Friday, September 30, 2005

I am sitting in the cockpit with my floater jacket over my head so I can see the computer screen. It is another gorgeous day, warm and sunny, although there are patches of fog about. Last night we stayed in Silva Bay just off the south coast of Gabriola Island. It was a lovely spot and there was this huge yacht that was anchored beside us. Wow, was it a beaut, probably about a 60 footer with triple spreaders. Barry took a
picture so you can see what we have to put up with down here, the money literally floating around the B.C. coast is just phenomenal.

There isn’t much wind but since we don’t have an agenda, other than we have to be back in Sidney on Oct. 3 for our boat to be pulled out of the water, we are just ghosting along enjoying the view and the sunshine. We are headed south now and will make our way back towards Sidney, depending on the wind we will just head back there or perhaps we will go and spend some time in the San Juan Islands if we get a bit more wind so we are moving a bit quicker than we are now.

As we were headed out of Nanaimo harbour this boat came up to us and got quite close and I noticed a girl taking pictures. I couldn’t figure it out, I know the boat is gorgeous but really pictures, and we weren’t doing anything stupendous or stupid that was worth taking pictures of. All of a sudden, the skipper yelled across that he used the own the boat, it turns out he and his father were the original owners of he boat and had finished all the insides of the boat. We told him we loved the inside and that we were just new owners, the third ones of the boat. It really is a small world isn’t it.

If you are not interested in boat jargon, skip this paragraph. When we first got the boat we bought a lovely 8 hp 4 stroke motor to go on our dinghy, an Avon zodiac, 9’ 6” in length. The motor was great, the dinghy got up on step with both Barry and I in it and we would be able to go anywhere in it. WELL, live and learn, we tried to get it up on the boat. It was too heavy for us to lift, although we did manage to get it onboard for one trip, but did not even attempt to put it on the dinghy as it was too heavy to lift out. Then we decided we needed to devise some system to hang it off the back of the boat. Well, our boat has a canoe stern, so there are no right angles to attach stuff to, everything slopes inward so we got a ¾ inch piece of plastic, called starboard and Barry fastened that on the back with U bolts. We winched the motor onto it and it was JUST TO HEAVY. In a big sea it would have shaken the pushpit out of the deck and then we would have been in a pickle. So, we swallowed our pride and went back to the dealer and traded in the motor for a smaller lighter (at least 30 lbs lighter) 2 stroke, a 5 hp. It should still get the dinghy up on step with one person in it and it should be light enough to attach to the deck. The only catch was the guy didn’t have any in the store, so we don’t have a motor for the dinghy on this trip which is a bit of a pain. We do have two paddles though and Barry and I have managed to co-operate enough that we have gone ashore a couple of times with the paddles.

Next week the boat is coming out of the water and we are having a new depth sounder put in and having a few blisters fixed and a sea water inlet that is leaking repaired. After that the boat should be in fine shape, most of the instruments will be in working order and all the sails seem to be doing there job. Unfortunately on this trip we have been beating into the weather going north and south, so haven’t gotten to test out its downwind capacities too much. Oh well, there will be another time.

When we stopped for the night, the light was so lovely; I jumped in the dinghy and went to take pictures of Cat’s-Paw at anchor. We had the place all to ourselves for a change. Just before dinner I was reading in the cockpit and I heard this noise it was like someone expelling a lot of air, I am pretty sure it was some kind of whale, it was a pretty distinctive kind of sound and I did see a fin on the surface to the water, although nothing else. Seals surface quite near the boat on occasion and yesterday at the anchorage there were two otters playing around in the water fairly close to the boat. We had seen what we think are dolphin fins a number of times but have never seen the whole animal.

Then after dinner we went ashore and wandered around on a deserted beach, with driftwood and sandstone all over. We walked up to a point and there was a lovely sunset, it really is beautiful in this part of Canada.