A West Coast Misty Day

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June 18

What a great long sleep I had last night!  Awakened at 7:20 to a calm and misty morning with eagles calling out.  We are invited over to the ‘mothership’….the 40 ft Beneteau that Cap’n John V. calls home…would we like an espresso?  We have a tour of his boat and share a few stories over our delicious coffees.  Time to press on…

We had been thinking about going for a walk along the trail to Squirrel Cove (on the other side of Cortes), but with the inclement weather we decide to motor on in search of adventure!

It is certainly not very busy with boats up here in Calm Channel, which is living up to its name today!  However we do spot a large vessel heading our way….the Pacific Yellowfin, a luxury cruise yacht, coming out of Bute Inlet.  Up ahead we decide to pull in to Church House, a historic village of the Homalco First Nations people.  We had been here in our previous sailing life and wanted to check in on any new developments.  It appears that old church is completely gone, and although we make it ashore, there are no trails through the thick blackberries. We fill up our water jugs with some refreshing spring water and wander on the beach finding lots of colored glass.  When we get back to the boat, it is time to move on as we need to catch the slack tide to go through ‘Hole in the Wall’.

The rugged mountainous landscape is eerily beautiful as the low clouds move in and out of the cliffs and valleys…and although it is cool and drizzling, we are pretty comfy with our puffy jackets and rain gear.  The trip through Hole in the Wall, a narrow cleft in the steep rocky terrain between Maurelle and Sonora Islands, and is as lovely as I remember it.  We arrive at ‘the narrows’ right on time to catch the ‘slack tide’ and head over to Bodega Bay and we are now at the north end of Quadra Island.  We make our way through a narrow Channel which opens out into Waitt Bay and Octopus Islands Marine Park as I stand up on the bow and observe many schools of small silver needlefish skipping along the surface.  There are a few boats already anchored but lots of room for many more…we motor through the on-off drizzle and find a small bay to drop anchor amongst the loons, mergansers and eagles.

While I prepare our dinner, we watch a hungry eagle struggling on the shore with a very large salmon (looks as big as him!).  What a show!  The salmon is still flopping around on the rocks as if trying to get back into the water, but he is no match for the sharp talons and beak of the eagle who finally manages to get some dinner.

After our dinner, music and dancing and HOT SHOWERS (sheer luxury!!!!) we finally hit the sack…it’s 11 pm and just getting dark….love these long days!

 

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Now a luxury yacht, she was originally built by the US Army near the end of the World War II, the Pacific Yellowfin was originally christened as JMP64 in 1943 when she slid down the ways at Billings Shipyard in Deer Isle, Maine. As a Junior Mine Planter, she was to be used in protecting harbours off of the East Coast of the USA.

Whales in Sutil Channel!

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Our cozy home on the water…looking forward from the galley!

June 17

The sun sure gets up early on these long ‘close to solstice’ days!  After our ‘Bulletproof’ coffee(recipe below), we bounce into our ‘Rubber Ducky’ and row ashore to the Marina to stretch our sailors’ legs on the hard ground.  The grounds around the Marina are full of lovely gardens with a rainbow of colorful flowers including a gorgeous magenta poppy from which I scooped a seed pod…not quite dried out yet, but we’ll see if it produces.  We make it up to the road through the campground and see a bunch of tents with tables and chairs set up all covered in white linen and vases of more beautiful flowers!  A wedding party perhaps?  We don’t have time to stick around for the show, so we head back to the boat…but we do stop at the store and pick up a couple of big jugs of ‘Whistler Water’ (????) as the water from the tanks in the boat, although there is lots, tastes gross!

Breakfast consists of my special ‘Paleo Pancakes’ (recipe below) of which I have premade a bag of the dry ingredients, and organic strawberries, almond butter and organic hi fat yogurt…yum!  Time to get motoring out to the Strait to catch some more breezes!  We negotiate our way through Uganda Pass, which is a very narrow and tricky (must follow the marker buoys closely) passage that  separates Marina and Cortes Islands…once safely on the other side and into Sutil Channel we notice a ‘dark blue line’ forming on the horizon….

