Phuket | A Paradise being ruined

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December 17-21 December 2014

20 years ago this was a beautiful and attractive place for people from around the world to visit. Even 5 years ago with Phuket  development  life was more easy and comfortable. Road was busy in Chalong areas only in rush hours.

Today most rubber trees have been destroyed to replace with high building for business. Small rural streets are now crammed with small shops at the edge of the street, and the street is the same size. More traffic and dangerous with all these vehicles.  The mountains on the left side of Kata Noi beach build is now newly white with villa for luxury millionaire. For us it is a painful  disappointment and it is hard to find the tropical  green that made this area so beautiful. Only the Andaman Ocean that feel like the paradise. Money cannot buy the peacefulness back. It is also becoming apparent that the incessant destruction of “Phuket” is having an effect on the type of tourists that visit. Increasingly it is the package tours from Asia, especially China that swell the numbers. However they do not spend money so many people in the tourist industry are finding it much harder to make a living.

 

Promthep pier

Kata Yai beach

Kata Noi beach

 

The roadside of the way to Cape Panwa

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Cape Panwa

 

 Phuket delicious

2home Chalong

 

Giant sail maker in Phuket “Rolly Tasker

Big Buddha

Take a walk in Old Town

 

A Really nice relaxing stay @ Evason Hua Hin | Pranburi

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Atmosphere

A Very nice Breakfast! Basically the very best of everything and as much as could eat of everything! From many freshly squeezed juices to a variety of brush baked breads, to Thai and western foods to baked pastries, an amazing spread. Stephen said it was the first time it had taken him 2 hours to eat breakfast!!!lol. Took Luksana and her mother 3!!!!!

{except the mango, mangosteen, rambutan and durian are not in season…}

Organic garden

Pranburi

 

 

Bamfield Je t’aime – Pad Thai Dinner

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Pad Thai Dinner in Bamfield West

Friday 21st November 2014

 

Making Pad Thai Sauce and Pad Thai Chili Paste 

Cooking Pad Thai

 

 

Pad Thai ingredients: from http://southchinaseas.ca

 {delivery from Granville island, Vancouver to Bamfiled} 

 

Private Thai Dinner – Bamfield

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Evening sunset over the Pacific Ocean at John Evans’s house.

Thursday 13th November 2014

 

Cream Caramel Custard {no alcohol}

{serve 8} 

Custard : 
1 cup  white sugar
3 large egg
9 large egg yolks
salt
3/4 cup Granulated sugar
1.5 cups  Fresh cream
1.5 cups whole milk
3 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 Vanilla beans or both

Bake at 325 F for about 45-50 minutes, or until just set.

 

 

 

 

Unexpected visitor

 

Well we tried

So where do we have to hide for you not to be able to find us?

Greetings from Our Cozy Cabin

Since the day we left Prince Rupert we think that we will probably never meet all those people we know again. Garry is the one we never think we will have a chance to meet him again. But then again you never know.:-)

A nice sunny Saturday late in the morning there was a man with a camera in hand making a video coming close to Beautiful Swimmer. Look like he is recording a video while Luksana is sun bathing in the cockpit & drinking coffee. Luksana said the man look familiar but who is crazy guy making a video of this boat.?Nothing is interesting. Luksana got all shy and then started bouncing up and down shouting “It’s Garry.. Garry. Well, who is Garry no one is called Garry in the Village we know. But she was right it was Garry. Sailing Association Garry from Rupert. WOW what great surprise!!

Garry had been visiting an old Sailing Mate, Rick in Nanaimo and had excepted an invitation to check out a guys camper on floats (motor boat) with an electrical problem. Unknown to him we were anchored in the bay at Bamfield.  So we had a short visit before they had to head back to their world on the other side. It was nice to see and experience the company of an old and good friend again. Pity it was short but then again it was great to touch base with a part of our lives from what seems so long ago.

We sometimes get invited to the home which is filled with persons we meet often. Now BS is docked at west Bamfield. So we are officially “Westsiders” We have to  pay for the moorage in this government dock for $ 200 per month which included power and water.

This place is well known for the winter storm. Some night we can hear it all night with the wind come from the south. But we are content in our cosy cabin.  We are now a part of a small and yet tight community who are quick to welcome and slow to judge.  All ages and from all walks of life, we are happy to have found a home from home.  As the nights close in and the morning weather is less than welcoming to our 5.30am trip up the harbour we think we will be OK here this winter.

One of the neat things that happens here is that people get together and meet at Brady”s Beach. Whether it be by design or chance it is always a spectacular place to pass the time of day with friends.

Bamfield Marine Station

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The Cadi was in the shop so we used the royal launch to go to the ball.

 

Brady’s beach in Bamfield


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Hello from Bamfield,

Hope everyone is doing well. We are currently still anchored in middle of Bamfield Inlet. To keep our blog updated today we have some photos of the beach in West Bamfield.  A gravel road will get there by foot for after a 20 min walk or if you are lucky you may be able to get a ride in a local’s car. The beach is sandy and mixed up with rocky outcrops. It is foggy someday but it looks wild and natural.  We have found this place and it makes us feel happy. This is  because of the location so close to  the open Pacific Ocean, green forest, fresh sea breeze and how cozy we feel with people in this remote island community that make us feel like we are at home. We have adapted ourself to be living and enjoy this place as it will be our home to be shelter from winter storm until next spring 2015. Luksana is enjoying working in a Kitchen again and she is also enjoys being paid for it:-) Me I am still coming to terms that the “Big Plan” was a bust. But them’s the breaks.  It does mean that she can go back to Thailand for sure and spend some time with her parents. Also my health is better. Was a scare realizing that a simple infection could have done me in. So now we need to find winter moorage so that we can stay warm and cozy:-) Now it is doable to ferry Luksana up the harbour in our little inflatable at 5.30 am every morning, but in winter storms it would not work. So it looks like we will have to find moorage on the East side of the inlet, so that she can make it to work. Little problems so we will see what happens.

Sunny day

 

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

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Bamfield 

So we have been waiting in and around Bamfield. Trying our hand at fishing, and perfecting how to eat a whole Tuna before it goes bad! I have had and am still having medical tests. Have not bothered to go for the results yet! Still waiting is better than knowing. I am pretty certain what the new tests will say, much the same as the old ones probably. Luksana has been applying for jobs, if she was willing to stay long term, she could probably get a nice chefs job. However no luck so far.

Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

Talking about no luck! Now in the world of today, with death, disease, war and terror our  problems are very small. However I do feel that my name should be changed to Murphy.  Let me explain. In order that Luksana be allowed in the States she had to apply for a visa. So form filling and $160 down and we then have to plan for our trip to Vancouver. One option was to take BS back around the coast to Vancouver. Obviously this did not appeal very much due to the distance and the costs involved in time and money. So we decided to Sail BS to Port Alberni. A 6 hour passage down the Alberni Canal.  Then rent a car by 5pm, when the sole rental shop closed, and then drive to Nanaimo. From here we would catch the 9pm ferry to Vancouver. Crash for the night in the car at the other side then drive to the US embassy the next morning for the 9am interview.  After the interview we would return the same way that evening. Simple plan and doable. The cost would be similar to sailing round but much simpler. Ya right, tell that to Murphy!   Left Bamfield 8am and made about 8 miles before lost all of the oil from the engine. A very thin plastic line that connects the sender to the oil pressure gauge decided to crack. I was lucky that my habit of constantly checking the gauges, at least stopped the engine from seizing. 2 hours and 2 gallons of oil l later Luksana started to sail the boat.  My first fix lasted about 10 mins, just long enough to spew the replacement oil out of the engine block. The wind was light but pushing us in the right direction. I realized that I needed parts to fix the engine so we headed on at 1-2 knots. The wind did get stronger, but our 5 pm deadline to rent the car was lost as we arrived in Port Alberni in a full gale, Sailed onto the first safe [seaplane dock] at 5:55 pm. That of course meant that we had missed our connections. As the car hire place closes at 5 pm.  Which meant we had paid for the US Visa interview which we could not attend. Had to wait for a 2 days for parts and then Leave Alberni to head home [Bamfield], much lighter in the pocket and still no further ahead.

We both agreed that Alberni was not one of our most favourite places. it is a sprawling community, struggling to cope with the decline of it major industries. It is set up for large vehicle traffic not foot passengers from broken sailboats looking for parts. We lucked out with the weather, it was rainy but the inflow winds did not start until we were within a few miles of Bamfield. It was nice to feel the Ocean swells again under the boat and nice to drop  anchor in what has become, by default our home away from home. Lots worse places to get stuck.

