats from the farm market

Treats from the farm market

Dock at Port Browning

Dock at Port Browning

Noah getting dinghy driving lessons.

Noah getting dinghy driving lessons.

Pender Island plums

Pender Island plums

Noah Kayaking

Noah Kayaking

Dominoes - rainy day activities

Dominoes – rainy day activities

Ralph gave me a haircut - much easier to manage

Ralph gave me a haircut – much easier to manage

Celebrating crossing the Strait

Celebrating crossing the Strait

Noah swimming at the Port Browning pool

Noah swimming at the Port Browning pool

Port Browning

Port Browning

Port Browning

Port Browning

Noah kayaking in the rain at Port Browning

Noah kayaking in the rain at Port Browning

Crew on watch

Crew on watch

Noah testing out the PNW waters

Noah testing out the PNW waters

Noah arriving at Ganges Harbour

Noah arriving at Ganges Harbour

Noah arriving at

Noah arriving at Ganges Harbour

Telegraph Harbour marina bostro

Telegraph Harbour marina bistro

Beach at Preedy Harbour

Beach at Preedy Harbour

Vancouver and Canada Day

Vancouver and Canada Day

We reluctantly left Montague Harbour and headed north to Thetis Island, Preedy Harbour.  We were basically the only boat anchored there, the other two were derelicts.  It was a really hot day and after getting the anchor set we jumped in for a swim – the water was a refreshing and comfortable 72 degrees!  We had a nice evening but got up early the next morning as we were heading for the Gabrioa Island Pass and needed to arrive at the right time to pass through with relatively little current.  We got through the pass fine, although we hit a log right beforehand – there are a lot of runaway logs up here.  No damage done.

We decided to spend the night in a little cove called Dog Fish, right outside of the pass.  We set the anchor in lovely conditions – warm, light wind.  We had lunch and took a dinghy trip to the beach, where a family of geese was having a battle of wills with a racoon.  We waded and Charlie swam and ran on the beach – he was in heaven! When the evening came the wind picked up and tossed us around a bit during the night.  Our anchor was holding so there wasn’t any danger, but it was a bit uncomfortable.  I have to admit that I hadn’t checked the weather.  It had been so calm and warm, I just didn’t think about it.  The next morning we needed to cross the Strait of Georgia to get to Vancouver and meet up with Amy and Michelle.  We set out at about 9 am and had 20-30 knots of wind during our crossing – it was a little rough and challenging, but the crew managed splendidly.

We’ve been staying the last several days at Vancouver Rowing Club in Coal Harbour, which is in downtown Vancouver.  It’s a great spot, right next to Stanley Park.  We arrived on Canada Day, July 1st, and we met up with Michelle and Amy a little while later.  They had been on a week-long road trip that culminated in a Vancouver visit.  We celebrated Canada Day by having  BBQ with our Vancouver friends and enjoying the fireworks over the bay – felt just like the 4th!

We had a great visit with Amy and MIchelle, did some touring of the City.  Yesterday morning I drove them down to Bellingham to fly home – a short but sweet visit.  Now Ralph and I are preparing to cross the Strait again tomorrow and head back to the islands.  My nephew Noah will arrive in a few days for a 10-day cruise! We are excited to have him.

1st of July (aka Canada Day) fireworks

1st of July (aka Canada Day) fireworks

Smoke on the water - forest fires raging in BC

Smoke on the water – forest fires raging in BC

Fun dinners on board!

Fun dinners on board!

Love this

Love this

Got to check "photo with a Mountie" off the list!

Got to check “photo with a Mountie” off the list!

