Sunday, August 21, 2011

Get Out Of Town Weekend

Friday, August 18, 2011.
Left West Bay Marina under clear sunny skies and light breezes for a trip to get out of town.  I'm in the Independence and Kim with the dogs will meet up with me later in the Zipper.  I pulled out of the slip at 1747, motored under slow bell to out front of the marina where I pulled in all the fenders and raised the mast.  I noticed that I wasn't the only one with the same idea to get out of town as there were several other boats cruising past me.  Instead of traveling the route that I normally do, that is following the channel around the Olympia Shoal and I made straight course for Hunter Point after passing the Olympia #5 daymark.  The tide was rising high and my course would keep me well east of the Olympia Shoal shallows.

I eased the throttle up to my now comfortable, fuel sipping 1,700 rpm and enjoyed the cruise.  Light breezes coming off of the water cooled me off as I sipped a nice cold beer.  I commented to myself that it was sure nice to be out on the water and getting out of town.  Coming back to work from the recent three week Canada cruise was hard.  I felt like the time away just wasn't long enough.  So this little respite would help me further adjust to the coming months of cold and wet weather.  As I came up on Hunter Point the flood current increased and really moved me along to my anchorage just along the east side of Hope Island.  I stayed well away from the nun buoy marking the shoal that extended from Squaxin Island.  I motored as if I was going to run into Hope turning to starboard at the southeast corner of the island and then following the east shore of Hope Island.  I eased the throttle back to an idle but I was still moving along at over 5 knots because of the current.  I turned into the current edged along until I was in about 20' of water and dropped the hook.  I quickly took the boat out of gear and let out more rode.  As the anchor hit the bottom I let more chain out and the hook snagged the bottom and we came to a sudden stop.  I was firmly anchored at 1915.  I shut the engine off and sat out on deck enjoying the quiet.   The sun had already set behind the island making it nice and cool.  I cleaned up the galley and waited with cool drink for the crew to show up.

Kim and the dogs showed up at 2000.  The sun was just starting to set and the Squaxin Island shore was ablaze in orange.  The dogs quickly jumped aboard and I could tell that they too were happy to get out of town.  Kim brought supper from town and we quietly sat enjoying the quiet and cool of Hope Island.  After a short beach trip we started to settle down for the night.  By 2130 it was dark and we went to bed.  We both agreed it was good to get out of town.

Saturday, August 19, 2011.
It was a completely quiet night not a sound was heard all night long which developed into a beautiful morning.  The sun rose over Squaxin Island to present a completely clear and sunny day.  We enjoyed a nice breakfast of Bread Peddler Morning Rolls and coffee, and discussed "where to today?"  We decided to go on to Jarrell's Cove.  So at 0935 we weighed anchor and moved on north to Jarrell's Cove.

We slowly made our way out into Pickering Passage riding the morning flood.  Waters were calm with nary a breath of wind.  Only our wake disturbed the waters.  Again we cruised at an even slower rpm today only doing about 1,600 rpm which with the current moved us at a comfortable 6 knots.  We passed below the Hartstene Island bridge, and by Walkers Landing and into Jarrell's Cove on Hartstene Island.  There were a couple of mooring buoys open and we took one that was farthest south into the cove.  The small dock was packed, but the large inner cove dock was almost empty.  There was an international flair of boats as there were a couple of Canadian boats tied up to buoys too.  They were touring Puget Sound since the weather was too cool up north.  We chatted briefly and I told them how much I enjoy cruising in Canada. Before it got too hot we took the dogs for a walk through the park and out along the county road that lead into the park.  You could tell the day was going to get hot.  There were not any breezes it was just still.  Later in the afternoon to beat the heat we took a Zipper trip to Fair Harbor.  We stopped along the way at the small state park on the tip of Stretch Island to let the dogs play water fetch with a stick.  We then enjoyed an ice cream at Fair Harbor and slowly cruised back to Jarrell's Cove via going beneath the bridge to Stretch Island.  Mission accomplished everyone was cooled off.

When we returned we spied some friends moored on the dock with their boat.  We stopped and chatted before returning to our boat for a light supper of anti-pasti - smoked salmon with cream cheese on crackers, proscuitto and brie on french bread.  It was too hot for a cooked supper.  We finished off the day with a couple of cool drinks.

