Sunday, July 20, 2008


Click here to see some photos from the trip.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home Safely

We are home safely and the Retriever is back at Twin Bridges awaiting the next adventure. In total we traveled 592.7 nautical miles in approximately 90 hours over 31 days. Much of the time was spent at displacement speeds of 5 knots or so for optimum fuel economy and comfort. Throughout this the boat suffered no real breakdowns or problems, save for a burnt out anchor light and a loose dinette. Both of these issues were/are easily correctable.

Now, to recap the last several days. From Porteau Cove we went to Squamish, a short run of 12 nautical miles or so. There we met Mom, Charlie, and Ben for a couple of days at Whistler. Peter, Charlie, and I skied on the glacier one day and explored Whistler the other, while Ben spent both days mountain biking. In Whistler we saw three black bears while riding the chair to the glacier and another along a side road.

After Whistler Ben and I headed towards home, with a stop in Snug Cove for two nights. We had to stop the first night for fuel (we arrived after all the fuel docks closed) and unfortunately the next day (Thursday) brought 40 knot winds in the Strait of Georgia. Not good weather for a 22 foot boat! By Friday morning the wind had calmed and we headed for Fishermans Cove to refuel. Unfortunately their fuel dock had been shut down which was a recent change not reflected in the guide books or chartplotter. Thus, we had to turn around and head for Horseshoe Bay where we filled our tanks 3/4 full. We then had a quick and fairly calm 30-some nautical miles across the Strait of Georgia, through Porlier Pass, and into Wallace Island. Wallace Island was much more crowded than it had been when I was there a month earlier but we still found a space on the dock and tied up for the night. By the early evening the dock was full and there were a half dozen boats anchored throughout the bay and more in Princess Cove.

This morning we left Wallace Island a little before 8:00 AM bound for Roche Harbor to clear customs and then on to Twin Bridges. We arrived in Roche around 9:30, quickly cleared in, got some donuts, and moved onto Twin Bridges where we arrived at noon. Surprisingly the growth on the hull was limited to the aft quarters and transom and it did not require much effort to remove. After an hour and a half of scrubbing, vacuuming, and pressure washing the boat was clean and we headed home after a successful maiden voyage.

I'll post an album of photos in the next few days with pictures from the trip.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bears at Blackcomb

I am riding the lift at Blackcomb and just saw three separate black
bears. Here is a picture of one from my phone. Too bad I didn't have
my camera.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Porteau Cove

We are now on a mooring buoy at Porteau Cove. This is a large
campground (60 sites) located on the Sea to Sky highway before
Squamish. The campground is well maintained and clean and has free

Last night we were on a mooring buoy at Plumper Cove on Keats Island.
This was a very busy park, similar to Jones Island, and only about a
mile from Gibsons.

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Friday, July 4, 2008


The weather started to clear around 7:30 and we decided to go out and
see how it was. We left around 8:00 and had fairly calm seas. We made
10-11 knots most of the way and pulled into Gibsons Marina a bit after

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Waiting near Sechelt

We left Secret Cove about 5:30 this morning and had a fairly
straightforward run to Sechelt before conditions worsened. We turned
around and anchored on the lee of the Trail Islands for the weather to

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stuck in Secret Cove

After several days of relentless heat, the weather has changed considerably. Last night we were awoken around 1:00 AM by heavy rain and thunder. I got up to shut all of the windows and couldn't go back to sleep for a while because of all the noise.

Today we headed to Secret Cove. There was a strong Southeasterly blowing which created large head seas. I'd guess that the bigger waves were about 4 feet...big enough that I was looking sideways at the crests and not down. The boat handled great and despite the conditions there were quite a few other boats out. Just as we were leaving Pender Harbour we passed a 42 Krogen heading in who was getting pushed all around by the following seas and a 28 foot Protector (the same RIB that the New Zealand and Australian Coast Guards use) passed us. This particular boat was the tender to a large sailboat that had anchored in Garden Bay last night. There were several other boats, mostly sailboats, that we saw heading north.

