Mar and Gar's Adventures

Just another weblog


Picture This

Yesterday I was unable to upload any pictures so will try today with a better signal.  I took a few pictures while in Pender Harbor and some while in Montague.

Hummingbird Pub Bus

Right now we are sitting in the Westview Harbor Marina… very cloudy and windy today.  Yesterday was lots of rain but now wind.

We had a great dinner last night at a place called Snickers.  Their sign said Steakhouse and Pizza, but we both had Greek food and it was really good.  A pod of orcas came through just off the marina as we were eating dinner.  At least one was a baby.

This came by us at Pender Harbor. They asked for martinis.

We are hoping the alternator problem is better.  Something about a black wire.  Anyway, it works good in the marina.  Fingers crossed that it works on the water!

What is left of Wally’s dock and boathouse.



Well, Ah Do Declah, Miss Scarlet!

Strong reminder.   Be sure to declare everything when clearing customs in Canada.  We cleared at Bedwell Harbour this year and there were a couple of nice (cute, too!) Customs officers inspecting the boat across the dock from us.  Then they decided to come visit our boat.  In addition to our allowed alcohol we had not declared a partial box of wine, the triple sec (I always forget it is alcohol), 2 ears of corn, a few potatoes.   But it was enough that they decided to go through the whole boat – for 1 ½ hours.  We got a ‘serious verbal warning’ to just simplify things for us and them to declare everything, even if it is not allowed.   And they nicely let us keep our extra..


This was on Tuesday afternoon.  It was getting late and we had decided to skip Ganges and go to Montague Harbour – a first for us.  The Straits of Georgia looked like they would be fairly good for crossing on Wednesday and from Montague it is a short run to Porlier Pass and into the straits.   We have heard about a fun touristy activity in Montague so decided to try it out.   You ride in an old bus called the Hummingbird Bus to the Hummingbird Pub and Inn, eat a ride back.  The bus trip is what we have heard so much about but the 1940’s or older original bus had been retired and the bus driver was a substitute so some of the singing and other stuff never happened.  But the food at the pub was great so we were happy with the adventure.


We left Wednesday morning just after 5:00 a.m. to cross the straits to Pender Harbor and meet up with friends Simon and Yvonne on the Sandpiper.  The crossing was not the best but definitely not the worse we have ever had.  I ran the boat the whole way with an occasional surfing on a wave.   I would not have wanted to be going the other way.  We got across with nothing breaking and no splashing on the railings or windows.  That is always a plus!


Pulling into Pender Harbor we cruised by our friend Wally’s house and dock.  It is so sad to see.  Wally is up there in years and this is their summer home.  It really needs some work and his dock is almost gone and it looked like his boathouse had sunk.  We have many happy memories of staying on his dock and spending time with him and his family up on their deck.


We rafted off of Sandpiper in the back bay about 10:30 a.m.  All of plans on what we were going to do went by the wayside because our new alternator quit working on the way across so we spent a lot of time on the phone with people trying to figure out what is going wrong and what to do.   I found an electrical place in Westview/Powell River which is about 2 to 3 hours by boat from where we are in Pender.  They said they could rebuild them so the plan was to go there Thursday.


Which brings us to now.  We left Pender Harbor at 7:00 this morning and had a nice ride to Westview Harbor Marina.  Gar took the alternators down the road and they were tested and surprise, surprise, they are both fine!   So, that means it is something electrical in the boat.  We just had lunch and Gar is back in the engine room working on trying to figure everything out.   He decided that since he saved money by not needing the have the alternators rebuilt that we would go to dinner tonight.  Yay!  That is always nice!


To any of you fellow boaters, Westview has done a major overhaul.  They added to the breakwater on the south side and added more transient moorage.   They also completely remodeled the permanent north part of the marina.  The service here is super friendly and accommodating.  We had not been here in over 15 years so this is a nice surprise.


Anyway – all things going to plan, we will leave in the morning for Desolation Sound.  More to post then, I am sure!

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Perfect (Almost) Day One

Day One of our trip could not have gone better if I had planned it.  Oh, wait!  I DID plan it!  Well, Garry picked the day to leave and that helped.  But my proposed departure time to use favorable currents was perfect.   We pulled out of our slip at 9:32 a.m. right at slack tide.  The tide had changed 10 minutes earlier so we ran with the tides and currents almost all day.   Bill Lande, in Another Bill, traveled along with us.  He was towing his 17 footer so he didn’t mind going our slow speed.   The Straits of Juan de Fuca were so calm, with only about a 2 to 5 knot wind and no swells.  I don’t remember a crossing with no swells, but we hit the straits at slack tide so it was perfect.  We pulled into Garrison Bay on San Juan Island at 5:45.  