Explore The Pacific Rim and broken group islands – Ucluelet

Bamfield to Ucluelet to Bamfield

Saturday 12 July 2014 09:30 am Leave Bamfield (Through Broken group islands) 11:15 am Arrived Ucluelet, Docked at The Inner Basin (Ucluelet Harbour Authority) Monday 14 July 2014 01:30 pm Leave Ucluelet 07:15 pm Arrived in Bamfield

 Port Alberni

From Bamfield to Port Alberni

Sunday 20 July 2014

08:00 am Leave Bamfield Cloudy day we motoring BS out of Bamfield. 05:30 pm Docked at Port Alberni, Emergency docked at Seaplane slip  Our first time to Port Alberni, Very warm climate and windy that normally arrived in the afternoon. We take a walk near the Harbour which part of this town is already run down. The atmosphere of this part is not warm welcome and very quiet.  Most shops were closed down with a sign for sale or lease. Some shops still survived for local and tourist nearby the Harbour. To go to the new development part of town in the other side is quite far away to walk from this shopping place back to the harbour.  Still can get there by taxi, bus stop in some location. We walk back from shopping place back to harbour.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

09:15 am Leave Port Alberni 03.00 pm  icon-anchor  in Bamfield Inlet Restart again!

Related topic Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account

Plan B

 


 

We have been in Bamfield for a while. We set the day to head out offshore on the 1st of July which is on Canada day. Unfortunately we had to return back to Bamfield the next day in the morning. This was because I, Steve, who had dreamed of this adventure for 45 years, planned it for 10 and worked to get the boat ready for another 3 became almost completely incapacitated by the worst sea sickness of my life. More on that fun day later, but first:

Cape Horn fixed

…My on again off again love affair with my “Cap Horn”. is back on again. After it failed us twice in Juan de Fuca, I was very perplexed. However my 20c fix worked lie a dream and after a couple of trial runs it performed very well in winds up to 25 knots. I did not take any photos of the fix as I did the repair at anchor and I was too concerned about giving the sea gods bits I could not replace.

Bamfield West

Bamfield Inlet

The West Coast of Southern Vancouver Island is  warm, has a fresh sea breeze and green. With community of about 200 people who have adapted their lifestyle to their piece of heaven.

Bamfield inlet divides the community into two and you can cross by taxi boat or small boat. There are only small 2 groceries store in Bamfield. The supply will arrived with the antique ship name Frances Barkley on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the fresh products. One Marine University called BCIS BMSC (Bamfield Marine Science Center) is on the bank the entrance to inlet. The location of Bamfield is spectacular and is connected to the open Pacific Ocean and you can cross to the USA Continent not too far.

Monday 1st July 2014

Pacific Northwest Coast to The Marqueses

Sunny day with NW wind and the wind will change to SW in the evening. Half day in the morning Stephen tried to do sail mail. Then after midday we will water and did small shopping at a grocery store.

14.10 hrs Leave Bamfield, Roger and Jawna did a surprised shown up while our boat is leaving the inlet.

We set main sail and head sail head out to Barkley Sound to set course with speed 6-7 knots, good to sail so we can stop the engine.

We did not have any food but only coffee in the morning and excite about sailing offshore. We did not see any sailboats while we were out but a several big ships and some heading toward our boat while it’s very windy. The Cape Horn is working like one crew and is steering but the problem is that the wind keep changing the direction so Stephen must adjust the wind vane.

Late in the evening a group of big clouds told us that the bad weather is coming. Stephen’s face turn concerned. During the sunset the wind start to blow stronger and from SW. We make headsail shorter and keep caution on steering as the wind becoming stronger and stronger.

We have a beautiful  view of faraway off  Olympic mountains with their snows shinning in the late sun.  A big ship heading to our boat and GPS beeping. Wind never slow down and we start to tense while the boat is pounding with waves.

P.S. We lost our new replace windex {place by Luksana} top of the mast that it shown loose and shaking before finally blow by the wind into the ocean before dark.

I made a few errors on this start.

1) The forecast was for bad weather from the South.  Although the American forecast said we would be OK.  Within 3 hours of leaving the sky told everything. Old saying never leave into bad weather. I let the pressure of “need to go” override what I knew to be right.

2) I was still using my coastal sailors brain. The boat was humming along 5, then 6, then 7 then 8 knots. I knew I should reef. I did not want to slow down, thought we could move far enough South to get from under the low pressure system. Wrong! Left it too late to reef, it was dark and frigging rough.

3) I was worried that my SSB weather communication was not going to work. 2 tropical depressions had spawned off Mexico and where heading North West.  I had spent hours trying to get it too work the last 2 days and it was still iffy.

4) Because Luksana did not have her USA Visa we could not use the shelter of the various American Ports if need be. Although it is much longer to go down the coast and then across from Mexico to French Poly, It would have allowed us to gradually work into the rigours of sailing Offshore. This was more than a mistake it was a real blunder.  I am not an experienced offshore Sailor, I am lucky I got a chance to make up for my stupidity.

Before dark

 Completely dark and windy from SW wind. Stephen told that we have to take down mainsail. As the main Sail furling had a problem. Before do that we started the engine and I head the bow to the wind and let the bow pound against the waves. At that time he started to vomit from the deck. It is very strange to see him vomit this much where as we are in this bad weather…It is scary because I am just a beginner on sailing. Stephen made a decision that we should go back to Bamfield cause he did not feel that great. He did not look good at all and must be assorted and he keep drinking water but still vomit unbelievable.

{Really! that we must go back to Bamfield and how about to turn off the engine and go to sleep in the cabin until morning and sail further south to the Marquesis but he is real sick}

So why head back? The weather forecast was solid South West for the next few days. We could only beat into the wind. Towards the East was the USA which was closed for us, but also has large shallow areas a considerable way off its shore, which mean rough seas. Our other tack would take us West and further into the low. As to heaving to? We where in the middle of one of the busiest shipping lanes in North America. I could function, but I did not know for how long and as brave and keen as Luksana is she still has a lot to learn.

As sick as I was, and I was very sick, it was not scary, for a few short hours I felt like we had done it. To look South and think that there is no land until Antarctica is well amazing feeling. Also I must admit that all the bits I had struggled with and tied together where working well. The only failures where, the one bit Luksana had tied on, the windex which is was by now long gone, and the SSB which had been tuned by an expert.

Their was one other failure. Me. I did then and do now feel gutted. Lost, dream gone, maybe.

In the dark, windy and cold and also sea splash to our face sometimes. As our boat came as far as 42.8 NM { or 79.2 km} | 9,000 feet deep | Position N48 14 053 W125 44 265

Tense each minutes make you feel assorted and also half sleep and awake. We found Beautiful Swimmer circle in the same spot for a while. Only the stars we can see. Don’t know which way to US side or Vancouver. The GPS seems not work as our brain we reset it again. With no point of reference, and the confused sea state, swell from the NW, waves from the SW and running under a reefed headsail the boat had a natural pull to one side. Trying to steer to the GPS in those conditions was less than perfect.

Hour and hour went slowly while I cannot stop thinking about what other people on land doing while we are the crazy people ran away from the safe land while most other on land celebrate the Canada day at home. It should be nice to be at home and cuddle with the golden retriever.

We can only hear the waves crashing the boat. Half sleep and awake after midnight.

Luksana was great she steered her watches and eventually went below at about 1.30am  I then had time to enjoy the hell I had created. Very surreal experience. You can hear the storm feel the wind every now and then you get a wave splash in the face, but all you can see is the wave illuminated in the running lights. Dawn was dismal, felt like a North Atlantic convoy run. Just to keep the sense alert, all night bloody big things would lumber up ,quickly from all parts of the compass, even with AIS and the electronic aids still tense to figure out how close they are going to pass. Often eyes and electronics do not agree, especially at night.

Morning arrived still not see the land. The sea look like a round big pool of NM and the edge of sky is close by eye sight, very special indeed. The boat keep pounding until she brought us back to Barkley sound again.

Dawn watch

 

09.30 a.m. on Tuesday 2nd July 2014  We anchored in Bamfield Inlet

Plan B : Vancouver Island to the US Coast until Mexico then sail to The Marqueses this year or next year.

