Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 15: Heading Back

July 14, 2012:  Toba Bay Wildernest to Galley Bay

View from Toba Wildernest bluff trail.
We knew this was as far afield this trip as we could go, and it was time to begin our return to Everett.  If we had it to do over again, no question we’d make more time to explore the pristine Toba Inlet wilderness area.  

There was still time to make a brief bluff hike and take a shower before we left.  Despite a bluff point closer to 120 degrees than 360 degree radius, the turquoise green waters offered a pleasing bird’s-eye-view.  After that sweaty hour-long hike, the hot waterfall of a shower was glorious, and worth every penny.

Toba Inlet to Homfray Channel
Exiting Wildernest, we enjoyed the lovely cascades that lined the surrounding Coast Mountains peaks, soaring from the tideline to heights of 7,875 feet…
disappearing in the distance. We headed down Homfray Channel.  

Ancient pictographs (?)
etched in red
We were able to successfully spot the native pictographs Kyle suggested we keep an eye out for.  They seemed awfully bright and clear for something supposedly left behind by natives, presumably some time long ago.

Basking in another warm sunny afternoon with relative privacy, we were in no rush to rejoin civilization.  We hove to (drifted, safely) for a bit to savor it, while we still could.  After our brief romantic interlude, we approached Galley Bay.  A brisk wind built as we made way to the slender bay.

Galley Bay anchorage; we
were grateful for our stern anchor
DreamSpeak Guidebook again offered colorful history and inadequate anchoring guidance.  We eventually picked out a tight, but comparatively sheltered anchorage point. It was windy enough for us to set both a bow and stern anchor, convinced it was necessary for a sound sleep.  It was the only time this trip we anchored and did not go ashore.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 14: Un-updated Guidebooks; “Ed’s Dead” in Toba Inlet

July 13, 2012:  Roscoe Bay to Toba Inlet

Roscoe Bay kayaker
is stoked by our beer offer
Refreshing!  We dipped into Black Lake’s warm, fresh water.  Somehow the subject of beer came up with some fellow swimmers, probably just complaining about how costly it is, compared to U.S. prices.  They were kayakers, wistful about being out of beer.  We figured we’d be replenishing, something they were a week away from, so we decided to give them a beer each out of our meager supply, as the weather was hot and they were a long ways away from resupplying and more hot weather was ahead.  When we made our offer, they proclaimed, passionately, “You must have heard our prayers!”  One of their group kayaked out to our boat to take us up on our offer, as we had to make haste to catch high tide out to our next destination.

Mud clouds the water when we
pulled anchor at Roscoe Bay
This time instead of seaweed, a mass of sticky mud came up with our anchor, casting a broad mud cloud swath across the water.  We left on a higher tide than we entered so were less worried about grazing rocks across the shallow mouth of the bay.

We passed up Walsh Cove for Toba Wildernest, even though it would cost us more to dock than anchoring at Walsh.  Visions of restocking our cold beers, and hot tubbing, all touted in our guidebook, beaconed.

Toba Wildernest boasts a
waterfall powerful enough to
provide hydroelectric power
“You must be Ed!” Wayne exclaimed as we stepped onto the Toba Wildernest dock.  “Ed’s dead.  We have no general store or power at the dock.  The hot tubs are for cabin guests only,” Kyle deadpanned in response. Kyle, his wife Andrea took over Wildernest 9 years ago, with their then 6 week old daughter. 

Many of his visitors discovered him from the “Desolation Sound & Discovery Islands Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide,” which apparently does not overly concern itself with updates... or accuracy.  Ed and his wife were the resort originators, mentioned in the guidebook.  “Too many people to share the hot tub otherwise,” Kyle added.  (Never mind that most hotels with hot tubs have a massively higher ratio of guests to hot tub). “It’s $1.25/ft / mooring and for $4 you can take a killer shower and I do sell block ice.”   Password protected internet access was also available, for basic needs like email, but not downloading movies. 

