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John & Rebecca Pratt's
New Nautical Adventures

updated Thursday evening...August 9, 2012

We had an amazing day on the water, leaving Lagoon Cove at 6:14 a.m., with Bill and Bob's help getting away from the dock from in between two, 50+ foot, boats with a light breeze pushing us towards one of them. A third fellow showed up and stepped on to the swim platform of the other boat to help keep us pushed off until we had enough room to maneuver safely away. Thanks fellows.
Then we went down Chatham Channel with a nice current our direction and cruised on down to the Broken Islands averaging from 9.2 to 9.4 knots per hour. High tide was around 7:30 a.m. and then the current would change and be against us. Well, we did 60.1 nautical miles in seven hours and the only place where we hit current against us, was in Dent Rapids and the Devil's Hole which has a whole attitude all to itself; and have tied up in Big Bay for the evening after arriving at 1:15 p.m. We even sailed through Whirlpool Rapids and Green Point Rapids with no problems and either slack or moving so slow, we barely slowed. Average speed for the day was 8.7 nautical miles per hour. Nice, very nice.
We are in Big Bay and there are five docks, and here comes a 107 foot boat named Kingfish. Yep, there's the name on the stern and it shows home port underneath to be Yakima, WA. Wait a minute, who is that on the far left??? Is that Tom Cruise? No! Yep, there he is again in the yellow rain jacket and based on activity on the dock, he is NOT a deckhand!  Hmmmm...

Last night the sun set behind some heavy thick clouds and it was beautiful to watch. Of course, it didn't take very long for the rain to start pattering on our boat and of course we hustled around closing the hatches, various windows and securing the bridge which had open canvas all over in order to decrease the heat and allow a breeze to keep the area cool around our chest freezer. It was a wet kiss of goodbye from a wonderful place that we make sure to stop in at least twice during the summer. Plus, this is the only fuel dock that we utilize while north of Nanaimo. Thank you again, Bill and Jean, for making us feel so warm and comfortable.

We leave Lagoon Cove in the morning, continuing our journey south. Not sure where we will be tomorrow night, but it will be further south and not up here where our hearts and friends remain in different ways. Much more has been added below including a lesson on how to safely get out of a kayak, as demonstrated by Trisha.

Leaving Shawl Bay on the morning of the 6th, at 6:15 a.m., we decided to go down Tribune Channel and ended up with four hours of fog traveling time, with the majority of it on instruments only, due to it setting down so thick. Dang. Only saw one commercial boat the entire trip, and nothing else on the radar except for a HUGE school of porpoises, that we saw visually as well. What dancers! Arriving at Lagoon Cove was such a relief, and we relaxed on the boat after the customary 'Lagoon Cove welcome', including invitation to their 5 o'clock Happy Hour.
John and Rebecca in Shawl Bay and picture taken by Sandy. Thank you. Example of some of our view as we came up on the fog. Believe me when I say, that was the best view the whole trip. Rest of time couldn't see more than 50 to 100 feet around. The sun was hitting the little island at the entrance to Lagoon Cove. What a difference upon our arrival. Jean and Bill Barber have been married 56, going on 57 years shortly and are 76 and 77 years old with birthdays coming up soon for both. Owners of Lagoon Cove.