Had delicious fish & chips in Steveston

Had delicious fish & chips in Steveston

Dock at Vancouver Rowing Club

Dock at Vancouver Rowing Club

Charlie swimming at Dog Fish

Charlie swimming at Dog Fish

Toga ancohred at Dog Fish

Toga anchored at Dog Fish

Moonshine at Preedy Harbour

Moonshine at Preedy Harbour

Anchored at Preedy Harbour

Anchored at Preedy Harbour

Spotted an eagle at Princess Harbour

Spotted an eagle at Princess Harbour

Hazy sky filled with ash clouds

Hazy sky filled with ash clouds

Granville Island wonderfulness

Granville Island wonderfulness

Amy & Michelle trying on Canada hats for me

Amy & Michelle trying on Canada hats for me

Hanging out on board, playing Trivial Persuit

Hanging out on board, playing Trivial Pursuit

Moonrise over Vancouver

Moonrise over Vancouver

Going to a party by boat!

Going to a party by boat!

Beach at low tide - Dog Fish

Beach at low tide – Dog Fish

Summer is here!

On Thursday, June 25th, we were launched from dry-dock and into the Fraser River. We were so excited to get back in the water! Once we made sure there were no leaks and the engine ran, we took off from the lift slip and into the River, headed west towards the Strait of Georgia. We were chugging along for about 10 minutes when the engine died. Uh Oh. And when we tried to restart it, we couldn’t get it going right away. Ever calm and resourceful, Ralph started getting the sails hoisted while I took over steering and helping raise the sails. I was trying not to panic – I hope I was hiding it well.

We got the sails up and got under control before we ran aground or into anything. Luckily there were no other boats in the area at the time. There was also current carrying us down the river, which, again luckily, was the way we wanted to go. The wind was light and variable but we were able to sail. Ralph went down below to look at the engine and came up a little while later and the engine started up. Whew! There was probably air in the fuel lines after sitting for so long and we should have ran the engine longer before taking off – lesson learned!

We traveled the distance to the mouth of the river without incident and headed toward Active Pass, about 14 nm away. The wind was on the nose, so we motor-sailed over. The pass was very quiet and lovely, and soon we were at our destination – Montague Harbour at Galliano Island.   It seems like most boaters we see here stay only about a day in each location but we like to take it a little easier, so we are still here at Montague. This place has it all – a provincial park, a little store and restaurant, lots of anchoring space; we love it. It’s been really hot, but has cooled off today and we’re having light rain. We’ve been hiking, swimming, kayaking, etc – generally having a great time!

Charlie loves being on the boat and has adjusted really well. He loves to ride in the dinghy and on the kayaks. We are having fun with him. We will be in the Gulf Islands for a few more days before we head back to Vancouver. Amy and her friend Michelle are visiting for a couple of days. We will be in town for Canada Day, which is July 1st (Canada’s birthday celebration). Should be fun!

Painting get-up

Must stir ablative anti-fouling paint FOREVER

Hard at work

That’s Ralph – We each painted half the boat bottom

Travel lift taking Toga back to the water

On the River!

On the river!

IMG_4265

Montague Harbour – Restaurant and store

Charlie and I getting ready to kayak

IMG_4299

Got this local turnip from the store – really sweet and delicious

IMG_4300

The Canada Geese come around to each other boats in the evening looking for handouts.

IMG_4309

Days are long here – this photo was taken at 9:40 pm last night

IMG_4313

Coming through Active Pass

This was taken just after our arrival – Charlie is anxious to get ashore! (Photo Credit: Anne Brumwell)

On the way to shore! (Photo credit AB)

Toga glistening in the sun with waxed topsides and new paint (although you can barely see the paint). (Photo credit AB)

Getting the dinghy ready to go! (Photo credit AB)

A trip home

A trip home

We’ve been away from the boat yard for almost two weeks.  We started our time by attending the Sceptre rendezvous on Vancouver Island (in Mill Bay, which is near Victoria). It was such a great time with our friends and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  I participated in my first sailboat race, which I really liked.  The winds were very light, so it was pretty mellow.  We came in 3rd! Also, our team won the dinghy rally – woo hoo! Mill Bay is lovely and we stayed at an apartment through Airbnb that was so comfortable and beautiful. It was a great weekend.

