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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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".