Log - 7/13/2001 to 7/26/2001
Discovery Islands (Desolation Sound to Rebecca Spit)

This may be a rather dry, nonhuman commentary — as it was written after-the-fact by referencing the ships log (to jog my failing memory). Maybe next time I can be more literary and provide impressions as the journey happens...

We cast off at 8:30 AM for a rendezvous with Mark, Ian, and Andy in the town of Lund. Alan piloted as Katherine prepared future luscious meals for our guests. At 11:30 Mark's 20 ft. Bayliner found us as we approached the Lund Harbor. After greetings, we sent them in the motorboat back to town to purchase more onions, as we previously underestimated the number of these valuable sulfuric, cooking gems we would need. Rounding the peninsula north of Lund we enter the beautiful and legendary Desolation Sound. Unfortunately, much of it majesty is hidden by gray clouds that persists for the next five days. We found a beautiful spot in the southeast corner of Tendeos bay. But due to a rock bottom, we were unable to get a nicely set anchor after 3 attempts. We finally wound up with lines tied to shore from both the bow and stern, with the boat straddling a narrow inlet. We spied a few pretty water snakes in this area. We delighted in a fantastic diner of brisket with a cranberry and Portobello mushroom sauce.

Everyone other than Katherine went on a little hike up to Unwin Lake. Mark and I had a great, long freshwater swim and discovered a rope tied to a tree leaning out over the water near a cliff. Ian, Mark, and I had great fun swinging and dropping. We chomped on superb paprika chicken for dinner.

Unwin Lake Rope Swing. Click for enlargementss of the Discovery Islands.

Since Andy's asthma and allergies were distressing her, Mark decided to leave early and find someplace they could better enjoy their vacation. Katherine and I had very yummy leftover cranberry brisket and paprika chicken then cast off for Pruideux Haven just before noon. Unlike the Tendeos Bay trauma, anchoring with the stern tie (using our CQR anchor) was perfectly straightforward. We had a great spot with a view up the Homfrey channel between William and Cobblestone islands. It was strangely quiet after the departure of our guests. I studied single side banded radio and weather fax reception, Katherine read and did some small projects. We also socialized and ate with Ron, whose lovely Pacific Seacraft 36, "Pristine", was moored near us in Portland. The next evening Ron brought over "Contact" on DVD of and we ate (due to our copious provisions) enjoyed a civilized technological escape watching the great movie on my portable computer. Now I just need good speaker for a complete entertainment experience.

On Thursday, our low batteries and Katherine's desire for a freshwater swim, inspired us to motor over to Roscoe Bay where we anchored with the stern tie just outside a shallow bar separating us from the inner bay. We dinghied in for a short hike and swim in Black Lake. The tidal variation in this area is generally been between 10 and 14 feet. During Friday morning's low tide a motor yacht went aground trying to leave the inner bay. We traveled up Waddington channel to Walsh cove. Our guidebook reported the cove as having several nice anchoring spots in reasonable depths. Unfortunately the anchorage spots were all too deep or exposed to the wind; so we dropped hook in the only place we could find a little too near the shallows for our conservative safety standards.

We are now a month into our cruising life. I can highly recommend dropping out of the rat race; or at least running your own direction. Time tends to blur, only the strange custom of filling out the log book and looking up information in the tide and current tables makes it so that I know either the date or the day of the week. The next morning we leave s/v Squiz under the watchful eye of the nearby cruising motorboater, load all sorts of supplies into the dinghy, and head out for a small craft exploration of Toba inlet. The scenery was mountainous, unpopulated, and beautiful. Some of the peaks and glaciers actually came out of the clouds. We only ventured halfway up the inlet as the south wind was causing small rough waves; our return journey was a brutal paint shaker session, as we bashed our way south into the nasty chop. That evening, after getting confirmation that the shellfish were happy and nontoxic in this area -- we feasted on oysters, caviar, and a phenomenal white burgundy (the last white wine remaining from our European journey a few years ago).

