Monthly Archives: July 2011

Back in the USA!!

July 15th

We got up early to catch the tide and headed out of Victoria harbor avoiding all the little fishing boats at the entrance. Then we headed across a calm Strait of Juan de Fuca towards Port Angeles. While Jim steered, I made banana bread with the last of our bananas. I made Jim eat up the peaches as I didn’t want the customs official confiscating our lovely peaches.

I called the customs and immigration number ahead of time and gave them our details and I was instructed to call them as soon as we arrived. She warned me that the ferry The Coho was due to arrive at Port Angeles at noon and the agents would be busy processing the arrivals. So we throttled up a bit and made it to the check in dock at 11:50. I called the customs number again to ask for an agent to come and process our boat. The agent arrived and was so pleasant. He handed us our clearance number and left, no questions about importing fruit or alcohol and no inspection of our boat. There are only a few areas that we can clear customs into the US, Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, Point Roberts and Bellingham. It would have been much more convenient to clear customs at Port Townsend which is at the opening into the Puget Sound but there isn’t a customs office there. A friend of ours landed at Port Townsend accidentally and they had to wait 3 hours for the agent to drive from Port Angeles and I don’t think he was very happy.

After clearing customs, we untied and pushed off the dock and headed out of Port Angeles for Admiralty Inlet. We were going to catch the incoming tide into the Puget Sound and were hoping to reach Port Ludlow by early evening. It got lovely and sunny so we had melted cheese sandwiches in the cockpit. Then I helped Jim polish the brass pedestal which holds the wheel. It was so shiny!

Seagulls enjoying the sunshine and calm weather

Dungeness Spit lighthouse in the sunshine

We sunned ourselves and had a lovely ride down the Admiralty Inlet. With the current we were traveling at 10-11 knots GPS speed! We passed Port Townsend and then some dark clouds appeared and it started to rain! Jim covered the gleaming pedestal in glad wrap to protect our work. Then he soaped up the boat and the rain washed it clean!

Jim scrubbing the decks

We made good time to Port Ludlow so decided to continue on to Kingston, which is not far from Seattle. I cooked up the last of the salmon and steak and we had that with the tomato salad leftovers. It made a lovely meal, although Jacintha refused to eat the salmon, opting for meat!


We arrived at Kingston at 8 pm. There were a lot of boats anchored outside Kingston harbor as it was a busy Friday night. So we dropped anchor there as well.



July 14th

Pulled up an empty crab pot. We haven’t had much luck crabbing this trip. Then we up anchored and got another present, kelp (see photo)! That’s why we seemed to be dragging last night, we were anchored in some nice slippery kelp beds! Also the batteries started to charge with the motor, could it be that our alternator belt had been slipping?

20110717-083309.jpg Kelp bed

It was a foggy and calm morning, so we headed out into the Straits and Jim started fishing. We trolled along the coast with a lot of other fishing boats till we saw race rocks light in the distance. They had their fog horn sounding. Then Jim got a bite and we pulled up a Chinook salmon. He gutted it and I filleted it. Then we kept on fishing for a little bit as we headed around race rocks. We heard booming ahead, apparently the area between race rocks and the main island is where they test out live artillery. We avoided this area!

20110717-083328.jpg Chinook Salmon

No more fish were biting and it was still foggy so Jim pulled in the line and we motored towards Victoria. I turned on the fog horn and radar and immediately spotted two boats near us in the fog. Radar works well in the fog, as does the fog horn. The fog lifted and we could see the entrance to Victoria Harbor. It was littered with little fishing boats in front of it. Canadians seem to like to fish!

We made our way through the pretty harbor and called the harbor authority who gave us a mooring spot right in front of the Empress Hotel! Couldn’t have asked for anything better! We settled in and got ready to go for a walk. I called up some friends who we were going to have dinner with that night and left a message. As we were getting ready we saw our Seattle dock neighbors on Celtic Knot pulling in. They’d celebrated the Forth of July at Roche Harbor and then spent some time up in the Gulf Islands. We chatted a bit and Jacintha sang them a song, then we went to pay our moorage. Victoria is much pricier than Barkley Sound but it has location, location, location!

20110717-083417.jpg Victoria!

