Favorite Links


Sierra College

Woodland High School

Woodland Chamber Singers

Recommended Books for reading

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet

Following the Curve of Time (The Legendary M. Wylie Blanchet) by Cathy Converse

Fishing With John by Edith Iglauer

Full Moon Flood Tide (Bill Proctor's Raincoast) by Bill Proctor and Yvonne Maximchuk

Tide Rips & Back Eddies (Bill Proctor's Tales of Blackfish Sound) by Bill Proctor and Yvonne Maximchuk


Larsson Marine

Marine Covers and Enclosures

  - In Canvas

Marinas to stop and visit

Lagoon Cove Marina

Sullivan Bay Marina

Blind Channel Resort

Informational websites

Pat's Boating in Canada

National Data Buoy Center

BC Marine Weather

Rockfish Conservation Areas
U. S. Customs and Border Protection

WiFi on your boat made simple!

  - Land & Sea WiFi

Master Gardener Yolo County

John & Rebecca Pratt
Travels in Canada
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Getting Ready for Summer 2016


John is parlaying with the local life, regarding dock space rights; and whether it will be available. Here is the conversation as reported to first matey... I think he said, "I'm just resting for a while", and then I said, "Whatever you want".

June 10th... and we are off for the northern waters.

We left at 6:11 a.m. and arrived at the La Conner fuel dock at 11:11 a.m. It was a great run with a light tail wind and current nudging us all the way up, along the back side of Whidbey Island and into the Swinnomish Channel. Stayed a second night over, with little errands, organizing and storing things away, and getting caught up on laundry. Below are pictures of leaving the Port of Edmonds bright and early, and sunset the night before.
Left the Port of Edmonds with the sun just starting to rise, making for a beautiful departure. The sunset just kept getting prettier and prettier. What a view! June 9, 2016 sunset, as we are getting ready to depart early in the morning. The Olympic Mountains shining and covered with snow.

Traveling to La Conner on June 10, 2016

Left bright and early with the sun hiding behind clouds, with an occasional poking out to remind us that it was still there and climbing in the sky. Nice traveling weather with the wind behind us, but not roughing up the waves too much. Guess it was too sleepy! LOL Beautiful scenery especially when we came around Rocky Point. Just a little further and the Victoria Clipper, literally, went flying by us heading for the north end of Whidbey Island before going through Deception Pass and other points unknown. There was hardly any wake and minimal rocking of the boat. Looking ahead, we could see the rain coming down, but by the time we arrived to hang a right into the Swinnomish Channel, that squall was east of us and still moving. Perspective view of the dock, and how much room is available to tie up. We are the boat at the very end.

A boat went by the dock in La Conner with the name Eleftheria, which turns out to be the first part of a Greek word, "Eleftheria i thanatos". When taken in context, it makes for an interesint

La Conner to Prevost Harbor June 12, 2016

We spent an extra day in La Conner, to relax, and check over the boat and relax a little. Since we missed last summer cruising, it pays to be extra vigilant in maintenance. Leaving around 6:00 a.m. and arriving at 11:00 a.m., we had a nice cruise through the San Juan Islands, to Prevost Harbor which is close to the Canadian line. While traveling up Swinnomish Channel, saw storks and had to get a quick picture. Anchoring out in Prevost Harbor, we spent a restful time reading and kayaking (not necessarily in that order).
North end of Swinnomish Channel before passing Anacortes. Storks hanging out at low tide, near Anacortes. Outside Anacortes, these two tugboats appeared attached stern to stern. Wasn't sure which one had an anchor over the side.

This is the Franciscan ferry landing on Shaw Island that we stopped at years ago. Excellent bread.

Prevost Harbor to Bedwell Hbr to Nanaimo on June 13, 2016

While in Prevost Harbor, Rebecca went out kayaking and exploring. The following morning we pulled anchor at 7:00 a.m. to head over to Bedwell Harbor and check in at Customs dock after a 38 minute run. Captain did a walk up the dock and cleared customs via a telephone interview. Then it was departure at 7:55 a.m. and heading for our first rapids of the summer, Dodd Narrows. We arrived at slack (wow) and continued to Nanaimo to refuel. We found out that if we wanted a copy of fishing regulations, we would have to go online, ourselves. No copies are being printed for the public!
We pulled up to the docks on the right, in Bedwell Harbor, so that John could walk up the dock and use phone to clear customs. Approaching Dodd Narrows from the south, we would occasionally hear boats doing a 'Securitay' call to make sure someone wasn't entering from the other end

June 13, 2016 Marks Bay, Nanaimo

The wind and seas were picking up as we traveled over to Marks Bay to anchor for the night. After picking a good anchorage we set up, stowed away all our gear and sat back to enjoy the panoramic view of the clouds and the city. The weather station reports for our areas of travel did not sound good. High winds, rain, thunder, lightning and a chance of the development of water spouts. Next morning, we didn't have to liste to the weather reports; we could feel the boat rocking and looking out the windows showed wind and waves were serious. The heavy, black, clouds looming over the mountains behind Nanaimo (in the west) were coming straight for us and although beautiful, were definitely not traveling type weather. We heard the thunder as well, with occasional lightning flashes. We settled down for the day, hoping for a change in the forecast for the following day. Our anchor slipped twice, during the day, but the third time was a charm and seemed to hold. Really cold, and not fun, anchoring in the wind and rain storm with huge raindrops.

June 14, 2016 Marks Bay, Nanaimo

The 14th was our anniversary, 30 years. We celebrated with a breakfast of bagels and coffee. The weather never let up all day so we spent our time reading, and watching the clouds. Listening to the weather around 8:00 p.m., didn't sound encouraging, but we will get up around 4:00 a.m. to see if there is an opportunity for us to get across the Strait of Georgia.

June 15, 2016 Weather not working

The weather report at 4:00 a.m. didn't sound encouraging but we pulled anchor and ventured out to try and cross Georgia Strait around 6:00 a.m. First clue about how the weather really looked in the Strait was when two boats returning were chatting on the VHF radio about 5 foot swells and that they were turning back. We turned to Marks Bay and re-anchored again. Rebecca went kayaking but returned a short while later, it had started raining. There is still snow in the mountains and at times, with the wind blowing, it is very cold. Another day of reading and relaxing.

