After almost four weeks and over 600 miles of cruising, Farley and I made it back late yesterday afternoon. Megan left us in Vancouver on Sunday to help with a close friend’s medical issues. In any case, all’s well, and we’re all back home.
Yesterday was the first day the sun didn’t shine on us. We even got rained on a little in the morning. But it’s always pretty no matter what the weather.
I’m not sure if I want to do a comprehensive narrative of the trip, so I’ll just share some random thoughts and photos.
Here’s one of the unforeseen bonuses of the trip. While pulling up the anchor in Gibson’s Landing, I was getting concerned about how hard the windlass was working. Usually it’ll grunt a bit when breaking the anchor loose, but then it’s easy work. Not so this time. It was laboring all the way. I was getting concerned that something was broken or getting burned out. Here was the issue.
Notice the chain wrapped around my anchor? Attached to that chain is 30 kg Bruce anchor. I spent more than an hour salvaging the chain and anchor. If you think it should have been easy, you should try wrestling 66 lbs of anchor and over 150 lbs of chain while standing in a dinghy! New, this stuff is worth almost $1000. Maybe I can get half of that at a swap meet or on Craig’s List. Sometimes boating is a hole in the water you pull money out of!
Princess Louisa Inlet was probably the highlight of the trip. It’s gorgeous, with waterfalls, mountains and lots of water. Even though the water is pretty chilly, we went swimming a couple of times. Farley went too, but he wasn’t real happy about it. I think (hope) he’s forgiven me for pushing him in.
The world-famous Chatterbox Falls not far from where we anchored. If you can find room, it’s a good place to anchor because the constant flow of the falls keeps the anchored boat pointed right at them. Or you can tie up at the usually full dock. Otherwise, it’s really tricky to anchor in the vicinity because the water drops so quickly from the shore. I’ve seen water over 100′ deep 10′ off shore. You have to go through the Malibu Rapids to get into the inlet, and that can be exciting if your’re not patient enough to wait for slack current. I think Megan was actually a bit disappointed (but relieved) at how easy it was at slack after I told her how rapid the rapids could be.
Here’s Rinpoche with a mega-yacht in the background. The name of the boat is After Eight, and according to Google, is (or was) owned by Don Wheaton, a familiar name in car dealerships in Edmonton. Apparently he had eight kids, and after eight, he bought something for himself. On board were a whole slew of teenagers, playing on their jet skis and water skiing behind the high-powered zodiacs. I thought this was more than a bit inappropriate in such an idyllic setting, so I complained to the park ranger when I saw her. She explained that, yes the land around the Falls is a provincial park, but that the waters were under federal control, and therefore she had no jurisdiction. She had complaints from others, but there wasn’t much she could do. So I put on my best grumpy old man face and took my dinghy over to have a chat. The guy I talked to was 30ish, but was obviously in charge. He was polite, so I didn’t get to do my unhinged rant. They slowed their play down a bit, and after the ranger went out and complained, they stopped all together.
Here’s a shot of PLI looking away from the Falls.
Something seen in PLI that I’ll keep in mind the next time I’m shopping for something for Baby Elina.
Here’s a scene from Powell River, a lumber mill town on the coast. Big log booms get towed to the mill to be processed. The interesting thing is that they built the breakwater to the mill by sinking a bunch of WWII vintage boats. The tugs towing the booms go in one side, drop off their loads, and head out the other side. Logging is not a pretty business, but I think the breakwater is cool.
And then we’ll go from rusting heaps of steel to the moon rising over Ganges in the Gulf Islands.
This was taken on Sunday after sailing across The Straits of Georgia in 12-18 knots of wind. I love it when I can sail faster than I can motor. At cruising speed with the engine, the boat speed is a little over 7 knots. With the wind I had on Sunday, I was doing 7.5 most of the time. I could have gone a bit faster, but was edging out of my solo-sailing comfort zone when the winds got up to 18 or 20. So I under-trimmed the sails a bit but still had a fast, comfortable sail.
And here’s Farley and I having a bit of a chat.
He may not like it much when the boat is heeled over and getting thrown around by waves and wakes, but he’s a very forgiving dog. He does like land better though. So much so that when we docked at Roche Harbor to go through American customs, I had his leash tied to a winch on deck so he wouldn’t jump off before I’d finished docking, or so I thought. We got to within about 2′ of the dock, and he went for it. It turned out that his leash was just long enough so that he could hang from his neck over the side of the boat in the water. Kinda like a canine fender. Fortunately there were fenders on either side of him, so he wasn’t in danger of being crushed by the boat against the dock. I stopped the boat and hauled him out as the customs agents came out to help handle the boat and Farley. Usually customs guys are gruff to the point of being rude, but Farley’s incident helped break the ice. They were very friendly and helpful, and I breezed through the process.
Not all the time was spent lounging around. Here Farley is keeping Megan company while she does a bit of work on a project she’s been working on.
As usual, boating is not always a non-contact sport. No, I’m not showing off my love handles. This is a pretty good boat-bite I received while falling through an open hatch on deck while I was messing bringing down the mainsail. And yes it hurt!
This was a good trip. I had a few boat issues (navigation, refrigeration, and a failed shower sump pump) to deal with, but as it turned out, non of them stopped us or even slowed us down much. I think a month sailing north every summer could become a Friesen-Bond family tradition.
Ps. And then just to annoy me, WordPress changed their whole template. It’ll take me a while to figure it out, but in the meantime, you’ll have to live with lousy formatting.