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Walt Drechsler

June 14-15 Refuge Cove

Take a step back in time

I rolled out of my hammock in Roscoe Bay, we hoisted anchor and floated out on the afternoon tide. Wind was up in Homfray Channel as we headed south west along the southern shore of West Redonda Island (that is a lot of direction right there!)

Of course the wind built and the rail dipped. On Sound Decision, our 32′ Morgan, if the wind got to be too much you just reefed the main, rolled in the jib and all was good. Easy peasy. Not so on Pellucidar. If you don’t reef early it is a lot of work to get her under control. There is a ton more pressure on everything and it takes a village. So we (I) did not reef, much to the Admiral’s displeasure. I would need to turn up into the wind and I was trying to catch a group of kayaks coming down the channel. I did beat them so that says something. I’m sure we looked pretty cool with the rail in the water and stuff flying around the cabin. We had a very “spirited” sail to Martin Islands where we turned up into the wind, got the sails rolled up, then motored into Refuge Cove……. I slept in the dingy that night.

Refuge Cove. How can I describe it? You really do take a step back in time here and it is awsome! Crusing early in the year has its pros and cons. The pros are the crowds are non existant and you can pretty much pick your spots. Many times you are the only boat in an anchorage or in this case at the dock. The con is the marinas are still in winter mode. No cinnamon buns!

We spent a couple of days here just relaxing and visiting with some of the locals. We took long, hot showers, topped up with water, got fuel for the dingy and supplemented our provisions.

The store was fairly well stocked with not only grocery items but nick knacks, fishing gear, charts, and accessories. There is a post office and they even have ice cream! One of the hot items, as we found out later, was their big bug zappers. Apparently they have the best of the best but we found this out later in our cruise. We ended up purchasing one from another marina and we have recorded multiple kills! I even shocked myself once!

There is a used book store containing a fairly large collection. It is always open and run on the honor system. Old ferry receipts are kept in a can and made available as free book markers.

Refuge Cove had upgraded their communication system so Linda was able to connect with family. Not so much…..

Linda using the new BC “can” wire to connect with family.

Every thing on the islands has to be brought in or taken away by barge or float plane. This includes garbage so the opportunities to rid yourself of garbage are limited and become more of a challenge the further North you travel. It made us change some of the processes we have aboard the boat. We discontinued using paper dinner ware. We get rid of any packaging at the store before we bring the items on board. We try to separate the recycle but most places we visited did not offer a choice. We reduced our garbage significantly during our trip and will be something we continue to improve on during future adventures.

There is an enterprising individual in Refuge Cove who started a garbage barge. His barge is secured across the bay where you take your garbage then weigh it on the scale provided. That determines the fee you pay. I took the dingy across the bay to the barge, weighed our bag (7lbs). The scale indicated I owed $5.00 Canadian. There was no one around so I deposited our garbage and left the money under the lid of a BBQ on the barge. Not sure who would BBQ in that environment but it would not be me! I jumped back in the dingy and high tailed it out of there! It was quite ripe! Sorry I did not get a picture but I was afraid the lens would melt. Later that evening I let the people at the store know where I had left the money and they said the message would be passed along.

John on one of his daily trips to Refuge Cove

This is John. John motors into Refuge Cove around three times a day. Sometimes he ties up at the dock, puts up an umbrella and holds court with the locals. Other times he just comes and goes with no obvious purpose. We like John.

Waggoner Cruising Guide suggested we pick up a copy of Dynamite Stories written by Judith Williams. We did and I wish we had read it prior to visiting Refuge Cove. It gives some interesting history of the area and is hilarious. Even if you never plan on going to Refuge Cove you should get the book. It is a great read.

The restaurant opened the morning we left. We were able to get coffee and scones but the cinnamon buns were going to take a few hours. I think they held off firing up the large generator until later in the morning so they don’t wake the neighbors.

We headed out of the cove under bright sunshine, light winds and turned North up Lewis Channel toward Teakerne Arm. Today was a short travel day and we were in no hurry……..

Next we hike up to Cassel Lake where the outlet cascades in specatacular fasion almost 100′ into Teakerne Arm…. And G2 gets tangled while helping us stern tie!

G2 all tangled in the stern tie line. You gotta love the effort!

Keep your fork!

Crew of SV Pellucidar

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