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Master Gardener Yolo County

John & Rebecca Pratt
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Welcome to 2014 Boating Adventures

La Conner

Only one tanker in Anacortes at the huge refinery. Passed the old railroad bridge and took a couple of pictures as well. The last pictures are the fuel dock that we always stop at to refuel, both northward bound and heading home.

Heron landing!

Coming down Swinnomish Channel there is always lots of interesting life on the shoreline, at low tide. The fourth picture looks like Comorant Beach Resort!

Big Bay to La Conner

Just as we were getting ready to untie our lines and leave the dock at Big Bay here comes June to see us off. After our goodbyes we headed out into the Yuculta Rapids, but this time we are heading south. It was just light enough for safe passage so we just motored up and enjoyed our coffee and fresh cinnamon roll. We started listening to the weather broadcast and making mental notes on the winds across the Strait of Georgia. When we reached Texada Island, we decided to pull into Sturt Bay, instead of continuing on to Secret Cove. Sturt Bay is on the upper end of Texada Island and we anchored out while listening to the weather. Around 2:00 pm the winds dropped to light, but it was too late to take off and try to cross. We decided that we could leave early in the morning and if it was still favorable, continue across to Nanaimo. If the winds were still up we could always pull into Anderson Bay, found at the bottom of Texada Island.
Below are pictures of Sturt Bay (yes, it is spelled correctly!) and an interesting catamaran anchored behind us with stern lines ashore.

The following morning, when we reached Anderson Bay, the weather report sounded excellent so we just continued on across the Straits. We actually think that we could have kayaked over �the pond� because the water was so flat and there was little, to no, wind. After about a two hour trip we pulled into the gas dock, in the channel to Nanaimo, and fueled up the tanks. We then motored up the channel and anchored in Marks Bay for the evening. The weather did forecast thunderstorms but all we saw were light showers. Rebecca took the time to work on her shells and do some photos. We were both tired from the long day on the water and went to bed early. Our last rapids, for the summer, to travel through is Dodd Narrows and slack water was at 6:21 a.m., the following morning. Rebecca had her usual coffee in bed while John made the boat ready to haul anchor and leave. The timing for the rapids was perfect and we headed the boat south. We were unsure of our destination but eventually decided to continue on, and cross the US border calling customs to clear our return home. The water and wind started to come up after we passed Active Pass with Plumper sound really kicking up, so we headed to Port Browning to seek some shelter and anchorage. We first came here in the late 90s in our 32 Bayliner, and at that time stayed at the dock. We chose to anchor out because we were not quite ready to return to civilization, yet. We were very surprised that there was a strong Wi-Fi signal that allowed us to get caught-up on e-mails and news. Dinner tonight will be tacos which we are looking forward to. Our plans for the morning are to leave early and check in with customs. We will probably continue on to La Conner and reward ourselves with the Pioneer Market�s famous potato salad and chicken strips. Happy Birthday Sweetheart, John

North Pender Island, Port Browning

Our alarm went off at 5:00 and John got up to make coffee. He came back to bed and said that it is too foggy to leave now. Thinking that he was wimping out, Rebecca got up and looked; she came back to bed saying, �it�s too foggy to travel!� About an hour or so later the fog lifted inside the bay, so we pulled the anchor and headed out. The best way to describe the weather conditions are, we used radar all the way to the east side of the San Juan Islands, because the visibility was very poor. The water conditions were excellent and we maintained around 9 knots. After crossing the U.S. border John called Nexus and after a few questions we were cleared to proceed to La Conner. The Nexus cards are dated from our birthdates and the customs inspector asked John amusingly, �What did you give Rebecca for her birthday?� John replied that she got her gift right after she woke up. (Really happened!) We both had a nice laugh because Rebecca thought that John had forgotten her birthday. The rest of the trip was uneventful and happily we traveled with the sun hidden in the clouds. We arrived in La Conner around 1:00 p.m., pulled into the fuel docks and topped off our tanks. We then switched fenders from starboard to port because we have learned to take the inside of the docks and aim the bow into the current when docking. After tying our lines and making the boat safe, because of the fast currents inside the channel, Rebecca set off for the Pioneer Market in search of chicken strips and potato salad. We leave in the morning for our marina in the Port of Edmonds, which will sadly bring an end to this summer of fun time on the water.
We anchored below, in Pt. Browning and the last two pictures show how foggy it was when we left in the morning. Some times, it was so dense it was hard to see the water immediately in front of us!

Pod of Dolphins

Lagoon Cove to Big Bay

When we reached the Broken Islets, although the weather report was forecasting high winds, we found the water quite calm and smooth. We were traveling around 8 knots with slack water and we both were happy as clams drinking our morning coffee and eating the last of June�s (from Big Bay) cinnamon rolls. John saw a water spout off the port side and shortly after that we saw a large sperm whale traveling our way, at about the same speed. Rebecca managed to get some good photos in spite of being super excited.

We saw quite a few fishing boats out with a lot of radio chatter and it sounded like they were doing well salmon fishing. Rebecca did an outstanding job of timing the rapids for smooth motoring. We did find out that we were just a little off when we approached Dent Rapids but we quickly throttled up and easily outmaneuvered the whirlpools. (We think some were as big as the overall length of our boat.) We reached our destination at the docks, at Big Bay, around 1:00 pm. Garry was waiting on the dock to help us tie up, which was much appreciated as the current was sliding sideways with some strength. Later Rebecca shared her photos with June and Garry and we put in our requests for their homemade cinnamon rolls and lemon cakes. June and Garry are making special hamburgers and potato salad for us tonight at 6:00 pm. We plan on leaving early in the morning for Secret Cove, on the mainland side. After we reach that point, it�s just a matter of waiting for calm weather to cross the Strait of Georgia and then refuel in Nanaimo.

Whale of an experience

A couple of 'whale watching' boats flew by us in Chancellor Channel and right behind them was a 'Grizzly Boat'. People pay to go on these for a chance to see whales, or grizzlies, up close.

Sullivan Bay to Lagoon Cove

We know that we are reaching the end of our vacation when we start putting the crab and prawn pots, lines, and floats on the dock to rinse off in fresh water. Once dried in the sun, we store them in the engine compartments. John also flushes out the Honda engine and cleans the inflatable inside and out. We visited with our friends Pete and Gail, Chris and Patrick and said our goodbyes. We also visited with Chris and Debbie and thanked them for their cordial hospitality and friendship. Last but not least, we spent some time with Dick and Sandy who we met a few years ago in Shawl Bay. Dick and Sandy are wonderful role models. We have great admiration for them not only for their accomplishments with the LDS, but also because we have never seen them walking together, without holding hands. We think that they wrote the book on how to have a happy and fulfilling life together as man and wife. After a dinner of chicken and rice casserole, we retired early because we planned on leaving around 5:30 am for Lagoon Cove. It was a perfect day for travelling. No wind and flat calm seas, and current going our way, um, most of the time anyway! We were rewarded with seeing a huge pod of dolphins feeding but they didn�t come close enough to get some good photos, although Rebecca did take a video of them as they moved through the water.
This was a huge pod of dolphins and in the binoculars, we could see the salmon jumping out of the water, ahead of them! Balls of bait, or just pod watching, not sure but this is a group of young and adult seagulls hanging around and chattering away to their neighbors. Nope, nobody is listening so we are out of here!!! When we were passing the outside of Shawl Bay, we saw this boat come out, pulling a dinghy. Watching it, we saw it stop and circle back, twice, due to the line coming loose, or breaking. When we saw the size of the boat hull it was pulling, plus the speed that they were traveling, it kind of made sense of having a problem with their lines!

We arrived at Lagoon Cove around 1:00 pm. After checking in over the radio, we waited our turn for the fuel dock before tying up for the night. Along with filling up our fuel tanks, we also filled our water tank. We discovered afterwards, that they were very low on water and not too long after we filled up our tank, they turned off the dock water supply in order to let their tank fill up at the trickle rate. Pat and Bob put us in a short fingered slip that was perfect because we were bow out and could easily slip our ties and scoot out early the next morning, without bothering anyone. We spent some time visiting with Pat and Bob and later on in the evening Rebecca had an extended visit with Jean Barber. Jean was very concerned with the grizzly bear that was guarding her house and helping itself to the apples in the trees, especially the one next to the back porch. During happy hour that evening, Pat was busy unloading the apple trees (yes, all of them) to reduce the temptation of the big fellow returning again and again. Apparently, the evening before, the grizzly had been up in the yard and some visiting people saw it and ran into Jean�s house. They got on the radio and called down to the dock, to let Pat, Bob and Jean know that there was a grizzly wandering around and stripping apples from the apple tree next to Jean�s back porch. Of course, everyone had to come up to the house and watch from the front porch, as it moved around on the lawn below. When it started heading for the apple tree that is next to the wharf and the workshop everyone was getting concerned because that led down to the docks. At that point, we heard that Bob got out the chainsaw and the racket convinced the grizzly to leave the area, for now. Thus, the next day, Pat is busy harvesting ALL of the apples! We are waiting for an email to hear if it returned again, or not. John started simmering some stew beef on the stove and let it slow cook, all afternoon. After tantalizing all the nearby boaters with the aroma of beef stroganoff we had a delicious dinner and retired for the evening. We planned on an early start for Johnstone Strait and definitely need to get some sleep.
A picture of the helm on the bridge, taken by Jeanine, shows that if you don't know where you are... you gotta be blind! Before we left Sullivan Bay, we took a picture of the helicopter that lands on the roof of one of the floathomes on dock 4. Have been really amazed at the colors that the seastars add to the underwater environment. One person described it that it is as though the seastars have an internal light that shines outward like a lamp!

