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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garden Bay, Pender Harbour

We woke with a beautiful blue sky and warm weather.  The forecast is for winds 10 – 15 from the NW, so our hope is that we can sail back down Agamemnon Channel on our way to Pender Harbour.  At first, things were not too promising as we came out of the marine park into Hotham Channel, but as we motored toward Agnew Passage, the entrance to Agamemnon, we could see that winds were picking up.  We shared the relatively narrow passage with the ferry from Saltery Bay on its way into Earl Cove and as we rounded the corner, the wind was blowing at 12 knots.  Unfortunately, as seems to be our luck it was right on our nose.  After some debate, we decided to go ahead and raise the sails and beat up against it.  Part of our decision was based on another sail boat that was already reaching back and forth and in the spirit of sailing we had to join in the fray.  It was a lot of work, but a whole lot of fun.  We tacked back and forth as we made our way up the relatively narrow channel.  We were only able to stay on each tack for about 2 – 3 minutes before having to come about.  Janet was at the helm and Paul was working the lines.  The fun continued for several hours until we were nearly out of the channel and our stomachs were telling us that it was well past lunch.  We dropped the sails, ate lunch and made preparations for entering Pender Harbour.  We dropped anchor in Garden Bay near the head of the harbor. 

Today is our wedding anniversary (31 years), so dinner on shore to celebrate was on the agenda.  We took the dinghy over to the marina past a huge sailing yacht with what seemed like an endless number of people.  Perhaps a good way to enjoy sailing the Salish Sea, but we both agreed it was not for us.  We had a great dinner and headed back to the boat where we collapsed from the long day of sailing.

Captain Janet at the helm.

Mega yacht!
And their toys!  They had two of these, plus
 an assortment of other water toys.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Harmony Island Marine Park, Hotham Sound

Bill had suggested we check out Hotham Sound on our way south. We decided to head up Jervis Sound from Musket, planning to spend the night somewhere among the Harmony Islands. The weather was severe clear. We saw all the mountain peaks that we missed early in June. Temps have really warmed up. The weather is great!

We observed a seal log rolling as we approached the marine park. He dipped under as we approached, but jumped right back on the log as we passed. The marine park was inclusive of a group of islands and a narrow channel running between them and the mainland. The approach to Harmony was deep, 800 feet shoaled out to 150 ft in the narrow channel. We found a narrow rock shelf very close to shore. We motored thru the entire area and decided to stern tie off the shelf, stern to the islands. We hooked the ledge first try and were able to get the stern line wrapped around a suitable boulder below the high water mark. This marine park is surrounded by private property so while the water ways are great, you can’t go ashore unless it is below HW.

Paul and I went for a dinghy adventure to circumnavigate the island group and check out a waterfall. When we returned there was a parade of boats which had arrived. Everyone was looking for the perfect anchorage. It continues to be an evening ritual watching and learning from others techniques. I will be surprised if we don’t have some anchors drag tonight.

This has been a great stop. All crew had a chance to relax and enjoy the anchorage.

Log rolling seals.

Tia relaxing enroute to our next destination.

Paul scoping out the local scene.

Frail Falls, about a mile down from our anchorage.

Louie enjoying a morning massage on the deck.
Janet was very pleased and proud of her stern tie.

s/v Talos IV at anchor at Harmony Island Marine Park.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Musket Island Marine Park, Hardy Island

This morning the water was like glass. Winds were now out of the NW and not expected to exceed 10 kts. We decided to motor to the marine park located just across the Jervis Inlet, about 3 nm.

We found a great anchorage and enjoyed a dinghy adventure. Enclosed you will find the photo diary of our exploits on Musket Island.

Paul posing with the park sign.

Paul relaxing on the park bench.

Janet is all smiles.

Paul trying his best to mimic the local art work.

s/v Talos IV at anchor at Musket Island Marine Park.