Day 5: Sandy Island to Campbell River (Discovery Harbour)

Seymour Narrows and Discovery Passage just beyond Campbell River.
Seymour Narrows and Discovery Passage just beyond Campbell River.

I guess Georgia burned herself out yesterday as she has settled down to a low roar this morning. Very tolerable light winds and chop after a later start due to Bill’s phone interview with Tacoma schools as well as ten more hours of obviously needed sleep! It’s what we do best on this boat! So lucky to be able to view the Canadian coast guard helicopter test rescue as we navigated past the Comox Bar and back onto the Georgia Straight. Crew being lowered and raised from the enormous chopper right before our eyes. What a treat!

Arrived at Discovery Harbour and so happy that Georgia had finally hit the hay halfway here, which she rarely ever does.  As always we take advantage of the amenities when possible because you never know when they will be available next.  Also, we are about to begin the more remote part of our journey so laundry, groceries, blog etc…
Tech. Tip: Try slicing the waves at a quarter rather than head on. Creates a longer wave and while there’s a slight roll, it’s easier on the stomach and your equipment.

Day 4: Nanaimo to Sandy Island (Comox)

imageYou really have to get up early if you want to conquer the Georgia Straight, and our 6:15 am, departure once again, just couldn’t fit the bill.

Georgia is a dependably unforgiving and ruthless stretch of water which dialed our breakfast down to cheese, crackers and an 8 am call for “happy” hour. She is chronically in an angry and fiesty mood and if you think you’ve got her figured out, you probably better get your big boy life jackets on and hold on for the ride (which we did). And if you’re a theme park ride enthusiast you might want to consider just how long this one lasts before strapping in– we’re talking hours, folks, not minutes, and few escape hatches along the way.

Today marks the true beginning of our adventure because we are cruising through areas we have never been! As we made our way ploddingly up the Georgia, we were tempted three times to take a safe harbor break, once after a particularly steep and ugly wave that sent us heading in towards shore, a bit shaken. Each time the water relented though and we stayed our course, only to watch her seas work back up into a fury. Finally settled down to a tolerable lumpiness after French Creek and it’s a good thing both us pilots are not prone to sea sickness because today was the day for that.

Recovery from the Georgia always takes its toll and after anchoring at a beautiful sandy spit and a lunch of our version of caprise salad, which includes avocados, we fell asleep for 2 1/2 hours. Awoke just in time for happy hour to the always present and well known cries of eagles perched on the trees of Sandy Island. Our evening was so quiet it was truly tranquil. As a nurse I see why they call them tranquilizers.

Day 3: Montague Harbour to Nanaimo

Sea Natural in port while we have lunch at a great fish and chips restaurant on the wharf.
Sea Natural in port while we have lunch at a great fish and chips restaurant on the wharf.

Glass like water conditions to start the day and an uneventful but lovely ride through Dodd Narrows where you need to announce your passage via radio and then enjoy the amazing rush of current. Beautiful BC ferries and few boats sharing the water today. Once past Dodd Narrows we hit lumpy and windy conditions, similar to our Elliott Bay, times four.

Into Nanaimo quickly for a hot afternoon. Here we refueled, provisioned and rebooted our electronics while listening to a surprisingly gorgeous live metzo soprano voice, singing all our favorite classics. She sang for four hours on the pier with accompaniment and we never did discover if she was working for the Port Authority.

Super fresh fish and chips lunch and dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant right on the docks, a nice change from homemade meals. Early to bed for a dawn departure, not our usual routine–read on…

Audubon Advisory: I read today that the Osprey is the only raptor that dives feet first for it’s prey. How amazing to see this for the first time up close!


Day 2 Deception Pass to Montague Harbour

Happy Hour at the marina café -  Montague Harbour
Happy Hour at the marina café – Montague Harbour

Calm waters and a seven hour cruise after checking in at Bedwell Harbour customs. At Montague Harbour We found a lovely buoy near high cliffs where four turkey vultures were buzzing and landing with their kill, something we rarely get to see. The birds abound here– a heron flew right over our heads, so close I could nearly touch him and the next morning we enjoyed an osprey as he hit the water feet first, multiple times at our bow, to catch his breakfast.

While paying for the use of the buoy at the park dock our painter came untied and dinghy floated away. Fortunately there were some very nice people who came to our rescue with their dinghies and saved us a cold swim. This better not happen again! Later we dinghy’d to the marina store for a couple of tomatoes and the Crane and Robin restaurant for a glass of wine to take in the view of the many boats that visit this beautiful harbor.

Day 1: Tacoma to Deception Pass

Longest planned day cruise today at almost 9 hours through familiar water.  Not much traffic for a summer Saturday and weather steadily improved.   Beautiful views of Whidbey Island north made for thoughtful journey.   Crossing into Canada tomorrow morning. Chaiya will be fine but he always has to do this once!  Tough day for him at a nine hour nap while his captains spelled each other for only an hour each. Life is good!

Chaiya is not happy after losing his cookies!
Chaiya is not happy after losing his cookies!

Deception Pass after almost 9 hours from Tacoma.

Cruise Prep

We have been planning this cruise to The Broughtons in British Columbia for a year.  Maps, books, calculations, research, and then more maps and books.  Engine maintenance, safety equipment, and all the little things.  Hopefully we have the essentials and will have a safe and exciting adventure.

Gulf Islands Chart Book
Desolation Sound to Princess Louisa Chart Book
Chart Book II
Gulf Islands Chart Book
Paper charts folded for easy use.
Brief case of paper charts folded for easy use.
Excellent planning books and maps from Fine Edge Publishing
Excellent planning books and maps from Fine Edge Publishing