Before leaving Shawl Bay we had the delight of spending some time with "Aguaholic", another 38 foot Bayliner with Dick and Sandy onboard. The story for the day begins with a 32 foot Bayliner forgetting about their submerged Crab Hotel. Loren came over and asked them if they minded moving from dock 1 to dock 3 around one o'clock in the afternoon. Rick and Trisha were very happy to help pack in more boats for the 'deep fried turkey potluck' and started up their motors to move. Unfortunately, the line in the water from their Crab Hotel went around their starboard prop, since it was hanging off the dinghy davit on their swim platform when they started pulling away from the dock. They limped over on one motor with some tricky manuevering between other boats and then started asking 'Is there a diver on the dock?' Nope, no divers to be found. Wait a minute, somebody says there is an 87 year old willing to dive and it is the guy on Aguaholic! Sandy helped Dick get out all of his diving gear, including a wet suit and since Rebecca has scuba dived in the past, she was able to help him with some of the heavier things for getting ready. Once Dick started suiting up, the skipper on the boat with line around the prop was also a big help and John had a multiple level of jobs as well. The weight of the BC vest, tank and built in weights was the biggest challenge and Dick stood on the edge of the dock with flippers on, while John hoisted the outfit up and held in place as Rebecca and a couple of other guys worked on getting the buckles flat and secured snugly. Whew! Dick took one loooonnnnng step forward and went straight down into the water. Rebecca ended up on the swim platform to assist in adjusting his mask to stop it from leaking around the edges and then handed Dick the necessary tool which was tied securely with a line... a bread knife! Guess the serrated edge is the best thing for cutting lines. Dive went smoothly and more than 30 minutes later in front of a big audience, Dick floated up with prop clear of all line. Of course, the first thing he did was go down, look around, come back to surface and request an extra line to tie to the Hotel before he cut it loose. Crab Hotel came up and the crabs demonstrated shaky legs after their experience under the water!
Sandy and Dick on the 38 foot Bayliner named AGUAHOLIC; their dinghy is named DINKAHOLIC! Rebecca is helping Dick attach tank to BC vest in preparation for the dive. Dick is in the water and is communicating to Rebecca what he needs. Rebecca stayed in position on the swim platform as buddy diver, and was prepared to go in if she saw anything happening that was not right. As you can see, Dick was very happy to sit down after THAT job! John was checking with Sandy to make sure that everything was OK.

Trisha's visit started in Sullivan Bay and she was on the bridge as we traveled to Shawl Bay, giving her a chance to be at the helm of our boat. Rebecca and Trisha got in some kayaking time as well, while John relaxed on the boat. Below are pictures demonstrating how to safely get out of a kayak such as Trisha has, and you simply reverse the order to get into the kayak. Great job Trisha. As you can see, John is the support person on board to assist in any way, including removing items so one doesn't trip and end up in the drink!
Upon arrival at destination, wave to all photographers and smile, because you never know when it might be posted! Great job Trisha! First set paddle up out of the way and raise both legs equally to stabilize the kayak. Next raise butt up and set on back edge of kayak, while maintaining stability with feet planted evenly on each side of the center keel.

Then slide butt over to swim platform while keeping kayak level with both feet and hands. Move slowly and carefully. Have support person ready to grab you if you start to go over! Finally, hand support stick that was used to slide bottomside from kayak to swim platform, to person standing by in preparation of carefully standing up. Ok, guess you don't want me to take any more pictures from this point on, people can figure it out for themselves. LOL!

Kayaking ended up being a unique combination of sights that included loons, different floathome living quarters and garden on a floathome. We caught a hummingbird in action in the garden and the overall appearance of colors is wonderful to view. We also had lemon meringue pie for desert and shared it with boaters on our dock as well. On the first time of checking our crab pot, Trisha and Rebecca pulled up a box crab. What an amazing and different looking crab! Wow! John was also able to catch the two kayakers in the water before Trisha's departure on Friday, the 3rd. She was a delight to have on board for four days and three nights and experienced 'summer vacation' the Rebecca Ann style. She sure looked like she was having fun.

Yesterday, Pete and Gail Peterson, along with their grandson Chris, invited us to go fishing with them off of James Point. We sure had fun and ended up have the classical series of comics while trying to net and bring aboard two lingcods. Chris netted a nice lingcod for his grandpa, and the hook got caught in the net, meanwhile, Rebecca was bringing in her jig and hooked an even bigger lingcod. Of course, she starts hollering for the net too. Chris and John are trying to free up the net and get the other lingcod and hook undone. Rebecca was fishing on the bow of the boat and was trying to move to the back in order to have her lingcod netted. As she stepped down, she brushed Chris' fishing pole and his jig was swinging lose with a treble hook, and now it is hooked in her pants too! Things got crazy from there, hook still stuck in net but lingcod out; John then netted Rebecca's lingcod so she would quit hollering for the net and Pete was trying to rescue pole that was moving around with Rebecca due to hook thoroughly stuck in her pants!!! LOL!!! All fish were caught and when you look at pictures, check for hook on the left side of Rebecca's upper left leg!

We were out checking our prawn pots, and upon our start to return into Turnbull, we were treated with the special 'dolphin dance', most of which we didn't get on camera because we were so busy just watching them play less than 10 feet from our dinghy. They did ride the wave right under our bow too, which we caught a couple pictures of. Beauty beyond words!
What is that fin out there? Could it be a dolphin? Wait and see...

