Posted by: yachtanomaly | October 15, 2018

Another beautiful day in British Columbia

via PhotoToaster, using these settings.

Departing Lund this morning

Posted by: Ann | October 13, 2018

Friday evening, October 12th, breaking news

A surprising but pleasant development, the key combination on the GPS tracker worked! It beeped and came to life and now even charges from a USB port whereas before it only charged through Jon’s MacBook Pro portable. It is almost fully charged and still has it’s history which indicated the last tracking point was after 8pm Tuesday after arriving at Gorge Harbor. So it’s only missing the legs from Gorge Harbor to Octopus Islands and from there to Heriot Bay.

That means the only casualty so far turns out to be Jons Foster Grant titanium reading glasses that decided to leap into the water when he was on the stern swim platform.

We had a nice dinner at the Heriot Bay Inn although it was really too big a portion. I had to try the Yorkshire Pudding not having seen that British dish on a menu before. It turns out to be a popover split over mashed potatoes and stuffed with prime rib. It was spectacular looking, but I wouldn’t order it again. The popover itself doesn’t have any flavor and Canadians are so paranoid about their meats that the beef was over cooked, which still would have been ok, but this cook was heavy on the salt.

Yorkshire Pudding stuffed with Prime Rib over mashed potatoes


Our Octopus Islands anchorage

We had two choices to transit the narrows, 7:30 am or 1:30 pm, so we opted for the latter to spend a little more time at our Octopus Islands anchorage.  I was really glad we did because we were treated to a family of 4 river otters cavorting and fishing for their breakfast.  

I also positively ID’d a very dull duck as a Common Loon, winter plumage, thanks to my iOS Sibley app that has a great of side-by-side feature- comparison of field marks.  The rest of the morning I mostly gazed at my landscape subject trying to only see the major shapes.  It’s really difficult for me to turn the Left, logical brain off and let the Right Brain capture the scene.

We both tried many different combinations of holding one or all of the 4 buttons down no the tracker, but no luck reviving it.  We even tried putting it in front of a heater and also in the fridge.  Jon later read that we are to hold down a key combination for 60 SECONDS (!) and it might revive, so maybe more on that later.  We are currently enjoying an afternoon coffee in Java Bay next the the True Value grocery behind the Heriot Bay Inn.

I was anxious to get off the boat because the wind had picked up as forecast and was really gusting when we docked at the Inn.  We had a tough tying off with the wind crushing Fifth Element against the outside finger pier and were afraid the dinghy would swamp.  Fortunately there’s room to tie off the dinghy inside our finger pier.

We plan to do some grocery shopping and then enjoy dinner at the inn.

Common Loon

Bright Overcast -> sun -> overcast

We started at 10:30 out the Gorge through the Uganda passage past Shark Spit, and then through Sutil Channel, into Hoskyn channel to get through Beazley pass and Surge Narrows at slack around 12:30. I’m mentioning the exact route because at some point either before or at Gorge Harbor our GPS tracker died. We suspect leaving it on and or/in the sun pouring into the pilot house may have killed the battery for good.

Just outside the Gorge, I saw a really big bald eagle on one of the Guide Islands. Someday, I will convince Jon to anchor on the other side of Marina Island because that long narrow sliver of Shark Spit looks like great beach-combing.

We saw a few other boats timing the narrows, so it felt a bit crowded. We’ve rarely seen other boats in transit this entire trip. A large 60plus footer identified as the Outbound was anchored in Waiit Bay, otherwise we were the only other boat in the Octopus Islands.

We anchored in the NE corner around 1:30 and shortly after took the dinghy out looking for the Great Blue Heron I’d seen on a nearby tree. Never saw him, but Jon spotted 3 raccoons wading and eating shellfish on the bank. We finally saw two more bald eagles, but otherwise it was surprisingly devoid of visible wildlife.

Sunset at the Octopus Islands

Posted by: Ann | October 10, 2018

Gorge Harbor Resort

Not the breezy, minimalist painting I had imagined, but it is what it is. So far, I’m just not getting the right balance; way too much detail and not enough emphasis on major shapes.

Posted by: Ann | October 10, 2018

Sketch- Teakerne Arm

Posted by: Ann | October 10, 2018

Wednesday, October 10th – Enjoying Gorge Harbor

It’s another beautiful day and we had some chores to do, so we stayed put. Actually, I spent almost an hour rowing the dinghy around trying to photograph some Harlequin ducks. Then we went to the store and bought eggs and their great sourdough bread (from Campbell River) and a WIFI code for me so I was able to get some payments made for future art exhibits.

I went back to the store and found some nice ham for lunch. After lunch I worked on my painting of the resort (I’d started the drawing last year) while Jon took on the task of reorganizing all the stored items based on priority of need. I had to ask him if he was actually enjoying himself!

