Galiander Travels - 2006

July 22 - A Late Start

Montague SunsetWe got a late start this year. It was a hard decision but we decided to postpone our cruising so we could participate in a Choir Travel opportunity to Europe (Prague, Salzburg, Budapest). 
We left Galiano on Saturday evening (Jul 22) and popped around to Montague. On Sunday we had a hot dry power up to Clam Bay in a stiff North West Wind and spent two nights there, sheltered from the strong North West wind, and enjoyed a pot luck dinner with Rebecca Lee (Linette and Geoff). The North Wester switched to a South wind last night and we had a pleasant, but slow, sail to Dodds Narrows and then powered to the Port of Nanaimo. We expect to stay here two nights and then head North - probably initially by crossing to the Sechelt side. 
Thanks for the expressions of concern about our home on Galiano. It is far south of the fire site and was never in any danger.  But we did enjoy the sight of a Sirkorsky Skycrane helicopter flying over Clam bay towards the fire on Galiano. 
Sikorsky HelicopterFriday, July 28, Boho Bay, Lasqueti Island
The wind was blowing North West out in the Strait of George early this morning - not in our favour. But the weatherman was predicting the winds to die by noon and even switch to the South for a while. It was quiet in the Port of Nanaimo boat basin at 6am so we  made our exit along with many others. Our plans for the day were complicated by the fact that the Military exercise area Whisky Golf was active. This rather large area of the Strait of Georgia lies directly on the route between Nanaimo and the Sechelt and is used, among other things, for the test firing of torpedoes. It is a nuisance. We had to decide whether to go below Whisky Golf and then up the Sunshine Coast (dead into the wind) or straight up the Vancouver Island side (Dead into the wind) and then cross over when we reach ed  the top of it.  We took the second choice and after a long 3+ hours of powering were finally able to point across towards Lasqueti and Texada Island, set the sails, relax and enjoy a nice sail. 
Boho Bay is located on the mainland side of Lasqueti Island. Eleanor's Uncle Ches has mentioned it as a good place to anchor. We have never visited here before and the distance was about right. The bay is very well protected in a North West wind and moderately well protected in a South East wind. Naturally, as we approached the bay the wind swung to the south. We decided to stay anyhow - the holding is good and although the bay is open to the South East wind there is no wave action, and the winds are supposed to die and/or switch back to the North tonight. Tomorrow's prediction is for wind from the South and we may take advantage of this to move closer to Desolation Sound rather than explore the Sechelt area any further. 
Boho Bay is quite pretty. We are anchored along side a cliff which is part of a Park Reserve. To the north in  Skerry Bay we can see what looks like a fairly large Marine Farm of some sort - probably an Oyster Farm. There is only one other boat in the bay with us - anchored right behind us. 

ps We both explored the Bay by kayak. Huge oysters everywhere.
Wing on WingSat, July 29 Squirrel Cover, Cortez Island, Desolation Sound
We made it! Left Boho Bay at 6:30am and powered until about noon in uncertain winds and rain showers. At the end of Texada Island we picked up the predicted South East winds and had a wonderful sail down to Desolation Sound, dropping the hook in Squirrel Cove about 4:30pm. A long day but felt good. Cell phone coverage is excellent here. We will stay for two nights for sure. 