Sunday, August 20, 2011.
Jarrell's Cove morning
The barometer has been dropping and the morning showed some high cirrus "mares tails" in the sky.  During the night it didn't cool off as much as we hoped and as soon as the sun rose over the trees it started getting hot.  Too cool off we left early at 0925 for home under a slow bell of 1,700 rpm.  We cruised down Pickering Passage and then turned to go down Peale Passage between Squaxin and Hartstene Islands.  There's lots of boats out.  When we got to the marina there was even a bit of a traffic jam as several boats were trying to get out of West Bay Marina all at the same time.  We waited and pulled into our slip at 1230.  It was a good little weekend trip from reality.
Stats: 31.1 nm, average speed 5.4 knots, 5:51 hrs. motoring, ending engine hours 6202.5

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese
  • 4 oz. of smoked salmon
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T of minced onion
  • 1 t Bick's Red Pepper Relish
  • 1/2 t dill weed (or to taste)
  • 1 t capers
  • pinch freshly grated black pepper
Crumble salmon into cream cheese and mix, add onions, relish, dill, capers and black pepper to taste and mix again.  Do not over mix, there should be some small bits of smoked salmon to bite into.  Chill for 30 minutes or more and then serve on water crackers or crusty rounds of french bread.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 25 - Kingston to Olympia

Sunday, August 7, 2011.
We left Kingston at 0600 to ensure that we would take advantage of the flood going down through the Sound and through the Tacoma Narrows.  My plan was that we would make it all the way to the entrance at Budd Inlet by Olympia before we would face an ebb current.  I like going "downhill" whenever I can. 

Sunrise at Kingston
Skies are clear but there's a threat of fog, but it never fully materialized on our trip.  When you looked up the sound towards Admiralty Inlet you could see fog.  The cruise down the central portion of Puget Sound was uneventful.  Past President Point, past Restoration Point, and Blake Island all under calm seas and with a flood current.  When I entered Colvos Passage I aimed for the east side of Colvos Passage to take advantage of the continuous back eddy current that goes south down Colvos Passage.  The trick is to stay as close as you can to the Vashon Island shore.  So I turn on the depth sounder and cruise along the 40' depth contour.  Going this route might be a bit longer but you can hit speeds of 7+ knots while if you are in the center part of Colvos Passage you're doing about 5 knots.  Only at the #5 daymark just northeast of Pt. Richmond do I abandon following the Vashon Island shore.  We spotted a very large sailboat race just south of Pt. Richmond.  There must have been about 50-60 sailboats all out with their spinnakers.  Unfortunately for them there wasn't any wind so they weren't going anywhere fast.

We made the Tacoma Narrows at 1100 and continued to ride the flood into South Sound.  As we motored farther and farther into South Sound the weather changed from sunny to cloudy and cooler.  At about Gibson Point, friends in their boat hailed me on the VHF radio as they too were heading home from an extended cruise from Vancouver, BC.  We chatted for about 3-4 minutes and wished them well on their way as they passed me going much, much faster.  We motored through Balch Passage, then down Drayton Passage and to Devils Head on the lower end of the Longbranch Peninsula.  The clouds burned off as we came around Devils Head, so we moved up to cruising on the flying bridge and enjoying the last bit of our cruise in the sun.  Around Johnson Point, past Itsami Shoal, down Dana Passage and finally around Dofflemeyer Point where we got our first glimpse of our home destination - Olympia.  Just as I had planned we also hit slack then and only going down Budd Inlet would we face the start of an ebb current.  We got into the Olympia harbor at 1500 and were tied up in our home slip at 1520.  Thanks be to God for a safe and happy trip.

We traveled 609.5 nm including our Zipper excursion to Brem Bay in Toba Inlet.  Otherwise, we traveled 589.7 nm in 99.42 hours which calculates to an average speed of 5.92 knots.

An interesting note, is that we never had spray from waves hit our windows on this trip which tells that we had calm waters for the entire trip.  I doubt that will ever happen again.