Now comes the only bad part of the trip.   We had noticed our port engine alternator was not alternating at the right voltage.  That was the one that we had to replace last year on day one of vacation.  Well, when we were attempting to dock, we lost the port engine and had to do a ‘go round’.  I started the generator and we were able to dock just fine.   In retrospect we think the alternator had not been right for awhile but we ignored the symptoms.   We are staying on a friends dock, so Garry & Bill borrowed his truck and are in Friday Harbor now getting us a new alternator.  Strangely, Bill had an alternator problem yesterday too, but he figured his out and does not need to buy a new one. 


The wind picked up as soon as we docked and we had a little shower, but then the night settled beautifully.  Bill’s wife Jan won’t be coming up to Garrison til Friday but she send a wonderful casserole for our dinner and Gar grilled yummy corn on the cob so we had a great first night.


We are talking about clearing customs today and getting an early start across the Straits of Georgia Wednesday morning.  It is suppose to be fairly decent in the morning and not as good on Thursday or Friday so we want to get across.  This coming weekend is Canada Day weekend so there will be lots of boats out and we want to get somewhere away from towns and get a good anchorage somewhere for the weekend.


Crunch Time is Here!

It’s that time of year again… a million gazillion things to do before we leave on our summer boating trip.  It’s definitely crunch time.  We are leaving Monday morning, June 25th, around 9:30 a.m.   The last few weeks have been crazy with all the normal things that go on, and then you top it off with boat repairs, boat  packing, food planning, bill paying, stopping the mail, stopping the garbage… the list is endless!

It’s interesting to see the differences in how Garry and I get ready for trips with the boat trip a prime example.  I understand it may not just be us, but it may be more of a gender trait issue.   I tend to want to make lists and plan way in advance so I can sit back and be ready to go.  And if there is a major glitch in my planning, then there is time to regroup and go to plan B.   Gar is more of a “I have lots of time” guy and then the crunch time gets pretty frantic.   We had a friendly discussion about this last week and things have gone fairly smoothly since then, if you catch my drift.   A prime example was the dinghy motor.  Last year we had some issues with it but did not do anything all winter.   It took 2 days to finally decide it was not going to be worth wasting any more time on it this year so now we have the old motor back on.   But it runs fine so all is good.  It just is not a 50 h.p. motor so any racing challenges that Gar has already made may not end the way he would like!

Our plan is to be gone until mid-August.  As usual we will meet up from time to time with boating friends – especially from our good old Des Moines Yacht Club.   I will be posting to the Blog whenever I can.   I don’t know if you remember when I posted in March at the Nascar race about borrowing a little doo-hickey for my computer so I could have internet wherever there was a Verizon signal.   Well, I bought myself one of those doo-hickeys so I will have some internet in places I have not had them before, but it still won’t be all the time since we don’t have phone signal everywhere, but it will be an improvement.    I just have to be careful using the nifty little device when in Canada as there are pretty steep roaming charges.   If we are where there is free wifi, I will use that instead.

Somebody asked my yesterday why we go to Canada every year and specifically why we go to that part of Canada.   Well, it was pretty easy to explain – at least for me.   It is some of the most gorgeous country you could ever see.   We go to fairly remote areas so we see few people and few boats and hardly a home.  There is the occasional little marina and some areas with some cabins or homes on floats but there are no roads to get to most of the places.  It is all via float plane, water taxi or personal boat.  We have met some wonderful people while boating up north (and some not so wonderful!) which is all part of the adventure.  It is peaceful, relaxing and your mind can just turn off and not worry so much about the stock market, the economy, the elections.

Being gone so long you do miss family and friends back home.  Birthdays, anniversaries, bbqs – all that good stuff.   Plus we always worry a bit about our moms while we are gone.  They both are doing great but it just kinda sits in the back of your mind.   And of course, the past several months I have been stockpiling my “Grandma Time”  with Natalie.  I cannot begin to imagine how much she will change while we are gone.  I just hope she remembers me and wants “Grandma Time” again this fall!

So, here I am, pretty organized, so I have enough time to post this!  Just the last laundry to do tonight and last minute clean the food out of the fridge…  I hope you read the blog from time to time.   I love comments from people after they had read something that they enjoyed.