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John & Rebecca Pratt's
Nautical Adventures 2011

updated 8-19-11

Fall has arrived!

Arrived, backed into our slip, and shut down the diesels for the summer in the Port of Edmonds. We did notice a lot of empty slips, with no summertime renters. All up the coast we observed fewer boats in most of the places that we visit every year. Economy is hitting everyone hard.
View from our slip!

Leaving La Conner on another beautiful morning.

We arrived in La Conner around 1:45 pm and fueled up at the Fuel Dock. With the current moving, and no help on the guest dock, we were still able to pull up and tie off for the night. We were relaxing on board, after walking down to our special Market to pick up chicken and potato salad for dinner, when who should pop on board but, Marsha. Bill was right behind her and they surprised us and were a very wonderful 'welcome home committee' of two. What a nice start to our return to the US. Thank you Bill and Marsha.
Bill and Marsha surprised us by showing up in La Conner! Bill was staying very protected from the sun as he walked with John in La Conner. Smart man. Marsha, John, and Rebecca, in downtown La Conner, hanging out in unusual places.

A dead head, clearly marked and going straight down into the water, plus a Clam Bay sunrise pulling anchor.

Traveling south on the Vancouver Island side has been interesting and our first time going in this direction. We have learned of new places to duck into in order to get out of building weather. Before heading into Seymour Narrows we had to wait for slack water. We pulled into a fishing camp called Brown Bay and tied up to the guest dock. We had a nice lunch and walked around the camp. Lots of small fishing boats were tied up to the docks and the campground was full. We left there and hit the rapids at Seymour Narrows at perfect slack. We tried to anchor in a logging lagoon named Menzies Bay, but we were not comfortable with all the logs laying around us. We continued on and found a marina called Discovery Harbor in Campbell River. Rebecca was able to contact our friend Ruth Montoya and we visited and had pizza for dinner with them. We stayed two nights at Discovery and left early to continue our journey back. The weather started picking up so we headed for Ford Cove on Hornby Island, and took shelter. It's an old government dock that is under construction. After rafting alongside another boat, Rebecca went kayaking. We had nice steaks for dinner and left early the next morning, hoping to reach Nanaimo; however, we only made it to French Creek. Wind picked up very quickly and with a following sea pushing us, we had enough for the day. French Creek is a active working fishing terminal and there was lots of activities going on. The next morning we went to the restaurant for breakfast but they were not open. We left French Creek and continued on to Nanaimo where we purchased fuel and anchored in Marks Bay. This evening we went back over to the Dingy Dock for fish and chips and we plan on leaving early in the morning for Dodd Narrows. Our current goal is to stop in Clam Bay for overnight anchorage. Each day gets us closer to Edmonds and the reality that our summer is almost over.

French Creek and the geoducks

We passed Cape Lazo (we hear the name on the weather channel all the time) and then stayed in Ford Cove with turkey buzzards hanging out at low tide

Waited in Brown Bay around two hours, for Seymour Narrows slack water. Went through no problem.

Busy people working in Lagoon Cove.
Bill is busy cooking the prawns that he brought in this morning. Note the wind protector sheets that really helped today, because it sure was breezy. Ingenious device to pick up the prawns from the boiling water as soon as they float to the surface! Okay, this is a very different picture from yesterday, including where we are parked! Leaving at 5:00 tomorrow morning would have been tough from the back side of the crab shack. Whew! Bob, Pat, and Bill are getting ready to catch lines of the M/V Lady Diane.  Unfortunately, Jean (Bill's wife) was not here to include in the picture. Bob and Pat are on the boat 'Tonga' which you can see between them and they work here year round! What a team!
Upon arrival at Lagoon Cove, we fueled up and then carefully slipped into the backside of the south dock on the inside of the crab shack. Hopefully pictures will show that with the wind blowing onshore, the nose of a boat sticking way out, and the narrowness of the channel made for a challenging situation. Plus, we don't dare go to far forward, or the bow will end up kissing one of Bill's rocks, and then he gets a little upset. Doesn't like to have his underwater boulders scraped by boats! Then, the bakery lady came in and parked under our bow! Those cinnamon buns are delicious, along with all of the other items you can see in the picture! Her name is Jenny and she lives in Chatham Channel. Will verify shortly, but our understanding is that the name of her baking business is Knight Inlet Outpost and she has a website at-> http://www.knightinletoutpost.com and then click on Bakery Boat. Also, further information includes: Call ahead and have fresh baking prepared for your trip through the Broughtons or your passage south! 250-230-0509 minstrelisland@gmail.com
John was attaching our power on dock, when Jenny arrived; parked right under our bow and proceeded to begin a brisk sale of baked goods! Call ahead and have fresh baking prepared for your trip through the Broughtons or your passage south!  250-230-0509 minstrelisland@gmail.com Cinnamon buns, pies, muffins, cookies (including chocolate chip), loafs of bread, and butter tarts were the main items today, and very delicious! Menu says it all.
Bill always finds a place to put us, no matter how late we happen to show up in Lagoon Cove. This is the first time in our 38' that we have parked on the back side of the crab shack, making sure we don't scratch any of Bill's rocks on shore, nor the one just under the surface that has a marker on it to make sure we miss coming up on it too far.
On the left is the marker showing Bill's 'precious' rock; he put us back here so that he could keep an eye on us.  His house is directly above us on land! Close up view of the nose of the boat that we had to sneak around to be able to tuck back in here. John is waving in front of that boat. You want us to park our boat....where? Okay, tight manuevering, but here we go and made it safely with applause from other boat owners on the dock, standing back and watching.  Lot's of high fives too. Okay, let's take a closer look.  Pat wanted us to back out and do it again to videotape and show other boaters how to dock behind the crab shack!  Needless to say, we kindly said 'Thank you, but no thank you'!
Looking in the opposite direction, we are securely snugged in for the stay. We think they want us to stay longer, don't you? When we left Sullivan Bay, we crossed over and pulled out crab pots and found three nice males.  John is preparing them for their hot bath at the fish cleaning station. Tools of the crab crackin' trade provide an unfair advantage over them poor little crabs. Better them than us, with pinched fingers is what I say! Bill provides a nice luxury for being able to cook crabs and prawns, clean fish, and all under a nice roof. Thank you Bill. John is standing at the cook area.
***We’ve reached that point in our cruising that we refer to as, "our starting to head back" mode. We go through the same thing every year but this year it seems to us that we would just like to ignore it and continue on with our wonderful travels up here in the Broughton Archipelago, and further north, if time. Of course we both know that is not possible yet, but maybe some time in the near future that will happen. This has been a wonderful summer for us on the water. We’ve had our usual excitement of fishing, crabbing, and prawning while we’ve also had more than our share of rainy weather. We enjoyed having friends onboard and sharing companionship but we missed being able to spend more time with other boating friends because of unexpected happenings. The one thing that we have learned is that our time together is very precious and special. Rebecca has taught me to always try to be positive even when I’m grumbling about trying to locate and repair a mysterious symptom, and Rebecca continues to be Rebecca who always enjoys every single moment on the boat! Of course, we've already started planning our summer cruise for next year. Those friends that we were not able to hook up with this year, we dearly hope to connect during the wintertime for some tentative planning for the future.