Stats: 56.6 nm, average speed 6.1 knots, 9:17 hours motoring, ending engine hours 6196.0.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 24 - Hope Island to Kingston

Saturday, August 6, 2011.
Left Hope Island at 0620 under cloudy skies and calm conditions to continue our journey home.  We enjoyed a great flood down Skagit Bay.  I was only at 1,200 rpm but was doing 6 knots.  By the time we reached Strawberry Point on Whidbey Island the current was gone and I throttled up to 1,700 rpm.  Going down Saratoga Passage was uneventful as was the cruise down Possession Sound.  We had calm seas and sunny skies.  There were lots of boats going north but I think we were the only boat heading south.  The crew and I traded times taking the helm.  As we came around Possession Point the area was full of fishing boats but I didn't see anybody catching fish.  Weaving our way through the myriad of fishing boats was our only cruising challenge.  We crossed the central sound only turning to avoid a freighter coming into Seattle.

We got into Kingston Cove Marina at 1345 and got 120 gallons of fuel at $3.91 per gallon.  Engine hours read 6186.1, or 86.8 hours since we last took on fuel.  This calculates to be 1.38 gallons per hour!  Wow! That's great.  We were only "sipping" fuel for this trip.  Cruising at a lower rpm and cruising with the tide has some real financial benefits.

We then pulled into our reserved slip and tied up at 1400.  Kingston is packed with boats and the marina park has some kind of event going on too.  There is a band playing and tents pitched up in the park.  When I went up we just missed the Saturday farmers market.  We took showers and generally relaxed at the marina.  Watching boats coming and going.  Part of our cruising tradition when at Kingston is to go up to the restaurant Bella Luna and have a Morgan's Special Pizza.  A Morgan's Special has got sausage, mushrooms, olives, extra cheese, and jalapenos on it.  It is a big, hearty, and tasty pizza.  After supper some friends stopped by and we enjoyed some drinks and talked about our recent trip up north.
Stats: 43.6 nm, average speed 6.0 knots, 7:15 hrs. motoring, ending engine hours 6186.3

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 23 - Friday Harbor to Hope Island

Friday, August 5, 2011.
One of the best "old traditions" we have when we are in Friday Harbor is to walk up town to the donut shop and get fresh donuts for breakfast.  This is always a treat.  The cafe is always packed with folks because they serve a delicious breakfast too.  This morning was no exception.  We ordered some donuts and apple fritters that we would enjoy for our morning cruise out of Friday Harbor.  As soon as we got back I gave the engine a quick check and untied from our slip at 0920.  The crew helped me out of the slip and then met up with me in the Zipper out in front of the marina where we set up the Zipper to tow.  Again I enjoy this a lot because it's nice to have help that you can trust on the dock.

Once out of Friday Harbor we set our course for just north of Turn Island.  There was no fog but a few light low clouds.   There was a fresh 10-15 knot south wind blowing up San Juan Channel which made for a bit of an uncomfortable chop when combined with the current.  We turned to go up Upright Channel, passing Flat Point to our starboard.  The channel was crowded with all sorts of boats - ferries, fish boats, sail boats, runabouts, and various powerboats.  I tried to stay on the far east side of Upright Channel to avoid most of the marine traffic.  The wind calmed after rounding Upright Head on Lopez Island, but the marine traffic did not.  We motored east through Thatcher Pass, north of James Island, and then turned to go SE down Rosario Strait passing Bird Rocks (well to our starboard) and Williamson Rocks (well to our port) on our way to Deception Pass.  I was surprised at how calm Rosario Strait was and it made for an easy cruise.  I thought because of the wind we experienced back at San Juan Channel that there would as much or more wind here in Rosario Strait.  We were cruising at a relaxed pace at 1,700 rpm.