Early evening weather check: We heard on the weather station, for the first time since arriving in Marks Bay, the word "light"! The front seamed to be moving away from us so just maybe, in the morning, we can head out.

June 16, 2016 Crossing Georgia Strait

Early morning weather check: The conditions seemed to have improved. Our only challenge was that the weather report for the areas we would be traveling through were stating, "unavailable".! We relied on the basics, instead. 1.) A straight up plume of steam smoke from the industrial plant just south of Marks Bay. 2.) Flags barely waving. 3.) Current under the boat seemed quiet and no waves smacking the sides of the boat. 4.) Plus, same two boats from yesterday morning, were heading out again. We pulled anchor again (good practice, right?) and headed up the passage to leave from the north end of Newcastle Island. The Winchelsea (submarine practice area) was open and so we could head straight across on a 24+ mile run to the other side. It was a great ride with a one to two foot chop. We headed up around the east side of Texada Island and moved up Malaspina Strait with the current going our direction due to and incoming tide. Nice smooth water, very little wind, plus partly cloudy skies and a light breeze coming from behind us. Estimation, based on prior trips, was about a 10 hour run (long day) on the water. Plan is to spend the night in Squirrel Cove and from there, possibly go to the Octopus Islands to do some crabbing and fishing. In Squirrel Cove we hope to fish, kayak and shuck some oysters; not necessarily in that order.

In the next two pictures we are midway up the backside (east side) of Texada Island. Couldn't ask for much more than this, that's for sure!

8 and one-half hours later, we are anchored in Squirrel Cove. A record run of 71.5 nautical miles. WOW. Our vacation is starting.

June 17, 2016 Squirrel Cove Store

When we dropped anchor inside Squirrel Cove, we remembered how quiet it always is, except for the occasional running generator. There are only a few boats anchored, so we have lots of room and a great view of the little rapids from the lagoon. Both of us were tired after a long day on the water so we just had snacks and relaxed. 8 hours and 37 minutes traveling 72.1 nautical miles was a really good day with an average of 8.6 nautical miles per hour. Usually takes 10+ hours.

Taking the dinghy out for the first time, some fine tuning of the motor needed to be done while running around. After several large circles, and adjustments on the low speed idle mixture screw, motor running much smoother with few hiccups. Back at the boat, to aid the loosening of interior sludge developed from sitting for two years, cleaner was sprayed into the hole of the idle mixture screw and sat for an hour or so, to help as well. Back in the dinghy, we ran over to the Squirrel Cove Store that is located on shore where government docks are available for boats to tie up. Store has it's own dock, but currently only accessible at a high tide.
Curt sent this picture, that he had taken from his dock using a panoramic view.

We decided to venture into the Squirrel Cove Store. We have never gone into it before, plus, we wanted to see the source of the free wifi. Upon entering the store we were greeted by Curt, the new owner since March of this year. He showed us all of the facility and told us of his plans for the future. The store is enormous and fully stocked. He has a complete Marine store downstairs, Post Office upstairs along with a large assortment of spirits. They were very busy but he took the time to talk to us and share his past life experiences. John is going to work on connecting Curt with our friend Dave, in Sequim, WA; to see if they can arrange a way to help set up a supply of fishing jigs and lures. Dave produces some of the best lures and jigs currently available.
Squirrel Cove Store and two fuel pumps.  Restaurant is to the right.

The new owners of the store (they took it over in March 2016) are Curt Cunningham and his wife. Curt.Cunningham@icloud.com (250-850-9804). They were very gracious and excited about getting things up and running for boaters. Their plans include putting in a long dock, out to the deep water, so boaters can buy fuel at their current fuel station on shore. The restaurant continues to have the cook that has been there for approximately 7 years. Wifi was open and free which made it really nice for us to catch up on communications. Above, and below, are pictures of the store.

Octopus Islands Park June 18, 2016

Getting up early (6:15 a.m. and pulling anchor at 6:38 a.m. with no coffee yet), we traveled north again, heading for Octopus Islands and a favorite anchorage. We left early to give us enough time for slack at Hole-In-the-Wall, the entrance to Octopus Islands. Once under way, the wonderful smell of fresh brewed coffee, wafted up to the bridge. 2 hours and 45 minutes later, we timed it perfect, we went through Hole-In-the-Wall with current going our direction just over 2 knots. Very uneventful and avoided the rocks on the other side, going north for a short jaunt, before hanging a left to head south to find our preferred anchorage. Entering the narrow passage, a beautiful boat entered from the other direction. Going slow, we went by each other, with a friendly wave of hello.
On an island, south of Yuculta Rapids, we saw a for sale sign on a house. Wonder if there are very many interested buyers? Right before entering Octopus Islands passage, the local welcoming committee lifted it's head to see who was passing by! Passed the Linda Kay in the narrow passage which is one commonly used entrance to the Octopus Islands.

Planning to anchor here for a couple of days, before continuing on to Big Bay. Hopefully, the local raccoons will be coming down for their usual snacks at low tide. We anchored at our favorite spot, which was being shared with about 6 boats. Towards evening we were hit with rain squalls and wind. It was a rough night on the hook, but we survived.

June 19, 2016 Octopus Islands Park

The weather calmed the next morning, so we went fishing. Good luck and a couple of fish later, we set out a crab pot with fish carcasses. We are going to have a fish barbeque this evening! Yum! Our anchorage has cleared out but it doesn't take very long before new boats start arriving and anchoring around us. Rebecca is out pulling the crab trap in her kayak. Raccoon finally arrived at low tide, with a black feathered companion. Initially, as shown in the first picture, when the black-feathered fellow landed, the raccoon took off running. We also reanchored the boat, after the storm last night we were a little closer to shore than we wanted to be even though there was no real danger of current swing on the hook.

