Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 13 - Squirrel Cove

Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
We enjoy Squirrel Cove so much that we decided to spend another day here rather than move on.  The weather is cloudy but warm with a few light and variable breezes.  We spent the day really doing much of nothing but reading and relaxing.  I ran the generator from 0930 to 1440 to put a bit of a chill in the refer and a charge on the batteries.   

During this time I thoroughly planned our trip to Nanaimo which we will start on Friday.  Right now the thought is to do it in one long day.  Normally we travel down the east side of Georgia Strait and then cross over by end of Texada Island.  The benefits of this trip are that there are more places to stop and get out of any weather that may arise - Grief Point, Ballet Bay, Pender Harbor, or Jedediah Island; and believe it or not it's shorter by 7 nautical miles than going down the west side of the Strait.  The down side is that there's more traffic; you've got to deal with Area Whiskey Golf; and if there is a NW wind you will have a bit of beam sea once you get out of the lee of Lasqueti Island.  The other alternative is to go down the west side of Georgia Strait.  According to Environment Canada the long range forecast for Friday is light NW winds 5-15 knots.  The forecast for Saturday is SE winds 15-20 knots - ugh.  So now, the plan is to go tomorrow to Von Donop Inlet, then to Rebecca Spit on Thursday, and down to Nanaimo via the west side of Georgia Strait on Friday.  That way we avoid Area Whiskey Golf (which is supposed to be active), take advantage of a following sea, and ride the ebb current down to Nanaimo.  I do not want to be out on Georgia Strait with any kind of 15-20 knot SE winds.

I decided to thoroughly check the engine today in preparation for Friday's down Strait trip.  I looked for any drips, checked all fluids, and looked for any problems.  I added about 1/2 quart of transmission fluid, cleaned the raw water strainer, checked both ends of the oil cooler for debris, but other than that all checked out okay.  I think we're ready to tackle the monster.

We called some of our boating friends from Port McNeill on the cell phone.  We reached them while they were out on Taylor Bank out on Queen Charlotte Strait halibut fishing.  I let them know I was envious, but they said not to be because the fishing was quite poor for both halibut and salmon.  They even complained that getting prawns was a bit more of a challenge.  The only halibut they had caught were very small - less than 5 pounds - and had thrown them back.  I reviewed past logs and remembered how many fish, both salmon and halibut, that we had caught in past years.  I wondered if the decline in fisheries was due to over harvesting, or global warming, or a combination of things.  One thing is for certain the fishing is definitely not as good as it was.

The Squirrel Cove store had a nice selection of meats - chicken, steaks, pork, sausages, and various smoked meats from a local Cortes Island butcher.  One of things I spied was Mennonite sausages.  I have never eaten Mennonite sausage and so I bought them and will grill them for supper tonight.   They’re a bit different but very tasty.  I made a German Potato salad to go with them - a German evening.  We enjoyed our evening supper with a couple of cold beers up on the flying bridge because it was so nice out.  I finished the evening with a cigar and a tot of whiskey.

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