We checked out the aquarium and watched their scuba show. They had a couple of giant octopi in the waters, and Jacintha recognized the salmon straight away. She was very happy to see other kids as well! Then we sat and ate ice cream. We heard a busker playing guitar on the side walk and Jacintha gave him some money then sang him “My Favorite Things”, two verses plus chorus!. He was so impressed he gave her his CD! I wanted to put a hat in front of Jacintha as I thought she could make some money!

20110717-083341.jpg Jacintha, future busker

We returned to the boat after that and I made apple crumble, a tomato salad and baked the salmon. Jim had told Lance and Carol that we would be in Victoria on Friday but today was Thursday, so Lance had to drive all the way down from Nanaimo where he is currently living. They got there at 7:30.

Jim met Lance and Carol when they emailed him asking to see our boat in Seattle. They’d seen his website and were in the market for a Hans Christian like ours. They just wanted to get an idea of the layout of the boat and what we thought of it. Jim obliged them and they went off looking for their dream boat. When we sailed into Nanaimo last year, we heard a voice call out to Jim as we were docking. They were living on the waterfront condo and had spotted our boat coming in. They invited all of us (we had my parents on board) for a lovely dinner in their home and they told us of their continuing search for a boat. Anyway, they’d bought their boat, a Hans Christian 38, it’s a little smaller than ours with one mast and it is moored in Nanaimo while Lance is fixing it up. Carol got a job in Victoria and is living there. Their plan was to move onto the boat as soon as they’d fixed up the interior. Lance works on BC Ferries and knows the waters around Vancouver Island and north well and has a lot of interesting stories to tell.

We had a lovely dinner and talked until really late at night. When you get two boat owners together who have similar boats, there is always more things to talk about.

20110717-083352.jpg Lance and Carol


Heading South

July 13th

Woke up early, but not as early as the fisherman. All their boats were already out, we didn’t even hear them leave the marina! We put the dinghy on the foredeck of our boat and lashed it down. Then we headed out of Bamfield, south for the Straits of Juan de Fuca. It was a wet rainy morning and Jim had on his foul weather gear. There was no wind, the sea was glassy smooth with only a small swell. We had a long way to go.

Oatmeal is the breakfast of choice when we’ve got a long passage. We were aiming for Sooke in southwest Vancouver island, just 20 miles west of Victoria. We got up early to take advantage of the slack tide and later a flood tide going into the straits. Jim didn’t even think about fishing today as we had a long passage ahead of us. I stayed in the galley and sent up a lot of hot food and drinks for Jim! The weather did clear up and I took over the wheel for a spell.

20110716-045044.jpg I love my Seattle sombrero

20110716-045034.jpg Jacintha getting some fresh air

Jim was checking the gauges and noticed that one diesel tank was nearly empty and the other one was full. Apropos has two 65 gallon tanks, and we usually draw on both tanks at the same time. We turned off the motor and put up the sails which meant we were traveling a lot slower, then Jim began troubleshooting the fuel thing. He decided that the fuel valve to the starboard tank had accidentally been shut off during a fuel filter change a few months ago. Thankfully that solved the dilemma and we restarted the engine as there really wasn’t enough wind to move the boat!

As we were between Port Renfrew and Sooke, I suddenly heard an announcement over the radio regarding an active military zone where they were firing live ammunition I didn’t know where that was but didn’t think too much of it until I saw a military helicopter fly by our boat, with their door open and two guys sitting in the doorway looking out! I checked the charts and sure enough we were in an area reserved for military activity called whiskey hilo (WH). They will announce when they use the area and advise mariners to stay out of the zone. So instead of hugging the coastline, we had to divert into the center of the Straits of Juan de Fuca right into the shipping lane. This added an hour onto our travel time, as the area that it covers is large.

20110716-045056.jpg An aircraft carrier

20110716-045112.jpg Another aircraft carrier

I saw a cargo ship just skirt inside area WH and the helicopter buzzed out there to check them out as well! These guys were serious and I didn’t want to get shot at! Since it was a long way to go, we had dinner on the move. I got Jim to grill steaks on the cockpit bbq while we were underway. They tasted so good after a diet of fish!!