We took the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles and then started the drive home.  It was pleasant drive and we had a nice time. We picked up Jacob in San Luis Obispo and got to spend a little time with him before we headed to San Diego for Amy’s graduation. We all enjoyed the commencement and are so proud of Amy.

Tomorrow we are leaving to drive back to the Pacific Northwest – we are getting good at this route. Hope to be back in the water soon!

Charlie and I racing - although slowly

Charlie and I racing – although slowly

On the road

On the road

View from our BnB

View from our BnB

Beautiful Goldstream Park

Beautiful Goldstream Park

Victoria

Victoria

Victoria - we stopped in to see our friends Dick and Sue who were at the docks there

Victoria – we stopped in to see our friends Dick and Sue who were at the docks there

Sceptre racing - Ralph crewed aboard Forever Young

Sceptre racing – Ralph crewed aboard Forever Young

Grants Pass brewery

Grants Pass brewery

Charlie and his boy Jacob

Charlie and his boy Jacob

Heading to UCSD

Heading to UCSD

Amy graduating from UCSD

Amy graduates from UCSD – heading to Law School!

Proud family

Proud family

Life in the boat yard

Life in the boat yard

We are finishing up here in the boat yard, getting ready to go (via car) to the Scepre rendezvous on Vancouver Island and then back home for a short visit for Amy’s graduation.  Things have been moving along slowly here and we have been combining work with fun, as usual.

We’ve completed many tasks, including: replacing the bilge pump, repairing the refrigeration, getting keel bolts tightened, repairing windlass, prepping the bottom for painting, cleaning and waxing the topsides, de-winterizing our systems, and many other things (including a lot of cleaning).  Among the fun things we’ve been up to: visiting several parks with Charlie, taking the ferry to Bowen Island, visiting Steveston Village, and sailing/dining with our friends.  We will be very happy to be back on the water but we haven’t been suffering here!

Fun on the ferry

Fun on the ferry


Evidence I have worked - paint all over me

Evidence I have worked – paint all over me


Our pals, Anne and Henri

Our pals, Anne and Henri


Fun on ArielX (photo credit - Anne Brumwell)

Fun on ArielX (photo credit – Anne Brumwell)


Gorgeous sunset

Gorgeous sunset


Beautiful downtown Vancouver

Beautiful downtown Vancouver


Dogs at the dinner table - OK on the patio of RVYC (photo credit AB)

Dogs at the dinner table – OK on the patio of RVYC (photo credit AB)


Love birds :) (photo credit - AB)

Love birds 🙂 (photo credit – AB)


Fun at the yacht club (photo credit AB)

Fun at the yacht club (photo credit AB)


Ralph at the helm of ArielX (photo credit AB)

Ralph at the helm of ArielX (photo credit AB)


Charlie is pretty comfortable aboard (photo credit AB)

Charlie is pretty comfortable aboard (photo credit AB)


Rainbows but no rain ok, maybe a few sprinkles)

Rainbows but no rain ok, maybe a few sprinkles)


Beautiful evening sail (photo credit - Anne Brumwell)

Beautiful evening sail (photo credit – Anne Brumwell)

Back at it

Back at it

Hello from beautiful British Columbia! Spring is in full swing here in Shelter Island Boat Yard. There are a lot of boats here and a lot of work is happening to prepare them for getting back in the water. The boat yard is next to the Fraser River, which is quite lovely. Lots of spring flowers around and birds galore. The Canada geese have their young and it is fun to watch them.

Work cut out for us

Work cut out for us

Canada Geese and Goslings

Canada Geese and Goslings

View of the boatyard from Toga

View of the boatyard from Toga

Fraser River from Toga

Fraser River from Toga

We’ve been back in Canada for almost two weeks. Aside from learning how to live on a boat again, we have been stowing, cleaning, scraping, organizing, fixing, mending and washing. We have several important things to complete before we go back in the water, but we are hoping to do so in about a week.