It got really warm in the pilothouse today even though it’s only in the 60’s. We were forced to enjoy another ice cream, and later I had to escape the heat down below after painting in the pilothouse for 3 hours.

It’s nice to have the improved WIFI here at the resort. It’s much faster and stronger than it used to be and we are enjoying the winter rates.

Another beautiful day in Gorge Harbor

Harlequin Duck

Bright and sunny.

The sun was streaming into the pilot house when we got up this morning. I didn’t sleep that well because the dock exposure allows waves to slap against our hull, a known annoyance for American tugs. We departed around 10 and headed for Teakerne Arm. The only time we’ve seen it, it was pouring down rain.

This time it was absolutely gorgeous. A beautiful sunny day and actually two cascades pouring into the very deep waters, the larger Cassel Falls and another more ephemeral shooting down the left side. I counted at least 8 harbor seals and 14 Common Merganser ducks enjoying the waters.

Here is another place the stern tie reel would be handy, although I would feel a bit of a hog putting Fifth Element right on top the the falls. We were the only ones here, so Jon put the anchor down in 80′ of water and the current from the falls kept us from swinging. We took the dinghy in for an even closer look, had lunch, and I did a sketch before we reluctantly left around 1 pm. I doubt we’ll ever see it in such great weather again.

We doubled back past Squirrel Cove and headed for Gorge Harbor. Just outside the gorge, we saw a sea otter! We circled back to make sure it wasn’t just a log; I’d been told it’s unusual to see them on the inland waters. Confirming our sighting, we entered the gorge and arrive an almost Gorge Harbor Resort marina just after 4. The store is open until 6, so we paid and enjoyed an ice cream (on sale!)

Then Jon enjoyed removing the entire anchor chain and untwisting it, while I prepared blueberry muffins and omelettes. Later I was really disappointed that the new WIFI did NOT allow two devices as we’d been told. Jon logged in, happy as a clam, but the system told my iPad the code was invalid. 😦

Anchored at Cassel Falls in Teakerne

Rain turning to drizzle

A waterfall along Toba Inlet

Cruising is just another word for Doing Laundry in Exotic Locations

Sketch of Squirrel Cove General Store

We left Walsh cove around 10:30 and motored out the Waddington Channel into Pryce Channel. We continued part-way into the Toba Inlet to view get a close-up view of some waterfalls. There were some really pretty cascades formed by all the rainfall.

We intended to stay at Toba Wilderness Marine but as we headed that way, we could see the big sign that read Closed For the Season. Understandable, but we were disappointed not to converse again with the interesting owner nor to take on some of the lovely Toba glacial water.

The rain abated somewhat as we motored out the Pryce Channel then through Deer Passage and finally the Lewis Channel past Teakerne Arm to Squirrel Cove. A bit puzzled on what to do since there is no one to call, we finally docked at the Public dock around 4pm. I was surprised to look up and find someone standing there to catch the lines. I asked if we were ok there, and he said it was fine and then sped off up the dock in his truck.

We visited the Squirrel Cove store and found it to be well-stocked, with a large walk-in cooler full of vegetables, milk and even our favorite potato chips. The owner said this is the only store to supply this side of Cortes Island. I marveled at how she could stand in front of 3 giant jars of various Belgian chocolates, but she said she was a chip person and the chips we bought would not survive my visit to the laundry.

That said I was off to check the laundry/washrooms to calculate the change I would need from her. Then I was stuck doing laundry until 6:30, mostly because the washers filled so slowly (one took twice as long as the other two.) I hate to say it, but the laundry room was really filthy, probably because it’s open 24/7. I did have time for a sketch and to watch some cute ruby-crowned kinglets; meanwhile the machines finally got the job done, just in time for it to start raining again. At least the public dock was inexpensive- $17 plus $7 for “hydro” (30 amp power), but no potable water.

Steady rain, as predicted

Gorges Island, Walsh Marine Park

We raised a very muddy anchor around 9am. Jon got more wet than usual due to the chain jamming on many twists. We motored up the Waddington Channel to Walsh Marine park, arriving about 10:45.

It’s difficult for us to anchor here due to a depth of 80’ right up to the rocks. Again, a reeled stern line would be handy here, although the tide was so far out it would have been difficult to grab one of the provided chains. Fortunately, although rainy it is calm, so Jon could put out all 270 plus feet of chain and Fifth Element stayed put.

I spent most of the afternoon exploring the possibilities that digital art can provide. I’m finding it a lot easier to be able to dab on color with the Apple Pencil that to control watercolor to depict these landscapes.

Gorges Island, Walsh Cove using iPad app. ArtRage

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