Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter layover 2011

After our arrival back in Seattle there was much to do.  There was first the post Salish Sea Adventure boat maintenance, which included a bottom job and another couple of coats of varnish on the bright work.  Having that out of the way, we focused our attention on a number of projects that we feel are important to complete prior to our departure next summer, including, new sails, monitor windvane, raw water foot pump for the galley, electric windlass, solar panels, deck wash pump, fog horn and hailer, as well as a re-rig of the standing rigging and replacement of the safety lines.  We are also having insect screens made up for all of deck hatches and the companion way entrance.  We didn't have much of a bug problem this last year, but as we head south into warmer and more tropical climates, it's best to be prepared.

Much of the work is now complete with the exception of the standing rigging, which should get done over the course of the next few months.  Sails are scheduled to be delivered on January 26.  As the weather warms up a bit in the spring, we will put yet another several coats of varnish on the bright work prior to our departure.

The plan at this point is to wait until mid to late June for our departure on our next adventure.  We will head north again with the goal of rounding the northern tip of Vancouver Island around the end of July on a counter clockwise circumnavigation of the island.  On our way north, we'll have an opportunity to revisit some of the favorite spots that we discovered last year.  We'll spend most of August working our way down the west coast of Vancouver Island, and will then begin our journey south along the Washington, Oregon and California coast at the tail end of August.  We'll stop for extended stays in the Bay Area and Long Beach to visit with friends and family and will then hook up with the Baja Ha Ha 2012 event for the run south to Cabo.  From there, the plan is a little less clear, but will likely include some cruising in the Sea of Cortez and south along the Mexican coast.

Talos IV just before the re-splash with a new bottom and
buffed and waxed hull.

Bottom job in process.

New sails custom made by Port Townsend Sails.

New raw water foot pump for the galley sink.

New electric windlass.  No more hand
cranking to get the chain up!

Solar panels are still in works, but the mounting
rails are installed and ready to go.

New deck wash pump mounted under the
head sink.  No more bucket over the
side to clean the chain and deck!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Home at Last

Even though we didn’t get a good night sleep, we were up early to catch the flood tide into Puget Sound and Seattle.  There was some wind from the north and we did try to sail, but ended up packing it in a short while later.  I think we are both anxious to get home.  The thought of our own bed, showers and all the other luxuries of home was a strong draw.

As it was the Labor Day weekend and apparently a Husky game tonight, the locks and bridges were unbelievably busy.  In fact, it took as long to transition the locks and the ship canal as it did to motor from Port Townsend to Seattle.

We made it to our new slip at Northlake Marina where we were met by Terry who helped us get in to the dock.  It was an uneventful finish to an otherwise fantastic journey to the Salish Sea

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend

It was the end of a great visit with JP.  His ferry to Seattle left a few hours after our departure where he will catch a flight back to the bay area.  He helped us get off the dock around 9:30 AM for our run back to the US and Port Townsend.

Shortly after leaving the harbor, we were engulfed in fog.  A somewhat scary situation given the heavy boat traffic around Victoria and we knew that we had to cross the shipping lane just a few miles ahead.  We proceeded cautiously, with radar on and following all of the proper procedures, including sounding our fog horn.  We saw a few other boats emerge from the fog, but otherwise it was a good experience.  About a half hour later, things began to improve and we had sunny skies the rest of the way into Port Townsend.

We were unable to get a slip at Port Hudson, so elected to grab a mooring ball just off the beach at Fort Worden State Park.  There was heavy swell coming in from Admiralty Inlet, making this stop one of the more uncomfortable stays of the trip.  We both had difficulty sleeping.

Good-bye he goes to Seattle via the Victoria Clipper passing us to port

Back in the US at Fort Warden State Park

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Victoria Harbour

Before departing Sidney Spit, Paul and JP went to check the crab pot.  They had trouble finding it as it had apparently drifted during the night due to the strong current.  The catch was a fairly large red crab, which we boiled up and put in the refrigerator for later.

