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July 30, 2008

Summer 2008 – Sat 7/12-7/14 The Crossing, Buccaneer Bay & Pender Harbor

The crossing of the Strait of Georgia wasn’t too bad.  We separated from Wind Dancer because they wanted to go to Secret Cove and we wanted to explore Buccaneer Bay on Thormanby Island.  It has a nice Sandy beach and the kids really needed some running time.  Anchoring in Buccaneer Bay is a little trying, but we finally got Ghost settled in a great spot and headed to shore.  The kids had a great time playing in the water and Scott went exploring.  A little while later he returned with this:

Scott was so excited.  I think he was secretly jealous of Ellie finding a message in a bottle last year, so this made up for it.  It was pretty water logged, but after setting it out to dry, we were able to read it.  We actually called the person and left a message with our email address.  This is the response we received:

Hi :)
My name is Courtney, I am the girl who wrote the message in a bottle! Well actually 2 of my friends and I wrote it about 3 and a half years ago!! We wrote a couple of those notes not knowing if people would ever find them or not and about 2 years ago someone found one in Mission BC! We are from Fort Langley BC! Your website says you are from Seattle! Where is Buccaneer Bay? Did you find the message in the water or was it washed up somewhere? As soon as I heard your message about finding the bottle I called my friend and we had forgotten all about those messages! We were so shocked that someone had found another one! I guess the bottle kept the note dry because you could easily read my number from it!!

Pretty cool, huh. 

The next morning we headed to Garden Bay in Pender Harbor to meet up with Wind Dancer and do a little shopping.  CB & Tawn from Palarran were going to meet up with us in a couple days.  Scott enlisted Curtis to help with the engine coolant system that was still giving us trouble and Cynthia and I took the kids into Madeira Park to try to find a park.  Luckily there was a school that had great playground equipment right there next to the IGA grocery store.  We spent 2 days just relaxing and exploring this great place.  The 2nd day we went to the park was extremely eventful.  First we saw a deer run through the playground right next to the kids.  Then we saw a couple eagles soaring above us and finally when we had decided to leave there was a large cat sitting in the grass looking at us.  We knew this couldn’t be a domestic cat, it was too big.  I tried to take a picture with my cell phone and this is what we got:

 

We thought it might be a cougar cub and figured it might be a good idea to get out of there just in case mommy came along.  We told the local police office and they were excited to hear about it, but a little worried it was hanging out at the school playground.
Later that evening Palarran pulled in and we had a big spaghetti dinner aboard Ghost.  The sunset was great and it was so nice to be all together. 

 

The decision was made to take off the next morning and head for Princess Louisa.

Pictures

July 29, 2008

Summer 2008 - Days 8-11 (TUE 7/8 – FRI 7/11) Gulf Islands

We checked into customs at Bedwell Harbor with no problems and then headed to Ganges.  Ganges is a great little town with so many amenities.   We decided to spend 2 nights.  When checking the boat out after the incident in Reid Harbor we found a small leak in our coolant system and Scott wanted to work on it.  So the kids and I decided to try to find a beach to spend the day at, so we wouldn’t get in his way.  We saw a couple on the way in to Ganges that looked pretty cool.  The first one was a bust, but the second was amazing:

The kids enjoyed some beachcombing and I enjoyed relaxing.  They met a couple kids that they ended up playing with for quite awhile.  We returned to the boat just as Scott was finishing up and after dinner went into the town of Ganges for some ice cream.

After Ganges, we decided to head to Montague Harbor.  Scott and I had stopped here 9 years ago, but I didn’t remember it much.  We spent the day on the beach, took a hike, and saw a wonderful sunset:

The next morning we were up and out of the anchorage pretty early.  The plan was to go into Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Island.  As soon as we headed out of the nice protected inlet from Montague we saw some almost black water ahead.  For those of you who are not boaters, that meant there was  a lot of wind in our near future, but unfortunately it was all right on our nose.  We were battling the wind and trying to find protection and dove into Telegraph Cove on Thetis Island.  We couldn’t find any good spots to anchor so we ended up staying at the dock at Thetis Island Marina.  A couple hours later the wind died, but it was still nice having a night at a dock.

We headed out early again the next morning on our way to Nanaimo. 

We had to time our crossing of Dodd Narrows and so arrived into to Nanaimo a little before lunch time. 

