Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back in familiar waters

We’re tied up at Newcastle Island, where we’ve been many times before.  Initially we had planned to go further today but one thing led to another and this place was just too handy to sail by.  There’s a work bee at our yacht club on Saturday morning that we want to attend and we had thought we would take the boat and stay on the reciprocal dock.  That’s what we usually do when we go to one of the work parties and it works well.  Today we got a little worried that people might be turning this weekend into a really long weekend and that in turn might fill up the very limited reciprocal space on the dock.  There’s only about 150 feet of reciprocal moorage, maybe 200 at the most if someone uses the Jr. Sailing section.  That means 3 or 4 boats will fill it up.  Rather than take that chance we decided to go straight back to Cow Bay.


Approaching the mighty Seymour Narrows.  With them behind us its hard to get really worked up about Dodd Narrows no matter how much I tell myself that’s a bad attitude.

We should be timing Dodd Narrows for a slack but that will be difficult tomorrow so we’re going to run it on a fairly stiff ebb.  We’ve been through before on an ebb and it runs hard but only for a few hundred yards so we should be OK.  One thing is for sure, if you go through when its running hard you don’t have to worry about boats going the other direction.  Maybe we’re getting too cocky after running Seymour on a fairly hard flood.  If we make the news tomorrow you’ll know why.

I didn’t pay any attention to the currents when we were getting ready to leave Campbell River.  As far as I was concerned we were through Johnstone Strait and into the Strait of Georgia.  WRONG.  We got hammered by the current as we left Fishermen’s Wharf and then pounded along at over 2000 RPM into a 5 or 6 knot current for over an hour, sometimes making as little as a knot and a half, before it finally relented and let us out into Georgia Strait.  We were moored near the south end of the marina and had to go a fair distance north to get around the breakwater before we got out of the marina. It was close to an hour after we had untied the lines when I noticed that we had pretty well clawed our way back south to a point even with where we had been originally berthed.  We burned a lot of fuel going nowhere that morning.

Yesterday we had a great visit with some old friends in Comox.  And I mean “old” in all senses of the word.  Dick is 92 and Olive is 90; we’ve known them for close to 20 years since meeting them in Alamos on our first trip to Mexico.


There was a lot more town at Campbell River than I was expecting.  We stayed at the Fishermen’s Wharf which was very modern and huge.  There’s also another equally large marina that caters to the recreational crowd.  Another time we’ll be a little more careful about the timing of the currents when leaving the marina.  Or maybe go all the way through Campbell River and moor somewhere on Georgia Strait.

We’ve had an unbelievably wonderful trip to Alaska but both of us are impatient to be back on the prairies.  Marilyn’s new house and yard are calling her.  I’ve got a project meeting in Regina on July 14 and I’m anxious to get started fixing the equipment I bought last winter.  There’s a couple of semi-antique Case/Ingersoll garden tractors waiting for me to restore when I get back.  I’m not sure whether we’re going to use one and sell the other or keep a tiller on one and a mower on the other.  We had a 244 Case on our first acreage and it was a great little yard tractor but taking the mower off and putting it back on was a major pain in the ass.  So maybe we’ll just have one tractor for tilling and one tractor for mowing.  I can’t remember what all I got for attachments – I know there’s two mowers and two tillers and a blade but I can’t remember whether I got a snowblower or not.  In the near term we don’t plan to need a snowblower but Dick and Olive have been our inspiration for aging since we met them.  If we even come close to matching their ages then there will inevitably come a time when we need to deal with snow again.

The next few days in Cow Bay will be a flurry of activity.  We hope to be on the road headed east by Wednesday.  In between now and then we’ve got some entertaining to do and we need to put the boat in storage mode.  I like to do an oil change just before we leave and we have several items to remove and take back to the prairies with us.  We’ve also got some wine brewing in Mill Bay that we need to get bottled to take home with us.  Marilyn tried making wine in one of those wine shops in Regina but it was beyond bad.  It may have been decent paint remover but it was shitty wine, so we’re going to smuggle BC-built wine back into Saskatchewan.  I assume that it is still illegal to move alcohol across provincial boundaries.  Now I’ve advertised the fact that we’ll be breaking that (stupid) law so every cop between Duncan and Buchanan can be on the lookout for our lime green Suburban.  (OK, its not lime green and its not a Suburban – I took the Chevy cure years ago when I bought a new 6.2 – but there’s no need to make it too easy for the bastards)

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