We traveled to Taekerne Arm Marine Park and swam and Castel Lake. The following day began early - we motored up through the Lewis and Calm channels to Hole-In-The-Wall. This Rendezvous islands area is truly splendid. Several channels converge providing a sense of infinite possibilities for exploration and a balance between forested mountains and unfathomable sea. Hole-In-The-Wall is a narrow pass where tidal currents often reach 12 - our maximum motoring speed is 5.5 knots. To avoid the swift current, rapids, and whirlpools, we timed our passage for the brief period of mellow water between the flood and ebb tides. Since tail current sped us along earlier the morning, we went into a holding pattern (of drifting, idling, and disagreement about the use of the engine for an hour and half) to await to the appointed time for passing through the allegedly treacherous waters.
After surviving Hole-In-The-Wall we continued on to the exceedingly popular, and busy, Octopus islands. Being rather antisocial (and not caring for the iffy anchorage provided by the shingle sea floor) we move on to nearby peaceful Waiatt Bay. I wasted a day working on a program to help generate photo pages for this silly web site (because my cheapo web hosting service only allows static HTML pages).

Sailing mystery of the day: Squiz (the cat) only eats a single kind of food (Iams hard food for less active cats). When she poops three turds, why does one of the turds floats and the other two turds sink?

We rose at the crack of dawn to hit the narrow window of slack current in Beazley passage. Since we're heading south and there was a typical morning northerly, we actually got to sail with the spinnaker for a while. We experimented with new technique for attaching the tack (front bottom corner) of our improperly sized spinnaker to the bowsprit. As we leave the discovery Islands Katherine, who thought she was content to putter around this area for the rest of her life, is really looking forward to the next legs of our journey. We anchored off Rebecca Spit about 15 miles NW Campbell River (slated to be our next civilized destination).

Beach Gardens was not what the Dreamspeaker guide promised, but once you accepted that, it had its own charm. After 2 days of provisioning and cooking ahead for our future guests we were off to Lund to meet them. And then something amazing occurred. Everyone was ready to go and early! We met underway and got a jump-start on Desolation Sound. After 3 frustrating attempts at anchoring our Delta Fastset anchor, and rehoisting 100 feet of chain on our off-brand, non-efficient windlass (3 inches per crank), we got creative with a stern tie to shore and deployed our CQR with nylon rode to the other shore.

Our guests were shy at sharing our home, so when the rains started up I think it contributed to their change of plans a few days later. We hope they found the fun they were seeking in Lake Okanogan. Just when I thought our anchor was possessed by demons I witnessed a trawler deploy a Danforth anchor three times with no success (in an area close to ours). Another boat got their anchor set right away, but paid the price with fouling their polypropylene stern tie in their prop.

After much guide book praise, we headed off for Prideaux Haven (although we were hesitant about potential crowds). Alan discovered a secluded corner anchorage and we deployed the CQR and stern tied and were set in no time. Although our friends had left and we didn't want crowds, seeing Ron come in on "Pristine" was a welcome sight and we greatly enjoyed sharing meals, conversation and a movie with him. Ron we'd love to run in with you again and have more of the same! I found Ron's single-handing interesting and how he meets people by just rowing around the anchorages and chatting with the other boats. We don't actively seek out conversation in that fashion, maybe at some point we'll try that style. The weather teased us giving us partial glimpses of the treasured Desolation sound views, but overall it was overcast with no end in sight. After 2 days here I was beginning to be slightly underwhelmed with Desolation Sound. I wanted to check out nearby Roscoe Bay - I had misinterpreted the guide book and thought the inner cove was freshwater. When I looked west toward Roscoe Bay from Prideaux Haven there seemed to be potential sun. So, after a short hop, we set the CQR just outside the inner bay (so as not to not be constrained by the tides). The inner bay is not fresh water, but we dinghied up to the head of the bay, walked to the nearby lake.The swim did wonders for the soul and the sun was out.

Oysters are everywhere here and Alan has been drooling almost constantly. Every time I start to get a craving I read about the PSP toxin and chicken out. There's a number to call to verify the shellfish in the area you're in, but we have no phone. So I hold out on cracking the white burgundy.

