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Old 08-28-2019, 10:43 PM   #1
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First Vacation Cruise on Northwest Dream

The past two weeks we finally took a vacation cruise. Not much of one, but it was grand to finally get away, and the beginning of what we hope will be a long series of grand adventures.

We bought the boat last August, in fact our survey/sea trial was last August 15. This year we left for vacation on August 12 and were out until the 23rd (25th actually, but I'll get to that!)

Josh and I finished the installation of the new battery boxes and the upgraded house bank (8 GC-2 batteries) and a Victron battery monitor the week prior to the 12th. I had work commitments that weekend, keeping us from leaving until Monday. We were also completing the installation of some new sanitation plumbing for the aft holding tank which kept us from leaving the dock first thing; so Monday was a short trip from our home port in Shelter Bay, Laconner north to a favorite local anchorage in Eagle Harbor, Cypress Island. Here are a few photos and the story enroute:

Just outside our marina, and heading north in the Swinomish Channel, about to pass under the iconic (but somewhat faded) rainbow bridge

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Now at the north end of the Swinomish Channel, starting to see the islands. While not considered the San Juans, these are the first of the islands we come to, from right to left are Hat (Saddlebag and Dot Is are hiding behind it), Huckleberry, and Guemes. The tallest island in the distance straight ahead is Lummi, up near Bellingham. The land to the left of the channel is part of Fidalgo Island - its an island because of the channel cutting it off from the mainland.

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Heading up the east side of Guemes Island, heading for Eagle Harbor. We realized the ship under command is not flying its flag. Josh went back to take care of that for me! Many boats heading out into the San Juans take Guemes Channel then cross Rosario Strait, which is a fine way to go, and can be a more direct route depending on your destination, but we find that sometimes the currents are more favorable to take the east side of Guemes then cross Rosario, or take the north side of Orcas Island across - especially if the wind is up on an ebb, it makes for a much more comfortable ride. And its beautiful and a route much less traveled, too.

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The Admiral at her best. Unless its a picture of her here, its probably a photo that she took.

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...and she caught me! Note that she is always surrounded by our small herd of boater-collies!

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We'd gotten out late a few times this year, and anchored in the dark. I promised the Admiral we'd stop doing this. And we did. Eagle Harbor has mooring buoys. Here we are crossing Bellingham Channel just at the north end of Guemes Island.

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All was well and good, and we tied up to a buoy in the dusk, until it came time for bed and we realized we had forgotten several key items needed for our trip; we could eek it out for the night, but not for two weeks. I initially planned an early morning trip in the dink to Anacortes, and an Uber or family ride home to Mount Vernon for the supplies, until I realized that not only was the dinghy fuel low, we had also forgotten its spare fuel (and even forgotten to fill it!)

Sooooooooooo................


Back to Anacortes. We filled up the dinghy, and Josh made and epic run back to our dock in Shelter Bay, drove home and got everything we needed.

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While in Anacortes, we made the best of it, and double checked everything else. I found a couple supplies I could use at the hardware store (who couldn't use some extra quick set epoxy on a boat? More on THAT later too!) and we grabbed some extra snacks at the Safeway that would pass muster at the border. This is what it looks like when boater-collies are waiting for mom to come back out of the store...

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We timed it and took off from the dock in Anacortes, headed back north and did a live pick up of Josh and the dinghy near the north end of Guemes Island. He covered a lot of dang miles in that Avon 310 RIB that morning, oh to be 19 again! It was a good exercise because we were able to accurately measure on the plotter the distance/time he traveled vs the fuel he used and get the dinghy wide open fuel burn data.

It was beginning to look like we'd blown our original plans - leave Eagle Harbor in time to get across the border, clear customs, get some fresh food, and get into an anchorage all on Tuesday. It just didn't look like it was going to happen, and it didn't. We're committed to running the boat between 6.25 and 7 kts, closer to 6.25(1300-1400 RPM), we are not speed or fuel demons. We made Bedwell after customs closed, which is no big deal as they have their phones on the dock. We cleared in fine, and were thinking of trying for Ganges as their stores were still going to be open, but then that left us anchoring there for the night. Before we had it figured out, here comes a trawler up to the customs dock flying a familiar pennant on her bow....

