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!

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