Monday, May 18, 2015

May 14, 2015

Well, it’s been 3 years since our arrival home in Anacortes, Washington and our last post to this blog.

Besides getting settled and into a routine on land, we rebuilt WINGS’s engine and installed hydronic heat, among the myriad of maintenance items that needed tending. WINGS being a boat there is still more to be done, but that is expected.  But, it’s time to go cruising, albeit a short cruise, 3 months or so, to Alaska.  We did an even shorter cruise last year to Desolation Sound.

After a hectic week getting some last minute glitches solved, we finally untied the dock lines and left our slip in Anacortes.

Our first stop was Parks Bay, Shaw Island across from Friday Harbor. It was great to be back aboard and anchored out again!

The next morning we left for Nanaimo, BC, a 54 mile run that included Dodd Narrows. Dodd was the first of the narrow passes we have to negotiate on our way to AK. The current runs through these passes at up to 17 knots, so they must be traversed at, or near, slack tide. We arrived an hour early and did circles, waiting for slack. Finally, about 30 minutes early, we determined the adverse current was only about 2 knots, so we started through. Partway through, we spotted a large log boom, with 4 tugs pushing it, maneuvering into the pass. This was going to be tight! I called the lead tug on VHF and offered to turn around and get the hell out of there if there wasn’t room.  He said that if I hurry there should be room. That was a little unsettling, but we pushed on.  There was room, though not much!  I’m glad we did, as it would have been a long wait for the log boom to get through the pass. We pressed on to Nanaimo, another 5 miles where we planned to anchor for the night.

Back to the morning: Several hours before entering Canada, Deb called Canadian customs with our NEXUS info for an easy check-in to Canada. The officer in Ottawa said she was too early and to call back when thirty minutes from Canada. She did. This officer said to call when we got to Nanaimo. She called 20 minutes out. This time she was reprimanded for calling 20 minutes out, not 30 and so we could not use NEXUS. Deb said fine, we would do 10 minutes of circling. We were instructed to proceed to our marina. Deb said we were anchoring. More drama. Deb said we’d go to the customs dock and asked what was to happen then.  We were told if no one was there we were free to go. No one showed up, as we suspected, as they closed at 5, so we left for the anchorage.  So much for our check in!


A little planning at anchor that evening revealed that if we left early the next AM, we could make it to Campbell River, a 75 mile day.  A long day for WINGS.  We left at 5AM, arriving at a slip in Campbell River at 7 that evening. The trip up offered both rain & sun.  While at dinner that evening, Deb found a phone book and looked for friends we knew were from Campbell River, who we had cruised with through Tonga and Vanuatu. We found them and got together for a hike to a spectacular new swing bridge over a waterfall, then lunch at a resort next to their lovely home right on Discovery Passage.  They are Peter and Heather Warwick from “Solar Driftwood.”  It was really nice to remake that connection! That afternoon was spent grocery shopping and looking for an engine shut down solenoid that has gone south. I did not find one.

One of our last minute glitches that I mentioned above was insurance coverage for the trip to Alaska. We had called our insurance company 6 weeks before leaving for an endorsement to extent our navigation limits and a quote.  After several calls, we finally got our quote 3 days before leaving. It was for $500! We were astonished and considered revising the trip or cancelling the policy and getting another one. I called all the boat insurance surveyors in Anacortes; they were all busy for several weeks. New insurance was out, at least for this year. So after a weekend snit, we finally agreed to pay. Then it took all day to finally get an email insurance binder. We finally got off the dock Monday afternoon. Problem solved? Not so! Yesterday, we got another binder that said we had to be back in our original bounds by June 29! Deb fired off an email and said (among other things) I would call them this morning. I called our agent and told him he was a lucky man, that we had left WINGS long range missiles at home. He said that the date was a clerical mistake and a new binder was on the way. Problem solved? Maybe.

 And now you are up to date! Today’s plan is to leave the dock at 3PM today, to catch slack water at Seymour Narrows. Then, with the strong current behind us, we can make some mileage up Johnstone Strait.  


Campbell River to Sullivan Bay

Monday, 18 May, 2015

We left the slip in Campbell River around 3PM and headed north to Seymour Narrows to transit the slack current at 4:20. We arrived a little early, but went through with a weak current against us and continued up Discovery Passage. There is an anchorage at the north end of Discovery Passage and across from Chatham Point at Turn Island.  We anchored there for the night.  It was a very nice anchorage. Another small sail boat came in later and provided some entertainment by dropping their anchor while still making 2 or 3 knots forward. When the chain went tight, he almost lost some crew overboard.  Later, we hailed them to alert them to us making some noise at 5AM, as we intended to catch the current in Johnstone Strait to whisk us NW to Havannah Channel.  At Havannah we turned right and went up as far as the east side of East Craycroft Island.  We arrived at the entrance to Chatham Channel at noon where a good 3 knot current was running against us through the narrow channel . Since the current did not slack until 4, we anchored nearby, had lunch and a nap while waiting for nature to catch up with our travels. After a quick trip up the channel, we anchored in Cutter Cove for the night. The holding was good, reassuring, as we had moderate breezes on arrival, and later after we went to bed, rain and thunderstorms & 25 knots.  