It was Cheechako from here on TF and his wife on Synergy, and it turns out they keep their boat in Laconner as well, at the county marina. We'd never met until that day on the dock. We talked boats for a while, and they went to anchor out in Bedwell. We did a horrible and didn't get ANY pictures!

We tossed the Ganges idea and opted to go anchor out in Port Browning, planning on shopping in the morning before heading to Winter Cove. Here is one final shot of the Admiral and Josh getting ready to set anchor (I swear its not dark!) in Port Browning....

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Old 08-28-2019, 11:04 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. f. Nice, very nice. Thanks. Most of our "first of the year" trips are like that. "Gosh, we forgot...". Even with lists there's always something that's left behind.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:52 PM   #3
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Port Browning and Winter Cove

We had arrived in Port Browning the evening of the 13th, and woke up there the 14th. The marina and resort there has new owners, and the restaurant/pub serves breakfast. Y-von and I went in to shore and had breakfast; it was good, we don't eat out for breakfast that often. After that we took some to go for Josh - he'd stayed on the boat. Then we all went to the Driftwood Centre to shop for food. The Tru-value grocery there had really good fresh veggies and we stocked up. With our fridge everything we bought lasted for the rest of our trip, with the exception of lettuce and tomato which we ran out of and had to buy more later in the trip. We'd already noticed hornets were really bad up on Pender, and decided to try a hornet trap. We bought a two pack from the pet store there. Note - they are just about to open a hardware store in the Driftwood Centre - it is the same chain as the hardware store in Ganges, but will be a smaller store.

Then it was off to Winter Cove. I was expecting more boats - and was pleasantly surprised and how few there were. The San Juans are so overrun with boats you almost can't have move without tripping over an anchor line. We stayed for two days, did some geocaching, and were treated to an awesome display by the Canadian CG....

Here are some Winter Cove pics:

Like I noted, the cove was not nearly as busy as I'd expected it to be. Maybe its not peak season for CA boaters to vacation, or maybe just not hot enough? I'm not complaining. And the boats that were here were great neighbors, too.

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One of the sunsets from inside my salon...

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...our boater-collie, Rio. He found a spot where he can lay down, keep an eye on food prep in the galley and on the water.

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Y-von, the Admiral, focusing on some shots of Boat Passage

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Dinner on the flybridge

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This is that son I speak so highly of, in the RIB. Josh has been an incredible resource and help during the entire process of refitting and repair of NWD, and he's turned into an incredibly capable young man.

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While in Winter Cove, at low tide, the Canadian CG came through in this hovercraft. At first we thought it was a routine patrol poking in via the Plumper Sound side and would then exit via the same way. Not so. The ducted controls on that hovercraft are incredible - the two forward facing horns can be rotated to provide directional control (and I presume braking or even some reversing? thrust) At any rate I watched on AIS as this craft moved in an almost perfect straight line at 2-3 kts across the cove. It then lined up on the passage before thrusting through. Everyone in the cove was out on the bow of their boat, or on the point watching with cameras or binos. After it went through the passage to the Strait of Georgia side I watched it on AIS accelerate away to over 47 kts. In both of these photos it was moving extremely slow, at the 2-3 kt speed, and had personnel on the front helping spot the passage, I presume.

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That takes us through the first 4 or 5 days of our trip. Tomorrow I'll post some more. Stand by for a few challenges, some more of the beautiful Gulf Islands, and we have a couple more guest appearances by a few TF boats and celebrities!
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:57 PM   #4
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Love the photos!
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking us along on your trip. +1 to loving the photos. That is such a beautiful area to go boating in. I'm jealous!
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:10 PM   #6
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NWD 2019 Vacation Cruise - Montague Parts 1 and 2, Otter Bay

(sorry, I'd intended to post the rest of our vacation, but it turns out boat problems and a Labor day boat trip goat in the way, go figure!)

