Saturday – Monday (Days 16 -18): Gorge Harbor to Lasqueti Island to Nanaimo

The scene last night, Sunday:  The sea is liquid silver.  The sunset is spectacular.  A family of seal’s frolics.  Eagles settle in for the night.  Only two other boats are in view.  There are no winds.  The temperature is perfect.  We’ve just finished our salmon dinner (thank goodness for professional fishermen) and are enjoying the end of a great day on the fly bridge.  Michael Franks plays from the stereo quietly in the background along with the sounds of the surf on the island 300 feet off our side.  The ¾ moon is rising.  Life is good.

We’ve had a wonderful 2 days adventuring to new territory at Gorge Harbor and now anchored on the north side of Lasqueti Island (which is a few miles from the southwest side of Texada Island).

The last couple of days have been wonderful. After spending the morning doing some chores on the boat we left Octopus Island and easily passed Beazley passage and quickly made our way into Gorge Harbor. Gorge Harbor was a lovely protected bay with a fantastic little resort. The entrance has tricky little sand spit entrance, but the Captain navigated it perfectly.  After the sand spit you turn through a little “gorge” entrance and into a perfectly protected, circular harbor.  The resort has been recently remodeled and expanded.  It’s a perfect spot adults as well as for children and grandchildren.

We enjoyed an afternoon of sun and then headed by dinghy for a very nice dinner at the restaurant.  Luckily for us there was also entertainment at Gorge Harbor on Saturday night.  Judy and Bruce Wing played wonderful guitar music and songs that included mellow covers as well as music written by Judy Wing.  Her angelic voice and witty lyrics were wonderful.  Judy and Bruce were very special.

We slept in and after breakfast and then headed for a run on Cortes Island.  It’s a quaint island community, frozen in time.  We passed big trees, very few people, a very old little library, and even a little bakery.

When we were done running we took the dinghy out to the sand spit.  The tide was low and the water on the sand spit relatively warm.  The Captain even went swimming! The First Mate waded.

Our time in Desolation sound this year comes to an end with the change in the tide.  After our swim we returned to the True Love and raised the dingy, brought in the kayaks and headed with the late day tide south towards Texada and Lasqueti Islands.  The night before we had reviewed the tides and the schedule and possible late evening anchorages.  Taking into account the late sunset, the tides and our travel speed the Captain chose Scottie Bay on the northeast corner of Lasqueti Island.  But as we got closer we noticed the little Islands on the north side of Lesqueti Island called the Fegen Islets, and that’s where we anchored. The chart showed possible anchorage there so we decided to check them out and reconnoiter.

The sky is darkening and the seals and birds have settled.  We have left the fly bridge (dusk’s mosquitoes had discovered us) and are now listening to Nora Jones while waiting for the sunset to end and the stars to appear.

The anchor held perfectly although it was a bit wavy during the night.  We woke to a pretty sunrise.  The trip to Nanaimo was a bit choppy do to the opposite northerly tide and a 10 knot southerly wind.  But we made good time.  Currently we are using the Starbucks high speed internet to catch up on mail and postings. I love high speed internet.   We’re here for a few hours and then we head south with the tide and continue into the Gulf Islands.  Our goal is to reach Victoria by Wednesday night and head back to the USA on Friday.

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love like to plan each day’s voyage around the tides and the winds.  Our recent time on the sea has filled us with a sense of connectedness with nature and the waters we are traveling.  With are filled with a sense of awe and wonder for the beauty and powers of the waters we are so lucky to travel together each summer.  Five more days!

Thursday & Friday (Days 14 & 15): Octopus Islands


Octopus Islands

Princess Louisa Inlet is rugged and dramatic.  The rapids, waterways, eagles and mountains surrounding Dent Island are exciting.  The Octopus Islands, in contrast, are calm and peaceful.  They are a series of small low islands that make up a British Columbia provincial park just west of the Hole-In-The-Wall tidal rapids.  We were unable to come back here last year because we lost our anchor in Bute Inlet and had to “dock-hop” back to Seattle.

