Friday, July 29, 2005

Prideaux Haven

Was our next stop. It's an area made up of several coves and islands, absolutely beautiful, and great for gunkholing in the dinghy. It is also very crowded, but we were able to find a spot to anchor in the middle, which meant we didn't need to practice our non-existent mountaineering skills in running a stern tie to shore (we arrived at low tide, and it was a looong way up to any trees we could have tied to).

This was the view on the way up to Prideaux Haven:

The first afternoon we were there, a couple of guys came by and asked if we knew about the dinghy parade the next day. Why, no, we didn't. They went on to explain that the theme was "Western Christmas" (I have no idea why, the date of the parade was the 26th), but really any sort of decoration would do. We made a tinfoil star for the top of our mast, strung up a string of flags, and were good to go. The dinghy parade:

There were 48 dinghies in all, which was apparently a record. This is, we gathered, an annual event. Some people took the theme pretty seriously, like this woman:

Here's picture of Bubba, sunning himself on the liferaft. One upside to it's being so crowded is that we didn't really feel we had to keep much of an eye out for eagles.

The water in Prideaux Haven is impossibly clear:

From Cortes Bay,

We went to Gorge Harbour. Here's picture of the entrance. It's only about 50 feet wide, but once you're through, it opens up into a huge bay.

Gorge Harbour Resort, where we stayed, has a fantastic restaurant. We ate dinner there, and liked it so much we went back for lunch the next day. They also had a good store.

Cortes Bay

Cortes Bay was a very welcome stop after almost a week of being on the move coming up from Vancouver. We wound up staying three days. There was even internet access, thanks to the Seattle and Royal Vancouver Yacht clubs, both of which have outstations in the bay and sponsor a wifi hotspot.

Powell River, where we stopped the night before we came to Cortes, was not such a great marina -- basically a fishing harbour, and they had us rafted seven boats deep -- but it was a great stop if for no other reason than that the have a courtesy bus that runs to the mall, where there is a huge grocery store. We stocked up.

Here's a picture of the sunset, looking out the entrance to Cortes Bay:

Our route from Princess Louisa to Desolation Sound

Our Route from Vancouver almost to Princess Louisa Inlet

I couldn't fit Princess Louisa Inlet into the picture -- it should show in the next map. As you can see, we were covering quite a bit of ground for a while.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

Since I'm posting on a Friday, we must have some cats....

Bubba in the cockpit:

Maggie on the boom:


Princess Louisa Inlet

Princess Louisa Inlet was spectacular. Completely worth the 6 hour trip each way up and back (which was actually a lot less time than we originally expected -- we got some help from the current). We got the very last spot at the dock at the foot of Chatterbox Falls. We'd been following another boat all the way up, saw them get what looked like the last spot and had pretty much resigned ourselves to anchoring when we realized they were going to pull forward and make room for us. There was a party atmosphere on the dock, which was fun, and lots of going back and forth to see other peoples boats. A beautiful Kettenberg 50 across from us, which was still owned by the original owner, had a group of older men aboard, one of whom was in love with our boat. Knew all about Masons, took the tour, just wanted to talk to us endlessly about the boat. Which, of course, we love to do. Later, the owner of the Kettenberg came by to tell us he had a guy on board who'd pay twice what we'd paid if we'd sell him Arione. We're pretty sure he was joking.

I took some pictures, but without the sound from the falls, which are thunderous, and the mist that comes off of them, they're a little disapopinting.

Chatterbox Falls:

There are waterfalls down the sides of the inlet about every 100 yards or so:

Here's the view down the inlet in the morning. That's a cruise ship anchored in about 300' of water. It had a little pontoon launch that brought people over to the dock. We talked to a couple of the passengers -- the boat only carries 19 people, and they were out for a week, stopping in various scenic spots.

This one is looking down from the falls:

Another little waterfall:

and this is looking down the inlet in the afternoon:

This is a shot of the falls I took from the dinghy. If you look closely, you can see three separate streams coming down off the mountain:

This granite face rises straight up from the water, and the water alongside it is several hundred feet deep. It's like Yosemite, but with water. A little more global warming, we should have a lot of places like this. The boat in the picture is one of two 100- 120' square riggers that pulled in while we were there - each with about 40 kids on board. Some sort of summer camp, we guessed.