Proud 47' sailboat owner at Toba Inlet
We were definitely the paupers at this tiny dock, dwarfed by several 3-level motor cruisers, a trimaran and a restored 47-foot ketch awaiting its new sails.  The ketch owner wandered down to our 27-footer, commenting, “Wow, your boat is really… small!”  “Yep,” I replied.  “But it got us here from Everett and everything about it costs us less.”  He agreed.  Wholeheartedly and even slightly chagrined.

Rough start aside, Toba Wildernest is a gem, offering a spectacular panoramic view where Homfray, Waddington Channel and Toba Inlet fjords converge. Verdant mountains with cascading waterfalls and snow-topped peaks rise dramatically from the fjords. Far fewer cruisers continue up that way past Desolation Sound.  The wilderness embraces you, even the air feels fresher, crisper and cleaner.

Ropes to Toba Falls
Wildernest’s waterfall and stream provide both electricity and particularly delicious drinking water, the best we’ve had since drinking straight from glacial melt at Lassen summer 2005. The waterfall hike took about ½ hour, round trip -- the perfect cool, wet experience for a long, hot day. There was a riot of foxglove, with towering columns of vibrant magenta tube-shaped flowers.  This must be where really good ferns get reincarnated; I’ve seen a happier and more dense fern forest.  Close to the waterfall, once again the rope pulls made it easy to get up and down some tricky spots.

Toba Wildernest supper salad
(smoked trout, romaine, capers,
purple cabbage, parmesan cheese
and vinaigrette) Chez O'Day
While Wildernest didn’t have a general store, Kyle promised the ice he sold us would last days longer than the ice we bought anywhere else.  His came from the local water supply, frozen, solid, there, using the hydroelectric power.  Traditional ice, he explained, was compressed from block or chip ice, and was less dense and more air-filled.   We decided to see if he was right; we had ample opportunity and exceedingly bad icebox insulation.

Sunset at Toba Wildernest, Toba Inlet
We ended our day enjoying a glorious sunset view gazing across Toba Inlet / Homfray Channel.  Check back and I’ll plug in a panorama video clip.

Despite all the totally understandable hubbub about Desolation Sound, and we loved it, Toba Inlet captured my heart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 13: “Don’t be a Whoosie… You Know You Want to Do It!”

July 12, 2012:  Copeland Islands to Roscoe Bay

Seaweed on our anchor
at Copeland Islands
As we got ready to push off, we realized we’d drifted way too close for comfort to a rock.  The concern was when our anchors came up, we’d drift right into the rock.  Our boat hull would not enjoy that encounter.

Wayne first kedges us to
safety, then deals with
4 foot seaweed streamer
weighing down our anchor
Ever the awesome problem solver, Wayne figured he’d kedge us out.  He did this by rowing out in our dinghy and dropping our third anchor, a ways away from the rock.  He then hauled us closer to that third anchor, so as we pulled up the other anchors, that third anchor kept us safe from a rocky encounter.  The great seaweed monsters, however clung with heavy hands to our anchor, huge sheets of it streaming down 4 feet. 

As we sailed away, the panoramic view was amazing, I’m not quite sure what mountains I was looking at, but am guessing they were at least 70 miles away.  There’s no way camera could even begin to do it justice.
Vista seen sailing from Copeland Islands along Thulin passage
Briefly, we were able to sail, in between islands, before their wind shadow (when a large mass position blocks the wind flow) prompted us to fire up our diesel.  While we prefer the quiet of sailing, with a lot of “ground” to cover and not much time, we were more driven by destination than wind direction.  Fortunately, our motor “sips,” using only ¼ gallon / hour.

With the offending crab crap long since cleaned up, Wayne was willing to enjoy some crab and crackers for lunch.  Best crab $4 crab I’ve ever had.

From our anchor in Roscoe Bay
Before long, we entered the channel for Roscoe Bay.  Our arrival was carefully timed, as Roscoe Bay‘s entrance was so shallow, exits and entries were only possible at high tide; twice a day.  In between then, for most boats, ours included, we were landlocked in its bay.