With two anchors on board this time, we chose the same spot we used two years ago.  We also chose to use our stern anchor instead of a stern tie to keep our boat from spinning with changes in the wind and tides.

We did so much yesterday.  Our day began with our pre-dawn contact with a floating tree in Mermaid Bay followed by fishing and napping.  Then we headed out for Calm Channel turning down the channel heading to the rapids at “hole-in-the-wall guided by an Osprey. We then anchored at our previous spot at the Octopus Islands and went kayaking.


Time for fishing again – this time for salmon.  Doug (Jim’s brother) and his employee Shawn at Doug’s Boats and Sports had set us up with everything we needed to fish.  So we headed out on the dinghy to waters nearby where we had seen other people fishing.  I remembered most of what Shawn had told me about setting up the lures and tying them.

Our test run was successful in the sense that we had a good time and didn’t lose anything or stab ourselves (or each other) with khooks.  We did seriously tangle our two lures together.  First fishing lesson learned: our dinghy is too small for two fishing poles.  And we didn’t catch any fish.  Good thing I had defrosted a rack of lamb, which we later ate for dinner (deliciously grilled).

After dinner we took the dinghy out to watch a mellow sunset befitting the peaceful energy of the Octopus Islands.  We came back to the True Love and did a little cleaning and vacuuming. I took out some Trader Joe croissants from the freezer to rise overnight.

The Captain got the satellite phone to work and we called Walt to check in.  Dick hadn’t been feeling well lately, but Walt said he was doing better and we toasted his improved health.

It was a full and wonderful day and we both slept well and long.

Friday:  Day Two in Octopus Islands

We lazily woke to low marine clouds and popped the fluffy croissants into the oven.  The Captain/Barista made lattes and combined with some healthy elixirs we had a filling and delicious breakfast.  Jim and I are pretty addicted to “Words With Friends” on our i-phones.  But, with no internet and no cell service we pulled out the old scrabble board and began a game that we played on and off all day between fishing (no tangles, but also no fish), sunning, reading and kayaking.









Tomorrow we plan to leave after lunch to head for our first-ever navigation through Beazley Passage, a narrow rapids at the south entrance to Okisollo Island. We are heading towards Gorge Harbor for the night – an anchorage recommend to us by Jack and Ruth.  This begins our transit south back to Seattle.

We have a week to get home and plan to include our first stop in Victoria (the capital of British Columbia at the south end of Vancouver Island) on Tuesday.

We haven’t used our satellite TV much this trip, but we will watch the opening of the Olympics tonight.  During the 2010 Winter Olympics we had a great time visiting Vancouver, BC.  Although we aren’t in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, we will be there is spirit, marveling at the athletes who seek to prove that they are the best in the world at what they do.

True Love Embraced By Fallen Tree

We woke at 4:30 this morning to a strange noise.  The Captain went to look and a huge fallen tree had entered Mermaid Bay and settled in next to the True Love.

At first, it was caught on our anchor and along the port side of the boat.  Well that’s new.  It was still too dark to deal with it so we tried going back to bed.  The First Mate couldn’t relax so we got up again at first light about 30 minutes later.  The shifting tides had already pushed the tree away from the anchor, but it’s root system was now getting tangled in our stern line.  No worries (as they often say here in Canada).  We untied the stern line and the tree floated away.  Throughout the encounter, our amazing new anchor and anchor chain remained solidly attached to the bottom of the bay.

The sun was now rising so I thought why not try to fish?

I immediately caught two small rock fish (the first fish I’ve caught since I was a child), but they were too small to eat so we unhooked them and set them free.

By 6:30 AM we had solved the tree problem, caught two fish, and had breakfast.  We both feel very accomplished.  Today our plan is to cruise from here, through “hole-in-the-wall” (a narrow channel with tidal rapids) to one of our favorite spots from two years ago: Octopus Islands.  We expect to hang out there, kayak and enjoy our third day in a row of beautiful, warm, sunny weather.

Yours Very Truly,

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love

P.S.  Here are a couple of sunset shots from last night at Dent Island.