8 Yamaha Sea Doos... traveling to Sitka, Alaska

This group put into the water in Anacortes, WA, two days ago and are headed to do some fishing in Sitka, Alaska before returning home. One, or two of the guys put their wave runners in the water in the Port of Edmonds. A couple of the guys have done this trip before, on the wave runners and all of them were excited about the trip. The red container, on the back end of everyone of the Yamahas, is a 20 gallon extra fuel tank and they also have built in 17 gallon fuel tanks. When we asked one of the guys what their mpg was, he said it was about 60 to 70 mpgs, and not what he wanted the Yamahas to be doing. Forgot to ask them what their average speed was, but when they left Sullivan Bay to find a camping spot, they were definitely flying! Two days to travel from Anacortes, Wa to Sullivan Bay. They expected to be in Sitka, Alaska in another couple of days and their next projected fuel stop was Prince Rupert, BC!

When we took the group picture, the zoom lense was on the camera and couldn't back up far enough to get the 7 guys standing together, sorry; and one guy was somewhere else. One father/son pair was the middle two guys. The gentleman on the left had a special phone loaded with Navionics, and he was busy trying to figure out where the group was going to camp that night. Someone at the happy hour table mentioned that there were no sandy beaches in Drury Inlet but definitely one in Blunden Harbor. We passed the word on to Greg, who is in the last picture below.

Grumman Goose, love how they land and lay on the water.

Jeanine's departure

Kenmore Air arrived on time and we found out that it would be stopping in Port McNeill, maybe Echo Bay, and definitely at Blind Channel; prior to heading for Kenmore, WA. Blind Channel was a new place for Jeanine to experience and so that sounded pretty exciting. We said our goodbyes, after walking Jeanine to the �airport� on the docks. Jeanine has become a good 'matey' on the boat, learning how to manuever around various reefs, shores, and the busy life on the water. Although she was a novice in boating, Jeanine was a quick learner and a real pleasure to have on board. We are really going to miss her wonderful company and constant cheerful attitude along with her willingness to help out with any chore.
Jeanine worked at learning all of the variables for running a boat, without going places that would not be good. Good job Jeanine. The pilot requested Jeanine's passport and so she had to dig it out from the bottom of her backpack. Nothing like the technicalities of traveling out of the country. Rebecca, Jeanine and John in a last minute goodbye picture that a nearby boater offered to take using our camera. The pilot gave Jeanine a helping hand to step from the dock to the airplane. Jeanine saying goodbye, one more time. A young seagull was wandering around the dock, while we were waiting for the pilot to do his checkoff list before he started the engine.

Forgot to upload this video, earlier, of the episode of having an octopus decide to climb aboard, into the dinghy . Needless to say, it was a learning experience for all of us.

Also had a chance to video a couple of seastars, flowing over the bottom.

While boarding was happening, two birds landed on the front of the airplane and by the coloring it was easy to see that one was a parent and the other was a baby bird just out and about, probably receiving lessons about life!
Mama and baby bird were discussing whether or not they were going on this flight! Plus, they were enjoying the warmth of the engine in the sun. When engine started, mama bird took off first and baby bird was right behind her! Guess they decided not to take this flight. John is heading down the dock, after Jeanine's plane set out for takeoff. When the plane took off into the wind, it was heading toward Patrick's Passage, and flying low over Wells Passage, to Port McNeill. Wasn't sure if this seagull was looking for bugs, or checking out it's own shadow on the dock!

Helen Bay in Drury Inlet, and Dickson Island

After a quick stop at Sullivan Bay to refill the water tank, and other little things, we took off for Helen Bay in Drury Inlet. Helen Bay is a nice little anchorage before you go through the Stuart Narrow Rapids which lead into Jennis Bay. We have seen wildlife at this spot before, plus it is a quiet anchorage even when the wind picks up outside. Rebecca and Jeanine jumped into the kayaks and headed across the inlet while the water was still calm. John followed later, and joined them in the inflatable to do a little fishing. He caught a nice dusty for dinner and eventually everyone made it back to the boat. We had a nice surprise when we saw the sailboat Tarquin, pull into the bay and anchor near us. They are delightful boaters and we thoroughly enjoy their company. They were leaving early the next morning for Port McNeil to start working their way back to Friday Harbor.

While out catching things, such as different colored greenlings, one never knows what might come up on the hook while 'jigging the bottum'. Don't ask us what this is, it is truly amazing in size and description!

Jeanine was able to paddle close enough to catch some pictures of the 'least sandpiper', there were quite a few, busy finding things to eat on shore. Great pictures! She also caught a picture of Rebecca, in Stuart Narrows as the vessel "Deer Leap" flew by at full speed. That is a beautiful boat.

Seagulls were so prevalent, Rebecca and Jeanine just had to get some pictures of them in action!
Hey, who called a meeting here? Does anybody know who called a meeting here? Well, if no one knows, I'm outa here. Yeah, me too. Hey, wait for me! Where's that ball of bait we saw just a little while ago? Wow! Someone saw a ball of bait? Where? Where?  I think it was over there! Where's 'there'?

Other things found while out kayaking made it exciting to be exploring.

Our next destination is Dickson Island which is near James Point and is the entrance to Wells Passage. We have anchored here many times and prefer to stern tie to shore, in case the wind comes up. John and Jeanine worked together in the dinghy, to run a line to shore, looped it around a sturdy tree and then brought the opposite end back to the boat, to tie off to stern cleat on the starboard side. There was only one other boat anchored in the cove and he was in the middle, just swinging on the hook. The islets nearby are a kayaker�s paradise so Rebecca and Jeanine promptly left for their new excursion while John decided to finish an interesting e-book that he had on loan from the library. We did notice that the wind came up in the afternoon, which will discourage most small boats from fishing at James Point. Overall the fishing was good but we were unable to catch any salmon or halibut. Jeanine was able to see a sperm whale which was quite noisy spouting off, in between eating krill and diving. A real treat, right at the end of our fishing time, was being able to watch a young bear that was close to us on shore and looking for treats in the rocks. We were amazed at this young bear�s rock climbing ability while it was searching for more food. We were also treated to a couple of eagles that were perched in the trees directly above us. The current, and wind, was starting to pick up so we headed back to the boat. Shortly after we returned a very large boat came into the bay looking to anchor. We were amused when the owner came over to us and politely asked how much anchor line we had put out. Any seasoned boater knows that the ratio is 7 to 1 but John kept a straight face and told him that we had put out about 175 feet of chain. They did a good job of anchoring and then running a very heavy stern line to shore. Meanwhile, after the kayakers were finished exploring, we had a dinner of baked beans and bacon cheese burgers and then did our necessary chores before retiring for the evening. Jeanine had to finish packing her duffle bag because sadly to say, we were pulling anchor and departing by 8:00 a.m. the following morning for Sullivan Bay, so that Jeanine could board her Kenmore Air flight back to Seattle and �real life�.
A picture of Jeanine, on the west side of Dickson Island with Queen Charlotte Straits behind her and of course, behind that little island too.

It looked like a young bear, but the bear's rock climbing abilities were very interesting to watch!
Click on the highlighted section to watch!

John and Rebecca going to shore to get one stern line untied, actually had to cut the line because the tide was too low to reach the knot. TThis interesting looking 'spook boat' is over 50 feet long and is the dinghy of a very big boat. This model is called a 'Wally'. If you go to www.wally.com, you will see other 'futuristic' looking style of boats in this category. We saw the Wally twice, once on the west side of Dickson threading it's way between the little islets and the second time when we were underway for Sullivan Bay to catch a plane. This is the 'mothership' for the wally dinghy, and just heard from other boaters that the wally puts up a solid four foot wake, when it passes you! Whoa! Heard it happened to boaters tied up in Echo Bay and a lot of people got on their radios to yell at this dinghy to 'watch his wake'! Guess the Wally wasn't looking at the charts.