About a week ago, Trisha and Rebecca had a chance to go exploring the shoreline outside of Turnbull Cove and came across some amazing sea life.
First encounter was a bunch of seals on the rocks of which we could only get close enough to catch one in a picture. This is a sea cucumber who is doing filter feeding in the water. If you look closely, one of the ten tentacles is actually in it's mouth and it is taking in all of the food it has filtered from the water. Rebecca, caught on the rocks exploring her favorite location.
Trisha is in her amazing kayak, that she has become very adept at handling. She did forget her paddle and had to borrow one of ours for the day!

On the 16th of this month, we had an opportunity to meet a wonderful couple who hang their hats here in the BC waters, Hawaii, and New Zealand with their boat named 'Kaloa'. The Hawaiian name for this duck is koloa maoli and it is native to Hawaii. Much like the mallard duck it quacks on take off and landing. In the early 1920's up to 25 birds were killed daily and this, along with other issues including loss of lowland wetland habitats, and interbreeding with feral Mallard ducks. "Pure" Hawaiian Ducks are currently found only on Kaua'i. Anyway, Ric and Kitty have a unique boat that is very seaworthy, and are traveling with their son "PK while he is on a short break from school. In New Zealand, the calendar school year runs from February to December.
Kitty Ric Huge yelloweye that PK caught! Kaloa

A frequent sight on board is the "crab cracker" and guess the freezer is starting to show the end result. Despite a poor start to crabbing this year, we have managed to pick up a few here and there. No fear Marsha, crab coming in!

As with previous years, we caught up with Pete and Gail Peterson, and their grandson Chris, who have a floathome in Sullivan Bay. It's always nice to visit with them and share stories. So in-between doing laundry and some catch-up maintenance on the boat, we visited with interesting boaters, cooked and packaged crab, plus we were invited to go salmon fishing with Pete and Chris. In spite of the unsettled sea conditions Chris and Rebecca managed to land two nice coho's. As you can see by the photos Chris was trying to make a point as to which salmon was the largest! In all, we had a great time on the water with our friends. Gail was having a little problem with her laptop so Chris and John took it over to the boat and proceeded to do some much needed service. When we left Sullivan Bay, needless to say, Gail was very happy with the results. Rebecca put a big smile on John's face upon her return from paying our moorage fees, when she showed him two big sticky buns. YES! Another interesting detail is shown in the two Sullivan Bay pictures, on how empty the docks are this year. There are fewer floathomes, along with empty docks. Times are changing maybe due to fuel costs.
Now THAT is a nice lingcod!!! Way to go Chris!!! See who has the knife... Pete and his grandson Chris. Chris caught a really nice salmon on one of the downriggers. Hooked solid. Nice job Chris! Rebecca hooked one on the line that was using a diver, at about 30 feet. Great day fishing on Peterson's boat.

Next adventure, while Alex, Kris and Dennis were still with us, was to visit Larry and Trisha Mullinnix in Big Nimmo Bay. They move their floathome from Little Nimmo Bay, where it is secured during the wintertime at Nimmo Lodge, using their Mully Lee to travel approximately 1.2 nuatical miles. They have anchors in place to secure for summertime, and hook up to water on shore. We left on Alex's boat, the "K2" from Turnbull Cove, to go down Kenneth Passage, up Mackenzie Sound, and then carefully entered the opening into Nimmo Bay, hanging a sharp left and then following a safe passage around rocks and away from shallow spots. It was great to have steak, crab, and prawns as the specialties of the night. We also did a little sightseeing tour of Little Nimmo Bay for everyone to see Nimmo Lodge. Beautiful area for people to fly in by helicopter, stay in special cabins, and heli-flight to a variety of options. You can find more information at www.nimmobay.com. Tomorrow, 7-19-12, we are off to Turnbull Cove. Maybe see more bears. Hope, hope, hope!
We are heading to Nimmo Bay and dinner. Kris is clean and ready to visit. This is Nimmo Lodge which is located on docks. Nimmo Bay cabins are built on pilings on land with high tide kissing their undersides.
Trisha and John are visiting inside the floathome. Larry and Dennis chatting on floathome. Kris and Dennis relaxing and enjoying the incredible view outside the floathome. Larry's in the boat with Rebecca, Trisha, Dennis and John looking on to see what is happening on the water.
This is one of the incredible views from Trish and Larry's floathome in Big Nimmo Bay. New big logging operation which is located on the opposite side of the hill from where Trisha and Larry have their floathome. Noisy summer this year, from the looks of things. Looking back towards Little Nimmo Bay passageway, the sunsets are amazingly gorgeous. A slightly different view and angle. Can you imagine seeing variations of this morning and evening, every day!???