Back to our August vacation - From Winter Cove we headed north to Montague Harbor. We had last visited here in 2009 in Great Escape, and left a Geocache. (check out "Pirate Cache at Montague" at geocaching.com, our alterego is San Juan Pirates there!) and card hadn't aligned for us to be back to check on it except online. We love the park and made sure it was on our itenerary this trip. We anchored out with no problem, headed to shore, hiked, looked around the harbor, etc.

Our biggest problems until this point, or so we thought, was that I'd forgotten the boston valves for the inflatable kayak and we'd run run out of dog-poo pick up bags. I'd checked with the likely spots I could get boston valves close by (a store with a small chandlery on North Pender at the Driftwood Centre and the hardward store in Ganges) and struck out. Once at Montague we checked the marina store and didn't have any dog poo bags, so we started emptying veggies out of their bags in the fridge for repurposing.

We'd planned on two nights at Montague, but on day 2, I went below for detailed checks in the engine room and discovered a leak in the holding tank I had spent a good amount of time working on before the trip. Near as I can figure I failed in adequately glassing over an old fitting location when moving the vent fitting to the top of the tank, and that spot had a hairline crack in it, and was seeping nasty in the aft bilge area. It was a slow leak/seep, but leaving it overnight was out of the question; we planned to go to Otter Bay the next day so we would be on the move, but we needed to get the level down now to stop the leak, then I needed to make a temporary repair to make sure we didn't accidentally have any further leak/seep issues for the rest of the trip. (This was foreshadowed by my purchase of two types of epoxy at the hardware store in Anacortes at the beginning of the trip!)

So we pulled up anchor midafternoon, and off to Ganges to the pump out. It was partially broke - it normally takes loonies but the change machine part was out, we had to get an attendant, pay them, and they came down to turn it on for us. We were able to pump out both tanks. It turns out we got both holding tanks to almost full in 6 days (forward head has 22 gallons, aft is estimated at just over 40.) I'm not sure if that's good or back for 3 adults.

As Ganges usually is it was windy from the south, so it was super easy to get onto the dock, then difficult to get back off. I put out both big ball fenders on the port bow just in case and was able to rotate my stern out away from the dock with the props and rudders then back away. So far with NWD I haven't been trapped to the point that I needed to use a bow spring to get off a windy dock, just the fenders and opposing rudder coupled with the right mix of forward and reverse thrust.

While Y-von was arranging for some CA cash and the pumpout attendant, I walked into the hardware store that is right at the head of the dock. It turns out not only do they stock the boston valves I forgot for the kayak, they also have a pet section with our doggie poop baggies. Don't know who I talked to on the phone a few days earlier, but that place has so much stuff I can blame them for not knowing everything on the shelves. So we jockeyed about and found another boat was just about to leave. I was able to hover between the two transient docks, and ended up turning around and backing up into the space after the other boat left. A year after acquiring NWD I still can't believe how much easier it is to maneuver a heavy keeled boat compared to a big planing powerboat!

Of course we stopped in the grocer - the Admiral needed a fix of some Maple cookies, and the boat had no stores of Ketchup chips.

Finally, after day 2 at Montague, finding the leak, off to Ganges for pumpout and shopping, we returned to Montague to anchor once more Saturday evening. We already had reservations for Otter Bay Sunday night, and didn't want to miss out on those - we needed to do some clothes washing, and I wanted to swim in the pool, so we agreed that due to our buggered day we would just come back to Montague for a day 3 later!

Here's some pics:

Looking north from the beach at the park at a low tide. One of the remarkable things about Montague (like most of our islands in the PNW) is the geology.

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Cedars at the water's edge, driftwood, white shell midden, its doesn't get any more natural. I can only imagine what life was like here hundreds of years ago before the Europeans arrived.