The run into Victoria was timed to make it through the passage framed by Discovery Island and Vancouver Island during the ebb and well past max.  Currents can run at 6 knots and the Canadian Coast Pilot advises to exercise caution in the area.  In our case, with the ebb on our heels, it made for a fast run and we were in Victoria in only a few hours.  The Wooden Boat Festival is this coming weekend, so there were a number of antique wooden boats making their way into the harbor at the same time.  A busy, busy harbor with boats, float plans and ferry traffic everywhere.  We were clearly back in civilization.  We found our marina straight away and made fast to the docks.

JP hosted dinner in town at the Pink Bicycle, a funky upscale burger restaurant.  We also had time to walk around the city center and take in the beautiful city of Victoria.

A beautiful classic motor yacht inbound for Victoria Harbour

Lighthouse on approach to Victoria

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sidney Spit

With a strong current of about 4 knots on our stern, we motored the five miles from Portland Island to Sidney Spit.  Our speed over ground was as high as 9.5 knots, so our run over went pretty fast.  Sidney Spit is an interesting place with a mile long sand spit that extends north from the island.  As we motored into the anchorage at low tide there were lots of areas were the sand had shoaled out and depths on the depth gauge read zero as we passed over.  I’m sure we were literally touching bottom at times.  We found an area with better depths of about 30 feet and set the anchor.  The current was running at about 2 knots thru the anchorage, so we made certain to get a good set and we put out a little bit more scope than usual just to be sure.

Crabbing is reported to be excellent and judging from all the crab traps around, it must be true.  Wasting no time, Paul and JP set our trap in hopes of getting another crab for this evening’s happy hour.  We normally don’t check the trap until the following morning, but given our early arrival and our expectation for excellent results, we plan to check the pot in a few hours.

We went ashore for a walk along the spit and a picnic lunch on the beach.  JP searched the shore for few perfect shells for his daughter Penryn.

We checked the crab pot before returning to Talos IV, but found only a few females and small males, all illegal to take.  We dropped the pot back down and plan to check it again in the morning.  Once back on the boat, it was time for another BBQ and a relaxing evening.

Park dock at Sidney Spit

On the "spit"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Princess Bay, Portland Island

The boys checked the crab pot in the morning and to our delight, there was a nice large Dungeness that we’ll enjoy for happy hour this evening.

Once underway the following morning, we found wind outside the bay at about 12 knots.  We hoisted the sails and spent the better part of the day tacking back and forth to work our way down the channel.  There was a lot of ferry traffic coming and going from Sidney Harbour, so we were constantly dodging them, but otherwise current and wind worked in our favor.  JP was at the helm and it turned out to be another great day of sailing in the Salish Sea.

Once on the hook in Princess Bay we took the dinghy to shore and took a hike along the trail leading along the shoreline.  Portland Island is a beautiful place with great views out to Haro Strait.  We watched the BC Ferries pass as they made their way from Vancouver and other destinations into Sidney Harbour.

Under sail, Salish Sea

JP and Paul explore the coastline

Old growth driftwood

Island hike...trail was a lot drier this time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Genoa Bay

Leaving Ganges, we raised sails and beat into a15 knot wind.  We tacked back and forth out of the bay making good progress until the flooding tide current simply made it impossible to make it around the point.  After several attempts, we finally fired up the diesel to help us get around and then had a great sail around the south end of Salt Spring Island.  We finally dropped the sails late in the day and motored into Genoa Bay for the night.  It was one of the best days of sailing the entire trip.

It was an uneventful stay in Genoa Bay.  The first order of priority was showers followed by beers and a BBQ.   The boys dropped a crab pot as well.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island

This morning we woke to a severe clear day. We decided to take it easy first thing and explore the bakery barge. It was great to see all the wonderful bakery goods. We ate on the back deck and enjoyed the sun. After breakfast we went ashore and hiked around Grey’s Point. There are wonderful midden beaches and beautiful Madrona trees. A swim and shower refreshed us before heading out.

Once out into the channel it was time to experiment with the drifter. We had about 3 hours of sail time before coming into Ganges. We set anchor and the boys took off in the dinghy to set the crab pot. As I type there seems to be a wild dinghy planning thru the anchorage.  Paul has informed me that it is JP…….Oh my.