Days 12 – 13: Mermaid Bay Dent Island

Day 12 (July 24, 2012):


Mermaid Bay, Dent Island


Our voyage to Desolation Sound was easy but cloudy.  We stopped in Lund for provisions at 5:00 PM and then headed to Tenedas Bay to anchor for the night.  Saul did the stern tie from the kayak, which was an innovation.  Simon and Jim settled in with a beer to watch assuming there would be great entertainment, but Saul smoothly kayaked out and tossed the rope over the Madronna tree on the first try. 


Last night was a hoot!  We mixed cocktails and began with a special appetizer we had tried years ago in Key West:  dates, wrapped in crispy bacon, pan sautéed on the grill with orange marmalade sauce.  Yum!  They didn’t last long, but a delicious dinner of steak, pot stickers, and fresh salad with radishes, avocado and mango followed.


We continued to share libations while playing bridge.  Jim and Saul against Simon and me.  Simon hadn’t played bridge in a while, but he hadn’t lost a step.  Simon and I entered the last hand of the night 1200 points ahead.  Saul and Jim had to win a slam doubled to beat us.  For you bridge players out there, Jim bid 1 heart.  Saul had 6 hearts in his hand.  He bid 6 hearts.  I doubled and they made 7!  It was spectacular!  If Simon and I had to lose that was a fun way to do it.


We slept in and set out this morning for a tour of Desolation Sound and beyond. The clouds were higher in the sky when we woke up this morning and we made bets on the time for the sun’s appearance.  The times varied considerably between 1:30 and 4:00.


This was “communication dysfunction day” for the Captain and First Mate.  The Captain had a “particular place in mind” and the First Mate wanted downtime near the Kenmore Plane pick-up point at Dent Island on Wednesday.  We both thought the other had agreed to the each other’s plans.


Saul commented that although Jim and I have a remarkable ability to communicate and work together closely in bliss most of the time, when we don’t it’s like two currents rushing past each other at top speed creating whirlpools of unpredictable energy, like the eddy’s in the rapids we were navigating today.  So true!


But like the rapids in the always-changing tidal currents, the water’s calmed and we (with the help of some decisive intervention from Simon and Saul) ended up in Mermaid Bay on the west side of Dent Island. The clouds cleared, bathing us with the much-needed warmth of the sun at 4:00.  We were safely anchored (including another shore tie) in a magical place resting on the bow of the True Love, listening to the rapids and watching the eagles in the sun.


Saul deployed the crab pot again, this time using chicken for bait.  The First Mate made our first small plate of capresse and we sunned on the bow like seals warming on a big rock.  Simon used the extra clams we saved from the previous night to make our second small plate, a delicious clam pasta dish.


The men are now out on another dinghy adventure, exploring the area, possibly stopping by the bar at the Sonoma Island Resort while the First Mate enjoys some alone time.

Tomorrow we should have a quiet morning where we don’t have to move anywhere before we drop Saul and Simon off at the seaplane just a few minutes by tender from where we are anchored.




Day 13:  July 25, 2012

Simon and Saul Fly Home


The men returned right before dark.   They saw over 20 eagles at sunset on a small island nearby and then attempted to get a drink at the Sonoma Island Resort.  The bar tender was horrified that they weren’t guests.  People cannot just boat up and enjoy the facilities.  Guests only.  First they were given a tour and then they were escorted from the premises.


After the men returned, we enjoyed some more bridge and scotch.  Saul and the First Mate were partners this time against Simon and the Captain.  What can I say?  I had great cards and Saul and I were victorious.


Before going to bed we went out to look at the stars.  Saul said he had forgotten how many stars were in the sky.  The Milky Way was bright and clear.


This morning we slept in and woke to warm sunshine.  What a change! Around 11:30 we headed over to Dent Island.  Everyone agreed that although Dent Island didn’t have all the fancy facilities (the indoor tennis court, the heated pool, the game room with 3 video golf screens, etc.) its simple elegance was far superior.  We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch while we awaited their flying chariot.  Not a bad way to travel.


