Richard’s Desolation Sound Adventure

June 30

Comox to galley bay

Day started with a beautiful sunrise.  The marina was near silent and the water calm.  Walked out and took in the view.  Back to the boat for some chart work and breakfast.  Got about half ay before quitting time.  All good.  Shower and then Les came by.  Les is our skipper and teacher

Les is quiet, I wonder if that is his natural inclination or learned because he is working , probably will never really know.  He doesn’t initiate conversation but with participate if asked a question – It’s only the first day as ship mates.  I wonder what it is like to sail the same route over and over again with same questions and problems each time, does he get bored?  Never saw him look at his watch though. Maybe for him any day out there is enough… I am not sure that is me.  I like sailing but I like progress too.

He took Chris and tamra around the boat doing the briefing.  I went below and charted our passage on his ratty old charts, not hard just repetitious.  Left and headed to the strait, took way longer than expected to get to the point where we could turn northeast toward the sound.  We got some good wind out of the harbor and decent for half the crossing, close hauled sailing a course just off of our desired line. Wind died right when we would have to tack to get up into the first pass of the day.  Fire up the engine for 3.5 hours to get to galley bay.

On the way I took sightings and plotted our course every thirty minutes.  I knew I had a good set if our speed on the chart matched the speed of the boat.  A massive power yacht passed us in Thulin Passage and his wake bounced off the walls for about half and hour making sighting impossible. The yacht is Nova Spirit owned by Jimmy Patterson. We have vowed to pirate him if possible.  When we got to galley bay, gps really shined as the entire contour of the bottom was readily available and we had to change positions a few times.  Rowed out the stern line which tangled and the boat was too far, pulling the two ends of the rope together in the dinghy sucked a lot.

Supper was great, turkey spaghetti, garlic toast and red wine.  Went for swim, just like lake swimming, cold at first then good.  Walk thru transom a must for the future! Swim shower also a must!

The water is near glass right now as the sun sets, wonderful.  Bed time now.

Galley bay to Tenedo cove to Laura bay (prideaux haven)

Day started out beautiful, water near flat, sun rising over the wooded hills and just the right amount of cloud.  Took a picture and sent to dad and mom. Also sent a message to Leah to say I love you and what we are doing.

Laid in bed dozing and reading until there was ,movement in the cabin then got up.  Breakfast and motor out to the sound, where we tacked for a while and the ran out of wind. Motor drills which were fun and challenging, prop wash is tricky – SB wash means bow moves to SB when motor engaged at near zero speed.  Once moving backing is the same as a car more or less.  Docking is tricky and getting out of marinas not easy either.

Lunch in Tenedo cove and hike inland to a lake unquit (unwin?) lake.  Cool lake, temperate rain forest and the lake over flow runs to the ocean in about 400m. The water runs in the stream which at its mounth has several hundred  loggs at its entrance.  We walked out on some and that took some pictures.

Back to the boat, and off to Laura bay.  I went below to do some chart work so that i can get my certification done, shoulda brought my log book.  We got to Laura, i did the stern line, fell- no cuts, Chris can do the stern lines from now on!  Jimmy was there so we took the dinghy and rocked his boat. I am sure he didn’t even feel it.  Also saw a bunch of great boats in Melanie cove, including one registered out of Edmonton Alberta. I stopped the boat and talked to them.  They have travelled from 2004 to 2009 to get the boat from east carribbean to here, with a two season stop in Tahiti!!  Next door here we have a world cruising ketch also which is great to look at.  I’d love to swim over and talk to them, but it won’t happen.

Ended the day with bbq salmon and o canada in the anchorage, no other joiners which was disappointing for canada day.  Swim at the end of the day and then bed.  So tired I had to finish the log this morning.

Laura Cove to Toba Inlet via Waddington passage

Long day for sailing again.  Left after a quick shore hike to find an abandoned cabin.  Chris scouted ahead and found nothing but super thick undergrowth, no go.  Back to the boat and then on our way.  Left uneventfully and soon were sailing with 5 knots, Tamra at the helm.  She still is uncomfortable on the wheel.  Hesitant on moving and missing the center regularly.  She knows what to do but misses the point of looking at the horizon to see if the boat is on course or still changing course.  Not frustrating but just need to be patient as she works her way through the learning curve.  When your on a sailboat you are already there, so just sat back and enjoyed the view as she worked the wheel.