Chris and Patrick really care about each other. Art by Patrick that shows amazing attention to intricate details in color and symetric throughout entire picture. What's next Pat? Chris' picture centered on bringing out the red with a focus on blues and green.  Again, very symetric and colorful. More to come, I hope. Chris and Patrick acting as two brothers generally will, and having a good time.
They train the fishermen at a very young age up here, and as you can see, they take their training very seriously! Hayden is jigging, Pete is removing the hook, and Patrick is trying to figure out how to catch a halibut! Pete and John cooking crabs for dinner tonight! Um, guys.... aren't you supposed to be doing something?!!!
Pete, Patrick, and Chris on their boat getting ready for an exciting day. Patrick and Chris worked as a team pulling in the prawn pots, and are getting ready to toss this one back into the water. Rebecca caught a huge black rockfish and a nice lingcod.  Definitely was her day on the water! Patrick and Rebecca cleaned all the other fish first, before tackling the lingcod.  Patrick is becoming a fish filleter expert.
Chris was on the bow, fly fishing, trying to catch his first black rockfish and succeeded. While out fishing around James Point, a whale was busy feeding most of the time we were out there! We were drifting, fishing, and it actually came fairly close to the boat! A delightful picture of the brothers on the bow of their grandfather's boat, Patrick and Chris. Chris was one happy young man to catch a delicious black rockfish that gave him a fight for his money!
Grandpa Pete and Patrick with a nice Dusty caught by him. Patrick was really proud of his catch. Patrick relaxing on the boat, getting ready for more fishing. John and Rebecca in a rare photo taken of them in their dinghy.  Water was a bit rough, to say the least, for being out in a dinghy. Grandpa Pete and Chris with a small cutthroat that Chris caught on his flyrod, and then released.
Now, in Sullivan Bay, it has been an exciting time for some spur of the moment fishing with Pete, Patrick and Chris. Above are pictures highlighting the end results of being on the boat crabbing, fishing and prawning with the Petersons; showing what a team they are, in action. We went out a couple of times in our inflatable to Atkinson Island hoping to catch Lingcod or Halibut. Rebecca caught a 14 pound lingcod and a huge black rockfish. The black rockfish is the best eating and the most fun to catch. Chris and Pat will testify that Rebecca actually thought she had a salmon on, even after she saw it flashing through the water. Chris caught his biggest black rockfish on his fly rod which was very exciting for him. We all came home with caught fish, including some greenlings.
We hit the jackpot prawning! By the way, did we mention rain? Picture of Red Irish Lord that was caught by Patrick. Side shot of the picture of Red Irish Lord that was caught by Patrick.
We woke up this morning to rain. This summer we have had more than enough rain but we're not complaining. After a nice breakfast we put on our rain gear and went out to check our prawn traps. We were rewarded with many large prawns and a 2 foot Gunnel which we turned loose. We rebaited the traps and came back to the boat to dry out. This afternoon we plan on reading books, on our Kindles while listening to the rain.
Master negotiator at work trying to convince the hummingbird to leave peacefully. Very successful job!
A hummingbird broke into our boat and locked himself up on the flybridge. After some skillful negotiations we were able to convice him to leave. We surveyed the bridge after he left and fortunately he did no damage.
There really is a black bear on that beach.  Just needed to paddle closer to get a better look and pictures.
Alright, black bear on beach just off our stern. Paddled closer to get some close up shots. It sure was busy turning over rocks, looking for things to eat. Yesterday morning we saw, much further down the beach, a black bear with her two little cubs. All three of them were turning over rocks as well, to eat whatever they find edible. They also did quite a bit of digging in the mud too. When we tried to paddle closer for a picture, the mama bear was very spooky and disappeared with her cubs before we could get close enough. Below are different shots showing the end of a beautiful day in Nimmo Bay, with the sun shining.
Jeff and Megan got busy the next morning installing railings on the chalets.
With the arrival of Jeff and Megan, Craig has graciously invited us for dinner at Nimmo Lodge for the 2nd night in a row. Last night was spaghetti and meatballs, tonight is hamburgers.
John and Craig visited, while checking out a water filter. Rebecca is whipping up a salad to go with the hamburgers for dinner, in Nimmo Lodge. Megan and Jeff took over dish washing duties.  They will start on the railings that need to be installed first thing in the morning. John and Craig relaxed after dinner, working on chocolate covered pretzels.
We are in Nimmo Bay longer than we planned to be. Larry and Trish are over in Port McNeill and due back any day. Larry had an accident on the 16th but is fine, although a little sore.
Larry had a ride on the helicopter, over to Port McNeill. Craig Murray, owner/operator of Nimmo Lodge, arrives to handle things while Larry is gone. Trish getting ready to take off in helicopter and is putting on her headphones. Jeff and Megan came over on the 17th to help out with some woodworking projects that need to be finished, prior to next batch of guests at Nimmo Lodge.
As shown in pictures below, we have been having a delightful time in Nimmo Bay, spending time with Trish and Larry. We arrived on the 14th and they invited us over for dinner that evening. Larry is an awesome cook.
John and Trisha as we are headed over to Nimmo Lodge to help Larry. Larry is in his relaxed clothes as he welcomes us to dinner of BBQ chicken, made with his own special recipe. John is relaxing and chatting prior to disembarking from the dinghy. Trisha is providing a helping hand with the line for securing dinghy for the evening.
Larry has just pulled up to begin working at Nimmo Lodge. His list of things to do is very long and he enlists Trish's help as well. John just pulled up to the swim platform, and has already attached the dinghy to the two davits.
Larry and Trish's floathouse with a heron on the roof. Larry and Trish getting ready for the day.
Hope to be able to get some good pictures of the black bears. Trish reported that five minutes prior to our arrival a mama black bear, and her two 'itty-bitty' cubs, was on the beach. More to come on that particular piece of important information.
Prior to anchoring, we carefully wended our way through the channel from Little Nimmo to Big Nimmo Bay.  We were able to talk with Larry in Little Nimmo and then stopped at their floathome in Big Nimmo to say hello to Trish, prior to anchoring out. John sent Trisha and Rebecca off to do their things, and stayed on board to finish an excellent story on his Kindle.	Okay, turning Rebecca and Trish lose in the dinghy can get interesting.  They are headed over to Nimmo Lodge to do some on-line 'stuff'. Most likely to do with music in preparation for Trish's trip to Japan at the end of this month. This was a merganser mother taking off as Rebecca and Trish zoomed slowly by her and her four chicks. She flew low to lead us away from her babies because they couldn't fly.
Below the first picture is when we have come up Mackenzie Sound, prior to approaching Nimmo Bay. It is a beautiful location and definitely continuing rainy weather. Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were looking for sunshine. Well, we can honestly state, "It has not yet arrived!" The next picture you can barely see Nimmo Lodge chalets with their incredible view out into MacKenzie Sound. As we grew closer it becomes more obvious how picturesque the location and view of the chalets. The 5th picture is the Nimmo Lodge which is located on docks.
We will be heading up to Big Nimmo Bay tomorrow, to visit with Larry and Trish. Their floathome is now situated for the summer and they are busy having fun around Nimmo Lodge: Trish with various gardening activities and Larry with just about any kind of project you could name to keep a large operation like Nimmo Lodge in top shape. See you soon.
Front side of what we figure is a Dover Sole. The bottom, or white side, of a Dover Sole. Patrick is dispersing at length about the attributes of fishing and how to be successful.  He is a fun loving fishing partner. Front side of a Rock Sole that we are comparing with the Dover Sole. The back or white, or bottom, side of a Rock Sole.  Amazing all the different descriptors utilized to describe the fish up here.  Wait until you see the crab varieties! :)
Rebecca went fishing today with Pete, and his grandson Patrick, and they caught an interesting conglomerate of fish. They took pictures of a couple of varieties of flatfish, before releasing them quickly back, in order for Patrick to learn their differences. So far, the best guess is that the first two pictures above are the front and back of a Dover Sole. The middle picture is of Patrick, looking at the aft end of Atkinson Island. The last two pictures above are calculated to be the front and back of a Rock Sole.
Sophia is busy experimenting with picking and eating something as delicious as a strawberry, in her Grandmother's garden. Kenneth is currently climbing a tree, where he appears to enjoy the experience of heights. More gray hairs for his mother! There is nothing more precious then two little tykes on a bench! Kenneth is running full out (good for him) and little Sophia is working hard to catch up and enjoying the moment as well!
We have two delightful g-grandchildren at home who are spending time in different activities that we wanted to share with everyone. Sophia is a charmer and, as you can see in the picture above, a beautiful little lady who turned one Feb 1st. Kenneth turned three on April 24th and is very much the adventurer. David and Kazue have their hands full with this delightful young man. Kazue was able to catch the two of them together in a really special black and white picture on a bench. The last picture shows Kenneth going full speed ahead....and you know what...with Sophia working very hard to keep up with her older brother. The two share a special relationship and have really begun to care about each other. Way to go, Kazue and David. Thank you for sharing the pictures.
It is fun trying to catch the wildlife in action. The challenge is getting clear pictures. Above is a young eagle flying about, looking for fish.
Chris couldn't be happier, bringing home the catch and right behind him is a very proud Grandfather. Nice batch of crabs ready to throw in the boiling water. Can you imagine what it must be like with two fishermen sit down to chat, while cooking crabs? Me neither, but I am sure they must be good stories shared by John and Pete!
Patrick and Grandpa Pete heading out to pull their prawn pots. Patrick was taking pictures of his brother and halibut. He wants to catch one too! Patrick with camera and Christopher straining to hold up that 39 pound, oops, I mean; that 40 pound halibut and the little guy! These are the two main docks for Sullivan Bay and this is the emptiest we have ever seen it look.

