Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Desolation Sound to Vancouver

Moon near Dent Island
View down Pryce Channel

Moonrise in Prideaux Haven

Canadian Goose Begging for Food in Squirrel Cove

August 24, 2010

Leaving Dent Island Lodge behind, we entered Yuculta Rapids at slack water and proceeded down Calm Passage. Although we still had worries about the throttle, there was so much boat traffic going the same direction that we felt comfortable. The weather was sunny and the winds calm so we decided to cruise up Deer Passage, across Pryce Channel and down Waddington Channel so we could investigate Walsh Cove Marine Park. Walsh Cove looked good, but was already full of stern tied boats. The water temperatures were in the low 70's as we headed down the channel. We continued on to Prideaux Haven and found a place to anchor and stern tie. By this time it was just plain hot, so the kayaks went over the side for a paddle around in the 70 degree water. There were lots of people swimming and jumping off the rocks in Prideaux Haven, Melanie Cove and Laura Cove. We invited the Usher's on "Friendship II", whom we had met at Dent Island, over for a BBQ in the sun. We ate out on the boat deck and had a great time as the sun set. We had a selection of burgers, hot dogs, polish sausages and steak, along with homemade potato salad.

August 25, 2010

Waking up to another sunny day, we decided to just stay where we were and explore the area in detail from kayaks and the tender. We treated the anchorage to the aroma of a marinated pork loin and potatoes au gratin, along with a huge green salad as we tried to use what fresh vegetables we had left before they spoiled.

August 26, 2010

We reluctantly hoisted the anchor and headed just a few miles to Squirrel Cove for the evening. We had not been in Squirrel Cove for at least 10 years, and two boats ago. Luckily we found a place to anchor right in front of the reversing rapids to the lagoon and had a ringside seat as we watched tenders and kayaks attempt to enter the lagoon. The breeze started to pick up, and the temperature cooled down as we converted some of the pork loin into a spicy Szechuan stir fry over rice. As night fell, the rain started, just as we were stowing the tender on deck in preparation for the trip to Pender Harbor in the morning. The rain continued most of the night, at times extremely hard.

August 27, 2010

Since the trip to Pender Harbor was expected to take 7 hours, we hoisted the anchor at 0800. There was a large quilt wrapped around the anchor chain, all covered with mud, and the smell was atrocious. Since we did not have a fishing license for quilts, we returned it to the deep. At least we did not snag any logging cables! The rain had stopped, and the weather just got better as we headed south. We were part of a parade of boats all headed the same direction, although there were a few boats still headed north. When we arrived at Pender Harbor, Garden Bay was pretty full, so we went to our back-up plan and anchored in Gerrans Bay at 1415, a fast run. It was time for a pub lunch, so the tender was launched and we headed for the Garden Bay Pub for halibut and chips and some Kusshi oysters on the half shell. We then toured some of the other parts of the bay in the tender, including Gunboat Bay, which has a narrow rock filled entrance with high currents. The bay looks good, but no large boats due to the narrow and shallow entrance.

August 28, 2010

After unsuccessfully trying to get dock space in Howe Sound at either Gibsons or Bowen Island, and being unsure of the space on a summer weekend in either Smuggler Cove or Plumper Cove we decided to just stay anchored in Gerrans Bay and enjoy another day in the sun, along with more tours of the entire harbor. Dinner was grilled New York steak, getting down to the bottom of the freezer stock from our initial provisioning four months ago. The wind came up in the evening and the temperatures cooled a little, but we were treated to a gorgeous starry night.

August 29, 2010

The anchor was raised at 0730 for the 50 mile run to Quayside Marina in False Creek, Vancouver. For most of the trip we had mild winds and calm seas, until we got to the entrance to Howe Sound. The ebb tide and opposing wind made for choppy seas until we turned the corner and transited Shoal Passage to look at Gibsons and Plumper Cove Marine Park. We are glad we did not head for Plumper Cove. It is crowded and surrounded by private homes and buoys. Most of the boats there were in the 20-30 foot size, and the dock and buoy spacing seemed sized for them.

We continued up around Bowen Island and then headed for False Creek. Snug Harbor on Bowen Island looks like a place to stop in the future, but with advance reservations. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, there was a lot of traffic entering False Creek, everything from kayaks to powerless sailboats and dinner cruise ships. We finally docked at Quayside Marina behind the 151 foot Northern Marine megayacht "After Eight".

