First, a quick update. We’re currently in Newport, Oregon waiting for the weather to settle, and posting from the Newport Public Library. Our trip down from Astoria went well, smooth seas, light wind from the south, and the motor running the whole way. Not quite how we wanted to sail to San Francisco. We tucked into Newport because those light south winds will be increasing over the next couple of days to the point we don’t want to go bashing into them – gusting to 30 knots or so. Seas would be confused and just not pleasant to be in. Around Wednesday, the fronts should have moved through and we should be back to a north or northwest wind that we can actually sail with. We have time to be prudent.
So, back to North.
Ganges, Saltspring Island. Groceries. Ganges was hopping. The anchorage was full. The guest dock was in the process of being taken over by a 131′ motor yacht. Drømen anchored close in to the public dock and we anchored out about a 15 minute row away. Got our groceries and caught a ride on Drømen out to Gypsy. We all headed to Annette Inlet on Prevost Island and rafted up again. One of the fun and nice things about rafting up is alternating boats for dinner or appetizers.
Wallace Island has two small coves for anchoring, Princess and Conover. Most of the island is now a park and has a nice trail to walk. Back in the 50s and 60s the island was owned by David Conover who built and ran a resort there. There are a few buildings left. It’s a beautiful setting, but walking around it reminds you that you had to be pretty self-sufficient to make a go of things on an island.
Aside from bopping between islands, this was also a voyage of discovery for the Gypsy crew. We needed to get our sailing skills back up. We got our motoring skills honed. Not much usable wind for where we were going. Bill had the single sideband radio to figure out. It simply would not talk to its GPS. The wiring diagram came out one more time and he noticed that the installation needed a ground. We managed to find an appropriate length of wire, installed it and hoorah, it worked! This means that we can send and receive text emails while out and about and more importantly, weather forecasts. Nina finally learned to use a pressure cooker.
Quick stop at Tent Island and on to Chemainus, a town on Vancouver Island. Joy had reserved slips for us both at the marina. It’s a tight marina with an awesome wharfinger. The town is known for its murals. Many depict local history and some of the newer ones are influenced by Emily Carr. It was a fun way to get some exercise and learn about a town. Enjoyed dinner at Thai Pinto and breakfast the next morning at Bonnie Martin. Chemainus had a lot going on. There was the weekly live music concert in the park, a farmers/craft market in the morning, a mill strike that was in its seventh week, some really good ice cream, and a nice grocery store a decent hike from the marina.
Vesuvius, Saltspring Island was our next stop. We had stopped there twenty years ago and met a potter that we bought a bowl from. We thought we’d try to look him up again. We tied up at the public dock, walked up to where the pottery shop was and it was now something else. Disappointed, but not too surprised, we headed back to our boats. Our next destination was Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island. We were going to meet friends of Jerry and Joy who have a Cascade 36.
Stuart Island, back in the States was our next destination. In the old days, you had specific ports of entry that you had to check into before going anywhere else. Joy told up about the ROAM app and Bill managed to get it loaded on his phone (wifi while cruising is interesting) and then get the data to upload. We made a phone call, and were admitted entry. No frantic circling at Friday Harbor waiting for the customs dock to become available and juggling documents while on the phone to the customs officers. Dropped anchor at the west end of Prevost Harbor.
Stuart can only be reached by boat or private plane. It has maybe 15 permanent residents. Turn Point Lighthouse is a nice walk from the boat dock.