Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Have Crabs!

I've got crabs!  Two, in fact!

Crab update:  I did not get skunked this trip.  As noted in the previous post, Giselle and I were heading out to fetch our crab pots.  In my dinghy we get and away we go.  All went well except for one thing — my dinghy motor problem is back.  The motor just died, stopped, quit running, as we were about to exit the harbour.  I could not imagine rowing all the way back from where we dropped our traps. I pulled and pulled and pulled.  Finally it started but we could only putt back to the dock.  Once there we exited my dinghy and boarded Len’s.  It was not a problem taking Len’s motor and dinghy since he has the same motor as I do.  I clearly knew how to run it. 

Two Red Rocks
Out we go!  Giselle’s trap was the furthest away so we went to it first.  There were a couple crab but not keepers.  Off we went to my trap.  As we approached, I cut the engine so we could drift to my float.  Up I pull.  Yay.  Two large crab — large enough to keep.  We fought with those two crab to get them out of the trap and into the bucket.  Once settled, I pulled the start cord on the motor and it would not start.  I pulled and pulled and pulled.  Could this really be happening?  I was beginning to think I was a jinx. 

No matter what I did, the motor would not start.  I thought by now that perhaps I had flooded it.  Giselle decided that if we had to sit and wait we might as well start rowing towards Gorge Harbour.  We look at the time and started to laugh.  It was 5:30 P.M. and we had dinner reservations for 6:45 P.M.  Could we row fast enough?  Surely Len would start wondering where we were. 

Giselle had another great idea — radio the marina.  I was smart enough to bring a portable VHF but I did wonder if I could contact the marina because between us and them was a rock wall.  No, it didn’t work.  Rats!

I decided I would call Comox Coast Guard to relay a message for us.  They did not
I made knotted pulls for
my gate latches.
respond.  Something is fishy.  I looked at the battery level and it read that it was charged.  As soon as I depressed the PTT button, the battery showed that it needed charging.  I deduced that we could receive but we could not send.  So, clearly I should have charged the battery after using it a few times. 

Giselle kept wondering what could have gone wrong with motor.  She then picked up the fuel tank.  There was fuel in it, but very little.   Surely there was enough gas to start the motor and get us home. 

Len’s dinghy is a bear to row.  Again, Giselle had the best idea; we would each take a paddle and row.  It is a long story about their dinghy and trust me when I say, we were making good time with Giselle’s method.  We periodically stopped to try the motor but it was a no go.

A beautiful morning in Gorge Harbour.
Keeping an eye out for any passing boaters as we rowed, we finally spotted a speedboat coming out of the Gorge.  We waved and waved.  They saw us!  We would be saved after all.  (Really folks, we were never in any danger, we just wanted to be back at the marina in time for dinner.) 

The kind family from Nanaimo took time out of their evening to tow us back to the marina.  Len spied us being towed and met us at the dock.  He, too, could not start the motor.  Whew I thought, it wasn’t just us women who didn’t know what to do.  He decided to fill the tank and try it again.  After a number of hearty pulls the motor started. 

I should have known better than to leave without checking the fuel.  I also learned something about my portable radio — keep it charged at all times, even if it appears to be charged. 

Did It exiting the north end of Uganda Passage.
We had a dinner to remember at the Floathouse Restaurant and the service was top notch.  I had prawns, Giselle had the halibut and Len had seafood linguine.  To top of his dinner, Len ordered the caramel cheesecake.  Of course I had to have a little taste and it was lip-smacking delicious. 

Giselle and I topped the evening with outside fireplace s’mores. 

Today we left Gorge Harbout at 12:15 P.M. bound for Von Donnop Inlet on the east side
Did It getting ready to drop anchor.
of Cortes Island.  It was a short journey, a mere 13 nautical miles.  Here it quiet, peaceful and beautiful.  As much fin as we had at Gorge Harbour, it was a relief to leave civilization for a quiet anchorage. 

The weather today was warm with little wind, in fact, not enough for sailing.  I have also made an observation in the last few places I have stayed — another Hunter sailboat has always shown up.  Montegue Harbour, Ganges on Salt Spring Island, Tenedos Bay, Laura Cove, Gorge Harbour and now in Von Donnop.  Most of the owners have been receptive to me striking up a conversation which is great because I love to talk boating. 

Tonight I will dinghy over to Did It for dinner.  We have been taking turns cooking and visiting each other’s boats for the last meal of the day.  The food has been plenty and delicious.  Also tonight, I will sleep in the cockpit.  It is so quiet here; just six other boats in the bay. 

I am looking forward to tomorrow and walking through the forest to Squirrel Cove and later in the day going kayaking. 

Looking north in Sutil Channel to Rendezvous Islands and Stuart Island.
The time is drawing near that I have to plan to return to Victoria, but first I will revisit Comox to get my fix of kids, grand kids, family and friends. 

By the way, as I motored to Von Donnop, I charged my portable radio.  Good to go!

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