We are planning on pulling the anchor in the morning and heading to Big Bay. We are have multiple thoughts about delicious hamburgers prepared by the caretakers. From there, our plans include an overnight stay, prior to leaving the following morning for Johnstone Strait.

Stuart Island Community Dock in Big Bay June 20, 2016

Departure time from Octopus Islands (i.e. when we will be pulling the anchor) was dependent on slack water for Hole-In-the-Wall. Actually, tight timing needs to be planned out so that after going through Hole-In-the_Wall, we also get through Yuculta Rapids at slack, tying up to the community dock when there isn't a lot of water moving. Went through Hole-In-the-Wall with a current of 2 knots going against us to arrive at Yulculta with it slowing down from 0.4 knots to slack. Pulled into the docks with no problem. The new Stuart Island Community Dock caretakers started one week ago, Dave and Vicki, whose son flies for the Sonora lodge that is located on the other side of Yuculta Rapids straight across from Big Bay. Hamburgers were made to order, along with chips, and topped of with a great rootbeer.

June 21, 2016 Stuart Island Community Dock in Big Bay

We slept in a little and later Rebecca worked on our blog, but due to weak wifi signal, couldn't upload travels and photos. Rebecca spent most of the day in the freezing water checking out the little sea creatures. We also got out our crab cooker and proceeded to crack, clean, cook and refrigerate the crabs that we found in our crab pot (right before we pulled anchor). 7 large dungeness. Not a bad haul. It has turned colder today and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. We were treated to a couple of humpback whales in the bay, feeding. They stayed around for awhile and Rebecca took many photos.
Happy Father's Day to David, with his wife Kazue, and four little angels.

A hike up to Eagle Lake, and then paddling one of the boats provided, was a fun side adventure 'off' the water.

Spotted a doe on shore after paddling around, along with a young eagle up in the trees. We then choose to have dinner on the boat, instead of another great burger again, and tended to some last minute details. John reset the amp-hour-meter and Rebecca continued updating our website. Another boat pulled up to the dock and we helped them tie up. We planned to leave early in the morning, 6:00 a.m. is early right, and the other boat planned to leave about a 1/2 hour later. They were heading for Blind Channel, which is much closer. Looking at current weather conditions, we figured the weather would sour on us, so we planned on anchorage in Forward Harbor for tomorrow night.

Traveling to Lagoon Cove June 22, 2016

Magic time on the water... We left at 6:14 a.m., saying our goodbyes. The name of the other boat is "Last Dance" and this was their first time up in these waters. They keep their boat in Port Ludlow, WA. Due to foggy conditions, the Last Dance boaters choose to wait until the next slack, which would be around noon. Our trip through Gillard Passage was easy. In fact, we had a smooth, fast ride, through Dent Rapids, Green Point Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids and into Sunderland Channel. At this point, we decided to continue on to Johnstone Strait. The radio reception was poor for the weather channel, but we did hear boaters talking to each other on CH 16. Their univeral comments were that Johnstone Strait was calm.

Starting at 6 this morning, we hit the outgoing tide (north bound) the entire trip, including Chatham Channel. Even in Johnstone Strait the current was above 2 knots going our direction. We had a very nice trip up to Broken Islands (with a little breeze starting to create some choppy water at this point) and continued up Havannah Channel, Chatham Channel and then through the Blowhole (going through here at low tide always means a careful lookout for rocks in a narrow channel) before arriving at Lagoon Cove Marina.

We tied up to the docks and met new, and old, friends including Jean Barber who is the present owner. Needless to say, it's not the old Lagoon Cove with the passing of her husband, Bill Barber, along with the departure of Pat and Bob Ness. Time will tell. Jean brought us down a full plate of prawns. She is a really special person. We spent a nice quiet evening reading with the gentle lapping of water on the side of the boat putting us right to sleep.

June 23, 2016 Lagoon Cove

Crab cracking day and Rebecca is busy putting the crab meat in the bag. Whoops! Wait... was that a nibble? Ok, just so long as it's only one! LOL

Minstrel Island has a dock that is still existing. It is off the starboard side as we are getting ready to head into the Blowhole.

Bears in the Blowhole

The pictures below were generously shared by Brad and Kathy. When the cry went down the docks, "there's bears in the Blowhole", we didn't hear the hail and missed out on seeing them. Boaters are generally generous people and easily share information, pictures and ideas. I heard about an unnamed person that was fixing something at the top of a fellow boaters mast and when finished with the task, played a little joke as well. You had to get out your binoculars to see what else he had done, while aloft. The owner of the sailboat didn't learn about the joke until 5 days later! Not sharing, you will have to get out your binoculars to see for yourself!

June 24, 2016 Lagoon Cove

We have heard, via rumors on the dock, a potential buyer is flying in today, to look over Lagoon Cove Marina. Will let you know more, when we hear more.

What NOT to do while traveling on the water!

Alder Island June 26, 2016

The morning we left Lagoon Cove we were able to send a message to Pat and Bob that we were on out way. The weather was clear and we headed down Knights Inlet, for Alder Island where they are caretakers. We could have choosen to go through Beware Passage; however, the name in itself says a lot. We opted for the safer route which was approximately 14 nautical miles (the long way). We hailed them on Channel 16 when we were about 10 minutes out. They greeted us at the dock, just like we were pulling into Lagoon Cove. Some things never change. They had us tied up quickly and we exchanged warm greetings.

Pat and Bob made us feel like family. They gave us a tour of the home, shops, etc. It wasn't long before Pat and Rebecca were off in their kayaks, touring the island. Bob showed John his shop and the solar panel arrays, along with all of the various items that go with the territory. We originally planned on spending the night, before continuing on with our travels and exploration; but would you believe 3? Pat and Rebecca spent a couple of days kayaking and exploring, having a great time on the water, beaches of island/s, and other interesting rocks seen at lowtide.

This squirrel looked like a statute; however, it jumped up and took off when disturbed by the approaching photographer!

Alder Island June 27, 2016

Having way too much fun kayaking, or working on different mechanical projects (i.e. gensets or carburetors). While we weren't able to get pictures of runaway carbs, or gensets; did catch the kayakers on the water.

