Rebecca Spit on Quadra Island is one of the most amazing parks that we’ve seen all summer. With whales off to the east side, wonderful walking and cycling paths, grassy patches large enough to launch bottle rockets and play frisbee or catch, tide pools to check out, a great campground (or so says the people we talked with), a respectable grocery store and post office that is close by and lots of room for kayaking or paddle boarding….it is a great place to vacation! We highly recommend it! This trip we did see the deer and fawn that the park attendant had told us about and even had a bird hop along the road with us for quite a ways until we encouraged it to leave (so it wouldn’t get run over by passing cars) . The bird seemed very interested in Yas and Yas certainly didn’t mind a little company other than us. There is cel coverage there and we could get internet for the first time in a long time too. They accept garbage (many of the islands do not) and recycling (everything except glass!?). After Trystan ordered us more dog food, a new fishing lure, cordless drill and a new cel phone online, we decided to head back to Gorge Harbour yet again while we waited for the shipment to come to Heriot Bay.
On August 14th we sailed off our anchor (for the first time) out of Drew Harbour and headed for Gorge. We tried sailing but the wind was too variable and with leaving late to start with, we motored the rest of the way through Uganda Passage to Gorge Harbour. When we arrived, the anchorage was packed! We had to stern tie and it took quite a while but Jerome learned how to start the dingy all by himself and helped with the stern lines.
Once set, we went ashore and grabbed a bag of perogies for supper from the store and listened to the live music of Scott Cook. When we were coming back to Finn in our dingy, a deer along the shore was frightened into the water by a boy and his dog. It swam across the bay at a very fast rate (with a wake even) and made it to the other side (approximately 500 m) without any problems. I had no idea that a deer could swim that quickly and effortlessly! That night we looked up through the hatches to see the most spectacular stars. Jerome just kept saying how the view was so incredibly panoramic! Finally we could see the stars because the forest fire smoke was gone and we were far from the light pollution of the cities.
This stop at Gorge Harbour was busy: we swam at the pool many times, rented “Despicable Me 2” DVD from the store, changed beds and did all the laundry, Trystan rebedded the chimney for the stove and the prism above the engine room, stocked up on some food, visited the Bears Picnic food truck for latino style food and even had an hour long downpour for the first time all summer (when the chimney was being worked on, of course, and we had a big hole in our roof!). We managed to fuel up and get water at the fuel dock after a very long wait with boats ahead of us. This was an incredible feat of steering for Trystan coming in and out of the dock with the bowsprit and two very large, expensive power boats in the way on either side, complicated by a strong on-shore wind.
Back to Rebecca Spit and Heriot Bay four days later to pick up the shipment! We motored through 1-2 foot swells to Quadra Island , dropped anchor in Drew Harbour close to Taku Resort and picked up the shipment . It was so strange to have a cel phone again although it finally hit me that I had “lost” over 900 photographs, all my contacts and all the memos on my phone. For some reason all were saved to my phone’s memory and not the sd or sim cards. (So all of you out there that haven’t heard from us in awhile, please text us or phone so we can get your phone number again!)
On August 19th, we took up anchor and headed south to Comox. We sailed all the way past Mitlenatch Island (a provincial nature park with the largest protected seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia – pets are not allowed to come ashore). We sailed wing-on-wing most of the trip until the wind died down and we motored the remainder into Comox passing many sea lions on the channel markers for the Comox shoal. It was very difficult to find a place to anchor – there were so many mooring buoys, the drying areas at low tide and the restricted areas of no anchoring set aside for the base at Goose Spit. After almost two hours and a setting sun, Trystan found a spot and took Yas ashore to do her business and stretch her legs after a 28 nm, 8 hour trip. Jerome and I stayed aboard and made supper. We watched the local birds fly around Finn’s masts and land as they were singing for the closure of the day.
While in Comox we checked out the book store, got groceries, greeted and watched the wonderful seals that hang out in the harbour and played the pianos that the city has painted and put out in accessible places for the public to play and enjoy. It was so lovely to have a chance to play a piano again! We met with our friends, Rosalee, Bill and Maggie for a trip to the Courtenay Museum (it is a wonderful museum with lots to see) and for a too-brief visit at a coffee shop to follow. Thank you, again for meeting us and getting us used to having conversations with people again!
August 22nd was our final sailing trip for the 2017 summer! With cooler nights and shorter days, it certainly feels like Fall and we were all looking ahead to our visit back east to see family and friends.
We motored most of the way back to Nanaimo (although we tried to sail east of Qualicum Beach), going to the west of Denman and Hornby Islands. We made lunch and supper on the way and it was a very hot, 51 nm and 10 hour trip. We spent a large part of the trip looking for a yellow sailing vessel that had broadcast a mayday call and was supposedly in the Nanaimo area. We never heard of its outcome and certainly hoped that it was a false alarm. We pulled into Nanaimo just before dark and caught a mooring buoy in Mark Bay at Newcastle Island because the anchorage was absolutely packed . We were back in Nanaimo after 73 days and 415 nm. Now… what’s next for Finn and his crew?
1 nm = 1.852 km or 1.15 statute mile
To convert knots to km/h: knots x 1.852