We did not get underway until 9 the next morning. This time, we went NW, up Tribune Channel, to the east end of Broughton Island to a very small, very scenic anchorage called Laura Cove. On the way, we pulled alongside a shrimp boat and asked if they would sell us $20 worth of shrimp. They would not. But they gave us a big bag full! We cleaned it after anchoring and it was so delicious last night!

Left Laura around 9 on 5/18.  Tide was very low.   The little island we anchored behind now looked like a little mountain.  We were in 31’ when we anchored and now in 18’. 

Arriving to virtually empty docks in popular Sullivan Bay.  We’re a little early in the season, as we are 1 of 2 boats in the whole marina.  Restaurant is closed & will not open this summer.  Fuel was $1.59/liter here v. $1.13 in Campbell River.   We fueled up and went to the slip of our choice. It is a nice, sunny day, and after posting this blog, I am going to take a walk!

Terry & Deb

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ucluelet to HOME!

photo                               WINGS coming home

After 2 nights in Ucluelet resting, eating out, doing laundry and getting fuel, we motored across Barkley Sound to Bamfield, where we tied up at an outside slip for a quick getaway the next morning. We planned on making a 88 mile trip to Sooke Harbor, a long day for us. We did manage to leave early the next day, but looking at the wx forecast, we saw a gale warning farther up the strait, beginning at Sooke. Not wanting to try the somewhat difficult entrance to an uncertain marina as the day slipped away and the wind blew, we opted to stop at Port Renfrew, about 20 miles short of Sooke, anchoring just offshore. After an uneventful  night (we like that!) we once again headed for Sooke, where, upon arriving, we found we were making 8 to 9 knots up the strait with an incoming tide, so we just pushed on the 15 miles to Victoria. We tied up to the dock and waited for several of our home town yacht club members to show up. The yacht club had reserved an area right in front of the Empress Hotel, one of our favorite places, for a concert on Sunday night. Unfortunately, we had made plans to be in Anacortes on Sunday PM, so we had to leave the party early to arrive home on time.  The trip to Anacortes was windless, as so often happens here, so we motored the final 33 miles home. On the way, we raised all the courtesy flags we have collected around the world, which promptly go tangled in the rigging and I had to go up the mast  to sort it all out. A small crowd greeted our arrival, Champagne was served, and it was over! 10 years long, about 50,000 miles sailed, adventures too many to count, wonderful friends made. Memories to last a lifetime. The best part is that were glad to be home! Anacortes has always been our choice for  home, and all through the trip, that has not changed.  Cheers! Terry & Deb

Monday, July 30, 2012

WINGS has arrived in Ucluelet, B C

Yesterday morning, as I settled in on deck for the last watch of the passage, there was a long, dark fog bank to the south. The moon was peeking over the edge. The water was oily smooth, there was no wind, and we had been motoring for 2 days. Several dolphins made passes under the boat, leaving glowing trails of phosphorous water behind. Simply beautiful! I wondered if I would miss these long passages. Nah! Well, sorta, maybe.
We had the mountains of Vancouver Island in sight since the day before, at well over a 100 miles out. Now we were only 5 miles out, and details on shore were coming into sharp focus. The light house  at the point west of  the harbor passed by, we went by dense forest with with a few homes snugly tucked into the forest along the rocky shore, then the harbor entrance came into sight.  As we turned up the harbor, the water calmed -- the passage ended.  We motored slowly up the harbor, looking for the customs dock. We found what might be the dock and tied up. A local said we should proceed to the police station. That we did, but no one was home. Using a phone on the wall, the dispatcher gave us a number to call customs direct, which we did. We were a little worried about this, as we have way too many bottles of wine for Canada’s liking, not to mention all the other stuff. However Deb charmed them into letting us stay, and we were in! After tying up at a slip, we wandered up town for breakfast. And after that we had a long nap. Then we put the boat back in some kind of order, went out to dinner, then had a wonderful, uninterrupted whole nights sleep. This morning will be dedicated to boat chores, a wash, laundry, and all those other little things we need to do.

Tomorrow, we plan on moving the boat 14 miles to Bamfield via the fuel dock for a night, then we will head for Victoria with another overnight stop on the way, for 2 nights. We plan on arriving in Anacortes on Sunday the 5th of August. 
Cheers! Terry & Deb

Saturday, July 28, 2012

One more night!

We are still motoring. The seas are flat calm, there is some blue in the sky. This morning, I put the last of the 60 gallons of fuel stored on deck into the tank. This will easily get us into Ucluelet early tomorrow (Sunday) morning, about 8 AM. Then we will see just how well customs likes getting called at that hour! Looking forward to our arrival! I've been told that were going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Cheeres! Terry & Deb

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Friday, July 27, 2012

38 hours to go to Ucluelet, BC

The last several days have been overcast, with visibility ranging frome 1/2 to 20 miles. Generally, it has been just cold and damp, and we are getting anxious. This morning it dawned mostly cloudy, with some patches of blue sky. This afternoon, it is most all blue sky. Thats better! With the change in weather, the wind moved aft and dropped. We are now motoring. We have the fuel to go the remaining 200 miles, but we'd rather be sailing. In any case, were looking forward to our arrival in Ucluelet, BC for a good nights sleep, some maintenance, (oil change) and some heat. After Ucluelet, we can day sail home! Cheers! Terry & Deb

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