The next morning John started the generator at 6:00 a.m., turned on the coffee maker and the heaters, before hailing everyone to arise. Actually, the genset was the alarm clock that it was time to rise and shine. After hauling in the stern lines and anchor, with Jeanine at the helm, we left for Sullivan Bay with Jeanine at the helm running the boat very smoothly.

Sullivan Bay to Turnbull Cove, plus quick stop in Claydon

Summertime, and the livin� is easy.
Fish are jumpin�, and the prawn pots are full.
Oh, the crabs are cracked, and the halibut�s cookin�.
So hop in my kayak � we�re paddlin� to Turnbull! --by Jeanine McElwain and George Gerswhin

We left Sullivan Bay early to travel the short distance to Turnbull Cove. Jeanine occupied the co-pilot�s seat next to Rebecca, so that she could have a better view of the scenery while also watching for bears, loons and eagles. John was busy checking the running gear and setting up the prawn traps in preparation for dropping them outside of Turnbull Cove, on the way. Rebecca chose the right depths and we dropped the gear close to where we have been successful in the past, with Jeanine learning how to handle and feed out 300 feet of line. We were surprised to find our old favorite spot open, so we dropped anchor and made everything ship-shape for staying. Rebecca and Jeanine lowered the inflatable, loaded up the crab traps with bait, and then motored out and dropped them in our favorite spot.
Dunsany Passage on our way to Turnbull Cove. Rebecca and Jeanine coming back from setting the crab pots. Crabs in the bucket, success for dinner. Jeanine took a picture a sea anenome in the crab pot. We couldn't believe it! At high tide, the salt water encrusts the cedar tree boughs with their deposits.

Anchoring the boat, Jeanine experienced the process which including cleaning up afterwards from the chain spray.
Caught in the act of dropping the anchor, John is explaining the particulars to Jeanine. Jeanine was standing around and so John handed her a rag to help wipe down debris from anchor chain. Busy beavers on the bow... oh, wait a minute; those aren't beavers that is Jeanine and John busy with cleanup duties! Would you say that 'look' means they are all done? Yep, I would too! Great job and all spot on shiny, again.

Most of our day was spent kayaking and exploring Turnbull.
First trip out in kayak, in Turnbull Cove, in order for Jeanine to discover the area. Rebecca joined her, in her kayak, and off they went to see what kind of pictures they could take of the underwater beauty. The belly of this jellyfish was a beautiful display of lacy curtains! Jeanine was fascinated with the sea life found all around, including this hanging sea star she captured with her camera.

The next morning�s plans were to kayak and explore the low tide beaches while also watching for bears. Jeanine is a quick learner with the kayak procedures and seems very much at home with our boating style. The following day we harvested quite a few prawns, plus some large crabs, providing some delicious meals. On one of the ladies� fishing trips, Rebecca caught a nice halibut and Jeanine netted it for her, her first time of netting a fish. John thought that he heard distant screaming about that time, but decided that it was just a seagull�s squawking. John then had a chance to try out the new cooking pan for the barbeque, which worked well. A small portion of that big halibut made a delicious dinner (along with 20 jumbo prawns), while all of the rest of it went into the freezer.
Jeanine took an amazing picture of netting the halibut! Back at the boat, John was able to get a couple of pictures of Jeanine and Rebecca with their halibut. About a 15 pounder! One happy fisherwoman! Just had to get a picture of the product. The prawns that were in the prawn pot were mostly the jumbo size! Kelp crab hitched a ride in our prawn pot.

Jeanine jumped right in to fillet the halibut and has a really good grip on the tail, which was a big help. Fresh halibut for dinner. Jeanine's first time of having fresh prawns for dinner! Halibut, prawns, and salad for dinner... can't beat this!

Below are some underwater pictures taken while kayaking.
A hermit crab is residing in an abandoned shell. This is a barnacle eating leafy hornmouth that is busy finding a meal. A kelp crab that really blends into it's environment and has very short legs. A different variety of kelp crab that has very long claws with red highlights.

Jeanine found a sea cucumber party and just had to take a picture as evidence of their wild ways!
Leafy hornmouths were busy investigating the rock wall for barnacles with some common whelks around them looking for a meal as well. Purple seastar was also busy looking for it's next meal as it smoothly flowed over the wall. eanine found a sea cucumber party and just had to take a picture as evidence of their wild ways! There is a huge log that has sat partially submerged for such a long period of time that it now has tubeworms attached to the underwater side.

Rebecca and Jeanine also made a trip to Embly Lagoon for some more exploring in their kayaks, after receiving a ride in the dinghy with their kayaks in tow. The ladies had a great trip that was topped off with a surprise of watching salmon heading up a small but turbulent stream. They took some pictures of the experience, but it just doesn�t do justice to what they really watched happening in the water!

Another highlight for Jeanine was sharing the inflatable with a large octopus that slid out of the prawn pot. As it silently oozed across the bottom of the boat, Jeanine quickly jammed her legs very tightly, right above the white float in the bow of the dinghy, in order to avoid having slimy tentacles wrapped around her feet! Rebecca finally got a firm hold around the creature�s neck, and worked at pulling it over the side of the inflatable, as its suction cups went pop! pop! pop!
When this prawn pot came up, we were all very surprised to find a big octopus aboard have a free meal of our prawns. Thr first thing it did was to extend a tentacle to check the weights. Go figure! A closer look showed that its suckers were looking for a way out of the pot. When John opened the trap door, the octopus started heading out of the pot, and into the dinghy (frying pan?).

It quickly slid across the bottom of the dinghy with Jeanine literally climbing the side of the boat and balancing on top of everything, including her feet. With a distinctive look on its face, it slid forward, heading into the bow area of the boat; needless to say this was a new experience for Jeanine. Upon release into the water, we had a chance for one picture before it shot out black ink and disappeared in it's own cloud. Two unique looking shrimps were also in this pot and they bend in a very scorpion looking manner. We released these two also.

One notable kayaking trip was a visit to the Roaringhole Rapids, shortly after high tide, which goes into the Nepah Lagoon. The water appeared flat, which was a surprise to Jeanine, after seeing so much foam in this rapid from a distance when it was at low tide. A few minutes after floating downstream in the fast-moving water, the ladies paddled furiously back out, upstream, while turning down offers for a tow from two fishermen in passing dinghies. Just as they made it to an eddy, and out of the flow of the rapids, John showed up in his dinghy to check on them � quite fortuitously, as it turned out. The tide had suddenly switched directions and was now running �uphill�. So John towed the kayaks UP the rapids, that the ladies had just floated down so effortlessly, and now they were able to float back DOWN the same direction they had struggled so hard to paddle UP just a few minutes earlier!
This is the point when Rebecca had Jeanine's line to her kayak and was also holding on to the dinghy, while Jeanine relaxed and took a picture/s. If the current was starting to move so quickly, we would have had more time to take pictures of the beauty besides barnacles and seaweed. Everyone was glad to see the boat, upon our return to Turnbull. This was a very high exercise day. This huge log was hanging around and slowly being moved by the tide. Fortunately, it steered clear of us by about 10 feet and continued out of the cove with the current. This is the signpost on the shore next to the trail that goes up to Huaskin Lake. It is a steep, 15 minute hike up, and a quick, less than five minutes down the other side on man made steps.

The day before we were to leave Turnbull Cove, while we were out pulling prawn traps, Chris, Patrick, and Peter pulled up alongside in their aluminum skiff; they shared that they were going to hike to Huaskin Lake to try some fishing, and probably swimming as well. We told them that we would meet them there later, after we cleaned the prawns and stowed the gear. We had a nice hike to the lake (the way up from Turnbull was really steep but the steps down to the lake were much shorter), and then Rebecca and Jeanine enjoyed a pleasant swim (Rebecca, and the boys, convinced Jeanine that the water was warm!). Chris caught a couple of nice trout while he was out in his float tube. We were the only boat anchored in Turnbull that day, so we had the lake float all to ourselves. Rebecca made some great sandwiches for us to snack on while we spent a lazy hour or so on the log float visiting with the guys. After we returned to the boat, Rebecca and Jeanine left to pull the crab traps. Again, John heard distant screams, but this time it was caused by a runaway crab near Jeanine�s exposed toes. Guess the gals forgot to bring a bucket for the big ones!
Peter, Patrick and Chris along with their fishing poles and float tube, swung by in their skiff to say hello. Patrick and Peter are on the log swimming and Chris is floating in the distance while fishing. Rebecca decided to do some laundry and thus went swimming, saying how warm the water was, to Jeanine. Jeanine jumped in and was hollering about how cold the water really was, with John smirking on shore and saying, 'You really believed Rebecca?!' The gals moved into the sunlight to find the warm spots of water, so Jeanine would quit hollering and be comfortable!

