From the Lethargy Zone to the Southern Gulf Islands

First, it appears I forgot to post these wonderful dolphin photos from our encounter near Fredrick’s Arm last week. So here they are!














 It’s Monday night and we are at anchor in Reef Harbour between Tumbo Island and little Cabbage Island. The sun is still pretty high in the sky at 6:35 PM. It’s high tide now, but in the morning we should see the reef clearly marked on the charts appear around us. We are nearing the end of our journey. We can see Point Roberts, Bellingham and Anacortes in the distance to our East and South. To our north and west we can see Vancouver. We even see the Cascades. DSC_5255 DSC_5280This is a special spot to end this year’s True Love Cruise Adventure. It isn’t often that you are on the edge of the Strait of Georgia and there are no winds. Supposedly this spot is protected in a SE wind. But it certainly can’t be a big wind. Tumbo Island just isn’t very big or tall and Cabbage Island is much smaller.


The Lethargy Zone of Nanaimo:

We spent the last few days winding down after arriving in Nanaimo late on Saturday after a 10-hour cruise south.DSC_5236

We were pretty tired and shifted into the True Love lethargy zone. After sleeping in we walked to breakfast in “downtown” Nanaimo. Nanaimo, whoa, whoa, whoa. Nanaimo . . . you get it. On our way to breakfast at the recommended Tina’s Cafe we heard our names. Believe it or not, but Jim’s cousin and colleague at Dick’s Drive-In, Ron Schmeer and his son Kian family were walking down the road a block away.   Ron, his wife KC, and their two kids Kian and Maria had just spent the night at a Nanaimo hotel on the way to Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Small world!


After breakfast we searched for a bicycle shop to procure a working pump for the hydraulic repair. It wasn’t easy to find, but after circling the area we stumbled upon their sign that led to a cute shop in an alley. Well fed and properly equipped we headed back to the True Love where we used the plentiful water for cleaning before entering fully into the “lethargy zone” at the “Dingy Dock Pub”. We’ve been to Nanaimo many times, but always in transit never allowing ourselves the luxury of approaching the “space time continuum” that leads to the do-nothing-chill-completely-relax zone. No one really realizes how much they need some time in the lethargy zone until they’re in it. Our cruise has been amazing, but we needed a respite from the adventure, the fishing and the visits.


The Dinghy Dock Pub was suggested to us by Stan Harrelson, on a comment he made on my Facebook post. Thank you Stan and thank you Facebook!


We stresslessly took the tender to the bar, planted our hinies in perfect seats along the edge of the bar where we drank and ate, on the floating Pub with a 180 degree view of Nanaimo’s Harbor. We were intermittently blessed with the warmth of the sun and gently cooled by the occasional clouds. As we lounged we saw the BC Games’ small sailboat race. The BC Games were underway in Nanaimo. They are the equivalent of the Junior Olympics. Some of the sailboats were extremely little — young elementary school child It wasn’t busy at the Dinghy Pub and we didn’t rush. When it was the perfect time we loaded the tender and headed gently back to the True Love, only 5 minutes away, where we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in bliss. While lounging, a huge 150 foot sailboat docked almost in front of us and just behind the stunning , century-old, 100 foot classic yacht owned by the Foss Tugboat company. The True Love was in extremely good company. We listened to jazz, ate cheese and watched people gawk at the two stunning yachts in front of us.


Because we hadn’t yet paid for our moorage we picked ourselves up and exited the lethargy zone for a walk to the harbormaster and then a stroll along the waterfront to an extremely bustling dock. It’s hard to believe that this hub of activity was so visible off our pier as the crow flies, but it took a one-mile stroll to actually get there. We passed people walking, running, eating ice cream, fishing, crabbing and throwing food scraps to seagulls and an eagle. Now this eagle is always there at this time of the evening. We have seen it from the True Love before. This is not a majestic wild eagle. This eagle is fat, lazy and happy living in bliss inside the “lethargy zone.” He wouldn’t even grab the turkey leg that was offered to him just before sunset. He was just too full!