We ended up at a cove called Campbell cove south of Sooke. It was early evening and there were a lot of boats fishing! So as we entered the cove, we put the fishing line out for a pass. No luck! We then anchored in the cove. The anchor seemed to not take but we put out a lot of chain and the weather was going to be calm the next few days! Jim tossed the crab pot over the stern using salmon heads as bait. Then we tightened the alternator belt to see if that would solve our battery charge issue.



July 12th

Woke up to a perfect calm sunny morning. We could hear the fish jumping in the water and there wasn’t a boat or another person to be seen. We had bacon an eggs for breakfast out on the sunny deck. Then Jim put a ” jogging” rod into he water and immediately got a bite. A little fish which he put back into the water. Then he popped his line in again and ten minutes and pulled up another fish. This time it was an ugly brown finny fish, a rock fish. He wanted to keep it and I didn’t want to get fishy again so soon! He put it back. After that, he got no more bites!! We lazed around the deck enjoying the sun until the wind picked up.

20110716-031007.jpg Rockfish!

We up anchored and headed down David Channel and into the Sechart Channel behind the Broken Group Islands. Jim cast out his trolling lines and I went below to make lunch with leftovers. As I was below, I heard him stop the engine and put it into reverse and turn. I ran up to see what was happening. In front of the boat was a long line of small little floats holding a gill net. Jim was in the process of turning the boat to avoid it. If we ran over it chances are it would have caught in the propeller and fouled it so we wouldn’t be able to steer. The fishing boats had chased Jim down to warn him, but he had the stereo blasting loudly and was daydreaming about his fish! Jim managed to turn the boat around with 2 feet to spare!!! Close call!!

We turned down another channel and kept fishing. I guess the gill netters got all the fish as we didn’t get very many bites. Just caught one little salmon later in the afternoon. Large enough to eat! We then headed for Bamfield where we moored the boat, and plugged in to shore power.

Bamfield is a small fishing town in eastern Barkley Sound. It has an inlet and the town consists of an island on one side and the mainland on the other. The only way to get from West Bamfield to East Banfield is by boat. We moored on the island. There is a boardwalk along the water which we took a walk on. I forgot my camera so didn’t take any photos but it was a very quaint town. A few of the waterfront homes were for sale. There was a “cat house” where they’d built little houses for the feral cats and put food and water out. The houses were cutely decorated and had names like “catnap” etc. We walked along the length of the board walk. At the far end of the town on the and back again. Then it started to rain.

A lot of the fishermen’s boats were moored on our dock by the time we got back. They of course had all turned in for the night.


Pipestem Inlet

July 11th

Before we left the marina, Fisherman-Jim went to the fishing supply store and got a new diver and flasher. Then we were all set. We headed for “sail rock” a well known fishing area and put out the line. We trolled around for a while drifting from Loudoun Channel out into the pacific ocean. We caught 2 salmon that day, one Coho was a hatchery fish, they have their back dorsal fin shaved off to identify them and they have a marker placed in them by Canadian Fisheries. You turn in the head with information about where you caught it for them to study and they let you know where it came from. Jim also almost caught a lingcod. He was reeling in this ugly looking fish with a big old mouth gaping dragging across the surface of the water, with brown spines and all. I was just about to net it when it flipped and fell off the hook, back into the water. Jim was a little upset at losing such a different fish, as anyone can catch salmon!

After a successful fishing day, we headed in to the mouth of Pipestem Inlet which is at the North Eastern corner of Barkley Sound close to Vancouver Island. We anchored behind Refuge Island near some square floating things that looked like oyster farms. Besides the oysters, it seemed we were the only ones there. We’d gotten there around 4:30pm and were waiting for the ebb tide (low) to start to turn around and flood again. In the meantime, I made French onion soup and more baked salmon for dinner. I’d gotten these beautiful sweet onions in Seattle and it was time to eat them.

20110715-104748.jpg French Onion Soup

20110715-104819.jpg Yummy!

At 6pm we took our dinghy to the mouth of Lucky Creek. This place is only accessible by dinghy at high tide. Otherwise there are areas that are too shallow for a dinghy to cross. The tide was starting to come in, so we slowly made our way up the creek surrounded by lush green forest. We had to pay careful attention to the depth of the water as some of the rocks were just barely deep enough for the dinghy to go over and we didn’t want the propeller to get damaged. In a couple of areas, I had to shout “rock” to Jim, who would then raise the prop up as we glided over a particularly shallow rock.