A gentle breeze is filling in from the SW…perfect…we set our sails and are away and gone….peaceful and quiet (engine OFF)… with nothing but the lapping of the water against the hull!

Up ahead we see a boatload of tourists…what’s this about?  What could they be peering at over the side of the boat?  I could not believe my eyes…a whale spout!  And no, this was not an Orca, but a Humpback….

 

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COMMON NAME: Humpback Whale

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Megaptera novaeangliae

TYPE: Mammals

DIET: Omnivores

GROUP NAME: Pod

SIZE: 48 to 62.5 ft

WEIGHT: 40 tons

Humpback whales are known for their magical songs, which travel for great distances through the world’s oceans.

Whale Songs:  These sequences of moans, howls, cries, and other noises are quite complex and often continue for hours on end. Scientists are studying these sounds to decipher their meaning. It is most likely that humpbacks sing to communicate with others and to attract potential mates.

Behavior and Parenting:  These whales are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton, and small fish. Humpbacks migrate annually from summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the Equator. Mothers and their young swim close together, often touching one another with their flippers with what appear to be gestures of affection. Females nurse their calves for almost a year, though it takes far longer than that for a humpback whale to reach full adulthood. Calves do not stop growing until they are ten years old.

Swimming and Breaching:  Humpbacks are powerful swimmers, and they use their massive tail fin, called a fluke, to propel themselves through the water and sometimes completely out of it. These whales, like others, regularly leap from the water, landing with a tremendous splash. Scientists aren’t sure if this breaching behavior serves some purpose, such as cleaning pests from the whale’s skin, or whether whales simply do it for fun.

As we carry on, the wind gets stronger from the South East, more or less from behind us, pushing us along.  We see more whales on our way over to Von Donop Marine Park (at the north end of Cortes Island) where we will meet up with our sailing buddies, John V. and John N.  It is a very protected little inlet and a great anchorage…a good thing, as the wind is supposed to pick up tonight to 25 knots!  As we are dropping the anchor, we are being watched by a curious Bald Eagle from a big old Fir.  The eagle has landed!  Another fun filled sailing day!

BULLETPROOF COFFEE:  1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, 1Tbsp unsalted organic grass fed butter, 1Tbsp organic collagen powder, in a 12 oz cup of your favorite coffee.  Use a hand blender to whizz everything together til foamy…yummy and better than a cappacino!

I found a very nifty ‘hand and arm powered’ whizzer at the dollar store…

Grain Free Paleo Pancakes ( makes 6 – 3 inch…enough for 2)

6 Tbsp ground organic golden flaxseed

2 Tbsp organic chia seeds (or hemp seeds, sesame seeds, coconut)

1 – 2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt

2 large free range eggs

2 Tbsp coconut oil

Mix together in a medium size bowl.  Spoon mixture into preheated on medium heat and well oiled ( I use coconut oil) frypan.When the mixture sits for a few minutes, it may get to difficult to spoon into the frypan, as the flax absorbs the moisture, so you can add a liquid such as, coconut milk, liquid whey protein, or even just water to thin it out a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

“JUST DO IT”

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No, This is not us, Mark has not lost all his hair, but a promotional photo of the sailboat which has actually been renamed  “JUST DO IT”, which I thought was quite appropriate!

 

June 16th, 2017    🌥

After an early riser and 2 false starts (hmmmm, can’t go without the GPS or the bin of dry goods!), we finally get to the PR Marina by 10:30.  Whew! What a lot of stuff to load.  The Very Large refrigerator is jammed full of produce from the garden and pre-made frozen meals.  The Vberth is strewn with stuff…all this for 2 weeks?

After a quick run thru on the systems with Cooper Staff, we are ready to ditch the landlubbers behind and set our sails and our sights for Savary Island and beyond.  There is a light SW breeze so we up the main ( after figuring out how to take the reefs out) and let go the jib….sailing once again!

