The day dawned in
Campbell River with a weather forecast that
meant "go" - well, at
least go part way. The winds were from the southeast
(not the prevailing summer northwesterlies we
would have liked for our trip southward) so that
meant making our way across the upper half of
the Strait of Georgia in choppy seas. We were
leaving on a flood, so we had that unfortunate
situation of wind crossing current to deal with.
At least until we were abeam Mittlenatch Island
- approximately where the currents meet. Then
the seas laid down a bit as we went against both
current and wind. Better that than bucking our
way all the way to our goal: Lasqueti Island.
We were headed there because we knew we could
find appropriate shelter from the southeast winds
for a peaceful night at anchor. Besides, it's
really pretty between Lasqueti and Jedediah,
with many nooks and crannies available for anchoring.
This photo looks toward Jedediah, with Texada
Island in the background.
The next day we
were skeptical as we listened to the weather
report, but we decided to take a look for ourselves.
We left the beautiful rock wall at Boho Bay
on Lasqueti behind us.
But we didn't get very far before we looked
at each other and said: let's go back and wait
until tomorrow. That's just the way it is sometimes.
Getting across the Strait of Georgia becomes
a two-step dance. Two steps forward, one step
back. Then go and try again.
We had plenty to look at while at anchor, including
the blessing of this rainbow.
As I watched the
rainbow and turned in a circle, I realized
that the sky I was looking at was different
from every angle - all at the same time. The
following series of photos scan the sky from
right to left as fast as I could click the
Hard to believe that was all there at the same
time, isn't it?
We were also entertained by two seals who apparently
thought they were whales. They were splashing
around and even broaching - coming clear out
of the water...
... and slamming
down with a splash.
The next day looked
better for a final cross-over to Nanaimo. Look
at that sullen sea. But it was a quiet sea,
so that's what counts most. I was hoping that
this view of the sun's rays squeezing through
the clouds held some promise for the day. It
did. By the time we were half way to Nanaimo
it was sunny.
And it looked like
we had a good chance of making the Dodd Narrows
slack at 1036 if everything went well. A nice
ebb and a decent wind and sea state helped
us across in a timely fashion and we slipped
through Dodd Narrows at 1038. Yes! We weren't
the only ones, either. Here is just part of
the parade of boats at Dodd Narrows.
We turned our thoughts
to anchoring for the night. It was Friday of
Labor Day weekend (a holiday that Canadians
also observe) so we tried to think of a BIG
anchorage in the Gulf Islands. No contest:
we headed for Montague Harbour. Even by early
afternoon it was filling up. By evening we
thought we could count about 100 boats.
Boats to our left...
And boats to our
Here is what it
looked like on the radar screen.
The amazing thing is that it didn't feel crowded.
I got up very early the next day and looked around
in the darkness at all the anchor lights. I felt
like I was on the inside of a Christmas tree.
The next morning the weather again sounded ugly.
However, there was supposed to be a short morning
window with a drop in the winds to SE of about
15 knots. We decided to make a go. When we get
this close to home we start to feel like horses
heading for the barn door. We probably would
have held for another day at anchor, but... we
were both itchy to get back into the San Juan
Islands and closer to home. Besides, we knew
we had friends playing in Roche Harbor and it
would be fun to join them.
So off we went. Oh boy. Yes, the wind wasn't
too bad, but the remnants of the gale force winds
in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass were still in
strong evidence. We encountered two-foot swells
with three-foot wind waves on top of them - so
the Green Devil (our skiff) was kiting off five-foot
water mounds. We came very close to bailing out
at Bedwell Harbour, but the urge to continue
was too strong. We figured we could tough it
out this once. So, for about an hour we went
through some of the biggest seas of the entire
trip - right in our own back yard. Poetic justice.
We happily cleared customs at the Roche Harbor
the Marina was all booked up when we checked
with them. The boats were wall to wall.
However, we speculated
that the weather conditions might also keep
some cruisers at home who had made reservations,
so we dropped anchor and waited a bit to see
if we would move up on the waiting list. All
right! They did find a spot for us at the dock
after all. We were able to tuck in and go play
We skiffed over and found that some of the Bunzel
family kayaks were already out on the water.
But the bikes were still available. Nicole watches
while her Mom, Leslie, negotiates the use of
We decided to just
play dock rat and lounge around after all.
Although, I had to make a mercy mission back
to our boat to pick up an important tool for
Mark to use. M.J. loves driving The Green Devil
so I asked him to chauffer me back to the Royal
Here's the critical
tool. A plunger.
And here's what
it was for.
Can't be without a functioning sink, can they?!
Mark and the plunger saved the day. Errr... the
I was so busy enjoying our dock-side dinner that
I forgot to take a picture of the gang! However,
this picture will make up for it. While we were
chattering away we heard a faint plea for assistance
coming from the water behind us. When I looked,
I found a photo op I could not pass up. (I even
got their permission to take the picture.) These
folks get the prize for The Happiest Happy Hour
in the Harbor.
Today we're waiting
out the weather once again. But doing so in
Roche Harbor makes it a pleasure. The weather
looks good for tomorrow, so we'll be making
our final approach to safe harbor in Anacortes
where we keep the boat.
It's time to say goodbye from Linda and Dave
and the Royal Sounder.
It's been fun sharing this cruising summer with
all of you. If you can, you ought to try cruising
the Inside Passage in real time. There's no place
If you're interested in learning how to operate
your boat or if you would like some Inside Passage
Voyage Planning Consultation, take a look at
Linda's website www.privateboatinginstruction.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call: 425-239-1225.