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August 31, 2008

Summer 2008 - WED 7/30 - SAT 8/2 (Ang)

July 30th, 2008

Lund to Secret Cove Marina

With a good weather forcast we left Lund at about 5:30 a.m. so we could get into Secret Cove at a decent hour.  It would be a long pretty uneventful day.  We decided that we would treat ourselves and stay at the dock at Secret Cove.  The past couple days were pretty rough and we needed a little relaxation.  It was also a good opportunity to get some laundry done before meeting up with Scott's parents in Nanaimo. 

The kids enjoyed their time on the dock and Zak even found a small bat in the water that was barely alive.  He fished it out with the net and we put it in a plant to dry out.  Hopefuly the little guy survived.  Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures.  The next morning we decided on another early morning to let the tides help us across the Strait of Georgia into Nanaimo.

July 31, 2008

Secret Cove to Nanaimo

Scott told me and the kids to stay in bed and he took the boat out at around 4 a.m. (thank you, honey).  As the kids and I woke up we went outside and saw we were already almost to Nanaimo.  What a great way to get from point A to point B.  As soon as we pulled into our slip in Nanaimo we went in search of somewhere to have breakfast.  We didn't have much luck and finally settled on a cafe with some pastries.  Where do people eat breakfast in this town?  Afterwards we went to the grocery store and then waited for Scott's parents to arrive.  We were all excited to see them.  This is a picture they took of Ghost when they arrived:

They also have a blog and here is their entry about their visit:


It rained almost the whole time they were with us, but it was great visiting with them. The kids cuddled up and enjoyed their time with Grandma & Grandpa:

They also showed off a little by catching different starfish:

We had a great dinner with George & Kathleen and then headed to bed for another early morning. 

August 2, 2008

Today we were heading to Sidney Spit for a day of playing on the beach.  The sun was out and we were ready to play in some sand.  We left early again, so we could have the tides with us and get there early enough to play for awhile.  We arrived to Sidney Spit around 12pm which was low tide.  We had never been to this location before and looked at the charts to figure out the best route into the anchorage.  We started heading over and quickly figured we went the wrong way.  It got really shallow really fast.  So we headed back out and tried a different route.  We made it into the area where all the buoys were and figured we were home free.  My thought was if there are buoys, it has to be deep enough.  Well as we came to a slow steady halt, I figured out that I was a little wrong.  We were on the bottom.  Luckily it was just sand and eel grass and it was low tide and rising.  All we could do was wait until the tide came up and we pulled out of that area and decided to go to the anchorage more to the south.

Once we anchored Ghost in a nice 30 feet of water,

we went to the beach and finally took a big deep breath.  Kind of embarassing to ground your boat.  This had never happened to us I guess there is always a first time for everything (and hopefully a last).  


We had a great day at the beach and headed to bed early. We were heading back to the U.S. in the morning and I think we were all excited about it.

Summer 2008 - MON 7/28 - TUE 7/29 (scty)

July 28th

Von Don Up Inlet to Copland Islands

Well, the day started off nice, but that didn’t last too long. This was the day we were all going to split up We each had separate places to go. WindDancer was as far west as they were planning on going, and were headed back to Walsh Cove. Palarran was going to go and check out the Octopus Islands. Ghost was headed towards Nanaimo.
Our plan was to start out and go as far as the weather would allow. As we eased out of the inlet, we were met with more wind than we had seen so far. It was, of course, right on the nose.
Six hours later, we had beaten into pretty nasty seas and finally tucked into a corner of the Copeland Islands Marine Park. We were not as protected as I would have liked, but it was the best we could find.
We tied and untied the stern line a few times before we got it to a place we could live with. We were in a narrow little corner of a bay. The problem was that if we were to get blown one side or the other, we might end up pretty close to the rocks. It looked like another sleepless night for Ghost.
We checked the weather and decided to wait out the 30 knot winds in this bay. The wind was suppose to start tomorrow morning. Low tide was also at the same time. Tomorrow should be interesting.

July 29th

Copland Islands to Lund B.C.