Not long after we arrived, we hopped into our dinghy for a hike to Black Lake, yet another large freshwater lake.  We were looking forward to cooling off, as it was another warm, sunny day.  After our swim, we planned to pick back up sanding our boat rails, which we started on back in Squirrel Cove, as part of our overall boat cleanup started in earnest that day.

Then my ever-spontaneous husband suggested we change our plans.  In response to my skeptical look, he uttered the best ironic line to date on our trip, “Oh don’t be such a whoosie.  It’s just a little bluff hike and you know you want to see it.”  I knew then, we were screwed.  However, it’s rare for me to turn down a challenge.  There was an info board at the trailhead, but the first dozen pages appeared to be a poorly written school project on jellyfish (“Moon jellyfish like to come to the surface at night.  We don’t know why….”).  We gave up 2 hours later of steady uphill hiking even though we believe we were close to summit.  Other than the first 20 minutes, the trail was filled with dead woods, very brown, soundless and devoid of life.  It took an hour and 20 minutes at a steady downhill clip to get back to the trailhead. So much for sanding the boat rails.  It was suppertime and we were hungry.  We took sponge baths, ate supper*, and planned our next day’s journey.

* chicken rice mixed with chicken cooked in onions and garlic, Spike and black pepper, with a 15 oz can of cooked black beans, 2 4-oz cans of salsa (Mexican and Cesara), cumin and chili powder.    Good, but next time plain rice; very salty.

Roscoe Bay moon at 4 am
We determined we’d hiked about 7-miles, round trip, even though we stopped a little short of the final summit at about 2000 feet.  Hikers we passed on our way down later told us the summit, about 10 minutes further than our stopping point,  offered some good but not very panoramic views, as even at the summit, trees blocked the vistas.

We ended the eve planning our next stop, to Toba Inlet, up Waddington Channel…. Tomorrow we’ll check the out warm, fresh water Black Lake as we’ll be killing time until high tide, while the rocks at the mouth of the bay are risky to pass over at low water.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 12: A Shi--- Reason for Backtracking

July 11, 2012:  Melanie Cove off Prideaux Haven to Lund to Copeland Islands 

Wayne replacing our
raw water pump; key
keeping the engine cool.
Great start for the day, eggs with hungry jack hash browns, mild green diced chiles and precooked turkey sausage, topped with cheese and salsa.  Yum.

Wayne figured out the motor was getting heated up because the raw water intake was blocked by barnacles.  He cleared it up and we were back on our way again, with a properly cooled engine. 

No rest for the weary, our overfull head (toilet) prompted our backtrack all the way to Lund, where we were 5 days prior.  It was the closest place for a pumpout – we pointed checked at every logical place we could, and it’s not something any of our guidebooks mentioned.  For those of you unfamiliar with boats, a little about “heads” aka marine toilets and pumpouts.  Heads are often fussy devices, and seems no two behave exactly alike, at least in my relatively limited experience.  More on that in a future post.

If you’re squeamish, skip this section…
Most boats have something called a through hole for their head, which is a fancy way of saying there’s a hole that lest you flush your stuff out into the water, in areas that allow it (like out a ways in the ocean).  Our O’Day, however, did not.  So we discovered in 10 days, it took the two of us to fill a 10 gallon holding tank, including flushing.  The best way without a through hole to empty our tank, was a pump out.  And the closest one was Lund.  To use a pumpout, you clamp a big hose onto a cleanout fitting, flip the on switch and it sucks – vacuums -- the “stuff” out.  Usually there’s a hose near by so you refill your tank until the “stuff” vacuums out clean.

From that point on, we determined we’d be more strategic in our use of our head.  We knew we were capable; my husband has the black photo of me making the “poop deck” name a literal one (click here for the real origin of a poop deck – and there’s a good reason folks “pooped” off the bow [front] rather than the back) when we rented a boat from San Juan Sailing (this is atypical for their boats – San Juan Sailing is great!) several years prior.  Its head was so stinky, we did not use it the entire week we sailed.  Not such a big deal for my husband, but for a girl, well, anatomically speaking, it’s more challenging.