We headed up to Walsh cove with just enough motoring to charge our batteries and give the fridge a good run. One of our house banks has bit the bullet. It can't hold a charge and discharges quickly. With cloudiness and no wind we have to be somewhat conservative. We generally are, but I'm slightly annoyed of having to pay so much attention to it. I'm more concerned than Alan. Walsh Cove, although a good location relative to Toba Inlet, was also somewhat misleading in the Dreamspeaker guide. The current, the depths, and the thermal winds funneling through were not given appropriate coverage in the book, so we considered leaving, but it was pretty and sunny! The next day our limited choice had us on alert at low tide when there was a reef just off our starboard and our stern tie was taking up the entire load of the cross wind. I paid careful attention to the line and watched the tide rise rapidly and in the late afternoon the wind died.

Toba Inlet. Click for enlargementss of the Discovery Islands.

I was in slug mode when Alan wanted to take the dinghy up to Toba Inlet. It didn't sound particularly comfy so I was torn. Alan has a great sense of finding beautiful places to explore, but I was content to sit in the sun. I decided to go, but after the wind picked up and the ride become just short of brutal, he decided to head back. I was torn, I didn't want to spoil his trip, but Alan said he would have come back even if he had been by himself (I hope he wasn't trying to make me feel better). So we had a jarring jet boat ride for returning into the chop for 45 minutes. I was in the bow, hunkered down as low as possible, feeling like a rag doll. I fail to see the interest in jet boat rides after that experience. After the worst was over, we looked back and could've sworn the wind was decreasing in the channel.

I missed out on the rope swing at Unwin Lake and since I've never been on a rope swing, I wanted to go back, so off we went. But then we changed our minds halfway there in an effort to make our leg to Octopus Islands shorter - we headed to Teakerne Arm. Since we arrived early we got the choicest anchorage with a ring in the cliff to tie to, we were set. Another sailboat came in; the room the small bay was just fine for the both of us. Then a power boater came in, dropped the hook (in-between out two sailboats) with very little chain (3:1 scope) asked if we could share out shore-tie ring. I diplomatically replied that our boat does not maneuver well in a hurry, so his choice was to anchor closer to the other sailboat. The drama gets sadder, the other sailboat had to ask the powerboat to move due to the proximity, so the power boater hoisted the anchor and went on the other side and let our 2:1 scope (we watched)! The only advantage now was that if the power boat dragged it would not be on us, but was still within 15 feet of the other sailboat! There were plenty of nooks and crannies to settle in besides the one we were in. The other sailboat, obviously frustrated, decided to leave. We offered to help adjust the stern tie to give him more space, but they graciously declined and headed to Roscoe Bay late in the day. This is the unfortunate case of ignorant boaters spoiling anchorages and making it unsafe for other boaters. We try to avoid this by politely communicating with nearby boaters in the anchorage.

We have decided to head out of Desolation sound and amble toward civilization, do a mountain of laundry and a replenish our coffee creamer (very important) - the powdered creamer doesn't cut it. So we are here at Rebecca Spit; we have a short hop remaining to reach Campbell River, but the anchorage is good and the wind is great for windsurfing, so we hope to break out the equipment and go for it.

Boat living: I don't know what the previous owner was thinking about all these rugs. The fiber that ensues is awful and no matter how hard you lean over the leeward side to shake out the rugs, the loose fibers somehow drift back into the bulwarks. So, for starters, at Campbell River we are donating our wool hallway carpet. I think the green fuzzy bathroom ones are next. I'm starting to think about creative storage ideas for our passage down the coast. I'm going to investigate sending the cockpit cushions to Monterey and some extra bed linens to Alan's mom in Carlsbad - to open up some drawers for our guests/crew.

I can't beleive it! There is perfect windsurfing weather and we have been hauling all this windsurfing sails and gear around. But now, when we try to go windsurfing, we cannot find where we stashed the small, but critical peices (like the mast base, universal joint, and harnesses). We searched the boat, from bow to stern, for an hour. But the items remain hidden; or maybe they never made it on board. Katherine just grabbed my hair and said "No, the gear made it, its somewhere on the boat! Grrr".