BOAT GARAGE SALE

This morning I went to a boat garage sale in Victoria.  Very happy I went as I picked up some bargains and crossed a couple of items off my ‘to get’ list.  Luckily I was able to get into the venue early with a vendor and have a scope around before the public entered.

First I picked up an inflatable dinghy for $150, not a youngster but seems to hold air well and is small enough to handle easily by myself.  It also rolls up quite small for stowage on deck when at sea.

Secondly I found an inflatable kayak, it’s a West Marine Advanced Elements model.  Not exactly top of the range but for $100 it will do nicely.  So, all my boating needs met for $250 in one morning.

This afternoon I bought an additional solar panel to complement my existing panel.  With both panels I only have a total of 100W.  However, my electrical needs are light and the two panels should be fine for day to day operation without running the engine.  Yesterday I fitted LED’s lamps to my navigation lights, they use very little power and put out a nice bright light.  This cuts down on the battery drain overnight when at sea.

Spring Blossom in Victoria. Photo Ray Penson jpg
Spring Blossom in Victoria. Photo Ray Penson 

The cherry blossom is out in force in Victoria, very pretty but of course it rained and blew cold just after I took the photo.

Today was too cold, windy and wet to do much outside.  Anyway my hands needed a break to heal after doing rope work yesterday.  My hands are still soft from the easy life at home over summer.  It was also too cold to do another epoxy patch in the fresh water tank today, I will do it first thing in the morning.

BLOWN INTO VICTORIA

Port San Juan,Causeway Marina,Victoria,Canoe Cove

After a few hours sleep joggling around in Snuggery Cove Truce and I set off on the last leg of the voyage down to Victoria.  The forecast was for North Westerly forty knot winds – but they were in our favour so no point in hanging around.

Moored opposite the Empress Hotel Victoria. Photo Ray Penson
Moored opposite the Empress Hotel Victoria. Photo Ray Penson

In the chill dark and damp morning at four I heaved up the anchor and set off, radar on as the visibility was poor and four knots as there are logs and stuff floating around in the dark.  By five the visibility had improved and the wind was freshening with the effects of the big Pacific Swells being felt as they rolled down the Juan de Fuca Strait.  By six I had the jib set and we motor sailed at a steady six and a half knots all the way down to Race Rocks.

At Race rocks there is a great tide flow and we shot through at ten knots as the wind picked up to forty knots from the west and blew us up into Victoria Harbour.  A fast trip and a good way to end the voyage.  Truce is berthed in Causeway Marina in the heart of the city.  A perfect spot for a tourist, one of the best rooms in town.

I will spend a couple of days in Victoria and head up for Canoe Cove on Monday where Truce will be laid up for the winter.  I will update the log as I prepare the boat for a few months of winter storage.  At this time, I am expecting to start the next voyage on Truce in March next year, when we will go south, to warmer weather.  Total voyage distance 1,096.3 miles.

PORT SAN JUAN

I left Bamfield at first light this morning, along with about a dozen fishermen in their boats. The fishing guys are really serious about it and don’t waste a minute of daylight.  Sunrise is at six thirty now, not like the three o’clock Alaska sunrises.

The weather forecast was for light airs and so it proved all day.  The forecast for just north of me was for NW 20 to 30 knots and a strong wind warning to the south of me.  I was in the middle and no wind.  The swell was from the west so we rolled all day under motor from Bamfield, around Cape Beale and down to Port San Juan.

The day was beautiful and the rolling not severe.  As soon as we rounded Cape Beale, Cape Flattery came into view aver thirty miles away on the US side of Juan de Fuca strait.  The visibility was great all day and it was a delight to see the lighthouses and capes that I had only previously seen as radar images.  The Canadian lighthouses are always nice to see, they always appear to be well maintained and very traditional with human being featuring in their operation.

Tonight I have pulled into Port San Juan for a brief stop before continuing down to Victoria.  I will stay here for about eight hours before continuing to catch the tide at Race Rocks just before Victoria.  The anchorage I am in is called Snuggery Cove.  Well, it’s not very snuggery (if there is such a word).  The wind and sea gets into the cove and we are jiggling and bouncing about, good that its only for a few hours.

My plan is to arrive Victoria tomorrow afternoon and spend the weekend there, doing the tourist stuff So, I am going to have a feed, a few hours sleep and then on the way again.  Victoria next stop.  Total voyage distance 1,043.9miles.

SUMMER FOG

Today I didn’t see much, most of the day was spent in fog.  I rounded Cape Scott at the top of Vancouver Island less than half a mile off but it remained invisible, shrouded in fog.  Of course fog meant little wind so I motored from Bull Harbour around to Sea Otter Cove on the West side of Vancouver Island.  Nearly all the way the visibility was less than a quarter of a mile.  Disappointing as I would like to have seen the coast close up.

Boat appears out of fog Ray Penson
Boat appears out of fog Ray Penson

Entering Sea Otter Cove was a bit tricky, passing between unseen reefs in the fog until finally the entrance appeared at the last minute when I saw the surf breaking on the shore.  Once inside the cove the sun came out and revealed the beauty of the place.  However, shortly after anchoring the wind blew hard from the northwest with rain and postponed my intention to go ashore for an explore.  To compensate I made pancakes.