Sunday morning we set our alarm so we wouldn’t sleep in. A first for the trip. We needed to work off the lethargy, so we drank a healthy protein, kale, spinach and berry elixir and went for a 3 mile run/walk along the waterfront. Next, we used the new bicycle pump to increase the pressure in the hydraulics so the gearshift and throttle would be more responsive. Lastly, we topped off the water before departing through Dodd Narrows at slack tide for our next destination: Montague Harbour.


Montague Harbour

Like Nanaimo we had never lingered in Montague Harbor, we just used it as a great anchorage coming or going. But we wanted to stay awhile and explore.   A masseur from Poets Cove had suggested we try the Galliano Island spa. So we called on our way and after some phone issues we were able to schedule massages and a pick-up at the dock. Because the favorable light SE winds we anchored for the first time in relative seclusion on the outer NW arm of the bay in front of a bright white shell beach..


The Galiliano Island Resort & Spa was lovely. It’s located on the east side of Active Pass, the main route for ferries between Victoria and Vancouver. We enjoyed our massages, steam and dinner. In the lobby, the little resort and spa has an extremely cool mural made up of individual painted squares that together create a larger image of an orca and calf.   It was commissioned from the local Galliano artists. We returned by car and then tender to the True Love just in time for a quick sunset before melting into bed.


Today we woke up naturally and went for a lovely kayak along the SW shore of Galliano Island. The architecture of the buildings, big & small, homes or office towers have become fascinating to me. I wish I had known my interest earlier as I think I would have enjoyed architecture. I also have quite a fascination for big construction equipment and the process of building projects. Ahhh . . . maybe the next time around . . .


But, I digress; the homes on the cliffs were stunning. They are examples of the kind of architecture I appreciate, with the building and materials blending in with the surroundings, yet taking advantage of the spectacular terrain and views. The architecture, combined with the sandstone cliffs, rock formations and the calm water made for a lovely kayak.

Fish Falling from the Sky:

I’m going to take this as a sign from the eagles above that we should keep fishing. When we returned to the True Love, there was a large, but mostly eaten fish in the tender. It was totally gruesome and quite a mess, but it cleaned up easily.

After cleaning up the mess, I mixed up a 2014 True Love Adventure favorite, capresse salad, for lunch, using small multi-colored tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, avocado, oil, balsamic vinegar, spices, fresh basil (from my basil plant on board) and sprinkled bacon (if appropriate), all chopped it into bite-sized pieces.

We ate lunch on the new upper deck area and watched quite a few boats anchor around us. But no bother, we were about to pick up and head to our last destination in Canada where we now sit peacefully watching the sunset, sharing a yummy, decadent, fresh-strawberry-and-cream cocktail.

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On the way we decided to trust the sea condition forecast and choose the shorter route through Active Pass out to the southern end of the Georgia Strait. We’ve always been a little nervous about getting caught in the narrow passage with one or two of the giant BC ferries. DSC_5255But it worked perfectly and we were able to easily maneuver out of the way as two ferries passed by. The seas were calm in the Georgia Strait and we enjoyed a smooth cruise to our next destination: Reef Harbour (between Tumbo Island and little Cabbage Island.


Reef Harbour:

Reef Harbour is very unusual in that it’s only a harbor at low tide. At high tide, the little harbor is almost completely exposed to the Strait of Georgia. But as the tide lowers, extensive shoals are revealed that create a fully enclosed harbor! We’ve never seen anything like it.


After we anchored (at high tide), we explored little Cabbage Island a bit. The “reference text” suggested this little island of rock and trees off our port was worth the stroll. So we landed and circumnavigated the tiny island on foot beginning on a perfect sandy shore. From there we walked past pine trees, birch leaves rustling in the wind, flowering sea grass and pretty madrona trees. We traversed both sand and rock beaches, as well as a strange conglomerate made of large fist-size colorful rocks in a hard black base. Cabbage Island is so much more than its silly vegetable name: a small cornucopia of flora and geology surrounded by beautiful views. And in this calm weather it’s perfect. As we walked the north side of the island, fronting the Strait of Georgia, the driftwood was spectacularly large. photoOne tree stump was at least 50 feet around, 15 feet high and had a significant root system. Standing perfectly upright on shore it was harmless and beautiful, but I can’t imagine seeing it in the stormy waters it had to traverse to land in its current spot.