Sea life discovery:

Alder Island June 28, 2016

We carry a spare generator, Honda 2000, and John wanted to do a test run since it has been almost two years since it was started. Bob and John took it up to the shop and Bob checked it out. He shared that the carburetor needed to be cleaned. Less than 5 minutes later, Bob had the carb off and all apart. He found the jets clogged and cleaned them out before putting the carb back on and starting the engine. The genset ran like new! Bob is a wizard.

Catching the high tide, Bob and Pat were busy launching one boat and pulling out another one for some work that needed to be done.

We had a great visit, sharing meals and stories. We left their dock the next morning. In the evenings, though, the guys relaxed outside, while waiting for dinner.

Bootleg Cove June 29th and June 30th, 2016

Although we said goodbyes last night, we hailed them on the radio when we pulled out at 8:30 a.m., to say thank you and goodbyes one more time before heading for Eliot Passage. We crossed Knights Inlet and then entered Spring Passage. We have slowed down to "summer time speed" of 6 knots. Turning up Retreat Passage we passed Health Bay Indian Reserve and went on to explore Bootleg Cove for an anchorage. Pulling into the lagoon, we found ourselves to be the only boat here. We set up an anchorage and checked out the area. Lots of eagles and good protection from the wind. About an hour later another boat, larger than us, came in and anchored at the head of the bay. There is probably room for three boats to swing on a hook in this cove. Rebecca kayaked around and caught some fish, which we used for crab bait. The next morning we had 2 nice crabs in the trap. We spent most of the 2nd day, cleaning, crabbing and fishing and had some serious discussions about future plans.
Welcoming committee was a little snooty, in Bootleg Cove; but it is always nice that someone is there to say hello!

Ladyboot Cove July 1, 2016

We left Bootleg early, pulling the crabpot on the way out. Empty. Next destination is Ladyboot Cove. Still traveling now in "summertime speed" of 5 to 6 knots. For the boat that is around 1500 to 1600 RPM. We made a slight detour to Health Bay where we were able to pick up a cell phone connection and a secure wireless connection. Perfect time to check emails and pay some bills. It was a nice relaxing trip to Ladyboot Cove with bow watch while going up the Old Passage after traveling Blunden Passage; hung a left into Indian Passage and then another left into Ladyboot Cove to find only one boat anchored inside. As luck would have it, they were getting ready to pull anchor and hailed us as we circled the bay. So, we just waited our turn and thanked them as they headed out of the Cove. It wasn't long before Rebecca had her kayak in the water and off she goes, exploring. Raining again. We tried fishing later with slack water, without much luck. We didn't have the right touch except for some small fish that we carefully returned into the water. OK, we just threw them back and with a splash they all dove for the deep. If the fishing and crabbing had been better we would have stayed longer because it was a nice scenic bay with good anchorage.
John is checking out the areas to anchor, where another boat just left.

Panoramic view of Ladyboot Cove which we had all to our own, for a little while. Another boat came in, later in the day, and dropped a hook nearer the entrance.

Relaxation time on the boat in Ladyboot Cove.

Cullen Bay July 3, 2016

Looking at out charts we saw Cullen Bay, which was close to Queen Charlotte Strait, so we decided to head that direction and check it out. It is actually the entrance to Booker Lagoon, which is only passable with either a high, or low, slack water. We found a great anchorage in Cullen Bay and settled in. Rebecca kayaked and explored our new surroundings. At slack water we hopped into the dinghy and went fishing. The open areas for fishing were outside Cullen Bay, next to some small islands in Queen Charlotte. It wasn't long until we had caught some beauties. We headed back to the boat to clean fish and replace the bait in our crabpot. After a nice fish dinner we relaxed and read. The next morning we saw all of the of the boats anchored throughout Cullen Bay had left or were leaving. We rechecked the weather and heard that they were forecasting 20-25 knot winds in Queen Charlotte Straits. Waggoner's guide said that it could get bumpy with a NW wind, so we moved to what we thought was a more secure anchorage. Well, we learned that there is no calm anchorage in Cullen Bay with the NW wind blowing. We spent a very bumpy night, safe and secure, but not much sleep.
John is dreaming about the BIG one! Meanwhile, just outside the window, the little guy is working hard on getting his dinner!

Turnbull Cove July 5, 2016

We decided to pull anchor because the low pressure system was still following us. Leaving, we peeked into Laura Cove, a very protected and scenic anchorage. It was full of sailboats behind Trivett Island, so we moved on to Turnbull Cove where we have stayed many times in the past. It was about a two hour run but the weather was nice, finally no rain or wind. Reaching our destination we found lots of anchorage, including our favorite spot, and few boats. John fixed a nice breakfast and shortly after that Rebecca put out the crabpot and went exploring. We spent a very relaxing couple of days reading, went fishing, crabbing and cleaning of seashells.
Up side down or....

Right side up!

Our first full day here, the 6th, it was warm and a little sunny in the morning which made it perfect for kayaking, as well as checking the prawn and crab pots.
Prawning - zip; Crabbing - an 8 3/4 incher!

Well, guess we can't win them all! We then proceeded to have an introductory lesson in Weather 101. It seems that the low pressure system followed us to Turnbull Cove and we were greeted with rain showers for the next few days. Although the NW wind died on the Queen Charlotte Straits and had good anchorage that is very well protected in Turnbull Cove; the rain continued on and off (more on) for several days. We tried fishing and did well and crabbing continued to be excellent; however, prawning turned out to be terrible. This really surprised us because we have always done well. After 3 days we pulled anchor (between showers) and headed for Sullivan Bay to take advantage of their docks, store, shore power along with Internet.

Sullivan Bay July 8, 2016

Our first night at the dock we treated ourselves to prime rib dinners. Our friends, Pete and Gail with their grandsons Patrick and Peter enjoyed dinner at the Sullivan Bay restaurant as well. It is good to see them again. The following day the guys invited Rebecca to go out fishing and was able to capture them in action on the boat.