The forecast is for more Southeasterlies, so we aren't sure when we will leave. The conditions aren't dangerous, just uncomfortable, so we will wait it out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


We are back in Lund now after several days in Desolation Sound. We stayed in Melanie Cove, Roscoe Bay, Toba Wildernest, Melanie Cove, and Teakerne Arm, in that order. My favorite anchorage was Teakerne Arm. We were nestled in just in front of a waterfall with a stern tie to a log and another shore tie off the bow in addition to the anchor.

It has been very hot the last few days and there was a great lake for swimming a short distance from our anchorage.

Before getting to Teakerne Arm yesterday we stopped at Refuge Cove and had lunch at a floating restaurant in the harbor. All they really had were burgers and fried food, but it was interesting to have a restaurant on a barge in the harbor and not ashore.

For the most part Desolation Sound has not been as desolate as its name suggests. There have been lots of other cruising boats around, many from the Seattle area. Sadly pretty much the whole area has been logged and the logging continues in areas. It is not uncommon to see large logbooms progressing slowly through the channels. Aquaculture areas are also common. Basically they are large farms in the water for oysters and other shellfish. Not only are aquaculture sites ugly, they also mandate a no wake speed when passing to avoid messing up the area. For the most part we have been traveling at 5 knots anyway, which is easy on fuel and allows us to see more around us.

Today we stopped for several hours at Savary Island which is just a few nautical miles from Lund. Savary Island is unique because it is one of the only islands in the area with sandy beaches. We walked for a while on the beach and ate lunch at a nice restaurant.

Tomorrow we are bound for Pender Harbour so that dad can go home and Peter can get on. We will then make our way to Squamish so we can see Whistler before heading home.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Desolation Sound

Our first stop in Desolation Sound was Melanie Cove in Prideaux Haven.
All of the cruising guides say it is one of the most spectacular
anchorages around, but clouds obscured most of the mountains while we
were there so we will spend another night there in a few days.

Last night we were in Roscoe Bay. There was a nice hike to the top of
a mountain where we got great views towards Sarah Point, Lund, and
Powell River. After we hiked we jumped in the nearby lake to clean up
and cool off. Roscoe Bay is unique because it has a huge population of
jellyfish that somehow avoid getting swept out of the cove on ebb tides.

This morning we came to the Toba Wildernest Resort which really isn't
much. The have showers, water, and a dock, but that's about it. They
generate all their electricity by a homemade hydro generator which is
interesting. The attached picture is from the dock.

Tomorrow we are heading to Walsh Cove to see some petroglyphs, then
Pendrell Sound the next day for "the warmest saltwater north of
Mexico", and Refuge Cove for ice and supplies the next day. After that
we will anchor in Prideaux Haven for the last night before heading
south to Pender Harbour to meet Peter.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


We arrived in Lund yesterday afternoon to find very crowded docks.  We had the choice of either rafting four deep in the inner docks or tying up directly to the breakwater dock and dinghying ashore.  We chose to tie up to the breakwater.  Lund has been a pleasant surprise.  The town is small but very nice.  Most of the buildings are either new or recently renovated.  There are a couple of restaurants and a great bakery.  It seems very similar to Roche Harbor but without all of the really big yachts.

Last night I turned on the heater to dry out a towel.  Soon after I turned it on, we began to smell burnt kerosene in the cabin and lots of smoke was coming out of the exhaust vent.  The stove shut itself down and indicated an overheat.  I restarted it several times to no avail and was getting frustrated at the prospect of not having a stove or heater for the rest of the trip.  Eventually I noticed that there were air bubbles in the fuel line.  I pushed the fuel intake to the bottom of the tank, primed the stove, and restarted, and it seems to be working fine now.  Let's hope.