Pete Peterson with his two grandsons Patrick and Christopher. Grandma Gail is congratulating her grandson Christopher on his catch of the day. Christopher is holding up his 39 pound halibut and the other one that was caught today. Nice fish! Grandpa Pete is sharpening the 'Russell' knife in preparation for Christopher learning how to fillet a halibut. Christopher and Rebecca had a good time, and a lot of work, filleting those big halibut, especially that '40 pounder' that Christopher caught.
It was a delight to see Pete and Gail Peterson along with their two grandsons, Christopher and Patrick. Gail was present when pictures were being taken but we were not able to catch her in action...Oops, never mind, I found her and a great picture too. She is one very busy grandmother and a wonderful person to stop and chat with. Christopher, and his Grandfather, went fishing for halibut this morning and came back with two. Christopher has the 'growth' problem of all fisherman. Grandpa Pete stated to anybody that asked, the big one was 39 pounds. As Rebecca was helping him learn to fillet halibut for the first time, people would stop and exclaim and then ask Christopher, 'How big?' That halibut grew and became 40 pounds. Who knows just how much it has grown at this point! Way to go Christopher!
We are heading towards the exit for Turnbull Cove, just after pulling anchor and John has everything shipshape and secure. It was absolutely breathtaking this morning, looking towards Mt. Stevens, just outside of Turnbull Cove. More, beautiful scenery shots. At Sullivan Bay, Chris and Debbie are the welcoming committee and run the show.
When we pulled anchor at Turnbull Cove, it was incredibly beautiful, as seen from the three pictures above. We arrived at Sullivan Bay, again, and our welcoming committee was Chris. He is a gracious host and we much appreciate his welcoming smile and his helping hand for coming into the docks. One never knows which way the currents are moving and they can be really strong. Then throw in the wind factor and the end result is, the more help, the better. Thank you Chris. Okay, it was really calm today and our timing was perfect for the current pushing us onto the dock. Just wanted to mention that is can be a challenge, some times. Thank you Chris.
Kris, Dennis (Not too visible, but see the hand?), and Alex, pulling lines and shipping off. Goodbyes have been said and waving is for now. Alex is definitely taking care of lines first and, 'See you later', second. What a guy! There they go, out of Turnbull Cove. Safe travels across Queen Charlotte Straits, guys.
Our time with Alex, Dennis, and Kris regretfully ended this Friday at 5:30 a.m. with their early morning departure to cross Queen Charlotte Straits. They needed to catch the high tide at Port McNeill in order to pull their boat out successfully and start down island.

