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Friday October 10th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

 At 0700, I can just see the shore a few hundred yards away though the fog.

At 1000, we depart for Thetis Island and predictions that the fog should dissipate by then.

In the meantime, we have provisioning and other small jobs to do.

*    *    *    *

The small jobs and provisioning took more time than expected and we actually untied and cast off just before 1200.  That was fine, since a later start meant we would be bucking less tidal current.  It also meant running Samsun Narrows with a flood of maybe two or three knots, but that is fine. 

The rule of thumb for going through rapids this wide comfortably with a boat with a hull speed of around seven knots is half that number, or three and half.  Earlier, the current would be less, or even against us if we arrived too early.

The first miles were in light fog, but once were were passing the Saanich Inlet, the fog cleared and the wind picked up, carrying us along at up to seven and half knots downwind until we reached the Narrows at which point the wind dropped and shifted, so we powered through.

After we passed Oyster Point and just as we passed Maple Bay, we were overtaken by Camdeboo, the BCA Commodore's boat.  They caught up, but we stayed close until they tacked to Chemainus an hour later.

Just after 0520, we pulled into Thetis Island Marina, tied up, had supper and went to bed early, tired from the day's sail.

Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available
to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want.
The most terrifying thing is what people do want.
Clive Barnes

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Saturday October 11th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Coffee at 0900.  That means set-up at 0830.

Morning:
0900 - 1000: Coffee on the dock.
1000: Announcements on dock at the host boat and on the bulletin board. 
(Also an opportunity to recruit help and or advice from fellow sailors.)
Boats continue to arrive, check in with the Marina, and register with BCA.
Visiting, walking, exploring, beachcombing...
Afternoon:
Visiting, walking, exploring, beachcombing, pub time, etc.
1400 - 1500: Boat Visits -- If you welcome visitors aboard, indicate so by hanging a tea towel in the rigging or lifelines.
1500-1600:  Swap on the dock -  a chance to display and swap or sell boating items.  Bring cash.
BCA items will be available for purchase on the dock at that time.  A bulletin board will be available for posting ads.
1630: Announcements on dock at the host boat.  (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
1630
(+/-) Happy Appie hour - Bring appetisers and snacks to share.
1730: Pot Luck.  Bring one dish (one main dish, plus a veggie dish or dessert), drinks,  and your own plates, glasses and cutlery.
Evening: Visiting, pub time, etc. We have projection equipment, so bring your slides on a thumb drive (USB stick) and don't be shy.

Everything went according to plan.  The day began with rain, but cleared off, and by afternoon, I was in shorts and a tee shirt.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that
you end up being governed by your inferiors.
Plato

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Sunday October 12th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Coffee is at 0900 again this morning, with a radio roll call and net at 0900 also.  The plan is much like yesterday, with a few additions.  We now have 21 boats here, including some "virtual boats", people whose boats are offshore or not handy and came in a camper, a motorhome, or by foot and stay in the  resort.

Morning
0900 Sharp
: Roll Call on VHF Channel 68.
0900 - 1000: Coffee and pastries on the dock.
1000: Announcements on dock at the host boat.  (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
Visiting, walking, beachcombing, exploring...
1300 - 1500: (+/-) Model boat construction.
1400 - 1500:
Boat Visits -- If you welcome visitors aboard, indicate so by hanging a tea towel in the rigging or lifelines.
1400-1500:  Swap on the dock -  a chance to display and swap or sell boating items.  Bring cash.
1530 (+/-) Model boat race
1700: Happy Hour. 
Announcements on dock at the host boat.  (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
1730:  Traditional Turkey Supper in restaurant and on deck, weather permitting. Book ahead with the restaurant by phone or email and pay at the restaurant.
Evening: Visiting, discussions, pub time, etc. We have projection equipment, so bring your slides on a thumb drive (USB stick) and don't be shy.

Now, at 1000, we have 24 boats and over 50 people registered and have now broken the record for the Thanksgiving Rendezvous -- and we are coming close to the record for any rendezvous held this year which is 27 boats.  We are expecting a few more today.

This year, we strongly encouraged newcomers, and as a result have a number of new people attending, which is excellent.

