Posted by: Ann | August 27, 2017

August 26th – Sidney to Anacortes

The Last Leg of the Journey- passing by Orcas to make the full circle

Nice scenery, but no sea mammals except seals on the way home (probably due to all the weekend boat traffic)

The seal needs to dry off after moving to another nearby dock when we arrived.

It was bright and sunny from the get-go this morning. We skipped Starbucks to use up the milk we have onboard. I dropped off the gate key at the Port Sidney office(if I hadn't they would charge us $25), and we departed at 8:45.
It's not far to the international border and we were back in the US and on Verizon by 10am. The winds were light and we also had a current against us, so only motoring today. Jon stuck close to the Roche Harbour side of San Juan Island to avoid the current as much as possible.
We passed Orcas Island around 11:30 and by 2:30 we were back in Anacortes. There was just a bit of confusion getting into our slip since the harbour seals decided it was a good place to hang out. We also had to back out and rig for the port side since our neighbor did switch sides as we discussed when we departed a month ago.
It took another hour or so to contact customs and get fully cleared back into the US. It would have been sooner, but Jon's phone didn't work; he couldn't make any calls. Fortunately, mine was working fine, so we used it to call customs. They finally called back, Jon was asked to go to the office with our passports and papers, and then the agent came down to check out me and make a quick inspection of Anomaly. This was all as expected, but a far cry from Canada where we just called from a phone at the dock reserved for customs.
Jon later fixed his phone by turning Voice Roaming off and back on again which seemed to clear the odd mode it was in from switching from Canadian Telus or Bell to our regular Verizon carrier.

Posted by: Ann | August 27, 2017

Scenes from Port Sidney

We went down the main fairway and back again to slide Anomaly into her slip for the night.

I logged 2000 steps on my Fitbit just to walk to the office and back on the long wide marina walkways

Posted by: Ann | August 26, 2017

August 25th – Montague Harbour to Sidney


Anomaly is in the upper right hand corner

We spent a lazy morning in sunny Montague Harbour. The checkout time here doesn’t appear to be before 5pm when they collect for the evening.
I discovered that the little dingy with a dolphin sign was actually an Orca sign indicating the Orca Wireless pay-for-wifi station. Curious, I discovered I could get a free trial. I don’t know when it ended, but it worked long enough to do a blog post. I would definitely recommend their paid service since it was one of the better WIFI services we used.
We went for a very nice hike around Grey point. The trail wound along the edge of the cliff in dense rainforest, and came out on the other side where we discovered the best beaches in the park. We returned for lunch aboard and then slipped away from the mooring ball around 12:45.
The breeze seems a bit cooler now, but it was right on the nose so we motored past Ganges and the east side of Salt Spring Island. Never made it to that town, but it looked very busy today.
By 3:45 we were checked in to slip E23 and Port Sidney. There was actually someone to help us into our slip, and the same woman was in the office who has been there every time we’ve visited these last 3 years. We continued up into the little town to enjoy our favorite stops: Starbucks, Island Blue copy and art supplies, and the Suisse Bistro, a tiny Swiss restaurant that serves the best classic schnitzel and spaetzle in the Pacific Northwest. We made our reservation from the Starbucks across the street, and it’s a good thing we did because it was packed at dinner time with people sitting at tables outside also. Absolutely excellent; even the red cabbage was edible.

Posted by: Ann | August 26, 2017

Montague Harbour, Part 2

The Hummingbird Pub "Experience"

Rested up a bit before taking the dinghy in to pay; didn't have correct change but happened upon the park attendant. Lovely walk-in campground on the bluff. Walked to the park exit to wait for the heralded Hummingbird Pub bus ride, but it was not the music filled adventure as advertised.
We didn't even get on the bus at first because it had filled at the marina stop. The driver did come back to get us ASAP, but it still took him half an hour. And there was no playing of instruments- just blasting of a taped version of the WHO singing Magic Bus.
I was relieved that the pub was able to handle so many guests, and the food was fairly good- the best part being the house-made pies- but I would not opt to make that trip again, music or no. We got a small taste of the experience on the return trip when the children on the bus grabbed various tambourines and rhythm instruments as they got on, but the regular driver had been replaced by the mechanic and he apparently was not musically inclined.
I enjoyed watching the sun set on the marine park. Jon said we needed to get out the bagpipes to counteract the generators surrounding us. The best I could manage was the ocarina app on my iPhone.

Posted by: Ann | August 26, 2017

We’re Baaaack!

Jon and Ann with Cap Sante in the background, Anacortes, Washington

Cleared US customs about 3:30 Saturday August 26th, so we're legit. Lots of work to do to clean up Anomaly before we head home.