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This boat is at once familiar and comical. Its a Reinell, a smaller version of the boat we used to own. But this one has a pee-wee Herman propeller hat added!

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I didn't take photos of the crack and pumpout. But here we are leaving Ganges after the pumpout and some shopping. As busy as this looks, this was a slow day in the harbor. There are a lot of times I'll ask Y-von or Josh for a report on any traffic behind us. Here, the reports are the aircraft landing and taking off!

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Back at Montague, anchoring again. Did I mention, we absolutely love having a heavy anchor, all chain rode, and a windlass. Great Escape had a probably too-light danforth, probably too little chain, and rope rode and no windlass (hence everything too light. We didn't like anchoring because sometimes we had trouble setting, and sometimes we dragged. We have yet to have a hint of the first hiccup (knock on wood) with the setup on NWD. As night fell and everyone was turning on their mast lights, I saw one sailboat that had a red mast light, I think he had his nav lights on by mistake, but this one? If anything, my cell phone did not capture the intense blue of the light. Its not a "cool white" LED, just a very blue mast light. I didn't make it over to ask, I'm wondering if he has that so he can find his boat in the sea of mast lights...

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This beast is moored on the south side of Montague Harbor. Best I can figure, is there is someone in there in the command center, ordering up "warp 9, Mr. Sulu load the bong!" (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I counted two chimneys, two wind generators, and then the panels

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This is the south side of the marine park, looking down from the dock.

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After our two interrupted days at Montague, we headed down to Otter Bay for a night. We had a brisk wind out of the south. When we arrived, they were shoehorning boats in, and the dock attendants were asking boats to stand by so they could take us in and assist us one at a time. They ended up assigning us on the outside of the breakwater, and recommended we starboard tie. While that is the traditional ships' moorage side, NWD is set up and easiest to board port side. In fact, because of the curve of our gunnel, our boarding ladder is set for port side, and I don't have one made for the starboard side. Nor do I have as many convenient small cleats for fenders installed on that side. But, a port tie would expose our stern to ferry wakes, and that would be far worse. So we did the stbd tie, and carefully nosed in and eased in with the wind at our backs, and it was all good.

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Otter Bay was a nice stop. the pool was a good temp, the grounds nice, the people nice. There are very few pools around, and I like to have a swim on vacation. I'll swim in the salt chuck if its warm enough, and even sometimes if its not, but a pool is nice when you're actually on a vacation. For the entire time we were out, this was the only stop we paid overnight for. There are only two washers and dryers, but on Monday morning we had use of them no problem. They worked great, and we took on water, offloaded trash, and were fully ready for another 6 or 7 days out.

I am learning about the Victron battery monitor we installed just before the trip. It turns out I have a learning curve with it - it resets to "100% charged" when it detects a certain number of amps of charge based on the bank size. There are times when the genny or the engines provide that, but the batteries are in fact not fully charged. So I end up thinking I have fully charged batteries when I in fact do not. I'm learning it, and I think need to fine tune the settings in the Victron to make sure it only sets itself to fully charged when it really gets there. But during this early phase of the trip it was a relief to put the batteries on dock power for the night to have them topped up.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:43 AM   #7
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NWD 2019 Vacation Cruise Montague Part 3

After staying at Otter Bay Sunday night/Monday AM, we headed up to Ganges one more time. We needed to buy some gas for the dink and get a couple things at the store. And the Admiral and I wanted to eat lunch out.

We pulled in and found a spot in the transient docks waiting for us. Josh didn't feel like eating out, so after walking the dogs, stayed with them on the boat. We went up and the Admiral wanted a burger. We tried the Burger Bar 357. It was uuuummmm. They had a mix up of our order and it took forever to get our food, we were almost an hour and a half completing the meal. We picked them because of the three places to eat right near the dock (Treehouse, Oystercatcher, and them) they had the best variety of burgers on the menu. Next time we'll try another place. I'm hoping we caught them on a bad day.

