Phuket | A Paradise being ruined


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


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





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




Bamfield Je t’aime – Pad Thai Dinner


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

 {delivery from Granville island, Vancouver to Bamfiled} 


Private Thai Dinner – Bamfield


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
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


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


Brady’s beach in Bamfield


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



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



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!


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


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



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 


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


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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


DSC_0787 DSC_0784


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


Brown Bay {Marina}


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


From Campbell River to French Creek DSC_0827

Campbell RiverDSC_0828DSC_0830DSC_0831DSC_0849

Food on board


Strait of Georgia


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


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


View from Queen Charlotte Strait

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

Pub at Sointula


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

Port NevilleDSC_0772

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.


Coast guard helicopter landing near fuel station, Shearwater.



Next day…


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.


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


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.

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 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.


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


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



BC Inside Passage | From Hartley Bay to Bishop Bay


At Bishop Bay {Hot Springs}

Hartley Bay to Bishop Bay

Monday 14 April 2014 Today our morning coffee discussion is to leave Hartley Bay for Klemtu. Shortly after leaving Luksana ran over the only log in the ocean! Actually these waters are full of debris from the logging on the coast.  They lie with the wind and so are hard to see in the chop, especially in the early morning light. We rolled the log under the bow. The procedure is to get the prop out of gear so as to minimize the chance of serious damage. The log came clear amidships, and it was not until a couple of days later we discovered the damage we had done to a very important piece of equipment. The sun is not bright with shade from the cloud. We leave Hartley Bay at 08.10 a.m DSC_0204 11.00 a.m. Pilot Point Watching carefully for more logs. We saw many. 6 Knots A large cloud system came cover the area quickly. We open radio and listened to a new  Gale Warning!  from coast guard. After 3 hours of butting into strengthening head winds we changed our destination today from Klemtu to Bishop Bay to avoid gale. We will never make it to Klumtu anyway with the run of 3 k. Start to rain 13.10 p.m. Tied up at Bishop Bay Beware Danger Mice ! On our last visit in 2011 we got mice on board. That is a real pain and they made nests and where very hard to get rid of. They also can be very destructive, especially eating through wires etc. Of course with the ton of rice flour pasta on board I am sure any mouse would think our boat as the promised land. To prevent mice from climbing onboard the boat, Stephen cut beer cans and put them across the mooring lines that connect to the dock. We met a brand new luxury boat “Mermaid Explorer” destined for Australia, docked and stay overnight.


Inside Passage | Departure PR Arrived Hartley Bay


Prince Rupert to Hartley Bay

Saturday 12 April 2014

At 06.35 am we untied from the dock we have headed out into a bright clear dawn for a while. There was little time to feel nostalgic, as we still had numerous tasks to perform and the  morning fog soon formed to envelope us in its cloak of  white ambiguity. When I started sailing Fog was a frightening experience. Compass and dead reckoning, estimating speed, strong tidal and river estuary cross currents. GPS, AIS and Radar take the bowel laxative part away, so no worries as long as the other guys are paying attention!

Prince Rupert to Hartley Bay

Frost in the morning at the dock and very cold. May and Marty knocked on our deck to make sure we are awake, up and ready.  After making coffee we start the motor of Beautiful Swimmer and leave from Prince Rupert.   At 10.30 a.m. we passed Hammer Island At 12.00 a.m. Passing Oona River 5.5 K no wind ….Foggy…..  At 13.15 p.m. 6.2 K 13.45 p.m. White House 6.5 k 15.00 p.m.

Then we had Ice cream and strawberry while we Passing Ormond Point 8 – 8.8 k  At  17.00 p.m. Passing Low inlet and we decided to go further and it is not dark yet as the boat can run at that time to maximum  9.1 K {7 k average} Then we arrive at 20.05 p.m. Hartley Bay

At 20.30 p.m. We tided up and got free shore power. Hartley Bay is a generous dock that you can plug power line to the boat without charge. There is small fuel station, Water. People are friendly. Unfortunately our friends the Hills where out of the village. It would have been hard to say goodbye as Steve has known them for 30 years.

It was a long day and we had dinner at 21.00 p.m.

Luksana said I could add captions, but I think the photos speak for themselves. The North Coast is still one of the almost pristine wonderland’s the planet. Could not but feel sad and concerned that this beauty is under real threat from the Tar Sands pipeline that is being fast tracked by the present Canadian Government is threatening this beauty for ever.

Funny they never build pipelines through the centre of cities or next door to the Houses of Governments. But these natural Cathedrals, Art Galleries and National Treasures that are all unique and can never be replaced are being put at risk so that a few can make money producing more of what is destroying the planet. I must admit I did feel selfish in leaving this special place as it faces its biggest threat since the glaciers retreated.

Sunday 13 April 2014

2nd night stay at Hartley Bay Check engine and so on. Beautiful Full moon tonight.

Sailing association ‘Sail Away’ Dock Party


Greetings  from Shearwater, BC Inside Passage 

We have currently docked Beautiful Swimmer at Shearwater because free moorage and waiting for the gale to stop blowing from south.  For the past days we have collected some photos of scenery from the British Columbia’s Inside Passage,  both on a nice day and then cold rainy and windy days. The last 2 weeks have seen us say good bye to many friends family and familiar places. In the end it was too hard to say good bye to everyone and so we tried to leave quietly! However friends have a way of surprising you and we had a very moving send off from the members of our extended family at the North Coast Sailing Association. Marty and Mae came down the evening before we left with BEER! They also helped us before dawn the following day to untie the lines and head out into the unknown.  Thanks to everyone who have made our lives so rich over the years! May your dreams come true as well.

~ Cheers ~


Inside Passage Channel

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Sail Away Dock Party

Place : North Coast Sailing Association, Prince Rupert

Date : Saturday 29 March 2014

Dog party at the dock with Three GR. Definitely we will miss their warm fur and the fun we used to play together.


Night before departure Prince Rupert


Up to date

Dear Readers and friends,

To Pack and untie the lines to leave this dock seemed so easy for us. Unfortunately nothing is simple. With all the paper work and then medical ops for Stephen things have gotten delayed. The weather is showing no signs of being kind so we took the advantage to do more preparation and work on the boat. This post is rather technical.  To remedy the problems what we have found and what is going on in the past two weeks. When will we leave? Everyday our friends keep asking the same question. I have remember this question since the last July 2013 onward. We will let you know.  Real soon now!  Best wishes


Mast |Continued from previous post



Wind generator taken off to be fixedDSC_2469

We were noticed that wind generator does not work properly. It was very loud noise when it catch the wind. We use four wind generator which is powerful to make energy for the boat.

Steve changed the bearings and put new brushes in. Allan our friend from the dock,  has use the same Four Winds  generator and he knows how to make it work properly. Allan drove up from Smitthers after he say good bye to us many times.


 Winches checked | taken apart cleaned and greased.

One day Rolf came up to our boat and noticed about the winches had  not been properly installed. He then volunteered to check it. This lead to him completely stripping all the winches  and clean and greased them. He work very quickly and took them  apart, cleaned, then attached them back together. I can compare it to like watching a  cooking show.



More photos




“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for.”

― William G.T. Shedd







Broke Canadian Ingenuity |Incredible Swiss Skill {continued}

DSC_2052 DSC_1861 This post is very important to us and to continued from our previous post ‘ Mast Head Rigging Check‘.  After we took head sail furler down after Stephen has found the damage part at the mast head fitting that causes the head sail to jam. It had happened a few times before when we were out. We must fix it as it would only get worse and could cause a big problem if we cannot fold the head sail in time.

Silvia and Ralph came up with their special tools to design a snag cover with industrial graded plastic.  They had found it washed up on a beach in Alaska It is 2 pieces square in shape. Measured in  size to cover the damage part. DSC_2014 Over the last couple of years we have got to know Ralf and Silvia and have become good friends. They are very good people and have shared much of their knowledge and experiences with us. And encouraged us not to give up on our dream when we got despondent. Steve had the idea but he admits he did not have the skill to create this piece. It took about 8 hours to manufacture and to fit the piece.  Total cost. $4 for stainless bolts and $1 for the bit of epoxy putty. All they would accept was a Pad Thai dinner we shared on the boat that night.

Here it i clamped job done.

Repair completed $5 (replacement $ 3,500).

Time for the heroin to descend

Time for the heroin to descend

Pad Thai on board

Related post: Pad Thai

It is nice that we can have Pad Thai once in a while on board.   I think It is good to keep this menu on board, make it simple but still keep the original taste of the sauce. Pad Thai sauce ingredients (Including Palm sugar, Tamarind paste and fish sauce) can kept in a dry place}  Without vegetables we can growth our own bean sprouts from mung beans seeds. These work better in a warmer climate. Then red onion, eggs, cooking oil and dry flakes chilli and paprika powder. That’s all we need. Peanut and meat is a choice we can add as we wish.