No sooner did they leave the dock, when word traveled that someone on one of the boats tied up on Dock 2, had a halibut on. It was over 50 pounds, and John watched them net the halibut and get it safely on board. Meanwhile, adventurers were out looking for "the big one" in other locations.
This picture was taken earlier, when everyone thought he had a big halibut hooked. Three guys lifting on the pole eventually caused it to break off.  This is same guy who did catch a 50+ pound halibut.

And, pictures of means of transportation into and out of Sullivan Bay for floathome owners on Dock 4.

Peter had a unique experience of almost catching a lingcod. See bite marks on the fish.

Busy day taking care of crabs that have been snoozing in our crab hotel. It was time to clean, cook and later today, crack them into a tasty meal. Getting them ready for the cooker, Rebecca used the old 'heave ho' on the cleaver trick.

Staying in Sullivan Bay, it always interesting meeting and making new friends in the laundry, no less. Jan, and her husband Gary, on the boat named "The Big Cheese" traveling in a 28 foot Commander with single diesel motor. We plan to meet up again with them at a later date, as they took off today. Chatted with the friendly Coast Guard, who were tied up in front of the laundry for a break and a snack. The driver is training two newbys the regular runs that are scheduled throughout the week.

Meanwhile, back on the home front; family is taking a trip into the Sierras and sent us pictures of David and Kenneth taking big jumps into the water. Alice and Andrew are still too small and not sure what Sophia is going to do. Then, arriving back home, Kazue took the budding gymnast, Sophia, to the Olympic Trials that are happening in San Jose this year.
In the Sierras, David is taking a leap of joy, or just wants to get there in a hurry. Monkey see; monkey do, or in this case Kenneth is leaping right after Daddy and doing a good job of it. Meanwhile, the ladies are off with Kazue taking Sophia to experience the Olympic trials being held in San Jose. Sophia even had a chance to meet and get an autograph from Russian Olympic gymnast, Svetlana Boguinskaia.

Still at Sullivan Bay July 12, 2016

When we arrived we were given a page with all of the pertinent details including store hours, happy hours, and a little information about Sullivan Bay to make your stay more enjoyable. Found out that if you stay three nights, the third night is free for moorage. Power, you pay for every day. We have been catching up with Pete and Gail and enjoying visiting with them at least once every day. Several major chores needed to be taken care of, this being the first time since Edmonds, that we could do laundry, had power and water and wifi (wifi is sporadic and at times drops completely). Yesterday some really, really, really (guess you get the point) big boats tied up on dock one and dock two. Another huge one was on the outside of dock one for some time but did not stay the night. Anyway, a big boat, means a really big draw on power. Whoops, a 200 amp fuse blew and docks lost power. Lot of running up and down the docks trying to figure out causes and balancing load that's being put on the power lines by the caretakers currently running Sullivan Bay.
Got up this morning to work on breakfast and coffee and when we looked out the galley window, there was a huge bow! Had to take a picture to keep it all in perspective, we sure are little. LOL Wasn't real sure if the dinghy was trying to catch the plane as it left, or not! Kind of close, if you ask me.

Ok, laundry is done. Measurement and new markings is done on the anchor chain to improve the visibility of the 25 foot sections, making it easier to have out the correct rode when anchoring. Saw dolpins leaping out of the water over morning coffee. We were drinking coffee, dolphins were doing leaps and flips. Then they left. Rain comes and goes and then comes right back. Guess this is one of those really rainy summers and staying dried out on the boat is a little bit more of a challenge, especially when anchored out. Also finished the vacuuming of the boat from stem to stern which created a very full vacuum bag of summertime debris.

Caught the sunset looking northwest.

One of the residents of Sullivan Bay hit a deadhead, nearly sinking his boat. Saw Chris (the caretaker) go flying out of here on his boat, to the rescue. Came back with two damsels on board leaving the Captain and Matey to follow under their own power and then attached pumps to keep the water out after tied to dock. Water taxi arrived at 5 pm to haul it across Queen Charlotte Straits, to Port McNeil and trailered upon arrival. Heard there was something like a two inch hole in the bottom of the boat. Long haul for pulling boat and heard it arrived after 8 pm. Whew! Later, we were invited to dinner at the Petersons. Patrick was the official crab cooker and both Patrick and Peter had taken a crabpot out earlier in the day for a few more crabs, so there were enough for dinner. They did very well and there was plenty of crab for everyone. Nice job guys!

AND, now it is raining, again!!!

July 13, 2016

A good fish story always starts out with... "You are never going to believe what happened today!" And off we go... So, this morning Rebecca left in her kayak, loaded with coffee, fishing pole and other necessary items. She paddled around, jigging here and there for a couple of hours. When the tide was approaching slack, John arrived in the dinghy to join her in fishing. After chatting for a couple of minutes, John dropped his jig in and as soon as it hit bottom he had a big hit. He hooked something and the line was going out. Rebecca scrambled from her kayak, into the dinghy, grabbed the net and was ready by the time John brought the fish up to the surface and proceeded to net a really nice lingcod! Now who is going to believe that? It really happened! So, the story continues. They decided to tie the kayak to the dinghy and continue fishing together. The wind and a little current made a nice drift, but did push the dinghy towards shore, so John started up and moved out into a little deeper water. Must have been no more than 10 minutes later when Rebecca gets a hit and starts reeling it in. Watching, a little rockfish reaches surface and right before she started to bring it towards the boat she sees a big lingcod is chasing it. Hitting the release button on the fishing reel, she starts letting out line and the little rockfish starts swimming downwards and the lingcod is right after it in the water. A big hit and she reels back trying to set the hook and nothing. Letting out line again, the lingcod strikes again and this time when she sets the hook, the fish is on! John grabs the net and is ready. The tricky part is when the fish is coming up, to not let the lingcod's head break the water surface. If so, the chances increase of the lingcod's mouth opening up, releasing the little fish and thus getting away. John put the net into the water, reaching for under the lingcod as Rebecca was reeling it in and bringing it towards the boat. Net came up, fish was bigger than expected, and John did an amazing netting job of fish half in and the tail end hanging out. Meanwhile, Rebecca is trying to control the boomerang effect from the lingcod's mouth opening up and the line tension causing the fish and jig to come flying out. It ended up on the other side of the kayak which is tied up alongside the dinghy. Looking back, John has the lingcod in the net AND in the boat! It is the bigger one of the two.
No, that's not pizzas, those are very large sundried tomato tortillos with all  the makings for a gigantic burrito.

