Log - 7/27/2001 to 8/06/2001
Campbell River to Princess Louisa Inlet
We motored around the southern tip of Quadra Island on to civilization
- Campbell River the northern Vancouver Island boating headquarters.
Crossing over some shoals I noticed several areas of water disturbed
ahead. Moving toward the first disturbance I saw that it was caused
by several evilly circling dorsal fins. Pulling closer, I could
see the familiar finned torpedo shapes of sharks everywhere. I would
have feared for the safety of all northwest swimmers and boaters
if the largest of these menaces been more than 30 inches long. As
it was, these dogfish just look silly swimming in circles.
At Campbell River we entered a long rock breakwater and tied up
at the Discovery Marina. This mega-boating shelter is the largest,
most expensive and crowded place we have stayed. The density of
motorboats and trash crammed behind the breakwater was amazing.
In Campbell River the presence of power, water, and stores elicited
the now standard flurry of activity: wash the boat, do laundry,
plug in the heater, look for a used book store, buy provisions,
find internet access and update the SquizFloats web site. After
two days of this civilization nonsense I was glad to bug out of
the marina, cross the Discovery Passage, and slip into quiet Quathiaski
Cove on Quadra Island.
Ah, it is good to be back on island time, where the only concern
is spilling your beverage when an unexpected wake from a passing
cruise ship or ferry rocks the boat as you nap. At sunset Katherine,
I, and two sea lions watch in simple amusement when hundreds of
little 2"-4" fish all decide to start leaping several
inches out of the water.
Squiz is fat and lazy; she is so unathletic she cannot even jump
up onto our bed (except when she is really freaked out). We have
Squiz on a diet, but she just seems to be getting much too slothful
for a one-year old cat. So, while Katherine finishes waxing the
cockpit I decide to broaden her world and begin training Squiz how
to jump. Using settee cushions I create some steps to make it easier
for her to jump up onto the bed and put her food dish up on the
bed. Even though Squiz is hungry, she refuses to exert herself.
I put the food on the cushions and she condescends to strain her
way up a whole foot to the top of the cushions to eat, but that
is about it. We grilled some fresh sockeye salmon for diner and
Katherine snuck a little piece into Squiz's dish on the bed - eventually
that is enough enticement for the little bugger to jump a whole
foot and a half for the top to the cushions to the bed to gobble
down her rare prize. At this rate I have decided to lower my expectations
- I am targeting the 2008 Special Olympics for entering Squiz in
We had a wonderful beam and broad reach sail as we headed SW across
the Strait of Georgia toward Jervis inlet.
Although I do not write much about it, the cruising life is not
without stresses. Most of these are interpersonal in nature - and
are triggered by our different responses to problems and different
levels of confidence about overcoming the obstacles.
In the evening we tie up to a government wharf in Saltrey Bay, next
to a big honking ferry dock. At 2 AM Squiz decides to try out her
new jumping skills. Flinging herself up onto the bed her left front
paw grabs the sheets and her left hand claws imbed themselves into
my scalp as her bulk dangles from the quarterberth. Howling in agony,
I spring up and pull the beasts talons free of my head. I now understand
the ceremony in "A Man Called Horse".
We motored and did some spinnaker sailing up the long and lovely
Jervis inlet, a 50 miles arm of water reaching NNE into the British
Columbia coast. After waiting for the tidal currents to subside
we pass through the narrow Malibu Rapids into stunning Princess
Louisa Inlet. Immense granite cliffs that reach into the clouds
surround this deep narrow fijord. This is definitely the most gorgeous
place we have cruised. My prose or photography cannot provide an
adequate portrayal of the beauty of Princess Louisa Inlet.
Although photos cannot capture the beauty of this area, it certainly
would help if I had not accidentally left my panorama stitching
Even though we are in paradise, mountian clouds and rainy weather
have got up mostly caged up ion the boat. After starting to leave
the sun peeked out and seduced us into stayed another day. Katherine
made a special treat for diner - Beef Wellington, yum. Saturday
we get up at 5 AM and head down Jervis Inlet, hopfully toward sun
in the Gulf Islands.