The next morning, after coffee, we pulled anchor and motored over to Claydon Bay for a change of scenery and some more crabbing. The plan is for staying two nights and then traveling back to Sullivan Bay to resupply, do laundry, and to complete other sundry items not doable while anchored. Our next destination will be either Helen Bay, or Dickson Island, for some serious fishing time.
An old logging railroad that long ago saw busy better days, is slowly being eaten away by the salt water environment. Word is that this line went miles back into the forest. Who is this mysterious lady in the woods, hiding behind a fern? WOh, that's Jeanine! Out hiking in the forest and learning new things about the tides and tying up kayaks. Rebecca is holding the kayaks off the barnacle infested rocks, while Jeanine went exploring a tale that bears had bedded down on this island.

Dear Leap is the name of this long vessel that we see up here every year and we usually find it in Claydon Bay.

Part of the work is putting the crab pots up on top of the hardtop and Jeanine was busy raising them up to John, after the lines were neatly coiled and tied to each pot, along with the floats. She has really taken to boating and jumps right in to help with the various jobs that are a necessary part of keeping everything shipshape and tidy. Thank you for all of your help Jeanine.
First step, be ready and looking up to see if John is ready for the handoff. Second step, carefully raise up the gear without falling over backwards into the water, from the unexpected weight of pot, lines, and floats. Third step, after lifting as high as your arms can reach, let go and trust that John has a hold of it on the other end and it won't fall down on your head! Fourth step, Jeanine can now relax and smile after a job well done!

Below are pictures of Sullivan Bay, that are a part of what makes it a unique location for boaters to pull into for a number of reasons, including the humor and history!
Sullivan Bay airport, fuel station, store, and laundry/showers, from left to right. Sullivan Bay fish cleaning station. Unique signpost, showing mileage to distant areas such as Seattle, WA. Sign posted right outside of the managers' house. This sign is posted on the outside wall of the store in Sullivan Bay.

July 26, 2014 She has arrived!

Jeanine has joined us for an extended visit to see places and things she has not experienced before, up in the Broughton Archepelagoes. Below are pictures of her departure from Kenmore, and arrival at Sullivan Bay. First thing she discovered was a halibut on the dock! Spectacular flight from Seattle to Sullivan Bay! Took about 3 hours, including 2 stops one in Nanaimo and the second in Echo Bay. Quite a place Rebecca and John have up here!
Jeanine flew into Seattle, the night before and stayed the night, in order to be at Kenmore Air by 8:00 a.m. the next morning in order to check through customs before boarding. In the air, Jeanine flew through the clouds. Great picture Jeanine. We caught a picture of Jeanine's plane, while it was pulling up to Sullivan Bay airport dock. Jeanine's plane came in an hour early, and so this was first picture we could catch of her arrival as we did the long walk around to the 'airport'! Jeanine took this picture to make sure she was getting off the plane at the right spot!

John welcomes Jeanine to Sullivan Bay. While exploring the docks, Jeanine happened to come across a halibut that another boater had just caught. First activity, upon arrival was a kayak trip clean around Atkinson's Island with the trip back being against current. Jeanine did well and got in her exercise, that's for sure! This seal was playing in the bay and Jeanine captured it on her camera. Great picture Jeanine. What an amazing start to Jeanine's first night on the boat! Sunset over Atkinson's Island.

Beauty found Underwater, in the Sky, and somewhere in between!

Sea anenomes underwater, found in Stuart Narrows, while kayaking. A beautiful Red Irish Lord that was caught and released.

Molting Crab

Now, catching a crab in the process of molting it's older, smaller shell; is definitely an experience of a life time. Peterson's pulled their prawn pots and lo and behold, this rock crab was in the process of molting. One can only guess that whilst looking for an easy meal of prawns; doggone if it didn't get itself caught in a prawn pot.

Peterson's fishing is successful!

This was a 15 pound lingcod, bigger than the 12 pound caught the day before! Where DO these guys go fishing? Chris definitely had the lucky pole today, that's for sure. Way to go Chris!

Out fishing with the Peterson's and caught our first lingcod for the summer. Chris netted it for Rebecca, while Patrick filmed the netting procedure (one can take lessons from either of them) while Peter and Pete were the excited audience of the whole process, in the background.

While on board the Peterson's boat, it is always interesting watching 'the guys' in action, especially when fish are hooked that are big!
Here is a link to a YouTube video created by Patrick, of Chris netting the lingcod.


One of the homeowners, has a red helicopter which he is landing where he normally pulls his floatplane out of the water, after landing in the back bay area of Sullivan Bay.

Boats, Barges, and Tugboats

On the water we see many individual looking boats, when we are out fishing, tied up to the docks, or just moving around on the water from one place to another. Wanted to share some of them
Chris is the manager, along with Debbie, of Sullivan Bay and is busy doing something for helping boats come into the docks.

There was a huge barge and tugboat, coming through Stuart Narrows during slack water and it looks like it has a full load! Either a murrelet or a guillemot, taking off after opening the window on the boat to get its picture. Sure moves fast.
What a wake the little bird leaves behind in the take off procedure!

Sullivan Bay

There is lots to see, just looking at the docks and/or around the the water and land.

Deer Pictures compliments of Patrick

Patrick had a unique experience, using his underwater camera that he received for Christmas, to get several close up pictures of deer that came down to the back bay area of Sullivan Bay. He is getting really good with this camera and these are some amazing photos. Thank you for sharing.


Pete and Gail Peterson have been having their grandsons come up for the summer for many years and are very close family.
Pete was visiting with us, on our boat, when his grandson Patrick came to let him know that dinner was almost ready and off they go, down the dock. Chris is promoting himself as Admiral, over Captain Grandpa Pete! Went fishing with the Petersons, on their Trophy, and Chris and Peter love to ride up on the bow for the full 'wind' experience! John is ready for fishing on any day; notice the net right behind him!

Fishing and Crab Cracking

Nothing like a system for cracking a bunch of crabs! Especially the big claws, they sure hold a lot of meat and their shells are the hardest part to crack! Caught a nice yelloweye, out fishing with the Petersons. Holding up everyone's catch, for a snapshop of the fishing success between Chris, Patrick, Peter, Rebecca and Pete.

Hoy Bay July 12th and 13th

Off to new places with lower tides every day.
We are anchored in Hoy Bay, looking towards the passage that opens up into MacKenzie Sound. Beautiful island to keep us company and provide varying views as the water level changes, here in Hoy Bay. Passage looking up towards MacKenzie sound, on the east northeast end of Hoy Bay. Low tide this morning showing the passage in ankle deep water. Have heard that black bears have been spotted on top of the rocks.

What an amazing batch of crabs. Getting ready to jump into the hot pot, being prepared special just for them! Obliging fellas, aren't they! Well, guess they were divided up first, for scrubbing, before jumping into the pot. Cleanliness never hurts, not even crabs... well figuratively, anyway! Wait a minute, is this the same person in Turnbull Cove? She reports that the water is colder here, than Turnbull Cove. Tubeworms closed up in the open, at low tide. They were numerous on this side of the passage.

Kayaking in the passage, between Hoy Bay and MacKenzie Sound, was very unusual being a very low tide today. We could walk across the passage in ankle deep water! Wow, and lots of pictures taken of things seen.
Fish on a rock and hermit crab running around with a 'borrowed' shell! When a rock is turned over, it is amazing al the little critters running, or flopping, around. This was an eel. The sea urchin appears to be hugging the leg of a purple sea star. Now you have the leg of a purple sea star appearing to be keeping a sea urchin from climbing over a sea anenome. Hmmm... maintaining peace underwater. OK, we're not real sure what all of these purple sea stars appear to be doing; however, there were hundreds of them conglomerated in one area and all seemed to be happily habitating peacefully.

This kelp crab was on land and content amidst the huge bed of kelp that was exposed at low tide. We captured this picture, underwater, of a kelp crab in the passage and we were surprised it came out as clearly as it did. There were many little black kitons, kind of feels like hard oilon the surface where it is black. The dimples on it's back show it's skeleton. Kayaking on the way back to the boat, all was browns and grays, beneath the surface.  All of a sudden, a bright red sea anenome appeared out of no where! Although closed up, what a gorgeous picture this red sea anenome displayed on the bottom.

This is a sea pen open and on display, while filtering food from the water. The same sea pen, closed up when brushed and looks really beautiful in this state, as well. The big rock crab is holding a little rock crab in it's arms/legs and we assume they are in the mating process. This particular sea anenome was open and filtering the water for food to drift it's way, and is of greenish colors. A sea pen in a beautiful burgundy shade.

Crabbing success, finally. That has got to be over 9 inches!!! Well, leastwise, it LOOKS big that's for sure.

