Adventures on Georgia Dawn

Georgia Dawn

Purchased: Feb 2010

Georgia Dawn has:

–        A slip in Spruce harbor

–        A new Yanmar Engine

–        An inflatable dinghy in the engine

–        A couch

–        Autopilot and windvane

–        Radar

–        Full canopy that is falling to pieces

–        1000 quarts of oil

–        Furling genoa

Georgia Dawn does not have:

–        Fridge

–        Chartplotter / gps

–        Any wind instruments

–        Properly sized sails

–        A lot of windows

–        “Curb appeal”

July Spruce harbor – Skinny Cove

This will be our third year of sailing on Canada Day. Does that make it a tradition? Again Kolby is thinking about working, again we go. Sound familiar? Maybe this is part of the tradition too. Calm, pancake seas. Overcast. Perfect sailing weather (hint: sarcasm). “Where to?” (Its noon by now – groceries and laundry done). “Keats?” We set Auto in that general direction. Best thing ever by the way. I think we have just discovered how to make boating enjoyable relaxing. “ Skinny Cove?” “YES!”

32nm at 5knts =  6ish hours. With Auto? No problem. I scrubbed the decks (you know they are filthy when saltwater is a good option) and brushed out 1/2of Kyber’s coat. Sometimes I think the boat grows fur too, just to spite me! * nb: not G.D. first trip with us. Arrive in Skinny Cave. Again just us! Kyber leapt out of the dinghy a good distance from shore. As he didn’t appear to be immediately drowning, we had him swim to store. At one point he decided that was a bad plan and turned to swim back to us. Poor guy he looked all “Mommy save me” but Kolby drove away from him and (obviously) he made it to shore. We bushwhacked to the beaver’s lake. Kolby almost squashed a newt along the way (no harm done). At least we think it was a newt. It looked just like a gecko, but are there geckos in B.C.?

July 2. Skinny Cove to Codfish Cove, Jedediah

Woke up to sun – yippee! Put on shorts, went outside – oh crap! Went back inside to put on pants. It may be July but summer is not here yet! We went for a walk on shore then decided to ship out and head to Jedediah. We almost sailed out of the anchorage (I thought I was driving but turns out the clutch was out). Sailed most of the way on a SE. Saw some dolphins going past fast. Anchored free in Codfish Cove (a stern tie just seemed like unnecessary work).  We head to the beach, Kyber determined not to jump in again. At the meadow,  just past Will the horse’s grave Kyber caught wind of the sheep. We laughed as he attempted to herd them. He did manage to turn them away from the their goal (the forest) and back towards us. For a moment I thought they might go off a 15’ cliff, and Kyber, in the heat of the chase, would follow. They didn’t. Not as dumb as the lemmings I guess.

July 3 – Codfish Cove

Spent the day here, which will make a long day tomorrow, but thought we’d try it. It is shocking how much more relaxing life is on Georgian Down. She’s no Trickster, that to sure. Nothing has broken (knock on wood)… So far very uneventful.

Hiked to the top of Mt Gibraltor for some nice panoramas and photos. Chatted about money, boats and horses. Visited the meadow again but no sheep. Home for lunch and a rest with a now empty Codfish Cove.

Back on shore later in the afternoon, we investigated a mummified sheep and some snake skin. Back home where we read and sleep. Yep, feels like a genuine cruising holiday. We could do this a lot .

July 4 – Home (Spruce Harbour Marina)

“Dolphins!” I jump out of bed. (Yes, Kolby had hauled anchor and left while I snoozed in bed!) Through the front hatch delighted to find not only a pod of dolphins around the boat, but one particularly friendly guy playing in our bow wake. Awesome!

Thursday July 29, 2010

Plan A: depart Wednesday, July 28 at 4pm  – NO

Plan B: depart Thursday, July 29 at 1pm – NO

Plan C: depart Thursday, July 29 at 3 pm – SORT OF

Plan C: section 2: after driving for ½ hr, return to dock retrieve forgotten en meat, leave at 4.15 pm – YES

Yep I forgot the meat. Apparently I needed to be reminded that the reason we make TO DO lists is to actually do the items on the list. Seas are calm and the wind is moderate right on our nose. After polishing off a pot of KD and veggies as sort of “linner” or is it “luncher?”  “Duntch?” “Dintch?” Anyway, I went into cleaning mode stored the rest of the food. Kolby went in holiday mode and read a book. Our motor up until sunset was uneventful. The waves were small, we were making 5 – 6 knots and all was good. Naturally, the moment I prepare to sleep while Kolby takes the first watch, the wind picks up. Really not enjoying the rollercoaster ride in the V –berth I tried ( unsuccessfully) to sleep at the settee. Being my very diligent self, I closed all the hatches. Being my not-always-think-it-through self, I left the front hatch open. So not surprisingly in my half –sleep state I hear an odd splash and think man… couldn’t be. Five minutes later an even bigger splash (think water falling on concrete) and I’m jumping up swearing. The hatch was open less than 1 cm and even has a double lip. That sucker let in a shit load of water. On the bed. On the floor. On the wall. Shit! Dry my world the best I can and doze in the V berth for 2 hours because even wet it was softer than the settee.

