Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30 – Port McNeill

It was a relatively short run down Johnstone Strait to Port McNeill. The weather continues unsettled with clouds, wind and showers. We arrived in at the Port McNeill shortly after 10 AM and were glad to do so because the winds were forecast to pick up to 20-30 knots this afternoon.

The highlight of today’s leg was having a pod of dolphins surf our bow wake for ten or so minutes. The Robson Bight area in Johnstone Strait where we picked up our friends is famous for orca whale viewing but we drew a blank.

We’ll spend at least two nights here getting some service done on the engine, doing laundry and some provisioning before the next leg up the Central B.C. coast. On our 2007 cruise we also used Port McNeill for these chores and found everything an easy walk from the marina.

2010-05-074xTo the right is a picture of Alpenglow at the dock in the rain.  Someday the sun will shine, won’t it? 

Today’s Mileage – 33.8 miles

Cumulative Mileage – 320.2 miles

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29 – Port Harvey

We spent a lay day on May 28 in the Octopus Islands and are moving again today.  We did an “oh-dark thirty” departure to catch the slack before the ebb at some narrows a couple of miles north.  From there it was a short run down to Johnstone Strait.

In Johnstone Strait, between the wind on our nose, the strong ebb current pushing us along, and the eddies with the current, it was a bit bouncy at times as we motored along. The cats hunkered down and silently cursed us for bringing them.

2010-05-064x Not long after we entered Johnstone Strait, we were passed by a CruiseWest small cruise ship, the Spirit of Yorktown, on its way to Alaska.

We turned up Havannah Channel and then into Port Harvey where we are currently anchored behind Range Island. There is a surprising amount of activity here.  2010-05-070xBarges and equipment associated with logging are stored here and a few folks have vacation homes.   In 2009, a small marine resort opened up and three power boats are tied at their docks. Besides ourselves, two sailboats are anchored out.


Tomorrow we are targeting Port McNeill.

Today’s Mileage – 53.4 miles

Cumulative Mileage – 286.4 miles

Current Position

May 27 – Octopus Island Marine Park

The night in Drew Harbor was pleasant with virtually no wind the entire night. The rain stopped overnight and the day started with broken clouds.

We did a leisurely start because we had to time our arrival at Surge Narrows to be slack (the time when the current is the minimum as it changes direction). Slack was around 10:20 AM so we raised our anchor at about 8:45 since we only had 9 miles to cover.

Octopus Island Marine ParkWe dropped our anchor and had the engine off at 11:30.  To the right is a screen clipping from the charting program I use to drive the boat that shows where we are and the route we followed. The narrow channel we came in on was straight and fair although narrow as it was low tide.


Before HaircutSince we had a free afternoon, it was time to open up Marcia’s barbershop and give Kurt a clipping. We decided to use the #0 clipper for a nice close trim. After HaircutWe think the before and after photos convincingly demonstrate that point.


Daily Mileage - 15.1 miles

Cumulative Mileage – 233 miles

Current Position

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26 – Drew Harbor

We took advantage of a very calm (but drippy) day on the Strait of Georgia to run its length from Nanaimo to Drew Harbor on the East shore of Quadra Island. We covered 78.6 miles from the dock in Nanaimo to where we dropped the anchor.

The wind started out at 15 knots but by the end of the day we were around 2 knots and the water seemed syrupy. You could see the rain drops rings on the water’s surface.  You could not have asked for easier conditions on the Strait.

Quadra Island is accessible from the ferry in Campbell River and there are homes on the west shore of the Drew Harbor and a marine park (Rebecca Spit) on the east shore.  I have managed to steal an open WiFi signal from someone and have used it to post this entry (so much for being in the wilderness).

Tomorrow is the short day through Surge Narrows and into the Octopus Islands.

Today’s Mileage – 78.6

Cumulative – 217.9

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

At Rest - Nanaimo

We spent the day in Nanaimo doing some “freshie” provisioning. Since both Canada and the USA restrict many fresh food items (e.g., vegetables and fruit) when crossing the border, you have to pick those items up shortly after entering the country.

Besides the food items, we bought a prepaid Canadian phone card for our cell phone so we can make cheaper calls than if roaming on our current T-Mobile plans. We also picked up more beer and wine (you are also restricted on the amount of alcohol you can bring in). We did some of our provisioning at the Nanaimo Costco store, taking the bus to and from the harbor to get there.

