Tuesday, May 30, 2006

We had a wonderful time visiting with the Holmes family. We took Catherine, Tegan and Blair sailing on Monday. It was pretty blustery out about 20 knots with some chop. Blair was a big help helping me hank on the staysail and Tegan took the wheel and kept us going in the right direction. Then unfortunately Blair was stricken with rosario mintosis, a disease which can be brought on by seasickness preceded by the chewing and swallowing of one too many pink mints, it wasn't pretty. He recovered once we anchored for supper and held his spaghetti down as we returned to Campbell River (that was a bit of a worry). Catherine shared the helmsman's duties with Tegan and was suffering sympathy sickness with Blair. She wisely did not consume any pink mints before sailing and her sphincter remained nervous and would not relax.

Today we headed off into the wild blue yonder. We have a week before we have to meet my brother in Port Hardy and we are just going to mosey around. We crossed Desolation Sound under bright sunshine and anchored in Squirrel Cove ( you've got to love these place names). It was very satisfying to be in Desolation Sound, we have heard and read about it for years and now we are here. There is a plethora of islands and the coastal mountain range with the snow still on the peaks adds a beautiful backdrop. Barry said that everyday there is a new anchorage, he will worry about whether or not it is good holding ground and whether the wind will switch around and blow us around. We won't get a chance to know this area as well as we did Great Slave Lake, hopefully the guide books we have will steer us to the good spots.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Today is Day 4 of our Van Isle Voyage. We are in Campbell River visiting our Yellowknife sailing buddies, the Holmes family. We arrived yesterday and are staying today to take them for a sail. We really enjoy their company.

From just north of Nanaimo we sailed to Blubber Bay, which is on the north end of Texada Island. Apparently they used to hunt whales out of Blubber Bay, but no more, now it has a cement plant at one end of the bay and there were a couple of fish boats tied up that ran their generators all night so it wasn't a quiet anchorage. We had a lovely spinnaker run up to Blubber Bay ( I really like saying that) under sunny skies and with the wind behind us it was warm and wonderful. Yesterday we motored most of the way to Campbell River and then squeezed into a spot at the dock amoung huge fishing boats. Barry backed the boat out today because there was no room to turn around. We moved to a lovely marina, but it is more than twice the cost of the other place for moorage (ouch).

While we were in Blubber Bay we watched the sun set, Where we were moore in Sidney we did not see many sunsets and this one was pretty nice. I plan to watch a whole bunch more in the next 6 weeks.

Friday, May 26, 2006

OKAY so today is DAY 1 of our very own Van Isle 360. It wasn't a very exciting start because we basically motored all day. There was no wind. We are now in a little bay just north of Nanaimo, B.C. hope to be in Campbell River tomorrow.

I have done a couple of high tech things just lately. The first thing is that I once again have the capacity to be the scourge of the airwaves. We have been reporting in to the Great Northern Boaters Net. It is every day at 0800 PDT or 1500 UTC and it is on 3.870 megahertz on the LSB, so if any of you can here us we could talk after the net is over, about 0845. It is nice to be in touch with other boaters.

The big news is that you can see where we are going. On this site


you can find out where were are. I can only update once a day, so have decided to do it in the morning about 1000 so if you check that site about noon everyday you should be able to see how far we have gone from the day before and exactly where we are. I think it is so neat. I am out on the water and can e-mail in and anyone who wants can look up and find us. WOW, who would have thunk it.

The bay we are in has some old cottages on the one side and on the other there are these very expensive looking homes. I was wondering what the residence think of the cottages. Barry says it gives the place some character, what do you think?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tomorrow will be DAY 1 of our trip around Vancouver Island. We figured out the windlass problem (corroded wiring) and it took us 2 days to fix it. This afternoon we got the windlass motor back from being reconditioned and Barry put it back on the boat and it seems to work just fine, keep your fingers crossed. This should be a lot of fun, we plan to be away for about 6 weeks. This is a practise run for when we head to Mexico. Things should be interesting. I am planning on catching a few crabs and finding some oysters.

Monday, May 22, 2006

We headed off to our Bluewater Crusing rendeyvous on Friday morning. We had loaded up with groceries and got the boat looking spiffy and were ready to start our trip around the island on Monday morning.