We anchored in Mark Bay and went to explore Newcastle Island.  What a cool place.  The kids had so much fun exploring.  When we returned to the boat we received a call from Curtis & Cynthia asking where we were and realized great minds think alike.  They were at a dock at the marina in Nanaimo.  A little later we headed over to the city and explored a bit.  Found a great park for the kids to play in and stopped at the grocery store for a couple items and then met Curtis & Cynthia at Winddancer for a couple drinks and snacks. It was great to meet up with them and decided we would all take off to cross the Strait of Georgia together the next morning.

Nanaimo is a great city and we all can’t wait to explore a little more on our way back around the 1st of August.  We will be meeting Scott’s parents there.  Can’t wait.

Pictures from first part of trip

Pictures from 2nd part  of Gulf Islands

Summer 2008 Days 5–7 (SAT 7/5 – MON 7/7) Reid Harbor

Reid Harbor is one of favorite places.  Zak’s middle name is Reid after this Harbor because of it being a place we love.   Reid Harbor is nestled on the south side of Stuart Island.  Every time we visit we have to take a little walk to the schoolhouse as soon as we get there.  The kids can get some energy out.  We had an early dinner and headed there.  It was a nice walk and really a nice evening.  We returned to Ghost and put the kids to bed and the winds started picking up.   They started getting a little nasty and around 9:30p.m. we noticed the 50 foot power boat in front of us had started to drag its anchor coming right towards us.  We were waiting for the owners to come out and see what was happening when we realized there was no one onboard.  There was really nothing we could do, except hope that it wouldn’t do too much damage when it hit.  Luckily for us it hit us bow to bow with no damage and then moved back and crashed into our boarding ladder and then we were able to push it off and it just barely hit the davits in the back of the boat.  There wasn’t too much damage.  Our boarding ladder took the brunt of it:

Luckily the couple from the boat has been really nice about the whole thing.  On Sunday we decided to get away from the boat and take the hike to the Turn Point Lighthouse.  It’s such a fun hike and the kids are able to make it the whole way with minimal complaining.  This year the lighthouse has opened a museum for the public and the people stationed here were extremely nice and fun to talk to:

When returned to the boat Scott started working on the boarding ladder to see if we could use it for the rest of our vacation. 

He really did a great job repairing it, so we could use it.  Zak took the kayak out to do a little exploring and did great.  This was the first time he had gone so far away from the boat and explored on his own.  It was a turning point for him and his independence. 

We had a peaceful evening and decided to check into Canada the next morning.

Pictures from this part of the trip

July 24, 2008

Summer 2008 Days 3-5 (THU 7/3 – SAT 7/5) Roche Harbor

Roche Harbor was a fun place to spend the 4th of July.  I still like Poulsbo a little better.  There aren’t so many rich people trying to show off.  Everyone in Roche wanted to one up everyone else it seemed.  Anyway, when we arrived on the 2nd Scott and the kids set the crab traps and went for a long dinghy ride with Curtis and Cynthia.  I stayed home and relaxed a little. A little mom time, I guess.  We ended up having Curtis and Cynthia over for a crab dinner, which was wonderful.   We all headed to bed early and slept late the next morning.  We went into town for a little look around and some groceries and then decided to go fishing.  Cynthia had wanted to catch a fish since she never had before.  We went outside Roche Harbor around a little island and caught quite a few fish.  We had a couple greenlings that we ended up keeping and yes, Cynthia caught her first fish:

 

We checked the crab pots on the way home and had a pretty good catch.   Scott went into Roche to see if he could find our friend Dave who is a great trop rock singer and was playing up at the hotel.  His shift ended at six and he and his wife Marcia came to Ghost along with Curtis and Cynthia for a fish and crab feast.  We ended the evening by making some homemade ice cream in our handy dandy ice cream ball.  It was a very nice evening.

The 4th was spent watching the commotion in the harbor.  We didn’t really do much and didn’t even get to town.  The wind had picked up a little and with all the close anchoring we decided to stay on Ghost and watch the mayhem.  We had dinner aboard Winddancer and watched the fireworks, as well.  It was a nice show.  Both kids were able to stay up and watch them this year.  They had fun.

The next morning we went into Roche for a little playtime.  The kids love playing in the grass around the gardens.  We headed back to Ghost and pulled the anchor.  Next stop:  Reid Harbor.

