Well we are about 20 days out from heading to the coast for another month and a bit on the water. L has a conference in Vancouver starting June 1, so that pretty much gives us a finish date. There is a small chance I will drop her off in False Creek and solo back to Nanaimo for the 3rd or 4th but we will play that by ear.
So I guess it’s time to start making plans.
My brother belongs to the DSAA in Calgary and is an avid racer but he’d never sailed the coast in a keelboat (some excuse about a wheelchair or something). Last year he convinced some friends of his who own a Kelly Peterson 44 to join the Calgary Yacht Club’s annual flotilla and cruise Desolation. He had such a blast he is doing it again this year and invited us to tag along. Since the schedules worked we said we were in.
They are meeting up on May 16 in Comox to pick up a couple of charter boats from Desolation Sound Yacht Charters and then are heading off to Gorge Harbour to enjoy the Seafest festival for the weekend. After that it’s off for a nice jaunt up through the Discovery Islands. At this point the flotilla consist of Rainbows End (36 Dufour), Gloman Magic (Charter Boat—42 Jeanneau), Time Warp (Catalina 32), Sail Away (Charter Boat—45 Jeanneau), Teeka (Kelly Peterson 44) and us.
It should be fun, and I am keen to see how they get my brother in and out of the cockpit…it sure wouldn’t be easy in our Hunter. The trip is a nice mix of marinas and anchorages so should be a good break for us since we intend to anchor out most of the time.
Which brings us to our plans. Right now we should be arriving in Nanaimo on April 25th. Given our usual slack-ass schedules, that should put us out and about by the 27th. Tentatively we are going to head north. We’d like to go back to Lasquetti and also to visit (revisit actually) Tribune Bay on Hornby. We’ve only been there once for a quick overnight stop and every other time we have been in the vicinity the winds have been blowing from the south which means it is completely exposed.
Other than that, this years tick list includes Tenedos Bay, Pendrell Sound and Homfray Lodge, and perhaps revisiting Roscoe Bay. I have been following Homfray Lodge on Instagram and it seems like such a cool place that I’d like to drop by and see it in person. So there should be plenty to keep us busy for a few weeks while we wait for the flotilla to gather. And of course, if all else fails, we can hole up in Van Donop because so far, it is our favourite place in Desolation
After that it’s back south we go. We will either hit Nanaimo and clear off the boat around May 31st before taking a seaplane to Vancouver and dropping L off. Or we’ll sail into Vancouver for June 1 and anchor out in False Creek. Then I will solo the boat back to Nanaimo and pack everything away on my own. Mostly I think it will depend on the weather—I’m not up for a solo crossing for the Strait in shitty weather.
Last year the switch on my favourite 12v LED lamp died and despite my whizbang fixit skills I was unable to salvage anything but the lead weights in the stand. So I ordered a new one and will be bringing it out.
We also have to deal with our oar situation. I don’t know what NYCSS did last summer/fall. I suppose they dug up some replacements. But the last time we used some of their oars they were too long and impossible to row with. And since we often would rather row than motor, I might spend some time trying to get new oars.
I just heard that one of our forward Lewmar hatches has cracked and needs to be replaced. I know it was crazy crazed and I’ve contemplated fixing them before. Now I will have one good one and one crappy one and I know that will really tempt me to fix it as well. We will just have to wait and see. Other than that I don’t think there is much we need to do this season. Fingers crossed.
We had almost the entire season booked but at the last minute there was a cancellation of a 4-week charter in August. The downside is it’s late to try and find anyone who might be interested…any takers out there? I will throw in a skipper for free :-)
The upside is that it is now within the realm of possibility that we could get a few weeks in during the warm summer months which would be a new experience for us. For some reason we have never really sailed Never for Ever when it’s warm out—we have been cruising either off-season or up north where it’s much cooler. But that is a matter of money. Money we lose not chartering and money we spend flying back and forth again. Just another reason to buy a lottery ticket some day :-)
Patience is a virtue
I am psyched to get going. I have been reading blogs and watching youtube videos all winter and I really want to put some miles of my own on. And the carrot of 5 weeks on the water sure helps when its -30°C out. So it’s time to start digging out gear and making some lists.
Hopefully we will see some of you out there!