Ok, it’s safe now for you more squeamish folks
Crabs from the boat docked
next to us in Lund.  Price?
2 beers.
We also ran 2 loads of laundry, caught up on a weeks worth of internet, bought 3 blocks of ice, dumped off our garbage (which we had to pay to do, typical for many places in Desolation Sound), showered and did some light re-provisioning.  The Lund trip cost us $97, not counting fuel – beer was a huge % of that.  My charming husband wrangled 2 fresh-caught crabs in exchange for 2 beers from the fisherman tied up next to us at the marina.  We managed it all in 3 ½ hours, before getting hit for a full-day marina charge.We figured we’d save a few $ anchoring at nearby Copeland Islands again, and get a head start back up into Desolation Sound.

This time, however, we were there much later, and it took us quite a while to find a good anchorage, this time on the opposite of the Island, positioned perfectly for a stunning sunset view.  Once again, we stern tied, but we did so much more proficiently. 

Oh, and skip this part if you can’t handle crustacean killing, but scroll...
Despite, or maybe because Wayne is a Cancer, he’s is not at all keen on preparing them to eat.  So it was my job to take on the role of crustacean killer, which I did with a hammer – right between the eyes -- as what that’s what Michael Greenwald’s “Cruising Chef Cookbook” claims is the most humane ways to do it, and boiled them up.

Ok, it’s safe again
Our O'Day sailboat at sunset
in the Copeland Islands.
While the crabs simmered, I hopped in the dinghy to capture this amazing sunset.

Day 11: How Desolation Sound Got Named

July 10, 2012:  Cassel Falls to Melanie Cove off Prideaux Haven

Cassel Falls, Teakern Arm, Desolation Sound.
Despite the drama of setting our stern tie yesterday, our reel-in was smooth, and no one was close enough to cause and concern when we pushed off.  From there, we motored up to Cassel Falls to get a good view before heading out.  Our neighboring sailor, who’s visited Cassel Falls for the past 30 years, said he’d never seen it with double falls in summer before.  

Close up to Cassel Falls.
There is one spot to anchor at the base of the falls, for anyone lucky enough to be that one boat.

Our ride to Prideaux Haven was easy; it’s a breathtakingly beautiful stretch, verdant islands, with a stunning backdrop of jagged snowy peaks. 

sailing Desolation Sound
View from our O'Day sailboatapproaching Prideaux Haven area.

How the heck could Captain Vancouver complain "There was not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye," thus naming the area Desolation Sound? Now I’m curious… what was his idea of beauty?  Maybe he had some really nasty weather, and it was all gray.

Prideaux Haven offers plenty of places to anchor.   We anchored – no need to stern tie! -- in Melanie Cove, a short hop to the trailhead.

Lush trail connecting
Melanie and Laura Coves
Dinghied to shore and hiked from Melanie Cove to Laura Cove.  The trail was lush, even dark, the afternoon warm and humid.  We must’ve taken a long cut as the way back was much faster and best of all, did not pass back through the mosquito-infested bog.

Desolation Sound near Prideaux Haven.
View from our anchorageat Melanie Cove at dusk.
Since we’d been traveling every day, we decided we’d take a break.  That night we ate leftover chicken enchilada casserole and planned to spend our next day there, doing boat repairs.  

Wayne was concerned about our engine was running too hot, and needed to see what was going on.  Also our head (aka – toilet) was rearing its ugly head.  The lines were looking nasty and the smell was not much better.  

We weren’t sure what was going on, but had some guesses.  That would wait until tomorrow.