Now that we are out of the mountains and can receive radio signals
we discover that a nasty low pressure system is headed toward the
north end of Vancouver island. So we decide to pull into sheltered
Pender Harbour (that is Canadian for "Harbor") for a couple
days. Then, we will head SW across the Strait of Georgia to Naniamo,
to perform some vessel maintenance and upload the new web site pages.
Chatterbox falls - two long days to get here & we're staying
put for a while because this is the most beautiful place we have
visited so far.
From Campbell River we had a brief sail followed by long motoring
to blind bay, to find a crowded but pretty anchorage. Our bay bottom
did not cooperate with our CQR so we proceeded to Saltery Bay and
moored at the dubious public dock (next to a ferry terminal). Around
dusk a sailboat asked to raft with us and we obliged.
The next morning we headed up Jervis Inlet to Princess Louisa and
enjoyed the most spectacular scenery so far. We were able to fly
our spinnaker for an hour or so. During the trip I prepared Beef
Wellington for a future celebration. Most people stay in the inlet
a day or two, but we're thinking 3-5 days. Hopefully Alan's pictures
will capture some of its beauty.
In the short time we've been here, s/v Squiz has attracted
a fair amount of attention and questions, so we've been obliging
and I've been promoting our web site. It seems we stir up a lot
of excitement from people who've had the same dream, but have not
been able to make the break. People expect that we are wealthy and
are surprised to learn we chose to sell everything and sail.
I'd like to expound more on feelings and philosophy, but I feel
like going out and putzing with the boat and glancing up at 4000
+ ft granite walls for a stretch.
P.S. Sandy Schill, we won't be attending your wedding as we feel
the strong urge to linger in this amazing fjord, but we send happy,
content vibes your way and wish you & Ron health, happiness,
and following breezes.
After a solid day and a half of rain here at Chatterbox falls, we
have begun to lose or gumption in waiting the weather out. Our original
plan for holding out for glorious photography is all but washed
away. The condensation in the boat is almost as bad as the downpour
outside. Our bimini was meant for shade purposes only, so our small
cockpit is still drenched. There is not a lot of advantage to leaving
as we'll be motoring through the stuff and we won't be at a place
to plug in when we get out of Jervis Inlet anyhow.
When I take a brief walk, I see someone with a portable generator
and remember ours. I ask if the generator could run our heater and
Alan said probably on the low position only. I think that's enough
to keep the condensation down, so I say let's stay. As the morning
passes though, I find out that there other generator limitations
that (that I had not figured out and Alan had not told me about)
making its use problematic. An argument ensues and of course there
is no where to go to cool down. After Alan makes his last statement
about not being able to read my mind, I do feel somewhat like a
heel We decide to depart to seek out a drier climate. As we leave
it stops raining, we see patches of blue, and I remember we have
10 fans on the boat, so just before getting to Malabu Rapids we
turn around and head for some mooring balls at McDonald Island.
We have an hour or so of sun, just long enough to open some hatches,
dry some foul weather gear, and do some general tidying up. It starts
raining again, but with the boat aired a bit and dry foul weather
gear, I'm good for at least one more day. Seeing the sun and the
snowfields and being out reminded me why we were here, so I can
be patient. I hope it pays off and we get some great pictures.
We left Princess Louisa Inlet on the 4th at 5:30 AM and had an enjoyable,
long motor back. It would have been a fabulous downwind sail, if
we had been going in the opposite direction. We tucked into Pender
Harbor and tied up at the public dock to "wait out a gale"-
actually a low pressure system off the NW tip of Vancouver Island.
The only weather we experienced was more rain. Pender Harbor is
home to "billions and billions" of jellyfish. Interesting
to watch, but I wouldn't go swimming. Our second night in Pender
Harbor we had wonderful company with the owner of another Tayana
37 - George & Kathie from "Grace". They've down a
lot of improvements to their boat, I figure that in 2 years they'll
have all the annoying idiosyncrasies worked out or replaced. We
hope to see George and Kathie someplace warm in the future.
We are now back to Naniamo to perform some boat work; we expect
to be here a few days.
During all this rain, I've begun toying with the SSB/Ham. Usually
the time of day or the weather or the cliffs has not been ideal for reception
, but I've picked up the Pacific Seafarer's net and a few others.
I'm getting the inspiration to start studying, so I can chat as well.
As the coast trip gets nearer, we've been spending more time interpreting
(or trying to interpret) the weather faxes.