We all had a wonderful time together.  It was the Captain and First Mate’s great pleasure to share some the beauty and magic of this beautiful area with our son and one of our best friends.


The Captain and I did some eagle photography this afternoon, sunbathed on the bow and napped.  Tonight we went back to Dent Island to share a lovely dinner together.  We have enjoyed all of our guests but are looking forward to the next week alone on the True Love.

Yours Very Truly,

The Captain and the First Mate of the True Love


Day 5 – Day 11 Pender Harbor to Egmont To Princess Louisa Inlet and Back

WEDNESDAY (July 18, 2012)

Jack and Ruth Halsell aboard.

Our Wednesday morning in Pender Harbor was uneventful.  We slept in, had a good run, did some housekeeping, and checked the crab pot (no crabs).

The clouds cleared and the sun came out just as we were heading to pick up our good friends Jack and Ruth at the fuel dock when their seaplane arrived from Seattle.  Their flight came in a bit early, but Jack called us using his portable VHF radio and we were dockside five minutes later.  With our guests aboard we headed for Egmont, the last bit of civilization on the way to Princess Louisa Inlet. We began with some snacks and champagne and headed up Agamemnon channel. It was an easy trip, with a favorable tide, a favorable wind and lots of warm sunshine.  We arrived to a crowded dock, but luckily the first mate had called ahead for reservations and the last spot on the dock was awaiting us.

After docking we headed to shore for some dinner on the deck of the waterside pub.  A good time was had by all as we shared some beer, yummy fresh shrimp, steak and salad.  After dinner we chatted on the boat as we watched the sky explode once again into a beautiful sunset.

THURSDAY (July 19, 2012)

Thursday morning, the first mate mixed up some “Julie elixirs” in preparation for our walk to the local bakery, The Greer Rosette, in the woods along the “Skookumchuck Trail” from Egmont to the Skookumchuck Rapids.  This was a hidden treasure that even our seasoned guests had never discovered.  We stocked up on cinnamon rolls, muffins, and other treats.  But, before heading back we first took time to enjoy some delicious goodies on the deck of the bakery overlooking a little stream.

Our timing was perfect. When we arrived back at the True Love the tides had changed  in our favor and it was time to leave Egmont and head to Princess Louise Inlet.  The sun was out early Thursday and we were ready to enjoy a spectacular day.  Although Jack and Ruth had been up here many times, and this was our fourth trip in four years, the unusual and stunning passage up the fjord named Jarvis Inlet never gets old.  With the wind and the tide at our backs, conditions were perfect for the first mate to do her yoga on the bow of the True Love and the voyage took only about four hours.  We made it through Malibu Rapids with no problems although the first mate lost her hat as the Captain sped up to navigate through the tidal entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet.

Although there were fewer than 20 boats in the inlet (which is about 4 miles long by 1-2 miles wide), one of the boats was in our favorite anchorage at the bottom of tall waterfall.  So it took the first mate a few minutes to find another perfect anchorage near another waterfall that still had just the right view of Chatterbox Falls and waterfall sound.

The waters of Princess Louisa Inlet are very deep, too deep to anchor in the normal way.  Even though we have 300 feet of anchor chain, our anchor can only touch the seafloor if we drop the anchor and then back up to within 30 feet of shore.  The Captain then must use the dinghy to go to shore, put a rope around a tree, and bring it back to our boat so that it’s held in place between the anchor and the shore.

So we dropped the anchor and deployed the dingy so that the Captain could set the stern tie.  Unfortunately, the tide was out and the target tree for stern tie rope was a bit high.  The Captain returned for an assist from Jack, who used the dinghy’s engine to keep the dinghy from floating away from the steep shoreline while the Captain repeatedly attempted to throw the rope around the tree.  Working together, the Captain and Jack successfully secured the stern tie to shore and brought it back to the boat.  Because the tide had moved the boat during this whole exercise, we had to use the main engines briefly to reposition the anchor, but, after a little maneuvering we were firmly and safely set in a truly magical spot.