The next day we started the application for a Thai to have the privilege to enter the USA. Us Western types forget how easy life is for us! Still form filled money paid now another 15 wait for the interview and hopefully they will OK her a permit. SO do we take the Boat to Vancouver  or Ship her to Vancouver? Stay tuned folks.

 

 

Looking for Fuel station & Retest Cape Horn self steering

 

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Just another day living the Dream!!!!

We are here now in Bamfield, West Coast Vancouver Island

We had a problem with the Cape Horn not working out side Cape Flattery. West wind was great to do sail. Stephen tried to figure it out for hour. It is hard with winds and waves together. We motor the boat and sail back to Port Renfrew. Which is just an indentation, no breakwater and no escape from the swell from the Ocean. Bamfield, Stephen also never been here before.

From Barkley sound has a long inlet 85 km to Port Alberni. What we are looking for is to fill fuel and this place seems a good place to test Cape horn after Stephen did repairs in Port Renfrew.

Our journey was slow, with just enough tide and swell to slow us down to around 4 knots. Of course just as we got close the wind blew up on the nose and we got beaten up with swell and tide for almost 3 hours until we ducked into the reef encumbered entrance to Barkley sound. Quite spectacular the Ocean swells bounding in over the reefs. We hoisted the head sail and made up for some lost time, for about 30 min, until the wind died!!!! Then we entitled the small channel that leads to Bamfield. {Totally motoring from Port Renfrew to Port Bamfield for 10.5 hours.} A spectacular place after we entered Barkley sound by Trevor channel before turn right to Bamfield inlet.

Second try not success

Friday 20 June 2014

Strong wind warning in the afternoon till midnight on Juan de Fuca strait.

05.30 a.m. Leave Sooke Harbour government dock This morning the noticed of the sky was red early morning before we leave. At the same time we can see the moving of grey cloud and start to cover the harbour and nearby the area. We untie the boat and motor to Juan de Fuca Straits is already rough early morning. So the boat is pounding and continue with out a sign to stop to pound. We then check the forecast of today along the way. It is strong wind warning today in the afternoon to 20 knots and from west. No way to do like this for at least 8 hours. We decided to canceled today. Ok. we must come back to Sooke. 09.30 a.m. Docked at Sooke Resort and Marina {Luksana’s choice} Moorage charge for one night for high season = $63 {Include shower, water, WiFi only available in the office area.} We actually say good-bye for the price that the young new staff set for us a whole 40 ft. while our boat only 35 ft. Then we decided not to stay here and suddenly the one generous American call us and he handed a $20 with polite saying that he would like to do like we do, (Live the dream) please accept the money and enjoy the stay. Very impressive and thankful. Along our way we have on the whole been met with great people who have been helpful and fair. Now this was not the case at the “Sooke Resort and Marina” which amounts to a complex of rentable small condo’s which seem to host a competition for the noisiest drinking party per unit, and a set rather worn and somewhat dilapidated float dock for mainly sport fishing runabout. Since we had been in Sooke this vacant piece of dock space had been empty. No wonder with the gouge mentality. So not a berth just a piece of dock with some broken bits. So what do you get for your money. Nothing more than that. O yes there is a single small bathroom and shower available. Must be the most expensive shower on the coast! To be fair you can get a cup of coffee or tea in the Marina Office, FOR $2. If our unknown American benefactor ever reads this, Thank you. You did make Luksana very happy, and clean after her one  hour hot shower! Thank you we will pass on the kindness.

Sooke – Cape Flattery – Port Renfrew

Cape Horn is not working properly, Rough night in Port Renfrew}

Saturday 21 June 2014 Sunny and clear sky early morning, Sea no swell in the morning and there are many sport fishing boats are gone for fishing 06.00 a.m. Leave Sooke Resort and Marina with flood and steer the boat on the right side of channel to cross after port Renfrew. 11.00 a.m. Pass port Renfrew then Cape flattery We just out of Juan De Fuca Strait! after wait for 10 days. We motor another two hours because no wind. Then right as ordered and on time West wind let us use the main sail and headsail, she lean perfectly, fast in 10 knots of wind and heads off at 6.2 knots heading to south. Here we go!!!!!

Wait. Then Stephen started to use Cape horn Self Steering System. It doesn’t work properly and he try to fix it while the boat location in the entrance of Juan de Fuca Strait and Cape Flattery. Big ship is heading to our boat. It doesn’t work. After we hang out near Cape Flattery for hour. I spent much of this time with my head in the lazerete or fighting with the control arm of the steering. Had to happen the engine smells in the locker and the bouncing around I did a quick projectile vomit and even though I was not incapacitated it was obvious that we could not fix on the ocean. Angry and frustrated we are forced to motor and sail across to Port Renfrew. Many crab traps before enter to Port Renfrew.

8 p.m. There is no place to dock. We anchor and feel the wave until it stop after midnight. Not a pleasant stay. No fuel service and we cannot dock here. Steve did work on the Cape Horn which now seems to work fine. Also fixed the headsail furler . The Line was jamming on an old rivet that had pulled half out and was jamming into the rope. p.s. In Sooke and also Port Renfrew, people here are likely to lay down buoys and crab traps all over the entrance of the channel.

From Port Renfrew to Bamfield | Beaten by waves and wind in Barkley Sound

Sunday 22 June 2014 10.00 a.m. Leave Port Renfrew sea was smooth with small waves and low NW swell.  Lovely and beautiful seas until 5 p.m. Sea start to created waves we start to go very slow as 2 -3.5 knots Wind start to blow and waves become much bigger. At the reef line around Cape Beale the ocean waves splash white over  the rock reefs and cover all over big area. We still far about 2 hours to get to the corner to enter. We can not go fast only 1.5- 3.5 knots. As always, in these situations, very tense incase the engine stops. We pass the light house very slowly Cape Beale.   Entered into Trevor channel 7.30 p.m. Entered to Bamfield 8.30 p.m. Docked at Bamfield Harbour Authority.

Moorage is 75 cents per ft plus tax. Monday 23 June 2014 Electric in this small town shut down since in the morning and we have to wait until 2 p.m. to fill up propane tank. Time to explore this beautiful very unique village.

Bamfield, Is this place the most beautiful village to dock on the  BC Coast?

Beat up by tide for the first try

exit Juan de fuca

Our latest position we were in between the open Pacific and the strait of Juan De Fuca and later return to Sooke Harbour.

One hour early?

Unsuccessful for the first trying to exit Strait of Juan De Fuca yesterday. We had set the leaving date on Saturday 14 of June. The strong gale in The channel so we canceled and listen to the forecast that is still strong wind on Sunday. Finally we decide to leave on Monday. Boat is ready and we are ready.

Monday 16 June 2014

06.15 a.m. Motoring out Sooke Harbour with speed 5-6 knots and increasing  to 6-7 knots with cloudy and clearing later in the morning. Start to see the big swell. Many big swells. Not see small vessels but faraway in United States side there were a few big cruise ships and Ocean going freighters. Sunny and little wind from NW. 11.30 a.m. Passing Port Renfrew but our boat is in the middle of the channel. Stephen gave me an South African seasick medicine and he took one. My mouth open “Wow” What a big giant swell. 12.00 hrs The swell got very steep and close together. The frequency made the boat crash up and down and corkscrew and they seem to cover the whole channel. We saw the tip of the island we had to round to get into open ocean and one big ship out there that we must turn left and pass. It seemed like we got there too early and the big tide was still rushing out and meeting the large ocean swells. Tide Changed while boat position is the connection of the exit [entrance of Juan De Fuca Strait] and the open Pacific Ocean.

Port Renfrew

After the decision to turn the boat across to Port Renfrew. There was a big ship heading to our boat. We must steer to the US side and again the boat is pass over the entrance of Port Renfrew and another reason with the situation of the rough sea and steep deep frequency swell is difficult to enter into Port Renfrew. It is more safe to put up the headsail and sail back to Sooke Harbour. Also Luksana doesn’t has a visitor visa for the US,  which should be very good to leave in the morning next day. So we sail all the way back to Sooke to base to recoup for the night 18.30 Arrived Sooke Harbour 19.30 p.m. Dock at the government dock p.s. Try to leave early for Juan De Fuca Strait because the wind normally will come in the afternoon.

Leave Sooke with the ebb tide.

Tide Changed while boat position is the between the exit [entrance} of Juan De Fuca Strait] and the open Pacific Ocean.