We were going to be at Deception Pass well before slack.  I figured that the current would be ebbing at 3-4 knots, when in reality the current was ebbing at over 5 knots!  I wasn't too worried and figured we'd be able to make it through without too much problem.  As we approached Deception Pass I could see a sailboat slowly making his way through the narrow passage.  We easily caught up to him and followed him through.  He was definitely struggling against the strong current.  He was right in the middle of the channel and with the current running so strong it would have been dangerous to attempt to pass him, but I kept off his port quarter.  At times we were only making about 2.5 knots headway against the strong ebb current.  A Bayliner came dangerously close behind us and you could tell he was pushing us to hurry through.  The current was really moving and pushing us all towards the small island in the middle of Deception Pass.  I was worried that this Bayliner skipper would attempt a pass between me and the sailboat since he was off of my starboard quarter.  I finally pushed the throttle to 2,100 rpm and made way to pass the sailboat off of our starboard side.  I don't think the sailboat skipper was too happy, but he did move over to let me pass him on his port side.  The Bayliner stayed still dangerously close to my stern (within 20'), moving from the starboard quarter to my port quarter.  After we got out of the strong current he passed me on my port side.  Being out of the current and the stressful traffic I once again lowered the rpm to 1,700 and we once again continued our slow cruise.  Whew!  I was glad to be done with that.

On a buoy at Hope Island State Park
Rounding Hoypus Point we spotted an open mooring buoy at Hope Island - the 3rd buoy from the west.  Good, I wasn't in the mood to anchor here.  We tied up to the buoy at 1345.  It was good not to be motoring - that mess by Deception Pass had me a bit flustered.  I finished reading a book and the crew took a nap.  I also spent time preparing supper - grilled curry chicken and a sunomono salad.  Had a nice evening. 

Part of the evening's entertainment was watching a sailboat from Port Ludlow spend almost an hour or more trying to anchor.  There were about 6 boats anchored and all were watching.  They would drop their anchor with not enough rode and move quickly back to set the anchor.  The wife was working the throttle and letting the skipper know of the depth.  If you've ever tried to anchor by Hope Island you will learn that it shoals rapidly from 60' to 7' and that the bottom is soft and covered with thick kelp.  I could tell that the crew was getting frustrated by the sound of the skipper yelling commands - "turn this way," "no, turn that way," "slow down," "what's the depth," "stop," and "go forward."  Finally, and luckily for the wife they finally were able to get the anchor set.  Finally silence once again returned to the small anchorage.
Stats: 24.2 nm, average speed 5.6 knots, 4:19 hrs. motoring, ending engine hours 6178.7

Grilled curry chicken marinade
  • 2-3 T of olive oil, amount varies on how much chicken
  • 1 T of curry powder
  • 1 T of onion powder
  • 1/2 t ground tumeric
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 T Bicks Red Pepper Relish (substitute 2 T of chopped pickled jalapeno's if you don't have Bick's relish)
  • 2 drops of fish sauce (substitute 1/2 t salt)
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 4-5 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts
Mix all the ingredients well except the chicken in a zip lock bag.  Add the chicken and squish the bag about to working the spices and ingredients into the chicken.  Squish and mix the ingredients about every 15 or so minutes.  Let the chicken marinade for at least an hour or more.  Remove the chicken from the zip lock bag and grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until cooked thoroughly about 15 minutes .  Discard the marinade.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 22 - Montague to Friday Harbor

Thursday, August 4, 2011.
Left at 0620 to go to Friday Harbor.  Skies are clear with little or no wind.  We motored past Enterprise Reef and down past Conconi Reef where we enjoyed a very good ebb making 8 knots or more.  Then down into Plumper Sound again making good speed.  You've always got to be vigilant when in Plumper Sound for floating debris and commercial crab pots.  We did see quite a bit of debris and had to steer around it here and there.  We were enjoying clear cruising conditions but that was not the case everywhere.  The US Coast Guard was mentioning via the VHF radio that thick fog was in Rosario Strait, Admiralty Inlet, and Juan de Fuca Strait.  I could see no fog on our route for crossing Haro Strait.  However, I could see fog in the distant east towards Rosario Strait.

Crossing Haro Strait was a snap.  We did have to adjust course to steer behind a freighter that was moving east towards Vancouver.  Many times we have crossed Haro Strait with strong currents, confused seas, and winds.  Today crossing Haro Strait was a snap.  We crossed international border from Canada into the US at about 0830.  It was good to be back in the US.  I went out and took down the Canadian courtesy flag and sang "O Canada" in which the crew joined in.  Funny that we know the Canadian national anthem, perhaps its from watching too much hockey.  The current continued to favor us almost all the way to Friday Harbor always pushing us so we were making more than 6 knots and I was only cruising at 1,700 rpm or less.

