Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Sunny in Westview

We have been blessed with great weather and water so far. It is guaranteed to not always be that way so when we get it we truly are grateful. It can be a matter of a day or two that can make all the difference in the world.

We left Ganges Monday morning for the short three hour cruise to Silva Bay on Gabriola Island. When we were in Silva Bay last August there were protests about the government plan to start anchoring large freighters on the west side of the island as overflow for ships going to the Port of Vancouver. Well, it looks like they didn’t win their fight. There were 5 large freighters anchored in Trincomali Channel near Porlier passage. There is great concern about potential damage to fish runs and the local residents are continuing to voice their concerns.

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Freighters anchored

I was looking forward to going out to dinner at Silva Bay but the restaurant is under new management and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And the little morning coffee stand isn’t opened much yet. Everything starts to pick up starting this weekend with the upcoming Canada Day celebration on Saturday and the holiday Monday.
Tuesday morning the weather reports indicated a pretty good crossing of the Straits of Georgia starting around noon so we did some chores and then some waiting. Around 10:00 I looked over at the entrance and saw a large and pretty new power boat hard aground on the rocks at the harbor entrance. It was a beautiful Mainship, at least 40′ long. It had been moored near us the night before. If you don’t read the charts and books carefully it is easy to misjudge the two markers that you go around. The captain of this boat decided he was to go between them, not around. When we left at noon the only thing keeping it from going over was a huge long rope tied to shore. The tide still had 3 more hours to go out when we passed it. I wonder how much damage was done. This is the 2nd grounding we have seen there in 4 years. No wonder they named the rock Shipyard Rock. The local Shipyard gets lots of business!

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Hard aground

We timed our crossing of the Straits of Georgia perfectly. The most wind we had was about 12 knots and occasional 2′ waves, but mostly 1 footers. We did have to deviate from our planned course because military activity area Whiskey Golf was active. That is where the Canadian Navy does practice torpedo stuff. The Coast Guard and Navy were busy chasing off boats (all sailboats on this particular day) who had not paid attention to the multiple ways to check on the radio about Whiskey Golf. Trust me, you do not want a helicopter hovering over you and a big gray Navy ship heading your way!!!  By the time we were getting close to Texada Island we were in nice calm water with an occasional small swell.  There have been lots of logs this year, though, probably due to the high tides that have happened.

Our plan was to go to Pender Harbor for the night, go out to a nice dinner and then head to Powell River/Westview the next morning for a night or two. Well, the water was so calm and the weather for Wednesday wasn’t supposed to be quite as nice so we just kept going and arrived at the Westview Harbour Marina at 5:30. We are currently on a great dock in the south harbor and are probably going to stay until Friday morning. We took the time to put up our shade bimini on the bridge today. We usually wait until we get this far because if we get in high winds it doesn’t do so good. So rather than chancing the damage we just wait. Now we can sit on the bridge, out of the sun, and watch all the activity in the marina.
Tomorrow we will walk up to Safeway and stock up on things. I just found out today that Safeway will deliver for $6, but free for seniors!! We just go shop, they store until the afternoon and then deliver after 4:00. At least what the sign on the bulletin board said so we are going to give that a try. The store is a decent walk away up a steep hill. Last year we took a taxi back because we buy too much to carry. There is a free shuttle but it doesn’t start running this summer until June 30th.
Oh, we did go out to dinner last night. We didn’t want to walk far so we went to the bowling alley where there is a restaurant and bar named Strikers. I had one the best French dip sandwiches I have ever had! Tonight we are going out again!!! Woo hoo! I think we will go to Snickers. It is steak, pizza and Greek food.
Right now it is relaxing time for me while Garry washes the boat. I will be out there in a bit to wipe railings down.

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Working so hard

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Hi from the High Seas

Our summer boating adventure started on Saturday, the 24th, an absolutely gorgeous day to be on the water. We had stayed on the boat Friday night and fueled up first thing in the morning. We were out of Des Moines at 8:00 a.m. on the dot.  Our first excitement was passing downtown Seattle and seeing a humpback whale spout then flip his tail and go down. Passing along the shoreline of Shoreline I was texting with good friends who were looking for us through their binoculars. We waved at each other but were really not able see from the distance. Our next ‘wave-by’ was passing my mom at Clinton on Whidbey Island. She was out clam digging at the extreme low tide so we waved at each other as we cruised on by. Our last ‘wave-by’ was to good friends on Camano Island. I was able to see them waving their shade umbrella at us from way up on the high bank.  