1am: I take over from Kolby. We are doing 3 knots, which is “an improvement” he tells me. The radar is empty and I settle in. Only the waves are getting even bigger how, maybe 4- 5 feet and I’m being tossed around the cockpit like shake-in-bake chicken. And it’s cold so set about boiling water for tea. At about the same time my water starts to boil 2 things happened:

1)     The radar lights up like the 4th of July

2)     Kolby wakes up, turns on the light and proceeds to show me the water that is pouring from the anchor locker bulkhead (apparently his feet were getting wet)

Not that he tells me this then, but his first thought is that a wave caused the bow to delaminate and we are sinking. What really happened was the anchor locker had filled with water that was draining through the anchor hospipe. The previous owners thought a genius way to deal with this problem was a drain hose with a ball value. You know, so that you can manually drain your anchor locker in heavy seas. Brilliant (read: sarcasm).  6 buckets later and the bed is now wet on bath ends. Like I said, brilliant. Kolby also gave up on the rollercoaster and came to sleep in the cockpit. Being long he could wedge himself in better. I successfully avoided a barge but lost confidence trying to navigate his tow (which was not on the radar) but appeared as a seemingly random assortment of white lights low on the horizon. So I woke up Kolby to help. Yep, he is getting a nice relaxing off shift.

Well the rest of the shift went smoothly, and of course the waves settled and the wind died and our speed doubled from 2 – 4 kits. We were finally at the north end of Malaspina Passage. It had taken us the night to travel the length of Texada Island. We arrived on the white sandy beaches of Savory at 11:15 am, 4.5hrs behind the expected arrival time of Plan C. Wehad motored for 17 hours.

Things we learned during our first night passage

1)     Close hatches

2)     Have foul weather gear ready before you need it

3)     Three lights really does mean towing even it you can’t see the tow

4)     Its really not that hard

5)     V – berths are crap in any kind of seas

As beautiful as it may be, Savory is not an overnight anchorage. Kyber was delighted to be on land. He peed in the dinghy after refusing to pee anywhere on the boat. He bounded across the sand like the puppy he is. He is another thing to add to the list: water the dog. Kyber was not drunk since we left. He tried to solve the problem by gulping down seawater. This resulted in diarrhea and vomiting, the former occurring surprisingly quickly, both (luckily) occurring on Savory.

We picked up anchor and motored another 5hrs to Rebecca Spit where we learned our first Deso trip anchoring tip: look for spots out of the wind. There is a reason why there are boats stern tied…

Saturday – Octopus Islands

Early morning wake up call. And I mean early 5:00 early. But we sleep through that, only to jump put of bed 30 minutes later. The plan was to be driving away by now and hit Surge Narrows at slack. We raced Kyber to shore and took a quick walk around to catch a few shots of the sun rising over the mountains with the horizon lighting up in purples and reds.

We decided to go through Surge Narrows a few minutes before the slack. This proved advantageous as the opening quite narrow and the swarm of boats coming through in the opposite direction would have made for traffic jam. However, perhaps if we were not the first ones through, I would not have become flustered and choose the absolute wrong way around a kelp which could have been a disaster. I felt quite sheepish and a little spooked. It wasn’t long before we reached quiet little Octopus Islands nested into the very large Quadra Island. We navigated our way through the rocky south entrance and stern tied without much fuss. 9.30am and time for breakfast.

I fried up 2 eggs for Kolby and I cut up a fruit salad for myself. As I brought out my bowl to join him in the cockpit, his eyes went wide “That looks good,” he says to me.

“We can share I made lots”

“Well we can’t share my eggs. I ate them.” Typical. He went on to rave about his top 5 fruits in one salad and none of the “stuff he doesn’t like.”

After dallying away the morning we puttered over in the dinghy (puttering being a very appropriate term for our top speed) to White Bay, found the trail and started up to Nelson Lake for a bath. Cleaned and refreshed we puttered back home. Over desert we discussed our plans for the rest of the week. Although we were both intrigued by going north, in the end we decided to stay and start meandering our way down south.

Sunday – Fanny Bay (Thurston Island)

Sunday morning complete with pancakes topped with strawberry and row around several of the small is lets. Slack tide at Hole in the Wall was at 9.30 am, so it wasn’t such an early morning. Hole in the Wall went off without a hitch and we soon in Francis (or Fanny) Bay. We were sitting up at the bow after just finishing lunch and discussing going to shore. I thought Kolby was looking hot so I say out of the blue “why don’t you jump in?” Neither of us had been swimming yet the water up to Octopus Islands was red with some massive algae bloom and it was positively freezing in the Octopus Island. So I was a little surprised when he leapt up and did a sidewise dive that looked more like a breaching whale, right over lifelines. I guess it was warm, he stayed in and cleaned our hull to increase our speed. We’ll see tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming, walking, reading and on my part some more cleaning. Truly a boating vacation.