July 7-11 Turnbull Cove

Turnbull Cove is just like a bowl with only one entrance. You are surrounded by mountains of forest with room for many vessels to anchor securely and room to swing. Stern tying is popular here, in certain places within the cove. This procedure allows you to drop and set your anchor, then take your dingy to shore while running a long line off of your stern to tie off on a suitable log or big branch. That way you don�t swing around when the wind blows or the current is moving. We are currently anchored in one of our favorite spots. At low tide, if you watch closely, you just may see a bear/s rolling rocks around while looking for their breakfast of crabs, or anything else that looks good to them. We set out three prawn traps outside the cove in about 250 feet of water. We also set out three crab traps in about 80 feet of water just inside the cove, using the fish carcasses of what we caught the other day. We did fair on prawns but struck out on the crabs. We have found that we have to keep moving the crab traps until we find the �right� spot, so we will keep on trying. Tomorrow morning the 10th we plan to try our luck on fishing the slack water. The weather has been beautiful with the temperatures in the mid-seventies. There�s always is a nice breeze in the cove, late in the afternoon but generally it dies down when the sun starts to set. The mornings are very calm and clear. Perfect for nice photos, that is if you are up and awake!
When we went out to check our prawn pots, we had the wonderful company of the dolphins, out and playing around. Later, out fishing and we were definitely bumping on the bottom catching the dancing seastars! Dungeness crab, we had to take a picture of one to make sure we knew what they looked, just in case we actually get some in the crabpots! Feisty fellow, had to encourage him to go for a swim, with a little push over the side of the dinghy.

What in the world are those dark things coming up the rock wall?  They look like 'monsters from the deep'!!! Silly us! Those are just little purple crabs enjoying the warm water from the sun-heated rocks! Sure were oodles of 'em, everywhere! This is a combination of a sea urching, bright orange sea star, an opening rock oyster, and who knows what the names are of all of the other critters running around below.

Can you believe that an octopus is delicious!?!!! We caught this one in the prawn pot and off to the boat it went. We had a couple of legs for dinner and it is almost a sweet meat. Before dinner, we went for a little kayak trip around the cove, and then back for some swimming before getting legs ready for dinner!

Photo of boat in Turnbull Cove, while out kayaking. While out kayaking, Rebecca got hot from the afternoon sun and so she went for a swim to cool off. Not wanting to look like she was having too much fun, she got a rag and got busy washing down the dinghy which gets dirt from all of the prawn, crab, and fish goo! After a hot solar shower, getting busy prepping the octopus' legs for dinner. Delicious!

Kayaking trip, with lots of delightful pictures to share of sealife underwater!

Shawl Bay to Turnbull Cove

We left Shawl Bay around 11:00 a.m., on 7-7-14, after Rebecca finished working on her school projects. She needed the Internet connection because she had to be online to access the school programs. We stayed longer than we had anticipated, seven days total, but we left with a better understanding of the history of the marina and of our hosts Shawn, Lorne, and Tracy. John fondly remembers in years past, sitting in the kitchen of Auntie Jo while she sat across from him smoking cigarettes, visor cap pulled down low, and meticulously totaling up the moorage fees on paper. It was only a year ago, or two, that Auntie Jo passed away in Campbell River. We watched the daily operation of early morning starts of the generator by Lorne before he heads into the kitchen to begin the daily routine of making pancakes and coffee; Tracy, with happy enthusiasm, greets the boaters with platters of hot pancakes and pots of hot coffee while ensuring there was enough butter and syrup with which to soak everything. Shawn, with her infectious laugh, makes everyone feel at home before she starts her baking duties. Her pies, bread, and cinnamon rolls, are some of the best in the Broughton Islands. After Lorne is finished with his morning duties in the kitchen he still has to welcome new boaters, reset electrical circuit breakers, plus make sure that everything else is running smoothly. Lorne spent many years in the logging industry before taking over the marina operations and the hard years have taken a toll on him. John is amazed to see Lorne sitting down on a bench, with a flowerbox next to him, holding a pair of scissors that you can barely see in his big mitts and pruning the flowers. You can�t help but love these people. Then there are the regular boaters who are here every year, moored in the same spot, every year. They no doubt feel like family. Without a doubt seven days is a long time to stay moored to a distant dock but we left feeling that we should have stayed longer. We wonder how the deep-fried turkey was, that was scheduled on Tuesday� we left on Sunday. Our guess is that it was outstanding. Our fear is that we are slowly losing these old marinas. We have seen two disappear already and are holding our breath that the one that is currently for sale, isn�t sold to individuals that will cease catering to the older, smaller vessels while expanding their docks to accommodate the new generation of boaters.
Hmmm..... heard there were some pancakes floating about, going to get to them before you! I am going to check out down below to see if I am missing anything! Oh, I wonder what I am missing over here, I'd better hurry up and get over so I can have breakfast... or is it lunch? Here we go, there's enough for you, and me too! Sure glad the current pushed them over here!

 pot full of different herbs, and lettuce! Every year, Carol prepares a pot to have fresh lettuce, herbs, and not sure what else. Amazing gardening on a boat. Behind Shawl Bay, out and around the corner, there is a lagoon that has a waterway with little fish that are stuck until the tide comes back in! John is checking over everything, making sure all is shipshape and stored away, as we pull out from Shawl Bay.

Shawl Bay

Lorne's grandfather owned and ran a successful logging business starting in the 1930s, out of Moore Bay, which is right around the corner. Moore Bay had a large community at that time and there is even a story of a a floating baseball field, built for the children, to play baseball. A picture of the backstop and children (including Lorne's Auntie Jo back row far left, and his mom in the back row and tallest girl on the right) is seen on page 121 in the book "Floating Schools and Frozen Inkwells" ISBN 0-920080-69-3. Auntie Jo and Edna's picture can also be found on page 75, and again the back left is Lorne's Auntie Jo and the back right is his mother, Edna. This section of the book was contributed by Lorne's great Aunt Edna Davis who married Tobe Davis. On page 118, it shows that great Aunt Edna was also a teacher of a floating school in O'Brian Bay in Simoom Sound. Below are pictures of the source of this information.
'Float Schools and Frozen Inkwells' by Joan Adams and Becky Thomas. The start of the section on page 118, contributed by Loren's great Aunt Edna Davis, whom his mother was named after. Great Aunt Edna also contributed some of the pictures for this section of the book as well. On page 121 is a picture of both Auntie Jo, and Edna standing on the floating baseball field, that was built for the children by the logging community. On page 75 is a picture of Auntie Jo and Edna (Loren's mother), as students of a floating school! Joan Adams and Becky Thomas gathered information from the locals, in order to write this book. A lot of history here, and very interesting to read.

Lorne was born on Vancouver Island, but grew up here with his parents moving to Shawl Bay back in 1960, from Moore Bay. In 1968, his father started a little store, but it was for the locals primarily. It wasn't until his father had a heart attack in 1978, that he had to get out of logging and moved into making Shawl Bay a place for tourist boats to stop for moorage. Lorne's mother (Edna) and father ran it together until 1985, when Lorne's father passed away. At this point, Auntie Jo (Edna's sister) came in to run it together. Auntie Jo had been in a partial partnership with Lorne's mother and father. Lorne and his wife, Shawn, have been helping out his Auntie Jo since 1994 (when his mother passed away), and they took over running it completely in 1997. Pictures below are of Lorne's grandparents home which is located on the immediate right (off starboard side) as you come around Vigis Point, and is the first one of the floathomes you will see on this side of Shawl Bay. Lorne remembers many visits from Moore Bay to his grandparents' home during the 1950s and then just across Shawl Bay, when his parents moved to their current location in 1960.

We keep meeting up with boaters from prior years, plus meeting new ones that we plan to stay in touch with and hope to see again this summer. Lots of interesting stories are being shared over pancakes in the morning and happy hour at 5 pm. Lorne and his wife Shawn, keep busy making a fun spot to stop in, here at Shawl Bay. Also, black bear spotted on beach, while out fishing.
Shawl Bay after a rainy period that created a beautiful atmosphere. Shawl Bay has three main docks, of which we are tied up on the third one on the right. Great view off end of dock. This bear had been looking like a black boulder, up in the grassy area. We got a clue that it was a bear, when the shaped changed with ears poking up! As we got closer, it became nervous and took off. Oh well, it was great seeing a black bear on the shore.

Careful where you walk! This is behind the floathomes. While taking pictures, a raven landed and strutted on by! Um, aren't these supposed to be holding the docks together, maybe? Just kidding, heard they are off of a logboom. Well, guess there is more than one purpose for a tub, up here. We've seen this done somewhere else too, just don't remember the location. Smoke tree with dewdrops on it's leaves, in the tub as well. Guess this is another form of 'taking a bath'!