The waterfalls falling into Princess Louisa Inlet are very strong this year.  Chatterbox Falls is full and roaring.  The air temperature was very warm although the water temperature was still only 69 degrees. We enjoyed the rest of the day and evening, drank wine, shared stories and played bridge.

Around 7:30 PM, we paused our bridge game for a yummy salad with spring greens, chicken, raspberries, blueberries and avocado.  On the side I cooked up some Chinese dumplings and we ended our meal with molten chocolate cakes and homemade espresso chip ice cream.

The sun set and so did all our energy.  We hoped to stay up and look at the stars, but it just gets dark too late in the summer!  Before collapsing into bed we did see the Big Dipper appear along with the north star and two of the brightest planets (our guess is Venus and Jupiter).

FRIDAY  (July 20, 2012)

Friday morning brought light rain around 5 AM.  Later that morning we took advantage of a break in the drizzle to visit the single dock at the head of the inlet walk to Chatterbox Falls.  This is by far the largest waterfall in the inlet, and although you can hear it roar from miles away, it’s hard to comprehend how powerful the falls are until you are standing next to them.

The rendezvous time (1:45 PM) with Jack and Ruth’s outbound seaplane was approaching, but we expected a weather delay because the drizzle had turned to a hard, steady rain and visibility was poor.  We tried to use the satellite phone to call Kenmore Air, but of course it didn’t work.  After noshing on some capresse for lunch the Captain used the dinghy to take Jack and Ruth the four miles through the driving rain to Malibu Camp at the entrance to the inlet so that they could use the satellite phone there to call Kenmore Air and let their adult children know that their return flight would be delayed by hours or days.

I just received a report from the Captain through the VHF.  It is currently 3:30 PM and the plane is supposedly “on the way.”  The First Mate awaits her soggy guests, turns on the generator so she can  put their clothes in the dryer when they return while we wait for the seaplane.  But then there is an update from the Captain, Kenmore Air now says the weather will not allow the seaplane to fly into Princess Louisa Inlet until tomorrow “at the earliest.”  Two more for dinner tonight!  The dinghy and its passengers return to the True Love but they are drenched and dripping wet.  But all was well again after they changed into dry clothes and drank some spiked tea and hot chocolate.

The heavy rain continued into the late afternoon and evening, causing the waterfalls of Princess Louisa Inlet to all grow spectacularly.  Too tired to play bridge, we watched some DVD movies.  Jack and Ruth had never seen most of the romantic comedies we had on the boat so we started the entertainment with ”Saving Grace” and ended the evening with “When Harry Met Sally.”

SATURDAY (July 21, 2012)

The weather was a lot better on Saturday morning.  It didn’t rain at all until 11 AM and after that there were only occasional brief light showers for most of the day.  So after breakfast, Jack and Ruth took the dinghy back to Malibu Camp and borrowed their satellite phone again.  They got through to Kenmore Air and were promised that a seaplane would pick them up either that day at 5:45 PM, or the next day (Sunday) when Kenmore Air was already scheduled to fly into Princess Louisa to drop of Simon and Saul.

So we all proceeded to enjoy another day in beautiful Princess Louisa Inlet.  The captain and first mate went for a long kayak and we were treated to a close encounter with an eagle fighting with a seagull.  The eagle was approaching the seagull nesting area but was met by a vigilant and aggressive patrol.   The eagle took refuge in a tree but the seagulls repeatedly swooped down on him until he finally took refuge deeper in the forest.  It was great fun to watch and listen to the eagle and seagulls squawk at each other.

Jack and Ruth took the tender out again for some exploring and we met them on our way back.  On our kayak we saw a “For Sale” sign for 1782 acres of land in Princess Louisa Inlet, including 4.5 kilometers of oceanfront.   Amazingly, only about 10% of Princess Louisa Inlet is a Canadian Marine Park.  The rest is privately held and although the land would be exceptionally difficult to develop because of all the steep slopes, cliffs, waterfalls and landslides, we all decided that if any of us ever win the lottery, we are going to buy this land and donate it to the Princess Louisa Society so that a hundred years from now, this beautiful inlet will still look as pristine as it does today.