Around a corner and we got a glimpse of our goal at a distance, a small waterfall cascading down. We landed the dinghy in the middle of the rocks and I climbed up the rocks to scout things out. There were these lovely rock pools behind the top of the falls and someone had even made a swing rope. If it weren’t such a cloudy and cool day, I would have jumped into the water. We pulled the dinghy up the rocks a fair way, as the tide was rising. There was nowhere for us to tie the dinghy up and we didn’t really want it to float away.

20110715-104847.jpg The Falls from a distance

20110715-104904.jpg Lucky Creek Falls

We slowly climbed up the rocks, assisting Jacintha. Now is the time to mention that I love my Keen sandals! They protect my toes, have fantastic grip for climbing onto rocks be it here or when landing at a rocky island, and I can wade into the hot springs with them on and they dry out well. Plus they’re great on the boat and cool for summer! Jim and even Jacintha have Keens as well. They and my pair of purple rain boots are my two most favorite boat footwear!

20110715-104919.jpg The lovely pools

20110715-104941.jpg Over Lucky Creek

20110715-105323.jpg Jim and Jacintha

We made it to a nice shady pool that wasn’t too deep. Jacintha was so excited that we changed her into her swimsuit and let her splash around in the shallows. I even got in to my knees. It felt nice after all that scrambling around. Jim saw a path that led down to the side of the creek that would have been an easier climb. He only put his foot in then he went waking around the rocks and found some bear poop! Time to get outa here!

20110715-105147.jpg This is fun!

20110715-105235.jpg Brr! It’s cold!

20110715-105248.jpg Bear Poop!

After Jacintha had her fill of swimming we changed her back into her clothes and we slowly and carefully climbed back down the rocks to the dinghy. The water level had risen two feet but the dinghy was still secure on the rocks!

20110715-105312.jpg Our dinghy still on the rocks!

Motoring back to the boat was easy as it wasn’t too shallow now. Back on the boat we had warm showers and went to bed.


Ucluelet Revisited

Jul 9th

We up anchored early in the morning. The wind had died down so we motored out of Hot Springs Cove into the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t choppy, just some mild swell. A few miles out and we entered fog, so we turned on the AIS (automatic identification system – identifies all commercial boats and some pleasure craft who have one) and the radar and sounded the fog horn.

We motored carefully in the fog, which was not as thick as the fog we had last year in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. It dispersed after about 30 mins and the wind picked up a little. Jim slowed the boat down to try his luck at fishing. It’s funny that Jim didn’t want to put the sails up as he was having too much fun fishing. It’s hard to fish with the sails up because we troll around at 3 knots speed and when we get a bite, we stop the boat to reel in the fish. It’s hard to stop the boat with it’s sails up as the sails flap around and we still travel at some speed so the fish is hard to reel in. So this afternoon, Fisherman-Jim won over Sailor-Jim! We caught a couple of salmon which I then had to fillet. I hate stinking of fish! Then a big one bit and the line snapped taking with it his flashy thingy, diver and lure! That was the end of our fishing that day! Jim was a little upset by the taught of some poor fish who got away dragging around his flashy thingy and diver thingy!

20110715-040455.jpg Another Coho!

20110715-040511.jpg Salmon for another day!

The wind picked up from behind so we put up the sails and turned off the motor. We had a nice pleasant sail. Just outside of Ucluelet we turned on the motor and took the sails down. We noticed that our alternator wasn’t charging the batteries. The batteries had run down to -150 amp-hours at Hot Springs Cove and had charged back to 0 earlier when we had the motor on but since we had sailed, we had run the batteries down a little using the electric self-steering, running the inverter to power our AC outlets and having our instruments like AIS, VHS and GPS on. Jim tried a few things to diagnose the problem while I steered the boat into Ucluelet inlet. We shut down all the electrical things that weren’t necessary to conserve power. We wanted to moor at the public dock where we had landed the first time so we could troubleshoot things a little more, but it was full. So we headed up the inlet, past the marina which looked full and put out our anchor in the harbor.