Mast Head Rigging Check

DSC_1778 silvia


Second week of March 2014

We take off the head sail. This is so we can do some maintenance  on the Hood  ‘Sea furler’  This is to do some repairs so as to make sure it is in good condition as we travel across the oceans.

Silvia and Ralph, our Swiss cruiser friends (They both are ship builder)  came to help to bring it down.

The first day, Steve went up to do some checking and measuring as he has to do one of the harder jobs in attaching a special fitting to secure another forestay for our storm sail.

Steph climb up to check first, not very comfortable and the windy conditions made it difficult to work as the boat was moving. Still no rain and the temp was above 0c so we do not want to waste time.

And second day Silvia help to do this. She climb quickly as if she hiking. She is much lighter than Steph and he winched her to the top very fast.

Finally we take down the sea furl. One part has been damaged from normal wear and tear so now we must try and manufacture a piece to fit and fix.. Then the fun part someone must climb to put it back top of the mast. Luksana’s  tern :-)

After these mast job we are done! No more things to do. Then the adventure begins.

Have a good week.


2nd Day

water logo

Flags to our dream destinations | It is customary to fly Courtesy National flags once your vessel has been checked into a new country.

DSC_1649  We just have these colourful of South Pacific flags on the boat. We ordered from U.S. because it is hard to find in Canada.

These our main dream destination flags. We have to present this flag after we arrive and have been allowed entry to each country. The yellow quarantine flag is flown before entry is granted.

Keep in Touch.


French Polynesia

Tahiti and Society island group are the most famous along with their lesser known Marquises, Gambiers  Tuamotus and Astral groups. Polynesians were granted French citizenship and the islands’ status was changed to an overseas territory; the islands’ name was changed in 1957 to Polynésie Française (French Polynesia).

The islands of French Polynesia have a total land area of 3,521.2 square kilometres (1,359.5 sq. mi),scattered over 2,500,000 square kilometres (965,255 sq. mi) of ocean. There are around 130 islands in French Polynesia.

French poly map

It is made up of six groups of islands. The largest and most populated island is Tahiti, in the Society Islands.

The island groups are:






  • Leeward Islands




Bora Bora




Motu One





is a Polynesian island nation

Which independence from the United Kingdom in 1978

Motto “Tuvalu for the Almighty”



Independent from New Zealand in 1962

Motto “Samoa is founded on God”




Cook Islands Responsibility of New Zealand



In 2003, Niue became the world’s first “Wi-Fi nation”, in which free wireless internet access is provided throughout the country by The Internet Users Society-Niue.



Independence from The United Kingdom in 1970

Motto “Fear God and honour the queen”

Use Fijian dollar


New Zealand


And this one a yellow fabric to make a quarantine flag. Is necessary to fly when you arrive at each country.

Quarantine flag is yellow flag flown by itself by a ship requesting pratique on entering a harbour to indicate that the ship has no disease on board; flag flown by a ship with another flag to indicate that it has contagious or infectious disease aboard.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 12.26.47 AM

Biscuit style of Vanilla Eclairs | Pastry treat



Back to our boat with less comfortable but we love this adventure life style.

I have more information of my baking from Grande Prairie. I made this pastry ‘Laduree Vanilla Éclairs’ with inspiration by  Kitchen Wench / Laduree Vanilla Éclairs /The original recipe from Laduree Sucre.  This is an attractive biscuit Éclair, I have made a few times and it always catches the eyes on the table. When using light pastry cream it is another charm of this recipe…less fat and not too sweet. The presentation today I changed to use Choux Pastry recipe from Chef Gordon Ramsay because it has more of a guarantee to rise properly and become  fully puffed up. (Also a thin biscuit will add more weight on top of Choux pastry).


I special carefully to make thin biscuit to   cover the size of each oblong choux pastry. After put in the oven I like to keep watching these Éclairs rising and adjust the temperature if needed until they fully puffed.

P.S. : Use piping bag (or tube) to pipe lightened pastry cream before serve. Dust icing sugar to make the eclairs more prettier just like a light snow fall.  (I miss it out for photo)

  • Room temperature does effect while rolling biscuit. Make sure the room is not too warm or hot.

We hope you like as we do and have a lovely springs! 

Biscuit Style ~ Vanilla Éclairs

Recipe courtesy ~ Laduree Sucre, Paris ~

Biscuit Topping

100 grams Unsalted butter, very cold

125 grams Cake flour

125 grams fine granulated sugar (caster sugar)

1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

Lightened pastry cream {Lightened Crème Pâtissière} 

1 Vanilla bean (Last minute, I couldn’t find a vanilla bean in a pantry so I replace it with 1 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla extract )

400 ml Whole Milk (This presentation use 2% milk)

4 egg yolks

80 grams sugar (This presentation use fine granulated sugar)

30 grams Cornstarch

25 grams Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)

125 grams Fresh cream (is the same of heavy cream or double cream)

Choux Pastry

Recipe courtesy ~ Chef Gordon Ramsay ~ Related video ~ Profiteroles

  • 125 ml milk
  • 200 ml water
  • 150 g plain flour (I use 100 grams all purpose flour and 50 grams of cake flour)
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar (This presentation use fine granulated sugar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten


Prepare Biscuit topping

DSC_06331. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces, then mix together with the flour, sugar and vanilla till well combined. 2. Bring the mixture together into a ball by hand and chill in refrigerate for an hour. 3. After one hour, take the biscuit topping out of the fridge and lightly knead to soften, then place between two sheets of non-stick baking paper or plastic wrap and roll flat to about 1-2mm thick. Cut into rectangles about 4cm x 12cm, to make sure that it completely covers the eclairs and hangs off the sides.prepare for Choux Pastry

  •  (Keep biscuits that already cuts in a refrigerator until ready to use)

**While biscuit is chilling we can make Choux Pastry***

Making Choux Pastry | baking

DSC_06661. Preheat the oven to 392 Farenheit (200 celcius). Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Place the milk, cold water, salt, sugar into a pan and set over a low heat. Once the sugar and salt has dissolved add the butter. Once the butter has melted, bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat then tip in the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. As soon as the mixture starts to come away from the side of the pan, stop beating and tip onto a plate to cool. 2. Return the mixture to the pan, then gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition, until you have a smooth paste. (Alternatively, transfer the mix to an electric mixer and DSC_0669gradually add the eggs while the mixer is running on a low setting). Until the dough is smooth and glossy. 3. Fill a large piping bag with a 1″ / 2.5cm round tip and pipe out long ‘sausages’ about 10cm long onto a tray lined with baking paper. Make sure to leave about 10cm between each pastry to leave room for them to spread. 4. Bring biscuit topping out from a refrigerator. 5. Place each rectangle of ‘biscuit’ topping on top of each eclair, then bake for 10 minutes, then lower a temperature to 350 Farenheit  and allow to bake for until they are golden on top and fully puffed up.  Set aside to cool before filling.

(Below slides show : making Choux pastry)


Making The Lightened crèam Pâtissière {Lightened pastry cream}

DSC_07621. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then add the corn starch and whisk till mixture becomes pale yellow and thickened. 2. Set aside and scrape the vanilla into the milk and bring to a simmer. 3. Slowly pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream while constantly beating. 4. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil while whisking, making sure to scrape down the sides. 5. Leave the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes so that it’s no longer boiling, then briskly whisk in the butter till the mixture is smooth and glossy. 6. Scrape the mixture into a non-reactive bowl and keep tightly covered with plastic wrap till ready to use. Once you’re ready to fill the eclairs, beat the cream to firm peaks then carefully mix together the cream and the pastry cream with a spatula. 7. Fill a piping bag with the mixture then pipe each eclair with the pastry cream in three places and dust with icing sugar before serving! You can actually store the unfilled pastries for up to a week in an airtight container, but after filling them up it’s best to store them in the fridge for no more than 2-3 days at most otherwise the filling will seep into the pastry and begin to make it soggy.


Welcome aboard!

Pithiviers with almond cream



This post of my “Pithiviers” (Sweet Puff Pastry day) that features a golden crust with almond cream filling. (Almonds lover pastry)

Related Post: ‘Puff Pastry’ | Fearless recipe

The first inspiration to make this classic french dessert is from Martha Stewart, She made quite pretty one of Pithiviers. Another reason is we already have ground almond stocked in the pantry. The puff pastry was made one day before and keep in a refrigerator. (One batch of puff pastry|Fearless recipe can make 2 pithiviers of 9”.