Day 10: Kissing & Making Up in Paradise

July 9, 2012:  Tenedos Bay to Cassel Falls, Teakerne Arm

Our sailboat, viewed from
the Cassel Falls trail
We decided to check out the trail to Melanie Cove a couple told us about when we frolicked at Unwin Lake.  After 1 ½ hours along a trail that felt more like scramble than a hike, we decided in the interest of a lack of health insurance (unless something that costs over $2,200 happens before our 2-month option to implement Cobra coverage from Boeing prompts it – medical care outside North America is wayyyyyy cheaper), it was a good idea to turn around.  Besides, we had no idea how much longer until we got to Melanie Cove, and we were ready to move on though we couldn’t resist rinsing our sweaty bodies one last time in Unwin Lake’s fresh water. 

On the way back, we passed a family wading past rather than crossing over the trail’s log bridge, carrying their fluffy white dog, encased, ironically enough, in an “Outward Bound” jacket (sorry no photo!).  I can’t deny feeling a little smug, as I did cross the log bridge, even though I did so, as I usually do, with great trepidation.  Wayne, on the on the other hand (or would that be … foot?), walks across them as easily as he would a nicely groomed dirt trail.  He says I lack confidence; in this case, his is correct.

Meanwhile, another warm freshwater lake was calling our name…. Cassel Lake, above Cassel Falls, in Teakern Arm.  So we set sail.

Log bridges ... the bane
of NW trails... this one's
on the Cassel Falls trail.
At Teakern Arm, our decided lack of fondness for stern ties continued.  This time Wayne was the “dinghy dummy,” stressing out while our boat careened far too close to the powerboat next to ours.  I drove forward rather than to the side, which would have more effectively swung me away from the neighboring power boaters.  The power boater had the additional advantage of several folks to get them squared away, a motored dinghy, and a convenient ring from a nearby rock to stern tie to. Wayne was hot, sweaty and cranky.   I was less than charmed by Wayne’s crankiness, even if it was justified.  We were not at our best.

Wayne’s mood was not improved in encountering our neighbor’s dinghy blocking the majority of the dock at the trailhead to Cassel Falls. It was spawled on top of rather than alongside the dock, and tied multiple times to the cleat, rendering it unusable for anyone else without their untying and retying (which we did with a neighboring sailing couple – a more productive approach than my urge to deflate their dinghy).  It did not help that Wayne fell, hard, while we were trying to find a way to tie our dinghy to the dock.

The hike to Cassel Lake relatively short and sweet.  Like most NW trails it seems, it would not be complete without crossing a log bridge.  Ropes made any areas that were a bit of scramble, pretty easy.  A congenial group of folks converged at the lake’s swim spot.  Fortunately, camisoles and coordinating undies make a publicly acceptable makeshift swimsuit.
Cassel Lake makeshift swimsuit

Rope at Cassel Lake made it safe
to come up its slippery side
after swimming.

When we got back from our hike to Cassel Falls and swim in Cassel Lake, the power boaters were gone.  Despite the swim, still took us a while to “cool off.”  It takes creativity and extra effort to give your sailmate their space on a 27’ sailboat... climbing out of hatches rather than passing each other in the cabin. 

Teakern Arm dinghy dock...
AFTER our hike.
Despite these tense times, I appreciate our mutual ability to talk it out -- eventually.  I’d much rather fight (once in a while) and resolve our issues, then never fight, but the problems fester.  The icing on the cake is we make up really, really well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 9: Jellyfish Jam, Evil Oysters & the Wonder of Warm Water Lakes

July 8, 2012:  Squirrel Cove to Tenedos Bay

While the wind was too light and fluky for even the jib sail, we loved basking in the sunshine, in short sleeves (and less). 

Photo from;
this is what the jellyfish
looked like, except we
were looking top down,
not bottom up.
As we dropped anchor, we were wowed by lacy translucent white clouds of jellyfish, nearly all at least several feet below the surface, pulsing gracefully along.  They ranged in size from 6” to too small to see; most were about 2” or less; it would be easy to imagine an orchestra accompaniment, something operatic or for ballerinas… an out of season “Dance of the Sugar Plum Faires” perhaps.

