Belated Journey Notes
I have been unusually lazy this year about starting to write about this summer’s boat trip. Whenever I think I should do something I seem to just nod off into a nap. Here it is Saturday, July 2nd and I am just starting. Aren’t vacations fun?
We left Des Moines on Monday the 27 right on schedule – 5:05 a.m. All was good. I started out with an early morning nap around 6:30 when Garry woke me and said we had a problem. Our “new used” radar had already quit working. We had been debating on taking along with us the other “new used” radar but had decided to leave it at home. A quick decision was made to pull into Shilshole Marina before we passed it by and figure out how to get the other one from home. The easiest way was for Garry to take a taxi home and back. $100 and two hours later we were back under way. Then the weirdest thing happened. The radar started working and worked every day since. Oh, well, having a back-up is not a bad thing.
Day 1 was a long one – a total of 15 hours. Our route this year was the east side of Whidbey Island, crossing under the beautiful Deception Pass bridge, crossing Rosario Strait and Haro Strait and then clearing Canadian Customs at Bedwell Harbor at 6:45 at night. We thought about staying there for the night at Poet’s Cove Marina but it was a beautiful day, calm water and Mantague Marine Park was beckoning. We made it there in just over an hour and were on the dock at Montague by 8:00. We feasted on a fine dinner of Costco polish dogs and hit the sack.
Day 2 started again at 5:05 a.m. We got to Porlier Pass in an hour ready to head out on the Straits of Georgia. From Porlier it is approximately 38 miles to what we hope is protected water at the south end of Texada Island. We have had better and worse crossings over the many years of doing ‘the Georgia’s”. The worse we got in was 20 knot winds and steady 4 foot waves. About half way across it settled to about 15 knots and 3 footers, then continued to lessen as we headed north. We reached our destination of Westview Harbor Marina by Powell River by 1:00 p.m., fueled up, got a slip assignment and then headed to Safeway to stock up on things we can’t take across the border like fruit, veggies, alcohol, etc. Fuel prices are down this year and the exchange rate is in our favor. That doesn’t mean things are cheap at all, but they are certainly better. Our favorite saying when we buy something and we see the price is “but that is Canadian”.
Day 3 started out later than normal! We didn’t leave until 7:45 a.m!! Bonus sleep in minutes!! We were originally going to head to Ramsay Arm but found out Simon and Yvonne on Sandpiper were in Squirrel Cove which was just a few hours away. We did some fishing at what we call “Roger’s Fishing Hole” and caught a nice red snapper and lost two really nice long cod. The largest one was on the swim step and as Garry was getting ready to gaf it the fish bit through the line and got away. Not only was Garry sad to lose the fish it took with him the lucky MacDeep fishing lure. Dang!
We met up with Sandpiper around noon on Wednesday and were able to catch up on things. They have been gone since about the 15th from their home port of Port Orchard. We both took our dinghy’s to the Squirrel Cove dock to check out their store and gift shop. I bought an interesting book called High Slack, by Judith Williams. It is the story of Waddington’s Gold Road and the Bute Inlet Massacre of 1864. It is pretty interesting reading and I am learning a lot about places that we boat to and through. One thing I learned right away from the book is how the petroglyphs that we see were made. The First Nation bands used red oxide bound with salmon eggs which became an adhesive when mixed with saliva. Calcite or silicate released in small amounts from rain over time which fixed the images and slowed the growth of lichen so the figures would be visible.
We are currently in Ramsay Arm and have been here since Thursday. For years we had always been the only boat here but recent trips there have been other boats from time to time. When we got here this year there was a sailboat anchored in almost exactly our spot. There are few good anchorages in Ramsay Arm so after much scouting we were able to find a good spot, but not too close to the other boat to bother each other. Sandpiper is also here with us. Friday morning was wet and drizzly but not cold. I had seen a small-ish metal boat arrive over by where we clam and wondered what it was but it didn’t stick around long. We went over to clam and get oysters and to much surprise found out the boat had been a water taxi from Campbell River dropping off 5 people who were going to camp for several days. Three men and two women in their 40s or 50s had saws, shotguns, camping gear. They warned us not to worry if we heard gunshots Friday night because they would be celebrating Canada Day. They must have had an early night because we never heard anything. Also on Friday another boat came in, dropped prawn pots across the way and left. It came back Friday night and tied up in a strange place. It looked like there was a small part of the old logging camp still anchored and floating. They tied to it and ran a stern line to shore.
We have had really nice weather except of the one day of rain on Friday. We have a clams, oysters and some fish. Simon caught a nice ling cod yesterday. We got about 30 prawns today. We don’t expect many right now because the commercial season just ended so there just aren’t many down there looking to hop into our traps.