After leaving Blind Channel we cruised the short distance to Dent Island. Dent is back in the land of cell service and as the dots appeared the messages came in and we got the news that Jim’s dad was in the hospital. We decided he should fly back and we quickly arranged for a seaplane flight home for him that evening.
Jim’s dad got better during the day and a half Jim was with his dad, so Jim decided to fly back to the boat for our preplanned time with Jasmine and James. However, after Jim returned, his dad became worse again so we decided to head home early. Dick is back at Mirabella now and is doing better. But we wanted to share this last blog post with you.
While Jim flew to Seattle I stayed at the Dent Island marina and was lucky that our friends Stan and Mary Harrelson happened to be there too, so I had a great dinner with friends. Joining us at the table was an interesting collection of boaters and fishermen. I met a lovely couple, Richard and Michelle Glickman, who own Gorge Harbour. They were celebrating their anniversary at Dent. Since I was alone, and determined to catch a fish, Richard offered to take me fishing (this gave Michelle the opportunity to sleep in).
I warned Richard that my fishing success rate was dismal. Despite that, he took me out, gathered a yummy breakfast for us, and gave me a great fishing lesson. Although our summer of heat and sun has been a constant this trip, my fishing day was cool and drizzly. Richard was a great teacher, and we did catch a couple of salmon, but they were too small to keep. Our only keeper was a medium sized rockfish, which later became yummy fish tacos, but no large catch for us. Ah well. We shared great conversation, I learned a lot and I look forward to seeing Richard and Michelle again.
We got back to Dent just in time to meet Jasmine and James arriving by seaplane. Although it was cloudy they had a fun seaplane ride. “Just a little scary,” James said of the end of the flight. After they arrived we headed to lunch before taking a nap.
Because it was a rainy day we spent most of our time playing in the boat. But, Grandma was prepared! I purchased a great jigsaw puzzle at Blind Channel that was perfect for James. Although it was rated 3+ he rose to the challenge and really enjoyed working on the puzzle repeatedly over the next few days.
James was a big helper, filling the water tank and washing the boat.
The Captain arrived at noon and we headed out. The second mate fell asleep almost immediately, exhausted from all his chores, but we heard on the radio that there was a pod of orcas just north of Dent. So we turned around and headed to see them. Jasmine had never seen orcas from the boat. The orcas positioned themselves perfectly to feed on the salmon as the current funneled them through the narrow channel. We counted over 12 including some really big orcas.
Because we decide to return early to Seattle we changed our plans to take Jasmine and James to Pendrell Sound and instead headed for Gorge Harbour. Richard and Michelle have done a great job with the area and James really enjoyed the heated community pool.
From Gorge, we cruised on south to one of our favorite stops: Egmont. It worked perfectly as a stop on our way to Pender Harbour, where Jasmine and James had rescheduled their flight back to Seattle for Monday.
James was excited to see the end of Mary Poppins, which we saved for after dinner. The day ended with a beautiful sunset and moonrise. The next morning we took the tender out to show Jasmine and James the Skookumchuck Rapids and then took a walk to our favorite little bakery in the woods. James enjoyed a yummy, mini cinnamon roll and ran around the grounds and the deck. Jasmine, Jim and I also enjoyed the yummy baked goods and breakfast sandwiches while we watched James play.
Even though it was 2:30 PM, after plotting our course and estimating our time of arrival, we decided to take advantage of the long days and temporarily calm winds to cross the Georgia Strait. We then cruised past Naniamo to a new stop, Pirates Cove in the Southern Gulf Islands.
It’s sweet and funky; a shallow little anchorage with shore ties to keep the boats from bumping into each other. Our 57 foot boat was a little oversized for the area, but it was late and we made due. Because it was such a low tide, the Captain was a bit concerned with our position and we had to reset the anchor and the shore tie. The next morning it was clear that our concerns were valid. Our clearance to the bottom was under 3 feet. But a fellow boater had totally miscalculated and was high and dry.
The island surrounding the moorage is a marine park with lots of trails so our days started with a fun little hike. The area is lovely, but unfortunately it was really buggy. Usually, I’m protected by the Captain’s natural appeal to the biting critters, but not this time. Jim didn’t get any bites, because he was protected by long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I was munched. Over 20 bites! Oh well!
From Pirates Coves our cruise south took us through calm waters and sunny skies all the way back to the USA and to the little town of La Conner. I used to be the person at the helm when docking the first True Love because I couldn’t jump from the high stern to the dock to secure the lines. But since we have owned the Navigator I hadn’t practiced docking. It became clear after we thought I might have to Captain the boat back this trip, that it was time for me to practice docking, “just in case.”
It’s tough for the Captain to give up the controls, but we switched roles, Jim on the lines and me controlling the helm. It’s a little tricky maneuvering in the strong currents of the channel in La Conner, but the Captain was pleased with my docking. I must say the True Love maneuvers beautifully. The next day I took the helm again at the nearby fuel dock.
Because the low tide and the currents we waited until noon to head to Seattle so it was another long day heading home. We were treated to beautiful weather once again and enjoyed watching lots of navy aircraft flying in to NAS Whidbey for fleet week.
We are home now for a while. Our next adventure will be the birth of our second grandchild in late August or early September! Stay tuned!
Until our next adventure!
The Captain and First Mate of the True Love.