Well, Alex, Kris and Dennis have headed home on Friday and waiting to hear that they have arrived safely. They were able to take home prawns, crab and even some ling through ardous time of placing and pulling pots and fishing the tides. It was a delight having all three guys on board for over 10 days.
Kris put in a lot of time on the short end of the line... the pot down 250 feet being on the other end! Dennis handled the boat while Alex got ready to grab the buoy as we coasted by either upwind, or down current. Alex was definitely happy with this ling! Off on another trip of either pulling pots, or going fishing.  I don't think they ever stopped!
Dennis is running the boat with Alex, Kris and John standing by laughing the time away! Hmmm.... you never knew what these three were up to next. See next picture!!! Wait...where did all of this water arise up from? WHAT is happening here? Well, short story is Kris and I were riding up on the bow when trim tabs brought the boat's bow down and we were getting a little wet! My, my, as you can see, they were very tickled! Hmm... paybacks?!?!!!

Everyone had fun trying to get a good picture of the bald eagles that were flying about and the interesting part was clicking the camera right when they were trying to get their dinners.

We are secured for the evening after a busy day of doing all those things on the water that make you exhausted by the end of a peaceful endeavor. Alex took sequential pictures showing the redness changing.
Rebecca is twisting off prawn heads and clipping their sharp pointy tails off.

Alex has a pot puller that is also called a 'crab block' on the commercial boats. Sure saves the guys arms for pulling 300 feet of line! Dennis is standing by to handle the boat and bring it up alongside the buoys. Meanwhile, Rebecca is taking pictures.

Alex Wong and Dennis Crawford arrived on Alex's boat, a Grady-White... the K2 on Thursday. Kris flew into Sullivan Bay today on Kenmore Air on Saturday and already he is salivating for prawns!
Kris getting ready for his pot pulling jobs..... and prawns! Alex is on his boat looking out from under his canvas, up at me on the bridge of our boat, before he takes the sunset pictures. Dennis stuck his tongue out and got caught on camera! YES!!! John's on K2 as we are taking off for next trip to the pots and/or, fishing hole.

On the evening of the 4th, we were enjoying our dinner with shoreside view and here came a big black bear to join us! That black bear sure can turn the boulders that we can't even think of moving.

Rainy weather through July 3rd, which meant we were wearing rain gear for fishing, prawning and crabbing. Nice to stay warm in this weather..

We are in Turnbull Cove and going to stay for several days. Lovely place to anchor and sit out the rain while fishing, crabbing, and prawning. Pictures next time we update.
Due to staying a second night at Shawl Bay, we met a couple traveling on their Catamaran. Sorry, no picture of their boat, but one of them! We did spend time visiting and sharing information with them about Kindles, actually, John was the source of this knowledge that both Darth and Catherine wanted to learn. From Shawl Bay we continued on to wet weather and crabbing in Claydon Bay. Not much luck there as you can see from the dogfish in the crabpot! 3 footer inside the trap and a two footer with his head stuck inside trying to eat our bait! As you can see in third picture to the right below, the weather is really wet. We both wore full rain gear, just to stay semi dry. On our way from Claydon Bay, to Turnbull Cove, we swung by the Hoy Bay Indian Reservation and "borrowed" their wifi signal. We had our laptops on and messages ready to be sent. Our new Wave Wireless works great. After anchoring the boat in Turnbull Cove, we did some serious fishing and caught lingcod and yelloweye. The "mizzle" had eased up and had calm water that made our fishing time that much more enjoyable. Next day, here comes the mist and drizzle... aka... mizzle!
Darth and Catherine from the 35 foot Catamaran named - Abundance. Can you believe it! The one inside the pot is too big to get in the gate and the other one's head is stuck! Dungeness in pot must have been scared to death! John is in rain gear from head to toe, he did put a hat on, for fishing and crabbing.