Pictures from first part of trip

July 19, 2008

Summer 2008 - Day Two 7/2 - The Crossing (Ang)

Day 2 (WED 7/2): The Crossing (Ang)

O.K.  So the crossing of Juan de Fuca channel has always been one of those things with me.  The first time on the Pondo May, I spent the whole ride over the side.  It was horrible.  Since then most of our crossings haven’t been all that bad, but this time it was.  We woke up to fog and decided Curtis and Cynthia would take the lead.  It was pretty flat and calm as we left.

 

Pretty soon the tide rips picked up and it started getting crazy.  All of us were on deck, including the kids and I finally had to tell them to go below.  The seas were so confused and the waves so high, I didn’t feel it was safe  for them.  I went down below with them, because they were scared.  I was worried about Scott up on deck by himself, so I kept getting up and checking on him.  Of course, that didn’t make me feel so hot, so I’m not going to go into to detail , but all three of us (the kids and myself) ended up getting sea sick.  Kind of a bummer.  Things started smoothing out and the fog started clearing right about the same time San Juan Island came into sight.  We went through Mosquito Pass to Roche Harbor and planned on staying for a couple days.  We were all happy about that.

Pictures from our 1st couple weeks of the trip:

July 11, 2008

Summer 2008 - Day One 7/1 - Seattle to Port Townsend

So, the decision was made, we were going to leave around 4 a.m.  Ughhh!  We were all so excited that we didn’t sleep a wink.  Six and half weeks sailing around the Pacific Northwest  up into Canada.  It should be an excellent adventure.  Our neighbors Curtis & Cynthia aboard Winddancer were planning to leave with us, so when the alarm went off Scott and Curtis were already up and were ready to leave.  I guess they both couldn’t sleep.  We headed out of the marina with a nice South wind that was beckoning us.  We put the sails up and we were off.  As we sailed north we saw a giant mass bearing down on us.  As it came a little closer we realized it was the HMS Bounty heading south:

 What a beautiful sight.  Tall ships are amazing.  I get all giddy whenever I see them.  Today would be a very exciting day for me, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  We arrived in Port Townsend around 10 a.m. and anchored right in front of the downtown area.  Curtis and Cynthia decided to get a slip at Point Hudson Marina.  We anchored right next to the schooner Zodiac:

 

 

They left a little bit later.  It’s beautiful uner sail:

 

And then we saw the La Nina.   She is a replica of one of Columbus ships.  She would be heading south to Tacoma as well for the Tall Ships festival in Tacoma. 

 

We decided to go do a little beachcombing, but were exhausted from the early morning.  We headed back to the boat for a little R&R.  As we were relaxing I looked out toward the entrance of the harbor and saw what looked like sails from a very large sailing vessel.  And then  behind that I saw more.  Another fleet of Tall ships were on their way into Port Townsend before heading to Tacoma for the festival.  It was a beautiful sight.  First one in was the Lynx

 

And then the Hawaiian Chieftan

And then the beautiful Lady Washington:

 

It was a perfect day for me.  The kids thought it was pretty cool to see so many pirate ships and then they started firing off their cannons.  What a show. We weren’t even expecting it.  It was a great first day out. 

 

Pictures from this adventure will be posted here:  July 2008

June 2008

Pictures from June 2008 

 

June 2008

June was a busy month for Ghost and her crew.  The two swabbies were getting ready for the end of school and couldn’t contain themselves.  Zak finished the first grade and Ellie graduated from preschool:

 

She is so excited for kindergarten in the fall.  They both are excited for our fun summer in Canada.  Ghost has been the busiest of all of us.  She was hauled out of the water for a scrubbing and fresh coat of  paint:

She looks absolutely beautiful.  Life on the hard was definitely an interesting experience.  Ellie stayed with our friends, Bob, Shari, Sydney, & Annie in Olympia and Zak stayed with us.  Zak had so much fun fishing off the dock in the yard (Scott did, too!):

The only bad thing about the whole thing was the weather was absolutely beautiful, some of the hottest days that we have experienced so far this summer and we were stuck away from the marina.  We sure missed that breeze that we sometimes complain about on the docks.  Oh well.  Well, July 1st we take off for six weeks up to Canada.  Everyone is extremely excited.  We will try to keep you updated as much as possible. 


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