No, really… Do you ever work?
I’ve been hearing that a lot, lately, and to that my answer is always all things in moderation.
I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Desolation Sound and beyond, which I wrote about here, and here. I’ve been home a week; enough time to go to work for a few days, do my laundry, and mow the lawn before taking off again.
Yes, I know I’m a lucky man to have the time to do the things I love to do.
This time, I’m heading back up to the Gulf Islands, with an ultimate destination of Telegraph Harbour for the annual Canadian Tollycraft rendezvous. This will be my seventh Canadian rendezvous, which is always a good time. I’ll be taking my time going there and returning, with plans to visit some of my favorite spots and hope to check out some new ones.
Sunday, September 8
I was definitively outnumbered, one of only a boat or two heading out Guemes Channel, while others were returning from the weekend. Remnants of Rosario Strait’s fog remained in the distance – holdouts early for the evening gathering. Once out of the boat traffic, the ride was smooth all the way to Blind Bay (Shaw Island), where I dropped the anchor in a familiar spot.
As the sun was setting, fog began to collect. You can tell fall is knocking at the door – looks like it’s time to add a blanket to the bed. After some dinner off the grill washed down with a cold Molson Canadian left over from the last trip, I relaxed in the vee berth. I turned on the TV to find a Burt Bacharach tribute show on PBS, one of the few channels the antenna could pull in. I didn’t realize he wrote as many songs as he did…
Today’s total: 16.5 Nm
Monday, September 9
It was a still and quiet morning, except for the sound of foghorns – oh and “What do you get when you fall in love?” on repeat in my brain. (Thanks for the ear worm, Burt).
There was no hurry to get up and moving, the bay was socked in with fog.
By ten or so, the fog was pretty much gone, making way for sunshine and blue skies. I’m still in no rush. I launched the dinghy and explored the bay, and made a trip to the Shaw Island Store. By early afternoon I was ready to.
I pulled anchor and motored toward Pole Pass, not sure where I’d be headed for the evening, thinking I’d at least go in the direction of the Gulf Islands. Just off Jones Island, I saw what appeared to be whale watching boats in President Channel, near West Beach (Orcas Island). It didn’t look too far out of the way, so I turned toward the collection of boats.
I joined the other boats, both commercial and pleasure, in observing a pod of Orca whales for probably an hour or so. I was pleased to see that all were courteous to other boaters, while keeping distance from the whales. I managed to capture some pictures.
While watching the whales, I could look out and see that Boundary Pass and Haro Strait looked like glass. I decided to point toward Bedwell Harbor, where I could possibly get a buoy at Beaumont Park.
I plotted a course and made for Bedwell. The water was eerily flat. This chunk of water can get rather sporty at times, but today it was a mirror. I sped up for a few minutes to complete my crossing in front of southbound freighter. He was making 19 knots compared to my 5, at the time. I called customs for NEXUS clearance – the routine questions asked and I was given my clearance number.
When I motored toward Beaumont Park, I wasn’t surprised that all of the buoys were occupied, so I found a nice spot in about forty feet of water and dropped my anchor. The evening sunset was amazing.
Today’s total: 25.1 Nm
Trip total: 41.6 Nm
Tuesday, September 10
Woke up to a bit of a breeze, andJolly Mon dancing on the anchor line. After some breakfast, I was under way heading toward Ganges.
On the way, I poked my nose into a possible anchorage that I had read about in the Ackland Islands off of Prevost Island. Looked like a nice spot in the right conditions. Who knows, maybe I’ll beat Marc Bunzell to it!
I continued on to Ganges, where I shoehorned Jolly Mon into a spot at the government dock. Destiny, Tolly Time and Channel Dancer were already there – apparently they heard there was a chance I might be playing at the Tree House Cafe’s open mic. I played there last year, and had a great time, and I guess word got out. Rain Bird arrived later in the afternoon.
After some dinner, we found our way to the Tree House Cafe – a cool, funky little place with a big tree growing in the middle of their outdoor patio. The name, Tree House is fitting. They have a great little stage, and live music 111 nights in a row during the summer. There were some great performers, mostly locals of course, but I was welcomed. I had quite the entourage, with the addition of Tolly Daze, and Larry and Donna who used to own Second Half. It was a fun evening.
Today’s total: 14.7 Nm
Trip total: 56.3 Nm
Wednesday, September 11
A beautiful morning. After one last walk through town to grab a coffee and a couple items at the grocery store, I was ready to go.
The water was flat, and it was a beautiful cruise to Wallace Island, where I anchored and stern tied in peaceful Princess Cove. Once settled, I went to shore for a walk.
Wallace Island is home to a cabin full of boat signs left by visiting boaters. I made and left a sign of my own on my last visit in 2010, so I needed to go check on it, and update it for this time around. I found my sign, still intact. I found it a new home on the wall after making a note for this visit. It’s fun to look around at the handiwork, and find those left by friends.
Today’s total: 12.8 Nm
Trip total 69.1 Nm
Thursday, September 12
Had an absolutely flat run to Telegraph Harbour for the 25th Annual Tollycruisers Rendezvous. More about that; it deserves its own post!
The weather is beautiful, and the dock is filling up as boats arrive. The theme is “Pajama Party”, and I’m sure the attire will be nothing short of spectacular.
Today’s total: 8.9 Nm
Trip total: 78.0 Nm