We stopped for the day at Deception Pass State Marine Park. There is a dock with shore access, some mooring buoys and two floating docks not attached to shore that can hold several boats, depending on their size. We were happy to see plenty of room and we had one of the floating docks all to ourselves for the night. We were pretty surprised how few boats were out on the water and at the marine park considering the record setting heat wave!

There was a little excitement late afternoon. First a fire truck with lights flashing shows up. A short time later a small fast boat came in with a young woman who was having some sort of medical issue. She wasn’t wet so had not fallen in. She did not appear intoxicated but needed help walking. Next an ambulance showed up. After about 45 minutes everyone left but she was not transported. My guess is it was heat exhaustion/heat stroke…

Sunday morning we passed under the Deception Pass bridge. The current was running at about 5.5 knots with us so we really flew through. The water was almost the calmest I had ever seen out in the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait. The biggest problem was navigating around tons of whale watching boats off of San Juan Island. We saw nary an orca.

It was such a good day we decided to cross into Canada a day earlier than planned. We cleared Canadian Customs quickly at Bedwell Harbor then headed to Ganges on Saltspring Island. There was plenty of moorage on the Port Authority docks so picked a good spot and tied up. We were going to go out to dinner but most of the items were seafood and we didn’t want that since we would be catching our own soon. I told Garry we could BBQ burgers and go out Monday when we go to Silva Bay marina on Gabriela Island.

Which brings us to today… Monday…. we did a little shopping in Ganges at the grocery store and marine/hardware store and took off for Silva Bay. There was a little more wind today and quite a bit when we got to Silva Bay. They are so friendly and accommodating here and it is a great place to be when we want to cross the Straits of Georgia. The bad news is the restaurant has changed hands and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Just my luck. So I have something out of the freezer and maybe will go out tomorrow if we make it across the Straits. I will keep checking weather but Tuesday afternoon looks like a possibility. 

The boat is running great. After 3 years of frustration our depth sounder is working correctly. Believe me, that is a very good thing! The port engine is still having issues when we are docking but it is not as bad and Garry has gotten good about how to deal with it. Our new sun shade on the back deck is really nice.

That is it for now.  Stay tuned for further adventures.


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Not Normal (For Us)

This has been a very different spring for us.  We are enjoying the luxury of not doing tons of maintenance on our old place while running around like crazy trying to get our boat ready for our annual trip to Canada.  Instead the boat is almost ready, the dinghy is ready and Garry is already working on remodeling the new motorhome a little on the inside.

We did have our boat hauled out a week ago to have the barnacles all scraped off, get new bottom paint and replace the old eaten up zincs.  This time we went to Nordlund Marine which is on the Hylebos waterway in Tacoma.   It was much more convenient than going all the way to Seattle to Delta Marine.   Nordlund does beautiful custom boats and haulout work like we needed.  They are very friendly and laid back there.  It was definitely a good experience.

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Looks big!

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New prop speed put on

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Bottom paint time

We are having a canvas extension made for the back of the boat top deck that will cover us when we are back in the transom.  This will be really nice if it is sunny and we want to sit in the shade and even nicer if it is raining and we need to go out on the back deck.  Garry has been talking about it for several years and we finally enjoy it this year.  This probably makes no sense so I will have to send you a picture of it when done.   The metal framework is done and the canvas is being cut and fabricated today.

We don’t have a firm departure date.  All I know is that it will be after Father’s Day.  All next week is the last of the shopping, haircuts, doctor appointments, etc.  Prescriptions are filled, Canadian fishing licenses purchased, passports ready…

We are really happy that Theresa, Jason and the two granddaughters will be coming up to join us for a week in August.   I booked the flights with Northwest Seaplanes.   Not only are they close to get to (Renton) but they will fly into locations other than the scheduled stops so if we are in an area that is safe to land we just give the them the coordinates plenty in advance and they will come to where the boat is.   We might take them up on that.  We did take out trip cancellation insurance because Theresa’s dad (my ex) and Jason’s dad are both in poor health right now but we are really hoping they will be able to spend that week with us.   Theresa spent most of her childhood summers boating in Desolation Sound so she really wants to share that experience with Jason, Natalie and Isabel.