We hope that you enjoy both recipes of Puff Pastry and Pithiviers. Have a delicious day!

Related VideoChef Francois shares recipe for puff pastry (Really nice)


  • From Related video above, Chef Francois pipe almond cream which was beautiful but almond cream I made was not easy to pipe because keep in the fridge  before… next time I probably make the almond cream just before to pipe. 
  • The amount of Frangipane (almond cream) does make different appearance after baked Pithivier. If I put too much so Pithiver will break and the filling run outside puff pastry. It does happen at the first Pithivier.
  • Carefully to make some artist by score on the top with back knife. if press to deep then later puff pastry can explode and Frangipane run out.


FOR THE FRANGIPANE (Almond cream) Make about 1 1/2 cups

Recipe from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup finely ground blanched almonds
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 pound of puff pastry or about 455 grams will make 9″ Pithivier
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream


STEP 1 Prepare the Puff Pastry



Make the frangipane (Almond cream){Frangipane is a filling made from or flavoured with almonds.}

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, ground almonds, rum, almond extract, and flour; beat until smooth. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This step I fitted with whisk attachment because it cream butter and sugar better light and fluffy than the paddle one.


On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry into a rectangle about 18 by 9 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Using a 9-inch cake pan as a guide, cut two 9-inch rounds from the dough with a very sharp paring knife or pastry wheel. Using a 1-inch circular biscuit cutter or a large round pastry tip, cut out a steam vent from the center of the top round. Place rounds on a baking sheet and freeze until very firm but still pliable, about 20 minutes.


In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and heavy cream for the egg wash.

  1. STEP 5

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from freezer. Place frozen frangipane round in the center of the bottom dough circle. Brush the border with egg wash, taking special care not to let the egg wash drip down the sides, which would inhibit proper puffing during baking. Place the second round on top, and press to seal, using your fingers. Using a small paring knife, score the top of each Pithivier in a circular, decorative cross-hatch pattern. With a small paring knife, score around edges in 1/4-inch increments. Transfer Pithiviers to a baking sheet sprayed well with water and chill for at least 1 hour.


Remove Pithiviers from freezer. Brush top with egg wash, again being careful not to let any excess drip down over cut edge of dough. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.

(I baked 375 farenheit for about 25 minutes and lower to 350 Farenheit for about 20-25 minutes for this 9 inches)


Transfer Pithiviers to a wire rack, and let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.


The first Pithivier (above photo)


and Second Pithivier (just baked)



Puff Pastry | Fearless recipe


During our stay in Grande Prairie.  I was interested to make a french dessert called ‘Pithiviers’ or ‘Pithivier’. The recipe needs puff pastry.  I prefer to do homemade Puff Pastry and so I searched for a good quality recipe for a while. Eventually I got an original recipe from Pastry Chef Bo Friberg.  In the recipe it advised to use bread flour but I decided to use cake & pastry flour.  The recipe is quite easy to follow.  It took me  about 3 hours to complete this puff pastry.

The best part of making my own puff pastry is when you divided into 4 segments by pizza cutter and see thin layer. Later I pack each piece in zip log bag to keep in refrigerator with hope to make ‘Pithivers’ next day.

So whenever I would like to use puff pastry here is one of puff pastry recipe to be fearless.  ***As long as a temperature in the room while making is not too warm or hot …winter is nice to make. I will make sure that there is a refrigerator near by me. Because I don’t have to run far to put the dough back quickly after fold each time.  Hope you enjoy this recipe the same as me and have a cozy day!

See you next post on home made ‘Pithiviers’


Puff Pastry

(Recipe from whiteonricecouple/The Exquisite Joy of Puff Pastry, This recipe is based off of “The Professional Pastry Chef” by Bo FribergPuff Pastry

Ingredients: (Yield 2 lb or 910 grams) 

butter block ingredients

1 lb + 3 1/2 T (510g) cold unsalted Butter
2 t (10ml) Lemon Juice
pinch of Salt
1 c (130g) Bread Flour, I use Cake & Pastry flour

Dough ingredients

  • 3 c (400g) Bread Flour, approximately, I use Cake and Pastry flour
  • 3 1/2 T (55g) soft unsalted Butter
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 c (240ml) cold Water


Make Butter Block (below slides show)

1. In mixer w/ paddle attachment, work butter lemon juice, salt, and flour into a smooth paste.

2. On a sheet of wax paper, roughly form an approx. 6″ square with the butter block mixture. Lay another piece of wax paper on top and smooth out the square & straighten the sides. Peel back each wax paper sheet & re-lay as it wrinkles to keep a smooth, even surface. After block’s thickness & sides areeven, refrigerate until firm.

DSC_0964DSC_0968Make the dough
1. Sift flour onto your work surface (preferably something chilly like granite or marble slab) Pinch butter into chunks and place on top of flour. Continue pinching butter into flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Now it’s kind of like making fresh pasta. Shape into a mound, then make a well in the center of the mound. Add the salt & cold water into the well, then with a fork, use awhisking motion to gradually incorporate the well’s sides into the water. When it starts to form a solid mass, finish incorporating theflour by kneading. Incorporate just until it is still sticky and has a rough texture. Adjust the water & flour as needed. Try to knead as little as possible. Puff pastry likes lazy kneaders.3. Form dough into a ball, remember-knead as little as possible. Flatten the ball a bit, then cut a cross halfway through the dough. Wrap it up & let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.

You’ll want the Butter Block to have approximately the same consistency as the Dough, after the dough is rested. You don’t want the butter rock hard, but not mushy soft, either. A dough that is softer than the butter will stretch while the

butter doesn’t. If the butter is softer thanthe dough, it will be pushed out the sides. Either suck to some degree. You may have to adjust chill/resting times for either dough or butter block so they are about the same. Kitchen temp., how long it took to make the dough, fridge temp., all affect the consistency of the Butter Block & Dough. Figure out adjustments to make so they’ll work together homogeneously. It may take a time or two, but you’ll get the hang of it. While everything is chilling, get to work. Clean that kitchen up. Then relax & get ready to assemble.


DSC_09811. Pull the corners of the cuts out of the DSC_0983dough ball to make a square shape. Roll the dough out to a square slightly thicker in the center than on the sides, and slightly larger than the butter block.

2. Place the butter block diagonally on the dough square, so that the butter corners are pointed at the middle of the dough sides. Fold the uncovered dough corners over the butter block to completely envelop the butter. Pinch the seams tightly together to seal in the butter.

3. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick. Remember to keep dusting with flour whenever needed to keep the dough from sticking & tearing the layers.

4. Size up your rectangle visually into 3. Fold one third over the middle, then fold the opposite third over. Just like a tri-fold brochure. Try to have everything as even as possible. All the edges should match fairly closely. Put on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Relax, read the paper, check email, whatever you like.

5. Roll out to 1/2″ thick and repeat the DSC_0984

fold. Don’t forget to flour as you roll. Plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat this for a total five roll & folds.

6. After the last fold, roll the rectangle out to about 3/4″. If it is difficult, put dough in the fridge for a bit to relax the gluten. If using immediately, cover, rest in fridge for about 30 minutes, then use as needed. If it’s for later, cut into sections big enough but that still fit easily in your freezer (usually just in half), layer with wax paper between sections, freezer bag it, & store until needed.



-Cutting dough

Grande Prairie, February 2014

Grande Prairie, February 2014 with minus 20, 30

Tart pan Coffee cake


DSC_0529Early this month I just about lost my marbles when I tried to make a coffee cake like a cinnamon swirl I had from Starbucks. It seems I got a scam recipe from the internet.

The menu of coffee cake today I got the original recipe from Mama’s gotta bake/Too big to fail/1959 LAUSD Sour cream coffee cake/From the Los Angeles Times. I am happy and secure that it is correct because after the first batch everyone in the house love it. So I must bake it again.

The first time I use a glass container to bake and it takes time about one hour for the cake to finish. (toothpick come out clean)

So this second time I use a tart pan that is light aluminium. The cake can finish about  40 minutes (I bake a few minutes longer)…Cake well done.

DSC_0525The recipe below I have adapted a few ingredients are flour – I use only cake flour so a second batch cake texture is more light, Topping – Add cinnamon powder  and use pecan instead of walnuts.  

The cake came out fine, moist at the bottom and crumb on top and to be carefully upside down to cool. The tart pan is wide then the cake is not high as the same as the first time. Cake texture is moist, light and soft. We do love both first and second batch.

Hope you like this sour cream coffee cake recipe.

