Log # 58u Back down south

May 13, 2015 in Log Series 50-59, Logs by Series, Series 58, The Logs

Campbell  River, Vancouver Island
May 13, 2015
Hi Folks,
We’re back… at sea. After an enjoyable winter house sitting in Okanagan Falls (thanks Doug and Diane), we left April 30 to return to Veleda. It was in sad shape, with bird droppings outside and mildew inside. Mussel shells and barnacles were scattered on the port side deck where our old dinghy was stored until it was sold a few weeks ago. However the engine flashed up right away and we motored from Thetis Island to Chemainus where we transferred stuff from our Yukon to Veleda, and left the Yukon at  our friends’ place in Cobble Hill just south of Duncan. We were fortunate; our friends were not home, but friends of a friend who live in Chemainus gave us a ride back to Veleda. Thanks Mark and Jane.
We spent four days alongside at Saltspring Marina in Ganges on Saltspring Island having our diesel and outboard engines serviced and installing most of the additional gear we bought for Veleda. I will describe in more detail the work we had done and that we did to get Veleda ready for this season’s cruising in my next log.
I was lazy over the winter and did not complete my logs for 2014. As we have been motoring the past few days from Vancouver to Keats Island in Howe Sound and on up the Strait of Georgia to Campbell River, I have had time to complete it while under way. We are heading north as fast as we can go in order to have time up around Bella Bella, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii (and possibly Alaska) and get back down to an Ontario 32 Rendezvous in Maple Bay in mid Sept. and put Veleda away for the winter by Sept. 20 to board a Holland America cruise ship from Vancouver to Singapore on the 22nd.
This Log #58u Back down south, attached, gets us from gets us from Cape Caution north of Vancouver Island in August until we finally put Veleda away on Thetis Island for the winter near the end of October. I have skipped much of the detail of anchorages and locations, but have included many interesting pictures of this period.
I am using the address list from 2014 with a few new additions of friends from OK Falls. Let me know if you have any problems accessing the attachment. Also let me know if you wish to be removed from this list, or if you wish to be transferred to my website list, in which case you will not get the attachments, but will be informed when additions have made to my website www.veledaiv.ca .
It is good to be back aboard Veleda and at sea again. All is well  with Veleda and we are in good health. We like to hear from our friends (but we do not use Facebook or other social media) and would appreciate feedback by E-mail.
All the best,
Aubrey

Log # 58u Back down south
Okanagan Falls, B.C.
April 23, 2015
My last Log #58t, in November, started us back down from north of Cape Caution. This log covers the last two months of our cruising the B.C. coast in 2014.
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From Port McNeill to the Ontario 32 Rendezvous
We came fairly directly down Queen Charlotte Strait, anchoring overnight at Port McNeill on August 22. Next day we anchored off Alert Bay to see the First Nations dance display. We had been there earlier in the summer to go through their excellent museum beside the old residential school and see the many totem poles. The decision has been made to tear down the Residential School there, a painful memory for many.
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Abandoned Residential School