July 3, 2014 Meeting more Friends

Sandy, Sue and Carol were a delight to have pancake breakfast with this morning. Sandy and Max, are up here for the first time, having traveled up the coast from Winchester Bay, Oregon the first part of June, on their sailboat. They have a Catalina 42 mk II, and it is named Sadie II. Max said it was a 66 hour nonstop run this time, and they had a friend on board as well to help out with the 6 hours on watch and 6 hours of sleep routine. They met Jon and Sue in Port Harvey, who are helping them to become familiar with the area and are good company to travel with as well. As you can see, Jon and Sue are on a sailboat too.
Sandy, Sue and Carol were delightful mates to meet over pancakes. Max and Sandy could not believe that someone immediately recognized their home port and that Winchester Bay has one of the most deadly bars to cross We have met Jon and Sue, several times, mostly at Shawl Bay; and here we meet up once again! Sue and Jon on their sailboat, which is a Catalina 36 named 'Oceanus III'.

July 1, 2014 Meeting Old Friends

Including us, there are 4 boats here presently but they will fill up quickly. Lorne is famous for his pancakes which he serves every morning. Believe us, there are no hungry boaters after his breakfast. Met up with Carol and Vic off the Sunrise II, and Clark and Sheila off Island Pride. It always makes the pancakes that much better, catching up with friends from prior summers!
In 2010, we met Carol and Vic at Lagoon Cove. Have emailed over the years and unexpectedly, we meet again, in Shawl Bay! Lovely couple. Vic and Carol's boat, Sunrise II, pulled in ahead of us last night, but did not meet them until the pancake breakfast this morning! Have met Clark and Sheila before, just don't remember exactly where and when. Lovely couple too. Have met Clark and Sheila before, just don't remember exactly where and when. Lovely couple too.

June 30, 2014 Lagoon Cove to Shawl Bay

Rebecca had her usual coffee in bed the next morning at 6:00 am. After saying our goodbyes to Pat and Bob we pushed off and headed up to Shawl Bay, hopefully to meet up with some boating friends that we met here some years ago. John took out a cinnamon roll from the freezer that June, in Big Bay, made special for us. John was ready to attack it frozen but Rebecca won out by letting it thaw in the morning sun. Best cinnamon roll ever. The morning weather was beautiful while we were underway. We are always watching for dolphins and whales but we only sighted a few dolphins and an occasional salmon. We did run into some fog in the Spring Passage Islands, but with our expert navigator and radar we did just fine. (Look for some humor in the foggy pictures.) We finally rounded the point into Shawl Bay and chose the end of the dock to tie up. We plan on doing some crabbing here and not having a boat behind us makes it easier to lower the inflatable into the water. Rebecca ordered a loaf of bread and they just delivered it, hot out of the oven. She quickly cut off a couple of slices, buttered them up and we were in heaven. We plan on spending the rest of the day relaxing and reading. Tomorrow we drop the crab pot.
mmmm, do you 'think' you can see an island out there?!?? It appears to be off the port side in Spring Passage. Isn't it appearing to get a little bigger and closer? What's on the radar? YES! Island off port side, turn right.... hard starboard!  Whew! Looks a little foggy out, doesn't it?!!! It's amazing, once the fog clears up, what you might see on the water, including a converted fishing boat pulling a red dinghy.

Right before turning into Shawl Bay, looking up Kingcome Inlet, can see that snow is still on the Kingcome Range. Beautiful reflection on the water, of the sunset.

June 29, 2014 Experience Lagoon Cove

Lagoon Cove is where it all happens. Bob and Pat are busy from early in the morning to late at night, directing boats into the marina, tying them up, pumping fuel, doing the introductions for new boaters about the history of the marina, and making sure that the marina stays profitable. Rebecca pretty much lived in her kayak for the day. In looking at some of her underwater photos it�s clear that she has started to master her new camera. John remarked that he still can�t get use to taking the camera and rinsing it off with fresh water and then drying it with his cotton shirt. It rained most of the day, sometimes rather hard, but it�s very refreshing after it clears off. We treated ourselves to a rather scrumptious dinner of tri-tip roast, courtesy of our good friend Jaye, red potatoes along with delicious gravy. John misplaced our meat thermometer, but thankfully Pat loaned him hers. After dinner we went back up to the potluck deck and were treated an unusual, but delightful, hour of guitar, harmonica, and folk singing by a musician from Gig Harbor who is hired by the marinas to entertain their guests. He was good, but how do you ever replace Bill�s bear stories? (Cap't Charlie performed tonight and the following is a picture of him with a guest harmonica player, with him; great music. Also took a picture of Cap't Charlie's boat because it is going to be traveling around this summer, including the Broughton Archipelago; we might see and hear him again.) We miss you, Bill Barber.
This is what a full dock looks like, can you see us in the middle on the left; between the really big boats? LOL Cap't Charlie's boat named Dreamtime. On the port, and starboard, side are signs identifying Cap't Charlie and his boat. Cap't Charlie gave a performance that was well worth going to tonight! Jean Barber and Rebecca

It has been raining, off and on, yesterday and today. Of course, when John is refueling, it proceeds to downpour! Can't out guess the weather, that's for sure! Pat and Rebecca provided the necessary water redirection, in order to keep it from going into the open diesel tank, while hoping it was going to be full really soon! What the gals won't do to help a guy. Getting ready to take off north, in the morning.
Couple different pictures of Lagoon Cove. Up at the shop is where 'happy hour' occurs, and the house belongs to Jean Barber, current owner of Lagoon Cove. The end of the dock provided an interesting perspective of how far to not step, plus the sky reflection. These are the little islands at the entrance to Lagoon Cove. Some really beautiful sunset pictures can occur here as well, but not today.

An eagle came down to get a fish on the water surface and you can see that the fish is heading back down to the water! These are the insides of what were Gooseneck barnacles, on the rock; due to the location, waves have really beaten them up. We saw this boat heading south, going through Yuculta Rapids, while we were at Big Bay. Right now it's going through the Blowhole with depths of less than 14 feet! The other boats around the Big Boat, are actually 50 and 60 feet; so, how big do you think the blue one is?  160 feet! Wonder what's the draft?

The following pictures were taken underwater of regular barnacles feeding with their feelers.

June 28, 2014 Forward Harbor to Lagoon Cove on the northwest end of East Cracroft Island

During the night the wind and rain increased but by 4:00 am it started to calm down. Unfortunately the weather out on Johnstone was still kicking up so John started the genset, turned on the heaters, and made coffee. It is now 7:00 a.m. and we�re in a waiting period staying occupied by listening to the weather and reading. Well 30 minutes is all it took for the weather to change. The winds dropped and the skies opened up to let some sunshine through. About 7:30 a.m., after first cup of coffee, John noticed other boaters were pulling their hooks and getting ready to depart. We made a last minute listen to the weather channel, and it reported that winds at Fanny Island were at 11 knots; guess what, we pulled hooks and departed at 7:42 a.m., and headed down the Sunderland Channel to Johnstone Strait. The water was rippled and the wind was behind us. After that it was just a short run up to the Broken Islands, hang a right to go up Havannah Channel, and then hang a left to go up Chatham Channel where it takes us to Lagoon Cove after going through the Blowhole. We did see our first bear of the trip midway up Chatham Channel due to a boat that was coming towards us with a lady waving and pointing to a bear on shore off our starboard side. Rebecca was able to get a photo, but it was a long distance shot. When we passed the post office/bakery we were sad to see that the house and store where the lady baker Jennifer lives, had several for sale signs posted. She made the best rye bread and cinnamon buns ever and we always look forward to picking some up at Lagoon Cove. Before entered the Blowhole, we called on the radio to Lagoon Cove and reached Pat, to make moorage arrangements and purchase diesel. (We arrived at Lagoon Cove at 11:16 a.m. with average speed of travel 9.6 knots. Current was going our way, again, and Johnstone had a southeast wind lightly blowing the same direction as the outgoing tide. When the two are opposite, it tends to get a bit choppy.) They were very busy taking care of boaters, but as always helped to get us tied up safe and secure. We plan on staying for a few days, catching up with Bob and Pat and enjoying the ambiance of this beautiful location. We were surprised to see Jean Barber here and she came down to give her usual friendly welcome. She had been working in her garden and her clothes fit the part. This is one of our favorite destinations. For �happy hour� tonight, there will be lots of prawns and very friendly, happy boaters to chat with over various snacks that all of the boaters bring up as well. Jean Barber still owns Lagoon Cove with Bob and Pat running the docks and keeping all boaters tied in smoothly at the docks; amongst all of the other things they do to welcome boaters and make this location a happy experience for all who stop in for the night.
This was a nice sized black bear, wandering on the beach for breakfast at lowtide. Some of the homes are very interesting, that we pass. This one is up Havannah Channel and was for sale last year, too. This is Milly Island, right outside of Port Neville, and have never been able to see where they pull up a boat, much less got the pickup  over there! Leaving Forward Harbour, we scoot on the outskirts of Whirlpool Rapids and then head down Sunderland Channel, before entering Johnstone Straits.