Sour cream coffee cake


2 cups Cake flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1 cup Fine granulated sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream


1/4 cup cake flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecan

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder


Mix together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon powder and nuts. Add butter in small pieces. Rub in by hand until mixture is crumbly. Do not over mix.

All ingredients should be at room temperature. In a bowl mix together flours, baking soda and baking powder. In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until flour is blended. Blend in sour cream, then remaining dry ingredients.

Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Spread half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping and spread with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.


Tart pan may not high enough and while the cake is rising it may drop from the pan.


P.S. Below photos | The first batch sour cream coffee cake.

Another scones recipe you may like




Greetings from Grande Prairie,

When we first arrived in Grande Prairie during the first week in February the weather was very cold and dry with minus 20, 30. We did not go to the grocery store as often as I wish for.

Today I present the scones to have with coffee or tea.  This recipe use buttermilk and the feature is likely hotel style.  Someone may like tradition style with gentle combine by hand for crumb texture scones.  This recipe will give you a round smooth shape and you can use paddle attachment to help mixing a smooth dough. Regarding in Grande Prairie weather is very cold and dry, I need to use more liquid ingredient (buttermilk) than indicated from the recipe.

As usual I enjoy Carmel’s kitchen to bake this lovely scones. I use a round cutter to cut and the size that is a little smaller than 5.5 cm but is come out fine. I made totally 21 scones for 500 grams of flour.

I feel quite satisfy and to share this another scones recipe and I hope you will like as well.

Have a great week!

Buttermilk scones 

(The recipe  is from I use 1/2 recipe from the original recipe which can make about 20 scones

500 grams flour (I use all purpose flour and cake flour)

30 g baking powder

2.5 g salt

90 g Granulated sugar

80 g unsalted butter

105 g Whole eggs

150 g butter milk, I finally use more than 150 grams because of the dryness of the climate here so the dough is moist and not lump dry

125 g sultanas (Can be replaced with raisins, currants, candied oranges or lemon), I use only 70 grams of yellow raisins that we only have in the pantry.


In a mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment,  mix all the dry ingredients (apart from the sultanas) with the butter until achieving a sandy texture. Pour in the eggs and the buttermilk and mix for two minutes on low speed before increasing to a medium speed for seven minutes.

Towards the end of the mix, add in the sultanas and mix very gently until combined. By hand roll the dough into a very smooth ball then cover with cling film and leave to rest  for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 20 millimetres and cut with a round 5.5cm cutter – choose the best side for the top. Egg wash twice and cook at 200 degrees Celsius for approximately 15 minutes.


(Ludwig Hely – Assistant Pastry Chef) at The Savoy. Like all the best recipes, the secret is in the simplicity….

  • Use buttermilk for the recipe
  • Add the sultanas or fruit at the end of the mix process so you do not bruise and cause possible discolouration of the dough
  • Use a round shape and don’t make them too big
  • Brush egg wash over the scones twice before going in the oven
  • Make sure your oven has reached the right temperature before putting in the oven – 200 degrees
  • Rest the scone before you serve them


Port of Origin, now applied.


The important to put on a stern city sticker

We have added a sticker of Prince Rupert to the stern. This sticker was made  more than 10 years ago but never used, but it still works. So it is now legal for cruising in any foreign country. The sticker I choose to put on in the calm day and without wind and current. Prince Rupert had a beautiful two weeks just before we escape a few weeks in Grande Prairie Alberta. In GP the temp was cold often C-27.

Have a great day.



Mast steps # Re do it again

DSC_0064 Change from the Weak to Strong.

Last week Stephen took all the mast steps off and re-install them back one by one step with 70 new bolts.  To re do this task a second time because one mast step had fall down.  Which meant that 70 rivets had to be drilled out, the steps re-drilled, the mast re-drilled and tapped for the bolt threads and then everything matched up so that 5 new bolts for each of the 14 steps  fit and good be tightened on.


Anchor chains

Sprays the anchor chains We remark the white spray to know how deep we use the anchor chain when we anchorage in the tropical ocean. DSC_0169

Of course the weather is not the best for doing this. Last days frozen and clear today threatening to rain which it did. I did notice the boat bow came up 4 inches when we took the chain out. Still this and the Anchor is the single most important safety gear on the boat. So we can sleep well at nights at anchor.

See you next post and thank you to be friends of our blog.

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Cabin book shelf and more …| New completed (Do that in Fiji) Projects of new year 2014

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Do it yourself Cabin book shelf

Galley : Do it yourself plate shelf

Front cabin

  • Cabin stowage net before that doesn’t work so we build an extra wood to store clothes. Now it is work. 

Dear Readers and friends,

Our blog is updating again for the first post of 2014. In past December the weather out here was rain and continued with winter storms now January is very bad and the harbour very rough with the boat bouncing like in the Ocean.  We are feeling more delight to see a little bit of longer daylight each day.  Although we have few sunshine days of each month but the happy people said we should grateful where we live. We have come to enjoy our less stressful lifestyle here. We have done jobs for the main cabin, galley and fore cabin. We made furnishings  for the empty walls so that it is more useful for cruising.  Stephen bought  pieces  of fir wood to cut and make shelfs to install in some space, for keeping books and dishes also cloths in easy to reach places . We had to be careful in their placement so that they did not get in the way of seating and sleeping.

December last year we had one job done. It was a challenge to build useful things  with no experience  before. We often get the knowledge from the internet. Stephen bought some fir wood and it would have been much more difficult without a wood cutter machines. Or we must use the jig saw to cut the wood. We use the work shop from the Argosy shop to finish this wood work. That would be very difficult to do it all in boat cabin while outside had rain with humidity 100% everyday in that two weeks periods. Before I was interested to use the cedar wood because the wood smell so good and it is from B.C. forest.  But impossible since the only wood available was rough cut, for home construction, the surface of cedar wood is not smooth for this furnish job. The colour of vanish is something that we can make a mistake and we did it and sometime must re-do it again.  After these shelf were installed we can feel it is more easy to find things.

P.S. When she says, we she means me :) Steph

DSC_0760 ‘Mae’ shown me how to hold Pacific coast Dangeness crab by grab the last two legs….quite easy.


The share holder…I can calculate these two Dangeness can be cost 50 Canadian dollars if you dine out in some restaurants here.

DSC_0793 Storm in Jan


Mount Hays | Winter Adventure


The top of Mount Hays, Prince Rupert

Regarding to follow up the previous post of The view of Prince Rupert from the airplane. Today I have a chance to walk from sea level up to the top of Mount Hays to see the view of Prince Rupert city and harbour and hike down. It takes time about 5-6 hours walking. It is a sunshine day after it rains with storm winds so hard for so many days which is normal winter here.

While Steph Worked on the boat. I had the chance to hike up Mount Hays with our Swiss Cruising Friends and our best Friend Maisie. We had a wicked week of storm after storm and the boat was bouncing around tied to the dock. The rain and wind , at times over 40 knots lasted all week. Then this beautiful day and Wow! What an adventure we all had… It is so special to have the chance of sharing the unspoilt beauty of the North Coast with such good friends.  I wonder if the next generation will have this opportunity as the Oil and Gas multi-nationals push to develop this area. it would be such a crime if the greed of a few were to destroy this natural paradise.

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Far away from the back of the cloud you can see Haida Gwai.



North America continental divided


DSC_0387 The Rockies mountains range is dividing Alberta (flatlands) and British Columbia

Hi there!

I have photos from our trip between Prince Rupert and Northern Alberta. They show clearly the divide between the Flat Prairies that cover much of Western Canada and our own very Mountainous BC.

When comparing to driving, traveling by air you see more of a total picture of this country.

From the first photo you can see The Rocky Mountains (which range from north to south) line as a borders between Alberta and British Columbia.  The flat land that present the Prairie of Alberta where as the high mountains to go to British Columbia. For the first time I understand the size of Canada and how few people live in this vast country!

                                           Population 2013                    Area (Sq. km.)                            Population Density  (Sq. km.)                                                

Canada    35,158,300   9,984,670.00     3.41
USA          320,583,462    9,826,675.00      32.62  –
Thailand     70,473,102        513,120.00         137.34  –  –


Calgary, Alberta 


Also Calgary


B.C. mountains

All mountains were already white with snow as we travel by plane from our place in Prince Rupert to Vancouver and then east to Calgary before flying North again to Grande Prairie.

I made the 1.45 hours flight to Vancouver again within a week when I became a permanent resident :) At this time I learn that some Canadian not familiar with our small Prince Rupert.  The entire trip by air from Prince Rupert is over high rugged mountains, These Coastal ranges stretch  from Alaska down to Vancouver.

Have a great month of December!

