We spent two days in Ucluelet. Groceries, propane, diesel, water and laundry were taken care of. We did get to go to the aquarium where we learned more about the sea life we had been looking at in tide pools and while rowing around islands.
We left Ucluelet early Saturday morning. We were heading to Jacques Island, which is in the south eastern corner of the Broken Group. We had been told of a good spot to anchor there. It was another overcast day with very low clouds and some fog.
We passed Dempster Island getting to Jacques Island. Dempster Island has very interesting rocky shores. We got to Jacques Island and anchored in a cove on the south side of the island, about a half mile from Dempster Island.
After lunch we launched the dinghy and rowed around Dempster Island. Click on the picture to get a larger image.
For all the islands in Barkley, there are only a few good anchorages. Turtle Island has one of them. But whether or not they provide a good spot to drop the hook, a fun thing about all those other islands is that they are close to where you can anchor and they are usually small enough to row around easily. Dodd Island is one of those islands just off Turtle Island.
Old First Nations fish trap at low tide.
Farther in the fish trap.
Pool of the fish trap.
Nina standing in front of the fish trap.
One of the amazing features of Dodd Island is an old First Nations fish trap. The edges are lined with rocks and it’s still easy to imagine how at high tide the fish would have been channeled into the pool at the end. Simple and brilliant at the same time.
Rocks and oysters.
Other fauna basking on the rocks. The best field guide we had onboard was the Audubon Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest. It’s a good, general guide but doesn’t go into much detail about different species. Best as we can tell, some kind of garter snake.
A knot of garter snakes basking.
After checking out the island, we got back in the dinghy and rowed around the island. The shore is pretty rocky and we saw lots of sea stars and quite a few crabs. It was exciting seeing bat stars, which we hadn’t seen before, and ochre and purple stars. A couple of years ago the sea stars were hit by a virus that almost wiped them out. It was good to see them coming back again. We also saw a sea cucumber.
After a relaxing night at anchor, we headed back to Ucluelet for groceries and laundry.
We wanted to anchor between the west side of Turret Island and two small islands. This is a sheltered anchorage and it was close to some good beachcombing. When we got close to the anchorage we saw another boat from Rose City Yacht Club, Nepenthe, a Cascade 42. Nepenthe invited us to raft up with them and we had a sociable evening. We got several suggestions of places to visit also.
Gypsy and Nepenthe
Gypsy and dinghy
These are some pictures of where we anchored. The tide is down so you can see some of the rocks that are covered at high water. You can click on a picture to get a larger image.
The next morning we wanted to row over to Trickett and Lovett Islands. At low tide those two islands and the two small islands in between form one land mass. It is a good place to go beachcombing.
Drift wood on the beach
Weathered drift wood logs.
We landed on the sheltered side of the islands. We did our beachcombing on the more exposed side.
This rock has holes in it.
Another rock with holes.
Bill on the rocks.
Nina taking a photo.
Sea anemone in a tide pool.
A tide pool.
Chiton in a tide pool.
More rocks and tide pools.
We had to do a bit of wading to get back across a low spot that now had about a foot of water over it. You do have to watch the tides. We launched the dinghy and rowed back towards Gypsy. We kept on rowing and landed in a small cove on Turret Island that has some very big old trees. There is a path through the woods to the trees. The woods were very calm and quiet, a peaceful retreat from the wind and waves.
This is the big tree that the path leads to.
Nina standing in for reference.
Another big tree.
After a late lunch we headed off to our next stop at Turtle Bay.
It was time to leave the dock. All of our preparations were as complete as they were going to be. The engine enclosure, watermaker and windvane were ready. Gypsy was loaded with provisions, we filled the water tank and cast off. Our goal was to sail up to the west Coast of Vancouver Island and see Barkley and Clayoquot Sound. The first step was to sail down the Columbia River.
We like seeing all of the commercial shipping activity on the river. When there are freighters near us, we stay out of the main channel, so we stay out of the path of the freighters.