It rained lightly off and on all day but the cloud ceiling looked high enough for flying so we were all hopeful that Jack and Ruth would be able to fly out at 5:45 PM.

Jack & Ruth toured the engine room together to look at all the equipment there, especially the watermaker.  The engine room received the highly coveted Jack & Ruth seal of approval with just a few tips for future improvements.  Then we decided to play some bridge.  I think Jack was more annoyed about having to go back to Malibu Camp and beg for to use their phone service than he was about staying one more night.  Of course if our satellite phone worked that would not have been necessary, you already know the story there!

A private seaplane flew in around five which raised everyone’s spirits again, but almost immediately after the rain picked up, thick clouds started to form and the private seaplane left after a very short visit.  Lowering spirits.  Around 5:45 PM Jack spotted lights in the distance.  Our seaplane was here!

We said our goodbyes and the Captain took Jack & Ruth in the dinghy to meet up with the seaplane.  We truly loved our time with Jack & Ruth.  They are amazing people and we aspire to be such great adventurers when we are in our 80’s.

We especially thank them for helping us analyze the survey (detailed mechanical inspection and appraisal) of the first True Love and strongly encouraging us to visit Princess Louisa Inlet four years ago.

SUNDAY (July 22, 2012)

The “sunshine coast of British Columbia” is NOT living up to it’s name.   We slept in and woke to another rainstorm.   While the Captain made lattes and the First Mate made challah french toast, we both wondered whether Saul and Simon’s seaplane would be able to get through. If not, our “plan B” was to leave Princess Louisa today and hopefully meet up with Saul and Simon somewhere closer to civilization.

As the rain and heavy mist continued throughout the morning, we assumed that Saul and Simon’s seaplane would not be able to make it in.  So we relaxed while slowly enjoying our delicious breakfast.  I added to my blog and then gave it to the Captain for final proofreading.  Then all of a sudden we noticed that a seaplane was taking off.  We were so absorbed in our other tasks that we didn’t see it arrive – right on time at noon.  We weren’t able to contact anyone on the VHF so we quickly started up the dinghy and the Captain went to pick up our next guests.

Saul and Simon were so lucky.  Within an hour of their arrival another storm set in and it was rainy and misty for most of the rest of the day.  Fortunately, there were a few short breaks in the weather so were able to take the dinghy out explore Chatterbox Falls and rest of the inlet.  All of the rain made the 30+ waterfalls of Princess Louisa Inlet run even stronger giving the inlet a look similar to the mystical elf village named Rivendale in the movie “Lord of the Rings.”

MONDAY  (July 23, 2012)

Unfortunately, we woke to mist and rain again.  Saul slept through most of our preparations to leave, but with Simon on board we had all of the help we needed to retrieve and stow the two kayaks and the dinghy.  As we approached Malibu Rapids at the entrance to the inlet, we say two big juvenile eagles – they were as big as adult bald eagles but lacked their heads and tails were still brown, not white.  We now are heading out of Jervis inlet, driving the boat from the lower (interior) helm, where we are warm and dry, drinking tea and hot chocolate.  Our next stop is Lund, the last town with a grocery store before Desolation Sound.  At Lund we plan to buy some groceries and hopefully access the internet so that I can post this blog.  Our goal is to reach an anchorage in Desolation Sound by 7PM tonight, so we have plenty of time to anchor and make sure all is well before sunset (at 9:05 PM).

Yours very Truly,

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love

Day 4 & 5: Kansas to OZ

Hello friends and family!

It’s been a busy couple of days.  After an incredibly cold, dark and rainy evening Sunday night, we awoke Monday in Poet’s Cove (Bedwell Harbour) to bright sunshine and began our journey through one of our favorite places, the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

As we headed through the canal connecting the north and south halves of Pender Island, we remembered that we should have checked the tides and the reference texts first.  It was very shallow. As it turns out, a 2 foot low tide is our lower limit for going through that passage. Fortunately, the low tide that morning was a foot deeper that that.  Lest we forget, the issue is now noted on our charts.  The inside passage from Poets Cove to Nanaimo is calm, open and beautiful.  Compared to the rainy windy day before, it was like leaving Kansas in black and white and entering the spectacularly colorful  Oz.