I baked some more salmon for dinner while Jim tried to troubleshoot the problem with the batteries and charger. In the end we decided our starter battery was failing. We have a starter battery that’s just dedicated to starting the engine and another set of batteries called the “house” bank which is what we use to power everything else on the boat. The starter battery is isolated from the house bank so we don’t drain it and are then unable to start the engine which is used to charge all the batteries. When the motor is on, it charges the started battery first, as it is the most important then will charge the house bank after. Well, ours wasn’t which was a BIG deal!

Anyway, after fiddling for a while, we decided to sleep and revisit the problem in the morning.

Jul 10th

Woke up and had a quick brekkie. We called the marine store in Ucluelet but as it was Sunday, they were closed. We up anchored and motored to the marina where we hooked up to shore power and the batteries started to charge.

Since it was a nice sunny day, we went for a walk into town. We had lunch at a nearby bistro, burgers and fish and chips. The food was good. Then we took a walk to Big Beach on the Pacific Ocean side of town. It was low tide so there were a lot of rock pools to explore. We saw lots of little fish and hermit crabs in the pools with kelp and other sea grasses. Jacintha found an old plank on the beach and made a see-saw for us to use! It was a lot of fun. We put our toes into the ocean and pulled them out quickly, it was cold! We even found an old shoe, a right side, and Adidas. Luckily there was no foot inside it!

20110715-040529.jpg Looking for pretty shells

20110715-040628.jpg Look a big leaf

20110715-040555.jpg A hermit crab

20110715-040639.jpg Look, I’m on an island

20110715-040705.jpg Home made see-saw

20110715-040649.jpg Size 10 Adidas, right side!

20110715-040543.jpg Taking in the view

20110715-040732.jpg Big Beach, Ucluelet

We walked a short way up the Pacific Rim trail, apparently it was set up to aid shipwrecked sailors in the past, with cabins for shelter along it’s length up the coast of Vancouver Island. Then we headed back to town and had ice creams.

20110715-040753.jpg On the Pacific Rim trail

20110715-040804.jpg Ice Cream. The Butter Pecan was good!

Back at the marina, there were a few fishing boats that had arrived back from fishing. A guy was filleting his salmon, which was a lot larger than ours and I learnt a few tricks by watching him. Another couple live on the other side of the island and keep their boat and a motorhome here. They come here, every day off they have, to fish in the summer. Nice life! They showed up the salmon they caught, Chinooks, that were at least 3 feet long. Wow! I had fish envy, although one of those big salmon would be all we need to fill up our freezer. They were using “down riggers” which takes the line down to greater depths than our little rod and pole. Plus we only had 30lb line which would break with those big fish, perhaps that is what broke our line!

We decided not to replace our battery until we figured out why we weren’t charging our house bank as we could go into a marina every other day to charge up and it was at the tail end of our trip. We had fish tacos that night as I was sick of baked salmon! Jim washed the boat, then it rained!


Hot Springs Cove

Jul 7th

Jim and Jacintha went to check the crab pot in the morning, all they caught was some seaweed! So he took a walk into town to extend his fishing license. While he did that, I made cinnamon rolls from dough I’d prepared last night. Than I got the boat ready to depart. Other boats were leaving and Jim still hadn’t returned and I got worried as the wind was whipping up and the current was getting stronger near the docks. When I saw him walking down the ramp to the docks, I turned on the engine so that we could immediately leave.

We wound our way around the narrow, shallow Duffin Passage into Heynen Passage. The wind got heavier the closer we got to the ocean. We then realized that today, Thursday was when the heavy winds were predicted. On the VHF radio, which we monitor, we heard a call for the coast guard to help a sailboat that got shoaled in the harbor. We headed north into Calmus Passage and the wind was right on the bow of the boat at 30-35 knots with a lot of chop whipped up. It was not living up to it’s name! We were crawling along at 1.5-2 knots boat speed despite us revving up the engine ( we normally can travel around 6-7 knots!) We were planning on heading out into the ocean but the thought of crawling up the coast at 2 knots with the lumpy seas made my stomach queasy so we decided to use the longer but more sheltered inland route. I’d dosed Jacintha with motion sickness medication and thankfully she was sleeping down below.