At midnight the tide was about 7 feet lower than when we arrived. We were too close to the rocks. I jumped into the dingy and with the hand held sounder, I was not satisfied with our position. I needed to pull our stern closer to the other shore. I pulled the stern line to yet another tree, but had to tie it to the tree instead of looping it back to Ghost. This is bad because when we leave, we will not be able to just pull it to Ghost.
After an hour, we were perfectly balanced between the two rocky shores. We had 10 feet under the keel and 15 feet on each side. The wind was calm for now, but this was about to change.
Good Morning! NOT!
As the sun came up, we looked outside to see that our world had gotten a whole lot smaller. Now we had 1 foot under the keel and 10 feet to each side. The wind was starting to build to the 30 knots planned. We were getting pushed into the rocks. We had to move and we had to move now.
We didn’t have much time to think things through, but we talked it over. First the kids had to go down below. Ang started the engine and I started cranking up the chain. This was going to be tough because if the wind caught the bow and Ang couldn’t hold it into the wind, we would be on the rocks.
Never have I cranked up 150’ of chain. Never has Ang done such a wonderful job at the helm. Never had the kids been so ignored! We got the anchor off the bottom and Ang started us out of the bay. We let the stern line pull off the reel. I would go and get that later.
When we were out in the channel, I climbed into the dingy and went back for the stern line. Nothing left to do but try to get into Lund.
An hour later we tied up to the breakwater in pretty calm weather to let the storm blow over this little town. We were not alone.  There were many boats tucking into Lund to weather the storm.

August 15, 2008

Summer 2008 - FRI 7/18 - SUN 7/27 (Scty)

Pictures from this part of the trip

July 18th
ChatterBox Falls to Hardy Island


It was very hard to depart the majestic beauty that is the Jevis inlet, But we had to continue on our voyage.

Thanks to some good thinking from the crew of WindDancer, we planned our departure from a quiet moorage closer to the rapids. As with our timed entry a few days prior, we now had to plan our departure for HIGH tide.

The winds were right on the bows for the 6.5 hours to Hardy Island. It was very crowded and we were not impressed. Sometime during the day, we lost an oar from “Boo”. Despite all of us searching, we could not find the oar. Ah well, we will manage.

July 19th

Hardy Island to Lund


Our plan was to make the “all day” run to Tenados Bay in Desolation Sound. It was a windless motor until we got to Lund. The plan was make a quick stop and fill up on beer and other supplies. CB and Tawn wanted to get a picture of the sign at the beginning of hwy 101. This was cool because the “other end” of hwy 101 is in Chili. CB and Tawn want to retire in Chili. Very cool!
CB and Tawn loaded up on $45 beer and decided to get out of dodge and keep going to Tenados Bay.
Ghost and her crew was secured to the floating breakwater next to WindDancer, and decided to spend the night. It wasn’t a bad night.
Lund was nice. The breakwater was a bit rocky rollie with all the water taxi’s zipping by, but it was a nice night anyway.
July 20th
Lund to Tenados Bay
We were up early and headed up Thulen Passage behind the Copland Islands. It was a short run to Tenados Bay.

We stern tied to a ring at the waterline. Palarran was close but in another bay. WindDancer stern tied to the same ring as Ghost. We were not as protected as I would have liked, but it was nice. It was time to slow down and stop the long day runs.

We decided to build a fire on shore and enjoy the night.

July 21st
Tenados Bay

Nothing but relaxing.

We went swimming in the fresh water lake that spills into the bay. It was so warm and clear. It was like taking a bath.


The kids were in the water all day. We had planned on sleeping on deck. It was cold, but we got it done.

Nice sunset that night, too!

July 22nd
Tenados Bay to Predoux Haven

We pulled up the anchor and on the chain was a 8” long squid! I plopped it into a bucket and the kids had fun watching it squirt it’s dye.

We slowly made our way to Roscoe Bay. We couldn’t get in there, so we headed over to Predoux Haven. If we thought things were crowded before, the were about to get a lot more crowded.