‘Don’t panic if something goes wrong’

12.00 hrs The tide just changed. We start to feel the movement of more steep and frequency swells around us and covered the whole Strait of Juan De Fuca. Stephen start to vomit {Is that mean the african seasick pills does not work properly}  I keep concentrate to steering Beautiful Swimmer. She dip up and down, left and right side. Stephen keep vomiting ( Ok I feed the fishes twice over an hour of wondering why I ever wanted to live) while I was not at all. The situation that we can not figure it out is if it will take time to be like this at least one hour or several. Steph  asked if we should head back to Port Renfrew. Absolutely I am totally agreed. The Port Renfrew is at least one to two hours. Stephen turned the boat because I am not experience to turn with this steep swell. He made a rapid recovery and I emerged from the safety of the cabin and got the boat steady, even so it was a very violent action making the heading across the straits. Port Renfrew is not the best place being wide open to the swells from the Ocean. When we could see how rough it was in the bay, we sailed back to recoup and sort out the broken jars in the galley. Very dejected as we arrived back in Sooke. Not being able to go into the US is a pain also for the first time wondered if we could do this. However Irish stubbornness is dwarfed by Thai determination. We will try again. We will try to time our arrival at the exit of Juan de Fuca for slack or even after the flood has started. Of course now is the time for the biggest tides!!!!! It was very windy again today but we are determined to make our shared dream work. If we have to wait we will do so but we will give it a try. P.S. There is no fuel station in Sooke Bay we used a lot of fuel from Victoria up the strait and back. The Wharf Manager Linda has very helpful for this. Actually got her husband, Bob to run into town and get cans of diesel for us. Amazing how nice people are when you have time to meet them. Also we cleaned our cloths at the most fancy laundry in Canada. Very good price as well. Also have to thank Dave Anderson and Garry D ( I would spell his name wrong) from the NCSA in Rupert, for nagging me to install an AIS system. In the JDF Straits it is a must. Also it will allow me to sleep off watch. The alarms show vessels up to 20 miles away. Much further than you can see them even in daylight. Cheers guys. It is amazing how fast 20 to 25 knots are at closing you down. Lastly thank you for your messages we have received in contacting us. We are appreciative of your thoughtfulness.

Weather caution!

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We arrived in Sooke Harbour on Wednesday. We decided to leave Victoria in the morning to avoid the strong wind in the afternoon. A week of strong wind and gale caution along the Juan De Fuca Strait. Our current position is not far from Port Renfrew and the exit into the Pacific. Regarding to our passage story may not update until we reach our first destination “The Marquises Islands” As Sooke could be the last stop in Canada to update this post. So hopefully we can update our blog again in the land of French Polynesia, in about 30 to 35 days. Thank you for joining the passage with us. Hope El Nino does not spawn too many more early Hurricanes. Two Cat 4 along the Mexico East coast already which is very early :-(

Victoria to Sooke {Vancouver Island}

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Strong wind increase in the afternoon today. 07.00 a.m. Leave the Inner Harbour speed 6.5 knots 08.10 a.m. Pass Albert Hd 08.45 a.m. Pass Race Rocks, speed 8.3-9 knots 10.15 a.m. Arrived in Sooke Harbour *Never been here before, The tide was low when we entered in and many bouys and crab traps are around which confused Stephen’s brain about which was the harbour lane. On our electronic charts, the buoys were not marked. (That’s Steph’s story) A few minutes later we were at ground. Luckily Stephen was going very slowly. The keel hit the ground with was mud and sand, sea plants called eal grass plain to see. It took about 5 minutes to get out. {The trick was to break the Keel free quickly when it stuck on the bottom sand, Stephen circle the keel so the muddy sand make a hole and the keel can be free again.} Moorage at Sooke Harbour Authority rate for 2 days = $60 {no WiFi, Included Power, water, no shower included} The wharf manager give lots of information of the town as she has lived here for 40 years.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Storm warning! The strong wind warning from the west and south west is continued. We docked at Sooke Harbour Authority for a few days to let the storm calm down a little. Next will be Port Renfrew, we are not sure if we will stop if things look good.

Friday 13 June 2014

Gale warning 30 knots on Juan De Fuca Strait

Saturday 14 June 2014

Gale warning 40 knots

Victoria – Sidney – Victoria

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Juan De Fuca Strait

We just back to Victoria today. Last week we left Victoria to Sidney and stayed there to completed installation a new navigation light on top of the mast. This second time round trip both Sidney and Victoria has delayed our date to leave Canada. We decided to bring the boat back to Sidney because we couldn’t complete this work in Victoria and in Sidney the location is close to marine shops. It took Stephen 2 attempts (2 days) to correctly attach the new light system an LED combined Tri-Navigation and Anchor Light. These lights are highly visible (very bright) 60ft in the air so much greater chance of them being seen above the wave and swell out in the Ocean. They also only burn 0.3 of an amp compared to the old ones that burned 1.5amps. This is an important consideration on the cold beer scale of necessities.

From Sidney to Victoria {Round trip}

Monday 9 June 2014

09.45 a.m. Leave Sidney to Victoria, Wind S/W with a mix of sun and cloud 15.10 p.m. In Victoria, Fill fuel and gas 16.00 p.m. Docked at The Inner Harbour

 

There is a story how important of the mast light middle of the Pacific. A single hand sailor sail without a night light mast on his boat. One another sailor’s boat could not see his boat in the dark. His boat that very close to make a crash of two sailboat if he did not light a cigarette and if another boat did not notice a small light in the darkness.

Besides the round trip we had some photos of the week we left from Victoria to work on the mast in Sidney.

Monday 2 June 2014

12.20 p.m. Leave The Inner Harbour Victoria to Sidney

Sidney 2-8 June 2014

Strong wind warning in Juan De Fuca Strait The navigation light is success working on Friday 6

During our second time stay in Sidney at Tsehum Harbour Authority we have got to know new people. Gabriel, he is French Canadian and lives many years at this dock on his sailboat. He was very helpful in pulling Steve to the masthead, not once but twice!!

Later we have got to know a couple Jawna and Roger Patey. They both completed many years of maritime life. First commercially fishing then Ocean Sailing and then as Chef and Skipper on Super Yachts, including many years in Fiji. One of their boats was the beautiful 112ft Sassafras Yacht. Jawna work for 9 years as a chef for the Kiwi family Luxury yacht and also Roger as a skipper for this 112 ft Yacht. We had a good chat about what they have been doing in The South Pacific and New Zealand and they gave us a special gift to carry on board for a safe trip and also ask us to bring some papers to people in Fiji who set sail from Victoria many years ago. They are still in Fiji, so we have a real cause to get there. Jawna gave us a saying to remind us to punch , through the tough times. “You already bought a ticket so you must go for the ride!” Their favourite quote for us. We have got great support from the family have been great support.  Also Marc from the Jonathan III, who we befriended last summer emailed us to see if we had left Rupert yet! He had just left from Mexico for the Marquesas Islands so the race is on.

So now the navigation light is work and we hope it will not stop working. We have done food shopping again in Sidney because in Victoria due to in tourist environment so it is difficult to do loading in public. Today we plan to leave Tsehum Harbour but it is not successful with a problem with the engine. {nothing is guaranteed what will make a problem for tomorrow} We will try again tomorrow to a quick visit again in Victoria.

Victoria | Before heading to Juan De Fuca Strait

 

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The Empress Hotel, The view In front of The Inner Harbour Marina

Greetings from Victoria, British Columbia! Our passage currently finds us in the capital city of BC. Our boat is docked right downtown in the Inner Harbour Government dock. We started the Passage from Prince Rupert since 12 April 2014 through BC Inside Passage, Vancouver Island, and we just arrived to Victoria yesterday.

The problem lately we quite very concerned was the  overheating  engine. After constant cleaning and flushing and part replacement Steph found the cause in Sidney. Stephen finally found that the cause came from the rust created in the water jacket on the gear box part of engine. He made a tool from a flexible drive shaft from an electric drill and was slowly able to remove the built up rust scale from the beast. Now as Steph says the flow is better than he has ever seen it in the 16 years he has owned the boat. We ran the engine hard for 6 hours yesterday and it never came close to heating up! What a huge relief. We have family guest with us for a few days, Gerry came across from Grande Prairie and join us from Sidney to Victoria, but Unlucky no wind!  He also sponsored us the moorage at The Inner Harbour Marina {situated in front of The Empress Hotel} For our last preparation before head to Joan de Fuca Strait and exit Canada to the Pacific Ocean. Crossing the pacific powered by offshore sailboat Dufour35. Also to continued from a previous post from Maple Bay to Genoa Bay to Cowichan Bay and to Sidney.  We would like to present some photos with this post. Hope you enjoy the journey with us. Have a great weekend!