Now that we’re back on the True Love, the seals are playfully slapping the water all around us, eagles are chirping, perching and occasionally even soaring over the trees.


Tomorrow we head back across the imaginary border separating Canada and the US. We plan to stop in La Conner for a night and visit the Bow Spady clan before our final cruise back to the Elliott Bay Marina on Wednesday.


DSC_5355This morning we got to see our anchorage in all of its “low-tide” splendor. The sun was out but we could see the clouds in the distance so we went for a great kayak to the head of the bay, spotting the local eagle pair close to shore. photoJim found a fun passage that was just deep enough for kayaks through the shoal the creates “shoal harbor” at low tide and we kayaked back on the unusually glassy calm water of the Georgia Strait, passing baby seals soaking up the sun on shore and playing in the water.

photo photo 

Back in the USA!

Traditionally, during our return to Washington State, it begins to rain just as we return and today is no exception. But we are snug and warm in the True Love’s lower helm, heading back home in some sprinkles with calm seas as we cruise through the San Juan Islands. We’ve cleared customs via phone using our NEXUS cards and all is fine and dandy.


This year we enjoyed sharing our adventure in person with some very special people: Liza & Brian Cohen, Jess & Saul, my parents George and Sheila Lederer and their great-grandson Zan, Jasmine, David & James, and of course all of you who read the blog!  It’s been fantastic and we can’t wait until next year’s cruise. Thanks for sharing our True Love Adventures!


More Sharing & a Bit of Drama!

james ArrivesWe arrived at Dent Island about 10 minutes before the seaplane we thought was caring the Jasmine, David & James, but they were in another seaplane that arrived about 30 minutes later.   I told one of the guys exiting the first seaplane for a weekend salmon derby that I was very disappointed and he playfully responded that his wife says that to him all the time. 

 I was a little nervous about how James was going to do on the flight.  Seaplanes are great fun, but a bit noisy.  However, when they landed right in front of the True Love, docked and deplane, everyone had smiles and the flight was obviously a success.  Dent Island was a perfect place for James to acclimate to “boat time”. DSC_4861 We enjoyed lunch on the deck of the little restaurant while James explored this new place.


DSC_4869DSC_4910DSC_4890After lunch the Captain took us on the tender to see all the eagles at nearby Jimmy Judd Island (we call it Eagle Island because there are always lots of eagles there), and we took another short excursion from there to Big Bay on Stuart Island for some rock throwing into the water.  Rock throwing into water is currently James favorite past time.  He prepares with a rock in each hand.  It’s our job to collect the rocks and keep a constant pile available.  He wind-ups like a pitcher and throws with great enthusiasm and follow-throDSC_4918ugh.  It’s also our job to make sure he doesn’t fall over.  In addition to all the eagles at Jimmy Judd Island we also saw 3 sea lions (a first for the True Love in the area and apparently very unusual there before September).


After we returned to the True Love, James took a little nap with Jasmine. DSC_4863 After eating such a late and big lunch we just noshed for dinner.  As twilight set in we noticed the “super-moon” rising.  David and I grabbed my camera and tripod to try and shoot it.  We didn’t last very long, because we were attacked by a swarm of mosquitos.  We still got a good shot.  DSC_4950We ended our day giving James a bath.  I had purchased a portable bath on Amazon.  It was much smaller than the photo (which showed two children in the bath). DSC_4943 Obviously it was photo-shopped or neither child had any legs.  But, it worked perfectly for James on the boat.


The next day after a hardy breakfast and some more rock-throwing on Dent Island, we headed out on our cruise to Pendrell Sound in search of warm water for swimming.  James was great on the cruise.  I brought up the tub for some playtime and he enjoyed the new enclosed back DSC_4970deck on the upper deck.


