Friday, October 11, 2013

6 Degrees of Separation — Or Less …

After Cecilia’s morning swim, breakfast, and a few
Resting on a trail
chores, we boarded the dinghy to scoot over to the aquaculture farm to visit Gordon and meet Bruce.  First, we were greeted by three barking dogs then a gentleman.  I thought it must be Bruce but it was not.  He was a friend (and his wife) visiting from Ladysmith for a couple of days. We were lead up to the office where we met Bruce.  It was not long before it was determined the Rathcliffe’s were leaving for home and Cecilia and I would join Bruce and Gordon for dinner in the early evening.  I was invited to move Ta Daa to their dock which was great considering I knew we would be having a glass of wine or two or …

We chatted with the Jones’ and Rathcliffes.  Amazingly, I learned that the Rathcliffe’s son has also sailed aboard Red Heather, the very boat that I sailed home from Hawaii just last year — small world, indeed!  In addition, the Jones brothers were also good friends with people that Cecilia knows and they knew my writing instructor, KT Pirquet, from the Western Academy of Photography!
The view from Mt. Gibralter

Cecilia and I decided to spend the day exploring Jedidiah in the dinghy.  It was a good idea until the dinghy motor gave me grief again.  It just stopped as we were crossing Bull Passage.  I was truly disappointed because I wanted to take Cecilia on an adventure.  The prudent choice was to turn around and head back to Ta Daa.  The motor would run, but I could not add any speed so we putted back. Before reaching Ta Daa we decided to explore a grouping of little rock islands.  While walking over the rocky terrain, we decided we would swim around the
The summit
islands.  We got a great amount of exercise and had huge amounts of fun.  When we told the Jones brothers, they didn’t think that the kids from the adjacent island were even that adventurous. 

For dinner I was preparing halibut marinated in lime juice and garlic.  Once the fish was placed in the marinade, I prepared the boat to up anchor and move the to aquaculture dock.  We arrived at six on the dot.  Bruce greeted us and assisted in tying Ta Daa to the dock.  I was a little concerned with the depth so check my tide books to determine if I would have enough depth for low tide the next morning.  All was good.

We had a great time eating, drinking wine and getting to know our new friends.  These fellas are eccentric, generous, hilarious, intelligent and, entertaining.  The night ended with Cecilia falling asleep while watching home videos of Panama; time to head back to the boat. 

The next morning we said our good-byes vowing to come back again.  Next stop, Keats
Keats Island 
Island.  Keats is a little island just off Gibson’s Landing, on the mainland.  We arrived late in the afternoon, after a day of motoring through headwinds and some fog, all the mooring buoys were occupied so we grabbed the last spot at the dock.  Cecilia has friends who frequent their cabin on Keats, so the dock proved to be more convenient as Dizzy and Graham happened to be at their cabin during our stay at Keats.

Their cabin, quaint and cozy, is about a kilometre from the dock.  Dizzy met us at the boat to lead us the way to the cabin.  We shared a scrumptious dinner before heading to Ta Daa for a good night’s sleep.

As planned, Dizzy met us at the boat and we spend a morning of walking the forest trails, mountain trails and rocky shores of Keats Island.  Following lunch, we kayaked along the shores of Keats for a couple of hours.  A dinner of salmon and clams aboard Ta Daa replenish our spend energy.  Before the evening was over, the fog rolled in obscuring the view of Gibson’s Landing. 

Springboard holes
Fog greeted us as we arose.  We had planned to leave at 9:00 a.m. but chose to sit tight. Cecilia and I were invited to join a few Vancouver Power Squadron members for coffee and cake.  They too were waiting for the fog to lift. 

Visibility was limited until near noon.  We had a window of opportunity to depart and make our way to Snug Cove, Bowen Island.  This leg of the trip was uneventful and we did motor out of the fog.  No sooner had we arrived at Snug and securely tied when the rain poured from above.  We stayed put until it subsided.

Snug Cove was not what I expected.  It was much smaller and compact with fewer shops I was led to believe by the print ads I have seen.  Nevertheless, Cecilia and I walked about
Low tide
looking for some warm soup for late lunch, early dinner.  We made the trek, following the Birdhouse Trail, to the Artisans Village.  We did not have the soup we expected but we did have the most delicious curry bowl of vegetables.

On the return to Ta Daa we checked out the lounge area at the marina.  Cecilia discovered a table with an unfinished puzzle; she had to stay and meet the challenge placing the pieces.  I continued to Ta Daa for a much needed rest.  I was very tired.  I awoke to the sound of pouring rain and no Cecilia.  Through a couple text messages it was revealed that she was still working on the puzzle, watching some TV, and waiting for the rain to stop.  The rain never stopped!  And, little did I know her cell phone’s battery died.  And, little did I
Foggy night
know she was waiting for me to come and meet her to bring some cover from the rain.  I was going to wait just 15 minutes more before going to look for her when she showed up slightly damp. 

