Log - 6/28/2001 to 7/5/2001
Gulf Islands (Victoria to Naniamo)

Woke up early for reasons unknown: 6:30. The night before Katherine expressed desire for a late departure, like 10, but the currents and forecast wind favored 8 am. We cast off from Victoria just after 8. Got to do some extended sailing, with the engine shut off for more than a half hour, still made good headway. Squiz even was in the cockpit area and seemed happy, though she hasn't really been out without a dock alongside.

We tied up to a mooring ball in Sidney Spit Marine park a few miles east of the town of Sidney.

Lifestyle observations: After a few days on the hook I decided to check our water supply (I am the water consumption Nazi) and found we hardly made a dent, so we've lifted the saltwater dishwashing & have decided to shower exclusively on the boat (save some pesos) - although we have no water pump - so we fill the sun shower and feed into the shower stall. It seems like a pain, but then you're not hauling your shower gear all over town.

Of the cruising books I've read (a few), none have recommended the importance of having one tasty meal or large appetizer on the ready (especially one with vegetable matter). This seems to avert disaster or make a tough time easier to get through. Nothing like getting to your destination tired and grumpy and still the thought of making something (and your sick of dehydrated food, chips, sodas) seems impossible. This afternoon it is chilled Avocado/grapefruit soup with homemade sourdough bread.

Life without a heater: so far not an issue. I plan my cooking around potential evening chill and usually make a bread, pastry, or something that takes any annoying chill before you go to bed.

What I miss: our pepper grinder is broken, I'd like a larger (glass) mixing bowl. Eventually I'll need a potato masher.

On books: The girl with a pearl earring was a good one to settle down from the chaos of getting ready. The Millennium Girl is a hoot and the boys want to read it, presumably for the sex in it. (Wally please bring it back in August, so Alan can read it.) Currently reading Joshua Slocum's, Sailing Alone around the world. Very good, his experiences and adventures are timeless.

Naniamo is a convenient and lovely city that has made it convenient to stay. After a night at the dock we've chosen to anchor across the way in front of Newcastle Island - a provincial park that shelters Naniamo. The anchorage has at least 40 boats of all shapes and sizes, including a barge-trailer conversion with a barfo-lounger on top (hey dad, I thought you wanted Alan's old barfo-lounger). Our second night we had to move due to different drifting patterns (anchor rode) of various vessels. Imagine peering your head out of the cockpit before you go to be and being within 1 foot of another boat. So at 2300 hours we hauled in the anchor. After spending an hour weaving between all the boats - most with no anchor light - we found a new place to drop the hook.

Why we're still at Naniamo: we want to get the web-site up on the Internet (and out of Alan's pile of things to do) and this is the most convenient place. Unfortunately, Alan finished version 1 about an hour late, so we have to wait until Monday morning until a web-café that will let us upload info is open. In the meantime, Alan replaced the pressurized water pump; we replaced the fuel filters and bled the fuel line, and washed the boat. We'd rather do the housework now & play exclusively while we're in Desolation Sound. Also, I temporarily became a boat fender, stepping onto the dock and slipped; performing a bizarre yoga pose that had nothing to do with relaxation. The dock rash and the bruising that ensued are mildly spectacular. I lost a flip-flop too.

Squiz is mildly entertained by the geese in these parts. Back in Tomahawk Bay she was intimidated. She is currently performing her evening constitution of 20 laps in the Bulwarks - wildebeest style. I don't know if the hull-deck joint can tolerate much more of her evening romps.

What's next? Well we're heading to Scottie Bay, on Lasqueti Island. We are meeting Alan's brother July 15th in Powell River and he'll join us for a week up in Desolation sound with his son, girlfriend, and ski boat.

I love the warm, lazy peacefulness of Princess inlet on Wallace Island. Except I did get a little nervous when that hungry Eagle perched in a nearby tree looking for tender morsels; luckily it grabbed a mouse and flew off to dine without my tender carcass.

The Canadian geese in Naniamo are fun to watch (from my perch inside the bulwarks).