Lunchtime, naturally the wind gusts and I need to retrieve the sushi out of the sink, but no harm done.  We can enjoy our snack now that the wind is going light.  Lots of boats, large and small, going in both directions…this is the Marine Highway to the very popular Desolation Sound.

Carrying on past Savary Island and Lund, we recall the days when we would sail out through the shallow and treacherous Manson Passage as a short cut into the Strait….and the many times we anchored in front of the million dollar cottages on Hernando Island where now WE too could enjoy the spectacular view of the snow capped Coastal Mountains.

At Baker Passage (between Hernando and Cortes Is) we catch a lovely SW breeze with very flat water and we sail over to Hollyhock Farm and back a few times getting the feel for this seemingly quick sailing vessel on a gloriously sunny day.

Eventually the wind drops and we must start the engine…How great to just  “purr” along at 5-6 knots And then we are at Gorge Harbour on Cortes Is. in no time!  And yes, the petroglyphs at the entrance are still there!

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As we dine, we can hear the band at the Marina in the distance, but they don’t play late and we have a very peaceful night on the water!  A joy to be living the sailing life once again!

 

Our New Euro New Bicycles!!!!

A few days ago things were not looking so good…the CUBE touring bicycles that we spent hours (days and weeks actually!) researching and that we finally decided we wanted for our trip were nowhere to be found in Netherlands!  Today, on a whim, I thought I would look again online and see what I could find.  Well, amazingly enough, I found them on a Bike Discount site based out of Germany.  They are now bought and paid for and being shipped to our wonderful Dutch friends, Jaap and Simone who will keep them for us until we arrive at the end of August.  What a relief!  And a huge step in the right direction…Europe, here we come!

 

 

 

Gypsyrozbud goes to Sea!

Well it certainly has been a while since we have been sailing, but it seems we will soon be back out in the ‘Salish Sea’ again (although back in the old days it was called the Strait of Georgia).  We have chartered a Jenneau 36 starting June 15 for 2 weeks!  Lots of preparation is under way…we have been to see the boat and it has all the amenities and comforts….hot water, shower, heater, BBQ, roller furling, inflatable dingy with motor…luxurious, really!  Meal planning and prep is underway and fishing gear is being packed, along with lots of warm clothes and rain gear!

Which direction will we be going….so many choices…studying the charts….where will the wind be blowing from?

Fleeting moments….

Hmmm….time seems to whiz by as we go about our daily routines here at The Last Resort….except of course when you are desperately waiting for the peas to show their little heads, which they finally did today, or the lettuce to get big enough for at least a little salad (not yet!).  Thanks to the sprouting jar we do get something extra fresh for the salads….and we are still eating last summer’s red sauerkraut, which has surprised me with its crunchiness.  And the kale in the garden continues to grow and be munched on by this veggie lover.

The weather has proven to be a little better than the predictions in that it hasn’t rained every day, all day and most days the sun has peeked out for at least a few hours.

The swallows have been in and out of the house, the finches appear sporadically at the feeder and there is one hummingbird that loves the new location of the clothesline where he perches quite happily for minutes on end.

We have been corresponding regularly with our dear Dutch friends, Jaap and Simone, who are so kindly looking at bicycles for us over in Netherlands.  Another exciting step towards our upcoming trip!

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My order for the Great Lakes Collagen and gelatin finally arrived and we are now having a super bulletproof coffee every morning using our very own Powell River roasted beans, grass fed butter, organic coconut oil and now a tablespoon of Collagen…quite tasty!  Haven’t figured out how I am going to get through 3 months in Europe without this morning infusion of energy?  More food for thought!

Oh, and I tried to make my favourite Indian dish, Mattar Paneer(curried peas and fresh cheese) last week.  I went out to the Wildwood Farm and bought some fresh cow milk to make the paneer…however, I didnt let it drain long enough…so it kind of went to mush when I tried to fry it!!!!  Anyway, it all tasted good…so I will try it again and learn from first mistakes.  The cheese was actually quite good spread on one of my homemade seedy cumin crackers!