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
On August 7th, we were on the way to the Von Donop Inlet on Cortes Island. It was a 19.1 nm trip and we had to make slack at the passage called “Hole in the Wall”. This is a narrow passage that runs between Sonora and Maurelle Islands and links Okisollo and Calm Channel. The currents here are bordering on ridiculous and can easily run at ten knots. A full keeled 40 foot sailboat running at full power usually tops out at around seven knots
At noon on August 3rd, we left a very busy Gorge Harbour bound for Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park on the north end of Quadra Island. We had planned to pass through Beazley Passage and Surge Narrows at the 1522 hours slack time. This meant that we had to motor to get there in time. Trystan took us through the “obstacle course“ at Uganda Passage
On July 31st, we decided to head back to Manson‘s Landing because we needed to pick up more insulin for Yas at the post office, drop off some library books that we had picked up at Q-Cove, get fresh food and drop into the bookstore. For once, we were the first ones to pull up at Walsh Cove, being as quiet as possible so our American friends (and Yas who wouldn‘t get out of bed to pee) could keep sleeping. It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising over East Redonda Island! Jerome took us out of Waddington Channel and into Pryce Channel
We’re sitting in Walsh Cove right now, stern tied at a rocky shore that rises from a depth of 15m straight up into a steep pine covered slope over a space of maybe 10m. There are narrow, sun-drenched ledges all along the shore that reveal all the marine animals and the fishes swimming by. Nearby there is a steep “painted” cliff that Jerome says looks as though someone has spilled a bottle of ink down from the top. There are petroglyphs there too and caves.
On July 4th, we headed back over the bar for Campbell River with Finn full of food, fuel and water. We saw lots of military aircraft coming and going into Comox. Jerome was terribly excited to have a huge Hercules fly right over us. It looked promising in terms of wind for sailing but once out past the harbour, we realized that it was dead calm….again. We motored all the way up in the calm water to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island (directly east from Campbell River). It was an incredibly hot but pretty trip up…you could see the fish jumping and there were many large jellyfish. With such calm conditions, there were no sailboats out at all….just lots of fishermen!
We got to Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, dropped anchor, tidied up and went ashore in the dingy. Tribune Bay has a beautiful beach and a wonderful park with fire pits, tennis courts, a cook house, and trails. I took Yas for a walk while Trystan and Jerome played on the beach until Jerome cut his foot on a barnacle. (He wears shoes now in the water all the time.) There were sand dollars everywhere – the first that we have seen since Newcastle Island. Just an absolutely spectacular beach…. until the wind picked up the next morning.
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 there‘s 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
Following our travels in Howe Sound we made our way to Smuggler’s Cove. We left Gibson’s in good time, which is a bit of an accomplishment for us! Trystan has decided that he is really enjoying catching up on years of missed sleep and Jerome is, well, a kid so he can sleep till 10am easily if you let him! Anyway, once we were out past Shoal channel’s shoal we found that we had a pretty great wind. After some experimentation we figured out how to get 6 knots close-hauled and we figured out how to tack a schooner! Aside for landlubbers: A knot is, by definition, one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is one minute of latitude or, in the modern definition, it is 1852 meters. It works out to about 11km/hr. Yes, you could walk faster but I can sit and have a coffee instead!
We finally left Vancouver after about a week; the weekends there are very busy and we had to get used to anchoring a little closer than usual. We have learned that no matter how interesting a place is when we arrive, it has a shelf-life and we can overstay it. We are glad we visited Vancouver but are equally glad that we moved on. We were able to sail a little bit the day that we left but the winds have overall been unspectacular for sailing thus far. We motored the last half of the way to Plumper Cove on Keats Island. This is right across the Shoal Channel from our goal: Gibson’s Landing. Yes, there is a reason that its called Shoal Channel! It was a bit sketchy going across the shoal. Maureen has long wanted to visit Gibson’s Landing and Molly’s Reach. If you don’t know why, you wouldn’t understand anyway!