The kids caught the early ferry Sunday morning heading back home. We were sad to see them go but our hearts were full as we watched them drive out of the marina.
Once we got back to the boat we notice Geoffrey was missing. At first we suspected he deserted but the more we talked about it we think he was kidnapped! He was last seen looking out the starboard side of the cockpit. (if you follow svpellucidar on facebook you have the latest update) I enourage you to check it out!
Before leaving Roche Harbor we visited with Ben & Debbie from the Farr 50 located a few slips down. We had a great visit with them as they reviewed their circumnavigation of Vancouver Island last year. They gave us some great places to visit as well as gave us some of thei highlights of bringing their boat from Mistic, Connecticut to the West Coast. They had purchased their boat in Mystic and brought it around though the Panama Canal. I wish we had more time to spend with them. Maybe another port.
We left the dock, contacted Roche to let them know of our departure, and to thank them for a wonderful weekend.
We’ve always wanted to visit Westcott and Garrison Bay so we motored out through Mosquito Pass and anchored in Garrison Bay. This is a very shallow bay. I may have anchored a little further into the bay than I should have but the tides were moderate so we stayed put. 10′ of water would give Pellucidar just enough to float and the good news is…. 50′ of chain did the job!
Garrison Bay is where the English Camp was settled during the boarder dispute between the British and Americans and a poor pig was the only casualty. The Americans occupied a similar encampment on the Southern side of the island. This disputed lasted from 1859 till November 1872. It seems the British had more “support” for upkeep. Having Victoria just across the strait played a part I’m sure. Here is a great link if you want to dig deeper: https://www.nps.gov/sajh/learn/historyculture/english-camp.htm
Once anchored and we made sure the boat was not going to drift off, we jumped into the “Dingy Boat” and headed over to the park dock. We toured the parade grounds and walked around the remaining buildings. Too early in the season for the visitor center to be open but there was still a lot of interesting history here. I would encourage you to visit both American and English camps.
While we were anchored in Parks Bay last week a fellow Salish Sea Sailor suggested we take the hike up Young Hill. With our back pack filled with water and snacks we headed out on our first retirement hike.
Having been a desk jockey for the last few decades, the hill was a challenge but well worth the effort. it is a beautiful hike through the woods and mostly up hill. The view from up there was amazing!
Morning broke with sunshine but it was just teasing me as it soon filled in with clouds. The temp had dropped as well but not enough to deter me. I grabbed a coffee and headed up to do a little reading and watch the bay wake up. I love this time in the morning to just sit, read and think.
Once breakfast was done we headed back to shore for another walk.
This time we walked to Bell Point. Across the ramp and to the left this time.
Originally I really had my heart set on taking the dingy around the point to the Westcott Bay Shellfish Company. I did a little more research before we left and found they are only open on Saturdays until mid May. So with that new information we walked to Bell Point instead. It was a very nice walk with about 70% along the water. Unlike our Young Hill hike, this one is basically flat. The tide was out during our walk so I even got to view a few tide pools. (I love tide pools)
It was still early in the day when we reached Bell Point so we continued on to Westscott Bay Shell Fish Company. They were indeed closed so we looked around a little and vowed to come back when they are open. Looked like a fun place.
We returned early afternoon and reviewed the weather for an afternoon sail to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island. Winds out of the NE at about 12 knots and the tide would be turning in our favor. Perfect………..
We hoisted anchor and motored out through Mosquito pass. Rolled out the sails in about 8 knots. Ok, so lighter than predicted. We still had plenty of daylight left. We were just on the edge of the shipping channel for Haro Strait. Our AIS indicated a tug and tow overtaking us. I wanted to make sure we would not impede him so hailed him on the radio. No answer. At first I was frustrated at the “no answer” and just maintained my course but as I writing this I may have been on the wrong channel. I need to do a little research on this. I know this is hard for some of you to comprehend but I could have been wrong. I know, shocks me too!
He passed without incident. Then we got hit with a weather shift! The wind increased to 15 knts and shifted to the NW. We tacked out across Haro Strait to clear Henry and Battle Ship Islands. Thankfully no traffic for now. Once we felt we could clear we tacked back to the East and the boat took off! We were screaming (the wrong direction to make Prevost but hey, that’s sailing) and then the rain hit. In sheets! If it was not enough to be dealing with all of that….. I happen to glance at the mast and realized the furling line for the main sail had come off the drum. When we were rolling out the sail back in Mosquito Pass the line had stuck. I gave it a hard tug and it came free. Now I see why.
So we have a boat sailing at over 8 knts, rain coming down in sheets, can’t see a bloody thing, and the furling line to roll up the main is goobered up. (I did not say “goober” at the time!)
Decision time. Our new tack had us heading directly for Reid Harbor. The NW wind would create a wind shadow between Stuart Island and Spieden Island so that became our new destination. We got there quickly but not before Linda and I had a chance to talk through the process and come up with a plan. We got behind the island and that provided enough of a break for us to get the yankee rolled up. Linda pointed us into the wind while I went forward and cranked the sail in at the mast. About 30 minutes later we were tied to a mooring bouy in Reid Harbor with dinner on the stove. (The next morning we go to shore and walked over the hill to Prevost Harbor. More on that later…..
Sometimes your best plan is the next one!
Next episode we explore Stuart Island and go for a very very long walk!
Crew of S/V Pellucidar