Stern tie "spool",  spun on
a re-purposed broomstick
handle.  Did the job!
Setting up the anchor stern tie for a quick escape was a bit of a bugger here.  We arrived at low tide.  The bank was steep, sharp from oysters, barnacles and rock, which was loose with lots of slippery spots.  I flopped backward into our wet, leaky dinghy, and cut my finger on an oyster shell as soon as I touched shore. Literally.  I swear I will be eating oyster soon in revenge!  I was sure I was typing up in one place, Wayne was sure I was typing up another.  Future tip:  discuss prior to dinghy launch intended stern anchor destination and rationale.

path to Unwin Lake, Tenedos Bay, Desolation Sound
Wayne crossing log bridge
to get to Unwin Lake.
A little chill out time over cold beers, coupled with a hot afternoon motivated us to wend our way to reportedly warm Unwin Lake. We followed what seemed like an obvious trail, until we came across an unstable logjam at the lake entrance.  Fortunately, we happily backtracked once shown the alternate path in from some sympathetic swimmers.  

PG photo of Dana at
Unwin Lake
We followed the lake rim further, until we found an area far enough away from easy view of the families to swin sans suit.  The bonus was the ability rinse out my salty and mud-stained clothes (the derriere on my shorts still bore the mark of the slippery trail on Copeland Island) in fresh water.  Despite the lake’s depth, the water was indeed warm enough to take a dip, and the black rocks were great for drying out us and my clothing.   The couple of folks who came upon us au naturelle didn’t seem to be fazed much.  An older couple told us about the hike through to the other cove of the island, which we’ll likely tackle tomorrow.

Without health insurance, we were happy to double back
and take the alternate land-based path to Unwin Lake.
We enjoyed a depraved late afternoon and the fun that typically follows.  Wayne washed his hair over the sink.  We’re settling in….  Trimmed my longest, most wayward tonenail with a wire cutter – thanks Wayne, you clever man for coming up with a surprisingly effective alternative tool to the pedicure set put aside for our trip Portland (not with us on the O’Day).

Dinner was an Asian Ramen…. Broccolini, about ½ c cut into matchsticks, a large garlic clove, slivered, 3 slices of ginger, 4 oz of canned mushroom pieces (liquid added) and 5 scallions, cut into strips about 1” long, seasoned with the beef mix that came in the package, ¼ t black pepper, ¼ t Spike seasoning and the leftover lamb medallion, about ½ c, cut into small, bite-sized strips.  Sautéed the garlic and ginger in ½ t of coconut “oil” (though if I’d paid attention would’ve used toasted sesame oil), then added the broccolini for a few minutes.  Added ~2 c water and the mushrooms and seasonings and boiled for about 3 minutes.  Then I added the noodles and boiled 3 minutes more.  Added the green onions and boiled another 2 minutes, turned off the heat, and stirred in the lamb.  Perfect for 2; no leftovers! 

Earlier we ate a dragonfruit and pineapple fruit salad (used up more leftovers!), meatloaf sandwich for Wayne, deviled eggs and lemon Cougar Mountain Snickerdoddle cookies for me, and fresh cherries. 

The sound of the Unwin creek emptying into Tenidos bay is peaceful, like a waterfall.  Perfect music for a sweet dreams.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 8: At last, Desolation Sound! Misguiding Guidebooks & Problem Painters

July 7 2012:  Copeland Islands to Refuge Cove, then Squirrel Cove, 
Desolation Sound Marine Park

Rustic Refuge Cove, just across the way from Squirrel Cove.
Open only during summer, it's a great place
for a pit stop and minor provisioning.
A week’s worth of travel and at last we reached our destination.  Why a place so stunningly picturesque is dubbed “Desolation Sound” is a mystery.  Hmmm… maybe a future topic post? Unless someone else wants to chime in!

Squirrel Cove, Desolation Sound
A popular area for boats to "raft"
(tie together) , in this case
likely to party together

Widely lauded by guidebooks and other “yachties” (boaters), Squirrel Cove was on our “must do” list.  We were less enchanted.  Don’t get us wrong -- Squirrel Cove is a pleasant enough spot, wide enough to accommodate a crowd with ease.  

