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"Intrepid" is a Kadey Krogen trawler style motor vessel built in 1987 at the Chung Hwa Boat Yards in Taiwan - hull 138 of 206. She is 42 feet in length with a beam of 14.5 feet and weighs 40,000 pounds fully loaded. Carrying 750 gallons of fuel and 240 gallons of water, she is capable of extended cruising. A previous owner cruised her from Annapolis to the Caribbean and Venezuela then through the Panama Canal, the Sea of Cortez and up the Pacific Coast to Alaska over a period of three years (She was then named "Carpe Diem"). We know of no Krogen that has traveled farther on her own bottom than "Intrepid". We purchased her in 1999 and live aboard her four months of the year as we cruise the intricate waters of the British Columbia and Southeast Alaska coasts. She is berthed in Anacortes, WA.

You can follow Intrepid's path at http://tinyurl.com/3mhj7gz

Check out the story about our grounding in Passagemaker's online magazine at http://tinyurl.com/cu7ar3u

Take a look at Rolynn's author website at http://rolynnanderson.com/RolynnAnderson/HOME.html

If you like technical stuff here is the article I wrote about building a watermaker that appeaared in Passagemaker's online magazine:
http://www.passagemaker.com/channels/watermaker-doing-it-yourself/

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pruth Bay to Ocean Falls:  The Shellum Invasion

Saturday, July 13 -  After Pruth we spent a night in Goldstream Harbor - a new spot for us.  The next day we moved on to Codville Lagoon where we pulled up some prawns.  I noted that one of our bilge pumps was not working - loose wire.  A ten minute job that only took two hours.  A 1 to 12 effort to results ratio.  About average for a boat.  Following Codville we moved on to the Dodwell Insland anchorage in Queen's Sound - a very pretty and quiet spot.  While there we put the dinghy down for the first time and soon discovered that the steering was frozen.  I couldn't fix it in the water so back on the boat it went.  Rolynn, the ship's engineer, diagnosed the problem as follows, "The slidey thingy was stuck in the humma-humma tube so it could not activate the frammel lever."  A day and half of sweating, cursing and swatting flies and the steering problem was fixed but the motor could not be tilted up or down.  We left it in the down position and will fix it the next time we put it back on deck.
Dodwell Island Anchorage


Tuesday & Wednesday - From Dodwell we moved north to an unnamed cove that one book calls Wizard Cove.  A pretty spot where we spent two nights.  Tomorrow we will move to Sheartwater Marina, near Bella Bella, where we will meet up with Brian Shellum, Rolynn's brother who will be with us for two weeks.




Guest Blogger Brian Shellum Reports

20 July 2013 - Arrival in Shearwater
Arrived at Bella Bella airfield about 1630. Airstrip might be a better term for this primitive field with a single short runway bordered on both sides by evergreen scrub that seemed to tickle the wingtips on landing. The approach was a bit scary coming through a thick white cloud bank and finding the plane at wave top altitude approaching an island that seemed too small to boast an airstrip. After a short, fast landing and a sharp brake, we taxied to a weathered shack that passed for a terminal. With bags unceremoniously dumped on a homemade plywood stand, we bewildered passengers looked at each other and wondered what next. Each of us in turn looked at our useless smart phones. The few First Nation arrivals were greeted by family members with cars but we outsiders were left to wait for the single taxi in town. After standing in the open and staring down a rough road bordered by scrub that we were certain was thick with bears, the taxi arrived to our considerable relief. Seldom have I felt so helpless and vulnerable. After a short ride through the First Nation town of Bella Bella, where the only grocery store/post office had just burned down, I caught the water taxi across to Shearwater where Rolynn and Steve were waiting to my great relief! After a bracing gin and tonic aboard Intrepid, we celebrated my arrival at the only restaurant for 100 miles! Might be 200 but who is counting? Let the adventures begin!