Today was John Duvall's birthday so we headed into the Yaletown area of Vancouver at the head of the dock looking for a place to celebrate his special day? There were lots of places to choose from in this former warehouse, now trendy upscale area, but a place called "100 Days" caught our eye, and we headed in. The menu was in chalk on the wall (also printed), and after being seated in an area with open French windows onto the street, found out they had only been open 2 days and would close in 100 days and renovate again. Our waiter was from the Gold Coast outside of Brisbane and told us the story of how they had created the restaurant in only 5 days. The place stilled smelled of fresh paint. However, the food and service were great, and the staff brought us a special dessert platter for John's birthday that had tiramisu, a halved Okanogan Peach broiled into a cobbler with topping, Boston cream pie ├ęclairs, and three kinds of panna cotta, mandarin orange, pineapple and chocolate/hazelnut. Some of the entrees included crab and lobster Mac & Cheese (Miriam's choice), Spaghetti Bolognaise (John) and Angus steak (Patrick).

After dinner, a walk along the new waterfront esplanade brought us to False Creek Yacht Club where we stopped for a glass of wine before heading back to the boat.

August 30, 2010

Today we went to Granville Island on the water taxi and looked for some inside passage planning charts for John Duvall. Alas, this late in the season none were available. We shopped in the public market for some cheese and cold cuts for appetizers later in the evening with Mike and Susie Miner on the Selene 50 "Seeker". Miriam and Patrick also explored the "Urban Fare" supermarket one block from the boat. It has a fantastic selection of food at reasonable prices.

We have crossed paths with the Miner's several times, most recently in Sullivan Bay. After appetizers we all went up to the "100 Days" restaurant for dinner and let the chef pick a tasting menu to share, which turned out to be more than we could all eat.

Light rain started shortly after we returned to the boat, and just got heavier overnight

August 31, 2010

The rain was very heavy when we woke up, along with gale warnings in the Strait of Georgia. At 0900 the Halibut Bank buoy was reporting sustained winds of 24 knots with gust to 30 and 5 foot seas which were building over the previous hour. With the intermittent throttle problem still not resolved we are staying one more day in False Creek to let the winds and seas subside. We will then go direct to Anacortes, a distance of about 72 nautical miles.

We now have 4142 nautical miles on the log after 123 days on this adventure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Port Harvey, Cordero Lodge and Dent Island Lodge

The view down Cordero Channel
Heron Fishing at Dent Island

August 20, 2010

Our route from Sullivan Bay took us back down past Echo Bay, Cramer Passage, Retreat Passage, Spring Passage and into Knight Inlet. Along the way we saw porpoises, bears on shore and more sunny skies. As we approached the turn into Lagoon Cove, we decided to keep going since the radio traffic indicated Lagoon Cove would be very crowded. We continued down Chatham Passage into Havannah Channel and decided to see what the new marina at Port Harvey was like. As we approached the inlet the main engine throttle problem we had experienced just one week earlier resurfaced and we ended up idling the final two miles into Port Harvey. The owners were really trying to be helpful and offered any assistance to help solve our issue. There were only two other guest boats in the marina which could hold 10 or more.

We decided to try their small restaurant at Port Harvey and had good fish and chips for dinner, as well as good conversation with the owners and other guests in the restaurant. There is a small store, but with a good selection of items.

August 21, 2010

Light rain greeted us as we departed Port Harvey, certainly a repeat stop on future trips. There were several Orca whales in Johnstone Strait as we left, but too far away for photos. Since we were uncertain of the throttle performance, we met up with Ron & Bonnie Zuckerman on "Z-Worthy", another Selene, just outside of Port Neville, and they graciously shadowed us into Cordero Lodge in case we had throttle problems while transiting Whirlpool and Green Point Rapids. We arrived at Cordero Lodge in early afternoon just before the rain began in earnest. We had a German dinner (we had beef rouladen) at Cordero Lodge with Zuckerman's as we rehashed the day.

August 22, 2010

Zuckerman's departed early in the morning for Campbell River and we followed shortly after to transit Dent Rapids to Dent Island Lodge at low slack water. There was a long line of boats waiting for slack water, but the transit was uneventful and we were docked at Dent Island by 0930 in the morning. The sun began to peek out from the clouds as we went up to the lodge for coffee and pastries. The sun continued to shine as we relaxed in the hot tub and decided what to order for dinner. We are definitely in the "pampered" stage of our cruise, with only 6 more nights planned at anchor, the rest tied to a dock.