Inside Claydon Bay looking out the entrance towards Kinnaird Island across Grappler Sound. Little island inside Claydon Bay that we like to anchor behind.

So, here's our happy faces with lots of other pictures, and updates, below. Read on and enjoy.

We went exploring in the kayaks, and enjoyed "mizzle" time on the water. That's a new word from Pat at Lagoon Cove. It is a combination of 'mist' and 'drizzle'! Make sense? ... LOL ... Found some interesting items along the shoreline, that were worth taking a picture of too.
Getting ready for a trip in kayak while 'mizzle' is happening. John is in front of Carol and Jerry's colorful location. Carol is 'The Bead Lady' and has a shop at Shawl Bay. Closer view of the combination of colors of floathome and boat. Beautiful.

Now, it is nothing but yellows between kayak, boat, and water reflection! Nature's way to make a statement, not sure what it is saying! Close up view of remains of boat as salt water, and time, take back the boat!

We did meet Loyal and Ann on their 41' SV named "September Time" after they came in and had to do some tricky boat handling in order to get to the dock. They make a wonderful team and while both are very proficient boat handlers, Loyal usually has Ann bring the boat to the dock while he does the hopping and skipping about of handling the lines. Their 14' beam made it a real challenge to pull in through a narrow passage, and then applying their brakes - on a boat that means throwing it into reverse - in order to not hit the 'Happy Hour/Pancake Breakfast' dock. Excellent job by both!
Ann and Loyal have been married for 50 years and own a beautiful 41' sailboat. While Loyal is hopping around and tending lines, he also is on the lookout for any objects to avoid on the water. Ann is at the helm, getting ready to back the sailboat away from the dock. She has a steady hand at the wheel.

Not wanting to hit boats, docks, etc., Loyal provides extra eyes while Ann runs the boat. September Time is a 41 foot sailboat with a 14 foot beam and is an Islander Freeporter built in 1977. Off to pull crabpots and heading for Cutters Cove, across from Lagoon Cove.

Garry developed some electrical problems, as shown below in the burnt wire picture, with his inverter and decided to return to Lagoon Cove, to figure out what he needs to do in order to solve and hopefully repair. We will stay an extra day at Shawl Bay, and wait to hear via email from Pat, what is Garry's final decision. Either fix the problem and catch up with us, or, head home. UPDATE...7-1-12, Garry has returned to Tacoma, WA. We will miss traveling with him this summer.
On the morning of 6-27-12, Garry decided to head to Lagoon Cove to see if Bob could check his inverter problem. Upon his arrival at Lagoon Cove, the docks were full, but Bill found a spot to tuck him in. What a guy! Garry, on his boat 'In Search Of...' has decided to return to Tacoma to fix the electrical problems on board.

We left Lagoon Cove, and down Knights Inlet, and up through Spring Passage, Retreat Passage and on to Shawl Bay. Below are pictures of Shawl Bay and tied up to the dock.
We arrived around 10:30 a.m. on 6-26-12, right after boats had left and were the first arrival of the day. John in action, getting the boat ready to pull up to the Shawl Bay docks. Garry and John were chatting with a couple off of a ttug named 'Big Red'. As you can see, the docks filled up and we are on the end with Garry across from us.

The following pictures are of Bill Barber, who owns Lagoon Cove, with his wife Jean. Bill goes out EVERY morning to pull prawn pots in this dinghy... rain or shine... for the five o'clock happy hour.
Bill getting ready to hop in his dinghy to either go prawning, crabbing, or visit neighbors. Backing away from the dock, this is where he is always tied up, when not in action. Another picture of Bill in action and part of what makes Lagoon Cove a priceless place to stay.

Okay, decision made... off to Shawl Bay and then Turnbull Cove. Have to start somewhere and it is beautiful everywhere. Just a little preview of what we hope is to come!
Gosh, are those prawns?  Been wondering what they look like! Black bear turning over rocks on the beach. Scenery to come that is always beautiful and peaceful.