There was lots of laughter during the three days and two nights we were together, and a great joy to watch Jasmine, David and James play and laugh.  They are great parents and a loving family.  I brought a beach ball on the boat for James and he loved it.  Playing with all kinds of balls is another one of James’ favorite activities.  He loved playing with the beach ball, tossing it around inside the boat.


The weather has been extremely hot the last week and the water in Pendrell Sound was extremely warm:  over 78 degrees.  Because we were looking for the warmest water for James we sailed all the way up to the head of bay.  Jasmine and I decided to try securing the shore tie, which was great entertainment for everyone on the nearby boats and the men on the True Love. DSC_4984 I don’t drive the tender very often and I’m just not that good at its subtleties.  We also were anchored too far away from the shore for our line and the Captain had to readjust the anchor chain, which isn’t usually a good idea and would lead to some drama later that evening.  But as we accomplished our immediate task the people on the boat next to us cheered.DSC_5035

We were all ready for a swim!  It was super fun and we all had a blast!  David took bath duty with James while Jasmine and I did one last swim.


We were all extremely exhausted from the sun, the voyage, the swimming and the playing, so we watched the movie “Bride & Prejudice” (David had never seen it and James loved dancing to the music). 

We ended our day with a yummy meal of BBQ Chicken, garlic shrimp and broccoli, all cooked on the grill.   James was having a little issue with some teething so he wasn’t as interested in eating as usual.  I decided to mix him up a special protein coconut milkshake and that seemed to work for him!DSC_4545

Now for the adventure!

Remember we had to let out more anchor chain to accomplish our shore tie.  Unfortunately, that created too much play in our anchoring system.  Around 1 AM we were hit by some big gusts of wind that moved the boat much too close to our neighbors.  So, the Captain decided we had to start the engine, raise the anchor, retrieve the shore tie and head out.  This is never fun in the middle of the night and particularly when in close quarters to other boats. 

The good news is that we didn’t hit anyone.  Jasmine and David obviously woke up when we started the engine but, unbelievably, James never woke up the entire time.  It was remarkable all around.  Guided by the light of the moon, we headed the True Love over to a spot in the middle of Pendrell Sound where we had anchored without a shore tie in the past.  We also got to use our newly purchased FLIR night vision scope.  We had bought it this year for just this very situation!  When we got to the new anchor location the Captain didn’t feel comfortable with the anchorage.  So we decided to head to the middle of Pendrell Sound, send the kids to bed while we stayed up until dawn when we could anchor more easily.  The Captain and I took turns sleeping and we made it through the night with no problem.  In fact, the True Love never moved much at all while floating unanchored in the middle of Pendrell Sound.  We all decided the next morning that anchoring is clearly overrated! 

 By the time James awoke, a perfect spot for spending the day had become available and we easily dropped anchor and spent the day rock throwing from shore and from the True Love’s swim platform.DSC_5019  We also enjoyed more swimming and kayaking and James took a long nap.  DSC_5022Right before we had to go ,Jim spotted the Schuchart’s boat “Geronimo” entering Pendrell Sound.


We hailed them on the VHF and wished them a fun time.  They have brought their boat up and their son and his family would soon be flying up to take the boat back to Seattle.  DSC_5048During the trip David and Jasmine learned more about piloting the True Love.  It will be fun when they can fly up and take the boat back to Seattle too.

 When it was time, we brought up the anchor and headed to Refuge Cove to drop the kids off for their seaplane flight home.   On the way, I created a surprise treat of whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  Everyone loved it! (Thank you Liza for sending the mixer up with Jess!) 

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Refuge Cove was scorching hot and we were all very tired (especially the Captain and the First Mate).  We, unlike Jasmine and David, are not at all used to staying up all night without sleep. But we enjoyed are last bit of time together, drinking iced tea and lemonade and sitting down with cool towels on our necks as we played with the James and the beach ball.