June 27, 2014 Big Bay, Stuart Island to Forward Harbor on a mainland penninsula

Nasty, bumpy, and windy, best describes the weather conditions starting from early Friday June 27. We felt the wind picking up late in the afternoon while visiting with the caretakers of Big Bay on the 26th, but didn�t think that much about it at that time. During the night and early morning a very low pressure system landed right over us. John had to get up, close all the windows and then zip the curtains on the flybridge as well. We left Big Bay a little later than we had originally planned to because one of the house battery meters got out of sync and John wanted to make sure that everything was working ok. We still had time to transit all the rapids safely (really nice when it is all going our direction). Our goal was to try and make it up Johnstone Strait, zip around the Broken Islands, and on to Lagoon Cove; however, we could see that our plans were rapidly fading away with the low clouds, wind, and rain becoming a serious factor as we came down Chancellor Channel. With poor visibility we were really glad that we had radar and shortly after, we made the decision to head into Forward Harbor, dropping an anchor to wait out the storm. Many boaters use this harbor because the anchorage is good and it�s usually calm once you are inside. The �usually calm� waters had white caps plus a N.W. wind blowing straight down on us. We anchored securely while preparing to spend the night. Rebecca took some greenling from the freezer to thaw for dinner and we settled in. After a nice meal of fish and brussel sprouts we went to bed early, in anticipation of good weather in the morning.
It was so windy, rainy, and dripping wet, a good book on the boat is perfect! This boat is on the left side of the channel and can be seen at low tide, right before entering Forward Harbour.  Been there a couple of years. Looking into Forward Harbour, we hang a sharp left, once we enter and anchor in a little cove tucked back out of most weather. Getting ready to go kayaking and exploring, Rebecca has on a wetsuit to help keep warmer when getting into the cold water.

June 26, 2014 Octopus Island to Big Bay

Exploration time, both undersea, and above!

June 25, 2014 Octopus Island to Big Bay

Pulled anchor at 8:35 a.m., went through Hole-In-the-Wall at 8:57 a.m., and went through Yulculta Rapids approximately an hour later, with current going our direction. Easy day on the water, and then out pops the kayak after having a delicious cinnamon roll made by the new hostess of Big Bay. Definitely worth order four to go for our early morning start, 6:00 a.m., to catch the rest of the rapids going our direction. Starting with Gillard Passage, Devil's Hole (whirlpools can get really big here), Green Point Rapids, and then... of courst the old Whirlpool Rapids (we have seen really big whirlpools here) and then stopping in Forward Harbour for the night before continuing up Johnstone Strait the following morning. Usually best to catch Johnstone early, before it starts letting the Westerlies play on the water top creating huge waves that are never coming straight on, but catching you on the starboard stearn and plowing the nose of the boat in different directions depending on the size, height, and temper of THAT particular wave. It is all good, just careful to be cautious.
I wonder where this boat... um house, is moving to? The tug is pulling it through Gillard Passage, heading west northwest. And here we are, all by ourselves on the dock, except for the sailboat who happens to have a health inspector on board! Can you believe it?!!! Wait a minute... where is THAT boat going? She's bigger than us! We're big too! In relative comparison! LOL!!! We're big too! In relative comparison! LOL!!!

Looking north, towards Yuculta Rapids, the sky color was amazing with the jet stream accent. Looking north, towards Yuculta Rapids, the sky color was amazing with the jet stream accent. Cold clear water kayaking, allows picture taking of these huge sea urchins that are colorful, and plentiful. Have to watch where you are stepping! Hermit crabs love to take up residence in the big moonsnail shell!

These worms are of amazing colors and are all alongside the docks in Big Bay. While trying to swim on the side away from shore, of the kayak, I swam as close as possible to get a picture. Whoops, here were more eagles, lounging on the shore in the sunshine. Got too close and they would take off, but not bad for a picture day of the elegant eagles.

June 24, 2014 Octopus Island

Early morning in Octopus Islands!

June 23, 2014 Squirrel Cove to Octopus Island

We left Squirrel Cove before 5:00 a.m., in order to catch the slack water at Hole-in-the-Wall, the entrance to Octopus Islands from the direction we travel. We found our usual anchorage empty, a place that Barb and Trav showed us years ago, so we dropped anchor and started the genset in order to have breakfast, John�s specialty of sausage and egg burrito. While sitting and relaxing, we observed a couple of raccoons digging on a plateau that is only exposed at low water, less than 100 feet on shore from where we were anchored. They were very industrious, digging up clams and other shellfish, while munching away any tidbit they found. We planned on going lingcod fishing at the next slack water, which was around 3:00 pm. We lowered the inflatable and assembled all of our necessary gear required for fishing. We arrived a little ahead of slack water so we just fished in some protected coves until the water slowed down enough to fish the rapids. Of course the first to catch a fish was Rebecca, a nice greenling. We had about 30 minutes of fishing time but we caught our limit of nice greenlings and headed back to the boat. John surprised Rebecca with a revised fish cleaning board that Gene McGihon engineered. While cleaning fish we noticed an eagle watching Rebecca throwing the carcass into the water. She grabbed her camera, but was a little too late for a great Kodak moment. After we cleaned up our gear and put the inflatable up, we enjoyed our first fish and red potato dinner of the trip. During the evening we were treated to a nice rain that not only made soothing sounds on the cabin but also helped clean the salt off the boat. The next morning after the rain we were treated to low hanging clouds that partially covered some of the small islands around us, calm and crystal clear water along with the sounds of the elusive mergansers! What a beautiful location.

June 22, 2014 2nd day in Squirrel Cove

We spent the rest of the day at Squirrel Cove relaxing and reading. We had a good anchorage plus the cove was not overloaded with boats. Rebecca got ready to go exploring in her kayak and experiment with her new underwater camera. John stayed behind to catch up on e-mails, both send and receive. Even though we don�t have a Wi-Fi connection, Squirrel Cove and Refuge Cove have an open signal for boaters. Our boat has special equipment called Rogue Wave Wi-Fi so that when we turn on our router the antenna increases the signal distance so that we can connect with another router, even at times up to a � mile away. This happens very quickly so we type up our messages and put them in our outbox and leave our laptops on. If our router picks up a good signal, the messages get sent, plus we then receive messages at the same time. Of course photos and large messages take longer to send and receive.

June 21, 2014 Nanaimo, Canada to Squirrel Cove, Cortes Island

This morning John had set the alarm for 4:30 sharp, to listen to the weather report, and we were rewarded with the encouraging words of �light� and �rippled� seas. Music to our ears. We fired up the genset, made a pot of coffee, fired up the mains and headed out across the straits. Best trip across yet. After rounding the tip of Texada Island we entered into the Malaspina Strait. Here is where you can see the beginning of the forests and beautiful mountains. Some still have snow on them, which adds to the beauty, along with clouds wrapped around their heads. Heading up the Malaspina Strait takes you past Westview, and Powell River, along with all of the logging activity. Our final destination this afternoon will be Squirrel Cove, on the west side of Cortes Island. We should be able to use the Wi-Fi for a short time, on the way into the opening of Squirrel cove, to send and receive messages before we enter the more protective portion of the anchorage area. We will be dropping a hook for the night. The cove is a great place to explore in a kayak, especially the reversing rapids that go into a lagoon which is located on the north end of the inner cove. We almost always see eagles soaring along with mergansers and loons swimming nearby. We may even see their babies at this time of year, hitching a ride on their mommies� back.
Traffic on the water, as we were heading up the east side of Texada Island, after having just crossed Georgia Strait with water just a light chop. Tug is pulling two barges with the first one full of wood chips and the second one loaded with logs. This is the log barge with a huge crane to load and unload the logs. Open oyster filtering food underwater.

70 miles and 8 hours later, pulling into Squirrel Cove after a beautiful sunrise to start our journey of crossing Georgia Straits.

June 21, 2014 Sunrise leaving Marks Bay, Nanaimo, Canada

June 20, 2014 Underwater exploring in Marks Bay, Nanaimo, Canada

Kayak exploring resulted in a few pictures as well.

June 18th and 19th, 2014 Dodd Narrows to Marks Bay, Nanaimo

We were a little early when we reached the rapids at Dodd Narrows. The current was against us moving about 3 knots. We easily powered up and cleared the rapids and headed towards Nanaimo Harbor to fuel up. After fuel and water we learned that they no longer sell fishing licenses at the gas dock. You have to go online to purchase and then print them out. We headed back over to Marks Bay to drop anchor, but decided to try a mooring buoy instead. We figured that it�s wiser to pay for a buoy then to risk fouling your anchor with debris from sunken boats, including refrigerators, motors, and who knows what else! After lowering the inflatable we went to shore to shop for supplies and fishing licenses. We decided on the Public Library because they have a secure Wi-Fi for credit card purchases. We printed out our licenses and headed to Thrifty Mart to do some vegetable and fruit shopping. After a short walk back to the docks we loaded up the supplies and headed back out to the boat. John was tired after all that activity so Rebecca decided to explore in her kayak. After our dinner we listened to the weather channel to see what the conditions looked like, for crossing the Strait of Georgia. The words gale force winds are not good, so we knew that we were going to be stuck for a bit in Nanaimo until the winds let up. Second day in Marks Bay was similar to the first day so we just read and relaxed. We did notice that the winds were easing around midnight by the light lapping of ripples on the side of the boat, but since we don�t travel at night, it wasn�t an option.
There are always a lot of tugboats in this area, hauling barges, logbooms, ships, etc. Rock formation on Gabriola Island, is always stunning with different lighting. It is interesting to see these huge ships anchored out in Strait of Georgia, just outside of Nanaimo, waiting to pick up a load from the pulp mill. Our guess, due to the direction this tugboat came from, that it was finishing up moving one of the huge ships that were anchored out. Could be anything.