From Sidney to Victoria, Vancouver Island Friday 30 May 2014 

12.45 hrs Leave Sidney Harbour, Pass San Juan Island {Haro Strait}

17.05 hrs Docked at The Inner Harbour Marina. {Moorage sponsored by Gerry}

Sidney to Victoria


 

Welcome to the rich harbour 

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Van Isle Marina {Only the finest Yacht} that we could not afford to moorage.

Cowichan Bay to Sidney

Monday 26 May 2014 11.30 hrs Leave Cowichan Bay. Pass Salt Spring Island, Satellite The next stop is Sidney and we decided to    but there are too many boats and also private boys. Commercial operators now have the whole bay seeded with bouys.  No safe place to anchor anymore in the entire harbour. Progress!!!. After anchored for about two hours then we move to the Authority Harbour which is not far. The major commercial Marina’s charge $1.50 ft and  up. American – Canadian flags with notice Only the finest Yachts. Obviously that excludes us and our modest means. Well OK broke.  ‘Black Pearl’ a luxury attractive sailboat. We also check on the moorage for the Port Sidney that is very close to shopping center. Moorage is $ 1.50 per ft.  There was also no place to tie or land the dinghy so we decided to go to the government dock and raft up with the real people.

Sidney 26-29 May 2014 Monday. The problem of the water overheated seems positive from the test engine the other day. Stephen finally recognized the problem it used to happened long time ago. The rust create and block water part.

 


Genoa Bay to Cowichan Bay on 24 May 2014 {Cowichan Bay 24-25 May 2014}

In touch again

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View of Maple Bay and the old school government dock.

Greetings from Cowichan Bay!

We have moved from Maple Bay. First to Genoa Bay for 2 nights  and then to Cowichan Bay today. Yesterday the place we anchored was very windy and the wind generator worked well. The climate is warm but there is still wind so I must keep my jacket on. Oliver supported us with transportation while docked on Southern Vancouver Island. The distance from Marinas and anchoring places to the supermarket is far in Thetis Island, Maple Bay and Genoa Bay. So it was great that Olive made time to help out each day. He has known Stephen for over 30 years.

Ladysmith to Thetis island  

Tuesday 20 May 2014 Ciao Ladysmith

Leave at 13.30 p.m. engine is still overheating !

17.45 p.m. Arrived at Thetis Island, docked at Thetis Island {Pub} Marina we leave early before the office open.

Thetis island to Maple Bay 

Wednesday 21 May 2014 Leave Thetis Island at 7 a.m. Passed sheard Point at 8.45 a.m. speed 4.7 k

09.45 a.m. Arrived at Maple Bay, the government dock is old school. No office, no wifi, no facilities, no power or water line. Surprised! next day a small pocket bill drop to our boat for $23.95 … We are asked to drop off at office some place inland? Er we have a boat? Anyway on wards to our next destination.

Maple Bay to Genoa Bay

Thursday 22 May 2014 09.45 a.m. Fill fuel diesel and gas cans 10.00 a.m. Leave Maple Bay 12.30 a.m. Arrived at Genoa Bay and  icon-anchor

Friday 23 May 2014

Windy day and wind generator working so well. We check our Offshore Provisions. Our count shows 25 corn beef  cans are showing surface rust from winter condensation. Inside the can is still good so tear plastic off and all would be Stephen’s travel food. We will keep the good can for trade. Oliver visited at our boat everyday and sometimes brought us a nice smoked salmon he made. Yes he did taking care of us for shopping around the town.

Response to the ocean: Each day each person make trash to the world about 2 kg/person/day. On land : I feel worry about our food waste to not harm the ocean.

2 persons on board for one months 2x2x30=120 KG. In Pacific ocean: We must keep and wash can food keep in the bag and wait until reach the land to recycle. All the plastic will wrap tight together until reach the land.

Genoa Bay to Cowichan Bay at Government Marina

Saturday 24 May 2014 

At Cowichan government marina charged us 85 cents per foot which included Wi-Fi and  service. {Cleanliness is fair} Nearby you can walk to one nice bakery shop, grocery and wine shop, restaurants. More photos tomorrow:-)

Thank you for follow up our blog post.

Cheers!

 

 

Enjoying our extended stay in Ladysmith

 

DSC_0985Greetings from Thetis Island {Pub} Marina ! As we left Ladysmith today. Very disappointing as we have not solved the engine overheating problem and after many hours we are still not able to use our SSB radio to send and receive Emails. The engine overheated badly, and Stephen says it is all Oliver’s fault!! LOL. But we must enjoy the rough with the smooth. So we turned the engine off and Sailed into a small bay with a dock and a Pub. As usual we arrived late so no dock fees and sort of free internet, well we did not pay. So I have a chance to show some more impressive photos of Ladysmith as our post for  today. A short walk from Ladysmith Maritime Society Marina takes you to the quant downtown area. Here there is a bakery shop with freshly baked bread . “Old town bakery”, is a tradition bakery shop that is always full of customers. We are happy to have excellent bread on board, this is a special treat once in a while. Another surprised is a supermarket 49th Parallel Grocery nearby has a free service to delivery both customers and grocery to your place. We did this great service once.

 

 

Ladysmith Maritime Society also manages to care for fellow birds. These are Purple Larks. They have many nesting boxes along the fingers at the marina. Also we have seen this in French creek Marina. The waking call early morning such a beautiful sounds we love to hear everyday. But as with all song birds, what they utter so sweetly from one end has a rather unsweet discharge from the other. Still they do keep the season flies down to a minimum.

Engine problem

DSC_0938Hey there!

Recently we had a major problem with the engine and just has been solve. We couldn’t leave Nanaimo until last thursday as we had a  reoccurring overheating problem. Now as readers might recall the heat exchanger had broken last Thursday when we arrived at Ladysmith. After remanufacturing a piece for $3 and buying a Volvo washer for $5 we thought we had fixed it. It ran fine back down to Nanaimo and we got hauled late Saturday afternoon as the yard was behind.  Unfortunately we where forced to stay on the hard at Stones boat yard as the caulking around the  new transducer had to set. The Yard did not work on a Sunday so we had to wait until Monday. After we stayed two nights on the hard we finally get down in water again. After enlacing  new depth sound transducer and cleaned the hull. So it was Monday and we had to do some series shopping. A Brother of a NCSA member (that is a challenge to figure out what that stands for) PRIZE FOR THE FIRST CORRECT GUESS.  helped greatly by lending us his vehicle. Cheers Peter! So after buying Luksana a colour coordinated Ocean going self inflating, safety harnessed life vest and a few other things we decided to flee the big city before Visa figured out we are broke. Monday 12 May 2014 Sunshine and warm Clean the hull. Let Beautiful Swimmer in water early morning at 7.30 a.m. and we     in Newcastle Island Harbour with the plan to Ladysmith next day.

Tuesday 13 May 2014 Sunshine and warm It should be a beautiful day for travel with nice sunshine until something unexpected happened. 09.30 a.m. Leave Newcastle Island harbour and head to Strait of Georgia with the idea to run water maker. Then… Stephen noticed that water heated to high 180 F so we cannot continue to Ladysmith today   and sailed with low engine back to icon-anchor at the same area to find out what cause the problem. Fix the water leaking and start the engine to check the water temperature. Well I changed the impeller as it was about to fall apart and I had a spare. Could not find an obvious reason for the overheating. Started to have my doubts about letting Oliver help fix my heat exchanger!!!! Wednesday 14 May 2014 With hope that the engine should be good for today after Stephen tried to do something with it a whole yesterday. We leave the harbour at 09.10 a.m. and after a while engine still water heated to high 180 F then we came back to  icon-anchor at the same area. Go to the Marine supply shop to get a small piece washer for $55 The guy checked on the computer and then phoned Volvo. No joke they wanted $55 for a plastic “O” ring. Anyway the guy informed Volvo that the customer told them what they could do with their “O” ring, without me saying a word. That is what you call customer service.  Thursday 15 May 2014 We don’t want to be here too long whereas the problem with engine will keep watching it on the way until we can docked in Ladysmith, We certain will turn engine on and off to let it cool down. Motoring and luckily with wind from the North east carry us until before at Dodd Narrows. Then at the open seas we check how the engine works again for more safely. On and off engine until we get to Ladysmith Maritime Society.