John made his famous sausage and egg burritos and we drank our last cup of coffee with our guests. Rebecca put together tri-tip sandwiches to tide them over until their next meal. They departed from Turnbull Cove and their next destination was Port McNeill. The winds had dropped considerably and hopefully they had a smooth ride across the Straits. The guys were a pleasure to have onboard and we miss their companionship. The weather was not too friendly while they were here, with lots of nonstop raining, but that didn't stop us from fishing, prawning, and crabbing. They left with a good supply of seafood in their freezer.
Dennis and Kris relaxing and reading (John is too, just not in picture), and Kris became so relaxed he fell asleep (we won't show that picture). The whole time that Alex was up here, he never stopped moving, except when he crawled into his bunk to sleep. Here he is busy finishing up cooking crab. Delicious, but we have already mentioned that detail! Crab crowded up into the corner, ready to pop into Alex's hot pot. It was special to have the night with dinner fixed for all five of us.  Thank you for the treat Alex and Dennis. This is the sunset on the way back to our boat. Yep, it was getting to be O'dark thirty when we returned to our anchorage in Turnbull Cove.  Five sets of eyes on the water, watching for that dagnap deadhead that we didn't want to hit.  Mark Twain....All is well!
We did try trolling for salmon but it's just a little early yet for the run to start. By the end of the week, everyone was becoming tired and, as seen in picture above, it was sit down to relax and read time. Alex, as shown in the next picture, doesn't know the meaning of the word, 'relax'. He was busy on the swim platform cleaning crab he had just cooked (third picture). For a change in activities, we walked the docks at Sullivan Bay looking at floathomes while taking care of some necessities that included fuel. In the evening, we had dinner at the Sullivan Bay restaurant. Their special for the night was 'Greek' dishes. Alex and Kris ordered that while Dennis, John, and Rebecca stuck with ribeye steak. When we left Sullivan Bay, there was a beautiful sunset. In Turnbull Cove, the 'Rebecca Ann' was easy to find due to anchor light (you have to look carefully in the picture).
Did some exploring of the Roaring Hole Rapids with Mt. Stevens in the background.
Here's one of those unwanted passengers that Alex is getting rid of, from the prawn pot. They sure eat of lot of the captive prey, doggone it all anyway! Alex is getting ready to lift up the prawn pot, once Kris has it hauled up to the surface from over 200 feet deep. John and Dennis are standing by as Kris and Alex are dropping the pot.  See the buoy waiting at their feet?
Hauling on the prawn lines, Kris would get on the other side of the boat to give him some arm room. The reason for the need of more room to swing his arms, is because his dad now has a small, approximately 3 cubic foot, freezer on board! Alright, now there's some prawns and big ones too. Very nice! Kris steadies the pot, John hauls out the critters, Dennis runs the boat, while Alex disperses of unwanted passengers!
Prawning gave Kris lots of action pulling the lines. It definitely helped keep his arms in shape for returning to his daily swimming activity, once he is home again! Thank you Kris for doing the work.
Kris is ready, John's waiting, Dennis is observing and Alex is working on crab pot. Pot is ready to be dropped and just waiting for Dennis to find that 'magical' spot! John and Dennis are looking for the next buoy, Alex is taking a drink while Kris is resting up for the next pull. Alex is looking at a pot of keepers, not sure how many, but looking good.
We went on to Turnbull Cove to check out prawning, more crabbing, and some new fishing holes. Have enjoyed the scenery, with one day of sunshine altogether, so far; since Alex and crew have arrived. Rebecca decided to go kayaking and in the process caught the guys in action doing some serious crabbing with dropping and pulling five pots on a regular basis. Did okay in Turnbull but nothing like the action in Claydon Bay.
This is a gorgeous vessel that was a delight to have anchored nearby, in Claydon Bay. It was a clear morning with great light for getting a good shot of view leaving Claydon Bay. This huge slide was not here last year. Wow! It is truly amazing seeing nature's workmanship. A closer picture of the view which is directly across from the entrance into Turnbull Cove.
Remember that beautiful wooden vessel that we saw, when we first arrived? Well, it came right into Claydon Bay and anchored nearby! As you can see, it is beautiful. Mountain view is looking right out Claydon Bay, towards Sullivan Bay. The next two pictures were taken right before entering Turnbull Cove. That is a new slide that happened just this last winter, directly across, not to mention that it is a major one too.
John welcomes Alex, Dennis, and Rebecca upon returning from checking the crab pots. The official 'fish filleter' was Dennis for the duration of their visit aboard.  He has it down to a science! Rainy day crabbing with Kris onboard, working with his Dad, as Dennis runs the boat. Crabbing was good with keepers in the pots! YES!
One of the disadvantages of being the person who hooks the crab buoy, is the shower that comes from the canvas overhead. John got wet! John and Alex, working as a team to check crab pots. Alex is an incredible chef and he cooks the crabs whole, which have turned a bright red color. Delicious! Heading out to go fishing early one morning and spotted a black bear on the beach, off to the right, just as we are leaving Claydon Bay!
Crabbing was fun in Claydon, even if it continued to rain nonstop. As you can see, John received a bit of a wet shower from the overhead canvas that was helping keep the rest of us dry! John and Alex worked together raising the crab pots, while Dennis ran the boat. We pulled some nice looking crabs for the guys, as you can see above. Alex did the cooking and they were delicious. Leaving Claydon in the morning to go fishing at James Point, spotted a black bear on the beach. Also saw another one, a day later while pulling the crabpots.
Alex stated, 'We need to do better than this!' We did catch a few fish for dinner. John hooked a barnacle and Dennis, Alex, and Rebecca are preparing to nibble on this delicacy! Barnacle for dinner tonight! We are anchored in protected cove at Dickson Island.
Catch of the day above! Alex says, 'We need to do better than this!'
Rainy weather means dressing warm for fishing.  Dennis is ready! John and Alex figuring out which fishing hole to head for in this rainy weather. ris is ready and even brought his own buoys....um, balloons! Alex Wong, John and Rebecca, Dennis Crawford, and Kris Wong ready to have fun.