Photographs from this post taken on late November 2013.

Population information :, Wikipedia

Hot oven ‘Freshly baked croissants’



We were away from our boat in Prince Rupert in early November as we visited Grande Prairie Alberta. We Enjoyed staying over there for two weeks with family.  Today I present some baking therapy as i present my experience of make the classic french croissant with normal type of all purpose flour.  Carmel’s beautiful kitchen that make me forget about cooking in galley for a while. No one had complaints to have the fresh baking everyday for breakfast lol. The croissant takes time for 3 days to be ready to bake, I have done totally  8 batches (Living there two weeks). Each time making two batches so  that we have enough for breakfast and still have some left over. This recipe is quite impressive and successful than other recipes I had tried before.  The only thing that I cannot find in this recipe is the French type flour 55, It seems you must order from France which I don’t think I will invest the money…I use all purpose flour what we already had in a pantry. So with this features of this croissant use the Canadian brand ‘Robinhood’ all purpose flour.  I wish to try the king Arthur flour from US  but this one is not available here. This is the classic croissant recipe that I will keep. It would be more exciting to do this croissant with the french type flour 55 in the future.



The Croissant recipe (Classic French Croissant Recipe from weekend

500 g French Type 55 flour or unbleached all purpose flour / plain flour (extra for dusting), I use all purpose flour ‘Robinhood’

140 g Water

140 g Whole milk (you can take it straight from the fridge)

55 g sugar

40 g soft unsalted butter

11 g instant yeast

12 g salt, *** I use only 7 g ***

Other Ingredients

280 g Cold unsalted butter for laminating

1 egg + 1 tsp water for the egg wash, (I use 1 egg + 1 Tbsp of whole milk)

Day 1 Making the Croissant Dough Combine the dough ingredients and knead for 3 minutes until the dough comes together and you’ve reached the stage of low to moderate gluten development. You do not want too much gluten development because you will struggle with the dough fighting back during laminating. Shape the dough like a disc, not a ball, before you refrigerate it, so it will be easier to roll it into a square shape the following day. Place the disc on a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

Day 2 Laminating the Dough Cut the cold butter (directly from the fridge) lengthwise into 1,25 cm thick slabs. Arrange the pieces of butter on waxed paper to form a square of about 15 cm x 15 cm. Cover the butter with another layer of waxed paper and with a rolling pin pound butter until it’s about 19 cm x 19 cm. Trim / straighten the edges of the butter and put the trimmings on top of the square. Now pound lightly until you have a final square of 17 cm x 17 cm. Wrap in paper and refrigerate the butter slab until needed.

Use just enough flour on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. However keep the amount to a minimum, otherwise too much flour will be incorporated between the layers and this will show in the end result.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll out the dough disc into a 26 cm x 26 cm square. Try to get the square as perfect as possible and with an even thickness. Get the slab of butter from the fridge. Place the dough square so one of the sides of the square is facing you and place the butter slab on it with a 45 degree angle to the dough so a point of the butter square is facing you. Fold a flap of dough over the butter, so the point of the dough reaches the center of the butter. Do the same with the three other flaps. The edges of the dough flaps should slightly overlap to fully enclose the butter. With the palm of your hand lightly press the edges to seal the seams. Now the dough with the sealed in butter needs to be rolled out. With a lightly floured rolling pin start rolling out, on a lightly flour dusted surface, the dough to a rectangle of 20 x 60 cm. Start rolling from the center of the dough towards the edges, and not from one side of the dough all the way to the other side. This technique helps you to keep the dough at an even thickness. You can also rotate your dough 180 degrees to keep it more even, because you tend to use more pressure when rolling away from you than towards yourself. You can use these techniques during all the rolling steps of this recipe. Aim at lengthening the dough instead of making it wider and try to keep all edges as straight as possible. Fold the dough letter style, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding two more times (ending up with 27 layers in total), each time rolling until the dough is about 20 cm x 60 cm. After each fold you should turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling again. The open ‘end’ of the dough should be towards you every time when rolling out the dough. After the second turn, again give it a 30 minute rest in the fridge. After the third turn you leave the dough in the fridge overnight until day 3, the actual croissant making day!

  • Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes
  • Rotate 90 degrees
  • Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes
  • Rotate 90 degrees
  • Roll out to 20 cm x 60 cm
  • Refrigerate until day 3
  • Rotate 90 degrees
  • Roll out to 20 cm x 110 cm
  • Each laminating step should not take more than a few minutes. However if, due to initial inexperience for example, it should take you longer, you can fold your dough letter style, cover it and refrigerate it for 20 minutes and continue the rolling process after this rest. It is very important the butter stays solid.

Day 3 Dividing the Dough Take the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface. Now very gently roll the dough into a long and narrow strip of 20 cm x 110 cm. If the dough starts to resist too much or shrink back during this process you can fold it in thirds and give it a rest in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes before continuing. Do not fight the dough, when the dough refuses to get any longer, rest it in the fridge! It is such a shame to ruin two days of work. When your dough has reached its intended shape, carefully lift it a few centimeters to allow it to naturally shrink back from both sides. This way it will not shrink when you cut it. Your strip of dough should be long enough to allow you to trim the ends to make them straight and still be left with a length of about 100 cm.

Shaping the Croissants For the next stage you will need a tape measure and a pizza wheel. Lay a tape measure along the top of the dough. With the wheel you mark the top of the dough at 12,5 cm intervals along the length (7 marks total). Now lay the tape measure along the bottom of the dough and make a mark at 6,25 cm. Then continue to make marks at 12,5 cm intervals from this point (8 marks total). So the bottom and the top marks do not align with each other and form the basis for your triangles. Now make diagonal cuts starting from the top corner cutting down to the first bottom mark. Make diagonal cuts along the entire length of the dough. Then change the angle and make cuts from the other top corner to the bottom mark to create triangles. Again repeat this along the length of the dough. This way you will end up with 15 triangles and a few end pieces of dough. Using your pizza wheel, make 1.5 cm long notches in the center of the short side of each dough triangle. Now very gently elongate each triangle to about 25 cm. This is often done by hand, but we have found that elongating with a rolling pin, very carefully, almost without putting pressure on the dough triangle, works better for us. You can try both methods and see what you think gives the best result. After you cut a notch in the middle of the short end of the triangle, try and roll the two wings by moving your hands outwards from the center, creating the desired shape with a thinner, longer point. Also try and roll the dough very tightly at the beginning and put enough pressure on the dough to make the layers stick together (but not so much as to damage the layers of course). Proofing and Baking Arrange the shaped croissants on baking sheets, making sure to keep enough space between them so they will not touch when proofing and baking. Combine the egg with a teaspoon of water and whisk until smooth. Give the croissants their first thin coating of egg wash. Proof the croissants draft-free at an ideal temperature of 24ºC to 26.5ºC (above that temperature there is a big chance butter will leak out!). We use our small Rofco B20 stone oven as a croissant proofing cabinet by preheating it for a minute to 25ºC / 77ºF. It retains this temperature for a long time because of the oven stones and isolation. The proofing should take about 2 hours. You should be able to tell if they are ready by carefully shaking the baking sheet and see if the croissants slightly wiggle. You should also be able to see the layers of dough when looking at your croissants from the side. DSC_0184 Preheat the oven at 200 ºC / 390 ºF convection or 220 ºC / 430 ºF conventional oven. We bake the croissants in our big convection oven for 6 minutes at 195ºC, then lowering the temperature to 165ºC, and bake them for another 9 minutes. Hamelman suggest baking the croissants for 18 to 20 minutes at 200ºC, turning your oven down a notch if you think the browning goes too quickly. But you really have to learn from experience and by baking several batches what the ideal time and temperature is for your own oven. Take out of the oven, leave for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Best eaten while warm and fresh of course. Croissant we don’t eat or share within a day we freeze. We put them in the preheated oven (180 ºC / 355 ºF) for 8 minutes straight from the freezer. Nothing wrong with that, croissants eaten nice and warm, almost as good as the fresh ones…almost!

We used the excess dough we trimmed from the edges to make, a bit odd shaped but still very delicious, ‘pain au chocolat’, using our favorite Valrhona Caraïbe dark chocolate. The trimmed dough parts are still worth using, it would be a shame to throw them away!
**The croissant I made for this presentation I use the convection oven and bake at 408 Farenheit (383+25)  for 6 minutes then low the temperature to 354  Farenheit (329+25) for 9 minutes. The finished croissant taste good and have modulate layer.

Little note

  • I use half of salt  so when you eat the croissant someone may like to have croissant with salt butter.
  • I brush with milk for the first brush and then with egg wash. (use a strainer)
  • It is important while rest croissant for two hours make sure the butter is not melt before baking time.