The next day, we made our way to Granville Island.  I needed to have someone with knowledge look at, feel and experience the vibration I have been worried about for some time. 

Monday was a busy day.  Cecilia, Dave (her husband) and I made whirlwind visits to travel stores while Cecilia coached me on what to purchase and pack for Ecuador.  I had trouble keeping up to her thought process and keeping up to her in the stores.  As I
Follow the bird houses
was making a decision about one item, she had moved on to the next.  Ahhhhhhh!  The shopping trip was a great success and I could not have done it without her.  Thank YOU, Cecilia!  She is a seasoned world-traveller and knows how to pack efficiently.

End-of-day Monday brought two people to Ta Daa to attempt to decipher what is causing the vibration causing me grief.  It was concluded that it may be engine mounts or injectors and that they could not pinpoint the problem for another week.  That was not an option for me.  It would mean staying in Vancouver for that week and then another while they fixed the problem.  It just would not work with that I had to get done.

Monday night I dined at Bridges Restaurant with Cecilia, Dave and Dave’s elderly parents from Australia.  It was a fabulous meal with outstanding conversation of sailing, sailing and more sailing.  The Old Ones were flying home to Australia the next afternoon.

Little sailor girl
I decided I would head home the next morning and work with a mechanic while Ta Daa is at home port. I felt good about this decision.

My daughter decided she would like to get away from the Comox Valley for a couple days so we planned to meet in Ganges.  I left Granville Island at 11:00 a.m. to make slack at Porlier Pass.  The wind was predicted to be light so I had no intent to sail.  Mother Nature had her own plan.  The winds were brisk from the Southeast so out came the sails.  It was fabulous!  But…. I was travelling too fast and would arrive at Porlier Pass too early.  Besides that, I was sailing with 20 knots of apparent wind, which is a lot of wind for me to handle single-handed.  I could feel the ‘pucker’ factor taking affect. Much to my dismay, I had to make the decision to bring in the sails and slowly motor the last couple miles to the pass.  As it was, I still arrived early but could manage the amount of current against me.  Once in Trincomali Channel, the wind was very light so motoring to Ganges it was.

While in Ganges I lunched with Mom, Bud, Meghan and Aibhlin.  Meghan, Aibhlin and I
Early morning Tsehum Harbour
walked and scoured the stores.  Meg caught up on some much needed sleep while I happily cuddled Aibhlin.  It was a win-win for all of us.  We shared two great days before the weather dictated that I should leave. We said our good-byes on Friday.  Meg ferried to Crofton and I headed for Sidney.  I stayed the night in Sidney to get an early start on Saturday morning to be home before the winds were to build to 30 knots.

Saturday morning was calm and bright.  I left Tsehum Harbour at 7:00 a.m. The tides were in my favour so I made good time.  From far off I could see a fog bank — a fog bank I would have to motor through.  Prior to entering the fog, I went below to retrieve my coat and turn on my navigation lights.  On deck I slowed down so I did not move faster than I could see.  I had been in touch with the Osterdam cruise ship and was told the fog was thick. 

Sun rise
I was in the fog no more than five minutes and within seconds it cleared.  I thank Ron and the Gods who were watching over me.  I honestly could not believe it!  I looked around in disbelief at what just happened as I happily motored my way toward Victoria.  I thanked too many people too soon.  The thick, soupy fog returned as I approached Ogden Point. 

I throttled back and turned a couple circles giving way to the Clipper entering the harbour.  I also readied my lines and fenders for docking while away from the busy entrance and exit to Victoria Harbour.  I was surprised at the speed that the whale watching boats were travelling given the visibility, but then again they believe they are invincible no matter the weather.  I actually had to take evasive action to avoid being hit!

I slowly made my way to the fuel dock to fill up before returning to Westbay.  Amazingly, as I departed the fuel dock, the fog quickly moved and visibility was restored.  Crazy weather, crazy Gods!

Ta Daa was docked and securely tied before noon.  I was home after being away for three
Victoria Harbour
months.  I had mixed feelings.  While taking care of post-cruising chores I met the new people who are going to take the vacant slip across from me.  It turns out his sister-in-law used to live in Royston, the hamlet where I grew up, and she had babysat my older sister and me — six degrees of separation or perhaps less.

Really, folks, the only reason I am home is to prepare for my journey and adventure to South America. 

Keep checking my blog.  I will keep you posted.  Preparations are underway for me to leave Victoria on October 29 for another adventure of a lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I am sooooo envious. Wish I was there with you girls. I am seriously needing a sailing fix. The photos are beautiful as is the writing. Wishing you lots of happy adventures. You must be getting ready for South America!!!
    Lots of love, Karen