Mon, Jul 31, Squirrel Cove - Desolation Sound. 
Amateur Radio email is slow but does allow us to communicate from almost anywhere. Coming up the Strait of Georgia we were able to use line of sight communications to stations in the Sechelt and in Parksville to send and receive email. Now we are in Desolation Sound that option is no longer available and we are using shortwave frequencies at much lower speeds. This also means we are restricted as to the time of day when we can send and receive email. This message is probably being relayed by an Amateur Radio Station down in California. 
We also chat to friends in the Gulf Islands most mornings using Amateur Radio and also check into a "Boater's Net" late in the afternoon. Cellphone coverage is pretty good, especially when we are moving between anchorages. 
Desolation SoundWe really slowed down and relaxed in Squirrel Cove. We did maintenance, read and played the guitar. The switch that controls the pump that pumps water out of the shower has been replaced. Some electrical work on the Amateur Radio Antenna was required. We replaced the dinghy tow line. Eleanor has sanded and resurfaced some of our teak. 
Sunday we dinghied over to the general store to dump garbage and purchase some milk, cream and fresh veggies - the corn was delicious. Then we went over to the floating bakery and ordered cinnamon buns for the next morning - ready hot out of the oven at 8am. Boats come and go at almost any time of the day. We have a real monster near us - probably 100 feet long (30 metres?). Eleanor counted 21 portholes along one side of it. We can hear generators throbbing gently in the distance. Fortunately none are near us. Our solar panels continue to provide all the electricity we need. 
Tuesday we plan to move to Von Donop Inlet and then we move over to the Heriot Bay marina on Thursday evening for a couple of nights. 
The weather has been cool and showery but is improving noticeably each day. 
Aug. 5, Saturday, Heriot Bay Marina, Quadra Island.  Heriot Bay Restaurant
We are enjoying a stay at the Heriot Bay Marina for a few days. They have a high speed wireless Internet service so I thought I would take advantage of it to circulate a few pictures from our regular email account. 
We will be here for another two nights - we are going into Campbell river to go exploring with friends. 
Aug 19, Sat, Tribune Bay, Hornby Island - heading home. 
Lovely mellow evening in Tribune Bay after a long passage from Desolation Sound. We sailed about half way and powered the other half due to light winds. A 10 hour day starting at 7am. We are about 1/3rd of the way home. This is a busy anchorage with lots of boats and many people playing on the shore. The water is 65 degrees - swimable compared to the 55 degrees up in the Octopus Islands Marine Park.  
We are looking forward to a nice quiet night and will plan our next few days depending on the strength of the North West winds. We expect to be home before next Saturday. Sailing conditions for the voyage south are excellent. 
We enjoyed entertaining friends up in the Desolation Sound area. We had some good sails and some days when we had to power but it was always pleasant and we enjoyed good company. 
Thursday, Aug. 31 - back home at Whaler Bay (actually arrived Wed, the 23rd). 
Tribune BayTribune Bay on Hornby Island is a wonderful place to visit. Eleanor and I were both tired after our long run down from Desolation Sound so we elected to sleep in and take a layover day. We walked the big wide sandy beach, shopped and sketched. Conditions sounded great for the move south and the next day we were up at 6am, Sunrise, and heading south again. The winds started out light and peaceful but built throughout the day so that by the time we entered Departure Bay at Nanaimo it was blowing North West 25 knots. Almost the entire day was spent sailing "wing on wing", which means the wind was directly behind us.  We had the big jib out on one side of the boat and the main on the other. This is a wonderful point of sail but it does required constant attention at the helm and we were both tired when we arrived. 
We wanted to keep moving while the conditions were favourable so after some shopping, boat washing and provisioning we fell into bed and got up at 7am to catch slack water at Dodds Narrows at the North end of the Gulf Islands. Again a nice breeze carried us South, through Dodd's Narrows and half way to Thetis Island. But there conditions changed dramatically. The wind switched abruptly to the South and started to build. Reluctant to start the engine we started tacking into the wind and finally pulled into the calm of Clam bay behind Thetis Island. Another tiring and physical day.
Wednesday the weather forecast was for South winds (against us) for the morning and North winds (for us) for the afternoon. I suggested we wait until noon to leave but Eleanor didn't believe the weatherman. She wanted to leave at the crack of dawn when things were calm and power to Montague before the South winds developed - and that is what we did. By 9am we were happily tied to a mooring buoy in Montague Marine park and enjoying a nice breakfast. At noon we powered around and through Active Pass at slack water. Eleanor sure called this one right. The North winds never developed and we would have faced a long trip into the wind if we had waited until the afternoon. 
The tide was so low in Whaler Bay we had to anchor in the outer harbour and wait for the tide to rise. At 3:30pm we finally powered into the inner harbour. The dock was extremely busy. We ended up tying up against "Grapple", a big tugboat that home ports in Whaler Bay. It was two days later when we finally got Galiander moved to the main dock in her proper place.

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