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.
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