 DSC_5055The seaplane arrived and scooped up our last visitors.  Although we were exhausted, I just couldn’t hang at the Refuge Cove dock with the view of the garbage barge.

 So we rallied, cruised south for an hour, and anchored at Grace Harbor.  We found a calm spot and did not have the energy to shore tie.  Luckily we didn’t need to and we slept soundly for 12 hours.

The next morning we decided to head back up past Dent Island to Blind Channel.  We were in search of a new adventure and some cooler air.  As we headed north the water temperature dropped dramatically and the air cooled deliciously. 

 We found a perfect spot on the chart, “Crawfords Anchorage” next to Erasmus Island, and dropped the hook.  The last couple of days we’ve enjoyed lovely quiet, a beautiful setting, and a yummy dinner at the Blind Channel Resort.  We slept soundly and even had to put the quilt back on the bed to stay warm.


Fishing and learning our new downrigger Wednesday’s goal.  So after breakfast, we set up the downrigger on the tender and headed out in search of some fish.  We were told there was some good cod fishing nearby.  Unfortunately, we found no fish, (a seal showed us his catch) but we enjoyed our time on the water, floating, watching the eagles, learning our new equipment and reading.  This afternoon we headed out for a good kayak and ate leftovers and a salad filled with greens, peppers, avocado, scallions, pear, goat cheese, flax seeds and homemade dressing.

 Tomorrow, we are going to do a run to the 800 year-old cedar tree near the Blind Channel Resort and then head to a better spot further south for some salmon fishing. 

It was really big, but the picture is in my phone!


Learning to Fish

Jim and I believe that an important part of a successful, long-term relationship is learning new things together.  Accordingly, we are trying to learn how to fish.  Last year we hired a guide out of Dent Island to catch a Salmon.  Lets just say it was a very expensive but wonderful salmon and we learned that we needed a “downrigger” to pull our fishing lure down to the depth that salmon like (below 100).  So this year we asked Ben to install a downrigger on the tender, and this trip we gave it a try. 

We headed to a location just north of Dent Island, in Denim Bay, temporarily anchored the True Love, launched the tender and headed out for an afternoon of fishing.  There were lots of other boats catching fish so it looked promising. 

 First, the Captain and I had to get proficient at using our downrigger (the Captain’s job).  We also had to get proficient and baiting the fishing lures (my job).  We definitely had lots of strikes where the bait was taken or munched in half.   But alas, no fish.   Fishing ourselves on the tender is a lot of work.  Many of those with guides around us in their boats barely moved.  Not us!  Working the downrigger, baiting and driving the small tender in the waves was, surprisingly, exhausting.  But we had a great time singing songs such as “Help! We need some salmon, not just any salmon . . .” or  “I dream of salmon cooking on my grill”, but the fish who clearly not impressed.  Another couple in a small tender came out and caught a good-sized salmon fairly close to us, but no salmon for us.  Apparently, we need more lessons!

 It was a little exciting getting the tender back on the True Love in the wind, waves and strong current, but we mastered it calmly. We decided to head through the Dent rapids using the True Love “second gear” to a previous anchorage we discovered on the south side Stuart Island that works well when the winds are from the northwest.  It held perfectly overnight, although the Captain woke a couple of times to check. 

A McGyver Moment:

Yesterday we needed to change the water filters before we headed out.  Our repairs took us a little longer than anticipated because I tried to top of the pressure in the hydraulic system.  It was reading a bit low.  Unfortunately our pump was broken and when we attached it and tried to pump air in, instead all the air leaked out.  So we had to repair the leaky pump.  It took some wire, some electrical tape and of course some duct tape. That accomplished, we were able to pump the system up just enough to proceed.  We will buy a replacement air pump in Nanaimo.

Don’t Trust the Wave Report.

As we headed out the forecast showed calm winds and only small waves in the Strait of Georgia.  With a bit of a storm coming in, we decided to make the crossing immediately, instead of waiting until Saturday.  But the sea report lied.  It was quite choppy, with waves increasing to 4 feet in the middle!  But we made it last night to Nanaimo where we now spending a lovely day.