Hot from the Oven croissant…Bon Appétité!

DSC_0459 DSC_0314 DSC_0313 DSC_0298


First snows in Grande Prairie early November 5th, 2013

Patience and Waiting


Greetings from the tropical paradise of Prince Rupert,

 So our beloved blog has been quiet for one month. We finally decided not to leave Prince Rupert until 2014. We  wished we can do it within this year but every time we set to leave there was another delaying  problem coming up. Waiting is painful but the focus has not changed.  We also can  check all the equipment that work set a date to leave or not.

We eventually had the boat ready to go, only to have Canadian and American Bureaucracy defeat our ambitions. Basically an error in Canada  and a Banking error in the USA lead us into the American Republican shutdown of the government services which had us stranded in BC.  Because of being delayed we had changed our plan to coast hop down the USA West Coast however when Luksana was told that her American visitors visa would take 3 months to complete we gave up.

So we have been forced to eat humble pie and enjoy the few nice fall days that have presented themselves. The North Coast is as beautiful as ever.

Happy friday to everyone!


Four days on the hard


Bottom after painted ‘black’

We finally motor Beautiful Swimmer and hauled out this week in Port Edward. A boat lift can tell that Beautiful Swimmer weight about 10.5 tons =  9,525 kilograms = 21,000 pounds)  We wash and clean the barnacles, muscles and weed off, it have been two years we did not take her out to clean and paint.

To bring her to the boat yard cost about  $ 1,000 (Including boat lift, paint, regular on the”hard”charge $45 per day). When it’s rain that the delay and to extend to stay more than one day) The atmosphere here is pretty humid from the spray water next to the crab site and the location is close the railway that carry all the British Columbia export including Grain, wheat and coal. Anyway we pay attention to the bottom so we don’t have to stay longer here. (It still takes time 4 -5 days including on weekend that the Port office was closed. While the bottom is cleaning at the same time Steph checked the water system inside the boat and propeller wire disk.

What we have done on the hard.

  • bottom Wash and paint black
  • water maker plumbed in
  • sea water valves replaced and or serviced…
  • check on head (toilet) and clean ……..
  • clean tube and anything that I can get near while out of the water.

Now we decided to leave but the weather forecast is warning about a big storm will coming to the coast in a few days. If we will leave this week to the south it is 50 knots…right against us so we decided to stay during this storm in Prince Rupert. (home coming!)

On the way back to Prince Rupert we  sailed to 6 knots into the harbour. Which is good against a strong tide and the boat laden down with all our cruising supplies.

Have a nice weather!

P.S. On the hard (a sailing term) = on land (out of water)


The propeller after cleaned and wire disk.


Sue Such (Australian), Right  & Dennis Sutherland (American), Left  from Dolphin II sailboat also at dry dock. They are heading to south after Alaska – the North coast sailing.



Symbol of Prince Rupert 2013 Three giant ‘silos’ that store wood pallets. They plan to built four more silos.


Prince Rupert Real Estate


‘September’ Time of change


In the beginning of September most commercial boat in Prince Rupert stop  fishing and our favourite fish and chips shop ‘Bob on the Rock’  just closed and will reopen again in the next summer.  Seeing our dock friends leave to go back home including our new  challenge sailors friends makes us understand we must leave soon as well. The weather is good and we have a pretty nice wind we are now try to rush in equipment installation (water maker) that is about 90% completed.

See you next post and have a great weekend.


Challenge sailors docked in Prince Rupert

During this week at our Prince Rupert dock.  We have an opportunity to meet with new overseas sailors who have docked here and have shared their experiences with us.

Edvin Borgen from blog A Passage through Ice The young Swedish challenge sailor recently exploring a new route through the Arctic.  He just arrived in Prince Rupert alone late in August with his boat Belzebub before he continues his southward route to Mexico after exploring some sites on the BC coast.


Edvin Borgen (Left) Hairy Ugly bugger (right)


Front of the bow has been modified , you can see the Ice breaker special part to get though the ice.


Edvin spent the last five years rebuilding Belzebub from a wreck to a seaworthy blue water vessel.

Next couple we have met French – Canadian couple Gaston and Lizanne from blog  “Bidule” the french word and boat name is mean ‘Thing a majig’ they have been sailing around the world for many countries for 3 years and they will be continue crossing the pacific to The Marquesas Islands in next spring 2014.


Gaston (Left) and Lizzane (Right)


and we met Mark van de Weg from Northwest Passage 2012 blog and

Mark is from Holland that later he live in Norway. His sailing boat, Jonathan 50 ft Aluminium sailboat has a good insolation to keep warm in low temperature. He is also run expedition charters to take such a scientists, Nature photographer, National Geographic staff to make television and photo. Mark is heading to the south and will cross the Pacific ocean to South Pacific, Pitcairn, Easter Island, Patagonia, Antarctica and South Georgia before sail back to Alaska.


Lizanne (Left) Mark Van de Weg (Right)


Jonathan III docked in Prince Rupert

Ocean view for appetite & our new plan




We don’t want to change our plan to the south pacific from 2013 to year 2014 but if it have too… so we then have to wait for next year 2014. We are still waiting for my immigration papers that are now 2 months overdue. Now our work have not much left to do but boat is always have things that you must to make it better. Still have to check with water leaking into the cabin when it rains.  So let the salmon calm down the worry and continue the plan. (Feel enjoy cooking in the galley)  Someone may wonder about the can food that we stock as if we will leave right away but it is not that way. Can food such as corn beef can stay for 10 years in cabin.


Sailboat – D.I.Y. refrigerator/freezer

Today present cool drink no alcohol..:)

Hello there! & how are you?

Regarding to the boat galley which did not have a refrigerator and we wanted to have one in the galley. At least now we can get a cool drink :-). The process was to build a small refrigerator (also a freezer) with a power produce by wind generator and solar panel that charge the battery.

Staying at the private dock we don’t worry about battery but when we are out in the ocean somewhere far we will make sure the fridge can work well so we ordered two parts from Engel fridge-freezer conversion and stuff which contains a compressor and condenser. Anyway how to increase the installation it is difficult. There is an extra heavily insulated wooden board we build for top of the fridge. Also the insulation which was only 1 1/2 to 2 inches is now between 4 and 6 inches. This was a messy and very awkward job using insulated board and foam.

Our special thanks to the workshop from The Argosy, Prince Rupert

Cooking in galley

Decided for a long stay on board, cooking in galley is a limited space so we keep less ingredients.  The cooking pan may use only 1-2, if use more there is no space to put on. What a challenge! A pressure cooker is a must to have.


My dream came true when Ms. Roberta & Capt. Dave Anderson from Albacore hand me a beautiful Coho salmon from their caught in the Pacific. Do you believe that people here get so much spoiled about the wild salmon.

galley is busy

galley is busy (also messy)

beautiful salmon from Ms. Roberta

beautiful salmon from Ms. Roberta

List of equipments for this project we have finished and on going so far.

Windless $1,250

Anchor chain (250ft) $1,350
Anchor 45 lb Mantus $600
6 man liferaft $3,450 (Sponsored)
Solar 100amp x2 , wire , controller and monitor $2,300
Wind gen and tower, wire $1,000
New batteries (golf) $900
Garmin charts $1,000
iPad and navionics charts $850
Ais standard horizon + Aeriel’s etc $550
ARC plb x2 top of the line $900
Cape Horn self steering $4,000
Folding bikes x2 $360
Auto helm $400
LED lights in and out $600
Ssb radio and pactormodem and stuff $2,000
Engal fridge freezer conversion and stuff$1,500
Kat. water maker $2,000
All the crap to stick this stuff on $2,000
First mate………a bloody fortune lol.

Enjoy your day!


Galley food inspiration by:


Teriyaki sauce : salmon teriyaki

Salmon roulade : salmon

Snowbirds Display in Prince Rupert


Hello there!

Today we had a once in a lifetime to see the Famous Canadian Airforce acrobatic team “The Snow Birds”.   I left Steph to his eyes in silicon and epoxy fixing the boat winds and got these wonderful  fresh photos of Snow Birds display in Prince Rupert Harbour. What a grey day! The climate is absolutely grey and cloudy but the Canadian Air force did a great thrilling display that took about one hour with all acrobatics. Many seabirds also fly in the sky and it is pretty the same shape of the plane  as if they are part of the team. That was a little bit of funny that I wasn’t sure it was bird or plane while take a picture. The display was impressive! so I then add the last song ‘fly high’ to this post. Hope you enjoy it too. :)

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Do-It-Yourself used materials | Dodger

An old fashioned had awl was the only tool.