21 July 2013 - Shearwater to Bottleneck Inlet
I was up first at 0600 and after a coffee took a quick walking tour of Shearwater. The small common at the top of the dock features a newly sodded area with a recently installed Raven Totem and a large model of a British seaplane from World War II. Shearwater was established during World War II as a seaplane base to protect coastal British Columbia from a Japanese attack. The largest structure in the complex is a large hangar built to accommodate
Shearwater Marina
the aircraft. One side of the building is decorated with a new mural that features historical figures from the region. After filling up on fresh water, we were off at 0900 for some salmon fishing enroute to our northern passage (no luck on the salmon). The day was beautiful as we sailed north up Mathieson Channel and through Jackson Passage to Finlayson Channel to our first anchorage at Bottleneck Inlet, about a six hour trip. Bottle Inlet is a tiny cove and that was already occupied by four other boats when we arrived. Rolynn and Steve always bet on how many boats will be present on arrival their next anchorage and Rolynn won (hereafter called the anchorage bet). We dropped anchor between two boats and settled in for the night. Rolynn and I fished and she caught a five pound flounder.

Culpepper Rapids
22 July 2013 - Bottleneck Inlet to Culpepper LagoonWe departed Bottleneck early for the long run up Mathieson Channel and Sheep Passage to Kynock Inlet to our anchorage in Culpepper Lagoon, about a six hour trip. On the way north we spotted a pod of three orcas-one adult and two youngsters-unusual for this far north and inland. We also encountered a large pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins which danced in the bow wave of Intrepid. We stopped in Sheep Passage to fish for halibut with no luck. After navigating Sheep Passage and rounding Mathieson Point, we turned east into Kynoch Inlet. Kynoch is magnificent with steep-sided mountains and lacy waterfalls. Culpepper is guarded by very narrow rapids that has to be entered at slack tide. We arrived at about 1300 and cruised through with little effort. We were greeted on the other side of the rapids by a pair of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that escorted us to the far end of the lagoon. Rolynn called to them and they seemed very interested in entertaining us with their acrobatic antics. It is a strange feeling to make conscious eye contact with a creature of obvious intelligence.

We were greeted on the other side of the rapids by a pair of Pacific White-sided Porpoises that escorted us to the far end of the lagoon. Rolynn called to them and they seemed very interested in entertaining us with their acrobatic antics. It is a strange feeling to make conscious eye contact with a creature of obvious intelligence. As they rode in the bow wave of Intrepid, they repeatedly rolled on their sides and looked up at us. They clearly responded to our hand gestures and calls with more antics. Upon reaching the end of the lagoon we anchored-a difficult task in such a deep-sided lagoon. I won the anchorage bet since there were no other boats in Culpepper and I guessed zero. Rolynn and I launched the dinghy and placed the crab pot in a spot where they had caught many before. We placed bets on how many crabs we would have in the basket the following morning (hereafter called to as the crab bet). We took the dingy down the river at high tide scouting for fish and watching for bears. For dinner we feasted on grilled sausage and fish, cannelloni with meat balls, and a red wine. The end of the lagoon was loaded with birds and seals that kept us entertained all night. Because the generator was not charging we decided not to stay in Culpepper two nights as previously planned. We needed to be underway each day to charge up the batteries to keep the boat supplied with electricity. Steve will arrange to get the generator fixed in Shearwater when they take me there to fly out on 2 August.


Culpepper Anchorage
23 July 2013 - Culpepper Lagoon to Bowlin Bay
Rolynn and I were out early in the dinghy to pick up the crab pot since we had to make the slack through the narrows at about 0800. I won the crab bet since I picked 8 crabs and we had six males large enough to keep. Our pair of Culpepper Dolphins escorted us out of the lagoon and to the rapids. The rapids where too shallow and swift to enter so we waited about 30 minutes before proceeding. We made a side trip up Mussel Inlet to view its picturesque bays, steep-sided mountains, and gorgeous waterfalls. Mussel Inlet gets its name from a 1793 incident involving a member of the Vancouver expedition. The rowboat Vancouver sent up this inlet, charting the waters and looking for
Rolynn's Nautical Garden
an eastward passage, stopped for breakfast at its innermost reach. The men supplemented their meager rations on mussels they caught and several soon became sick. One man, John Carter, died and was later buried at nearby Carter Bay, one of the first known victims of red tide. Mussel Inlet is a difficult place to find a safe anchorage, though we did find one sailboat anchored there. Retracing our steps down Sheep Passage, we tucked into Bowlin Bay for the day. On the way into Bowlin we dropped a shimp basket in about 300 feet of water. Rolynn and I launched the dingy and did some bottom fishing, each catching small rockfish which we then used for halibut bait. I later got a good bite and found a halibut had taken a good bite out of my rockfish. At supper we feasted on a fresh green salad harvested from Rolynn's cabin-top garden, home made cornbread, and the six large Dungeness Crabs caught in Culpepper, throwing the carcasses off the aft deck as we enjoyed the panoramic view of Bowlin Bay.