By evening, we were up to 28 boats and broke the 2014 record for attendance.  We all had a sit-down Thanksgiving meal, then called it an early night.  Consulting the tide tables and the weather forecasts had shown that many boats would be leaving early tomorrow, including us.

I have seen the future and it doesn't work.
Robert Fulford

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Monday October 13th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

We started the coffee pot up on deck for the others, then left the dock at dawn -- 0745.  I have to have the kids at the airport for 3:45 and 7:35 today.  Predictions were for high winds, so we wanted to be sure we allowed extra time in case we had to duck in somewhere to wait out a blow.

We didn't.  In fact we never raised a sail the whole trek back to the Saanich Peninsula.  There was never enough wind. 

We arrived three hours early and tied up at Deep Cove Marina, then killed some time until it was time for Jon to go to the airport. He caught a cab, and twenty minutes and twenty dollars later was at the gate waiting for his flight to Seattle.  So much for the two-hour rule, for small airports at least.

Jean left for the airport at 1630 and I motored over to Fulford and had supper at the Rock Salt Restaurant with Bruce, Mary and Bruce.

Afterwards, Mary drove the car home, and the two Bruces and I returned to the boat for the night.

A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.
Alfred E. Wiggam

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Tuesday October 14th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

We were up before the sun and had breakfast.  Pearson went home to get a few things and around 1000, Bruce, Bruce and I left the dock headed in the general direction of Sooke.  The only wind so far has been in the bay.  The the sea is like glass, so we are motoring.

We stopped at Portland Island and went hiking.  I walked a mile or so, then went back to get the dinghy to meet them around the point.  When I got there, they had decided to continue the hike, so I returned to the boat and had a nap.  I'm pretty tired after the Rendezvous.

When they returned, we pulled up the anchor and motored across to Sidney, tied up at the dock and went for supper at Fish on Fifth.

A friend of Bruce P's, Clarence, and his girlfriend met us there.  Clarence is a musical instrument repair expert.  He kept us entertained with chatter, then left and returned from next door with strings for Bruce P's mandolin, carrying his own mandolin which he played a while, for the enjoyment of our group and others nearby.  After  supper, we three returned to the boat and I called it a day.

I slept until midnight and awoke realising I really should not have had that third piece of battered fish, all those fries and a large pumpkin beer.  All that oil and batter was challenging my digestion and I remembered that eating a large, heavy, greasy meal is a good way to kill oneself if there is any heart risk.  Anyhow, I managed to get through that and slept the rest of the night quite well.

I got up early and wrote some email.  I am falling far, far behind in my correspondence.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

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Wednesday October 15th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

We have another overcast day and not great sailing weather from the forecast.  Obviously, we won't be going to Sooke.

The Bruces have remembered things they need to do and decided to return to Saltspring, and that works for me.  I have things to do and need some time alone anyhow, so I'll run them over to Fulford and then poke around for a few days.

On the weekend, I have to take this boat to Vancouver and bring another back before I fly home Monday, but the details have not yet been worked out.

We motored back to Fulford in the rain and they got off.  I motored across the bay, dropped the hook and had a nap.  When I awoke, the sun was shining.

I'm deciding if I want to go somewhere or stay here.  The location is a bit exposed, but the mud bottom seems to hold the anchor well. I have things to do and right here is as good as anywhere.  The cellular Internet is a bit off and on, though, and I may move on.

*    *    *    *    *

I did move on.  Dawn phoned and the signal was poor, so I decided to move out to Russell Island where I could call her back. 

I set out and called her.  The the news is that I am good to go for Vancouver. She found me a slip there and a boat to bring back, so why not start now?

Cassiopeia cleared the Russell Island wind shadow and turned north under full sail.  Soon I was running downwind at up the eight knots in beautiful weather.  The clouds and rain were gone.

I checked the tides and, as it happened, I was exactly on time for slack at Active Pass.  I had thought I'd be stuck at Montague or Orca Bay for the night, waiting for the tides, but decided to grab the chance and run the Pass, then stay in Whaler Bay for the night again, seeing as my timing was right.

I arrived at Whaler Bay just before dusk and looked around.  A small boat was out placing crab pots in my favourite spot, so that made a bit of an obstacle course, but I found a clear space.  My timing was ideal and I dropped anchor just as the light faded.