We anchored in a small cove behind Bazett Island. There was not much swing room for Gypsy. We decided to run a couple of lines to shore to keep Gypsy away from the rocks. While we were getting the dinghy ready we heard something crashing through the brush on shore. A black bear walked out on the beach. We waited until we were sure it had moved on to row ashore and tie our lines to a couple of trees.
During the afternoon we saw two different bears. The next morning the smaller bear was back. it spent about 45 minutes looking for its breakfast on the beach. It would roll over the rocks on the beach and eat the little crabs that live under the rocks.
First off, we have a new site: gypsykramer.com. Same great, scintillating content, now with no more pesky ads. The old wordpress address will still work, should you choose.
We’ve been working on getting things shipshape, so to speak. The watermaker is installed and successfully makes water! We did a test run in the Columbia and it came out clear and clean. No small task, given how much silt runs down the river. Here’s what it looks like with everything in place. We have easy access to the sink for test or sample water and runoff. Everything is accessible and we still have storage room in the quarterberth.
Summer is here and what’s a better way to enjoy your time than to find a shady spot and read a fun book. So I am going to take a break from boat projects to suggest a book. It is Murder at the Marina, by author and sailor Ellen Jacobson. It is her first novel and it is a good one.
We met Ellen through her sister Susan, who also works at the library. Back when we had Gypsy in Tom Becker’s shop, Nina was talking to Susan about our boat project and Susan responded that we were almost as crazy as her sister, who used to live aboard a sailboat in New Zealand. Well, that did not sound crazy at all to us and we started following Ellen’s blog. We got to meet her when she was visiting in Portland. She now lives aboard in Florida.
Ellen’s book Murder at the Marina is set at Palm Tree Marina in Florida. The book starts with Mollie and her husband Scooter having a romantic dinner to celebrate their tenth anniversary. During dinner Scooter announces to Mollie that he is buying her a sailboat. Mollie was expecting serious jewelry and is not thrilled. When Scooter takes her to see the boat the next day she is faced with mildew and peeling paint. She also meets Captain Dan, the fast talking boat broker who is selling them the boat. Dan tells them that they are invited to a BBQ at the marina that evening, so Mollie heads off in search of brownies and a bottle of wine.
The following morning, Mollie and Scooter go to the boat to start cleaning her up, but when they get there they find a dead body in the vee berth. Mollie does not want the boat. The dead body is even less welcome. The problem is she is making friends and enjoying life at the marina, so Mollie decides to find out what is going on at the Palm Tree marina.
Mollie is a cross between Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, and about halfway between their ages too. This cozy mystery will give you a feel for marina life in Florida. You will also learn a bit about boats. A fun summer read.
We last left you in heavy project mode. We wanted to get Gypsy into usable shape so we could do more than work on her, like actually get her out sailing. Our first goal was to get the cabin looking finished. We had unvarnished trim and lemon yellow paint still showing. The varnishing needed to get done first, so May was varnish month. We varnished and we worked on enclosing the engine space in the cockpit lockers. We got the varnishing done in time to clean the cabin and get Gypsy ready for the Memorial Day cruise. We had a fun weekend not working on the boat. The engine enclosure is still in process. Since the engine was not enclosed we get to invent the whole system. This means you do one bit and then you design the next bit… It may be done before we sail to Mexico.
The painting came next. We piled all the cushions up in the main cabin and painted the vee berth and quarter berth.
Bill made new plexiglass sliders for the head and galley cabinets. He almost fainted when he got the bill for the plexi. They do look good!
The other project we finally got to was to have Rogers Marine come and troubleshoot our instruments. We were having problems with our radar and GPS. The problem turned out to be a defective Lowrance GPS. If we had been able to deal with this sooner we may have been able to get warranty coverage. Lesson learned is deal with problems sooner rather than later.
So that is what we have been doing. We are working to get Gypsy ready for her summer cruise to Vancouver Island. We have a month to get her ready.