Dennis, Alex, John and Rebecca went fishing outside Dickson Island in Alex's Offshore 24' Grady-White; a very seaworthy vessel. We had fun but it sure is a very rainy summer. We then moved up to Claydon Bay with both boats to do some serious crabbing, in preparation for Kris' arrival. He flew in early to Sullivan Bay and was sitting and waiting for us when we showed up after moving up to Claydon Bay and putting out crabpots. Beautiful view from out new anchorage.
Dennis and Alex arrive on the K2, ready for bear! Alex wanted to make sure we had enough carbohydrates, 'More bread to come!' he stated. Meanwhile, Dennis is holding the coffee beans. Alex was worried we might run out of coffee too! John and Alex figuring out which fishing hole to head for in this rainy weather.
Alex and Dennis arrived yesterday! They brought all kinds of fresh food, including coffee, fruit and all kinds of delicious things! Thanks guys. :) Fishing pressure is on and they are here to catch.... Kris is not due until tomorrow, so we need to catch crab in preparation for his arrival.
Dennis Crawford and Alex Wong are expected to arrive at Dickson Island around 3 pm today! Kris is anticipating good fishing this year.  We sure hope it happens. John is checking area as we prepare to anchor at Dickson Island. Bear on the beach at lowtide.
Expecting Alex Wong and Dennis Crawford to meet us at Dickson Island this afternoon on their boat, weather permitting. Kris Wong (Alex's son) will be flying into Sullivan Bay at noon on July 1st. We were really looking forward to all three boats being together, prior to Garry leaving this morning.
Early morning start of the motors on 'In Search Of' in Sullivan Bay; nary a boat on the dock! John and Garry on the dock, standing in the blue smoke to say their goodbyes. Garry and John with Sullivan Bay in the background.
Garry at the helm of his boat, booting up his laptop and charts. Waving goodbye as he pulled away from the dock, Garry will be heading down Wells Passage to Queen Charlotte. Overcast day with a light breeze right now, hope Queen Charlotte Strait is laid down for Garry.
Last picture as he powers up the motors prior to hanging a left out into Wells Passage.  Safe traveling all the way Garry.
We were very sorry to hear that Garry is heading home early. He has been great company and will miss him for the rest of the summer. He has been feeling a bit under the weather and will go home and figure out what is going on. Safe travel home Garry. He will go to Lagoon Cove tonight, then Squirrel Cove the following night, most likely Marks Bay the next night, and then home to Tacoma, WA on the final day. He tends to travel long legs each day.
WHOA, now that is definitely looking up for successful crabbing! Alright!!!
We had a good time fishing for crab bait and catching crabs in Claydon Bay. We have been busy checking crabpots, cleaning, cooking and cracking crabs.
Larry and Trish in their aluminum dinghy, heading back to their floathome after dinner aboard last year.  Looking forward to getting together this year. Trish and Larry visited us at home, right before summer. Larry and Trish's floathome in Big Nimmo Bay.
Larry and Trish stopped by, unexpectedly, on the 26th to visit. They are located in Nimmo Bay on their floathome. It was great seeing them, they had just made it up on the 23rd and are still getting situated. On the 28th we decided to catch up on laundry, getting ready for company, and making boats shipshape again.
Beautiful clouds looking towards Echo Bay as we come out of Tribune and pass Simoom Sound. Different formations showing the hovering rain showers to come. Gorgeous day traveling on the water from Lagoon Cove to Claydon Bay, up around Tribune Channel.
A unique ship, 'an old wooden classic'; passed us right before we went by Sullivan Bay, where we hung a right turn to enter Claydon Bay. Overcast day as we head up Tribune Channel, and it alternately rained, or was sunny the entire trip. Perfect day to travel. Clouds are covering up the snow that is still on mountain peaks. Upon entering Tribune Channel, we start seeing more rock formation.
Rock formation off starboard side of boat right before entering Knights Inlet. Eagle circling, looking for a fish. Looking back towards Lagoon Cove, almost like the earth is dropping off!
Good morning everyone, getting ready to push off for Claydon Bay. Hopefully crabbing will be much better there. Where are those little puppies hiding anyway?!!! Heard from boaters here at Lagoon Cove that they did pretty well at Waddington which is another special place to anchor and go out kayaking. Lots to see. Well, Broughton Archipelago, here we come.
Old office leaving Lagoon Cove Office is now hung up on the buoy for Bill's other dock! Bill came out to supervise them detaching the office from his dock buoy.
This is the old office on the dock. These guys purchased it from Bill and arrived on the 23rd to haul it off. Ran into the buoy that anchors the end of the 'honeymoon' dock and could see it actually moving the whole dock. Bill came back out in his dinghy to supervise the guys moving the float and office, without taking his dock with them!
There she goes, off to a new life somewhere else.  It was built in 1940s as ticket office for Minstrel Island steamships. Bill in dinghy that he uses to go out and haul prawn pots every day, along with other activities. A special crab salad lunch made by owners of boat named 'Opus' for Bill, Pat and Bob.
Woke up this morning with a unique view....floathome being pulled out of Lagoon Cove by a commercial boat. As you can see, there is a whole bunch of other "stuff" attached to this package.
WHAT!!!.....'Wait a minute!'  Where are we going??? Woke up this morning and watched someone moving their floathome, and a whole bunch of other 'stuff' too! HAPPY Face....have a nice day traveling!
The latitude and longitude for Lagoon Cove is (50.598753, -126.314085).
Lagoon Cove is a delightful place to stop, plus we always refuel and top off our water tank while staying for a couple of days. Lagoon Cove docks, the workshop where 'Happy Hour with prawns' is held, and Bill and Jean's home. Tied up at Lagoon Cove with waterfront view, and Bill is standing in front of his new dock office!
Left Matilpi at 11:00 a.m. and cruised slowly up Chatham Channel, through the Blowhole and tied up in Lagoon Cove. We have to go through 'The Blowhole' which is right underneath Minstrel Island on the map. Definitely nothing like the 'Hole-In-The-Wall' for entering and leaving the Octopus Islands, just have to be careful of the bull kelp especially since it is lowtide as we are passing through.