Claydon Bay July 14 to 17, 2016

We had a great time at Sullivan Bay, visiting with friends, getting caught up on our various chores and doing maintenance on the engines and electrical systems. Sure had a fun time fishing together and, of course, telling fish tales. We wanted to go to Claydon Bay for anchorage and try some crabbing and prawning. Pulling into Claydon Bay, there was plenty of room for anchorage out of the NW wind that was seriously kicking up. Heading into the head of the bay, we dropped anchor in between two boats, one of which was a 38' Bayliner like ours. Setting out the crabpot, that was full of fresh bait from our catch yesterday, we dropped it into one of our favorite holes. Returning to our boat, we swung by the other 38' and introduced ourselves, since they were our new neighbors. Really enjoyed visiting with them and seeing all of the changes they made to their boat. Gives us ideas for the future. We went out and set our prawns traps together, and while out in that area did some more visiting while drifting along, after traps were in the water. Back to the boats, we continued visiting, sharing experiences. Seems that we have traveled in similar circles but have never met up until Claydon Bay. They are a fun couple with lots of great humor and hopefully we will see them in the future.

When we pulled into Claydon Bay, the first thing we saw were the ruby-throated loons, a pair. As the next couple of days go by, there were many opportunities to try and capture them on camera and listen to their crooning. Sometimes, it was a call, one maybe looking for the other. Unfortunately, they are very flighty and it is really hard to get close enough for a clear picture. One midafternoon, they were both taking a snooze, drifting by on the water.
Stretching out the wings while waiting for partner to resurface. Looking around and keeping a sharp eye peeled, while partner is looking for food underwater. Really surprised to see that both loons had their heads tucked in for an afternoon snooze.  They never really drifted apart, staying close to each other. At one point, the one on the right stuck a leg out, up towards the sky, and proceeded to paddle even while head was still tucked under wing.

Pulling crabpot and had a nice batch so we decided to set up the cooker and take care of these crabs. After pulling the prawn pot, we had 10 huge prawns. The best so far this summer, having struck out last time we put out the prawn pot. 10 prawns is a lot better than 1 prawn!

Turns out, the 10 prawns were the highlight of prawning. Pots are stored away for this summer and moving on to other more fruitful endeavors! Also, turns out that this evening we noticed black clouds starting to form due east of us. Bad part was that they were moving west, directly towards us and passing overhead, of our boat. It was amazing to see a huge rainbow, to the east, reflecting against the storm heading our way. Needless to say we were treated to another rainstorm which included brilliant spreading lightning and the follow up rumbling thunder. There were several sailboats anchored around us for lightning rods, so we felt fairly safe. It was a spectacular storm which continued even after we went to bed.

Turnbull Cove again.. July 18, 2016

The next morning we pulled our crabpot and headed back to Turnbull Cove for some more good fishing. We spent the next two days securely anchored while we tried crabbing and fishing. We caught some nice fish and picked up a few more crabs. We had enough in the crab hotel to cook two nice pot fulls. After taking care of the crabs we enjoyed a nice dinner and relaxed and read before heading to bed. Our usual evening pastime of relaxation.

Dickson Island July 20, 2016

Getting up the next morning, at 5:00 a.m., pulled anchor and headed for Dickson Island located in Wells Passage. It is located near James Point which is one of the jumping off locations for entering the Queen Charlotte Strait. On our way, we checked for wifi signal throughout Grappler Sound (having heard another boater share that they were able to connect in this area) but couldn't find any cell tower connection at all. Entering Wells Passage, it wasn't until we had passed Drury Inlet and were approximately 2 1/2 miles from James Point that we found a wireless connection. Rebecca's phone was used as a hotspot and we were both able to go online briefly to check emails and send a couple quick text messages. When we were finished we pulled into Dickson Island, dropped the hook and then stern tied to shore. It was great because we had our pick of the whole bay. It was empty. Not what we expected. After securing our anchorage, we put our gear together, hopped into the inflatable and headed out into the fog for some fishing. Talk about foggy fishing! We did quite well and thoroughly enjoyed sitting out in the middle of nowhere, listening to a few hoots of passing boats, and intimately fishing all alone. The water was calm and there was no wind, hence the heavy fog. Using Rebecca's iPad, the Navionics app did really well getting us to some good fishing spots, keeping us away from the rocks and traveling both from and back to the boat. Lovely weather. We plan to stay here for the next few days and then head into parts unknown.

July 22, 2016

We were relaxing on the boat in the afternoon at high tide, after a successful fishing trip, in the fog again. Looking towards shore, John spotted a big black bear and we were able to get some pictures of our first bear sighting for the summer.

July 23, 2016

Midafternoon, we are relaxing on the boat, or washing shells on the shore. Actully, John was shaving while keeping a lookout for bears on shore in the location where Rebecca was busy. He heard the deep thrumming of diesel motors and looking around the starboard side of the boat, didn't see anything. Shrugging his shoulders, he went back to shaving. Heard the thrumming noise some more and looked around the port side of the boat. No boat. Hmmmmm..... he is still hearing the noise and so he decided to go up on the bridge to have a lookout. By golly, he did hear a boat and took a picture of it. A boat was pulling in and moving around looking for a good anchorage location. The first picture below is of the boat named "Josea" who moore right next to us in the Port of Edmonds! The second picture shows how we run a stern line ashore so we are not swinging around on the hook. So far, it has been a lingcod kind of summer. Caught a dandy outside of Dickson Island.