Friday 16 May 2014 The engine fixed. Oliver, old friend with Stephen came to join help all day. The Volvo heat exchanger is a silly contraption. Like much about Volvo marine products it is over complicated and aimed at making Volvo money.  The problem is that the front and back plates have to be precisely alined to work properly. Nothing in the manual and nothing on the net. Bugger the idiot who thought this one out. Also today we had replace a new furling line as it cause a problem for headsail couldn’t fold it right away while we were in Johnstone Strait. So we now have a small one again, the larger one was easier to haul on but bound up as the furling drum struggled with the bulk of the thicker cord. Surprised that she did not mention us being in the middle of the NYC Wednesday yacht club race again but I am sure they will appear soon. Cheers!

Ladysmith Maritime Society for boat communication & back to Stones Boatyard, Nanaimo


Greetings from Stones boatyard, Nanaimo We are back to work on the hard today and the boat will be in water again after this weekend. Regarding to the previous post about Ladysmith Maritime Society. We have some photos to present the place. One of a good place to stop by with reasonable price and the manager is great! Also this dock open for volunteers who have created a unique boating environment. Warm feeling while stay here.

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Make friend with opposite boat a couple from Vancouver. (Jeff and Sandra)

Nanaimo to Ladysmith to meet the radio man 

Warm Stay at Ladysmith Maritime Society 8-9 May 2014 We met Martin for support the radio technical. As a former boat engineer so he is now a well known for specialist to show how to operate HF Marine Radio Transceivers. This one is important to contact  people via sailmail while in the ocean. After spending $460 we are no further forward. I will be calling on Martin to get our sailmail running when we return. Regarding from the previous post. At Ladysmith Maritime Society there are many people do volunteer  work maintaining and renovating old wooden boats, the buildings and keeping the place a live and welcoming. The Marina has a workshop, boat museum, coffee shop and several environmental projects and specialist sailing schools for handicapped sailors and children. The atmosphere feeling like part of Boutique hotel. The manager is friendly and care to support for your need. Place is good and takes care of its facility, kept clean and reasonable moorage price.

The first day we arrived at Ladysmith Stephen noticed the exhaust was not sending water out. He started to trace the problem, and found that the heat exchanger had broken.  A connecting rod had corroded and allowed the unit to come apart. the problem was theta the steel rod had welded onto the end fitting. Stephen spent time of both two days to fix it.

From Ladysmith back to Nanaimo for boat lifting Saturday 10 May 2014 9.00 a.m. Leave Ladysmith Maritime Society 13.00 p.m. Arrived at Stones boatyard and waiting in a queue 14.30 p.m. Boat lifted and wash by boat worker. {They do as duty} There was a rush hours as we book for two hours. Stephen hurry up to changed the transducer for the depth sounders. It was not a good scene to start with. we were kept waiting for over an hour, crap happens, but then everything got pear shaped when the manager wanted to drop us back in the water. I was ready to wage war, I had done a good job putting the previous transducer in and this one did not want to move. Eventually after having smoke coming out off my electric trip I managed to move it. Then the mad dash to get the new one in. The glue all over his arms good stuff the calking compound. As I was busting a gut the owner told us that we had time. Luksana did not tell me this ! But it was in. Apparently the next in the queue  kindly  told her that we don’t have to be rush as they know our plan to the open sea. After rational thought we decided that we would stay overnight to allow the calking to set up , just to be sure. The boat worker at Stones boatyard did very good job and provides things to set up the boat. We stay overnight on the hard. This boatyard surrounded with pubs and provide bathroom and shower. Sunday close so they will not charge on the hard on Sunday. Very warm sunny day and cool down at night.

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First time ever not allowed to do any of the cleaning. Strict environment laws here. The crew are allowed only to get rid of a little weed on the hull. The anti fouling is in good shape so we do not need to spend any more money. PTL

 

Get the boat ready before offshore

 

Hi there!

We are just arrived to Ladysmith today. This week we are arranging to  check  boat out and do the final preparations on Beautiful Swimmer before we go offshore into the Pacific Ocean.  Nanaimo and Ladysmith is our target place to get the boat ready.  Sources of Marine shop are here. Since we damaged the depth sounder transducer we have been trying to get the boat  lifted out of the water. It is not easy to find a facility here that can fit us in. Many are already fully booked for boat lifting. Finally we luckily got a  time  3 days time as space came available from a boat that canceled.

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French Creek, 10 Hours from Campbell River. A real mix of Fishing Harbour and Pleasure craft. Very crowded and a mad house win summer. Small harbour and very crowded.

 

From French Creek to Nanaimo

Tuesday 6 May 2014 

Leave French Creek in the morning at 7.30 a.m. Sunny day

Only 4 days after we enter to the Strait of Georgia, our adventure seems to end for a while. Quite more relax but not excite. That is until our boat is in the area in front of the Navy station. There was a radio call from Canadian Navy to tell our boat to leave the area we were already in. Of course, It shows the message on the GPS “Munition Dumping Area Disused”  Danger Area  It is an active naval exercise area that had seen no action for weeks, until we arrived! So we try to steer the boat out of the area while watching the plane fly searching for submarines and surface ships racing about.

 

Arrived in Nanaimo and fill fuel around 13.00 hrs Very crowd in private Marina while the Government Marina is rather empty. We did check for moorage it cost $1.50 per foot for moorage. The weather is good so we decide to anchor and also to test Mantus anchor at the harbour area. Using dinghy to get to ashore to do shopping. There are some Wi-fi signals you can get free from this harbour.

The first place we went is the Marine shop nearby a supermarket and another one is West Marine. We have met Peter by recommended from his sister Jane  and her husband Richard from the North Coast Sailing Association. We take a dinghy to see him at the Yatch club Marina as he work there. He is generous and help us to get around town more easily by lending us his vehicle.

Jobs to do in Nanaimo

  • Change water tank {the old one is leaking}
  • Change a new Windex top of the mast {It is broken during the passage}

  • Get safety offshore inflatable lifejackets.

  • Boat lifting to fix the depth sounds that was not work. {After hit by a log at Hartley Bay} and Clean the Bottom before offshore.

  • Change a line for the headsail furler.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Visit Harbour Marine Store near harbour and West Marine. At West marine we got safety offshore sail vest. We got off shore sail automatic inflatable PFD 35 auto very expensive price at West Marine} but Steve said we had to have.

Do some shopping and supermarket. Very warm and sunny day.

In the evening there are several sailboat in harbour to watch them sailing in the harbour.

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So there we were minding our own business and all of a sudden we found our self in the middle of a yacht race. Obviously this lot are amateurs as they are lost before the race has begun.

 

One of my matees just bought one of these. Bloody quick and outpaced everything this evening including trio’s and bigger mono-hulls. Wonder how Mackle did this evening Kelowna Lake?

From Nanaimo to Ladysmith

Thursday 8 May 2014

 Our single side band Radio we did not set it up correctly. After contact with specialist Martin from Ladysmith. We Leave Nanaimo early at 8.30 a.m. The weather forecast today will be rain. Motoring pass through De Courey Group, Yellow Point and Coffin point before arrive at Ladysmith.” A decent wind so we open sail for about one hour before arrive Ladysmith.

Moorage:

Docked at Ladysmith Maritime Society. Moorage is $1 per foot. {included Wi-Fi, Laundry and shower, Power}

P.S. The manager is very helpful and bathroom is new and very clean. Unlimited shower and use a key card open 24 hours.  Very satisfaction! :) I am sure there will be a photo spread tomorrow on the facilities here :-) It is bloody nice.

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For about 100 yards Dodd Narrows is like a rapid flowing river. As i said before Luksana’s face was priceless.

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I am smiling because of the worried look on Luksana’s face when we went into Dodd Narrows. Very tight, with a rapid current ,but safe.

 

 

BC Passage | End of Wilderness

Greetings from French Creek, Vancouver Island 

We just arrived at French creek this evening and stay at the Port Authority Dock at French Creek. {Strait of Georgia} Our passage diary from a few days ago:

From Port Neville to Brown Bay

Saturday 3rd May 2014

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One of the Jewels of the coast. Port Neville has a history that dates back to the early settlers of the area. Until recently it was an active post office, It is now in a stage where it needs to be slept as a heritage building, or in the next decade it will be lost. Probably unique on the whole coast.