My favorite tree that we see going through Dent Rapids every year. Passing Frederick Arm which is where Oleos was located. Entering Cordero Channel, prior to going through Green Point Rapids. Anchored in Matilpi, we watched black bears on the beach, needless to stay, no walking on this shore!
Left Big Bay at 8:45 a.m. and it was an absolutely perfect day with weather, tides and currents. Went through Gillard Passage (it had just turned our direction) then the Dent Rapids and we moved along at our normal RPMs, but traveling one to two knots faster. Went through Green Point Rapids and it was moving our direction at about 4 knots, we are really flying. Water is calm, light breeze and so instead of Whirlpool Rapids and then staying the night in Forward Harbor, we continued straight down Chancellor Channel and then out to Current Passage and finally Johnstone Strait. Outgoing tide, SE breeze and flying along on the average of 10 knots. WHEW! Very nice. Went up Havannah Channel and decided to check out the anchorage behind Matilpi Island right off an old midden. Tried to anchor in 30 feet, but bottom dropped so quickly, we ended up in approximately 50 feet with a swing between 40 and 65 feet. All secure by 2:45 p.m., a great day on the water! In the evening, John spotted a black bear on the beach. Our first for this summer. The next morning, as we were enjoying coffee, THREE black bears walked out and were there for a short time. Something spooked them down the beach, before we could get our cameras. Dang!
John on our boat while still anchored in Octopus Islands. In Big Bay with a gorgeous waterfront view in the evening! Tied up in Big Bay ready to leave in the morning, heading straight for Gillard Passage.
The latitude and longitude for Big Bay on Stuart Island is (50.391790, -125.136284)