We got an inauspicious start, our wrapping dinghy painter (the rope which is used to tie off the boat we use to get ashore) around our propeller.  In case there’s any doubt, that’s a really, really bad thing to do. A few months earlier I crewed a boat through “the graveyard to the Pacific” which was taken out from it’s prior run from a wrapped propeller, which required a local shipyard fix.  Fortunately, Wayne realized instantly what happened and shut our motor off -- pronto -- stopping further rope wrap.  Thanks to his quick thinking, I was able to untangle it without having to dive, use a knife or get rescued. 

On the upside, I got to indulge my desire for local fare when we noticed a fishing boat doing the rounds amongst the boats.  They ignored my persistent arm waving until they visited the bigger boats with larger crews, and eventually decided to come by.  
Eventually, Dana's persistent
hand waving beaconed
these shrimpers our way
Shrimp:  before

Shrimp -- welcomed
to our hot tub
We bought their locally caught shrimp and treated them to our hot tub, with much lip smacking afterward.

Wayne pulling seaweed off
our anchor -- streaming
~5' long and HEAVY!
The next morn, our planned hike went awry as we were unable to find the trailhead based on our guidebook’s no longer existing landmark, “Marilyn’s Salmon” Café.  After two tries, each at different anchors, where we rowed ashore, we gave up.  

We still had to anchor one more time then dock for some minor re-provisioning, as the receding tide would have grounded our boat, according to the folks at the General Store.

Recently built Indian
community center
We ambled about, determined to get in some kind of walk before taking off.  Our turnaround was the new local Native American community center.   On the way back, we chatted for a while with another cruising couple who tried to entice us the night before to head over to the local creek swimming hole.  Turns out the water there rose quickly with a wicked current, trapping the swimmers there until 10 pm!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 7: Stern Anchoring Stress @ Beautiful Copeland Islands

July 6 2012:  Garden Bay Pender Harbour to Lund then Copeland Islands
~ 40 miles ~ 7 ½ hours travel

Deviled eggs lite:
hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, dijon mustard,
salt, pepper, onion powder,
Spike seasoning, paprika sprinkle.
Another gorgeous, sunny day though only briefly windy enough with the right direction for the jib sail.  We snacked on deviled eggs*, cooked and prepared underway, served “sunny side up.”

lund, canada, sailing to Desolation Sound
The recently renovated Lund Hotel
is a welcoming sight near the gateway
to Desolation Sound

Left @ 6:30 am, stopped off at John Henry on our way out for diesel fuel, got to Lund at 1:30.  Lund is the last  ‘civilization’ before entering Desolation Sound and caters well to boaters, with showers, laundry, groceries, hotel, restaurants, fishing tours, kayak rentals and more, all a stone’s throw from their marina docks. 

We used the “pump out.”  That’s a nice way of saying we were flushing our boat’s poop tank.  Some boats are able to discharge their “stuff” in approved areas, but our boat was missing the ability (‘through holes) to do so.  We weren’t sure the capacity of our poop tank, we just knew it wasn’t that big.

on our way to Desolation Sound, sailing
Breads galore at Nancy's Bakery, Lund

on our way to Desolation Sound, sailing
Nancy's Bakery is a "must do"
for lovers of cinnamon buns

on our way to Desolation Sound, sailing
This hit the spot!
At Nancy’s, the much-lauded bakery, we shared a generous slice of garlic carbonata pizza and an amazingly refreshing Corona.    Nancy’s is known most for their cinnamon buns, so we ordered a chocolate raspberry cinnamon bun to go.  

We also showered (using the orange tote bag my neighbor Annie gave us, which is getting lots of use!), picked up beer (and discovered $2/can was a good price for anything better than Lucky Lager) and a block of ice.  Ice in our icebox rarely lasted more than a few days, due to poor insulation.

We finished our business at the guest docks before having to pay for a half day for overnight mooring. 