JP demonstrating how to plane a dinghy the water!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Montague Hargour, Galiano Island

JP arrived via floatplane from Seattle. We met at the boat and went through the safety items before leaving the dock.  We knew he was anxious to be sailing and the winds were 10-15 kts which left us no choice but to sail for a few hours. After returning to the anchorage the boys went for a dinghy adventure and hike. The evening finished with a BBQ with the Blues Festival music in the background. City lights added to the evening milieu.

Oh the early morning agenda……we had to rise early to get thru Dodd Narrows just before slack. As we motored toward the Narrows a pod of Orcas surfaced and said goodbye.

We stopped at Pirates Cove and anchored with a stern tie around lunch time. We were all pretty tired from the early morning so a hike was in order. This revived us enough to press on to Montague.

We sailed most of the way to Montague taking advantage of the wind when we could. Sometimes we did cheat and motor a bit…..arriving in the Harbour around 6ish. After securing Talos IV and bedding down the furry crew we headed to shore for some adult entertainment. The Hummingbird Pub Bus was on the list of “must do”

The bus and pub experience was nothing short of memorable. The food and beer were much appreciated by the thirsty crew of Talos IV. We were delivered back to Talos IV where we collapsed.

Things really got exciting after JP arrived.

Disco bottle on the Hummingbird Pub Bus

The Bus

Paul and JP on the bakery barge

The barge "Atrevida #1"

Midden beach

JP and Janet

Grey's Point

Midden Beach

Janet with Talos IV 
JP rows dinghy ashore to set the stern line

Lunch break at Pirate's Cove

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We woke early at sun up and left at 6 AM.  The thought was to run as much of the way as possible.  We readied the sails as the forecast was for winds to be picking up from the NW.  As it turned out, the wind really didn’t come up until just before our arrival.  We had the main up already so we furled the jib and ran the last 8 or so miles into Naniamo.

We dropped our anchor in the crowded anchorage behind Protection Island just across the channel from old town Naniamo.  When we were here in early June there were only a few boats.  We took the dinghy to town for lattes and showers.

Later that evening during our BBQ dinner the local yacht club was conducting time trials for an up coming regatta.  The unusual thing was that all the sail boats were reaching back and forth through the anchorage.  They were dodging not only each other, but the anchored boats as well.  The start finish line as it turned out was just a few hundred yards from us so we had front row seats to the entire affair.  We were glad that we were well ensured, as we thought that at any moment we would be rammed by one of the boats.  Fortunately for us that didn’t happen.

About the time the time trials were wrapping up, we were treated to yet another gorgeous sunset.  After the long day on the water and all of the excitement, we settled in to our berth early to get caught up on some sleep.  It was a great day!

Day 2 at Naniamo found us doing boat chores, laundry and provisioning.  It was easier to get all of this done at the docks, so we motored across and found a slip at the marina.  Jan-Petter, our friend from the Bay Area will be arriving tomorrow just after the noon hour on a float plane from Seattle.  It will be fun to have him on board for a few days.  The plan is to cruise back down through the Canadian Gulf Islands.  We will likely revisit a few places from earlier and perhaps find a few new spots to check out.  It will be an adventure!

We were in the best viewing position to watch the

Regatta through the anchorage.  Amazing!

Yet another beautiful sunset.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ford Bay, Hornby Island

The blow is over!

We woke to calm seas and no wind.  Sounds somewhat silly for a sailor, but after a day with 30 knot winds from the SE occasionally gusting to 35 and even 40 just off shore and then followed by a night of fairly strong winds, it was good to see that things had settled down.  This is August, right?

At any rate, after a good breakfast, we headed out.  As soon as we cleared the SE bluff protecting False Bay we had winds SE at 12.  We raised the sails and headed for Hornby Island.  We were hoping to drop the anchor in Tribune Bay.  There is a great beach and wonderful community center with bakery, coffee shop, etc. that we were looking forward to.  All of our guide books stated that Tribune Bay was great when the winds were blowing from the N and NW, but to avoid it in an even moderate SE wind.  Just to satisfy ourselves, we dropped the sails and motored into the bay to take a look.  What we found was a fairly good swell pounding the beach with winds from the SE at about 18 knots.  Sadly, it was not good for us to drop a hook.