20110712-043133.jpg Sleeping cintha

Calmus Passage is only 2 miles long, but it was the slowest and most painful 2 miles I’ve ever travelled! It looked so deceiving as the Passage appears to be a wide open body of water but there are many shallow areas and we could only follow the channel markers to keep the boat safely of the shoals and rocks. There were many tour boats heading up the coast who could cross safely over the shallow areas as they have these 300hp engines and a shallow drought (the keel of our boat extends down 6 feet).

20110712-043113.jpg My turn at the wheel

20110712-043126.jpg Captain Jim in Millar Passage

When we turned for Millar Channel the ride got better as the wind was off our nose and as soon as we got into the shadow of Flores Island it got much calmer. In fact you wouldn’t have thought it was blowing heavily out there. We crossed Heyden Passage passing a group of kayakers going the other way and then turned down the other side of Flores Island, where the wind started to blow again, but not as strongly. We rounded into the opening to Hot Springs Cove and looked for a nice spot to anchor in. There were a lot of boats anchored there already and it was windy inside the cove. We finally anchored all the way at the far end of the cove past the entrance to the park and the village. It was a windy anchorage that night and when we tried to use the grill but the wind just kept blowing it out. So we had baked salmon. I’m tired of eating salmon!

Jul 8th

Woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, except for the wind! We found a sunny and non-windy spot in the cockpit to sit and have breakfast, then hopped in the dinghy for Maquinna Provincial Park, on the Openit Peninsula.

20110715-122932.jpg Brekkie on the boat

Hot Springs Cove is a cruising boat mecca. If one travels the west coast of Vancouver Island then this is a necessary stop. It is only accessible by sea. There are many tour boats and sea planes from nearby Tofino bringing boat loads of tourists to the hot springs now so it isn’t as quiet as it used to be. There are also some campgrounds here and kayakers come here as well.

From the dock of the park there is a 3 km boardwalk to the hot springs. It was a tradition for cruisers to bring a 2×6 plank of wood 4 feet long with the boats name and year of visit to add to the boardwalk, some very artistically done. A few years ago they tore up all those old planks and replaced them with pressure treated wood. Many cruisers have attempted to carve out their names on the new planks of wool, some with just a chisel and others must have lugged a router to the park. Some others have measured the boards and replaced a plank with one they carved up at home.

20110715-122356.jpg Some of the boards

It was a pleasant walk across the boards, looking at all the boats that have been there before. It took us 45 mins as we were going at Jacintha pace, which meant a lot of lollygagging and singing and dancing. The walk took us down to the end of the peninsula where we saw a steaming stream flow down the side of the hill to the sea. There was a sulphurous smell in the air. Some boards

20110714-113353.jpg Hot springs

20110714-113333.jpg How the hot springs form.

There were some nice change rooms there and we changed into our swimsuits, and walked down the rocks. The hot springs flowed over a small ledge forming a small waterfall which fed three little pools of rocks then flowed out to the sea. The temperature of the water was a pleasant 40C and it was nice sitting in the warm water and letting it flow over you like a hot tub. There were some people there from the early tour boat but it wasn’t that full. There was an ocean view from the last pool. After a long soak, we sat on a sunny but windy rock to dry off while we munched on a snack.

20110715-121215.jpg A nice warm shower

20110715-122820.jpg We’re at the back in the third pool!

The walk back seemed longer as we were all cold. There were a lot more people heading for the hot springs so we were glad we went early. Jacintha managed to walk all the way back with some inducements. We dinghied to the boat where we had some hot soup, cheese and cold meat for lunch. Then Jim and I had a nap as we wanted to go back in the evening. Jacintha refused to have a nap! After my nap, I cooked up some curry chicken to have that night.

Around 5pm we headed for the park again. This time the walk there seemed shorter. We met people leaving the springs but none headed out there. We got to the pools and were the only people there! The tide was high, and waves would occasionally wash into the lower two pools so we used the top pool. It was weird being at sea level and watching the sea wash in. The pools were still nice and warm. We were joined by a couple who were on another sailboat. They’re heading for Mexico in the next week or so. Tofino is their last stop in Canada, and they’d been sailing around the Vancouver Island since June last year.

20110715-122731.jpgJim and Jacintha enjoying the hot tub!