Dinner was good, as usual, with appetizers which included oysters prepared several ways, salads, rack of lamb as well as surf & turf, and cheesecake and key lime pie for dessert. The staff does a great job, as they should, for the price Dent Island charges.

August 23, 2010

We spent the day at Dent Island on the phone with ZF and Cummins Northwest, as well as several Canadian firms trying to resolve the throttle issue. No one was able to help in any kind of reasonable time frame. We were quoted waits of two weeks or more due to staff vacations and backlogs of work. Our plan remains the same, depart at low slack water to transit Gillard Passage and Yuculta Rapids so that if the problem occurs we will be going with the current.

With the throttle problem at least defined we went to the new Tapas bar at Dent Island for our evening meal. It is hard to adequately describe the variety of tastes we were exposed to over the course of the evening. John, the executive chef goes all out in preparing a culinary journey to enjoy. We started out with a spot prawn civiche along with a pico de gallo and tri-color corn chips just to whet our appetites. This was followed by an oyster dish broiled on the half shell with parmesan and other things, a Caesar salad with grilled eggplant and lemons and spot prawns, wings and ribs with several different sauces, half a Dungeness crab to crack with two sauces, grilled lamb chops and sausages with pesto, butternut squash ravioli with beef tenderloin and dessert of grilled pineapple, pound cake and chocolate sauce, followed by coffee. We were even treated to opera singing by Kathryn Humphries (http://www.kathrynhumphriesmusic.blogspot.com/) , who also sang last night. This all took place in a new pavilion alongside little Dent Rapids called "The Rapids Grill", which provided an incredible backdrop to the evening, both in sound and scenery. We went back to the boat and continued our conversation with Felix and Rita Brenninkmeijer on the Nordhavn 62 "Feria". They live in Duesseldorf, Germany and have crossed the Atlantic several times on several different sailboats and are now cruising the west coast on their Nordhavn.

August 24, 2010

We depart this morning at 11 AM and will be out of internet range for several days as we explore Desolation Sound.

We have now logged 3,994 miles on the log as our trip winds to a conclusion in a little over one week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Laura Bay and Greenway Sound

River Otters at Laura Bay Cove
Stern Tied in Laura Bay Cove for the first time this season

Incredible scenery

Hike to Broughton Lake

Broughton Lake

Dinner at Greenway Sound

Remains of a boat high up in the hills, are we on Mount Ararat?

An example of our prawn catch

We arrived in Laura Bay on Broughton Island after a calm wind and flat sea passage from Kwatsi Bay and found we needed to stern tie for the first time this trip. We joined 8 other boats in a peaceful setting. The prawn pots were set in the outer bay in 300 feet of water among a dozen other pots. The silver salmon were jumping in the cove where the schools of pacific whiteside porpoise had herded them. The BC fisheries people estimate that over 5000 pacific whiteside porpoise have invaded the Broughtons. A number of small boats were fishing in among the silvers, but we only saw one salmon caught.

The prawn pots yielded a few dozen spot prawns and coon stripe shrimp; soon we hope to have enough for more than an appetizer.

August 17, 2010

The weather has cooled down from yesterday, with low overcast and fog. The wind is still light and retrieving the prawn pots was easier than the evening check we did last night when the wind was blowing the tender all over the bay. The prawns are still elusive, but we added several dozen more to our stores. We now have enough for generous shrimp louie's for all three of us.

We pulled the anchor about 1015 and headed for Greenway Sound Marina, towing the tender. The weather remained overcast and calm as we pulled into the dock just as another Selene, "Raindancer" was preparing to leave. We last saw "Raindancer" in Port McNeill three months ago. The skies began to clear and we had a sunny afternoon as we gave Spirit a much needed washdown. During the afternoon two more Selenes arrived, "Koinonia" and "Ulla Dulla" as well as "Gold Duster", a member of RHYC. The docks were still sparsely populated, and that seems to be the story among all the marinas in the Broughtons this year.

The prawn pots were reset and we headed up to the restaurant for an excellent steak & prawn dinner. Our waiter was Greggor, who knows our niece Sidney and is also attending the UW.

August 18, 2010

We woke to overcast skies and pulled our pots. This time there were 40 prawns. After much discussion we decided to stay one more day at Greenway Sound and so we reset the pots in a new location, hoping for better luck. After having Greenway Sound Pizza for lunch, Patrick & John hiked up to Broughton Lake and then checked the prawn pots. We collected 70 large spot prawns, which went into the freezer since our stock in the refrigerator was up to about 150. The prawns were not as large as Gary & Suzanne Patton found earlier in the Broughton's, but they were still good sized. Later in the day Ron & Bonny Zuckerman arrived in their Selene 48 "Z-Worthy". We had hoped to meet up with them in Alaska, but our paths never really crossed.