Port Neville

 

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Discovery Passage

There are two local man we met and talk at Port Neville. Ed and Kurt  share stories of the old house built in 1891 by the original Norwegian Hansen. They had great information on the area , all you want to know about the place. We leave Port Neville at 11.30 a.m. make 5.9 k and decreased to 4 k against the tide in Johnstone strait. Very strong tide and speed down to 3-3.7 k 12.50 hrs Enter to Johnstone Strait, speed 6 k 13.30 hrs Race Passage, Kelsey Bay 14.30 hrs Camp point 16.00 hrs Ripple point 16.45 hrs Chatham point, 6-7 k Enter to Discovery Passage, speed 5-6 k Wind start to blow from south create waves 17.38 hrs Granite point 19.00 hrs Docked at Brown Bay Marina, Tried to contact the office but it closed and next day is sunday. We docked in Marina area and get free Wi-fi which is very fast.


 

From Brown Bay to Campbell River DSC_0817

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Brown Bay {Marina}

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A Famous caution Seymour Narrows

Sunday 4 May 2014 7.30 a.m. Leave Brown Bay Seymour Narrows, Passing by smoothly while ebb tide.

9.00 a.m. Arrived at Campbell River 9.45 hrs Dock at government Marina {Sunday office is closed so we cannot contact to office


 

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Food on board

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Strait of Georgia

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French Creek

Monday 5 May 2014 Foggy early morning and clear out.

Sunny day Leave early at 7.45 a.m. to fill fuel and water. 08.10 Leave the Campbel River Harbour Enter to Strait of Georgia 15.00 hrs Hornby Island 18.oo hrs Harbour Authority of French Creek.

 

 

BC Passage | Queen Charlotte Strait – Johnstone Strait – Discovery Passage

Dear Readers and friends,

Our passage has been continued from the North of Vancouver Island along Queen Charlotte Strait to Johnstone Strait and the recently down Discovery Passage. We are presently waiting our chance to run the famous Seymour Narrows and will leave as soon as we publish this report. This post to follow up the previous post. The weather is become a very big problem to do passage in April this year. Lots of gale, storm, strong wind and earthquake happened.” DSC_0588 DSC_0590

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Port Hardy, Private Marina in April

6 Days at Port Hardy and Listened to Gale warning  (24-29 April 2014) Unbelievable, The Gale warning for Queen Charlotte Strait stop us to move further more. Anyway the weather channel broadcast from here is one of the best for 100% clear voice in english and french version. We docked here for 6 nights! Not too bad with Wi-fi internet. Meanwhile Stephen try to fix Depth Sounder. The propane small one just empty after using for cooking and heat for cabin. We have calculate using fuel for motoring that cost 3 litres per hour. p.s. A well-known supermarket at Port Hardy here is Overweigh Tea, Wi-fi is good signal and shower unlimited minutes at a private marina. DSC_0655

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View from Queen Charlotte Strait

Nice village very well kept with welcoming locals to share a beer on a beautiful evening

Pub at Sointula

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Broken windex we just noticed.

From Port Hardy to Sointula Wednesday 30 April 2014 Gale warning for Queen Charlotte Strait and mix of sun and cloud. We decided to leave Port Hardy at 13.10 hrs 16.00 hrs Malcolm Island, start Broughton Strait speed 5.5 knots 17.30 hrs Docked at Sointula Since the sun stay longer so we take a walk and found out that this place is quite different. People are friendly and layed back.

Thursday 1st May 2014 Sunshine and strong wind warning in area we are heading to. We decided not to leave today and the forecast for today is not right. Very warm and sunshine day. No wind at all. This forecast can be trick but we also must listen. A second night stayed at Sointula Moorage The rate of moorage here for two nights is about $ 55 Shower 3 Loonies for 5 minutes (24 hours open) DSC_0725  DSC_0780

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From Sointula to a free dock at Port Neville

Friday 2nd May 2014 7.00 a.m. Leave Sointula 08.05 a.m. Alert Bay Begins Johnstone Strait 09.55 a.m. West Cracroft Island Water maker testing Try water maker for fresh water making. Water is very clear so we try a little and let the machine work longer to test. Taste again and this time the quality of the taste is good and no salt so we can drink a whole glass. (without boil) but in the area is pretty clean water form Johnstone Strait. I would like to say that it make clear and water taste better than we get from the dock. 13.10 p.m. Havanah Channel Wind start to blow from the North so we use headsail with speed 6-7 knots 14.10 p.m. Start windy and waves.

We had a problem to folding head sail after wind had changed a direction. It stressful time for me with wind start to be stronger and also the waves pushing and you cannot furl the headsail right away. Stephen try to solve a problem for a while. Finally he can furl the head sail. He told me that the line must be change again to a smaller size. This is not good if we were out in the big ocean. 15.00 p.m. Dock at Port Neville”

P.S. Port Neville is a free dock with a lovely few cottage houses and clean atmosphere. Very friendly people who lives here can show you around. No Wi-Fi in area, no power and no shower. We were happy because it is a nice place to shelter from the windy evening and pouring rain later on. The people who lives here told us to beware of grizzly bear and cougar. The bear already start to find food early this year and sometimes they swim across shore. They had been seen around the houses today Brown and Black bears. Good to know!   We must leave now so we will do more post when we have a chance with the wi-fi in a few days. Bye for now.

Take a chance on bad weather forecast| Passage from Shearwater to Port Hardy

 

Greetings from Port Hardy, Vancouver Island

This post to follow from the previous post.

Tuesday 22 April 2014 (Shearwater Marina)
Storm warning at Queen Charlotte Sound for some period of time.

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Coast guard helicopter landing near fuel station, Shearwater.

 

 


Next day…

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Shearwater Marina to Finn Bay, Penrose Island

Wednesday 23 April 2014
Although storm warning in area of Queen Charlotte Sound is still on from coast guard radio. We decided to take a chance if the weather turn bad we will track back but if not we can continue further down south to Vancouver Island.
8.15 a.m. Leave Shearwater and weather is calm, sunny, see cloudy waiting ahead to south and bad wind. Motoring through Lama passage speed 4.5 k
In Fitz Hugh Sound speed up to 6.9 k, central coast.
12.45 hrs Passing Namu with 6.7 k
13.45 hrs Pass Hecate Pass (open ocean)
Addenbroke Island Light House. The forecast was starting to come true. The Morning bright and sunny weather has been replaced by dark squall clouds bringing driving rain. Of course from the South.
14.30 hrs Calvert Island 6.4 k As Calvert Island lies abeam we decide that we will not chance the open crossing in the dark. The weather forecast is not good and it would mean a long and slow crossing in poor conditions.
17.00 hrs Penrose Island is our destination. We start to make our way carefully to our small harbour, as our depth sounder is not working we have to rely on our GPS map to keep us clear of the dangers.
17.30 hrs Docked at Finn Bay
{Tied Beautiful Swimmer at Abandon floating house}
Tired from a long day. A quiet place and no people around, no radio station at this remote place. We watch Big Bang and Fawlty Towers until we fall a sleep very early. The weather forecast for the next three to four days is very bad with gale and storm force winds to 45 knots.


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Finn Bay, Penrose Island to Port Hardy

Thursday 24 April 2014
Stephen listened to the 6 a.m. coastguard broadcast and it was not good. At 7.30 a.m. the updated Light house weather reports came on the radio. These show calm conditions, with a major blow setting in from the South East and then South West later in the day. The anchorage was bomb proof but not the place to spend several days. The weather was dreary and this should not be fun place to stay 2-4 days until weather gets better, maybe. Stephen hurry up to fill fuel and we untie the dock
At 08.30 a.m. Leave Finn Bay with 6 k speed
10.00 a.m. Start using head sail make 6-7 k as we had a 10-15 knot breeze from the North east. So far so good.
11.40 a.m. Egg Island with 6-8 k Basically the point of no return. Once you commit passed here you have to carry on. No place to hide. A very wild and reef strewn part of the coast. Like driving down an alley with minefields to the right and left and only a small escape path ahead. From now on if the engine died or we could not make any forward progress our only option would be to run before the wind. In other words go back over the distance we had made over the last couple of days.
12.15 Cape Caution {Queen Charlotte Sound} 6 k The wind was starting to back from the North east around to the South East. Stephen later said that he had an uneasy feeling that our luck was not going to hold.

