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Old 07-07-2016, 09:55 AM   #81
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Can you start a day or two earlier? I say that only because the 24th is a key date for you and it would allow for delays. Then if you got very close to your destination a day or two early, you just take advantage of an extra relaxing day. When a day is critical, I just like to allow extra prior to it.
Excellent advice, but unfortunately I can't. I am pushing it to take the first Thursday out of the office. This is the first time I have taken two consecutive weeks off in 28 years. I only know that because the only other time was when my daughter was born.

When we are in Nanaimo we should have a good idea of the weather for the next day. We plan to be up and out very early and if looks like we will have a weather delay, we call them to keep them from leaving Tacoma. That way they can wait out weather at home (unpacking in their new house) and leave when we can cross.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:02 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by dhays;
It is a long haul for them to drive, but we looked at the border wait times and the ferry schedule and they can make it in a day, getting to the ferries 2 hours before sailing and even have leeway to miss a sailing or two.
That was one of my biggest concerns as far too many folks underestimate, or fail to understand, the ferry issues.

You get it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:04 AM   #83
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First let me toss my personal bias over the bridge rail; I have never had any love for Nanaimo so would never deliberately make it a destination. There, that's out of the way.

Ka_sea_ta makes very valid points about crossing Georgia Strait and having all the family on the same side most of the time. To that, I still think the mainland route is the best one for your youngsters with you taking the coast side of Texada.

So before you even cross the line, you should be watching weather and preparing to cross from any point at any time. Egad, I would hate to be stuck in Nanaimo for 4 days.

Other than that, every day on the water is a good one and there is nothing wrong with those plans you have laid out. Just not for me. Too much movement.

Considering the two critical days at either end you have a busy itinerary and at the very least, I expect you will quickly drop at least two of the spots from 25 to 30. I recall an earlier comment that your wife needs to stretch her legs every couple days. Nuff said.

Getting back to the crossing and so I can update my brain charts, what did Spy recommend for course to and over night in Powell River?

Other than that, keep Thetis Island and Silva Bay in the back of your mind for possible northerly adjustments.

.....and don't forget, Aug 1 is a BC stat holiday...crazy long weekend.
Tried calling Spy a couple times but no luck. I will again.

You are right about too much movement, I think what will happen is we will stop at places for a couple of days if my wife really likes them.

I will keep in mind the idea of crossing before we get to Nanaimo if the weather is good. Don't have a chart in front of me but Pender might be a good spot to aim for if we do that?
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:09 AM   #84
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That was one of my biggest concerns as far too many folks underestimate, or fail to understand, the ferry issues.

You get it.
Yeah, unfortunately all the reservations are taken for the early sailings from the first ferry, but they only reserve 1/2 the space. The nice gal at BC ferries suggested that getting there 1 1/2 hours before sailing would be plenty of time. The kids are planning on 2 hours. The border is another issue but I looked at the historical water times for late July Sunday crossings the past couple years and it isn't bad at all at the time they will be crossing.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:53 AM   #85
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Don't have a chart in front of me but Pender might be a good spot to aim for if we do that?
Lots of little hidey holes between Gibsons and Hardy Island but yeah, logical dockage would be Secret Cove or Pender Harbour.

Royal Vancouver YC has outstations at Secret Cove and Garden Bay.
Maybe recip options?
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:28 AM   #86
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DH

Marine weather looks good for next 5 days north of Nanaimo. Good anchorage at Newcastle Is and all sorts of fun things to see and do from that anchorage, by foot no less.

Your guests can catch the Anacortes ferry to avoid the long Blaine lines or just grind through the wait and catch the ferry to Nanaimo or Schwartz Bay. So many options ---- not to mention the ferry from Comox to Powell River by foot while you are at PR Marina.

Dozens of alternatives.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:09 PM   #87
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Good anchorage at Newcastle Is and all sorts of fun things to see and do from that anchorage, by foot no less.
Newcastle I could handle.
In October.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:38 PM   #88
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Dave,
As I read this thread, you will be going north on the west side of Whidbey Is., It would be a much easier run to go on the east side up past Everett to LaConner, then to Mt Vernon. The water is much calmer and you will be protected all the way. Also when you enter Canada, you will already be on the Powell River side and wont have to cross the Straits .
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:11 AM   #89
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Need advice for first longer cruise.

Personally, I'd pick up the kids in Steveston. No ferry to worry about. It's two days to travel from Steveston to Desolation. I do it every year. Night before in Point Roberts. Easy day to go to Steveston where you can clear customs. The kids clear customs in Blaine and its 40 minutes to Steveston. Two 52 mile runs to Desolation.

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Old 07-09-2016, 12:30 AM   #90
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Dave,
As I read this thread, you will be going north on the west side of Whidbey Is., It would be a much easier run to go on the east side up past Everett to LaConner, then to Mt Vernon. The water is much calmer and you will be protected all the way. Also when you enter Canada, you will already be on the Powell River side and wont have to cross the Straits .
Easier, but much longer as far as time goes. Normally, the weather is pretty calm at the end of July so the Straits shouldn't be bad. Georgia Strait could be more of a problem. If it looks like I have a clear weather window on the afternoon of the 23rd, I may cross Georgia Strait and spend the night on the East side, then go up to Powell River on the 24th. Often, winds build in the afternoon, so if it is windy in the afternoon of the 23rd, with accompanying uncomfortable seas, then I'll go to Nanaimo and shoot for an early morning crossing on the 24th.

Of course if the weather is too bad, then I can have the kids meet us a day later or meet us in Nanaimo.