Ralph and Charlie fixing things

Ralph and Charlie fixing things

This is me working on the water system

This is me working on the water system

We have a new crew member to introduce. Charlie is a cocker spaniel mix (most likely) and he has come aboard as chief security officer, constant companion and bird watcher. Charlie was his name before we acquired him, so I do apologize to our friends and relatives of the same name/derivative. So far Charlie is adapting really well to boat life and we think he will love it when we are on the water.

Charlie

Charlie

Charlie's bunk

Charlie’s bunk

There is so much to do here, but we are also good at relaxing and having fun. We took a trip to Point Roberts, WA recently and have visited some great off-leash dog parks in the area. Unfortunately, we have both had to deal with colds but we are making the best of our time.

We visited Point Roberts, WA- a lovely town and seaside community - spring flowers in bloom

We visited Point Roberts, WA- a lovely town and seaside community – spring flowers in bloom

Point Roberts is in an interesting location

Point Roberts is in an interesting location

The other day a boat sunk at the dock here in the river.  Apparently, the new owner had brought it here just a few days ago.  They have not had success pulling it up yet.

This vessel sunk while at the dock

This vessel sunk while at the dock

Crane sent to haul up boat

Crane sent to haul up boat

That’s about it for now. I wanted to update you and let you know that we are back in Canada. The next post will be after we are back in the water unless something interesting happens in the meantime.  Here is a map of where we re now:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zhEzTN6BSc3A.kqWlXmcmqQbc

Redondo Beach, CA – Home

Redondo Beach, CA – Home

We left Vancouver in the rain on Friday, Oct 17 in our rented Hundai Santa Fe, which we practically filled with stuff. We had spent the day getting wet and cold while tying on tarps to cover the boat, the idea being to protect it from the flocks of ducks and geese in the nearby Fraser River as well as to protect against water intrusion. It was difficult to leave Toga there in the boat yard, looking lonely – especially for Ralph.

Goodbye gathering with our Vancouver friends, Anne and Henri

Goodbye gathering with our Vancouver friends, Anne and Henri

Have a good rest, Toga!

Have a good rest, Toga!

We headed south and had no trouble crossing the border, except that my tomatoes and half of a lime got confiscated. Strange rules we have regarding produce. We picked the worst time to travel through Seattle and hit all of the traffic on our way to Matt and Hilda’s house outside of Tacoma. We were greeted with a wonderful home cooked meal and lots of libations. We spent two nights there visiting our family and we got to celebrate brother West’s birthday. We took a trip to the Defiance Point zoo – what a wonderful little place! We had nice weather and only a little rain.

Brother West's birthday

Brother West’s birthday

Penguins!

Penguins!

On Sunday we took off early, drove all day and stayed in Redding, CA. Not much to report there. Monday we headed for Santa Cruz where we stayed with my Aunt Annette and Cousins Danna, Keith, Madi and Kohl. We even got to crash another birthday party (Madi’s 20th)! It was a very nice time, even though it was short.

My pal and cousin Danna

My pal and cousin Danna

Beautiful Santa Cruz beaches

Beautiful Santa Cruz beaches

On Tuesday we drove to San Luis Obispo and got to see our son, Jacob, who attends Cal Poly. It was wonderful to see him and we did the typical parent visit of grocery/essentials shopping and out to lunch. Ralph and I love Jacob’s dog, Charlie, and we convinced him to come with us and visit for a while. So, with Charlie in tow, we headed home.

Our friend Charlie

Our friend Charlie

Welcome back to LA!

Welcome back to LA!

We are slowly acclimating to the comforts of being at home. It has been wonderful to see all of our loved ones! We have a long list of things to do to get ready for the sailing season next year and plenty of house projects to keep us busy as well. I am going to try to get a little consulting work this winter, so we’ll see how that goes. Thanks to all of you for following along on the first part of our adventure! It’s been great to stay connected this way. Hope to see all of you soon.