As you can see from the pictures below, we enjoyed raccoon company every day. We were out and about, exploring the shoreline when we spotted four raccoons on shore, digging for clams and whatever else they might find edible. A big raccoon was also seen from our boat digging a clam. After it was dug up, the raccoon played 'juggle the clam' to the water, all the way to the water where he/she washed and then crunched clam shell and all with its teeth and down the hatch it swallowed the whole thing. The last picture below was Rebecca trying to catch clam squirts on the camera with our boat in the background. No luck what so ever, on crabbing, so we pulled our hooks and headed for Big Bay to catch some wi-fi time.
Not sure of this plant, but beautiful. Wonder if my sister Jennie can name this plant for me. John getting ready to pull crab pots with no luck. Garry had his turn at pot pulling, still no luck!
Went exploring in dinghy, and found four raccoons digging up clams on shore! This was the 'juggling' raccoon who was good enough to have his own show Garry and John in the dinghy and Rebecca in kayak under tow. Digging for clams at low tide and they were squirting madly, 'Rebecca Ann' is in the background.
The latitude and longitude for Octopus Islands is (50.274421, -125.233326)

We crossed Georgia Straits with a southeasterly swell and a SE wind that pushed us northward. We pulled anchor at 4:45 a.m. and entered Georgia Strait by 5:05 am. We dropped the hook in Squirrel Cove by 1:15 p.m.! Actually made it from Marks Bay to Squirrel Cove in 8 1/2 hours! Plucked oysters at the low tide with Garry and then fried them up for dinner. Delicious! The next day we headed north by 10:00 a.m. to catch slack waters at 12:40 pm for going through Hole-In-The-Wall. Hit it perfect. We then entered the Octopus Islands and found our usual anchorage. Had to be careful entering the channel, due to low tide. Good thing we keep a log book on board or wouldn't remember all the dates of traveling!
Crossing Strait of Georgia Rebecca at the helm and John on bow watching for rocks due to low tide. Entering channel to Octopus Islands Marine Park. Oysters for dinner

