Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music



Logbook Days 45, 46, and 47
6/24/2004 - 6/26/2004

The Gulf Islands
We crossed into Canada and explored the beautiful Gulf Islands along the SE shore of Vancouver Island

Fisherman's Bay to Otter Bay

We got up at 8:00am and left the marina with the kids still tucked in their staterooms.  The magic of the fabric panels lends a wonderful calm to the mornings before they rise.  We motored peacefully over to Friday Harbor and tied up on the back side of the customs dock in the first come first served free area.  With everyone now awake and dressed, we went up to a cafe for breakfast.  Dawn went shopping and sent off the mail on our last stop in the US.  We were ready to leave at 12:00pm. 

Our course turned north up San Juan channel, past Spieden and Flattop cutting across Boundary Pass east of Stuart and across that dotted line on the GPS chart that announced we were now in Canada.  We went directly to Bedwell harbor on South Pender arriving at 2:00pm at the customs dock.  I had seen some customs agents on the dock, but when I got up to the office with all our papers every sign directed me to the phones.  Lifting one of these connected me quickly to a agent somewhere.  It took a while to get all the information entered into the database as this was our first time taking the boat into Canada.  I could hear the agent typing and typing.  Once past that, and after a few simple questions he indicated we would not be seeing a agent today, gave us a clearance number for the window and said "have a nice trip". 

We then left Bedwell for Otter Bay on North Pender just out around the point a 1/2 hour north.  The marina is tucked in to the left at the head of the bay behind a picnic area on the breakwater with a line of flag poles flying all the province flags.  We arrived at 3:00pm and, on the second try, tied up in a slip facing aft to the bay.  The kids promptly went fishing and Dawn went to do laundry.  The property is quite nice with a small but adequate store.  When we arrived the staff was dealing with catching a bird that had become trapped up in the stores high vaulted ceiling. They are doing a fair bit of construction on the property building what appear to be small cabin units.  After a bit, we all headed up to the pool to swim.  While the boys swam we had a nice discussion with one of our dock mates about the joys of Princess Louisa that are yet to come.  When we returned to the boat we had a pasta and ham dinner.  The kids watched a movie "Master of Disguise", a very strange flick, then we all got to bed around 10:30pm.  It was another windy night and the flags rattled the stays.  We also had some of the first mosquitoes to deal with and began to take more care in keeping the canvas zipped up.

Otter Bay to Pirates Cove

The morning brought a renewal of the construction noise and we were soon ready to leave.  We left Otter bay around noon.  I had thought they had fuel here, but they don't so we had to make a detour into Ganges harbor on Salt Spring island entering under Prevost Island.  Once filled up we got permission to remain at the end of the fuel dock for 20 minutes that turned into an hour.  The boys did some successful fishing while Dawn made a major shopping trip to a nearby 'real' store.  Once back with the groceries we hurried to leave as it was late and we had to go south before we could turn north again.  We were pinned against the dock by the wind so we used a spring line to back away, one of our more elegant departures. 

We motored south for the turn around Nose point out for Trincomaly channel along Galiano Island.  The wind was dead astern so we decided to fill the ballast and sail wing on wing.  We ran for about 3 hours this way at 4 knots to the Porlier pass entrance.  Initially we were passed by a Catalina 38 also wing on wing, but with a few adjustments to the trim we soon were glued to their tail and near the end closed up the distance.  The kids went through two movies during the passage.  Time had slipped away and we still had a ways to our planned stop.  Detailed inspection of the cruising guide didn't yield an alternate stop that was appealing so we elected to press on.  Galiano and Valdes are all steep cliffs with no inviting bays and anyplace else would require a further detour to the west.  We dropped the sails and emptied ballast, then made a speed run to Pylades channel and Pirates cove.  We were glad we did. 

When we entered there were already about 9 boats in the cove.  We decided to anchor and shore tie in the furthest SE corner near the reef.  We anchored in 15' and backed in.  Our neighbor offered to run the shore tie for us as we didn't yet have our dinghy inflated.  Once pulled in to shore we were parked in 11' of water yet we were still to far out.  I inflated the dinghy and took Dawn and the kids to shore then set about pulling up the anchor and moving it closer to shore using the dinghy, as we has set it to far out.  There's a first time for everything.  Once everything was re-adjusted I picked up Dawn and the kids and we BBQ'd steaks for a late 9:30pm dinner.  What a beautiful place, the glass smooth cove glowed at sunset.  The shore is a soft rock with large undercut areas worn by the waves.  The trip hiking half way around the cove turned out to be quite a rock climbing adventure for the boys and Dawn.  Worn out by the day we dined and then went straight to bed. 

Pirates Cove to Schooner Bay
The day dawned sunny yet again, the weather has been perfect so far.  In the morning we undid the shore tie and pulled up the anchor about 9:30am.  Dawn drove us out the narrow entrance past the reef and we turned south to go around the island at then north to Dodd narrows.  We were on time for a near slack passage yet still worried about it's reputation as a difficult pass.  We cleared the narrows at 10:45am with no problems.  We had a 1-2 knot current with us going through on the dying flood.  It was much shorter and easier than I expected from all I'd read. 

We crossed the bay in front of Nanaimo and headed into the strait of Georgia.  As soon as we were outside the protection of Gabriola Island we picked up a big following sea.  The wind was up to 15+ and the seas were 3'-4'.  We sped up to 8 knots but the ride was a workout at the wheel to keep our course.  While I steered as the boat yawed back and forth with each crest everyone else slept.  We slid our way north to Nanoose Harbor.  Once in, I searched the shore in vain for the marina, where are all the masts?  I mistakenly thought it was in the harbor proper, but not finding it, we consulted the guide and found that it is on the outside along the strait.  We banged our way south around Wallis point and made our way north where we slipped into the harbor at Schooner Bay marina. 

We had an easy entrance, called the office on the radio and were given slip E11.  The fairways are very tight but we got in with no problem.  There were two other macs on our dock, Francis II  and TyDi.  Exhausted, we went up to the restaurant for a beer and a late lunch.  The kids then went swimming while I finally took my turn at resting. There is a nice pool here and it's well kept facility.  Showers are in the workout room with free unlimited hot water.  There was a bit of swell coming around the breakwater later in the evening so we had some rolling at night but all in all this marina rates very high on our list so far.

Schooner Cove also is one of the many marina's on our itinerary that has WiFi coverage.  I asked at the office, but they knew nothing of it and I was sent to the cafe.  There they directed me to the kiosk in the corner.  While the service provider was the one I was looking for, I didn't want to use their computer I wanted to use mine.  I decided what the heck, I'd go to the boat and see what I could find. I fired up the laptop and immediately got green lights on the wireless connection.  Sure enough it was the marina network and I was prompted to sign in or give my credit card #.  They didn't have the all day for $9 service advertised at the provider web site, but they did have 15 minutes for $3.  I filled out the forms and was on the net, momentarily.  After the first page everything stopped working.  I finally clicked into the network properties and found Windows was trying to protect me from this non-secure network by blocking my access.  Once I told XP to butt out, I was on my way.  I got email, but couldn't send, my ISP doesn't allow relaying from an outside network, and in general was able to catch up on the world.  The Mariners are still losing.  My main task was to pay a bill online, but alas it wasn't one of the ones we had set up ahead of time.  Later that evening I made all the updates to my dad's church website based on the emails I received and went online again to upload them.  You can get a lot done from the boat.

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