Posted by: Ann | August 26, 2017

August 24th- Vancouver to Montague Harbour, Part 1

Looking back at False Creek, Vancouver, BC

Today we had a total role reversal as Jon enjoyed a bounding 3 hours of sailing on disturbed seas from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, while I was reminded of why I do not plan to help him bring Anomaly from Puget Sound to San Francisco. The constant pounding and jostling reminds me of a "cat & mouse" style roller coaster. Fun for about 15 minutes; beyond that, I fail to see the appeal.
I was feeling a bit ill and finally had to go lie down at the 3 hour point, but a little while later the wind began dropping and Jon had to start the motor. He got to sail a bit more near Vancouver Island, but around 1pm as we reached Action Pass it really started to shift around, and with a 2 kt current against us, he decided to drop the sails.
The pass is much wider than most we've timed our passage through. I guess the issue is meeting a ferry in the pass, but other than the need to make almost a 90 degree turn half way through, it doesn't seem that big a deal. Jon said he thought two ferries could even pass each other in there.
Montague Harbour Marine Park was nearby and we picked up a mooring ball by 2:30.

The Ferry makes Action Pass look a lot smaller!

Posted by: Ann | August 25, 2017

August 23rd – Visiting Vancouver

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Fragrance Garden
Hot & humid
We returned to Granville Island for breakfast at Off the Tracks Bistro in the Railroad district via the popular Island Park Walk. Just ok. Not quite sure why "healthy" food needs to lack seasoning, and this was not the place to order a "half-sweet" mocha.
Jon figured out how to catch the #10 bus to the vanDusen Botanical garden. This is a MUST visit in the spring; the extensive rhododendron & azalea dell, golden chain and cherry tree allées and sweeping grounds must really be great then, but now it's suffering a bit from Vancouver's "heat wave". I hate to brag, but my own rose garden is far superior to theirs.
We tried lunch in the cafe there, but also not great. We returned to revive ourselves in the Granville Starbucks before lounging back on the boat at Fisherman's wharf for awhile.
I forgot to mention that there used to be a large Emily Carr design school on Granville Island, but it recently closed. I was able to visit the Opus Arts store and purchased a sheet of their watercolor paper. I tried it out this afternoon and it seems to take watercolor washes very well. Michael Reardon mentioned that he no longer recommends Arches as they seem to be having trouble with their sizing. So I'm looking for a good alternative, but Opus does not appear to be available in the US. I'm waiting to hear back on an inquiry to their online orders department to confirm that.
Jon graciously accompanied me for more Public Market wandering. Later, we planned to have dinner at Go Fish, a tiny fishNchips food truck near our marina that came highly recommended, but the hostess announced there was a 50 minute wait. NOTHING could be that good, so we returned to the Vancouver Fish Company. I enjoyed my Trio of Fish – 2 oz portions of salmon, squid and rockfish, but Jon didn't like the dressing on his Caesar with salmon filet. We enjoyed the maple creme brûlée, but really didn't taste any maple (and I told the waitress so- didn't really mean to but wanted to know if it was in the burnt topping or in the actual creme)

Our spot on Float E was a great base from which to explore the area.

was everything I'd hoped it would be. Absolutely crammed full of all types of foods and wares to fulfill a gourmands wildest dreams. The meat, seafoods, cheeses and breads were very impressive. Not even our bounty of Napa Valley can hold a candle to this (except for the wines- very few of our great vintages are available in this government controlled country.)
I could have wandered through sampling and tasting for hours, but Jon found the crush of the crowd exhausting. It WAS very humid and hot in some areas of the market, but I was having too much fun to notice.
We started by hoping for a sit-down lunch at Edible Canada Bistro, but I didn't like the picey menu and we left when the beer Jon wanted was out of stock. We ended up at Vancouver Fish Company with slightly more reasonable prices. Jon's meal was ok; my maple walnut prawn appy was GREAT!
After lunch I have to give Jon credit for letting me wander all over the place. Some of our favorites were Lee's Donuts, the 4-year old cheddar and 18 month Machego at Benton Brothers Cheese, Tenderland Meats for great hot salames, Petit Ami for Jon's latte, followed by Granville Island Tea company for Ice tea to cool Jon off. And that was just within the Public Market building. There are entire centers of artisans and shops in the Net Loft, Railroad Districk and Marina services area.
My favorite was the Terra Breads Bakery. If you can only visit one stall in the Public Market, go there. The sourdough baguettes, hard crusted rolls, and the chocolate truffle salted cookie were outstanding.
We returned to the boat to finish off steaks & potatoes from my own shopping back at the Anacortes Safeway.

FYI- Jon made reservations for Union Steamship and Fisherman's as soon as we knew our dates. One large motor yacht was turned away from Steamship when we arrived.
The ferry into Bowen Island starts hourly at 5:30 am and creates quite a disturbance in the marina. We were up early for "Benny's" at Snug Cafe. Departed 11am for a 12:45 arrival into a very tight spot at Fisherman's of False Creek. Jon did a great job of squeezing us in and holding us off between two big oily piers while I jumped off with two lines in my hands.
There are large logs floating in the bay between Bowen Island and False Creek, and we tangled with a crab pot while still motoring out amongst the numerous anchored tankers. We heard a clunk and Jon quickly stopped the prop and we watched a large yellow milk-jug float away. Several minutes ater, Jon wisely thought to test reverse and there was a horrendous banging and clanking. Jon was able to clear it and we watched 3 oval and one baton style float drift away behind us. So I guess we've contributed to the debris not he floor of the Harbour since that trap will never be retrieved again.

Posted by: Ann | August 24, 2017

Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound

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