Plan to get up at 3:30 a.m., pull anchor by 4, and take off across Georgia Straits, our destination is Squirrel Cove. Below are more pictures from Marks Bay.
Rebecca and John relaxing at Dinghy Pub for dinner. It is good to know to watch out for the sharks! This one should be named, Mammoth Crossing! Dinghy Dock Pub even has a special dock for kayaks and dinghys.
Have a little story from this morning. We were on our 2nd cup of coffee when we saw a guy in his sailboat pulling anchor behind us. After watching for a bit, we saw his anchor was hooked on something really heavy. He had a tripline attached to the anchor and had secured this line to a winch on his mast, and was cranking it by hand. The guy was getting frustrated and the next thing we saw was the handle to the winch go flying through the air and "plop" into the water. While we agonized for his situation, we did have a hard time not laughing at the comedy. Turned out that his anchor chain was wrapped around the concrete for a buoy, an engine block.....AND a refrigerator. $100 later, a diver had unwrapped his chain. The aforementioned items were all wrapped together with their own chain. Hmmmm.....second thoughts about anchoring here! Spoke with the man and he lost another anchor a couple of days ago, on a sunken wreck, not too far from where we are currently anchored. Anchors aweigh! Pictures below are from kayaking inside and outside of Marks Bay, on the Georgia Strait side of Newcastle Island.
Sand Dollar Amazing sand dollar beds Healthy sand dollars
More sand dollar beds Very low tide today, looking over at Nanaimo This sailboat has a 'mussel' covered bottom!
The latitude and longitude for Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park is (50.273104, -125.232124), our stop after Squirrel Cove. The latitude and longitude for Squirrel Cove is (50.140826, -124.920044) This is our next stop north and is approximately a 70 mile run from Nanaimo, if we can head straight across Georgia Strait, which includes the military section called Whiskey Gulf (if it is not active).

The latitude and longitude for Marks Bay is (49.178786, -123.929386)

The wind has been blowing and we have been swinging on anchor in Marks Bay. Did not leave yesterday and up at 4 this morning, looking around, and doesn't look very promising for crossing today. Wi-fi has been working well in picking up open signals, but yesterday's wide swinging on the hook kept making it drop the signal. It is slow this morning, but am up kind of early. :)

6-16-2011 Early morning view of Nanaimo 6-15-2011 If water is rough inside, then Georgia Straits is really rough! 6-14-2011 Rainbow in evening when we first arrived in Marks Bay!

Okay, we are here in Marks Bay! Our 25th anniversary, as well. Below are some pictures of happenings from Prevost Harbor to Marks Bay. It was interesting, when we pulled into Bedwell Harbor to tie up to the Customs docks, one of them had obviously broke loose and was now tied up to the dock we normally pulled in and tied up to. Cleared customs with no problem, via a phone call at head of the dock.

6-14-2011 John is preparing the anchor by clearing the deck in Marks Bay with Garry up ahead 6-14-2011 Garry following us in the Gulf Islands 6-14-2011 Garry, when pulling the anchor, found a TON of seaweed to clean off!
6-13-2011 Out kayaking and pic of seagulls in flight with our boats in backround 6-13-2011 Different kind of mooring buoy! 6-13-2011 Anchored and side-tied in Prevost Harbor.

The latitude and longitude for Dodd Narrows(49.135255, -123.817506) which we need to go through at slack waters tomorrow, prior to arriving in Nanaimo.

The latitude and longitude for Bedwell Harbor(48.746894, -123.227634)

Left La Conner at 6:15 this morning. Skies are overcast and cool. Water flat and will thread our way amongst the San Juan Islands to Prevost Harbor. More scenic route, somewhat shorter, and a lot more fun than going up around the top of all of the San Juans. We expect to meet Garry Marr in Prevost Harbor, (on Stuart Island) today and will drop a hook for the night. Up early and an hour run over to Bedwell to check in to customs and the off to Nanaimo to fuel up. Will then drop a hook over in Marks Bay. Hope to have wi-fi access to update website. :) Weather and wind permitting, the following morning we will be up at 'O dark 30' to cross Georgia Straits.

This is a good website for locating places using the lat/long coordinates that we have provided: http://www.gorissen.info/Pierre/maps/googleMapLocationv3.php

The latitude and longitude for Prevost Harbor(48.678607, -123.196392) which is in the northwest corner of the San Juan Islands.

The latitude and longitude for La Conner(47.8094936, -122.387738)

6-12-2011 Swinomish Channel and bridge 6-12-2011 John as we are entering La Conner 6-12-2011 Early morning Rebecca

Left Edmonds early, 7:00 am with the water like glass and currents going our way. Arrived at fuel dock, in La Conner at 12:25 pm and current was slack. Very unusual to catch a time at the fuel dock without the current going strongly in one direction...or the other. Refueled and secure on the inside of the guest dock by 1 pm. We had to walk up town to pick up a special order of potato salad. Well worth the walk! Off tomorrow for Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island prior to embarking into Canadian waters the following morning. Will take a much needed R & R time for the rest of today.

6-11-2011 Breakfast group at Lena's 6-11-2011 Marsha and Bill 6-11-2011 Trav and Barb

Breakfast at Lena's with Paul Gahr, Bill and Marsha, and Trav and Barb. It was a wonderful start to our summer and we enjoyed catching up and planning ahead.

Garry on his boat In Search Of Garry in the dinghy We are at Sullivan Bay

We will start the journey this year with our good friend Garry Marr. He continues to pilot his 43 Bayliner single-handed. As in the past, Wi-Fi can be difficult in the Broughton Archipelago so we have to be very creative at times to stay in contact, plus upload as we travel. Wish us luck. :)

This boating season will be much shorter due to Rebecca's school year starting August 8th. We plan to travel to Canada, visiting the Broughton Archipelago.

©2011 John Pratt

Crew of Rebecca Ann

1st Mate and Cap't - Rebecca and John

Busy on the bridge!

Rebecca and John at work on the bridge. John was busy reconfiguring the router which allowed us more Wi-Fi access this summer, than we have ever had in prior years. Really nice.