Wayne, evaluating the stern ties, our sailboat
and dinghy at the Copeland Islands
By 4 pm we were dropped our bow anchor in the Copeland Islands.  Then we set our first stern-tie anchor with the line Slavek loaned us.  Stern ties offer some extra assurance your boat will stay put when anchored nearer than you’d like to other boaters other objects your boat might bump into.   One end of a rope (“line”) is tied to the back of the boat, the other end is spooled out via a dinghy to be tied off to something secure on shore, like a dead tree, or large rock.  Ideally, the line just goes behind the object, and its end goes all the way back to the boat and gets tied off to it.  That way, when you’re ready to leave, you just untie that end, and spool back the line and leave, without having to get back into your dinghy and go back to the point on land where you tied off, untie it, and row back.  At least, that’s the theory.  It took us a while to coordinate making sure our boat didn’t move someplace dangerous while the stern tie was set, the line was spooled out nicely to the person taking it on the dinghy, that we agreed on a good object to tie from.  We also seemed to have a knack for setting our stern ties at low tide, which meant rockier placement for the dinghy, and more of a hike to a suitable stern tie object.  We were not at our best when making stern ties.  Eventually, we expect we will welcome them.

Copeland Islands, Canada, a stone's throw from Lund on our Desolation Sound sailing trip
The lovely Copeland Islands, hiker and kayaker's delight
Once set, we dinghied onto the island and gave it a wander.  The trails were  mossy, rich with fungi of all sorts, and empty oyster shells as large as 9” long were scattered underscored the area’s abundance. We enjoyed the lookout benches designed to take in the sunset view, but opted to pass as the mosquitoes were already hungrily making their presence known. Warning to future hikers:  I can personally attest with the mud-stains on my shorts, the lovely, spongy-light gray moss is very slippery! We chatted with some neighboring boaters, regulars to the area, for tips on where to go.  They were happy to offer suggestions --- and the places they suggested are very close, especially compared to our typical travels so far this trip. 

We ended our day over a delicious dinner of Greek salad and lamb medallions, skillet fried, on the side.  Yum.

Day 6: Everything is Up from Sea Level

July 5th:  Nanaimo to Garden Bay, Pender Harbour, off Mainland BC
Short sleeve weather.  Yipeeee!  The warm weather was due in part to no wind, so we motored all day.

9:30 am departure, 4:30 pm arrival…. Long time for ~30 miles… though we did waylay in between and got swept back a mile or more while we did.  Pender Harbour is long, with several fingers.  Puttering slowly to not create a wake (waves whose rocking disrupts other boaters), it took us a while to find our place to anchor.  We dropped anchor well inside, in the area known as Garden Bay.  We were welcomed by a pair of bald eagles, circling.

sailing to desolation sound
Our sailboat is one of those little
white dots toward the right.
Paddled our dinghy over to the Garden Bay Provincial Park and walked over to the Garden Bay Marina, and noticed posters for a “Meet Draw.” The gal at the John Henry store seemed surprised when I asked what that was. She said who it was a fund raiser for (the local youth paddling club) but not what it was…. I had to ask several times but was finally able to piece it together – a raffle for meat.  She probably just thought I was dense.  We paddled back to the boat and tried paddling down another finger of the bay, “GunBoat,” but the strong current discouraged us.  Good call; we later found the current there gets up to 8 knots.  About 15 feet from our dinghy we saw a piece of wood that looked a bit like a sea lion head. When that “piece of wood” suddenly dove back down we realized it was a sea lion.  We paddled over to the Pender Bay Marina, and walked up, and I do mean UP a 45 degree incline, to the Grasshopper, winded.  

deer, seen on the way to our sail to Desolation Sound
Velvety antlered deer at Pender Harbour
We meandered down on the other side at more leisurely pace down that slope to the other local marina.  Down slope to our boat, we came across a family of deer, male “Dad” with velvety antlers, female “Mom” and “junior” happily chomping away.  

Dinner was my camping classic, easy chicken curry: chicken flavored rice mix, with chicken breast, curry, pineapple, fresh ginger and green onions added.