The rendeyvous was a lot of fun. There were tons of people there, we figured over 100 Bluewater people and over 45 boats. I could not believe how close people anchored to one another. One boat dropped anchor pretty close to us, when the wind blew it wasn't a problem, but when there was no wind and boats were facing different ways, we came pretty close to the guy..

We had appetizers aboard one boat on Saturday night and it was so crowded you couldn't move, then more people kept showing up and pretty soon there were over 30 people sitting in their dinghys around the boat, it was marvelous. The next day we got together for breakfast, there was a treasure hunt, a boat tour in the afternoon and then a pot luck in the evening. It was super to get to see all the other boats and see what innovative things people have done to their boat and what the interior layouts are like. Most seemed to have more storage room than ours, but oh well!!! In the evening at the pot luck it started raining but that didn't put people off, up went the tarps and the food was absolutely delicious. We got to meet the members from Vancouver that are planning to leave this year as well, there are 8 boats from the island and 3 boats from Vancouver that are off so I am sure we will see each other up and down the coast.
We had a couple of friends have trouble with their anchor windlasses when we were in the harbour. I kept thinking, okay there are 2 with problems, who is going to be the third. Well you guessed it, we went to wind in our anchor this morning and NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH. The &^%#*!% think wouldn't work. My husband said we should go back to Sidney to get it fixed because we would have a vehicle there and we know who to contact to get it fixed, if we couldn't so back we came. I am REALLY choked!!!!!!! This is supposed to be Day 1 of our trip around the island and we are still here, well, I guess that's boating.
Anyway we got some really good practise coming back. It was absolutely pea soup out there. You couldn't see 200 meters in front of you. We came back into Sidney steering a compass heading and using the GPS to set waypoints. We had the radar going to make sure the freighters didn't sneak up on us and keep track of the other boats that were close by. We started the computer and used our electronic mapping to make sure where we were. It was a bit alarming when you started looking around because all of a sudden you were 20 degrees off course. We had a power boat come up behind us and ask us where we were going, when he found out we were headed back here he asked if he could follow us, little did he know this was the first time we had actually done this. Barry and I did half the trip each on the helm so I got to practise the navigation and check out the radar. At first Barry was down below and he hadn't put a course in or anything. He was mucking around turning on the computer and setting up the radar, I was getting more and more agitated and louder and louder in my demands for a course. I couldn't see a thing and was wandering around on the course I had picked 20 degrees to one side and then 30 to the other side, it was like get me a safe course NOW. We made it without any problems, really good practise.
Barry spent the rest of the day trying to fix that frickin windlass. I hope someone can give us a hand tomorrow, like there aren't going to be a zillion others with problems that happened on the long weekend. OH WELL, these things happen. I just have to be back before July 8.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

We have been busy refinishing our teak on the boat. We redid the cabin floor and now we are doing the teak around the 2 main hatches. We took the day off on Friday and went for a sail then on Sat. we sailed up to the dock at Barry's Mom's house and spent Mother's Day with her. When asked what she would like for Mother's Day she said she wanted some cupboards she had bought for her garage assembled so we spent the afternoon putting three large cupboards together. They all stand up, but the first on has an unexplained venting space at the top of the cupboard, it will aid in air transfer.

Last week we went into Victoria to see the Clipper boats that are in a round the world race. Victoria is their only Canadian port of call and it was very interesting to see the boats and here some of the crews stories. This one guy said on the trip across the Pacific it was really cold, they went up near the Aleutions. When there six crew on a watch it was so cold that there were only 2 on deck at a time and they could only stand to be on deck for 20 minutes at a time. There was no heat on the boats so they had to warm their hands up on a tea kettle when they got below. The boats are all the same, they are 68 feet long and they have between 16 to 18 crew members. The only paid member is the captain, all the other crew pay for the priveledge of going on a round the world yacht race. You can go for the whole race or one leg or a number of legs. If you are interested in more you can go to
and read all about it. Most of the crews seemed to be from Britain and there were a few Aussies and Canadians thrown in. When we walked by the boats, all their lines were in their dinghys which had been filled with fresh water, to get all the salt off the lines. It would be a truly remarkable experience to participate in something like this.