23 July 2013 - Culpepper Lagoon to Bowlin Bay
Lizette Falls - Mussel Inlet
Rolynn and I were out early in the dinghy to pick up the crab pot since we had to make the slack through the narrows at about 0800. I won the crab bet since I picked 8 crabs and we had six males large enough to keep. Our pair of Culpepper porpoises escorted us out of the lagoon and to the rapids. The rapids where too shallow and swift to enter so we waited about 30 minutes before proceeding.

24 July - Bowlin Bay to Oliver Cove
Next morning I fished for the salmon that were jumping all around the boat with no luck. Later I did some bottom fishing and caught a few small sole and a Pollock. Rolynn and I sat on the aft, savored our coffee, and watched the morning break at low tide on the bay before us. We decided to rename it Bird Bay because of the number and variety of birds. We watched two adult eagles keep watch over a juvenile bird that still had mottled dark brown and white feathers. An Osprey slapped the water, snatched the salmon that I should have caught, and quickly flew inland to avoid trouble with the eagles. There were also hundreds of shore birds: Pigeon Guillemots, Marbled Murrelets, Bonapart's Gulls, and more. A resident pair of seals circled the boat, eyed us curiously, and fed on the other salmon I should have caught. On the way out of Bowlin/Bird Bay we picked up the shrimp basket. Rolynn won the shrimp bet since she guessed closest to zero shrimp. The trip back down Mathieson Channel was uneventful and we arrived in Oliver cove about 1400, a six hour trip. We forgot to make the anchorage bet, but there were four boats at anchor before we arrived. It was overcast and a bit chilly when we settled in for our afternoon ritual of Gin and Tonics. The evening horsd'oeurves was crab cakes, made with yesterday's leftover Dungeness Crabs. For supper we had Reuben Sandwiches and Rolynn's homemade coleslaw. Rolynn and I explored the nearby Boat Harbor in the dingy before settling into an evening of reading.

Oliver Cove
25 July 2013 - Oliver Cove to Ocean Falls
We awoke to blue skies after the light fog burned off. This would be the sunniest and hottest day so far. We weighed anchor at 0800 and sailed south through Reid Passage, west through Seaforth Channel and Gunboat Passage, and finally north through Fisher Channel to Cousins Inlet and Ocean Falls, a five hour trip. Gunboat Passage gets very tight in several spots, especially at slack tide. As we made the passage we crossed the the cable lines that run from Ocean Falls that connect to Shearwater and Bella Bella and provide electricity from the plant that generates power from the dam there. Ocean Falls was founded as a paper mill town in 1906 and had a population of 3500 by 1950. After the paper mill closed in 1973, the town gradually lost its residents. The town now is a virtual ghost town with fewer than two dozen full-time residents, not counting the nearby housing area called Martinville. Houses, a large hotel, a church, a high-rise apartment complex, and former paper mill buildings all sit vacant. As you approach by boat and view the town from Cousins Inlet, Ocean Falls appears to be a prosperous town. As you get closer you see the emptiness and decay. The only thing left in the town is the power plant and a salmon fish hatchery. The towns most famous resident is Nearly Normal Norman who hosts a museum in Ocean Falls. Rolynn and I toured the town after we docked and met the few residents: the operators of the marina, caretaker at the Ocean Falls Fishing Lodge, folks who run the Dark Waters Lodge, and of course Norman. We walked to the top of the dam to view the spillway and see Link Lake. We wandered through neighborhoods of once cozy houses that were overgrown with moss and vines and ready to crumble. Sad to see a once vibrant town that once boasted two Olympic sized pools brought so low.