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Masks in the Museum                                                                               Totem poles in Alert Bay
In the late afternoon we motored down to Telegraph Cove Marina (50 32.762N, 126 49.987W) a very crowded narrow cove, part of the upscale Telegraph Cove Resorts.
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Telegraph Cove
Here people can buy time share condos on the water with boat slips available. We had to call ahead to be sure a slip would be available for us. We enjoyed the Whale Museum there and had a delicious salmon barbecue dinner and an enjoyable breakfast at a dockside bistro. On south we went, stopping to anchor overnight at Burial Cove near Port Harvey on East Cracroft Island in the Broughtons, then at Deer Cove on Helmcken Island. We continued down Johnston Strait through Discovery Passage and the treacherous Seymour Narrows. (It was a pussy cat, no problems.) We anchored across from Campbell River behind April Point (50 03.894N, 125 13.738W), as we had done several times before, going over to town to refuel.
We had some time in hand and so before heading down the Strait of Georgia to Comox we went over to Mansons Harbour to visit John and Kirsti, family of a cousin of Judy’s. They have an interesting home they built in the woods at the end of the bay. Kirsti is a physician who travels to area clinics providing medical assistance. John is a handy man with a PhD, enjoying life on Cortes Island. He made us feel most welcome when he said it was nice to be visited “by kinfolk”. I hope to get up there again when I can go fishing with him. We stayed alongside his dock for the night and left next day to go around Cortes Island to Van Donop Inlet for a nice quiet anchorage in Buccaneer Creek (50 09.213N, 124 56.987W). It was so comfortable we spent two days there before heading back over to anchor in April Cove off Campbell River where we resupplied. I would put Campbell River next to Comox as a favourite town on Vancouver Island
Sept. 4 we headed down the Strait of Georgia to anchor off Comox. En route we were passed by that mysterious power yacht we saw up in Fish Egg Inlet.
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Mystery craft off Comox
Comox is one of our favourite towns on Vancouver Island, although anchoring off the town is difficult because of the shallows. We were getting together with a few other Ontario 32 owners from Comox to go to an Ontario 32 Rendezvous down the coast at Pages Marina in Silva Bay. To meet up with them we anchored in Henry Bay on north Denman Island, adjacent to Sandy Island, a delightful marine park only 12 miles from Comox. There is a buoy placed by the Comox Air Wing Sailing Club, but it was occupied. Three other Ontario 32’s anchored nearby. Sandy Island has a beautiful sandy beach for beach combing.
Next day, Sept. 6, we went down Baynes Sound, past several shellfish farms that unfortunately would provide a navigational hazard at night as they are not well buoyed off. Around the south end of Denman Island we angled over to anchor for the night in Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, before heading down to anchor off Nanaimo in Mark Bay to resupply. We visited the Military Museum, which had been closed each time we were there before. We also got some boat supplies at the excellent Harbour Chandlery across from the main mall.
Down through Northumberland Channel we went south of De Courcy Island to anchor and stern tie in Pirates Cove with six other Ontario 32’s, in a lovely Marine Park with trails around both sides of the cove.
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Six Ontario 32s in Pirates Cove
The sheltered cove has very limited room to swing on an anchor. We had an enjoyable evening as we hopped from boat to boat The island is also home to many rustic cottages and homes now that we are in the northern Gulf Islands.
Next day, Friday, Sept. 12, we went through Gabriola Passage into Silva Bay for the Ontario 32 Rendezvous at Pages Marina. There were a dozen or more Ontario 32 boats there as well as an Ontario built power boat, VELEDA V, whom we passed last year near Sydney!
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Veleda V
It was great seeing how other boats have modified their cabins, cockpits and topsides. We were envious of the few boats that had converted their solid fuel stoves/furnaces such as ours to diesel furnaces. This is a change we want to make for Veleda. Some boats were older than Veleda (built in 1978) and some newer. It was interesting to see the minor changes made in the different year models. All sung the praises of the Ontario 32, as we do. I looked with envy at the good condition that most of the boats were in. Veleda needs a lot of work and tender loving care, hard to do when living on board and moving around as much as we do.
Judy and I gave a slide presentation of our first six years crossing the Atlantic, circumnavigating the UK, the rivers and canals of France, the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and return to the Caribbean (We now call this presentation Living the Dream – Part 1). After the supper we had a rum tasting, a delicious opportunity to sample rums that the cruisers enjoyed. Several of us brought our favourite rum, and poured small samples into shot glasses for everyone to taste. We then would critique the rum. I brought our favourite, up to then, which is a dark heavy Gosling Bermuda Black Rum, Judy’s favourite (along with Screech, a dark Newfoundland blend), both at moderate prices. The rum which was declared the best, and with which I agree, was Pyrat Rum from Guyana, a smooth amber rum, rather pricey at $54.00 a bottle, but worth it. Needless to say a good time was had by all.
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Cocktails on Veleda IV
Next day, Sept. 14, we said our fond goodbyes, looking forward to next year’s rendezvous, and set off the few miles down to the North Cove of Thetis Island, to anchor off a summer camp (49 00.838N, 123 41.630W). We dinghied around the north end of Thetis and down a long arm with cottages on one side and a farm on the other. Telegraph Harbour Marina on the south side of Thetis Island is where we will leave Veleda for the second winter here in B.C.

