Darrius’s best Focaccia bread

Recipe courtesy : Darrius Thomson, Pastry chef, BMSC kitchen

Hello all,

Greetings from Bamfield again ♥ It is like a dream come true to smell and taste a freshly baked focaccia from the oven. I recently had a chance to learn how to make this delicious  bread from pastry chef Darrius. For me it is quite interesting to know how to make it like professional. Darrius has gained  his experienced for several years in a pastry kitchen….. “bubble skin is a good sign” he said.

My experienced for focaccia bread just ok but not impressive. This one is fantastic so I would like to keep the recipe and share with you.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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

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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:

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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.

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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.


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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 🙁

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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.

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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.

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In touch again


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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.


 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

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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

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.


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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.


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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***

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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)

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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.

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