The Joy of Sharing Continues!

The Donovan’s arrived at Dent Island about a half of an hour after we docked. It’s always a pleasure being at Dent with its lovely facilities and dramatic location, but watching the troops land by seaplane to join made it even better.

We weren’t sure how James would do I. The seaplane and it was reassuring seeing Jasmine, David and James come out all smiles.

Dent was the perfect place for James to ease into boat life. From enjoying lunch on the deck, exploring the grounds he had a blast. After lunch the Captain took us for a tender adventure to Big Bay for some James rock throwing time. On the way we saw lots of eagles (adult and Juvenile), and three Sea Lions (a first for us and apparently unusual before September).

That evening we ate munchies and leftovers with a hardy salad. The weather was unusually hot almost everywhere, but the breezes at the dock were magically cool.

The super moon rose and David and I attempted to capture it on my camera. It was a brief photographic excursion due to the ferocious dusk Mosquitos.

The next morning we enjoyed a yummy breakfast at the restaurant while James had the dining room all to himself to graze and wander. We all gave True Love a quick bath and window cleaning before heading off to Pendrell Sound for some warm swimming.

On the journey Jasmine and I did a crossfit routine followed by stretches on the bow with our glorious views and warm sun. We enjoyed some yummy dips and ham and cheese roll-ups. James was cutting some teeth and not very interested in chewing so I made him an icy coconut milk and strawberry shake with protein. It hit the spot!

Pender Harbor 2014

A slow soft rain is falling outside. It’s late morning in Pender Harbor today, July, 5, 2014 and we are being lazy. Jim is using the cherry pitter to pit a big stash of this year’s yummy crop for the freezer and I’m writing the first blog of the trip. (Photos are below).

Our trip began Monday, June 30th when we left Seattle’s Elliott Bay Marina to pick up Liza and Bria Cohen in Bainbridge. They were coming along on the first part of our annual adventure to the inland waters of BC. Liza brought a bounty of beautiful harvest from her garden which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Sun blessed us on our first few days. Liza and I enjoyed lounging and chatting in the new area on the upper deck while Jim and Brian had some “bro” time manning the helm; watching out for floating logs & other debris. It was so fun seeing Bryan and Liza in awe of the incredible, crystal clear views from the water of both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker.

After anchoring near Fort Flaggler we enjoyed wine while watching deer running on the hills and a pair of eagles playing. We are pretty sure these are the same two Eagles we saw as juveniles 2 years ago with their Mom. After cocktails we headed in the tender over to Port Townsend. Liza was a bit skeptical because it looked so far. But the True Love tender is powerful and in the masterful hands of the Captain we made the crossing easily and made our way to the Siren Tavern for some yummy food on their waterfront deck.

Tuesday’s forecast was for a calm crossing across the Strait of Juan De Fuca. I made my healthy elixirs and toast and we raised the anchor and headed for the San Juan’s while still in our PJs.

Inspired by the calm waters, sunshine and the backdrop of the Olympics, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker, Liza and I did yoga on the bow. The Captain manned the helm and Brian expertly spotted the occasional logs on the water. As we approached San Juan Island the Captain spotted a gathering of boats so we headed that way expecting to see Orcas. On the way we were surprised by our first ever encounter with minke whales. After enjoying the minkes we continued on to enjoy a close encounter with a pod of 4 orcas about 2 miles away. Definitely a great start to our 2014 adventure!

Because of the weather forecast for Wednesday, and Liza’s desire to walk around Friday Harbor, we decided to head in and dock instead of anchoring. It was probably the warmest day of the summer so far (85) on the Island. We walked around and caught the end of the USA World Cup game. We searched for Liza’s favorite haunts, thrift stores, to watch the master at work. Although we arrived just after closing she finagled her way in and made a quick vase purchase from France that now beautifully sits on the True Love. On the way back we picked flowers for the vase, enjoyed ice cream and did some window shopping.