I had a close encounter when a large humpback whale appeared right ahead out of the fog and then sounded just under the bow.  I watched as the whale tail came out of the water and slid down vertically and disappeared right in front of me.  Of course it happened so fast and unexpectedly I didn’t have time to take a photo.

Running the boat in fog is always trying when singe handed, especially on this coast where a constant watch has to be kept for logs as well as other ships.  The radar can detect other vessels but floating logs are too low in the water and don’t reflect a signal so aren’t picked up on radar.  Today I saw a complete tree floating along with seabirds using it as a resting place.

The sea was teaming with wildlife, thousands of seabirds, whales, sea otters, and seals.  The sea otters around here appear to be the largest I have seen so far, larger than their Alaskan cousins.

I am looking forward to travelling down the west coast of Vancouver Island to Victoria.  A route I have travelled many times before on big ships, in and out of the Juan de Fuca strait, but always at a distance.  Now I have the opportunity to see it close up.  Total voyage distance 725.3 miles.

NORTHBOUND VOYAGE ENDS

Today Ngozi and I had some quality time together in Hoonah.  Once the usual chores of laundry, provisioning and maintenance were out of the way we went for a walk around Hoonah.  Its not a big place so its not a difficult mission but the locals are friendly and always have time for a chat so it’s a pleasant experience.

Walking around Hoonah
Walking around Hoonah

In the evening we visited Icy Strait Brewing again to sample the latest brew.  It’s pretty strong stuff and after three glasses each we felt no pain.

Ngozi is flying out to New Zealand tomorrow morning, it has been fantastic to have company again but the time has gone too quickly.  I will be sorry to see her go.  We have been very lucky with the weather, beautiful calm warm days and balmy nights.  We have experienced the Glaciers calving, whales feeding and a whole range of wildlife – apart from bears.  It’s been a unique experience for both of us.

Tomorrow I will start the next voyage south from Hoonah to Victoria BC.  I haven’t decided which route south to take yet, maybe the weather will decide for me in the morning.  Total Voyage distance 1,632.8 miles.

GROCERY SHOPPING, MAKE AND MEND DAY

“Truce lying to a mooring at Canoe Cove’ Photo Ray Penson
“Truce lying to a mooring at Canoe Cove’ Photo Ray Penson

All very peaceful today at the mooring in Canoe Cove, this morning.

I jumped on a bust to Victoria and then to Sidney to do some grocery shopping, thought it was time I had some fresh veg and fruit.

This afternoon spent doing small jobs around the boat.

I the past few days I have had a lot of things going wrong, fuses burning, lights going out and of course the engine stopping.

Its just frustrating to keep having to react to things going wrong.

Hopefully I can get a mechanic to look at the engine tomorrow, they are of course very busy this time of year and don’t really want to be bothered by small jobs.

I suspect it’s the fuel pump that has thrown the towel in. Monday tomorrow and I remember exactly one week ago I thought we would be sailing on Wednesday.

Lets hope we will sail before this coming Wednesday.

Logged 17th April 2016

CHANDLERS ANNUAL SALE

Lovely bright weather today and a trip to the chandlers in Victoria for their annual sale.  The place was buzzing but I didn’t see any real bargains.  Managed to get a handheld VHF and new life jacket plus some other odds and ends.  Stopped off in Sidney on the way back.

In the afternoon I fitted the antenna for the AIS and then had a laid back day.

Logged 9th April 2016

A DAY OUT IN VICTORIA

It was Brass Monkey weather this morning so decided to get the bus to Victoria, good decision the day turned out to be sparkling and once I had warmed up really enjoyed it.

I picked up some tide tables and a guide to Alaska wildlife at Munro’s Bookshop, what a great place.  We now have all the charts and books on board needed for the trip north.

Victoria Harbour and Parliament Building. Photo by Ray Penson
Victoria Harbour and Parliament Building. Photo by Ray Penson
Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic. Photo by Captain Ray Penson
Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic. Photo by Captain Ray Penson

There is a nice statue of my hero Captain Cook on the harbour side.  He looks a bit glum, perhaps because the birds are shitting on him.

But I expect he put up with plenty of that during his voyages of discovery – so more likely it’s because he is facing inland when he should be overlooking the harbour and out to sea.

PHOTO ON LEFT:  Captain Cook keeping watch on the Victoria traffic

I also picked up a carbon monoxide detector / alarm.  The surveyor noted it as a deficiency and the insurance company thought I should have one.  Really it is a good safety measure as we have oil lamps, gas cooker and a diesel heater on board that could all cause a problem if not properly ventilated.

I installed and tested (its loud!) the detector when I returned to the boat this afternoon.

Carbon Monoxide detector installed in the main cabin Its Monday tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting everything fixed so we can get out of Canoe Cove.  The two show-stoppers are the spreader replacement and the engine parts.

The engine parts, EPIRB, Iridium Go and New Zealand boat stickers are all coming by courier, I expected everything by Saturday and can only hope everything arrives tomorrow so I can get going on installation.  If all goes to plan I could be out of here on Wednesday afternoon at low water.  I still need an electrician to complete the electrical hook ups but that won’t hold me back.

Now it’s time for a sundowner.

Logged 10th April 2016