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Personally, I'd pick up the kids in Steveston. No ferry to worry about. It's two days to travel from Steveston to Desolation. I do it every year. Night before in Point Roberts. Easy day to go to Steveston where you can clear customs. Two 52 mile runs to Desolation.
Yes, but the kids only have a week of vacation and I have two. So I want to meet them as far North as I can so they get more time. Plus, once we drop off the kids, we are then free to hit places on the way home, maybe including Princess Luisa.

The whole having to actually work for a living really gets in the way. I may be an educated professional in private practice but in many ways I am no different than a plumber. I only get paid when I work. The difference is that when I don't work, my overhead keeps on going anyway. My patients also don't like it when I am not available. I can take as much time off as I like, any time that I like... as long as I don't mind going broke.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:10 PM   #91
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Getting close, what does your first 5 days look like?
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:34 AM   #92
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Getting close, what does your first 5 days look like?
Depends on when you ask me. This is still what I am thinking.

7/21 Gig Harbor to Kingston ~4:30 hours
7/22 Kingston to Prevost Harbor, Stuart Isl ~9:30 hours
7/23 Prevost to Bedwell Harbor to clear customs then on to Nanaimo ~6:00 hours
7/24 Nanaimo to Powell River/Westview ~7:30 hours
Pick up kids that evening.
7/25 Power River to Squirrel Cove ~3:30 hours.

Depending on the actual time it takes us to get from Kingston across the Straits, we may push all the way to Bedwell on the 22nd if we can make it there before the customs office closes, or just anchor in Bedwell and hit the Customs dock before it opens at 8:00am. If we could clear customs the evening of the 22nd then we could get an earlier start for Nanaimo so we can be sure to hit the 1:00pm slack at Dodd Narrows.

Now, if by some chance the afternoon weather on the 23rd were to be flat calm in the Strait of Georgia, we could cross over to Gibsons that day then go up the mainland side of the Strait to Westview on the 24th. Not counting on that however and would expect to cross early in the morning on the 24th from Nanaimo.

The kids will be leaving Tacoma around 5:30am on the 25th to drive to Westview. They should have no problem making it there by that evening, even with the two ferry crossings. If weather ends up being bad on the morning of the 25th, we will call them and have them divert to Nanaimo to join us there where we will wait for a weather window.

From there it will be pretty relaxed. We will likely spend a couple days each a couple of places before heading back to Westview. Thinking an anchorage around Prideaux Haven then Pendrell Sound or some other place that strikes our fancy.

So there are several long days there. I can just here many TF'ers warming up to type that the days are too long, slow down and enjoy as well as "the most dangerous thing for a boater is a schedule". All true, but such is life.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:05 PM   #93
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Hi Dave. Back on TF. Sent you a pm. Hope to talk tonight.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:24 AM   #94
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Just want to give a public "Thank you" to Northern Spy.

He heard about a BC Ferry maintenance issue that will change the schedules this weekend when the kids were going to be driving North to meet us. He gave me the information as well as some excellent suggestions. His thoughtfulness may have saved us from some frustration and disappointment this weekend.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:52 AM   #95
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Just want to give a public "Thank you" to Northern Spy.

He heard about a BC Ferry maintenance issue that will change the schedules this weekend when the kids were going to be driving North to meet us. He gave me the information as well as some excellent suggestions. His thoughtfulness may have saved us from some frustration and disappointment this weekend.
There you go, local knowledge.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:23 AM   #96
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Dave:

I just read this thread.
You have some great advice from knowledgeable folks like Spy and Hawg.

I would pick up the kids in Pender Harbour, not Powell River, esp with the smaller ferry on the Earles cove run. PH is a far better place for you to anchor for the night than PR.

I disagree with Hawg about Nanaimo. I like it there, especially Newcastle Island, and if you are fuelling, it is one of the better places to do so, if you need a marine store, Harbour Chandler is one of the best on the coast.

Use your "Sailflow" app for up to date conditions and predictions of winds for crossing the Strait. Cross from Nanaimo to Pender Harbour, avoiding area WG. At this time of year, rarely too rough. This week so far, it has been blowing softly SE, so great for where you are going.

I sympathize with your scheduling woes. I had the same time issues for years. I found that I could take 3 weeks and my clients would wait, but if I took 4, they would find someone else who would be there for them, and I might not get them back. I only took more than 3 weeks twice in all my years of practice, but that was enough to drive the message home. So I got used to having to cross Georgia Strait in less than optimal conditions. I found that a course change of 15 degrees would usually change a very uncomfortable ride to a pleasant one, though adding only a little time.

The best part of heading to Desolation Sound is sharing it with your family. Have a great holiday.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:51 PM   #97
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Do not anchor in Bedwell before you clear Customs. They might tell you to leave Canada.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:14 PM   #98
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Dave

Do not anchor in Bedwell before you clear Customs. They might tell you to leave Canada.
Oh, I'm laughing now.
Did you git run off?
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:32 PM   #99
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We are also heading north this week maybe see you up there... It is too late now but NEXUS is your friend for clearing customs both coming and going... The other thing is don't forget your DTOPS sticker you can get that online otherwise it's another 1/2 hour clearing US customs... Have a safe trip..
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:22 AM   #100
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I would pick up the kids in Pender Harbour, not Powell River, esp with the smaller ferry on the Earles cove run. PH is a far better place for you to anchor for the night than PR.
We considered Pender, but since the kids only have a week, picking them up at Pender reduces the time they have in DS. Fortunately, there were able to get reservations on the Ferries going from Tsawwasson -> Nanaimo and from Comox to Power River. It should be a nice trip for them.
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