Hello there!

The dodger that came with Beautiful Swimmer and stayed for 25 years was recently expired. (rip and tear) . The Dodger we did not plan to replace before we leave but I realized it was very old and not in a good shape so I decided to replace with an old canvas given to us by Merv and Jeannie on Meridian Passage. Steph said that his red duct tape would do !!!!!!!


We decided to remake a used canvas dodger remix with old stuffed we have (such clear plastic, wax thread). Measure and mostly sewn with traditional needle (use wax thread). Luckily that this used canvas material has a shape and zip that can wear on the frame but there is no clear plastic window. We solve this problem by cut off the front part.  It is a heavy duty job to sew a whole parts together. Mae and Marty on Wild Abandon let me use their canvas sewing machine but later we found out that the machine stop to work properly because the plastic  may be too thick for a canvas machine. The new fabric order from sunbrella arrived but too late and the shop to make was closed. We keep new fabric to make the new one later.

From this job, we don’t pay CA$ 2,000 at this time to get a brand new dodger. This used materials may not look perfect  but the important thing is it will be strong enough to protect the wind and rain while we sail across the Pacific Ocean.

Thank you for your follow up.

One more job done |New anchor chain

God bless the guy who came up with the idea of electric windless for boats. Must not forget Merv a NZ mate who spent days installing and making the forward part of the boat bullet proof.

Dear Readers & friends, There are more about 15 lists to do for the final preparation and thank you for your patient.

  • Anchor chain just changed

Regarding for dock equipment.  We just changed to a new anchor chain that length 80 metres. (250 feet) The reason to change the chain is because the many of the anchorages we will stay at on our ocean journey  are  filled with coral that is sharp and very abrasive to the rope portion of our old anchor rode. So we have replaced with the heavy 400 pounds (181 kg) all chain rode.

  • Bon appetite for eagle and food on board

Prince Rupert is a very popular destination for salmon fishing. There are many eagles around here to catch salmon and the location here is closed to the fish factory. There are many commercial fishing boat came back with many fish. We can often see eagles catch salmon itself and consume near our boat. Do you know that when eagle caught the salmon the talons  stick until it can land and downward pressure  will release the talons. Hope you like these pictures of eagles I took the other day. DSC_0185 DSC_0184 DSC_0183 DSC_0181 DSC_0180 DSC_0178 DSC_0175 DSC_0173 Near the harbour there is one fish and chips shop that has cod and halibut available. ‘Bob on the Rock’ open only in summer. This shop makes a good  Halibut fish and chips (better than many places in town) The price per 2 pieces with plenty of french fries and mini cabbage salad is CAD $ 15 included tax. The quality is worth the price.

  • Cooking in galley

We never go fishing salmon.  Sometimes a generous friends will give us some salmon from their caught.  There are many big salmon that temptation from the commercial boat beautiful silver skin.  Recently I checked the price of salmon in nearby supermarket for one salmon is about CAD $30 which is quite pricy. P.S. Prince Rupert is Farm fish free this may be a reason people travel far to come  fishing here. The most embarrassment thing I ever done at the dock is early catching season one day I had asked a commercial boat man for a halibut head for my cooking and It make me feel really embarrassment and not to do it again.

See you on next coming post : Do it yourself a second-hand dodger : Do it yourself  a refrigerator for galley

Just arrived | Life Raft installed


Dear Readers,

Regarding to the Pacific Crossing which have been delayed. The Life Raft that we order from Sea Sport Prince Rupert has just arrived. It can fit  persons in an emergency situation. Packed in a white fibreglass canister that weight approximately 40 kilograms. It came as  a 6 persons because the 4 person was not available. Anyway we must say a big thank you for Gerry is generosity in sponsoring this safety equipment.

The traditional liferaft for cruising on the open sea

sponsor G

Life Raft sponsored by Gerry

French Polynesia visa

French Polynesie
Who need a visa to French Polynesia?
As our sailing journey first target place to stop will be at the Marquesas islands( Îles Marquises).  French Polynesia is one overseas islands that control a visitor. Using a Thai Passport, of course I have to make an appointment with the French consulate in Vancouver.   Also there is a strict rules that I cannot make an appointment for visa in advance of  3 weeks before the travel and the appointment only make by online. Please check it out Here for more information about visa for French Polynesia.
Canadian or The American citizenship doesn’t need a visa for French Polynesia if you stay less than 90 days. The European Union Passport is special that not need visa and can stay longer than other. (365 days)

So After I have done for all document the visa requested for. As  I am not an expert in Vancouver city, I chose the hotel that I can walk to the Consulate General of France, which is located on the West Pender street. …………….so I stayed overnight here at The Empire Landmark hotel.


There is one nice Italian cafe nearby and  opposite side of the French consulate, Pender street. To kill boring time with  Spanish coffee & chocolate croissant + newspaper.

………………….09.45 a.m. I was quit from the coffee shop right to the building again.

I stand in front of the office, Suite 1100 (11th floor) – 1130 West Pender street

Press a call button in front of the door that closed then a security guard answer and let me in while he check my paper that including my passport and my appointment paper.  Everything is okay then I can take a seat.

I was concerned before the interview because most of my paper were not original. (As it mention for original plus copy each) Documents will gave to interviewer to check for a few minutes.  Then she call and ask for a few question. Finally the interviewer smile with a good mood and said all documents is fine. She just need more a copy of The European Union Passport from boat captain.

Pay for CAD $ 12.30 for the fees (three months or short stay visa) which compare to the trip to come for this interview that cost about CAD $900). The photo in visa requirement requested exactly two photos but infact I gave only one photo. An interviewer will make a new shoot with face recognition camera just after the fees was paid.

At the end the visa section needed my passport with an envelope write on your address for the visa in passport to send it back to you. I cannot give my passport because I must fly back at the same day and will mail to the visa section later.  I can smile and explore the rest of the day.

French Polynesie

The final preparation for our plan | Grocery shopping

Sleep on the bed of water our new bedroom view

Hello there,

We are back to update our blog. We have been disconnected for a few weeks what a shame! Gladly that we can comeback to continue for a regular post. Regarding to our replay in posting the end of June as we were busy leaving a lovely place Gitwinksihlkw. It was a hard time for us with a bitter-sweet feeling while clearing all the belonging and leaving the house, say goodbye to the wilderness place and nice people, especially the wonderful children and staff at our school. We give away most things we love to use.  In the fact that the more possession the more worry, We choose some stuff that necessary for the journey.  Kiss goodbye to the most electronic equipment/kitchen ware. We decided to start a new life style with less belonging. Less comfortable life style and love to be a small part of the big nature.

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.” ― John Green   

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Wild Rose + Boys are (Not) in Town


Hello there,

Each year in June, Wild roses present their wild beauty again in different part of the world and including in Pacific Northwest.  Wild rose are spread widely and flower last long only for one month then we will see them blooming again next spring in June.  The mild fragrant smell and petal are so delicate and pretty on their own nature. The fact that wild rose is free from pesticide and born natural, I like to cut some of wild roses and put in bedroom for a good sleep.

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‘Mieng Kham’ A tasty kale appetizer do it yourself ‘เมี่ยงคำ’



Hi there,

I guess everyone have a great time in this season with sunshine. We have a lot of rain start in this month of June and wild roses are blooming. So the climate here is pretty wet and green with black flies and mosquitoes army, a feature of the rainforest. It is frustrate sometimes that we must check the weather so often. Boots and raincoat is a must to have in this part, shorts are not considered to wear in the area.

Today our presentation is back to the Tradition Thai cuisine again. As Kale is still in season so it is nice to do something with this fresh green leaf and good nutrition.  ‘Mieng Kham’ is another selection for a bite size of leaves added condiments and top with small amount of sauce. Tasty of chewing with herbs aroma of ginger, shallot, lime,  toast coconut and peanuts and with a hint of spicy from chili. The sauce make this petit bite a tasty. This appetizer is popular to make in rainy season in Thailand (Famous to make in May-June) “Mieng” is one of the dishes that best epitomizes the simple brilliance of Thai cuisine, with a few foreigners have heard of it or even few Thais enjoy it on a regular basis. The traditional “Mieng Kham” is a tasty do-it-yourself an hors d’ oeuvre with different tastes and textures coming together in a one bite-sized: “Mieng” means “many” and “Kham” means “one bite”. Various condiments preparation in small dice cubes then placed together on Kale {The original present on a dark green “bai cha pluu” or wild tea leaf} topped with a special sauce, then wrapped up for one bite. Hope you enjoy :)

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Elegant sailing ship

An elegant sailboat  docked in Prince Rupert on Friday. It’s elegance and beauty got the attention of the people from around the harbour city. The boat shown had all  its parts superbly presented and all details had beautiful design and lovely wood work.  Interesting! Steve tells me it is  a Schooner with a Cutter head sail rig. To me it is just a beautiful , beautiful, boat. Maybe I can be chef on board :-)

‘Roulade Marquis’ A Raspberry Dessert


then on plate

 ‘Roulade Marquis’ Photography by Luksana

I cannot help but make this dessert in Spring – Summer, when there are many of fruits including with fresh raspberry is available out here, sometimes on sale. So today I have tried to make ‘ Roulade Marquis’ the recipe owner is Chef Michel Roux.  He called it biscuit for this sponge cake because of the ingredients is just only egg and sugar. Watching his video inspire me to make fresh raspberry coulis and biscuit.