I was tired.  I watched some video and went to bed.

There are two kinds of people in the world,
those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't.
Robert Benchley

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Thursday October 16th 2014

 

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Being by myself, with no reason to get up, I slept until 0900.  I was up a few times in the night to write and organise files, then slept again.  That seems to work best for me: sleep three or four hours, then get up for one or two, then go back to bed.

At noon, I'm still anchored in Whaler Bay and think I'll sail around today and maybe go up to Silva Bay or even Snug Cove.  I also could go to Granville Island.  Can't decide.

There is a gale warning for today and Friday, but I have quit worrying about anything under thirty knots in the forecast.  If that number is reached, it is usually for only a few minutes and this boat can handle that comfortably as long as I'm not in confused or steep seas, or near a lee shore.  When a blow is predicted, however, I have to consider the tide direction, fetch etc., and also have a refuge in mind, and make sure I am well off lee shores and reefs.

I really do not have anything pressing in mind except to wash the upholstery in the boat.  The cushions have gotten filthy and condensation  dripping occasionally from the portlights leaves rings, making the dirt obvious.

I think the people we hired last time for $300+ just used a foam cleaner than spreads the dirt, rather than remove it.  As a test, to see if cold water wash will work and not damage the upholstery, I simply unzipped and removed a slip cover, then washed it quickly by hand in the galley sink.  It turned out perfectly. 

The real issue is to dry the covers after.  In this weather, nothing dries on a boat, so I need to dry them in the office overnight or get a dehumidifier (more) on board.  A dehumidifier has been on my list for a while.

*    *    *    *

It is now 1612 and I have been trucking along on a reach at up to eight knots.   I'm headed for Snug Cove and made a late start, having spent some time exploring all the way into the shallow end of Whaler Bay, seeing as the tide was up at the time.

At times, I am under sail alone and at other times, like now, I am using engine assist.  Just now, I've hit a tidal eddy and that is tossing me around.  I want to make Snug Cove by dark, two and a half hours from now, and I'm two hours out -- if I can keep up the pace.

*    *    *    *

Sam texted that he has a slip for me at Granville Island, but by now I am committed to Bowen Island.

There is not much moon tonight and I have no searchlight. Travelling after dark is a bit risky here anyhow due to logs that escape from booms and bits of driftwood that are hard to see at night.

My goal tonight is to wash the slipcovers. They are grimy and watermarked. I don't know how they got so dirty on a boat on the water, but they did.

Granville Island has no Laundromat I'm told, but Snug Cove has what I need.  Besides, I like stopping here.

The afternoon has been sunny and I travel with several panels open.  The enclosure makes days like this pleasant.  When I open a windward panel I get a hint of what an open boat is like.   I'm scheduled to take a Catalina 445 over to Sidney Sunday.  That boat has only a dodger and a bimini, and I am not looking forward to having to bundle up.

*    *    *    *

All went well until the last hour.  As I passed Point Atkinson, the wind shifted and picked up so that I had fifteen knots on the nose.  I sailed a bit further, then snuffed the sails and proceeded under power, making only a little over five knots.

I got to the dock in plenty of time and tied up.  I'd eat at Doc Morgan's Pub, but  have tons of food in the larder, having thought that there would be more people on board.  I had steak and corn for supper and will stroll uptown to get loonies at the General Store for the wash tomorrow morning.

I got ten dollars worth and hope that will be enough. I found that the store is quite well-stocked and noticed more restaurants as I walked up the road running up from the ferry dock than I recall.  They all look good.

Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

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Friday October 17th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I'm missing beautiful weather at home.

The plan today is to wash the slipcovers and sail to Vancouver for the night.  Saturday or Sunday, I take the Catalina to Sidney.  Monday, I return home.

The weather here promises to be wet.  I've hit a rainy streak for pretty well my entire stay this trip.  I actually don't mind the rain a lot, given how dry and sheltered this boat is.  I'm wondering about the trip back to Sidney in the open Catalina cockpit, however.

At nine, I went up to the Laundromat, filled three machines half-full and ran them.  They wanted quarters, not loonies, so I had to get more change again.