Downtown Ocean Falls
26 July - Ocean Falls
A whole day to fish! Steve stayed behind to work on the dingy that wasn't working properly and Rolynn caught up on her e-mail since we had a good WiFi connection. I set off for the half mile hike up the hill to Link Lake, but a worker at the fish hatchery told  me pink salmon were biting at Martin River. I turned around, walked back to the boat, grabbed my tidal fishing license, and set off on the one mile walk to Martinville. When I arrived, I saw hundreds of pink salmon in the shallows near the mouth of the Martin River. I fished first with my fly rod with no luck. After switching to Rolynn's spinning rod I had success. First I caught a six pound female pink; then an eight pound male. Next I hooked a large fish that I fought for ten minutes until it ran straight out to sea and I couldn't stop it before it broke my line. I then caught a seven pound female. Since I only had one more fish to catch to reach my limit, I switched to my fly rod. I hooked a large ten pound male and after a ten minute fight netted him; the most fun I have ever had with a fly rod! Flushed with success,
Brian and his Pinks!
I still had to get back to the boat. I loaded the four fish into my Wilson gym bag (closest thing Rolynn had to a fish net), stacked them head first into my backpack (my son's former DC school bag), slung the fishing net over the backpack, hefted one rod in each hand, and set off on the one mile hike back to the boat. I hadn't done a 40 pound ruck sack march since my army days. I reached the boat and demanded a beer before I showed my fish! After weighing, measuring, documenting, and gloating over the fish, Rolynn and I cleaned the four salmon. We had a seal standing by to eat all left over after cleaning the fish. That accomplished, Steve grilled the largest fish to eat for supper and froze the other three. What a feast. More fishing tomorrow when I will give Rolynn a lesson on the use of a spin-casting rod.



Friday, July 12, 2013

North of the Cape: Brown's Bay to Pruth Bay


Friday, July 5 - The 05:00 sea conditions report gave us 15 kn NW with a 2 ft chop at Chatham Point (where Discovery Channel becomes Johnstone Strait) on a ebb tide (against the wind).  The wind  will increase to 30-35 late in the day.  Given that we have several exit points west of Chatham we decided to go for it.  Our intention is to get to Forward Harbor from which we can make the final leg up Johnstone tomorrow.  If it gets awful before Chatham we can turn around and go back to Brown's Bay or continue south, back through Seymour, on the morning slack and go up the inside route through the rapids.

Brown's Bay to Sullivan Bay
We passed Okisollo Channel, the first exit point and when we turned the corner at Chatham it was, indeed, about a 2 ft chop which gave us no difficulty.  So, we passed up the second exit point, Nodales Channel, and pushed west.  At the Walkem Islands we had the option of sneaking through the channel behind islands but we had not done that before and the chart was unclear, to us at least, as to the best route.  So, we stuck to the main channel.  Soon, we were in patch of "square waves' - seven feet high and seven feet apart, and these were almost vertical.  Such waves come at you so fast that the boat does not have a chance to slide down the first wave and rise up the second so it just buries its bow in the ditch between the waves.  The ebb tide was pushing us so we had trouble slowing down enough for the boat to establish a rhythm.  As soon as we passed the Walkems, though, things calmed down.  Just then we saw a southbound boat come out of Mayne Passage and go behind the islands.  We made a note of that for next time.

We debated, for a while, whether or not to turn up Mayne or continue up Johnstone to Chancellor Channel.  Timing the rapids was the issue.  The slack water arrives first at Whirlpool, the northern most rapid, then about 40 minutes later it shows up at Shell Point, the southern most.  But it takes us 2.5 hours to get from Shell Point to Whirlpool so we can not make both rapids at slack.  We have to pull up after Shell Point and wait for a few hours then catch the afternoon slack at Whirlpool.  (There is a third rapid at Greenpoint but it has the same slack time as Shell Point.)  By continuing up Johnstone and hooking a right at the west end of Chancellor Channel we could bypass Shell point and Green Point rapids- we would only have to time Whirlpool.  But, it did not look like we could do so and get to Whirlpool for the slack so we made a right into Mayne Passage.  We hit the lower rapids near enough to slack and continued  through Chancellor Channel from its east end.  After turning up Wellbore Channel we intended to pull up just short of Whirlpool and wait.  But, we saw a tug and barge waiting in a little bay at the junction of Chancellor and Wellbore.  It was well after the slack - why was he waiting?  Just then he began heading up Wellbore for the rapids.  Then we saw a pusher tug coming up Chancellor.  The first tug had been waiting for the second.  Together, they went through Whirlpool, the second tug steering the barge from behind.  We decided to follow them and went through the rapids against a 3 kt current with no difficulty. Forward Harbor is just past the rapids and we were at anchor enjoying a G&T by noon. 