Finally, continuing North

The GPS doctor arrived as promised at 7:30 in the morning on July 13th, fixed the GPS, and we were on our way out of Vancouver, finally. Our first night, we stopped at Gibson's Landing in Howe Sound. We had read that the grocery store there was quite a walk, uphill, and so had stocked up before we left Vancouver. We hadn't been in our slip 1/2 an hour when a lady came by offering to take us up shopping. We thanked her, but explained that we'd stocked up. Later, when I was walking up to the shower, a man offered me a ride, or, seeing as I was heading to the shower, suggested I might just want to give him a list and we could pay him back when he brought the stuff by the boat. From this I drew two conclusions about Gibsons: 1 -- very nice people. 2 -- the grocery store must be one hell of a walk.

From Gibsons, we went to Secret Cove Marina, which was a very nice spot. We didn't eat at the restaurant, as we were feeling a bit overspent from Vancouver, and it was expensive. Unfortunately, the grocery store there was a little light on fresh produce, and didn't really have any frozen veggies, but they did have canned corn, the one canned vegetable we'll both eat. We should have accepted the ride in Gibsons, I guess. We topped off on food to last us for the next five days or so while we go up Princess Louisa Inlet.

The following night, we went up Agememnon Channel to Egmont, which is the closest marina to the run up to Princess Louisa Inlet. It was cloudy, but pretty, on the way up.

The run to Princess Louisa has to be done all in one day, because there's nowhere to anchor along the way. It's about 40 miles, so at 5 knots, we expected it to take us a while. There's not much at Egmont, but the food at the pub was great. The fish and chips was extremely fresh halibut. Egmont also had a totem pole. Here are a few pictures of it:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Granville Market

I went over to Granville Market today (since the GPS guy isn't coming until 7:30 AM tomorrow) and took pictures of vegetables.

Green onions and red potatoes.



Broccoli and carrots

Zucchini and eggplant

OK, these aren't vegetables. These guys didn't quite make it upstream.

I also bought a lot of food, some of which we had for dinner tonight. While I'm ready to leave Vancouver, I'm going to miss the market.

While I was outside at the market, these seagulls startled a woman into dropping her plate of chinese food. I missed getting a picture of it, but here's the aftermath. Notice the broccoli. Apparently, seagulls don't care for it.

They're not kidding:

There was another sign that read "Got Fries?", but I couldn't get a good picture of it. Too bad, it reminded me of the larcenous gulls at Sam's in Tiburon.

Our route from Telegraph Harbour to Vancouver

Instead of just a regular chart, we added a photo overlay to this one.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

On our way

through Vancouver Harbour on Thursday, we were nearly run over (not really. We just had a hard time figuring out what he was doing) by this Russian tall ship. We'd forgotten they were even in town this weekend.

Right next to the marina

There's a little house on stilts, painted silver. I have no idea what it is. There's no sign identifying it. It's definitely strange.

From Vancouver

We went up Indian Arm for a couple of days. We had the place almost completely to ourselves. I think that a lot of people, especially if they're hell-bent on doing the Inside Passage, don't go up there, because it's not on the way to anything -- just a dead end fjord into the coast range. It sure is pretty, though.

Unfortunately, our GPS decided to die on the way back down from Indian Arm, so we're back at Coal Harbour in Vancouver, waiting to have it fixed.

We spent Thurday night over in False Creek, the other harbor in Vancouver, which had us within walking distance of the fantastic Granville Island Public Market. We'll definitely be going back over there before we leave Vancouver -- it's food heaven.

In Vancouver

We stayed at Coal Harbour Marina, which is very nice, if a bit pricey. Actually, all the transient moorage in Vancouver is pricey, so we figured we might was well stay somewhere nice. We had a great dinner at Hon's on Robson St., were able to provision hugely because Annie drove up, and rode our bikes/skated around the Stanley Park seawall. Actually, everyone but me did that twice. The first day, one of the pedals on my bike snapped off about halfway around, so I walked my useless bike back to the bike shop to get it fixed, while everyone else rode on. Luckily, the bike was easily fixable, and everyone was game to try it again the next day. Stanley Park has some great totem poles, and the seawall is a great ride.

No lifeguards at this Stanley Park beach.

From Nanaimo

We went over to Newcastle Island. What a great park. The anchorage is huge, and we even had a wifi signal. The beach was very rocky and pretty, and if the water had been a bit warmer, we might have gone for a swim.

The tidal range this far north is about 15 feet, so when the tide goes out, it's really out. This little tidepool was at least 50 feet in from the edge of the water.

Grass will, apparently, grow anywhere:

We left Newcastle Island on June 29th to come over to Vancouver and meet the boys and Art's sister. Originally, the weather forcast was for southwest winds, which would have been great -- a nice reach all the way across the Straight of Georgia. Unfortunately, the wind swung around to the east, so we had to motor straight into it , as well as some really vicious chop (it takes a lof of chop to stop a 36,000 pound boat dead in the water, which this did on several occasions) for 7 hours.