The rapids at the Dodd Narrows was fun!




We both did our exercise and the first mate got to do her yoga on the bow in the beautiful, warm sunshine!

Entering Nanaimo this year was a bit anticlimactic.  Last year we pulled into the harbor with Mark and Nancy Beach aboard and we were met with fireworks.  I guess they didn’t get the memo this year about our ETA.  We chose to anchor and deploy the dinghy to go into town for some errands.  So began the frustrating part of our day; the time when we have to ask ourselves if the True Love (aka our floating rockstar RV) has too much technology:  specifically, our verizon “myfi” (personal wi-fi internet connection) and the satellite phone.

So we took the dinghy into shore and took a walk to find a marine equipment store and the closest Starbucks (for internet).   After a call to Verizon support and a switch to Canadian protocol we were up and running.  Unfortunately, the marine store did not have the 50/30 amp plug adapter or the little screw driver we were looking for.  That can be solved later.  We did provision with fresh fruit and, of course, Nanaimo bars purchased in Nanaimo!

After delivering our supplies back to the boat and showering we headed out to our favorite Greek restaurant where we had a usually delicious meal!  We didn’t have room for dessert, so we took two servings of ek-mek back to the boat (ek-mek is a yummy Greek custard dessert).

Yesterday we woke ready to tackle the sat phone. The first satellite phone companies spent billions launching their networks of satellites and then went bankrupt because too few people wanted to use sat phones.  Now we know why — sat phone technology is 30 years behind cell phone technology.  Yes you can get phone service anywhere, but not anytime.  In fact, the only time you can make or receive a sat phone call is during the 5-15 minute interval when a satellite has risen over the horizon (don’t ask which horizon) and before it sets over the opposite horizon.  In other words, you spend a LOT of time waiting for service and even when you are able to make a call, the sat phone loses service within a few minutes.  After several calls (using a cell phone) to technical support and some funky positioning of the sat phone we were able to make it work, once, briefly.  Hopefully, if we have an emergency in a remote location, we’ll be able to make it work again.

The winds were mostly calm yesterday during our crossing of the Georgia Strait, between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland.  Unfortunately Canadian naval exercises were underway in the “Whiskey-Gulf” training area so we couldn’t take the fastest route.  Not a real problem, though, as it was sunny and beautiful.  Enjoying he journey is what boating is about.   During the crossing Walt texted Jim to let us know that our AIS position was not working so Captain Jim took care of that little technical problem.  Guess what?  There is an App for that!  Seriously.  Problem fixed.  You can now find us on the web site if you are so inclined, but only when we have wi-fi, so expect us to “disappear” from AIS tracking when we’re in Princess Louisa Inlet on Thursday-Sunday.

We arrived in Pender Harbour around 2, anchored pretty easily and launched the dinghy.  The first mate noticed that the winch that launches and retrieves the dinghy wasn’t working quite correctly because the cable wasn’t spooling properly.  For those familiar with sewing, it looked like a bad bobbin.  So we spent some time fixing that little issue.  After that, it was time to get our crabbing and fishing license and deploy the crab pot.  This is something the first mate and head chef was very excited about.  The Captain was less excited.  But he likes to make the First Mate happy so we got our bait and headed just outside Pender Harbour to deploy the crab pot.  Just as we selected our spot an eagle majestically flew very near us, swopped down next to the water and caught a fish in its talons.  We like to think it was Mike Marshall’s eagle that watched us fish last year letting us know we picked a good spot.

On our way back to the True Love we stopped at the Painted Boat Resort for a cocktail and some yummy appetizers.  Julie:  they made this great stuff to serve crab that combined spinach and peanuts blended and molded and made into a jello to form a rectangle.  Really very yummy, especially with the crab and so interesting to look at.  We need to try it!  We came back to the True Love for another lovely sunset.  Stopping to watch the sunset quietly floating on the water is one of the magical parts of boating.