Since all of the crew had NEXUS permits I thought I would take advantage of this by calling in versus stopping at the customs dock in Friday Harbor.  I've learned that you cannot use your cell phone for reliable service until you are well into the San Juan islands.  The Canadian mobile signals extend far into the US.  I called Customs at about Jones Island and went through the lengthy first time reporting procedure using NEXUS.  We were given a "BR" number for each person and this needs to be used each time when entering the US via a private boat. Next time all I have to do is mention the "BR" number and be asked a few questions - pretty simple. I then received our clearance number and were officially in the US.  While I was on the phone the crew piloted the boat for me.  San Juan Channel wasn't too crowded so it wasn't of too much concern to me.  Once the Customs "stuff" was finished I resumed taking the helm and went on to Friday Harbor.

We radioed the Port of Friday Harbor and got a slip assignment.  The crew then boarded the Zipper and took that in to port and would assist me getting in to the dock.  I like this arrangement.  I have found over the years that docking in Friday Harbor can be challenging because of the currents that sweep through the bay.  When the crew gets to the dock they radioed to me which direction the kelp off of the finger piers is pointing.  This then helps me understand how to approach the slip.  Today the kelp was pointed towards the NW and it was pointing mostly down.  So, it will push me into the finger pier but it's not that strong.  All too many times I have seen boaters get in trouble with this current.  We tied up in our slip at 1055.

It's still sunny and clear out.  We had a long lazy afternoon taking naps and generally doing nothing.  For supper we went up to the new eatery called "Cask & Schooner" which has taken the place of the old Front Street Ale House.  The food was okay, it did not meet what I remember that the Ale House provided.  We ordered Poutine as an appetizer which any Canadian would have been ashamed of. Poutine is a simple dish of french fries with cheese curds sprinkled throughout and rich brown gravy poured over the cheese and fries.  When made properly it is absolutely delicious.  Unfortunately this Poutine had very little gravy, the gravy was more red than brown, and only a few cheese curds.  The crew and I were very disappointed.  They've tried to replicate many of the old menu items that were on the old Ale House menu.  I ordered "Bangers and Mash" which was okay, but I had to order gravy separately and again it was a reddish gravy rather than a dark, rich brown gravy.  I miss the Ale House.

After supper we came back to the boat and had some drinks and listened to music and enjoyed the cool evening until it was time for bed.
Stats: 28.2 nm, average speed 6.3 knots, 4:27 hrs. motoring, ending engine hours 6174.1
Relaxing in Friday Harbor

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 21 - Nanaimo to Montague Harbor

Wednesday, August 3, 2011.
Woke to a very calm but cloudy morning.  It's time to leave Nanaimo.  I didn't wake the crew, instead choosing to do all the morning chores myself.  I set up to tow the Zipper, released from the mooring buoy, and then release the Zipper tow all by myself.  I find it kind of fun and challenging to do it all by myself, but I do appreciate a good crew.  Today, I decided to let the crew sleep in.

I untied from the mooring buoy that I called home for the last three days at 0558 to make slack at Dodd Narrows at 0714.  We slowly motored out of Nanaimo Harbor and into a cloudy sunrise.  We were making good time and as it was, we arrived early to Dodd Narrows at 0658.  Behind me - about 2 nautical miles or so distant - I could see at least seven or eight boats moving southwards towards Dodd Narrows.  We were the only boat in the area that I could tell.  That's why I like these early morning transits of Dodd Narrows - everybody is still sleeping.  We happily cruised right on through Dodd Narrows without the hassle of any other boats and into peaceful Trincomali Channel.  I could see about four boats from the south making for Dodd.  Sure enough within 15 minutes the VHF radio was blaring "Securitay, Securitay, blah, blah, blah foot boat traversing Dodd Narrows."  And like always boats on either side of Dodd Narrows don't pay attention to the recent VHF radio message and then complain on the VHF about who gets to traverse the narrows first. Oh, the fun of Dodd Narrows.