Monday – Walsh Cove

Here is how we spent our day: We woke up  – it was a bit cold when Kolby and Kyber went for their regular morning row. We left as soon as they got back and motored down to Walsh Cave. I slipped off layers as we went and was down to my bikini by the time we rounded Waddington Channel. I think I had a whistle from a passing fish boat while I did my sit ups on the bow. Anyway, we anchored in a spectacular spot in Walsh and stern tied like a pro. We explored the 3 small islands that make Walsh a cove. Kyber actually choose to swim between islands. I was very excited about that! The first swim he needed a little push from Kolby, but the second he did it all on his own! The rest of the afternoon we read, swam, jumped off of rocks and did some boat chores. Vovely. Fell asleep under a blanket of stars.

Tuesday Refuge Cove – Teakerne Arm

The first stop of the day was a slightly frantic one for gas and a few forgotten groceries  (hotdogs, buns and pork). Kolby filled the gas tank while I provisioned. I also decided to spurge on 2 more bags at chips, root beer and I box of crackers. The bill came to $36.21!! Back down at the docks Kolby had drained 81 litres into our fuel tank I paid the $103.30 for the fuel, while Kolby went up to the store for ice cream. He came back with a $10.00 ½ liter of HagdenDaz. All an all, a pricey half hour stop. It would have been nice to poke around for a few minutes, but with 5 other boats waiting for fuel, it was time to leave. Our next destination was Teakerne Arm and the very popular Cassel Lake.

Teakerne  Arm is primarily a temporary anchorage as it tends to funnel  both NWs and southeasterly winds. On top of that, Teakerne Arms is very deep with a narrow self around the shore that sits at 30 – 50 of water. We investigated the NE cave and decided to stern tie beside a sailboat who was just finishing the task. Anchoring was tricky with a capital T. It required just the right balance of space to drop the hook on the ledge in about 40 of water with enough chain out that we could get the scope to grab, but not too much, the goal being to pull back on the chain without running a shore. After about 4 tries we nailed it. After that it was a matter of packing our bag (masks included) and making the trek to Cassel Lake for a swim and a shower. By the afternoon our bay had filled with slowly pulsating jellyfish. Beautiful, mesmerizing, but not what I would want to swim in. Kolby thought it would be cool to swim with them, but I’m not so sure they wouldn’t attack me. Ok, so that is not possible, but sometimes I wonder… The night was perfectly calm and so quiet a whisper felt too loud.

Wednesday – Squirrel Cove

Woke up in a haze it wasn’t too long before we were asking “is that smoke?” Explains why the stars were dimmed last night. As we made our way to Squirrel Cove the smoke become denser and very soon after you could smell it.

For once we had wind from behind.  Wind we hauled out the spinnaker and had a beautiful sail. For about 5 minutes, and then we wind died and we packed up the sail and started the motor. Sigh. We are hoping to get a good downwind sail on our way home.

We guessed there were about 50 boats in Squirrel Cove and it didn’t even seem that full. My favourite Bill the Baker is long gone and his house is now a shack falling into the water. There is a floating bakery selling cinnamon buns and bread. We were not tempted for 3 reason:  1) I had made cinnamon buns for breakfast 2) there was something shoddy about the place 3) They were pulling in water from somewhere in the bush…

As we motored around the bay checking out the boats, the smoke started to sting our eyes. And it was   and sticky and we were terribly thirsty. Quite unpleasant finally. But the smoke did make for a dramatic landscape. A bit like fog but without the dampness and you could just about look right at the sun. It looked very reddish orange. We did take the dinghy into the lagoon and admired the multitude of different starfish species in the ‘pass’.  The tide was going out, so we didn’t want to stay too long. Naturally, when we went to leave the tide had changed and was coming in.  Once again we poled against the rapids, but this time with less water beneath. Frustrating. Laughed at the rope swing hang the dead branch. Perhaps Squirrel Cove has lost some if its magic.

Thursday – Laura’s Cove.

Decided to put in an appearance at Laura’s Cove, because as my dad said “Onh your going to Deso? Well the gang will all be in Laura’s Cove.” I was surprised the gang was so easily predicable. Well anyway, they are and they were there in full Deso-rafted fashion. We joined the party for the first time and had a nice chat, it is funny…

And that is how it ends. In mid sentence. I have no idea why I didn’t finish that entry, or even what I was going to say. Our trip home was just as challenging as the trip up. Of course we had the wind on our nose again. Our progress was so slow we had to duck into Pender Harbour for the night for some relief.  We sold Georgia Dawn in March 2011 and then so began the adventures on Asunto.