Go West!

On June 25th, we decided to head back west to meet up with our friends, Ray and Dianna (they were busy provisioning in Campbell River to head south to Nanaimo). We figured that we could meet them for a couple of days in the middle and do our provisioning for Desolation Sound in Campbell River rather than Powell River (apparently theres a hill at Powell River with the grocery store conveniently located at the top). We left Smuggler`s Cove and, as usual, were the last ones to leave the anchorage. Although Smuggler`s Cove was a very protected anchorage, it was difficult to go ashore with Yas (too many sharp rocks) and it was not a swimming spot with all the debris in the water. Certainly not one of our favourite spots…

We headed for Boho Bay on Lasqueti Island. On the way across Malaspina Strait we stopped to put the sails up and realized it was, by the time we got the sails up, very calm. As we drifted around 3 miles from shore, Jerome and Trystan decided to go for a paddle (Jerome in his kayak and Trystan in the dingy) and then for a swim. I stayed at the helm and as they paddled, Finn ended up sailing backwards 1.2 miles NE (at least we did sail, right!?) We had lunch and continued on our way to Boho Bay.

Boho Bay has a spectacular cliff wall where we even saw a very small deer watching us as we rowed by in the dingy. Boho Bay opens into another bay called Sherry Bay which we thought would be very protected for the night. However, the charts didn’t tell us that Sherry Bay was now entirely a fish farm so we had to settle for Boho. It was a very pretty place for Jerome to do some kayaking and he claimed some islets for his country too! There were gale force winds forecast for the Strait of Georgia for later that night. After finally finding a place to anchor that wasn’t too close to the shore but shallow enough so we didn’t need to put a lot of chain down, we ended up setting the anchor in what we thought would be a good place given the direction of the forecast wind. The wind did not check the forecast and it wasn’t a fun night for Trystan. The wind was pushing Finn towards the rocky shore so Trystan pulled some chain back in, had the key in the ignition and stayed on anchor watch until 0500 hours when the wind finally died down.

We left Boho Bay at 0900 hours which was terribly early for us! We motored all the way to Scottie Bay in a NW 15-20 knots wind which also happened to be the way we were travelling. There were huge waves crashing over the bow and four tense individuals on board. We tucked in behind Lindbergh Island and into Scottie Bay on Lasqueti Island where we dropped anchor, Trystan went to sleep and Jerome and I settled in. Later that evening, Dianna and Ray and Bella pulled in beside us and rafted up (first time rafting for us!). We had supper ready for them and enjoyed a wonderful visit. This was the first time we’ve crashed through waves of this size and the major concern while motoring in these situations is that the wave action will stir up residue in the fuel tanks, block the filters and kill the engine leaving you adrift in heavy seas. It happens more than you would imagine but it did not happen to us. In fact, the filters are still pristine and we have gained a hearty faith in (and gratitude for) our excellent fuel system and engine

We spent the next four days at Scottie Bay with Dianna and Ray and Bella. Just FYI: If you do enter Scottie Bay, please make sure you stay to the left and keep the stick that marks the rocks on your right. The channel marker is literally just a rusty metal bar that someone has propped up and without proper charts you might not even recognize it as a marker. The rocks to the north of it however are unambiguously sharp, heavy, immobile, hull-crushing stone. They are also completely invisible at higher tides! It was an awesome four days with lots to do! One day we walked to False Bay on the west side of Lasqueti (2 miles each way) where there is a store ($6.50 for a loaf of bread), a recycling centre with a FREE store (compensation for the price of bread?), a school, a post office (open only Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10-2) and a fire hall. Trystan went fishing with Ray and caught a ling cod which Dianna made into a wonderful fish and chips supper for all of us. Ray also took both Trystan and Jerome fishing but returned empty handed that time. Trystan and Jerome used the remains of the cod to catch some crabs and we ate them with lots of butter! We did lots of paddling in our kayaks and dingy (although we broke an oar on our dingy). Dianna and I walked back to the recycling centre one afternoon and realized that it was the day of the week when everyone on the island comes there for recycling. It was busier that any city street! It was quite comical and so bizarre to see so many people on what had appeared to be an entirely deserted island before! Dianna also took some time and lots of patience to try to teach me how to crochet. We ate almost every meal with our friends, exchanged some great stories and got some great advice from both of them. And, just for Yas, we had a good shoreline that was safe and easy to get her ashore when needed. Scottie Bay was a great stop!

On June 30th, we left Scottie Bay at about 1030 hours. We were the last cruisers to leave the anchorage, again! We motored out to the Sabine Channel, sailed to the south end of Texada Island (a huge island where they mine gypsum on the north end ), and motored again to Hornby Island when the wind died down. (We definitely prefer sailing over motoring! It is so much quieter, calmer and quite beautiful…..until the boat heels way over! Then it is not so calm when dishes and books are flying around the cabin….more of that to come later….)