Scott was kind enough to come with me through the lock from Lake Union out. Made it to Port Ludlow the first night July 26th. Since then have been to Everett (strong currents docking alone), Friday Harbour (love it!), checked into customs and stayed a couple of days at Sidney on Vancouver Island (love it too), went further along to Van Isle Marina (great spot). From there to Chemainus, then Lady Smith, on to Nanaimo. Friends I have met for many years sailing in the Abaco's live there. We had a couple of great visits and all commented how odd it seemed meeting there, not in the Bahamas. Today I crossed the Strait of Georgia. It had been blowing but today was near flat calm. Felt like fog the entire crossing with the smoke from the BC fires! It is literally that much of a smoke haze! Tieing up at Gibsons for a few days. My good friend John will be happy to get my dingy, outboard tools and various other gear out of his garage that he so graciously stored for me after I sold my last boat. I'll be happy to get the items back as well. He's away until Monday..... I feel a Tuesday morning hangover coming on :-)
While in Chemainus, I picked up and installed a 265 watt solar panel. It mounted nicely on the aft cockpit upper deck extension. Even with the haze it has kept me from plugging in since installed.
Once my other gear is aboard and visits over, I'll be Desolation asound bound... then the Broughtons
A few random pictures...
Was fortunate enough to be invited to crew in the "duck dodge" race on Lake Union before leaving. What a treat!! Put too many boats on a relatively small lake ranging from high end 'go fast' to low end party boats....you end up with the most fun race ever!! It was a hoot!! (thanks Roger!)
It truly is a small world for boaters.
Last fall I helped a friend take his boat S from Kingston Ontario down to West Palm Beach Florida. While loading the boat at 7:30am in Kingston preparing to depart, Jim taps me on the shoulder and says "I think those folks know you". I look over and Mike and Sue from "Island Flyer" that I've known for many years cruising southern waters were up N cruising in Sue's boat. Was too funny meeting them in such a different area.
Last week Andy and Cathy joined me for drinks aboard Emma B while I was docked in Nanaimo, their home town. They too are sourthern water cruising friends.
Some of the friendships we make are special. Jim and I hit it off instantly when we met years back. Come to find out we have the exact same birthday (different years) I met up with he and Deb often in the Abaco's and it was always fun. They had an offshore ketch that sailed beautifully. About 4 years ago they sold the ketch and bought a great lil Albin trawler so they could trailer to different places.
He powered across the Gulf Stream to the Abaco's with it and we had many a good visit there that year. I clearly remember him pulling anchor in Black Sound on Green Turtle Cay to head back home and thinking "hope we get to meet again". We kept in touch and both he and Deb wanted to see the beauty of the PNW. They launched in Bellingham WA and we met up last night anchoring in Garden Bay, Pender Harbour. Seemed odd to turn into the bay and see "Rum Blurr" anchored there. (Love the name) My anchor was barely down and they were over for...yes...a few rums, followed by a BBQ steak dinner.
It truly is the friendships you make along the way that is the best part of cruising.
Spent a long day in Powell River provisioning as we intend to explore away from marinas for a while. Both RumBlurr and Emma B have good solar power to run our lights and fridges at anchor.
Felt like students taking the bus out to the mall to stock up.
Made a basic folding BBQ table from scrap plywood another boater was throwing out. Works better than expected for a quick idea after spotting the scraps.
Filled with food, fuel and water, we left at 6:45am today headed for Desolation Sound. I have a quick stop here at Lund to say hello to a friend and then meet Jim n Deb at Melanie Cove later. Calling for much needed rain. Hopefully enough to put out the forest fires that have been raging inland. Feels great to be up here!
Anchor down in Melanie Cove, Desolation Sound.
WOW... I'm used to fall cruising here and have been spoiled with these anchorages all to myself. 23 boats in the Cove tonight.
The trip up was very nice. The haze from the fires seems to be lifting somewhat. Should get the much needed rain later tonight.
It is raining steadily here in Nanaimo, so hopefully it is raining there as well to clear the air. I haven't noticed any smoke here today. Not sure how far inland this rain goes, but I hope it hits the fire areas as well.
In the local grocery store they are taking a collection for those BC residents displaced by the fires.
Spent a few nice days at Melanie Cove. Fishing was as good as the scenery.
I caught several nice Rock Cod daily and a few smaller Red Snapper but Jim got the big one with this nice Red Snapper and Ling cod.
Working our way to Gorge Harbour. Anchored out for tonight near Cortes Bay.
Have a slip booked for tomorrow in Gorge. Loving it out here! Loving my little trawler too.
Nice calm night at anchor in a shallow bay on Cortes Isl.
Today we are booked in at Gorge Harbour Marina. Beautiful place, awesome docks and wonderful grounds.
Jims ole Albin 27 aft cabin is a great Lil cruiser.