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May refitting | Personal Location Beacons | Aerial Base installation| Wire | AIS VHF Radio |Folding Bicycle


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein

Dear Friends & readers,

Our post today is to continued from the previous post ‘Further refitting’

p.s.  Our blog just changed site title from South Pacific ‘engagement’ to ‘journal’  :-)

Extra smooth Hummus


food photographs by South Pacific Journal

This post is to continue from Pita bread with Shish Tawook and Garlic sauce, I am still having fun making pita bread, Today I would like to share my experience of making extra smooth hummus with dry chickpeas and serve simple with oven baked home-made pita bread. I prefer to make extra smooth hummus. Do this by discarding the chickpeas skin before blending with food processor. I decided not to use baking soda because I wanted the taste to be natural.  I also like the way of using a pressure cooker ,it takes only about half an hour.

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Violet panicle ‘ช่อม่วง’


DSC_1294This week we started to get  sunshine.  I feel the heatwaves inside the kitchen while shaping this flowers for appetizer. This post I present about how to make ‘Chor Muang’ (Steamed flower shape stuffed crabmeat) This is one of the traditional Thai appetizer – Dessert that create since The Thai king Rama II.  The natural colour of blue-purple tone is natural from the butterfly pea flowers extract.  Dough flour made from the mixture of rice flour and arrow root flour plus tapioca flour when knead. 

The appearance of this petit bite size in specific flower named ‘Chor Muang’ or Violet Panicle stuffed with seasoned crabmeat . (This recipe I have learned  from my cooking schoolThere are different stuffing can be use but crabmeat has delicacy texture with soft steamed dough. 

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Pita bread with Lebanese Shish Tawook & garlic sauce

Homemade Pita bread served with Lebanese Shish tawook & Garlic sauce, Photographs by Luksana
As spring arrives I see more green leaves in the wild forest here and fall in love with the beauty of the wild forest all over again. The post for today is my first time sharing experience to make pita bread. My eagerness to make this pita bread started from the Mama’s gotta bake‘s blog post ‘When you need a pita…Bake it yourself. It also reminds me of my friend and  Lebanese chef  I worked with and I used to taste his food almost everyday while I was work in the kitchen.  By the way, the great recipe I made today is from food lover blog (After I have checked about the recipe before just to make sure it works)
Lebanese food flavors of garlic and lime (Lemon) and olive oil… I marinated the Lebanese chicken over night in advance and make pita dough the night before and bake the next day. (so it is possible for lunch time)
The problem is about I don’t have a baking stone for bake pita bread. so I went to the river and got a rock in the round flat shape to replace. A second problem is making the garlic sauce with food processor while I was pouring olive oil then the machine just run out and not work again and a bigger size I accidentally throw the blade away. Poor me!  I changed to use a mortar as the ancient style but I am unsure so I stopped it and not complete the recipe and garlic sauce is not volume yet. but the garlic sauce is taste delicious besides it is a bit too spicy for not adding enough oil.
Indeed, Thank you for the blog and owner of these recipes. They are great recipes!! :)

‘Kleeb Lamduan’ Thai shortbread cookies ขนมกลีบลำดวน


‘Kleeb Lamduan’ Petal cookies, Thai style cookies ขนมกลีบลำดวน

Our presentation for today is baking Tradition Thai style cookies.  This style of cookies made in the shape of flower, in Thailand we called Lamduan flower ดอกลำดวน หรือ ดอกหอมนวล with the feature of the cookies to made to look like ‘Lamduan flower’  The main ingredients for this cookies included with 3 ingredients are flour, sugar and oil. This cookie  is often used on auspicious occasions such as Thai weddings.  The special of this dessert is each bite you can taste scented candle and also the cookies itself is light as you can feel melt in your mouth as old saying . (melt in your mouth or not melt but hard to bite is up to how we gentle to combine the three ingredients)  If you like shortbread you may like to try this Thai style cookies.  Today I made ‘Kleeb Lamduan’ in original style and this recipe is from my cooking school. This cookies are great for afternoon tea or pack for gift.


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Spring on the Wild Nass River with the Golden Retriever


April 2013, Gitwinksihlkw, Northern British Columbia

Greetings from wilderness river,

Our post for today is about exploring and playing in the icy water of the Nass River. Finally spring have arrived in Northern British Columbia, someday we have sun but mostly cloudy and cold. ‘Maisie, an 8 year old golden retriever is our guest. Most Golden enjoy the nature outdoor here with walking, new smell and swimming, all the Golden Retriever’s have so much fun with swimming  here in the pure water.  We walk from home about ten minutes to the river that surround with big forest and in early spring the river is still shallow, imagine that this whole area is your garden because no one else around.

The  icy water flows slower than in summer. In the  summer  this river will fill with different types of salmon and water will be higher It will be not a good idea to do this play time in late spring or summer because of  bears want to catch fish. 

Maisie keep swim as if the water is warm. So I record many of pictures.

Have a great outdoor :)


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Almond & Orange Cake


Almond and orange cake

DSC_0452Our presentation for today is baking for dessert ‘Almond and orange cake’ The original recipe is from Chef Michel Roux Jr.

This recipe is a moist cake which uses  less flour. I  used regular cake flour (for plain flour), caster sugar I like to use extra refined granulated sugar, Almond nuts ground make fresh and Marmalade uses extra  than one tablespoon in the original menu. The problem is the slices almonds I use a food processor to slices but mostly broken so that I only can decorate in center.

Note: The high of finish this Almond and orange cake is about 4 centimeters. This almond and orange cake is absolutely delicious.

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Further refitting | Propane installation

As usual the weekend  has passed  by quickly and the difference in climate for each day is extreme. Anyway we have installed a new window and not 100% complete yet.

The mast had been done three steps more.

Special thanks for two propane tanks are sponsored by The Argosy (Studio and Gallery) 3rd Avenue West, Prince Rupert BC

Please feel free to sponsor large or small!! :-)

Sailboat refit update for March | Galley sink, Water maker … | D.I.Y. cozy pillowsfor cabin

Continuing from our previous post on installing our ‘new to us’ mast steps we continue our drama on refitting the good ship Beautiful Swimmer. So see what else we have been doing? This post is a summary for March 2013.  Some work is in the middle of completion while some other work needs a weather forecast that does not include snow so we can make an appointment to have the boat lifted out of the water. Prince Rupert is not a big city and choice to get items is narrow if not impossible. We did buy many things online where the price is often very much cheaper.

  • Cabin stowage net. Clothing area that will keep our clothes fresh.
  • Head Sail Ultra Violet protection cover being resown – Thank you for May and Marty for bringing their sewing machine,  but unfortunately just as we where going to plan a vital piece flew into the ocean! New one in the mail
  • Galley sink. French boat, french parts and fittings. After years of trying to fix and buy sink drains(the old ones leaked badly) Stephen eventually made new sink drains from a combination of resources from around the globe.
  • Fresh water maker. We tried several places and eventually had to place in the cockpit locker! We need the boat out of the water to finish the plumbing.
  • Windows leaking

So we removed and took it around to the class shop at 1:15pm. Yes the store closes at !pm @#$%!!!!!

  • DIY pillow for sailboat with left over anchor away fabric continuing from our previous post of DIY sailboat curtain I do love the feather pillow. :) 
  • Sailboat dodger

Should we keep and fix it? the feature of long time used made this dodger torn in many parts. The problem is the cost for new sailboat canvas water resistant is pretty high. Sponsor for new sailboat dodger are welcome :)

Mast steps | Installation

So now we have mast steps!


The mast steps we collected 20 pieces from the mast collapse sailboat for $50. The decision was not to buy  folding mast steps that will cost more about $25 per piece. The different of the price we can manage to get other things to enhance the boat.

 This second hand mast steps allow quick access to the cross trees when entering lagoons to see the coral heads  that invest most anchorages.