After we finish breakfast this morning and our blog we are going to head out to shore for a run and then we will check our crab pot.   Our friends Jack and Ruth Halsell fly in to visit us this afternoon for a fun trip up to Princess Louisa Inlet.  We can’t wait to have them aboard for some bridge and great adventure!  After Jack and Ruth visit we will be joined by Simon James and Saul!  They will join us for the trip out of Princess Louisa Inlet to Desolation Sound on Sunday and Monday

We will be back on line Monday.  Although we may give you a quick crab pot update this afternoon!

We also want to wish the First Mate’s parents Sheila and George a Happy belated Anniversary!

Yours very truly,

The Captain and the First Mate of the True Love

Day 2 & 3: First Day in Canada

We end Sunday night in Poets Cove.  Not a great weather day.  It was ridiculously cold. We did see the sun for 6 minutes and 47 seconds.  Then we were treated to a wonderful sunset! Now it’s raining again.  We are hopeful for tomorrow.  Enjoy the photos.

 Poets Cove

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Beginning of the sunset!

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End of the sunset!

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Day 1: Heading North With the Tide

Lightning, Thunderstorms & Port Townsend

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We departed Seattle for our journey north a bit later than we planned.  There were of course some last minute repairs and water filter changes; storing tons of food and supplies;  waiting for Jim to finish work and the arrival of our guests.  But with a final goodbye from Ben Rhoades, boat guru extraordinaire, we were off.  Joining us for the first leg of our journey was Alan Middleton and his lovely daughter Emma.

The winds were calm but the weather was very interesting.  All day we had thunder and lightening in the Puget Sound area.  It was never near us but we watched the lightening and heard the thunder as we made our way north to Port Townsend.

Across from Port Townsend there is a Navy supply depot that’s usually empty, but this time there was a huge submarine at the dock, protected by several big and small coast guard escort boats.  The submarine appeared to Jim to be an Ohio Class submarine similar to the one he toured years ago at the Bangor Submarine Base ten miles south.

Keeping the submarine and its escorts at a respectful distance, we made our way around the supply depot and entered Kilisut Habor around 8 PM.  This little harbor includes Fort Flagler, an old coastal defense battery that is now a state park that has several mooring buoys for recreational boaters.

As we entered the bay we saw 3 pelicans which is very unusual.

We were also surprised to discover that there were no boats on the buoys and although our boat is too big to tie up directly to one of the buoys, we used one as a stern tie and anchored right there.  Just as we finished anchored, the skies opened up and a deluge of rain poured down.  Perfect timing!

While it rained, we all enjoyed a tasty meal and good conversation. After dinner, we were treated to a beautiful sunset through a hole in the storm clouds to the west, and a lightning show to the southwest of us that lasted well into the evening.

We woke up Saturday morning to some fog. We mixed some yummy “Julie elixers” to balance the nutritional value of our bear claws and coffee and headed over to Port Townsend to drop off Emma and Alan. We were immediately treated to a large beautiful bald eagle wishing us well on our journey.

As if perfectly timed for our benefit the big submarine (referred to as “Navy Unit 51” on the radio) departed with its escorts at the same time so we stopped to watch it head out to sea.

Port Townsend was charming as usual.  We took an hour’s stroll with Emma and Alan and they then took a cab to the Kingston Ferry.  We stopped at the bakery in town and bought some yummy stuff for the trip (because I clearly did not have enough other food on board) and headed out to cross the fabled Strait of Juan De Fuca.  The fog cleared, the sun was out and the winds were calm.

Exhausted from provisioning and our last big work out with Jean Anne, I collapsed on the perch to sun while the Captain got us safely and easily to Friday Harbor for our final fueling before crossing into Canadian waters and their extremely high fuel prices.

Last night we stayed in Blind Bay on the north end of Shaw Island.  We were both pretty exhausted and ate a simple dinner, read and fell asleep.  Today we head for Canada.  The forecast calls for more scattered thunderstorms.  We shall see.

Yours Very Truly,

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love