Saturday -
The Fanny Island weather station sits in the middle of Johnstone Strait at the mouth of Sunderland Channel.  Sunderland runs in more or less the same direction as Johnstone.  Forward Harbor is well protected and lies at the top of Sunderland, nearly an hour from Johnstone, but one can not usually pick up the weather station on the VHF in Forward.  So the saying is, "What you see in Sunderland, you will see in Johnstone."  We picked up at 06:15 and poked out into Sunderland which looked fine.  Now able to hear the weather station we learned that Fanny Island was reporting NW 10 kts.  This bodes well even though the tide was ebbing.  We studied the weather forecasts more as we cruised up Johnstone.  There appears to be a weather window opening for Queen Charolette Sound next Wednesday which means we would want to be in Allison Harbor the previous night.  Planning backwards leads us to believe we should continue on to Kwatsi Bay today instead of stopping in Lagoon Cove.  That cuts out a day and positions us well for a crossing of the Sound next week.

Seven hours, or so, after departing Forward found us with five other boats in Kwatsi Bay.  We caught up with the marina owners, our friends Anca and Max, and Jim who stays there all summer on his boat "Anchor".  There were only nine people for pot luck so it was good conversation with a good group.  Rolynn left some books on consignment at Anca's little store.

Environment Canada Weather Station: Echo Bay
Sunday - Pierre's Bay:  We hung around Kwatsi until mid-morning then pulled away for the 1.5 hour hike to Pierre's Bay.  We did some house keeping and will do some laundry tomorrow.  A quiet day.  Rolynn stocked their store with some books.

Cliffside at Echo Bay
Monday - Sullivan Bay:  Today it was 2.5 hours to Sullivan Bay, a community of floating homes, a post office, and a restaurant at the top of Wells Passage.  Along the way a pod of pacific whiteside dolphins rode our bow wave for 30 minutes or so.  It is always fun to watch them play. (Rolynn is sure that her antics and yells off the bow enticed the dolphins to jump when she requested...the dolphins had her trained, is what really happened). At the docks we joined in the happy hour. We shared snacks and met some nice folks as well as saw some old acquaintances. 

The Wednesday weather window still looks good so we plan to move along to Allison Harbor, about 4.5 hrs up the coast, which is our jumping off point to go around Cape Caution.


Dolphins on the Bow
Tuesday - Allison Harbor:  We were up early to listen to the weather.  It is an 11 hour trip from Sullivan Bay, around Cape Caution, to Fury Cove at the mouth of Fitz Hugh Sound.  The earliest weather forecast and sea conditions report is at 04:50 so, after listening and discussing, 05:30 is about the earliest we can get underway.  But since the wind almost always comes up in the afternoon we want to be tucked in by about noon.  That makes our trip around the cape a two-day affair.  Allison Harbor is very sheltered, we can wait out any weather there, and the cove is about half way to Fury Cove.  It is a bit of a rock garden getting in but it is well charted and all the rocks are easily identifiable.  It looks a lot worse on the chart than it actually is.  That is often true.  Anyway, we were swinging on the hook by 11:00 and spent a pleasant afternoon.  We barbequed steaks for dinner.

Wednesday - Rounding Cape Caution:   This part may make most of you glaze over.  But, the purpose of this blog is, in part, to help our non-boating friends understand the challenges and decisions required to meet them. 

Queen Charolotte Sound is open to the Pacific Ocean and Cape Caution is a major head-land which must be rounded in order to transverse it.  There are multiple factors to consider when transversing any such body of water.