Back to Sullivan Bay... July 25, 2016

It was a great moorage at Dickson Island, but we have to start planning our timing for traveling home, with different stops on the way. We hope to swing by the Billy Proctor Museum, on the way south, after stopping at Sullivan Bay. Need to get a good charge on the batteries, catch up on cleaning the boat, pick up a few items at the store including gas for dinghy; and get the laundry done, again! Up early and down to the laundromat before 7:30 in the morning ensured that we had two washing machines. Walking back up the dock for a missed item of clothing on hanging to dry on the bridge, Rebecca passed another person with two large black garbage bags. Knowing that Sullivan Bay was not taking any bags to burn, she rightly assumed that this person was heading to do laundry as well. Whew, we got started just in time. The first picture below is Rebecca, after a busy day including laundry and vacuuming/cleaning the boat on the inside. John washed down the entire boat and was busy upkeeping the motors amongst other boat duties that happen while tied to the dock.
John caught a picture of Rebecca after a hard day's work including laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning up the boat. 'Dock Work'. Caught eating those prawn heads, again. Boy are they delicious!

There are a lot of BIG boats in Sullivan Bay, and docks are full pretty much every night. That's good for Sullivan Bay. There are currently six homeowners, who own Sullivan Bay. Will include a picture of Sullivan Bay taken when Pat (the owner of Sullivan Bay at that time) was rebuilding it, after it burned down in 1983 or 1984. He used gigantic stones as anchors for the ends of the docks and had a little sawmill running, that he used to cut out the planks for the docks. Our understanding is that if you were to lay all the docks, end to end, there would be a mile long dock.

July 28, 2016

Our plan is to leave this morning for Shoal Harbour and after finding anchorage, dropping the dinghy to go over to Proctor's Museum. We will see how that goes, never having anchored in Shoal Harbour before. In Penphrase Passage we passed the usual hordes of porpoises, leaping out of the water and dolphins swimming under our bow.

Later, we passed Echo Bay (the store is located on what used to be a part of one of the floating bridges from Seattle WA, that used to cross Lake Washington) before heading down Cramer Passage and hanging a left into Shoal Harbour.

After anchoring in Shoal Harbour, we took a tour of the bay behind the boat in the picture below. There was a logging setup with the little 'engine that could' for pushing around logs, and the living quarters in a modified ship.

Billy Proctor's Museum

Billy Proctor was born October 13 1934 in Port Neville, BC and grew up in Freshwater Bay, turning 82 this year (2016). He spent his life fishing, logging with regular beachcombing expeditions during his freetime. The relics and artifacts including historical equipment and tools. He has created a museum to hold all of the items he has found over his lifetime to date. Billy also has historical pictures on the wall and a collection of old magazines that contain pieces of history and are very interesting to look through (very carefully so pages don't get torn).

4+ foot section of a wooden waterpipe that is wrapped with heavyduty wire and made to connect with other sections. It was leaning against an inner doorway.

Health Bay to Seabreeze Cove to Alder Island... July 29, 2016

Well, when the west is blowing and pushing 30 knots, anchoring can be a challenge in new locations. We left Shoal Harbour around 8, in a foggy morning and meandered down to check out Health Bay for an anchorage. It was open to the west wind and so we decided to move to Option #2, Seabreeze Cove. Based on what we read, we anchored south of 70MT Island and fixed breakfast before relaxing and reading. A commercial crabber came to the head of Seabreeze Cove and pulled, rebaited and threw back a short set of crabpots. Couldn't tell if there were very many crabs in the 4 to 5 pots. Watched where the boat left in a passage we weren't sure of and after seeing it traverse with no problems we learned that it was very much a safe direction to travel.

The wind increased and it became bumpier and bumpier. After some discussion, we pulled anchor to try to move over into a section that the wind wasn't hitting. Hook wouldn't set and after more discussion, decided to check out Option #3, Carrie Bay. Poking out, we saw a boat just entering and knowing that it was a two boat anchoring spot knew it was no longer an option. Short story of really rough sections we went through Spring Passage, crossed Knight Inlet and decided to see if we could stop and visit friends at Alder Island. After tying up to the dock, we visited with a group of kayakers who were taking refuge in the same bay. They were waiting for the big boat to come and pick them up because it was too windy to continue exploring the islands via kayaks. Below is a picture of the boat and you can see the whitecaps in this protected area. In our trip through the rough waters, prior to our arrival, we didn't have time to take pictures much less even think about getting a shot of how rough the water conditions actually were.

We have had a great time visiting with Bob and Pat, doing some things together and in general just chatting time away. :)

Our last night visiting, we had a beautiful visitor. What a gorgeous view from their windows, and then to have a model such as this 4 pointer walk by, just caps off the evening in style!

Beware Passage and black bear Aug 1, 2016

Leaving Alder Island, we started out on a beautiful cloudy morning. Just had to get a picture of the view and share.

Further along, we noticed a big black bear ambling the shoreline so we slowly approached to try some more picture taking.

Lagoon Cove and bear experience Aug 3, 2016

Kayak exploring led to checking out the old Minstrel Island historical dock and gathering location for loggers and people who lived in the surrounding area, prior to the 2000 era. We have heard tales of the Christmas 'get togethers', and it being a stopping location for boaters even in the 1980s and 1990s. We actually got to experience the restaurant that was on the left side of the dock (blank space now) when walking towards shore, having dinner there with friends. This event was on our first trip north and we were traveling with another boat while learning the area. The lack of upkeep on the docks was very noticeable and we had to be careful when walking up to the restaurant. The docks were also occupied by commercial prawners. The cook was busy catching, and then filleting, tiny shiners that swim around the dock pilings. Looked like a "lot" of work! Below, pictures show current conditions of docks, buildings and where restaurant was originally located.

On the paddle back through the Blowhole, boats were slowing down to go through the cut. First inkling that there might be something exciting happening was when it became apparent that people were standing on the bows of their boats, facing shore with cameras in hand. Paddling closer, spotted a young black bear walking on shore turning over boulders and busy eating something that it was finding. Rebecca was careful about keeping a lot of water between the bear and the kayak.