We took off for Montague, and on the way encountered a tug with a barge in tow. It had a simply massive amount of logs. It was a great chance to show the Admiral the asset the AIS transponder can be, as I showed her the course plots for us and the tow, our speeds, the intersection of our courses, then showed her how since we should be the give way vessel and needed to slow and turn, how those changed. Then pointed out the tug had the exact same (or very similar) display in his bridge, and could see that we had just altered course and speed to avoid his vessel and tow. AIS had been one of those gadgets I think she had been rolling her eyes over behind my back!

Speaking of AIS, not more than a few minutes later, as we closed on Montage Harbor (for our 3rd day we promised ourselves) what do I see showing up as AIS targets?

Alaska-Sea-Duction and Seeadler!

We pulled into the harbor and found a spot to anchor near them, and found that Chris b on Endless Tymes was rafted to ASD. After settling in, getting the dogs to shore, Y-von and I went over and introduced ourselves to Chris, Tom and Kay, and Bill (AlaskaProf). It was great talking to some Alaska vets - we plan to take NWD to Alaska in the future. In some of the very very best foreshadowing I've seen in years, Tom regaled us with how, after pulling in every 40 feet of chain, he has to go down to his anchor locker, and push the chain aside, so he can fit more in. Bill on the other hand, inherited a boat that came with a "chain knocker over" piece of steel rod to do something very similar. Later on, Y-von and I remarked how we don't necessarily have everything in place to go to AK, and we don't have the nautical miles behind us that these guys all do, but at least we just pile in the chain and all is good!.

Fast forward to the end of the trip - We are just back at the dock, and we decided to spend another night on it in the marina before going home. Josh is sticking his head into every nook and cranny in the v-berth. He reports to us our chain is in the bilge!!!! At some point during the trip our anchor locker collapsed. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!

I'm trying to decide if this was one of those "I'll never smoke weed with Willie again" moments, or if its a "I'll never think there is anything better about my boat than anyone else's no matter what" moments. I think its a little of both. I'll post the damage and repair in a separate project thread, but rest assured, NWD now has a proper gel coated, self draining anchor locker that will not be collapsing!

I'll have to apologize to Bill, I didn't have the Admiral ready to take a photo, and tried getting some pics of you getting underway, but my cell phone was bad bad bad quality.

Wednesday morning we did some cleanup and updating of our geocache, and stocked it with some pirate band aids (because that's what every pirate needs!) and then headed north to Wallace Island. I forgot to pull down our hornet trap, which I have suspended from a pulley on our high mast antenna. In some beam wakes it came apart and showered the port flybridge and deck with wasp bait juice. Very bad scene!

We did a man overboard drill to find the lost trap, but it must have sunk. We retraced our track and didn't spot it. The Admiral used the wash down pump and some soap and water to scrub down the areas that got bait juice on them and flush it clear. We currently don't have a fresh water wash down. I have a battery operated pressure washer Josh got me for Christmas, and we used that with a 6 gallon jerry can of water (we always carry 2 full, just so...) and used that to rinse a lot of the salt of everything and all the windows. What a mess! I've since rigged a carrier to run the trap up and down the mast instead of simply hanging it from a line from the pulley that was a bad idea!


Pics:

Around where our marina is we continually see these little tows of floated logs. Now THIS is a load of trees!

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It was barely a deviation to get around him, its amazing how loaded down these things are.

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The boater-collies insist on cushions to rest on. Motoring time is napping time. They know when the Lehman's come back below 1000 RPM that we are close and its time to get up and start looking and sniffing around. We're not there yet.

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Clearly I had been blitzing on boat work before our trip, and hadn't been on the forum much - I didn't realize ASD would even be close to swinging back through the area. It was fun to be able to say hi to some other TF'ers, especially ones with good grounding and a good base of knowledge in the grounds we intend to cover, even if ASD does it WAY too fast! (We later took three days to get from Wallace Is to our home port, just of 60 nm away. ASD can get from Puget Sound to his homeport UP the Columbia in 3 days!