The huge pulp mill, just south of Nanaimo. When we tied up to the buoy, we noticed the south wind was blowing it's smell our direction. We are approaching the entrance to Nanaimo Harbour. #57 is a military navy vessel, parked on the outside of the breakwater of the marina. Sorry, it is not really visible, but it is located there in a grey color.

June 18, 2014 From Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island - to - Nanaimo, Canada

Leaving Prevost, we crossed the border and stopped in Bedwell Harbour, to clear customs, before heading north to Nanaimo. Lovely day on the water with traveling at a slower speed of an average of 7.3 knots, in order to not arrive too early for Dodd Narrows. Current speed was 5.4 knots against us, at it highest rate today, and wanted to arrive when it was going less than 3 knots. Fueled up and then went over and picked up a buoy, again, for convenience sake. Fee is $12.00 a night here.
Bedwell Harbour When approaching Dodd Narrows, this eagle came splashing down in the water, and missed whatever it was aiming for. The combination of blue colors and and overall lines, made a good photo opportunity of a unique boat. This is Tree Island, about 40 minutes sout of Dodd Narrows. The house on it is a bit isolated and have never been able to see where they go ashore.

June 17, 2014 La Conner to Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island

After a peaceful night we were up around 6:00 am. John announced that he was going to take a shower, Rebecca, with her coffee in hand, promptly went back to bed. There was a nice breeze blowing from the south and it had rained during the night but the morning sky had all the makings for a great day. The fellows on the workboat returned back to the barge and promptly left. The loggers across the channel were hard at work because it was high tide and they were floating the rafted logs down the channel to the loading area. We eventually made the boat shipshape, untied the lines, and headed up the channel, towards Anacortes and Guemes Channel, and then to places beyond. We noticed the boat traffic had picked up, and the chatter on the radio had increased, as we got closer to the San Juan Islands. Lots of ferry traffic, a few blasts on the horns, watching a deer swim across the channel, prior to reaching Deer Harbor, and of course lots of eagles. Rebecca made a few sightings of porpoised but wasn�t fast enough with the camera. Around 1:00 pm we turned into Prevost Harbor and decided to tie to a mooring buoy instead of anchoring out. Fee is $10.00 a night. We then had a nice lunch of... you guessed it, potato salad and chicken strips. =) We both read a little and relaxed some more. Eventually Rebecca couldn�t resist getting into her wetsuit gear for a trip around the bay in her kayak. A group of kayakers came into the harbor looking for a campsite for the night. It reminded us of our friend Annette, who had never even been a kayak before, deciding to do a kayak tour with a group out of Port McNeil. She was very adventuresome and would always tell us that she would thoroughly enjoy doing that tour again.
Major log drop while little boat is running around pushing the rolls of logs out of the way for the next drop! As you can see, a logger has just released the log boom in order for the tugboat to pull it away. Dangerous job!

Below are some underwater pictures taken in Prevost Harbor.
Purple seastar, hiding amidst the green seaweed! This gal/guy was hiding under a rock and had to entice her/him to come out for a photo opportunity. The rock crab was hiding for so long, not sure if it was the same one under the rock! Beautiful seapen, with tentacles extended for a detailed meal.

June 16, 2014 Edmonds to La Conner, WA

Here we are getting ready to start our annual trek into Canada. John has been up in Edmonds for the past few weeks getting the boat serviced and ready to go. Rebecca has been finishing up her school year by taking care of last minute details and closing up the condo for the summer. Everything finally started to come together June 14th which incidentally was J&R�s 29th wedding anniversary. John picked up Rebecca at SeaTac Airport around 1:00 pm. They drove to their favorite Teriyaki restaurant in Bothell and enjoyed a delicious lunch courtesy of Nancy. Off to the boat to offload luggage and stuff and a well-deserved rest for Rebecca. The next morning was breakfast at Shay�s, some last minute shopping, and a great visit with their good friends Barb and Trav. After the farewells it was back to the boat for a good night�s rest. The Rebecca Ann cleared the Port of Edmonds around 6:30 am and headed towards their destination, La Conner. The weather was beautiful and the seas were calm. How wonderful it was to be back on the water and underway again. The fresh brewed coffee and sandwiches were a real treat while we checked out the navigation equipment along with periodic checks into the engine compartments. John broke out into uncontrollable laughter when Rebecca told him that she discovered that she could hear the freezer in the fly bridge turning on and off. He has learned that with her new hearing devices nothing is impossible. Passing alongside Camino Island we noticed that the crab floats that were always present in the past were missing this morning; reason being that the crab season opens later this month. Not having to dodge floats allows you to enjoy the scenery more. When we entered the Swinomish Channel, that leads into La Conner, as always we were treated to eagles, herons, sea ducks, and of course noisy seagulls. We always refuel our tanks at the local Shell facility and then move over to the guest docks where we spend the rest of the day thoroughly enjoying potato salad and fried chicken strips, courtesy of the Pioneer Market. We always call ahead and reserve our order, so that it is ready when we arrive.
Getting ready to leave for the summer and it is definitely, thumbs up time! Tied up in La Conner, and pretty much the only boat on the guest dock! Amazing, to say the least.

Today we have the entire guest dock to ourselves except for the Army Corp of Engineers dredging equipment. They recently dredged the channel and our guess is that they are finishing up some areas. Strangely missing is the fireworks that we always hear from the reservation side of the channel. Also missing, is the constant boat traffic that in the past was nearly non-stop. We�re off to Canada tomorrow. We will probably anchor out in Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island, overnight and then call, and clear Customs as we near Bedwell Harbour, then north through Dodd Narrows, into Nanaimo to refuel and then anchor out in Marks Bay.

January 1st, 2014

We caught a very red sky, early one morning, and it was a beautiful start to traveling over Puget Sound and through Ballard Locks for the start of a new year.

Our first major boat decision for 2014, was how we were going to handle a necessary haulout along with the biannual job of hull care/painting. We took advantage of a window of opportunity by having our boat hauled out at Larsson Marine for crucial TLC of the boat's hull. The entire hull was pressure washed, scraped and professionally repainted by Jim. It was fun being a part of the process, mostly watching and then replacing the zincs, before putting back into the water. We first met Jim years ago when we owned our 32' Bayliner. Jim and Brooks are well known for their outstanding service and their attention to detail. Larsson Marine has been serving the Seattle boating community since 1953 with a combined 80+ years of professional experience in the industry.
Jim is dressed and ready to get into action.  He can be found at --> larssonmarine.com In action, he leaps buildings with a single bound, and climbs over various rafters, and under boats with unlimited energy!

Nothing like starting out the new year with a clean slate... otherwise known as a bottom with no critters clinging.

Traveling over the water, we captured some views to show and save for "non water" times.
Early morning sunrise in Ballard Channel. Gas Works Park with all of the old equipment in rusted state of existance. Beautiful view of Seattle skyline to the south of this park.
We stayed on the boat Sunday night, tied up alongside another boat, before Jim came down early Monday morning to haul us out and put on dry dock.
Definitely enjoyed being on board as the boat was floated in, secured and then lifted out of the water. Very secure, safe steps and all's well on board. First look at hull showed very little algea growth and few barnacles. Mostly under the swim platform, on the trim tabs, and the zincs still had some wear and tear time left on them in protecting shafts, props and other metal.

Leaving Larsson's we headed back through Ballard Locks, north, and home to Port of Edmonds. It is always a fun experience traveling through Ballard Locks and being on the water. The workboat had a square bow, which made for an 'interesting' appearance on a boat!

A welcoming committee of feathers was presented in style by the cormorants, as they clapped their wings dry, upon our entry into the Port of Edmonds! Maybe they do that for every boat that enters, or it may just be a momentary bit of sunshine that created such a wave of welcome! Did you notice that their backs were turned to us? Oh well, no worries, they were just overwhelmed with joy that we have returned to port safely, most likely!

Meanwhile, back in port, 1st mate went camera exploring trying to catch...
"Who is living under the docks"! There will most likely be more pics to come.

© 2006 John Pratt

Crew of Rebecca Ann