We cooked a roast beef for dinner, along with shrimp and avocado cocktails as the skies finally cleared for dinner in the sun.

We plan on going to Sullivan Bay tomorrow, but who knows where we will end up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kwatsi Bay

Kwatsi Bay is deserving of the name "Glory Be"
Directions to the marina - it is the only structure in the bay.
The scenery at rustic Kwatsi Bay Marina

We departed Pierre's shortly after 10 AM, bound for Kwatsi Bay. We could see "Sea Jay"( Jim and Cheryl Matheson) on AIS anchored in Laura Bay, just 4 miles away, so we headed that way. By the time we arrived, they were underway so we stopped and chatted in mid-channel for a few minutes. We may see them later in the week.

Heading slowly up Tribune Channel we discovered the macerator pump had failed again. Fortunately we had a spare and were able to replace it underway. The failure was the same as before (failed duckbill valves) probably caused by an incorrect installation of the discharge hose reducer at the factory (it was only 14 inches from the pump, not the 60 inches the manufacturer recommended). We had brought back a longer section of hose in July but had not installed it when we replaced the duckbill valves on the existing pump. This time we installed the longer hose. In the process we also discovered a poorly crimped electrical connection which we also fixed. We are hoping this finally fixes the problem since we have no spare duckbill valves.
With the underway repair complete we finally arrived at Kwatsi Bay Marina at 1315 to a warm greeting by Anca. Kwatsi Bay reminded us of Misty Fiords in Alaska with the cliffs and high hills. We set the prawn pots and cooked up the crab for happy hour on the dock (there were 6 boats present) and also met Max. We converted more of the crab into crab "mac & cheese) with bow tie pasta, 4 kinds of cheese, diced green chilies, green onions and a topping of panko and sliced tomatoes. It was great. After dinner we checked the prawn pots, where we found a couple of dozen spot prawns. We moved the pots to a new location hoping for better luck in the morning.

August 16, 2010

Another sunny morning, but the prawn pots were empty. The new location was not good. We are heading for Laura Bay and will be out of e-mail contact for a few days.

Pierre’s and Pig Roasts

Pierre unveils the pig, soon to be eaten by all

Patrick & John in Pirate Garb (sort of)

Friday morning, the 13th, we departed Port McNeill in dense fog, which had been dissipating but then settled back to only about 100 yards visibility as we cleared the Port McNeill breakwater. When we got to Donegal Head on Malcom Island, the fog began to lift, just as we passed "Steel Tiger", owned by Harry and Teri Johnson, also members of Roche Harbor Yacht Club going the other direction. We motored up Arrow and Cramer Passages to Pierre's at Echo Bay for a two day stay and the Saturday Pig Roast. While in Arrow Passage the throttle control on the ZF Electronic Engine Control stopped working, but after contacting Selene Yacht Service (we were still in cell phone range at the time) reset the power switch and operation returned to normal. We discovered no error codes so it must have been just a gremlin!

The weather continued to improve and we docked in clear warm skies. Other boats continued to arrive and the place was soon full, including another Selene, "Three Wishes". We set the shrimp and crab pots and gathered for the potluck happy hour on the barge, which is a section of the old Lake Washington Bridge. Among the vessels present was "Rendezvous", Peter and Linda Jung, also members of Roche Harbor Yacht Club.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On Saturday we awakened to clear skies and no fog. We checked the pots, with just a few prawns and no crab. We reset the crab pots in Shoal Harbor in new locations and by evening we had four legal crabs, soon to be converted into crab cakes. We enjoyed breakfast on the flybridge in the sunshine and warm temperatures, where we spent most of the day. Several of the boats had good luck fishing, with a 47 pound halibut and a 38 pound ling cod brought into the cleaning tables. Our crab and prawns looked puny compared to their catches.

The pig roast had a pirate theme, so many of us were in some sort of pirate costumes and everyone was asked to use "pirate speak" at the dinner. The potluck was good, lots of food, and the roast pork was great. The weather continued fair, clear and warm into the evening, not cooling down until well after sunset.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The skies are still clear, the seas calm, and the sun is warming up the boat quickly. The crab pots yielded 4 more crabs, so we are going to have to come up with some new ways to use crab in dishes.