Wind soon died did some charting and made a bone headed screwup argh!!! But kept plowing through it.  Not hard except the wording isn’t always easy to follow or the intent easy to follow.  Oh well almost done now.

Headed north out of desolation sound to Toba inlet, where wind is regularly found. Les was right it was there.  We short tacked up Waddington passage until the wind died and we motored for 100 meters until we were running.  Fluky wind in the opening and then a broad run across the inlet till it died. Motored to an awesome fall and the did some drills and gybing.

Highlight of the day was the “gybe to beam reach to Chinese tack with a heave to finish” due to some over steering on Tamra’s part.  No biggy just we all were reacting quickly… Two times.  Then got 10 knots on the nose for an easy close hulled sail Ito Toda inlet wildernest marina.  They have a pelton wheel driven by a water jet that provides power to a local grid. There are cabins to rent for pretty cheap too.  $150-250 per night, with access to mountain view hot tub.

They take water from a waterfall and run it down the hill to the generator plant, pelton wheel to turn a generator.  the pelton wheel sits in a big metal box with a pillow block on each side.  A water jet is fired at the wheel to turn the generator.  Pretty neat.  I wonder how they deal with over production of power.  The waterfall was awesome, got soaked by the spray.

Back to the boat for sundowners and dinner.  I invited the neighbors who live aboard for diner and they were great, Keith and Donna.  They boat 7 months and motor home 5 months a year, interesting choice.  No swim today as the evening cooled quickly.

Toba Inlet to Squirrel cove via Pryce and Lewis Channels

Got up, no coffee, showers… Pretty good. Borrowed an old naval architect’s dinghy for a row.  It is a shellback of woodenboat fame.  We had saw it in Laura Cove a Alberg 35 with a hard dinghy.  Took pics of it and then got to meet the owner.  He told about a guy who worked for him who wanted a leave to go sailing with I his new wife for a year but was told no.  Never took the trip- not me I hope.

We did trade 3 oranges for 8 tea bags to get some caffeine today, didn’t work for tamra.  Did a bunch of docking practice them went south toward squirrel cove.  Nice trip, just out of wildernest, we got ten knots of wind on the nose.  20 degree heel is too much for me.   Tam and I did fixes Chris and les sailed through Pryce, at the end of pryce is a fork in the road and the wind followed the fork so we stayed on a port tack while doing a 150 degree turn… Neat.

Lost wind halfway to Lewis and motored in to Squirrel Cove.  On the way my glasses almost went overboard, chris and i watched as the tinkled down the deck, under the helms seat and on to the sugar scoop, then they stopped miraculously.  Got some provisions in lewis cove and then stern anchored.  Met a girl who said she came up here for rehab after working in Banff where you party every night.

There is a reversing watercourse in here, but it was unimpreesive at this time because it was near full flood tide.  Must be neat at low tide when it forms a water fall.  On the way back we were checking out boats and saw a lagoon 410.  Soon we were aboard getting a tour and drinking awesome rum with Todd from seatle. They motored up in two days, about 24 hrs of motoring.  They sail at 8kmots though when they can. Cats rule, too expensive though.  Might have to get a boat loan to finance one if we get one.

Back to the boat for beachcomber ale, tastes like rickards white, in honor of Les’ former job as a lighting designer/tech. On the show beachcombers.  I’ve never seen it but tam and Chris are quite nostalgic about it.  Supper was cod, which was very good and then chatting until bed.

Squirrel Cove to Grace Harbor via Lewis Passage and Teakerne Arm

Up at dawn again, breakfast was simple, cereal and yoghurt. We have coffee again so two pots were made and consumed, much tams chargin later.  Sailed out of Squirrel and was able to beat all the way up the passage with 10ish on the nose.  We all took a turn on the wheel and had a great time, even T.

We saw two sail training ships coming the other way both have high school kids on board and are double masted tall ships, very impressive, tons of pictures taken.  On ward to Teakerne arm where Castile falls are.  We anchored and then hiked to the lake that feeds the falls, Les got some harassment for not going and sending us to tire us out like kids.