Stayed a couple of days at Lagoon Cove to do a little crabbing and relaxing. Bob, John, and Pat enjoyed watching the scenary from the fuel dock. This has given us time to sit down with Garry Marr, on his boat "In Search Of..." to work on our travel plans from this point on. Next stop? Hmmm.... Waddington Cove, Booker Lagoon, or Shawl Bay. Votes are leaning towards pancake breakfast at Shawl Bay. :-)
John was working on the laptop in preparation to going up to hook up to the ethernet cable at Lagoon Cove. Garry came over to plan our summer anchorages and places to travel north. Due to our location so close to the Lagoon Cove office, it was wonderful having people drop in to visit.

John, Bob and Pat watching boats go by, wait a minute, that was a floatplane! Guess they are still watching life flow by! Good for them! Bob, John and Rebecca with Lagoon Cove office in background.

Lagoon Cove after stopping by Octopus Islands and anchoring for a couple of days. We met up with Garry Marr, on his boat, "In Search Of" and his son Mike was waiting to catch a plane. Garry took Mike over in the dinghy to The Honeymoon Dock, so that he could catch the plane. Interesting scenario!
All's quiet and looking forward to pulling up to the docks. Mike is on the left, and Garry is on the right, with the plane approaching on the opposite side of the dock! You must duck, when the plane is approaching!!!

When we arrived in Octopus Islands, we put out our crabpots and just relaxed after setting the hook firmly. We waited for slack the next day, before trying a little fishing. Crabs weren't visiting, so we picked up only a few and decided to continue on to Lagoon Cove. It was an unbelievable trip from Octopus Islands, through Hole-In-The-Wall rapids, Yuculta Rapids, Gillard Passage, Dent Rapids, Green Point Rapids, Current Passage, and then up Johnstone Strait before going around Broken Islands, scooting up Chatham Channel and then tiptoeing through 'The Blowhole' at lowtide, all the way to Lagoon Cove. We hailed Bill and he told us where to park at the docks. The welcoming committee included Bill, Bob and Pat. They are wonderfully friendly faces after a long day on the water, or short, depending on your starting and stopping points. Just missed Bill's wife, Jean. Using Aye Tides, we caught the current going our way for the entire trip, with calm waters due to a light breeze. We left at 6:45 am and arrived at 1:59 pm! We normally travel between 7.5 and 8.5 knots, depending on current and wind. Our average speed yesterday was 9.6 knots, traveling 68.7 nautical miles in 7 hours and 14 minutes. Absolutely amazing!
John is geared up for the drizzle as we pull anchor in Octopus Islands. Wanting to catch the slack at Hole-In-The-Wall, we decided to pull crabpots from the big boat. Not having to drop the dinghy, pull the pots, and then raise the dinghy again, meant we were able to depart at 6:45 in the morning. We're off for Lagoon Cove!

Resting is a good thing for us to both be doing right now, along with checking out the shorelines by either kayaks or binoculars.
The relaxed ambiance of Protection Island is visible on this boat! Another angle of boat. Definitely a face painted to keep sailors safe on board!

Due to continuing bluster, went kayaking and took some interesting pictures of geese, deer, walkways, and painted boat above that we found along shore!
A gaggle of geese, with herons in the background, found at low tide when out kayaking. big old two pointer with velvet covered horns came walking down the beach for some shoreline rest and view! Now that, is a long walk on a dock!

Travel north from Prevost Harbor was good, with current going our direction from Bedwell Harbor clean through Dodd Narrows. Fueled up in Nanaimo and then anchored in Marks Bay. Wind is really blowing and so we decided to stay over for a day in Marks Bay. Met up with Garry Marr on his boat, "In Search Of", in Prevost Harbor; and his son Mike is traveling with him this year for a little while.
We are anchored in Marks Bay, outside of Nanaimo, and Garry is ready for the wind to settle so we can cross Georgia Strait. John is getting ready to help Rebecca climb out of her kayak. This is Gallows Point on the south end of Protection Island.

Traffic on the Swinnomish Channel was interesting today. We decided to take an extra day of 'doing nothing' on our trip north (especially after having the special treat of the long dock to ourself), as we begin figuring out where we are! and where we might be going! Ever had that experience? It's fun, that's for sure.

No boats on the F guest dock in La Conner, plus the dock bulletin board for information and moorage fee pay station.

Traveling north, the Victoria Clipper passed us on the back side of Whidbey Island!

...and to finish the day, is very good.

Crew of Rebecca Ann

Capt. John

1st Mate Rebecca

1st Mate and Cap't

Rebecca and John