20110715-122544.jpg The spa treatment

20110714-113600.jpg High tide flooding the pools

20110714-113644.jpg View from the top of the hot springs

Again Jacintha made it all the way there and back by herself! Jim had been expecting to carry her part of the way. On the last leg she had a vacant stare in her eyes and stopped singing. She just put one leg in front of the other! We were so proud that she could walk so far by herself! Back at the boat, we ate salmon and chicken curry with rice. Jacintha has been enjoying the salmon dinners a lot!



Jul 5th and 6th

Tofino is a quaint little touristy town. It’s a combination of surfers who come to ride the waves off the big long beaches south of the town and the up market crowd who own a holiday house here with their SUVs. We were told that housing is expensive in town and there are many good restaurants.

We walked into town from the marina, and went to a restaurant named The Schooner to eat a late lunch/early dinner. We’d not had lunch yet. Had a lovely meal of wings, burger and ribs and Jim had a locally made beer. The trip may not have been bumpy but since I spent my afternoon cutting up fish, I smelled like one and didn’t feel like eating anything on the way up, so we had a big meal to make up for it.

After our meal we headed for the Co-op, their local grocery store and stocked up on some provisions as we were running low. We then walked to the playground and Jacintha went wild there. They had a little zip line that she enjoyed playing on.

20110710-113634.jpg At The Schooner
20110710-113702.jpg Whee! higher daddy!

After that we had ice cream and then we went back to the boat for hot showers! We were all fishy! Did it feel good to be clean! Since this was about the halfway mark of our trip and we have a little munchkin, I had to do laundry. The marina has a mixture of commercial fishing boats and recreational boats plus a lot of sports fishing boats. That means that the marina kind of smelled fishy! Despite the fact that I had a warm shower to wash the fishy smell off me from filleting the fish, I could still smell fish everywhere!

Jim did some boat chores and Jacintha watched “The Incredibles” which is a change from “The Sound of Music”. I’d introduced it to her at the beginning of the trip, during a long boring passage and all she does is play it on our portable DVD player over and over again, skipping forward to the songs she likes. Then when walking around she’ll burst out spontaneously into songs from the movie. It’s sweet when you hear her singing “I’m sixteen going on seventeen” as she’s only four! It’s funny that she doesn’t want to watch any of the Disney princess movies that I’ve gotten her since she’s obsessed wIth princesses and that she likes Julie Andrews and real live actors with great songs!

Woke up to a lovely sunny day. Watched a pair of bald eagles decide that the top of the mast was a great perching spot for fishing or perhaps they were scouting out a new place for a nest! They were a dock finger away!

20110711-091237.jpg Eagles on the mast.

After a leisurely breakfast of monster pancakes, Jacintha and I went for a walk into town. I had to go to the bank as I only had $5 Canadian left. Jim wanted to do some boat chores. We browsed the shops, went to the bank and were walking back to the boat when Jim found us. Got a new rainbow trout flag for the boat and then I took Jacintha to the park, while Jim went back to get some charts from the marine store and supplies from the boat. Jacintha whizzed down the zip line, swung on the swings and climbed the monkey bars to her hearts delight and even made a friend!

20110711-090950.jpg Monster pancake!

Jim met us and we had a light lunch of tacos before heading out on a walk to Tonquinn beach. It was a pleasant 20 minute walk to the beach through a forest reserve over a board walk and stairs. The beach had a large shallow tidal pool fed by a stream separated from the ocean by 100 feet of sand. A natural wading pool!! There were a bunch of kids swimming in the swimming hole having a ball. Jacintha got so excited and quickly put on her bathing suit and started to go berserk and running rings around the sand and rolling around in it, and making sand angels! She swam in the water which was much warmer than the cold ocean, and she made sand castles with her bucket and shovel. It was cloudy there but sheltered from the wind so we stayed there for a while. Jim and I had snacks on our picnic blanket. We finally had to call Jacintha to change as it was getting chilly.




We walked back into town and Jacintha managed to walk all the way to the bakery where we stopped to get hot chocolates and coffee. We then stopped at the co-op to get a few more supplies and we had a shopping cart with the car in front of it which Jacintha hopped into. When we finished at the checkout we looked in the car and she was fast asleep! So Jim carried her back to the boat! She woke up at the boat and was chirpier than ever!