WIND - The wind in QCS usually flows from anywhere in the SW to NW quadrant.  The wind us usually lightest in the morning and rises to a peak in the late afternoon.  We look for a wind forecast of less than 20 kt but will go in 25 if other conditions are favorable.

TIDE - Spring (big) tides occur at the new and full moons.  Neap (small) tides occur at the half moons.  Ebb tide currents are stronger than flood tides and take the shortest path to the open ocean.  It is big tides running against strong winds that make for rough seas.  A boat running with a 25 kt wind and also with a flood tide may be glass smooth.  But, running into a big ebb opposing a 20 kt wind can be terrible.  The waves pile up, bunch together and become "confused"  ie, they have no consistent, repeating pattern.  The ebb tides in QCS flow, more or less, to the west and the wind comes, more or less, from the west.  Ebb tides and wind usually oppose one another here.

SWELLS - Swells are generated by storms far at sea.  Sometimes as far away as the southern hemisphere where it is winter.  As they roll in from the deep ocean they hit the shallower waters of the Continental Shelf so they get higher and closer together.  There are automated buoys at sea that measure and report the winds and swell heights.  A key buoy for us is named West Sea Otter.  We look for a reading of 1.0 meter or less but will accept a touch more if other conditions are good.  Local winds generate waves which are "on top" of the swells.

SHORE LINE EFFECTS- "Sea conditions are combined wave and swell heights and may vary with depth and shore line effects."  So, says Environment Canada (Canada's NOAA) in every forecast broadcast.  These, too, play into our decision making.  The water off Cape Caution is relatively shallow so a 1.0 meter swell at West Sea Otter may reach 3.0 m at the Cape, with some wind.  And just north of Allison Harbor are Belize, Nugent and Seymour Inlets each containing vast quantities of water all of which must pass through narrow (600 ft) Nakwakto Rapids then out into the sound via Slingsby Channel.  Nakwakto currents are among the world's fastest and can reach 20 kts.  On a big ebb the water gushes out of Slingsby like a fire hose.  The water is shallow and if big swells and strong winds are from the west, opposing the current, it can sink a boat.  The "Slingsby Effect" can extend well out into the sound so we give it a wide berth if she is running at ebb.

Just north of the Cape is Rivers Inlet.  As the name implies, many rivers enter the inlet.  The river outflows amplify the ebb tides flowing out of the inlet.  Again, crossing Rivers on an ebb tide with opposing wind and swells can be very uncomfortable.

COURSE - Finally, what is our course to be?  Geography, being what it is, requires that much of our 5 hr crossing puts the seas on our beam.  That is, we are going more or less north and the waves, wind and swells are coming from the west.  So, we are going to roll unless it is flat calm.  How much depends on the combined effects of all of the above factors.

Rounding the Cape:  Sullivan Bay to Fury Cove
The day's first weather forecasts and sea condition reports are broadcast just before 05:00 so we're listening.  Pine Island lighthouse is west of Allison Harbor and we hope for less than 20 kt winds and no more than a "2 foot chop".  West Sea Otter is 40 miles off the coast.  We want 1.0 meter swells, or less.  Egg Island Lighthouse is just off the Cape.  We want a two foot chop with a low westerly swell.  In a perfect world we want to cross Slingsby at slack and Rivers on the flood all before noon but we rarely get both.  In fact, nature being what she is, we can not hope to get everything we want so we take the best combination we can get or wait for another day.

We listen to the weather at 05:00... the forecast was for 20 kt SW rising to 25-30 NW late in the morning.  West Sea Otter was 1.5 m and Egg Island was 20 kt SW with a 3 ft moderate sea.  3 ft refers to the combined wave and swell height.  "Moderate" refers to how rough the seas are.  We don't know what "moderate" means exactly but it is the fourth of the seven stages of sea conditions.  The seventh is "phenomenal".  We have learned that a 3 ft moderate is not moderate enough for us, especially on the beam.  So, we went back to bed.