Forward Harbour Aug 4, 2016

We had planned to leave to at O'dark 30; but due to a complication with billing we had to stay an extra day in Lagoon Cove. The exciting part, was being able to take pictures of the black bear in the Blowhole.
An interesting set up for an extended swim platform to transport two different kinds of dinghies. The boat was tied up at Lagoon Cove. The sun was poking it's head out right as we were turning to go up Sunderland Channel.

Anyway, we pulled out at 5:45 a.m. to see if we could get down Johnstone Strait without too much wind. It is always interesting to see the mix of wind and tides and whether they will be against each other or traveling the same direction. If it is a West wind and an outgoing tide than not only do you have the current going against you but you also have the wind creating steeper waves as well. The only good thing is with the wind on top of the water, and pushing from behind, does help a little. When we arrived at the entrance for Forward Harbour it looked as though, from the distance, a logboom was being held by a tugboat across the opening. Approaching closer, we could see that it was being held against the south wall and tied off as well; with the tugboat tied up and waiting for slack to go through the Whirlpool Rapids. Around 11:00 a.m., tug and boom left for parts south.
This is the logboom that appeared, from a distance, to be across the entrance to Forward Harbour. It is very unusual to arrive inside Forward Harbour and there are NO boats, anywhere. We had the pick of the area for anchorage and dropped a hook in the most protective location. John is at the bow to drop the hook and make sure everything sets up and is secure on the bottom.

Cordera Islands Aug 5, 2016

In the morning, we left at 5:40 a.m., to catch Whirlpool Rapids at slack and Green Point Rapids traveling a little against us, by the time we arrive, at 3 mpg. Went through both with no issues, and no big whirlpools either (which is nice) and started looking for a place to anchor on the backside of Codera Islands. BnP had shared two different spots they had used in the past and the option number 2 was available between a sailboat and two big boats that were side-tied and swinging on one hook. Later in the day, the sailboat couple stopped to chat after pulling their anchor and with their recommendation we pulled up and moved over to where they had been anchored for a more secure location for the night. It is a beautiful sunny day and having arrived before 8 in the morning, had the full day to explore in the kayak, and go fishing in Green Point Rapids at slack water.
Heading back to the boat after we each caught a nice lingcod, one of them jumped out of the bucket landing on the floor of the dinghy startling us both. If you look at both pictures, it is hard to tell whom is talking more, the fish or John! LOL Fish cleaning time! A dirty job but somebody has to do it.

The view is beautiful, in every direction of our anchorage. One of those perfect locations on a perfect day. We picked up some nice sized rock crabs and cooked and started cracking them while enjoying the location and view. Whew, forgot how thick their shells can be. Also, the meat is slightly sweeter than dungeness crab as well.

Al little dinghy cleaning before lifting and storing for the night.

Squirrel Cove Aug 6, 2016

Left in the rain, heading for Squirrel Cove and the weather has created beautiful skies with different backgrounds and cloud covers. The first picture below was after pulling anchor in Codera Islands and heading towards Yuculta Rapids, about a two hour run. The pink of the sun trying to make itself visible to the day was a momentary view of glory before the clouds took back over the ambience of atmospheric pressures. Or something like that! In the evening, we had a beautiful sunset. We anchored in a different location, immediately inside the cove. Normally we would hang a right and go all the way back to the lagoon. However, the Cove was FULL with a capital T. So, empty spot provided us with a view to the outside of Squirrel Cove and was a good anchorage for the night.

Thunder Bay Aug 7, 2016

Well, the weather sure fit the name of our new location, although we didn't hear any thunder, it was raining... or pouring down rain. Not sure which was supposed to be scheduled for the day, but we went through lots of wet stuff. Having learned of another alternative anchorage, from BnP, we decided to get out of the weather while coming down the backside of Texada Island and midway in Malaspina Strait, we hung a left into the north entrance of Jervis Inlet and hung an immediate second left into Thunder Bay. Checking out the south cove, which is more protected, we found only one sailboat and found a good spot to anchor for the night. Later on, of course, it lifted to a very light mist with the sun breaking out at times and so off comes the kayak on to exploring a new location. Paddling along in the peace and quiet, when sound and movement exploded from shore. Bursting out onto the water, and paddling madly away was a mother merganser and 11 babies! After heart beat slowed down, grabbed the camera to take picture. If we had been more ready, could have gotten a closer shot. Further along, a heron was sunning on a tree, making a unique picture with the way the light was reflecting and coloring the water.

After taking off the first time, when the kayak had drifted too close, it landed again. Took a couple of pictures of it as it gracefully took off over the water, thoroughly tired of the disruption of its peace.

A red sea anenome that we were able to get a picture of while anchored in Codera Islands, was pretty unique.

Nanaimo Aug 8, 2016

Up again, at O dark 30, to see about getting across Georgia Strait. Wind light, at 4 to 5 mpg, not bad so off we go at 5:41 a.m. after pulling the anchor with no problems. The first picture was the sunrise as we finished heading down Malaspina Strait. Beautiful. The second picture was looking ahead, to the other side of Georgia Strait and a rainstorm that we appeared to be heading directly towards. Yep, went through that rain and came out the other side, entering the channel for Nanaimo. Pulling up to the fuel dock at the north entrance, the floatplane dock was doing a lot of business with incoming and outgoing planes. They sure were noisy. Looking ahead, in the fourth picture you can see the same darn stormy clouds that were hanging around Nanaimo when we went through here in June. Some clouds are like company that doesn't know when it is time to leave! LOL

After anchoring, in Marks Bay which had a lot of boats, a guy came over in his dinghy to let us know he would be pulling anchor in an hour and we could move over to his spot. There was a piledriver, with the pilings in the ground holding it in place right next to us. So, after an hour we pulled up our anchor and moved over as they left to go south through Dodd Narrows at slack water. Well, it turns out that we wouldn't have needed to move after all; in the pictures below you can see a tug hauling it away as the piledrivers are raised out of the mud.

38' 1988 Bayliner Motoryacht

32' 1988 Bayliner Motoryacht

2556 1988 Bayliner Ciera

24' 1972 Bayliner Saratoga

© 2006 John Pratt ©

Crew of Rebecca Ann