We found a perfect little corner and tied the stern to a tree. Time for some dingy exploring!

We had sooo much fun looking around all the inlets. Ellie found a perfect place to go swimming tomorrow. 
We had Pizza on Ghost.
July 23rd
Predoux Haven

After exploring with “Boo” the day before, we had a plan. We would load up the dingy and head to our sunny spot for a day of swimming and exploring. Mom and Ellie took the kayak and Zak and I took ”Boo” to the spot we found the day before in Pyramid Cove. Very cool.

Dinner on Palarran.
July 24th
Predoux Haven to Squirrel Cove
We had to get some provisions for the boat. So it was a nice motor to Refuge Cove. We could not get a spot at the dock, so we set the hook on a rock in 30’ of water. Ang caught up on the internet and watched Ghost, while Ellie and I ran into town to get a few things. An hour later, we were on our way to Squirrel Cove. It was very cool. We set the hook and took off exploring!

As usual we explored the bay and found the tidal lagoon. We could not pass yet, but at high tide we would try again.

The lagoon was so quiet and filled with sea creatures. We sat in the dingy and listened to all the sounds of nature. It was very cool to here nature so close.
The rapids were running fast when we decided to pass through again, but it was fun.
July 25th
Squirrel Cove

We had a busy day planned. First we wanted to hike to Von Don Up Inlet.


It was a great hike. Ellie had fun leading the way. We saw WindDancer anchored in the bay. We would be joining up with them tomorrow.

After we got back to the boat, we decided to eat lunch and then head to the Squirrel Cove store.

While we were at the store, we saw Palarran coming in.

We had a fire on the little island in the bay and relaxed as the rain started.

July 26th
Squirrel Cove to Von Don Up Inlet
Today we were going to round the north end of Cortez Island. We were on our way to Von Don Up Inlet.

About 3 hours after departing Squirrel Cove, we slowly passed the rock the can block the inlet to Von Don Up inlet.

We rafted up to WindDancer and the party started.

Cynthia strongly recommended that we visit this wonderful inlet. I am glad we did. It was nice and quiet and the kids could do some exploring on there own.

We had planned on spending Angela’s birthday in the Octopus Islands. From what Cynthia recommended, it looked like we made a good decision.
July 27th
Von Dun Up Inlet
It was a nice quiet night.
Today is Angela’s 33rd birthday. Happy Birthday honey!

Palarran showed up and we all decided to explore the saltwater lagoon. We zipped through the rapids and entered a huge tidal lagoon. It is bigger than the one at Squirrel Cove, but the wildlife wasn’t as good. It was fun running the rapids in “Boo”.

Back on the WindDancer, Ghost, and Palarran raft up, we started to get the birthday party started. We played a game or two and watched a slideshow of all the pictures taken so far. Very cool.
We wouldn’t get to the Octopus Islands this time.


August 01, 2008

Summer 2008 - TUE 7/15 - FRI 7/18 - Princess Louisa (Scty)

July 15, 2008


Garden Bay to Princess Louisa Inlet


When we started planning for this trip I knew we had to plan for the Malibu rapids crossing time. From the very start, I found that the slack tide was about 8 PM. This is a fact that will become a little more interesting later on.


We split up the raft up at around 10 am. Ghost slipped out of Pender Harbor with Palarran close a stern.



 As we turned up Agamemnon channel there was just enough wind to keep a headsail full, so…up it went. About an hour later we found our first set of native rock paintings.



We were having some fun with a call on the radio that WindDancer started early on in the trip. It went something like this  “…attention all vessels listening channel 16….the sailing vessel WindDancer is now showing ZERO fuel burn!” So everytime we turned off the motor, we would make this call. We had been sailing with “fuel burn ZERO” for a few hours. It was going to be a looong day. We had planned on about 8 hours of motoring to get the rapids. We turned the last corner and had only a few miles to go. We had sailed almost the entire trip. Only about 2.5 hours of motoring. Not too bad! At least I didn’t have to worry too much about my heat exchanger. It held up well for the little motoring that we did.