Despite the rainy night and morning, the sun burned its way through the cloud cover to be a pretty nice day as shown in the photo of Alpenglow at the dock.2010-05-058xThe forecast is looking good for tomorrow (5/26) and we plan to take advantage of it and do a long run the length of the  Strait of Georgia to Drew Harbor (Rebecca Spit Marine Park) on the East side of Quadra Island. This will put us in a good position to go up Hoskyn Channel and through Surge Narrows the next day into the Octopus Islands Marine Park. After that we’ll continue North along Okisollo Channel and reconnect with the Discovery Passage north of Seymour Narrows. We’ll probably follow Johnstone Strait until we can cut off to one of the protected routes into the Broughtons near Cracroft Island.

Anchoring will probably be the norm during this section so blog posts will have to wait until we get reconnected in a community or marina.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24 - Nanaimo

We decided to save Ganges on Saltspring Island for another day and went directly to Nanaimo since we had some shopping (a prepaid cell phone card for one) that we needed to do here.  North of Victoria, Nanaimo is the largest city on Vancouver Island.

We departed Deer Harbor around 7:30 AM and arrived shortly after 3 PM. Conditions were good although a SE wind picked up as the day progressed reaching 15-20 knots towards the end of the day. Since it was on our tail and we also had the current pushing us, the waves did not build up.

We saw lots of boat traffic since today was Victoria Day which made for a 3-day holiday weekend in Canada.

Today’s mileage – 52.2

Cumulative mileage – 139.3

Sunday, May 23, 2010

At Rest

We now have “proof” that the new chairs we bought serve their function well, as can be seen in the photo of Kurt & Maggie in Deer Harbor.

May 23 - Deer Harbor

We did the short run from Anacortes to Deer Harbor. The journey was uneventful but my docking was a bit “rough,” taking me three attempts.

The dock space reserved for our yacht club is a side tie at the outside of one of the docks (visualize the top edge of a capital “T”). Normally this docking arrangement is pretty straightforward but between the wind today, the dock orientation and our boat’s layout, everything was working against us. Nevertheless, with the help of a kind individual on the dock, the third-time was the charm.

We needed to stop at Deer Harbor because Marcia had a package shipped here when it became apparent it wouldn’t arrive before our departure on the 16th. The package was waiting for Marcia when we arrived so our next leg will take us into Canada. We haven’t finalized which port of call in Canada will be our first.

Today’s mileage – 21.0

Cumulative mileage – 87.1

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The Anacortest Trawlerfest is an event put on by Passagemaker Magazine, a magazine focused on slow, long distance type of boats.  Passagemaker puts on an annual Trawlerfest on many different locations throughout the United States in the areas with active boating communities. 

We’ve met many people not currently owning a boat but  interested in this category. The event provides a very effective way of getting lots of information and seeing lots of different boats and manufacturers.  The boat brokers and manufacturers like the event because the number of attendees are fewer than at a regular boat show but are more serious.  For someone living full-time away from the water it gives them a chance to walk on board and compare many different vessels all at once.

Below are photos that I took from our boat deck of the boats surrounding us.

2010-05-41x 2010-05-43x

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Chairs

The reclining chairs that Marcia ordered in February arrived in Anacortes today.  Marcia worked with the importer (they are made in Brazil) to ship to the marina we are at once it was clear they wouldn’t arrive in Seattle before we left.

We’ve tried them out and they are very comfortable with the leg support flipped out and the back reclined.  I am sure we and the cats will enjoy them.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Underway – Seattle to Anacortes

One advantage of buddy-boating is that you have someone to take photos of you from a perspective that you normally can’t obtain.  Below are a couple photos of our boat taken on the trip from Seattle to Anacortes on Sunday, May 16.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16 - Anacortes

The first leg of our summer cruise took us to Anacortes, a town with which we are pretty familiar since our first boat was lived here.

We got a pretty good start with casting off about 6:15 AM. Despite the early Sunday morning start clearing through Fremont and Ballard took awhile then the locks were a bit slow as we locked through the large locks with a tug boat.  We exited into Puget Sound about 2 hours after starting.

The trip up Puget Sound and through Admiralty Inlet went well because we rode an ebb tide out.  We had speeds around 10 knots for nearly 2 hours.  At 1550 RPM our unassisted speed is in the low 7’s so we had 2-3 knots of current in our favor until we hit the Strait of Juan deFuca.

The leg through the east entrance of the strait was slow as currents were in transition to the flood. It wasn’t until we started up Rosario channel that we began to pick up our flood current, which again were giving us a current boost of a couple of knots.

Engine off was at 4:20 PM (1620) in Cap Sante Marina.  We will be here through Sunday.  The TrawlerFest boat show is Thursday through Saturday and we need a few days to put away more efficiently all the things we stuffed on board towards the end of our packing.

Below are a couple of photos of the DavidEllis with whom we buddy boated to Anacortes. They are a classic “Diesel Duck” from which our sedan version was evolved.  I hope to have photos they took of us while underway in the next few days.

Cumulative trip miles – 66.1