 

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From the Rendezvous to Esquimalt and Vancouver
As we still had plenty of time before a presentation to a yacht club in Port Moody on Oct. 15, and our house-sitting in Okanagan Falls starting Oct. 30, we enjoyed wandering around the southeastern part of Vancouver Island and some of the offlying islands. Princess Cove (48 56.248N, 123 37.725W) on Wallace Island is a cramped, shallow but sheltered cove with a marine park dock leading up to the park trails, including a few buildings from a previous farm. One of the derelict buildings had been converted to a driftwood shack, where boaters contributed bits and pieces to it as well as engraving their names and home ports on pieces of driftwood.
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As there were no other boats, we swung on our own anchor; most boats anchor with a stern line ashore because of the limited space.
We also anchored at Grappler Rock (48 56.204N, 123 35.867W) on Saltspring Island before going over to the town dock at Chemainus. Chemainus is a delightful town featured for its murals, a town project to keep it alive after the lumber industry declined many years ago.
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Native Heritage                                                                          Star Novelty Works Bicycle Shop
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Spirit of Chemainus                                                                              World in Motion
Go to www.muraltown.com for a full account of 40 the murals in town.
The industry has returned as an economic base, and the town has good tourist potential. While there we saw the musical Les Miz at the new theatre centre. We will be using Chemainus as our stopping off point when we leave Veleda over at Thetis Island for the winter, as there is a ferry going to Thetis several times a day.
We spent three days at anchor in Genoa Bay (48 45.761N, 123 35.922W), a large sheltered bay with a good marina and restaurant, including several float homes along their docks. If we were to settle down in one place, I would be attracted to a float home similar to those in Genoa Bay. I went through one that was for sale at only $99,000. Expenses for the services of dockage, parking, water, electricity, and garbage disposal were about $1000 a month or less. We could leave Veleda parked at our front door. It was a cozy two bedroom unit with all the appliances and furniture. I think it would be an interesting way to live.
Across to Cowichan Bay, a popular tourist attraction; the marina was filled and the anchorage was totally tied up with private mooring buoys. We gunkholed down the Saanich Inlet to the base of Finlayson Arm and back up to Brentwood Bay. En route we saw the cutest summer home that Judy just loved. It looked like something out of The Hobbit with its drooping peaked roof.
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A “Hobbit” House just above Finlayson Arm
Both sides of this steep sided heavily wooded inlet were dotted with homes and cottages, including one area in which an entire suburb was planted in the midst of the pristine forest.
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Looking down Saanich Inlet                                                        Suburb on Saanich Inlet
Our next destination for three days was Todd Inlet (48 35.593N, 123 28.092W) a deep sheltered inlet immediately behind beautiful Butchart Gardens. We took the dinghy over to a landing at the Gardens and enjoyed a day touring through the verdant landscape. My favourite was the Japanese Garden, including a stone stream, raked meditation garden, waterfalls, streams and arched bridges. There were an ornate Italian Garden, Rose Gardens and a dynamic pulsating water fountain.
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Japanese Garden                                               A stone stream in the gardens

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       Raked Meditation garden
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Italian Gardens                                                                           Bee at work

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  Colourful Ferns
The inlet has trails that are easy to explore and I found several berry patches. In the bay at the end where we were anchored I met an old timer living on a lovely classic sloop whose lines I admired.
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Boat in Todd Inlet                                                                        Veleda at anchor in Todd Inlet
We enjoyed the hospitality of the North Saanich Yacht Club as reciprocal members of the CFSA Esquimalt Squadron before gunkholing to Russel Island, Prevost Island, Saltspring Island and Galiano Island, all part of the Gulf Islands off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island. These waters are plied by large B.C. Ferries from Vancouver to Sydney or Nanaimo, and smaller inter-island ferries such as the one between Chemainus and Thetis Island.