That evening Jim decided to put our crab pot out to try and catch a few crabs. We have this lovely foldable crab pot that we got at the boat show one year. Our luck with crabbing has been dismal in the recent years – it’s too warm at Desolation Sound last year but Jim was feeling lucky! He took his fishing pole out to try and catch some small fish to use as bait. Jacintha went with him but got cold so came back. I baked salmon, broiled salmon collars and mashed potatoes for dinner. When dinner was ready, I rang our big ships bell to call Jim in. It’s new and was pretty loud and he heard it all the way out there in the middle of the Duffin Passage!

After dinner we had movie night. Jim had never watched The Sound of Music and he’d been hearing Jacintha singing all the songs. So this night we watched half of it! Jacintha was very excited that her daddy was going to watch her favorite movie with her and have popcorn!


Pacific Ocean 2

July 5th

Looking at the wind and wave forecast the night before we decided that if we wanted to head north to Tofino that today was the best day for doing so as the days after this had strong northerly winds predicted. We did not want to repeat the mistake of our difficult first crossing!! In preparation I dosed Jacintha up with motion sickness medication. I used some pressure point bands that I had bought and Jim wanted to tough it out! We wanted to try the Pacific Ocean again!

As we headed down Loundoun Channel the wind started to whip up from the north and the waves started to get larger. We turned into Newcombe channel and then into Carolina channel passing many fishing boats in that area. It got choppy there but once we cleared the channel and were out into Pacific Ocean the swells settled down to an easy rhythm and the wind died down.

We motored our way there. It was sunny so we had a pleasant time sitting in the cockpit and enjoying the sun. We saw lots of whales but couldn’t tell what kind they were. Jim slowed the boat down and put out the trolling line. We caught two coho salmon that day and my afternoon was spent filleting the fish as we headed up the coast! This time we froze one salmon and kept the other to eat.

20110710-112529.jpg The Big One

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20110711-090227.jpg Our fishy cockpit!!!

We entered the rocky coast surrounding Tofino while I was still below. It wasn’t windy, but there was a lot of current in Duffin Passage where Tofino abuts, and getting into the dock was tricky. I had to hang off the side of the boat while Jim motored in and tie the dock lines off while avoiding three large pylons that were sticking out of the dock which could have damaged our paint! We handled it like pros!

The harbor master was a nice guy with a dog named Barney. He lived on the last finger of the wharf. We checked in, got rid of our garbage and took a walk into town.

20110710-112611.jpg Light at Lennard Island<


Fishing – Day 2

Jul 4th – Happy Independence Day!!!

When we up anchored this morning, the windlass was straining really hard. The windlass is the machine at the front of the boat the pulls up the chain and anchor. Our main anchor is a 70 lb CQR and we have 300 feet of 3/8inch chain attached to it. We usually put out 80-100 feet of chain in these waters so that’s a lot of weight to pull up by hand! Anyway, as the windlass pulls up the chain, she rattles away and today she was whining a lot especially the last 25 feet when the anchor was leaving the bottom of the sea bed. Low and behold when the anchor finally came up we found we had caught a prize. Part of an old net had been pulled up with the anchor and it was still attached to the bottom. We hooked it off and headed off. There is a fish farm in the same cove and when we read the guide book later on, it mentioned that anchoring was not recommended because of all the debris left by it! Oops!

Look what we caught!

We headed out for the pass where Jim so successfully caught his fish the other day and dropped the line. I went below to make blueberry scones. It was a lovely sunny day with little wind. Jim had a couple of bites but none that stayed on the line so he was very disappointed. Jacintha had a turn fishing as well.

Fishing with daddy

We saw some whales chasing fish, I’m sure they had a better day than Jim! We had our blueberry scones with fresh whipped cream, while looking at them frolicking away. There was a whale watching boat nearby as well and it made me think how lucky we didn’t have to pay $$$ to see whales playing. This area of Canada has been amazing for the number of whales and eagles we’ve seen!

Freshly baked blueberry scones!

That evening we anchored at Turtle Bay. It was windier and crowded with lots of boats. Jim and Jacintha went to the little beach for a play in the sand and a stretch of their legs. Jacintha came back a bit wet. I broiled the salmon collars and cooked the rest of the salmon up. I had to teach my American husband how to eat salmon collars! They were very tasty! We had a nice meal of it.