When the machines stopped, nine dollars later, the slip covers were still somewhat dry in the middle of the load and there was a little soap left there, too.  Seems that in addition to being stiff, these covers are a bit waterproof.  I then hand-washed them in the sink and rolled them up to drain. 

Back on the boat, I cast off in light rain and pointed the bow out of the cove.  About then, I realised that the GPS was not working.  The chart plotter was fine, but my position was not showing.

No problem.  I have a handheld backup, plus I have paper charts and I know the route anyhow, but it bothered me.  A charter boat must have a working GPS.  I've had occasional GPS drop-outs before and that worries me.

I tried repeatedly rebooting the GPS , but it failed to show a fix.  The light flashed orange, not green.  I then checked the GPS settings on the plotter and found options for SOG/COG sensitivity and turned that down to medium from high.  The GPS began to function.  Problem solved, it seems.  This adjustment decides how precisely successive readings must agree and controls the averaging.

At Point Atkinson, the wind picked up to twenty-seven knots at twenty degrees off the nose, so I motored in, fuelled up, lifted the dinghy on deck and docked at Granville Island Marina, Slip H19.  Sam was there to catch the lines.

Sam and I had things to discuss, but I begged off until later and went below to deal with the mess.  I decided to put on the covers while wet and did so. 

*    *    *     *    *

The job took several hours.  I should have marked all the cushions when removing the covers, but, after a few false starts, managed to figure it out.  At least everything looks right. 

I was concerned about the dampness and set the furnace on high, and set several electric heaters on high, opened several sheltered portlights to let out the hot damp air and went out for supper with Ron at the Arbutus Club.

*    *    *    *

When I got back, the covers were pretty well dry and the watermarks seem to be gone.  Wonderful.

Now, tomorrow, I just have to pack, move my things to the the other boat, have three meetings and decide when to leave -- or if -- and how far to go today.

It is 32 nautical miles to Whaler Bay or five hours, minimum. 

Porlier is only three quarters of an hour closer, but may be favoured by wind and tides.

There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society
than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of
economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one
man in a million is able to diagnose.
John Maynard Keynes

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Saturday October 18th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

In Vancouver, it's dull this morning with no rain -- yet.

I know I can't get out of here before noon.  I have too much to do.

The winds this morning sound perfect, if one can believe the forecast.  The winds later are acceptable.

If I go today, I have to leave by 1300 to allow enough time to find an anchorage for the night.  I'd prefer to break the trip in two, especially travelling alone in an open boat.

Suddenly, my lower back is acting up.  This happens occasionally, but unless it improves, this could change my plans.  I popped an ibuprofen.  That usually works, but we'll see.

*    *    *     *    *

My back got better and I packed up.  Packing is quite a job.  I have too many items.  Seeing as I am leaving Cassiopeia in Vancouver, I am taking all my maintenance supplies with me.   The boat gets damp in winter and will be in use, so I figure to store the supplies in Sidney.

*    *    *     *    *

At present, I am pointed south under sail with engine assist at 7.5 knots towards Whaler Bay.  I intend to arrive by sundown, but it will be close.  My chat with Sam took longer than I expected and I was almost an hour late casting off.  I skipped the other two meetings.

At right is a screenshot from the Navionics app on my phone and tablet

This boat is a 2011 Catalina 445.  It is a nice boat, but very different from my Bavaria.  This one is a cushy coastal cruiser and makes no pretence to be an offshore boat. 

Compared to Cassiopeia, this boat is worth twice the money, a bit longer and a bit wider, plus six years newer.  The interior is wood, but the grain is so perfect, I thought it was plastic until I took a closer look.  The boat has all the gadgets one could want, but I have little time to learn them, so am running on the  basics.

Up in the cockpit, the only shelter is the dodger and bimini.  Thank goodness today is mild and sunny -- the forecast notwithstanding.  I could have put off the trip a day, but wanted to be sure I allowed time to stop and warm up if needed.  So far, no need. It'll cool down soon, though, as the sun gets low.

*    *    *     *    *

It's cooling now, at 1637, with 12 nm to go.  Sunset is predicted to be at 1818.  The moon is a waning crescent, and does not rise until after midnight anyhow, so I won't have much light once the sun goes down out here away from city lights.

