We left Vancouver around 0745 on 420, (April 20th), a good day to leave the city if you cared what you were breathing!

Leaving Vancouver Harbour. The Lions Gate Bridge and city in the background. (iPhone IV)

It was a variable, spirited day with every wind and current direction thrown at us. We sailed, motor sailed and motored. The boat handled well even when a blast of 25 knot westerlies hit our beam off Texada Island. We arrived at Sturt Bay at 545 and winds dropped as we entered the bay. 65NM on the trip meter.

We pulled up to the empty visitor’s dock and followed directions up the dirt road to have a shower at the SHOWER HOUSE that an enterprising local had built for the visiting yachties. It was basic but clean and functional. My only complaint was that there was no where to plug in a hair dryer. Monty said to use the power on the dock because he didn’t want to be bothered plugging the boat in and paying the $6 for power. There I was blowing my hair dry on the dock! At least it wasn’t raining!

Monty set up the barbecue on the rail and prepared hamburgers and corn on the cob for dinner. It was a calm night but Monty said the dock creaked which woke him now and then. We would have liked to have spent more time there but we were on a mission to make use of the favourable currents and forecasted weather.

Next morning, it was 10 degrees in the cabin. Monty started the hydronic heater and got it up to 15. We were off around 745 and hit favourable currents with little wind all the way to Cape Mudge.

The boat slowed down to less than 3 knots for a few hours as we passed Campbell River. We had a dodge the Quadra Island ferries a few times as they steamed across Discovery Passage.

We arrived at Seymour Narrows too early for slack and could see white water pouring out of the Narrows on the flood tide. We circled around the entrance for almost an hour waiting for the rapids to die down. Less than an hour before the current table said we would have slack, Monty decided to press on. It was a non-event. No wind helped the situation. We got to Otter Cove around supper time. Out in the Discovery Passage, it was blowing 20 knots on the nose but as we entered the cove, the wind died down. There is nothing to see in Otter Cove, but it does have good holding and protection. There were a few crab traps but no other boats. It was a long day with about 70NM covered. It showered for a brief time and then Monty pointed to the rainbow off our stern. He is so observant!

On the 22nd, the anchor was up at 615 and we were off down Johnstone Strait with the ebb. Our boat got up to 11.3 knots with the current pushing us. It was calm, with the sea mirror-like at times and sunny for most of the day.

When passing Telegraph Cove, rafts of sea otters floated by, many on their backs. There were hundreds! It was fun to see so many. Aren’t they a cute animal!

Only for an hour or two did we struggle with opposing currents. We arrived in Port McNeill around 430 just before the marina closed at 5pm. Another 70NM day.

Refuelling was the first job. The staff pulled a long hose to our boat and Monty carefully filled our diesel tank, trying to ensure he didn’t spill any fuel. He did a great job.

We had paid to hook up to power but the marina staff had forgotten to turn on our breaker. Oh well, it was early season and the staff aren’t fully up to speed.

Feeling pretty punchy, we went for a beer at the Devil’s Bath Brewing and then to Gus’s Pub for dinner and to watch the hockey game.

When we filled up our diesel tank the night we arrived, the staff advised against filling our water tanks with their water. This morning, we had a long chat with the manager and the taps had been off for the winter and they had not run the bleach through the system yet. But he said it was city water and he thought we would probably be fine. Monty saw some debris in the water when he first turned the tap on but, after a while, it cleared up. We braved a taste test and it seemed fine so he put the hose through a charcoal filter and into the tank. We would not see another place to fill the tank for over a week, maybe longer. So we really wanted to fill up. We will have to be careful with our conservation in the coming days. More sponge baths! Not like our old boat which had a water maker and Monty could take his two showers a day!

Monty determined we needed a LAY DAY. We did laundry, provisioned, vacuumed, washed the boat, caught up on emails, updated various devices, looked at forecasts for weather and planned our next few days of travel.

It rained for a couple hours in the afternoon, but we had finished most of our running around. Monty barbecued some salmon and corn on the cob and prepared a delicious spinach, goat cheese and raspberry salad.

Tonight we are running one little electric heater and it is 15 degrees in the cabin before I head to bed. This is not the tropics!

Tomorrow, our plan is to head to Miles Inlet, which is not too far, and around Cape Caution on Thursday. Cell service will be poor or non-existent for several days but you can track us through the link on the Home page click on “See Whistler on the Map”. You can message us there too.