As we all joined up we thought that we had about an hour to wait for slack water at the rapids, Cynthia made a call to us on the radio. She seemed to think that we were an hour off on our….ahem….my slack water figuring. Suddenly, if she was right, we had to really hustle to get to the rapids and still make it through. The reason that this was critical is because it was getting dark and there was no place to go if we missed the slack water time for the rapids. We would know if I was wrong about the time when we got to the rapids. Cynthia was right. Turns out the tide and current tables that I was using was not corrected for daylight savings time. I was an hour off. Close one!            Thanks Cynthia!



And then we were there


Princess Louisa Inlet is by far the most breathtaking place that I have ever been. I am humbled by the sight. I am so excited to show this magical place with my kids. Ellie is named after the inlet. Ellie’s middle name is Louisa. We have been to Zak’s name sake, Ried Harbor in the San Juans, many times, but Ellie was very excited to go to “her place”.



Our plan was to drop a dingy in the water and run ahead and search out place for all of us to stay the first night. Cutis jumped into his tender and zoomed the 4 miles ahead to the falls to check out the possibilities.  He reported that there were “zero point zero boats anchored below the falls”. Jackpot!


As we slowly motored around the last bend in the inlet, the kids were very interested in seeing a real water fall.


There wasn’t much sunlight left as we set the hook at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water. The current from the falls would keep us positioned off the falls for three days.



It was a long day, but we made it and now we could relax and look around at what we had sailed into.


End of our first day of paradise





 July 31, 2008


Everyone was tired from the day before. There was not a cloud in the sky. There was a soft roar from ChatterBox Falls.  Zak and mommy went for an early morning sea kayak.



After breakfast we all went ashore and did some exploring. There were lots of photo ops.



We even started out on the trail to the old trapper’s cabin. We made it about 15 min into the 2 hour hike. It was not to be….today at least.

Later that night we planned a midnight dingy float. We loaded up with stocking caps and some warm drinks……at least they felt warm and smooth as they went down.

We let the current from the falls push us slowly out of the inlet. We floated about a mile down the inlet in total darkness. We watched the moonlight brighten the surrounding mountains. It was very cool. At one point we saw a strangely bright rock near the shore that seemed to be glowing?! There was a lot of phosphorescence in the water, or maybe it was a water fall? What else would 4 people in a couple of dingy’s do in a situation like this? Well, we must go and investigate! Slowly we made our way towards the strangely bright rock or what ever it was. As we got closer, Curtis tried to shine his light on it. We still could not make out what it was. We needed to get closer. We could tell, however, that it was sticking out of the water, or floating on the water. It was not on the shore. Interesting. Finally, as we got close enough that our little flashlight could start to see some detail, we saw that it was…..a BOAT! “back away………back away slowly!......shshshhshshh…….it’s creepy guys from the Ozarks!.......back away!

Well, back out in the middle of the inlet, looking up at the stars, we all listened for sounds that the Ozark guys might be coming out to get us. Funny what some rum, scotch, darkness, 600 feet deep water and a lot of imagination can come up with.

End of day two



July 17, 2008


The plan today was to hike to the trappers cabin. The sign said it might be a tough trail. We were ready….well, CB and Tawn were ready, I was not sure if I were ready. Up we go.


I am glad that we did not try to get the kids to go all the way. It was a little tricky in spots. We were ready for the worst and the worst never came. It only took us a little over an hour to get to what was left of the cabin. It had fallen down and had certainly seen better days. It had been built next to a waterfall, and that was spectacular.


Back down to the boat. Ang and the kids took the dingy all the way to Malibu Lodge for a tour. They had a great time.

Christmas in July event happening at Malibu Club youth camp while Ang and the kids were on the tour:

It was decided that maybe we should move a little closer to the rapids so we would not have such a long run in the morning for our departure. It would be another 40 plus miles as we sailed out of the mountains. So we pulled anchor and tied up to the buoys at Macdonald Island, about a mile from the rapids. I didn’t want to leave, but we needed to explore other parts of the Canadian wilderness.


End of the last day in paradise


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