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AlaskaProf hosing off the chain, Montague. That's a stream of water. Our wash down is only a 3 gpm PARMAX that was on the boat when we bought it.

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There's the anchor!

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Seeadler under way, Aug 2019 from Montague Harbor.

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ASD at anchor, Montague Harbor Aug 2019. Chris' Endless Tymes rafted alongside.

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Y-von and I with the boater-collies, posing for a pic similar to one she took of me back in 2009.

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Old 09-03-2019, 01:39 AM   #8
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Wallace Is

At Wallace all that was available to us at Conover Cove was the south end of the cove past the dock and two sailboats. The winds forecast had both north and south winds in the next 36 hrs, so I had hoped to stay at Conover. Josh explored in the dinghy, but we don't currently have a lead line on it or NWD. (I know! We're remedying that! Lead lines for both. The one I thought I had had been repurposed and I lost track of it. Ugh.) Josh used the long boat hook to see what we could at least explore, then we prowled with the sounder. We computed tides and determined there was room for use to stern tie south of the two sailboats and still have 3 1/2 - 4 ft at the low under our keel. For reference, there is a wood dock built up on the west side of the southern part of Conover Cove. We were just about 20 ft south of that, angled bow to the north-northwest.

There are no stern tie rings set in this spot; I carry some old smaller anchor chain and a shackle that we can put around rocks and boulders, then pass our line through the shackle. I can pull out quick and loose the chain, or come back for it later, but its scrap to me as I can't use it for anything. We used that and it worked quite well.

I finally got the kayak pumped up and going, and kayaked around this cute little bay. We hiked and played with the dogs on the island, and just relaxed. Wallace Island is a Canadian treasure, as is its story. We'll be back. The only drawback for Conover cove is that its a complete no-discharge zone in summer. No problem for us, we skipped a shower and used some paper plates, and deffered on some dishes until we left.

Pics:

On the way to Wallace Island from Montague, this little Islet has been claimed by Canada!

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Here's where we ended up at Conover Cove. There is a dock, I think the limit is 36 feet for boats; there are some shore tie rings to the north, I didn't notice any on the south side. I'm dorking around in the yellow inflatable kayak. I'm thinking I like the kayaking enough to look for a hard shell to put on board - we have a boat big enough to store one now! Because I knew of a high wind forecast out on the Strait of Greorgia, and not knowing how much wind we might get, I put out a little extra chain. I actually dropped my anchor all the way over by the other shore. I could compute the scope for you, but it would be embarrassing. As it turned out though, when the north winds blew through the next night they were hitting us mostly broadside, and it strained the gear a little. As you would guess from later pics of my shore tie setup I think my stern line will snap before my anchor will drag.

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She's floatin' proud and pretty, I think!

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Shore tie setup for rocks and boulders. Its and old length of too-short chain off a too-small anchor off our last boat. I thought it was too long, but it turns out that depending on the situation, its just right. In this case, I think we could have shorted up the chain by shackling it up to a link part way up the chain. Also, I'm not happy with the shackle we used this outing, I'm going to replace it with something that can handle the same strain as the line, which it turns out I'm a little leary of too. So as soon as I replace the line I'll know what rating shackle to have! It worked for a very protected situation, but I'd like to have a little more faith in the tackle than I do after the fact.

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While off to starboard looked like a little marina, to port we had a private little cove with nothing in it to look at.

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Conover Cove Sunset.

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That's all for tonight. I'll have one last post with the last few days of our trip, mainly our trek back into the US, and a summary of our nm's and gallons, lessons learned, projects and things to do.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for a great write up. My wife and are will be starting our first real trip with our new to us Navigator this Monday.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:01 AM   #10
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Awesome! It was great meeting you. You are now hooked and more vacation runs in the future. Have fun, great post. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:59 AM   #11
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Some final numbers, for those that like those...