We split up and Jim and I headed back to the boat to buy some fresh salmon for dinner while the Cohen’s enjoyed some more exploring. Liza made some yummy side dishes from her garden bounty and I cooked the salmon on the the grill. It was a yummy feast! The day ended with a wonderful conversation about love, life and family.

Wednesday we slept in and I made a yummy scramble with Liza’s farm fresh eggs from their little roost of chickens and we headed into town to rent scooters to explore the Island a bit. Renting the scooters was a big production and we had to wear helmets worthy of an Evil Kenevil show. We made it through all the rigamarole and headed to Roche Harbor to experience the crazy 4th of July gathering there. We didn’t have time for lunch so we bought ice cream cones instead and walked around. We particularly enjoyed the sculpture garden. On our way way back we had to stop at the “Island Treasures” store so Liza could do a 4 minute search for another possible treasure. None sighted this time.

We made it back just in time to stop another boat from rafting up to us on the dock for the crazy 4th of July gathering. I was particularly annoyed that they were rafting up without asking us or putting any bumpers between the two boats. The entire “rafting up” thing is just not for us. It makes me feel very claustrophobic and a little violated to have people we don’t know partying right next to us & walking on our boat to get to the dock. I’m needing to breath while writing about it!

We shared some celebratory champagne as the Cohens headed off to their seaplane and we headed out for Montague Harbor where we planned to clear Canadian customs. On our way we were treated to another enchanting orca encounter near Active Pass. We had gotten a tip that it was easier to clear customs at Montague Harbour. So true! We just called in with our Nexus cards as we crossed into Canada and then anchored at Montague Harbour when we got there a few hours later. No docking required! If the customs people had been there they would come to us at anchor, but we were not selected for a random inspection. Our day ended with the sky exploding in color. Even the water reflected the beauty!

Thursday it was on to visit Nanaimo (a beautiful little harbor city) for some provisioning (having finished Liza’s yummy garden fare) and of course dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant. Astera Taverna is in the “old quarter” of the city & serves delicious Greek food. We toasted our adventure with orzo (Greek liquor) and feasted.

Friday when we awoke the winds were calm but the weather report was typically ambiguous. There was a weather system coming in with strong winds shifting from the NW to SE. The calm would be in between the shift. Crossing the strait of Georgia has always been challenging for us. For those of you who read our blog last year we had some rough seas that caused a leak in a portal, that then caused an electrical fire. In the off season our boat guru extraordinaire Ben Rhoades replaced all the portals and moved the tender to a better location for quick and easy use. In the process he found some serious defects in Navigator’s construction of our portals and the rear swim platform. Although the repairs weren’t cheap, the True Love is now more safe & seaworthy than ever.

I felt like we needed to leave right away, so we did. The crossing wasn’t smooth, but it wasn’t bad. 1-2 foot waves with a bit more wind than expected. But nothing the True Love can’t handle. The Captain used our “second gear” to cruise at 15 mph for the first 2/3 of the trip until it got calmer and then we slowed down to our usual speed of about 9 mph.

Pender Harbour is a peaceful refuge and a charming place to wait for Saul and Jess to arrive by seaplane on Sunday to join us for our cruise into Princess Louisa Inlet. After an easy anchor we launched the tender for a quick jaunt over to the Painted Boat Resort and a scrumptious lunch followed by luxurious visit to their spa for massages and soaking in their hot tub. This really is the best spa we’ve visited in Canada. The facility is beautiful and the therapists first rate.

The rains started as we took the tender back for a quiet night in our lovely floating adventure machine. We ate Greek leftovers and watched the July 4th fireworks on the TV. Seattle’s Lake Union show looked awesome this year!

The predicted light summer rain continued on Saturday. We are going to enjoy the Painted Spa for a pedicure and some soaking followed by a walk to the grocery store and an early dinner.

Tomorrow the adventure continues when we pick up Jess and Saul and head to Egmont for the night and wait for a strong tide tomorrow morning to push us up the long fjord that leads to the enchanted place we visit every year: Princess Louisa Inlet.