We turned around and headed for Ford Bay on the far side of the island.  It is said to provide good protection from SE winds and that is what we found.  There was a small store with wifi, so we were able to check emails and update the blog and photos.  Later that evening, there was some live jazz music outside that made for a fitting end to a good day.

Tomorrow we are off to Naniamo, about a 40 mile run down the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.

Sisters Islet light house about half way between
Lasqueti Island and Hornby Island.

Seagull on bouy at entrance to Tribune Bay, Hornby Island.

Monday, August 22, 2011

False Bay, Lasqueti Island

We decided to stay at False Bay because of some weather moving in from the SE. This is one of the few bays along this route to offer protection from these winds. The trip was uneventful. We motored with some help from the foresail. Winds were behind us. Upon arrival we did our post transit motor check. We found 2 additional fish in our raw water strainer. That is a total of 4 fish! I wasn’t keen on that anchorage at Deep Bay…maybe I had a sixth sense about something fishy going on there.

We explored the small establishment at Mud Bay which is just around the corner from our anchorage. There isn’t much there…a bakery, store, and a tavern. The dinghy was tied to the govt dock while we walked around. During our visit a private passenger ferry came in and almost took out our dinghy. Hopefully the weather will move thru quickly and we can get out of here tomorrow. The good news in all this is we have a nice anchorage, the anchor is well set and the temps are moderate.  

Paul was taking a nap and missed this.

It was beautiful!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Deep Bay, Jedediah Island Marine Park

Today was a perfect sail day. Winds kicked up mid morning and as soon as we were out of Smugglers Bay we had the sails up. We were full cutter rigged, close hauled and had only two tacks to get us up into Sabine Channel. Winds were 8 – 18 kts, only building at the very end of our day. We arrived at the Deep Bay to find it pretty full. I wasn’t too keen on the anchorage but we decided to drop anchor, stern tie and enjoy the moment.

We took the dinghy to shore and found a nice trail of about 1-2 km leading across the island to an old homestead. The homestead included lots of meadows, orchards and deserted buildings.  This seems like a very popular camping spot as we saw lots of tents. When we hiked to another small bay we spotted a sailboat that ran aground.

Late at night the sailboat that was aground arrived at our little bay and anchored off the channel. We were ready to leave around 9ish when we observed our raw water discharge was not as robust as it should be when starting the engine. We put our brains together and started trouble shooting. To keep a long diagnostic story short I will tell you we ended up replacing the impeller, removing a fish from the raw water filter and removing another fish from our raw water seacock valve. The fish in the seacock valve was so impacted that Paul had to surgically remove it in pieces. When we restarted the engine the water was flowing freely and life was good.

Tia was helping to manage some of the lines.  Good
crew is hard to come by.

The trail passed through this really cool meadow.

Paul at the edge of the Palmer homestead.  Not
much left now, but still a great place to visit.
This boat apparently didn't check the depths
before they set anchor.

A river otter was playing in the water just
behind the boat.
We had to remove the engine raw water hose to remove
one of the fish that had become wedged in the

We found this fish in the raw water filter.  In the end,
there was a total of 4 fish that got into the system.
How weird is that?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smuggler's Bay, BC Mainland

Leaving Garden Bay we stopped at the govt wharf to fill our water and grab a shower. We were headed for Secret Cove to get fuel and then make a decision on our anchorage for the night. Secret Cove was just as clean and the dock hands were as friendly as we remembered them to be in early June. We refueled and headed out thinking we would go to Thormandy Islands. As we made the approached we changed our minds and revisited Smugglers Cove. It was sunny, warm and we were able to get a perfect stern tie off a granite wall. It afforded us a magnificent sunset view. The marine park had a nice interpretive trail which went along the point. Lots of nice overlooks and some cool history as well.  I think we are getting much better at the stern ties. This park had permanent rings to run the line thru.

Janet at the narrow entrance to Smugglers Bay.

Paul overlooking the bay with Talos IV in the background.

s/v Talos IV at anchor in Smugglers Bay.

A beautiful sunset looking back through the
entrance to the bay.