 

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On Saltspring Island we found a marina at Ganges which is a Yanmar dealership, and plan to take Veleda there in May to do some maintenance on our engine, and to get all the work done on Veleda before we set off for this season’s odyssey. We have much to do.
In addition to having the valve clearances checked on the engine, we have many other tasks, including: inflating and mounting the Dinghy Tow brackets on our new dinghy, mounting our new barbecue, installing our new diesel furnace, mounting the new curtains Judy made for the main salon, replacing the main salon windows, replacing our four golf cart batteries with new ones, checking out and repairing or replacing our manual bilge pump, mounting the main salon table and hand rails on the upper deck both of which I varnished over the winter, and cleaning the inside wood work bulkheads and cushions from the mildew that has developed over the past six months.
We spent a couple of nights alongside at the Canadian Forces Sailing Association (CFSA) in Esquimalt before heading up to anchor off Cole Island (48 27.065N, 123 27.078W) in Esquimalt Harbour. Cole Island was used by the British Navy (RN) as a munitions storage depot before being taken over by the RCN in 1910. There are still buildings to explore on the small island which is part of a marine park.
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Magazines at Cole Island                                                          Inside a magazine
The harbour is very secure by virtue of the mud bottom, the sheltered bay, and the patrols from the navy base. We chatted with a retired couple who live on their 50 foot steel hulled sailboat, and have been there for several months. While there we dinghied all around the harbour, up the shallow stream that empties into the bay and then went over to Fort Rodd Hill. There we spent an interesting afternoon going through the old fort, now a provincial park, which guarded the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour and the gun emplacements, magazines, and accommodations used in WWI and WWII. From the observation tower we could look across to the navy dockyards and along the sand spit of Royal Roads and Fisgard Lighthouse.
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Fort Rodd Hill Gun Emplacement
Note in the picture above, Fisgard Lighthouse in the foreground and the Navy base and dockyards guarded by Fort Rodd Hill across the channel
We left Esquimalt Harbour Oct. 8 to go up to the RVYC in Cadboro Bay free, as a CSFA reciprocal, for the night. We needed to cross the Strait of Georgia to get over to Vancouver and up to Port Moody for a speaking engagement. Going up to Selby Cove on Prevost Island for one night, we then anchored overnight the next in Dianisio Cove on the northern tip of Galiano Island to await slack water to exit Porlier Pass to cross the Strait of Georgia. There is a marine park here at the tip, but access would have to be by dinghy. We noticed a fishing boat beached at one side, then as the tide flooded in the boat was swamped. It was a derelict vessel left to rot on the shore. Crossing the Strait, we went under the Lions Gate Bridge and up the busy industrial Burrard Inlet, and beneath the Second Narrows Bridge to anchor just inside Indian Arm (49 18.890N, 122 55.747W). We then spent a couple of nights alongside the Deep Cove Yacht Club, another CFSA reciprocal club before going further up the inlet to the IOCO Yacht Club in Port Moody. There we gave a presentation of our sailing in the Caribbean as part of the AGM for the club.
We then set off for our final passage this year to Thetis Island where we were to leave Veleda for the winter.
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From Port Moody to Thetis Island
On our way out we stayed at the Burrard Yacht Club, again as reciprocals, for a couple of nights before crossing back over to the North Cove of Thetis Island on Oct. 18. We had some time to kill before going to Okanagan Falls on 28th and so went down to Wallace Island again, then over to Chemainus before finally going to Telegraph Harbour Marina where we left Veleda for the winter on Oct.21.
We put the full insurance back on our Yukon, and enjoyed visiting friends in Cobble Hill, just south of Duncan on Vancouver Island where we have left the Yukon and our trailer, thanks Barb. We then took the ferry across and drove over to Port Coquitlam to visit with another friend for a few days before heading 500 km inland to Okanagan Falls where we were to house sit in this magnificent mansion (see the picture below) for the next six months from Oct. 30 to April 30.
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House sitting in Okanagan Falls