Today we head for Kwatsi Bay, which is a new location for us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prince Rupert to Port McNeill

Waiting for dinner to jump into his mouth
The number of fish waiting to jump the falls was stunning


Patrick's Coho Salmon

Ever hopeful the salmon will fall in his reach

Almost making it over the jump in the falls

Double Trouble on both sides of the falls


Carrying away the spoils!


We were underway in heavy rain at 0755, but the seas were calm. There were fog patches before we arrived at the head of Grenville Channel, with the weather clearing as we passed Lawyer and Client Islands. The weather report for Hecate Strait was still for windy conditions and rough seas, so we elected to head down Grenville Channel, arriving at Nettle Basin in Lowe Inlet shortly before 4PM. We managed to pick up three Coho salmon, each about 6 pounds, as the rain continued. The Coho were trying to jump Verney Falls and there were two black bears feeding on the unlucky salmon at the base of the falls.


Once again, we were underway at 0800 in light rain, but clearing. We cruised past Hartley Bay, up Verney Channel and down Ursula Channel to Bishop Bay Hot Springs for a quick soak. After the refreshing soak we continued down Princess Royal Channel past Butedale and arrived in Khutze Inlet where we anchored behind Green Spit rather than go another 5 miles to the head of the inlet. We set the crab pots at the head of the inlet after launching the tender.


After retrieving the crab pots (6 nice legal crabs) we raised the anchor at 1000 and continued down Princess Royal Channel, down Sarah Passage, then Klemtu Passage to view the longhouse at Klemtu, through Jackson Narrows and finally anchored in Rescue Bay at 1630. Some of the crabs were converted into Patrick's crabcakes for dinner.


Patrick made a crab and basil omelet for breakfast before we departed Rescue Bay with the intention of staying in Shearwater. Our route took us down Mathieson Channel, past several humpback whales, through Percival Narrows and then Reid Passage. The docks at Shearwater were full, so we anchored and went in for pizza for lunch. The pizza was not memorable. The weather report was deteriorating and we wanted to get across Queen Charlotte Sound as soon as possible, so we continued on to Codville Lagoon where set the prawn pots after arriving and anchoring at 7PM.


After pulling the prawn pots (only 80 prawns), we headed out of Codville Lagoon. We listened to the weather report which predicted gale force winds in Queen Charlotte Sound on Thursday and Friday, so we made it a long day, heading all the way to Blunden Harbor. Humpback whales were active in Fitzhugh Sound, with several leaping clear of the water, but too far away for photos. The swells off Cape Caution were running up to 6 feet on the beam, giving the stabilizers a real workout. The fog and rain set in about Egg Island and fog plagued us the rest of the way. We finally anchored in Blunden Harbor at 7:15 PM in brisk northwest winds. By that time we elected to just have dinner and retire for the evening.


The weather continued foggy, about 1 mile visibility as we headed across Queen Charlotte Straits to Port Mcneill to re-provision, a trip of slightly over three hours in a moderate beam sea. The fog began to lift as we arrived at the marina, where we joined two other Selene's as well as the Westbay Sonship 58 "Seventh Wave", owned by Ray and Sue Biggs from our yacht club. We joined Ray and Sue for cocktails as the weather continued to clear and the wind continued to increase from the west. The skies have cleared and we hope the wind subsides.

We now show 3746 nautical miles on the log since May 1.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dixon Entrance

August 4, 2010

Yesterday we motored to Foggy Bay in glorious sunshine and flat seas. We anchored with several other vessels and watched the sun set while enjoying 75 degree weather. The next morning we headed out early into dense fog and swells that still had not dissipated at Foggy Bay as well as lots of gill netters between Foggy Bay and Cape Fox. The fog just got thicker and the swells higher as we headed out across Dixon Entrance, but little to no wind. As we got into the lee of Dundas Island the swells disappeared completely and we began to see a few targets on the radar and AIS.

Heading down Chatham Sound we decided to use Venn Passage, and as we entered Venn Passage, the fog burned off ahead of us (still foggy behind) and we entered Prince Rupert Harbor in sunny, clear skies.

We cleared Canada Customs and tied up at Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club where we will spend the next two days before continuing south. Looking west, the fog is still thick over Chatham Sound, but it is warm and sunny at the dock. We re-provisioned the boat with the items we could not bring across the border.

No pictures in the fog!

We now have 3397 nautical miles on the log.