Today we will probably head to Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound.  Right now it is overcast with light rain, hopefully it won't last long.  I have no idea if cell service will be available in Desolation Sound, so this may be the last update for a while, but you can always see where we are on SPOT.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Princess Louisa Inlet

Since Sunday morning we have been in Princess Louisa Inlet with no
cell service. So far it has been the most spectacular spot, with 4000
foot cliffs and mountains surrounding the dock and waterfalls all

Yesterday we hiked to the Trappers Cabin. The trail was well marked
but rugged and slippery. We made it up in 1:15 and it took a little
less time coming down.

I saw the second other C-Dory of the trip, Frequent Sea. There were
quite a few other boats at the dock, and a lot of them were American.

We are now anchored in Ballet Bay and are planning on heading to
Desolation Sound tomorrow.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Egmont Public Wharf

We arrived midday Friday at the Egmont Public Wharf. Most of the day was uneventful; we cleaned the boat a bit and walked around the village (as they call it). After dinner we walked to Skookumchuck Rapids where we got to see he kayakers play in the current and waves.

Kayaker in Skookumchuck Rapids

The first incident at the Public Wharf had to do with the Inlet Raider, a large landing craft that came in to drop a crew member off to pick up groceries. Rather than coming into the dock at a moderate speed, the captain came into the dock at several knots, slamming the engines into reverse at the last possible moment. This created not only a lot of noise and smoke from the engines, but uncomfortable waves throughout the marina.

The next incident involved a shrimping boat that came in around 8:30 in the evening. One of the deckhands quickly hopped off and pulled out a pack of what looked like cigarettes. I was doing the dishes outside and he asked if I "wanted to blaze." I politely declined. I guess some things are more acceptable in Canada than in the US...

There's an old sea shanty that asks, "What do you do with a drunken sailor?" Well, we were faced with just such a conundrum tonight. An older gentleman pulled into the wharf aboard a beat-up 13 ft motor boat and asked for us to tie him up. He was slurring his words and it quickly became clear that he was drunk. Minding his manners, he quickly offered up his half empty bottle of vodka. He was momentarily disappointed at our refusal to partake before staggering up the wharf knocking on the docked fishing boats - apparently looking for drinking parters. When the prawners returned to their boat, we let them know about this drunk gentleman. The captain quickly said, "Oh yeah, Uncle Lucy. Totally harmless." Apparently he is a regular around here.

Other than this excitement there really isn't too much to report. Everything has gone smoothly so far. We have found that running between 1800 and 2200 rpm is very comfortable. Most of our days have been fairly short (less than 15 nautical miles) and moving slowly allows us to save fuel and pay more attention to the scenery.

Here are a few pictures of the trip so far:

Secret Cove

Blind Bay

Harmony Islands

Anchored in the Harmony Islands

Leaving the Harmony Islands

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blind Bay and The Harmony Islands

After Pender Harbour we headed for Blind Bay. The wind was fairly
strong and we had 2-3 foot following seas, but the boat handled
perfectly. We found it more comfortable to run at 17 knots than 6
knots since it was easier to hold a course and the boat pounded very

There were only two other boats in the cove and one kayaker camped at
the park. We rowed over and talked with him for a while. He has been
out for 17 days so far, but because of poor weather has only had 6
paddling days. He was hoping to make today the 7th and we helped him
move his gear down the beach before we left this morning. In January
he had surgery to repair a couple of herniated disks in his back and
he said he was skiing by March and now on a several month long kayak

The weather was pretty bad all day yesterday, with winds gusting
around 30 and times of rain. Luckily it calmed down by bedtime.

Today we moved on to the Harmony Islands. So far this has been the
best spot yet. Surrounding the boat are 1500 foot tall, very steep
mountains with higher, snow-covered peaks in the distance. There are
no other boats around. All I can hear right now are some birds and the
roar of a distant waterfall. The weather has been perfect today, lots
of sun and not much wind.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Anchored in Pender Harbour

We are safely at anchor in Garden Bay. Last night we stayed at Secret
Cove. We anchored about 30 feet from shore and ran a stern tie around
a tree.

