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Old 10-07-2007, 22:40   #1
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Just Back from PNW

Hello all just returned from three weeks of sailing in the PNW. For the first two weeks it rained everyday. But interspersed wth the rain was sun. Tempature was in the 60's which maight be cold for some of you but was very fine with me. Especially since the temp at home in Northern Cal was in the low 100's.

I must say that those of you who live in BC are some of the most fortuante people. The cruising grounds are lovely. Anchorages every few hours of sailing. Wind was not on all the time. But that is the same everywhere. We went to some lovely anchorages and marinas. Montague Harbour, Telegraph Harbour, Nanaimo was a special treat b/c the fire off a 6lb cannon every day at noon. Compleat with bagpipes. We hung around for an hour beforehand talking to the piper and exploring the Bastion, which is the last building standing of the Hudson Bay Trading Company. From there we sailed across the Straits of Georgia and went to Pender Harbour for the night and from there we motored up to Lund which is the start of Highway 101.

We had mechanical problems in Lundour impeller gave up the ghost right as we were heading to Desolation Sound. Changed the impeller but had problems getting the old impwller out of the raw water system and then we still didn't have water coming out of the exhaust. Finally tried everything I knew and had to hire a mechanic to go thru all the different thngs that I had done to expell impeller parts from the water system. As it turned out there was a problem that ended up buring up another impeller. (I'll post about that later). We waited for a day to get a spare impeller and then took off. for Squirrel Cove where the reversing rapids allow you to go downstream into a lake at high tide and then from the lake to the bay at low tide. The next morining we saw three golden eagles fighting with three bald eagles for the prime fishing territory.

We decided to head back to b/c of the rain. When we went to start the engine there was no water coming from the engine. I checked the impeller and there were four fins missing and a number of others were torn. Back to the drawing board. After consoltaion with Never Monday on cell phone I decided to make a new gasket for the raw water strainer and move the strainer below the waterline instead of 30" above the waterline. With both of those things done I had no more problems.

The next day we had a 14hour ninety nm run from Cortes Island to Nanaimo with a two hour stop to pick up a spare impeller. We motored for the first three hours and then after leaving Westview got slammed with 25 to 30 knots on the nose and driving rain. We were motoring along and only getting four knots out of the boat. We decided to try sailing. With a single reef and a 95% jib s/v Ohana felt underpowered. We were sailing along at 7 knots over the ground. Don't know what we were doing thru the water. The tide turned and we started getting nines and tens over the ground.

We tried to anchor off Newcastle Island but there wasn't enouch room so we tied to the Port Authority Dock had showers and went to bed. The next morning we got up at 4am to get thru Dodd Narrows. The Van Isle to Nanaimo race was just finishing as we left. Three boats had decided to sail thru the Narrows but didn't get there until the tide had turned and they were unable to get thru the narrows.

We hit Sidney on June 30th for the fireworks(Sidney shoots them off a day earlier than Canda Day). We met up with Brian and MA O'neil and their grandkids. We had a soccer game then an ice cream and then watched the fireworks. It was great. The next day July 1st -- Canada Day -- we went to the 1.5 hour long parade. Seems like everyone in a ten mile radius was at the parade. My 10 year old daughter cut her foot on a broken bottle and it required 7 stitches. It was like the old days in CA. four people stopped to see how she was. One was a nurse, like my wife, and told her that she needed to go to the hospital. A very nice couple stopped and took care of her while my ten year old son ran to the boat and told us in a very clear voice. "Mom Dad get the first aid kit it is an emergency. Marina cut her foot." People came out of the returaunt and placed compresses on her foot to stop the bleeding. Brian and Ma's grandaughter did a wonderful job of applying pressure and keeping my daughter's foot elevated. The couple who had stopped offered us a ride to the hospital. My wife went with my daughter and only an hour and a half after leaving wife and daughter were back. They had only spent an hour in the ER. Try that in the US. Last time my wife went to the ER it took her three hours to see the doctor.

The next day we met friends in Friday Harbor. My daughters best friend and her mom. From there we went to Garrison Bay for the night and the next morning left for Victoria. On the way to Victoria we saw a pod of Killer Whales and then had a nice sail into the harbour. It wasn't crowded at all. We were able to moor right in front of the Empress Hotel. Victoria has a very nice Maritime Museum. The BC Museum of natural history and a very active set of Boskers. We decided to only spend one day there b/c it was a drain on the pocket book. It was fun but expensive.

From there it was Bedwell Harbour and then back to Sidney. A fine trip inded. Only problem was that it was not long enough.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 10-07-2007, 23:40   #2
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So nice to hear you enjoyed our wonderful region -- we are blessed. I'm heading up there myself next week.

For those of you with the interest, a "superpod" of orcas got together in the Straits of Georgia on July 4th. You can see some incredible pictures, here:
Center for Whale Research

Enjoy!

ID
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Old 11-07-2007, 00:30   #3
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Glad you enjoyed our stomping grounds. I will be back there in two days for 6 weeks. Most of us who live there or used to live there probably didn't appreciate it as much as we should have. After spending 9 months in the Middle East, with the heat and the dust, I know I will appreciate it a lot more than I did during the years I spent on Vancouver Island. I hope to retrace many of the places you mentioned where I Commercial fished for 10 years.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:46   #4
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ID

Thanks for the link. We've been to the Whale research center a couple of times and really enjoyed it. I guess we were a few days early for the "Superpod" we crossed the Straits earlier in the week. Just seeing them in the wild made for a wonderful trip.

Lancer

I love the PNW. Especially when I come back to the bleached dried out terrain of the California Foothills. Rain doesn't seem that bad.
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Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:42   #5
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I am looking forward to a little rain. I too spend most of the year in the hot dry desert (city of Doha). One more day and back to green lush wet B.C. and my boat in PR marina. Then real life for 6 weeks.
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