Vancouver is the largest city we have been in for the last year. Coming home in many ways has been great – just seeing familiar faces and reconnecting with friends and family has been awesome. But in other ways it is a bit tricky trying to get back in the groove of finding jobs and digging our roots firmly into the ground…. well at least for a few more years until we can sail away again!
We made it home, which in itself was hard enough
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. Just saw that on a sticker the other day at it stuck. Yes it is sad that this remarkable year is coming to close, and like anything good we wish it could go on forever. However something about the clear start and end points of any great adventure make it feel that much more treasured. At this point we feel torn about going back to Vancouver. The city will feel pretty big and we have literally been living outside for the last year so there will be a bit of adjusting to do. On the other hand the boat is feeling pretty damp and just about everything needs to be washed, so logistically being tied up to a dock for more than one night sounds pretty good. Like a magnet I can quickly alternate from being repelled or attracted to the city.
Asunto also needs some TLC. We have tried our best to keep her looking pretty but she is showing her age just a bit. She needs a good cut polish and new bottom paint outside and some varnish and elbow grease inside. Our plan is to work through the spaces, one room at a time and fix/replace and renew as needed.
The forecast was not calling for it, but there it was! After saying goodbye to Grammy and Papa we poked our nose out and found a strong southerly that could carry us tight hauled across the Straight so away we went! We landed in Hammond Bay for the night and ducked over to Gabriola Island the next morning.
We never go to the ultra popular Smugglers Cove, because usually it is packed with boats. So we decided to check it out at the end of September and were pleasantly surprised. The anchorage (when empty) is spectacular and there are excellent hiking trails ashore from the point to the parking lot, passing and pond created by some very busy beavers. Fynn turned three on Friday and her Grammy and Papa drove up from White Rock to join us on the boat for a night. Fynn was soooo excited for that birthday surprise! We had a huge crab feast and birthday cake and reflected on Fynn’s second year of life, most of which is chronicled on this blog page!
Not surprisingly, the prop is misaligned in the engine. So we can do about 1200 rpm OR 2600 rpm or we have some pretty nasty vibrations. At 2600 rpm we will burn through all our fuel in blink of an eye, so 1200 rpm it is. We have essentially become a sailing ship. No more going willy nilly. We need to go where the wind takes us or don’t go far at all. With no wind available to cross the Straight to Comox we are sailing down to Cape Cockburn, home of the Sunray Cabin, former residence of Harry Roberts. Despite being inundated with mosquitoes we enjoyed the cabin and the rocks and the sunset.
Turns out we could have then engine mount welded in Lund. The welder drove down and met us at the docks, welded the bolt back together and boom problem solved! If you ever happen to find your self in Lund, you will find Nancy’s Bakery, which is not to be missed. Also not to be missed is Pollen Sweaters just above Nancy’s where they sell lovely sweaters made in Lund!
We left Squirrel Cove in the drizzle and and stopped by the store to check it out. Not much good stuff here either. We ended up with a kiwi, a 1/2 litter of milk (for milk and cookies), some 5 cent candies, a ginger beer and a kinder surprise egg. Now that is a random assortment of items! And I wanted spinach and cashews… Anyway as we were leaving Kolby noticed some intense vibrations as he revved up the engine. Further investigation revealed that one of the aft mounts had sheared the bolt in half. Oh joy of joys. A few phone calls later as we learn that all four should be replaced at the same time and they can be replaced in a few days… at a cost of $275 each.. !$%*#! That is not going to happen. Kolby’s pet peeve is to pay more for a product that he can have built better for less money. SO we will head to Comox to have a bolt welded back on as a temporary fix to get us home. It has been raining non stop for over 18 hours now… we are just waiting for some sun to come out!
….is just not quite the same as in mid-summer. We were lucky to have some lovely sunny days, and it certainly felt warm in the sun, but the air had a chill to it that just wouldn’t shake. We were at Rebecca Spit the first night and Fynn and Kolby slept outside under the stars on the foredeck.
They were a bit damp in the morning. We headed to Tenedos that afternoon and motored in the sunshine on flat seas. We nailed our stern tie in the cove and enjoyed the afternoon sun before it dipped behind the mountains.
The next morning we woke up in the shade. When we were still in the shade at 11am I requested that we move out of our spot and into the sunshine. The boat was cold- fleece pants and wool socks cold. We headed to Unwin Lake in the afternoon and were disappointed to find that two logs/ swimming platforms had floated off. The air wasn’t quite warm enough and the water was a bit chilly, but we still had fun. We even lugged Bowen’s bed with us so we could put him down for his nap when he was tired.
Back at the dinghy the tide was way up and Kolby and Fynn chased sculpins around the tide pools before we headed home for a salmon dinner. The next morning we left for Laura Cove and tucked into the nook that is just at the entrance to the bay. Despite the rocks it is a lovely spot. We spent the day dinghying and paddle boarding around the cove.
The days are getting shorter now and seems to quickly slip through our fingers. In the morning Kolby picked the prawn trap and had a good haul 32 prawns! I went for a paddle and then we picked up the anchor and headed for a stop over at Refuge Cove as it was the last day they were open. We were expecting something, but instead found a mostly empty store and the only thing on sale was ice cream at 25% off.
We washed our laundry and hung it on the life lines as we headed to Squirrel Cove, where we intended to ride the rapids on the paddle board. See that is the thing with having littles, intentions don’t always work out. Instead we watched the water draining from the lagoon from the dinghy and went for a zoom around as Fynn napped. C’est le vie.
We sent two nights on the public docks at Campbell River- it was literally half the price of Discovery Marina further north. We spent most our time apply for jobs and wandering around town, but we did have an adventure when we took the bus to the public pool. Turns out Kyber had snuck off the boat and followed us. When our trail went cold he ended up hanging out front of the pier for a few hours before a lovely couple called us and said they had him. SO they drove him up to the pool and dropped him off, we had our swim then all walked home.
Later that evening we headed to the pier to watch the fishermen. They were catching chinooks and Fynn and I watched an older gentleman gut his catch. Weren’t we surprised when he saw us later and ask “Would you like a fish?” he asks “Absolutely!” I respond, to which he retrieves his 15 lb chinook and passes it over to us. So we have now received more salmon as gifts then we have caught! WAHOO!