Everything went well with that and most of the trip today except we
lost the cushion for the dinghy. We followed the track on the
chartplotter back a little ways and say the cushion bobbing close to
shore, so Sam M. took the dinghy over to pick it up.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Smooth sailing in the Strait of Georgia

After hearing a favorable 4:00 forecast and looking out to a calm
Strait of Georgia we decided to head across. So far so good, it has
been as calm we could hope for. Our destination is Secret Cove, we'll
send an OK on SPOT when we get there.

Still in Nanaimo

We are still in Nanaimo waiting for better weather.  Last night the wind died in the evening and when we walked over to see the Strait it looked calm, so if the same holds for tonight we may go across this evening or early tomorrow morning.

Looking across the Strait of Georgia yesterday evening.

We are anchored off Newcastle Island.  There is a large park ashore with lots of walking to do, so there is plenty of area to explore while we wait.  I am writing this from a cafe in Nanaimo.  We tied the anchor off to the dinghy this morning and came over to the marina for showers and to walk around a bit.

Looking at Nanaimo from the park last night.

Luckily Whiskey Golf is inactive until Friday, so whenever the winds subside we will be able to head straight across.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


We arrived in  Nanaimo at about one o'clock and fueled up.  The boat took 104 liters for a total of $160.  We came through Dodd Narrows just after the max ebb (5.7 knots) but the boat handled fine.  A large sailboat coming through behind us got spun around sideways, but corrected and avoided hitting anything.

Coming into Nanaimo we had the roughest conditions so far.  I'd estimate 3 footers with some slightly larger coming in off the Strait of Georgia.  

We will definitely be waiting for better weather before crossing.  Right now it is mostly sunny and around 65 degrees but there is quite a bit of wind.  Great sailing weather, but not so good for a small powerboat.  

So far everything has gone well.  We have been towing the dinghy which has worked perfectly.  It is much easier to tow than to lift onto the top of the cabin and it has towed fine up to 20 knots and through some nasty waves.  

We are planning on anchoring nearby tonight, and perhaps longer, if the weather does not cooperate.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A picture from Wallace Island

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Wallace Island

We are docked for the night at the government float at Wallace Island.
Just down the dock from us is a pilot for Mike Wiegle's helicopter
pilot and his family as well as a sea plane pilot and another couple.
The weather has been great so far with sun in the afternoon. Hopefully
the winds will stay fairly calm for the next few days and the Strait
of Georgia crossing.

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Anchor Light Fixed

A quick stop at Active Pass and a new lightbulb and the anchor light
is working again. Strange that the first only lasted 2 nights. The
entrance to Active Pass was made complicated by a strong tide and
standing waves, but the C-Dory handled well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What happened to the anchor light?

Earlier this afternoon I installed the anchor light and turned it on.
Nothing happened. We are on a buoy tonight in Bedwell Harbor so we
don't need the light, but we will be stopping tomorrow at Active Pass
Auto & Marine to figure out the problem. Otherwise everything is going

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Bedwell Harbour

We have arrived safely in Bedwell Harbour. Customs clearance was
simple and over the phone; nobody ever came to the boat. The most
difficult part was fending off a 55 foot steel sailboat from crushing
another sailboat at the dock.


We are finally off, destination Bedwell Harbor. I'll send an update
when we arrive. Above is a picture of the boat we followed out of
Swinomish Channel. A bit bigger than us, eh?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

SPOT Messenger

The SPOT Messenger will provide near real time position updates via
the link on the upper right of this page. The SPOT works via
satellite, so even when we are beyond the range of cell phones
position updates can be sent. When underway, updates will be sent
every 10 minutes.

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Blogging from iPhone

This is my first attempt to blog from my iPhone. I will be relying on
it for connections when I am not at a marina with wifi, which will be
most of the time. Above is a picture of my home for a month.