Trincomali Channel was absolutely calm with only a few light and variable winds here and there. It looked like a great big lake.  The steam from the mill by Chemainus rose straight into the air signaling that there's no wind.  From Dodd Narrows, we made a course towards Tree Islet to our port and farther down Reid Island to our starboard.  We then adjusted course for the waypoint just east of Walker Rock passing closely by the steep rocky shores of Galiano Island on our port.  All this time we rode a good ebb down making good speed while only running the engine at 1,700 rpm.  At times we were making over 7 knots - woo hoo.  There really were not too many boats out.  The crew woke up about 0900 and wondered why I didn't wake them.  I just smiled and said, "Hey it's a beautiful morning and we're on our way."  Finally I adjusted course to keep the Balingall Islets to our starboard and we cruised down the channel between Montague and Parker Island.  We arrived early at Montague Harbor at 1028 and found a mooring buoy along the western side of the harbor.  I was happy with the buoy we found because if the day is hot it will give us some early shade.  As I mentioned this, we noticed that the clouds are lifting and making for a nice day.  We lazed about the boat really not doing much of anything.  We watched boats come and go while sipping cold drinks and snacking.  All the park mooring buoys were taken by 1400.  A few boats arrive later in the day and wistfully cruise about the harbor hoping that somebody will leave or that they'll find a buoy not taken.  We talked about going for a walk on the Point Grey trail, but that thought would quickly fade into sitting down and reading a book, or better yet into a nap.  The only challenge was trying to decide what we were going to have for supper.  Later I made a nice German potato salad to go along with the grilled Bavarian Smokies that we had for supper.  We sat out on the back deck and enjoyed a wonderful evening.  It is our last night in Canada.
On a mooring buoy at Montague Harbor

 Independence German Potato Salad
  • 4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 T coarse mustard
  • 1 T Bick's Red Pepper Relish (or chopped spicy pickles)
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 t dried parsely
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1 t Montreal steak seasoning
Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes.  Potatoes should be hot and still be firm.  Drain and rinse.   Fry bacon until crisp and remove bacon from pan and set aside.  Keep pan hot with bacon grease and fry onions for 2 minutes, then add potatoes and fry until potatoes are done - about 7-8 minutes - and have crisp edges.  Remove potatoes from pan and transfer to a large bowl.  Chop bacon, add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve immediately while potato salad is still warm.  Guten appetit!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Days 18, 19 & 20 - Relaxing in Nanaimo

Sunday,  July 31, 2011.
Woke to clear skies above but cloudy across the Strait over on the mainland side.  It got rolly for awhile from an easterly swell that came through the Newcastle-Protection Is gap.  We had a lazy morning and went to town around 1000.  We found a French bakery (in my opinion, not as good as Olympia’s Bread Peddler) called Mon Petit Choux and had breakfast sitting outside.  I then said good bye to this crew and walked them to the car where they left about 1200.  Their boat trip is over.   

Newcastle Harbor evening
I walked to the store and got a few provisions since the next crew is not supposed to arrive for three days.  I also decided to stay at the buoy I was at instead of anchoring so I had to purchase three days of moorage.  You pay for moorage at the small cafe on Newcastle Island.  The cafe was packed with people wanting ice cream and lunch.  I felt sorry for the gals behind the counter with this onslaught of people pressing up against the counter.  I simply waited until the gal said, "Can I help you?"  I told her I wanted to pay for moorage when another lady with four kids interrupted us wanting ice cream.  I was in no hurry and said, "Go ahead."  Finally the counter lady returned to me, obviously frazzled, and we proceeded to settle the moorage bill.  Not until I left the building did I discover that the name of the boat was mis-spelled and the moorage dates were all wrong.  Rather than return to the madhouse, I figured I would fix this with ranger as he made his rounds later checking the boats at the buoys.  

I spent the afternoon listening to music and relaxing while the generator ran.  The day was quite cloudy, but around 1600 the clouds started to burn off and by 1700 it was clear.  It turned out to be a gorgeous, wam evening.  I barbecued supper and sat out on the deck with a nice cold drink and a cigar enjoying the Newcastle Harbor scenes.  I was enjoying just being alone.