At 08:00, West Sea Otter was 10 kt SW and 1.1 meters.  Egg was reporting 15 kt SW and a 2 ft chop with a low westerly swell.  We were under way by 08:30.  We passed Slingsby running at full ebb but her effects were minimal due to the low swells and light winds.  When we turned the corner at Egg Island to a northerly course across the mouth of Rivers Inlet we took low swells on the port beam for an hour or so and a few things hit the floor.  Soon, though, we were more in the lee of Cape Calvert, which guards the mouth of Fitz Hugh Sound, and were anchored in Fury Cove by 13:30.  It was not the best crossing we have ever had, but it was far from the worst.  All in all, we called it a good day.

Egg Island
Thursday - We are anchored in Pruth Bay after a 3 hr jaunt up Fitz Hugh from Fury Cove.  Fury is one of our favorite spots.  Pruth is at the west end of Kwakshua Inlet near the north end of Calvert Island.  The inlet nearly severs the northern tip of the island.  Much of Calvert and the surrounding islands comprise the Hakai Luxbalis Conservancy Area, a huge provincial park.  At the shore of the bay are facilities that once were a luxurious fly-in fishing resort and an outstanding restaurant.  But a couple of years ago the Tula Foundation bought it all and made it a research/conference center.  They host all manner of ecological researchers, archaeologists, cultural anthropologists and the like.  They also broadcast their wifi into the bay for us boaters.

Tula Foundation Facilities - Pruth Bay
We will stay here two days then sneak into the complex of islands and bays north of here loosely known as Queen's Sound.  The more popular name is the Spider or Hurricane Islands.  There was a Canadian naval seaplane base near here during WWII.  Most of the islands were named by the pilots for aircraft used during the Battle of Britain.  We will be in Shearwater Marina on 7/20 to meet Brian, Rolynn's brother, who is joining us for two weeks in Fjordland (and other parts) north of there.



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Emergency at Sea - Anacortes to Brown's Bay (Johnstone Straits)


Monday -  Fueling from the Reisner's truck proceeded uneventfully, except for the impact on our checking account - $1864 for 523 gallons of #2 diesel.  At least it was about $250 less than we would have paid at the fuel dock.  We chatted with Rusty, the driver, then bid him adieu until next year.  "Intrepid" edged away from the dock at 12:15 and pointed herself northwest for a course through the San Juan and Gulf Islands to Montegue Harbor in BC.

The currents were more favorable than the tide tables had predicted so we made the trip in 5.5 hrs - about 48 nm (a nautical mile is 1.14 statute miles).  We like Montegue Harbor for our first night because it is about the right distance and because we can clear Canadian Customs there with out going to a dock to do so.  We have NEXUS cards which allow us to clear customs by phone with a minimum of fuss because we have been previously interviewed, finger-printed, photographed, anally probed, etc.  We just call when we are within 30 minutes of the border.  They have all our info on record.

The big deal for us is how much duty will we have to pay on our gin and wine when we clear customs.  The Canadian and BC governments are keen to maximize their revenues from the importation of such beverages.  They start with what we paid in the states.  (Washington State has the highest prices in the nation but California is cheap so we bring the gin north from there.)  They then mark up the base cost to BC prices, about the same as Washington prices.  On top of that they assess excise tax (based on the alcohol content), duty (for the Hell of it) and sales tax (because they can).  A $14 dollar bottle of California gin ends up costing $50.75.  This time the customs agent only asked if it was for our own consumption (YES!) in which case he did not assess the duty.  We saved about $450!

This obviously called for a celebratory G&T.  As I kept watch on the road ahead, Rolynn booted up the Sodastream which we use to make carbonated beverages, including diet tonic.  When Rolynn went to replace the CO2 cartridge she discovered that the four replacements she thought were full were empty!  NO G&Ts!  This is the very definition of an emergency at sea so we promptly notified the Coast Guard.  They were not alarmed and sent no rescue chopper.  We desperately hope the cartridges can be obtained in Nanaimo.

Tuesday -  After a pleasant night on a mooring buoy in Montegue we cast off at 08:15 to make the 12:00 slack current at Dodd Narrows.  We got there a little early but scooted through with about 2 kn on the nose.  By 13:00 we were tied up in the inner harbor.  Just as we got our lines arranged, Vera, a boating friend who lives in a luxurious high-rise over-looking the harbor, was pecking at my shoulder.  She had seen us pull in and hustled down to invite us up for drinks.