Our final segment of the trip was to go home from Wallace Island. We did that in three legs, three days. First from Wallace Island across the border into the US to Shallow Cove on Sucia Island, then to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island, and finally on to our homeport at Shelter Bay in Laconner. We did this from long experience of trying to spend a long day coming back and getting back utterly exhausted, angry, and in the black. It worked, we arrived home with the boat packed, mostly cleaned and organized, and us rested and happy.

Our first segment from Wallace Island to Sucia Island started off initially with a side trip to explore the south end of Saturna Island, and then with a hope of going to Patos Island if we found the conditions right and a mooring buoy available in Active Cove. Saturna now has a restricted zone for all boats at the south end on both sides of East Point you have to be careful of. The restricted zone is to protect Orca habitat. We didn't see any Orcas on our trip. The zone is not available on charts, only on JPEG scans on the internet - even though the zone was instituted early in 2019 and we bought our digital charts mid year. With the online JPEG you can see where you can access Narvaez Bay on the west side. We explored the Java Islets from a distance, they had a lot of seals on them, and then moved into the bay, avoiding the no-go zone. The trip from Wallace down to the border was a veggie feast - we were eating every veg on the boat. It was almost sickening - massive salad, all the rest of the strawberries, and two apples, and the carrots, UGH. We ended up drifting along in the current while we continued to gorge and eat, then when there was a break in the commercial traffic we darted across the VTS lanes into the US.

We used the ROAM app for the first time - we weren't able to get the video chat to work. While we were trying to get connected we encountered some swell from the Strait of Georgia and ended up tacking into the swell to keep the roll down for a bit as we made for Patos Island. We actually ended up getting to Active Cove before we cleared, and we found the two buoys full, so we headed for better internet to finish our customs clearance. We finally connected well with CBP about halfway to Shallow Bay and finished out clearance. As part of that, I had checked off we wanted to be trusted travelers, so maybe it will be easier in the future.

We came into Shallow Bay at Sucia on a Thursday afternoon, and found we had our choice of anchoring locations. We picked a spot to the east in the bay to avoid any of the remaining swell still coming off the Strait of Georgia. There wasn't much, but we had a wide area all to ourselves. Again, this time of year I'd expected Sucia to be busier and more packed, but maybe the weather was a little cooler and it was past the busiest part of the year.

The following morning (Friday) we headed for Eagle Harbor. It was cool with some isolated but strong rain showers. It provided me some great opportunity to train on how to spot and adjust my radar for rain clutter - I could see the isolated showers by eye, see them on the radar, and adjust them, and even see valid targets within the shower to judge my adjustments. During this cruise we ran the genset and spent a lot of time vacuuming and cleaning the boat, getting it ready for being home.

Saturday we got up, had a two hour slow cruise to our home port. During that cruise we packed everything up. Between our cleanup the previous day and packing, we had very little to do once we arrived back at the dock.

During the trip, I used Coastal Explorer to plan our routes. Our nautical miles traveled were the routes planned - in reality we likely went a tad more due to some wavering in our cross track error. I used the times in our track in CE from when I actually spooled up the twins until we arrived, so our startup and anchoring time did not figure in to our enroute times.

I also added up our engine hours during the trip. I found that my port and starboard engines do not record time the same. When we bought the boat, the port engine had more hours on it than the starboard. I assumed that during its life, one of the PO's had run the port engine to heat fresh water. I now realize that its a function of for some reason one engine does not keep time with reality. Now that I know there is a difference, I will have to put a timer on them to keep an exact timer to figure out which one is incorrect, then figure out why.

During our trip up to CA, we ran a little hard up over 1500 or almost to 1600 RPM. During the remaining portions of the trip, we ran exclusively at 1300-1400 RPM, which gives us a speed of around 6.25 to 6.5 kts. (Our boat is a semi-displacement hull, but is broad and deep enough that there is no hope of actually semi-planing. The maximum speed we have attained at WOT (2450 RPM is what I have achieved) is 9.25 kts.)