Monday,  August 1, 2011
Happy BC Day!  Day was sunny and hot until very late in the day.  Newcastle Island was filling up fast with families and people.  Each Newcastle ferry that arrived was packed with folks wanting to spend the day on Newcastle Island.  The harbor was filling with boats.  People cruised by the MV Independence in small runabouts, dinghies, kayaks, small day sailboats, and canoes.  A colorfully painted houseboat anchored nearby and put up a sign and sold hot dogs from the boat.  It seemed that all of Nanaimo was either on the water or on Newcastle Island.

I ran the generator to put a chill on the refer and a charge on the batteries.  Yesterday I bought a couple of books to keep me occupied while I waited for the new crew.  Besides reading and doing crossword puzzles, I spent time cleaning up the boat from dog hair.  It was amazing how much dog hair I vacuumed off of the boat.  Part of yesterday's crew change was that the dogs went back home too.  I love having the dogs on the boat, but it was nice to have a break from them too, especially getting rid of the dog hair.  I also did some chores - thoroughly cleaned the head and organized the aft and main cabin.  I made a list of victuals needed for the trip home.  And I thoroughly checked the engine over for the last leg home.  Finally about 1530 I went on a hike around Newcastle Is which was fun, but tiring.  I forgot how long 7 km was.  Walking along the eastern and north sides of Newcastle Island was nice because there was a nice breeze blowing off of the Strait of Georgia, but when I walked down the west side of the island - whew it was hot.  As I walked around the island, I remembered reading a previous log book post where I had crossed the Strait in the morning, then walked around the island with the boys, went to town to get groceries, and made supper.  That was about 10 years ago and I must have been in better shape then than I am now. 

I came back to find all the ice I had bought the previous day had melted so I went to buy some new ice.  I came back made a nice cold drink and prepared a supper of red pepper/chili rubbed pork chops and a refreshing cold sunomono salad.  Sunomono is a refreshing Japanese salad of cucumbers, vinegar and sugar.  After supper, it became very cloudy and cooled off; it definitely wasn’t as nice an evening as it was the previous day.

Tuesday,  August 1, 2011.

Last day in Nanaimo. The new crew is supposed to show up late this afternoon to help me do the last leg home to Olympia.  I think I was ready to leave Nanaimo.  It's a great place to wait but I was ready to leave and continue the trip. I took some time to check the tides and currents for the next few days, listen to the extended weather report, and finalize my itinerary for the journey home. I had thought about some alternate places to stay, but I stuck with my plan of Montague Harbor, Friday Harbor, Hope Island, Kingston, and then Olympia.

I had a lazy morning.  I made a nice hearty breakfast.  Went to Newcastle Island and took a brisk walk followed by a refreshing shower.  All of yesterday's crowds had gone so this morning I pretty much had the island to myself.  I finished my book that I had started and glad it was a fictional story.  A part of the story was that the US was about to go to war with Canada.  And did a couple of crossword puzzles. Then I went in to town with a stop at the Chandlery to get stove alcohol (it's so much cheaper here only $10 per gallon) and a few other things, then to the grocery store to get some final provisions, and a stop at the liquor store.  By now it was 1600 and the new crew was scheduled to arrive.  All I needed was a bag or two of ice.  I was waiting in the Zipper across from a fishboat, when the owner of the fishboat  "Ocean Mistress" came down and filled up a wheelbarrow full of ice.  He said with a big grin, "I'm gonna make a ton of margarita's with this.  If you want some ice, grab a shovel aboard and help yourself."  I thanked him and helped myself to filling a 5 gallon bucket I had with ice.  Just then the new crew showed up.

We returned to the MV Independence, stowed away gear, discussed the next few day's itinerary, and made a nice supper.  We had plenty of nice cold drinks that evening thanks to the Ocean Mistress.

Independence Sunomono Salad Recipe
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t sake (optional)
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • a drop (or two) of fish sauce
Place cucumber slices in a bowl, add remaining ingredients, mix well and let sit chilled for 30 minutes or more before serving.  Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top.  As a serving variation, place a portion of sunomono in a small dish and top with a tablespoon of fresh picked crab meat or fresh shrimp or prawns.