13.30 hrs Heading to Pine Island Light House 4 nautical miles ahead. This waypoint makes the place that the ocean has a series of steps, in calm weather the tides create a giant roller coaster. In strong wind, we where about to find out. Cloudy and very quickly the wind built to over 25 knots the waves quickly built up to very steep 2 metres, maybe a little more. They come very close together

14.00 hrs Strong Gale, I keep focus on steering Beautiful Swimmer, Stephen open the map and make new emergency plan. We are the only small sailboat, in fact other than a large Alaskan Ferry heading for Seattle, the only vessel heading South or North today.

The nearer to Pine island the harder it became to make any progress. Speed down to 1.8 and zero knots. Salt water splash from the bow to our face every time Beautiful Swimmer ploughed into the large white capped waves. Stephen used to tell me that Beautiful Swimmer, she is built very strong and that I can trust her! My throat very dry as I watch her dive and then soar up as she bounces over the waves. We have to make headway until we have the right angle to sail across to a passage that is rock free between islands that will give us shelter.

At the same time of big piles of Seaweed and giant Kelp floating along the waves that also very careful to avoid the many large logs. Glad we did not do this in the dark!

Queen Charlotte Sound – Queen Charlotte Strait, very wild place.

shearwater to Port Hardy

16.00 hrs. Can cross to the shore. At last Stephen says we can set new course. Opens up the head sail about 40% and the boat takes off like a race horse. No more gut wrenching pounding. from 2 knots to 8 as we surge into Bate Passage, we had made it, no chance of having to sail back. Still very wet and windy but now the motion of the boat is exciting and she shows her ability to Sail well in bad conditions.

Wind good for using head sail By the time we made exit Bate Passage into Goletas Channel that heads south. Here the sea is remarkably calm with Nigei island shielding us from the South East wind.

17.00 hrs. Checked about 20 miles to Port Hardy with speed 5.4 k

Calm smooth and let us relax than the strong waves outside. Rain all the way.
A chance for me to do today’s first meal, Corn beef, Brussels sprouts and carrots.
Wind switches to South West and builds but we are shielded now by Vancouver island so seas only about 1 metre. 18.30 hrs. Sail on the waves speed 6-7.6 k
20.15 hrs. Docked at Port Hardy. Very tired and wet but safe and we can now prepare for the second half of the coastal journey.

Friday 25 April 2014
At Port Hardy, Moorage Cost per day with power $ 28.30 at government marina.

No wi-fi, there is a library in town by walk.

Saturday 26 April 2014
At Port Hardy, waiting for good weather to move further south along Queen Charlotte Strait

Moorage

P.S. Today we move the boat from government marina to private marina because it is $5 cheaper and included free shower, laundry, Wi-fi and electric power. :)

Take care and see you next update.

 

BC Inside Passage | From Klemtu To Bella Bella |Bella Bella To Shearwater Marina

Klemtu to Bella Bella

 Wednesday 16 April 2014

Storm warning!

Again At 10.30 a.m. We fuel at gas station, fill water and leave Klemtu at 10.50 a.m. with  5-6 k Low South West swell 2-3 metre. Wind south west 15 At 12.30 We motor sailed to Susan Rock at 7.6 k At  13.30 p.m. Passing Susan Rock 3.5 k Wind on nose and rain We arrived at Bella Bella and dock. Tired after the day before’s long and cold passage, we had a late start. The weather forecasting talked about a gale but in the evening. So we decided to stick our nose out and see how far we could get. If it turned bad, again we could have a great downwind sail back into Klemtu. We motored out into the now familiar wet and cold. Nothing spectacular at first but the wind did come up from the West and so did the head sail. We needed to make time so I decided not to be a purest and sail slowly as this winter season is not to be messed with. I was a little uneasy as it started to blow and switch to the South East. The wind strengthened  as we neared our turning point Of Susan Rock, it did strengthen, South East now being dead on the nose) and it seemed to take for ever for us to inch our way against wind and tide into the more protected waters of Seaforth Channel. Non the less our old engine kept thumping away even as the wind increased and the rain became torrential. So with speeds of between 1.7knots and 3.5 we made our way over the last 20 nautical miles against the wind and tide to Bella Bella. Not too many photos as we are a little nervous about destroying our cameras before getting to the hot places. Not that I believe any exist, I am also starting to doubt all this global warming stuff lol. As we neared Bella Bella one of the fast ferries that link the coastal communities roared past out of the evening gloom. It took him 1hour 20mins to cover the same distance that we had done in over 8 hours.



 

 Bella Bella To Shearwater Marina

Thursday 17 April 2014

Storm warning!

Leave Bella Bella late 10.50 a.m. Arrived at Shearwater Marina at 11.35 a.m. This time at Shearwater is free of charge for mooring during low season. They will start to charge for moorage on the 1st of May 2014. So we can stay until we are ready to go further down south. An expense for boat docked at Shearwater Marina available To do laundry about $12-15 for about 10 kg Shower fees $1 per minute Internet WiFi $11 per day (24 hours) Electric line $5 per day (only 15 amp power cord) Note: The place for laundry and shower is connected in one big room, clean. The funny thing is a shiny lunie coin doesn’t work for washer machine that accepted only old dull coin. There is one restaurant which if in fishing season they make really nice Halibut fish and chips, We still order and it just ok with two pints of beer cost about $40.

Environment care: At  Shearwater provide a good source of trash separation for recycle : Glass bottle, Cans, Plastic, Carton – Paper, Trash.

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Free moorage at Shearwater Marina during low season {April}

 

Friday 18 April 2014  Storm warning! Dock At Shearwater Marina, Check on Depth sounder doesn’t work properly.  If the hull transducer is shot then it is a haul out and money. If it is the sounder itself then it is also money. About $350 to $600 depending on which option.

Saturday 19 April 2014 Storm warning! Dock At Shearwater Marina, Windy and using wind generator to produce battery ,cloudy and rain all day

Sunday 20 April 2014 Storm warning! Monday waves can be high 7 Metres! Dock at Shearwater Marina cloudy and with sometimes windy and rain

Monday 21 April 2014 Start to sunshine mix cloud. Sailing Vessel Linger Longer left for Alaska. We also plan to leave tomorrow. The main reason we still here is that I made some mistakes. 1) Luksana ran over a log and probably destroyed the depth sounder transducer. My mistake :-) 2) Fuel dock closed when it should have been open. So it would be touch and go for us to reach Port Hardy. 3) I lost my wallet. So after a frantic search late last night and using a pay phone in the early hours to block the cards; it had been found. Just as I was cancelling them,  would you believe a staff member had found it and put it in the safe in the Bar! Another reason to recommend Shearwater.                

Happy Easter holiday!

 

BC Inside Passage |Pushing South from Bishop Bay to Klemtu

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Fraser Butedale Lake

Bishop Bay to Klemtu

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Gale Warning!

Even though the  forecast was grim we  decided to see how far we could get.  If it got too bad we could always have a sleigh back to the hot springs.

In April the weather in North Coast is still feel like winter. We left Bishop Bay at 7.30 a.m. while tide low and suddenly engine had decreased from 6 k to 3 k. Something had gone wrong and Stephen’s face turn very concerned. We head back to Bishop Bay to check what is wrong. After docked the boat up at the dock Stephen checked propeller and we found old rope and kelp had wrapped around the Blades. It was fabric so he cleared it off with a big smile.  All is well, so we leave Bishop Bay a second time in 2 hours.

Better on the dock than wrapped around the prop

Better on the dock than wrapped around the prop.

We next leave Bishop Bay at 08.15 a.m.

We intended to head to Klumtu today. Two hours later the weather had been windy with gale warning and rain. Plus more waves that doesn’t high but will make it difficult for long distance motoring to Klemtu. At 10.35 a.m. We then decided to changed direction to go back to Hartley Bay and starting using head sail with 6 k.

Then again the wind stopped. We change to go back to Klemtu channel. 3-4 k until we reach to Fraser Butedale Lake at 13.30 p.m.

Passed Nomel Lake at 14.30 p.m. with 6 k

Passing Green Inlet with 6-7 k at 16.40 p.m.

Around 20.00 p.m. we arrived at Klemtu

Another long day.

Using propane and candles tonight to keep warm inside cabin.

Fresh snow just above Bishops Bay

Fresh snow just above Bishop Bay