*    *    *     *    *

The wind has dropped to nothing, so I pulled in the sails.  At the current speed, I should be in before dusk.  I have not anchored this boat before, so have to allow for surprises.  I did inspect the ground tackle before leaving, though and it looks AOK.

*    *    *     *    *

I made it with a half-hour of light to spare and anchored without difficulty, had supper and went to bed about 1930.  I was tired.  My back was fine all day.

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Samuel Johnson

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Sunday October 19th 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Of course, I woke up early, having crashed right after supper. In fact, I first awoke at 2330, but went back to sleep for an hour, then another hour, but now, here I am, wide awake at 0202.  I've had 'breakfast' already, but no coffee.  I think I'll make some and write a bit and go back to bed.

My back is slightly sore again.  I don't like to take ibuprofen much since it causes strange dreams, but it works.  I think I took one before bed and was dreaming.  These dreams are not bad dreams, but they are not particularly enjoyable either and slightly annoying.  I think I'll go back to aspirin.

This spot in the Bay is a bit rolly.  Occasional wakes from boats passing far away across the Strait rock the boat slightly.

I also decided to sleep in the large aft cabin, forgoing the forepeak and its electric sit-up bed.  Perhaps the wave action is more obvious here.  Also, the furnace is under this bed -- a double -- and runs occasionally and noisily.  I doubt either of these disturbances is the cause of awakening, but they probably contribute.

It is still too early for the day's marine forecast, not that I am too inclined to believe it.  I always listen to it, if only to brush up on my French.  Also, I have to assume that if there is a gale warning issued, we can expect at least a little wind for a little while and should be prepared -- just in case they are right.  Of course, I should always be prepared anyhow, so I guess that listening is just a ritual.

Listening to or reading the marine forecast is like reading one's horoscope.  With a good imagination, one can often see some correspondence with what actually happens that day.  The buoy reports, giving real-time wind speed and direction at various places, however are very useful.

This is a very different boat from mine.  In some ways I am a little envious, but in others, I appreciate mine more. 

I have only eighteen sea miles to go today.  Active pass is slack  at 0825, so I should get going anytime before that as after that, the flood begins. Sunrise is 0739 so first light will be as much as an hour before then.

I'm going back to bed, without coffee.  I have bored myself with my writing enough to sleep -- I hope.

*    *    *    *

It's 0920 and I am out in Trincomali Channel, running downwind under the genoa, making three to four knots.

I was up at 0700 and pulled up the anchor at 0745. 

The trip through the Pass was easy, and I cruised by Village Bay to reconnoiter along the way.

*    *    *     *    *

Now, at 0830, the sun is up and I am stripping off outer layers.  I guess I should check the forecast.  Seems to me that today was to be rainy and windy.

I'm thinking I may go into Ganges. I haven't been there in a while. 

I've wondered about James Bay on Prevost Island as a hideout from weather, so on the way, i cruised by to take a look.  I've scouted the bay on Google Earth, but nothing ever looks the same as being there.

*    *    *     *    *

I sailed and motored into Ganges and looked around.  I've been there often on land and flown in by seaplane, but it has been more than ten years since I came in by boat.  What wind there was, was against me so it took a long time to get in.  Along the way, I passed a racing fleet going out.

   

I cruised around the harbour, then headed back out, bound for Sidney.

From Ganges, I sailed out towards Orca Bay and then tacked back towards Russell Island.  I considered stopping there for the night, but decided that I should get back to Sidney.  I fly tomorrow at 1255 and have things to do in the morning.

*    *    *     *    *

The wind died and I ended up motoring in from Moresby Pass on, stopping at Van Isle for fuel along the way.  The boat took only thirteen litres and that surprised me.

At Port Sidney Marina, I made an absolutely perfect docking between two boats with only eight feet of extra room and nobody was there to see.  Once tied up and connected to power, I stripped down to a pair of summer shorts, no shirt or shoes, and am sitting here in the open salon at sunset, cooling down.  I was comfortable out on the water with my long underwear, jeans a fleece vest, and Custom Woolen Mill socks under my runners but found myself boiling over at the dock.

Although the weather has been beautiful at home, I seldom gave Alberta a thought.  I'm home here now and the bays, the ports and the tides are all becoming familiar.

Now to pack and get ready to change worlds.

The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
Voltaire

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