The falls were cool, Chris and I hiked to the far side, a little steep and challenging of a hike but no injuries.  Got a great view of the falls and on ward to the lake where tam was waiting.  On the way to the lake we saw tamra’s pine cone, and Chris thought she had turned back, we also saw some other ladies going the other way.  Tamra made it and was waiting for us.  I went for a swim which was wonderful.  Then back to the boat for lunch.

Tamra’s pine cone had been taken, at the dock the two ladies we saw earlier where there, waiting for a pickup with a radio that would only transmit.  I offered to call their boat if no luck, for a price: a perfect pine cone, T said they had very guilty faces.  Made me smile a bit.

Back tot the boat, hamburgers and then I floated in the dinghy while the Lila sailed in front of the falls, some great shots I hope.  Back up Teakerne arm we had almost 20knots so Les took the wheel and buried the rail, good times.  it was good for Tamra to experience it now see knows you cant flip ever.  I think les was trying to dump my shoes as they were on the cabin top between the traveller lines.  When the rail was down on the leeward side, I was standing on the  cabin top looking down ten feet to the water.  Ran our way into the the harbor including the Malaspina Strait which was challenging due to rocks and spits of kelp sticking into the weaving channel.

I got in crap for unfurling the main, which Les didn’t want to do, except that he provided tips on how to get it done.  Oh well diffused with humor.  Made pizza and off to bed.  Tamra wasn’t feeling well so she went to bed early.  The boys followed pretty quick after.

This is the first night I finished the log in the evening since the first day.  Normally I can’t keep my eyes open by now… I hear les snoring and time to sign off.

Grace harbor to comix via bakers passage and strait of Georgia

Woke up with weird scifi dreams like a combination of the adjustment bureau and in time… Anyway, breakfast and off.  Today was a goal day, need to get to Comox today. Two options, if we have wind run down the strait, with help for the tide or motor down Thulin Passage to the crossing .  Checking the the weather we decided on the former option and ended up running for three or four hours down the strait at between 3 and 4 knots the whole way.  Current helped with about a knot too.  It was pretty boring without autopilot or a wind vane as we sat there and watched the waves pass us.

Tamra and I did some charting until she got a queasy and the sat on deck.  I did some fixes and running fixes, using an island headland for a fix doesn’t always yield great results, and Chris steered for half of the way. I made lunch and then piloted through comox harbour to the gas  dock. then I  pilotted to where Lila was to be docked, no issues.

This was a great concern for me as my large boat maneuvering was weak, but in the marina and the stuff we learned this week helped with confidence and ability.  Not daunted at all…. Still lots to learn..  les finished our paperwork, I got coastal navigation, Chris coastal skipper and tamra competent crew done.  She was a little disappointed but understanding.

Out for dinner at black fin with their marvelous I house beer and halibut fish and chips – amazing.  Back to the boat where we hooked up with Tom and Christy to finish the beer onboard and find out their trip went, sounds like it was extremely enjoyable and we missed them every day by a day.

I need to post the map of this trip online soon to share the experience.

Comox to Home

Woke up this morning to the sound of the neighbor washing down his boat, even though it was a rental.  Must like work…  Anyway the boat woke and we started packing.  Not long after the marina guys showed up to start troubleshooting the charging system of the boat as it was having some trouble getting above 50% on the batteries.  Sounded like dirty terminals on the batteries.  Log that away.

Finished packing and went up to the office with our stuff which we left with Marnie.  Spent the day walking around town, bought a book and had lunch at a tea house on the water.  Great food and beautiful grounds, including a 50ft pergola with a variety plants ( hops, grapes and others) growing in the lattice, very cool.

Back to the office, taxi to airport where going through security I won again with a pat down.  That’s three searches in two flights, body X-ray, pocket knife in carry-on and pat down.  Tam thinks I get picked because I look pure.

Got to YEG and drove home with Tam and Chris.  My parents came over as they are leaving town for three weeks for stampede and camping with their new fifth wheel.  I was pretty quiet during the visit, still processing the trip, lamenting its end, tired and not real excited about getting back to normal.

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