Here are my numbers for the trip:

178.48 nms

33.24 hrs

80 gals (including engine, generator, and heater run time.)

Cost - $245.6 (I had bought this fuel load for a total cost of $3.07 per gallon with tax.)

This equates to 2.41 GPH overall.

Our genset hours meter had failed - I think we have a wiring issue with it, I have to debug it, but we didn't do it during the trip. It was working before the trip just before we changed the oil for the genset. I am guessing we used it on average an hour and a half per day. It is an Onan 7.5 KW, my manual says it burns .82 gph, so thats 13.53 gal. If I guess 12.3 gal was generator fuel, and so I burned 66.47 gal on moving the boat.

That now looks like 1.99 gph for the engines for moving the boat.

That also tells me it cost me about just over $41 for fuel for electricity, as I had paid $3.07/gal for that fuel load. (Not counting wear on my genset, oil and other maintenance costs.)

The thoughtful reader will note that for our trip home we took three days to make a less than one-day trip for most, even a half day trip for many. While we could certainly make this trip in a day, or even go further, this was a vacation ending and we ended it in a most relaxing fashion. The admiral and I were most satisfied in how we felt on how we arrived at our home dock, and the condition we and the boat were in when we arrived. In fact, we were out on the boat a week later despite needing to do a major repair, simply because we'd came back in good shape with a clean organized boat, in good spirits and not exhausted.

Last pics

Cool erosion near Monarch Head, Saturna Island. This is probably 15 - 20 feet in diameter.

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Monarch Head. Spot the Heron.

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West side of Monarch Head. Spot the herd of GOATS.

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Shallow Bay. Josh heading out on a quick circumnavigation of Sucia Island.

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Flashback to a time when Josh wasn't allowed to use the dingy under power alone until he could row it against the wind...this one was from August 2009, in Reid Harbor with his sister Jessica on board our Livingston tender at the time...

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Herd of sea lions on Clements Reef near Ewing Island, east side of Sucia Island.

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Old 09-07-2019, 06:50 AM   #12
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Did you go into the old dining room at Conover Cove and look at all of the boat signs?
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:18 AM   #13
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Awesome!! You can side tie anytime!! We watch the good sailing yacht marijuana brake and drag anchor across Montague Harbor...
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractalphreak View Post
We came into Shallow Bay at Sucia on a Thursday afternoon, and found we had our choice of anchoring locations. We picked a spot to the east in the bay to avoid any of the remaining swell still coming off the Strait of Georgia. There wasn't much, but we had a wide area all to ourselves. Again, this time of year I'd expected Sucia to be busier and more packed, but maybe the weather was a little cooler and it was past the busiest part of the year.

Great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Last year in the second week in September we stopped in Shallow Bay on the way back. Like you, we found there were a number of mooring buoys available. There were also some free around the corner in Fox cove to the East.

I appreciate the way you took the last few days to wind down and get ready to leave the boat. That is something that I need to do more.
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #15
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Great trip and great photos you shared. Thanks again for taking us along with you.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:42 PM   #16
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Fractal, I loved seeing your border collies with you. Our bordie female, 16 years old, just passed about a month ago. Many adventures with her in Alaska and BC since she was a pup. Cherish your time and experiences with them. Thanks for sharing your trip.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:02 PM   #17
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Thanks for sharing. Sometimes it is good to see the familiar through fresh eyes.

Bill, aka: AlaskaProf

BTW, Tom and Kay have a son who was one of my students at U of Alaska. Small ocean, for sure.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cofer View Post
Did you go into the old dining room at Conover Cove and look at all of the boat signs?
Yes it was amazing. On our list to find a suitable piece of driftwood to make one to leave there next time we're by! We actually saw a lot of familiar boat names there!
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:43 PM   #19
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We have one in there from Ebbtide. Looking forward to hanging one up for Seafarer.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:44 AM   #20
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This is a wonderful thread, thank you!
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