We 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”. We enjoyed lunch on the deck of the little restaurant while James explored this new place.
After 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-through. 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. 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. We 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). 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 deck 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. 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.
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!
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. We also enjoyed more swimming and kayaking and James took a long nap. Right 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. During 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!)
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.
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.