This is the time of year fog really starts setting in up north, especially the area we were in. It is not as bad once you get back down toward Desolation and toward home, but that is the way it is in August. But fog usually means not much wind, so there is an upside to it.
We left Bull Harbor on Saturday and went half way to Pt. Hardy and anchored with the Bryants in Port Elizabeth. No marina, just a real nice anchorage. The next morning Gar & I were going to go to Sointula on Malcolm Island and the Bryants were going to Pt. Hardy for a day to fuel up and to drop off their small boat and leave it at Gord’s place. As soon as we passed Pt. Hardy we were completely socked in by fog. Our radar is so good, and it was so calm, it picked up birds, kelp, logs and the occasional boat. The fog was starting to lift just a little bit in Sointula and by noon it was a beautiful day. The Bryants ended up coming to Sointula after a brief stop at Pt. Hardy instead of staying the night. That worked out great for us because they have satellite TV and we were able to watch the Seafair Hydroplane races from about 2:30 on. Caught the last of the Blue Angels, then everything else.
Dan and Denise Johnson have a really nice ‘cabin’ on Malcolm Island. They gave us one of their trucks to use while we were there so we could drive around the island, go to the grocery store, etc. We had a great steak dinner at their place Monday night. The deer in the area are so tame you can almost feed them by hand.
We left in heavy fog Tuesday morning for a 9 or 10 hour run down the Johnstones to the Campbell River area. We left at 6:30 and the Bryants left much later since they are so much faster than us. We were in heavy fog off and on for about 4 hours then it lifted and was a beautiful day. The straits were glassy calm the entire way! Yay! We went to Quadra Island and stayed on the dock at the private lodge, Gowlland Harbor Resort. Bill is good friends with the caretaker, Dave, and we know him from past fishing trips to Spider. There were some guests there so we didn’t get to spend too much time with Dave but got to walk all around the resort. It is really something! Beautiful lodge, cabins, mini-golf area, exercise room, sauna, hot tub, etc.
We left Gowlland Harbor at 6:30 Wednesday morning to make the 7 hour run to Nanaimo. The weather predictions were conflicting, but it wasn’t going to be any better the next few days and we were trying to meet up with Simon and Yvonne, so off we went. The rip tide out of Campbell River was interesting to say the least, but then we had good water until the Sisters Islands (a little more than half way). We then got into some not so fun water, pretty much the last 3 hours in 4 to 5 footers, with some closer to 6 footers. Gar trimmed out the boat just perfectly and we actually ran a little better in the water at a slightly higher speed than normal, so we made it to Nanaimo just around 2:00 with a fair amount of salt on the windows but nothing broken. Gar did a great job of getting us through the slop. At Nanaimo Bill and Simon were desperately trying to find us a spot at the Nanaimo Yacht Club reciprocity dock. Everything they tried wasn’t working out and then finally there was a spot for us. Yay!!!! Tied up, tired but happy.
After some down time and showers the six of us got in the dinghies and headed over to the Dinghy Pub Bar on Newcastle Island. The menu has changed so we were guessing maybe the ownership had changed. Simon was totally bummed that they no longer have beer battered halibut and chips. I had their new taco salad and would not recommend it. The flat bread pizzas that some of them ordered looked good. Then it was back to the boats and an early night.
So it is now Thursday morning – all quiet in Nanaimo. Bryants are leaving today to meet up with their kids and Sandpiper is going to Montague Harbor. We have not decided yet what we are doing – just going to play it all by ear.