North on the Inside Passage

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The view from our house is where our cruise started.

We’re on our way under sunny skies but weak winds. Two days of motoring and one in gentle wind under sail have brought us halfway up Vancouver Island. The rush of preparation ended when we picked up Cousin Cruz at SeaTac – the only person we’ve ever picked up – and headed straight for a good night’s sleep on Aurora, followed by an early morning departure right through this view from our house. Here’s the log.

Sunday, May 25: 48º53.7’N 123º24’W  We cast off at 6 am from Port Townsend to Bedwell to pass customs and on to Montague Harbor. Pewter and dark green. No wind. Cruz had just finished exams and was just as exhausted as we were. But celebrating selling his never-on-the-water-under-his-watch project boat to another project boater. He’s learned a lot fixing what he could and finding out what didn’t deserve his talents. After catching up on the news, we rotated naps, starting with Jack and then Cruz. I was on watch, marveling at the space and enjoying the porpoises but got really tired by the time we were headed up Haro Strait, I risked falling asleep and falling off the spinnaker box where I was sitting,leaning against the mast. So I joined Jack in the cockpit where he told me just to lie down. Soon we felt a couple of big bumps and saw a large log and smaller piece of same float past!

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The Maple Leaf went up in Boundary Channel.

The Canadian pennant went up as we crossed the Boundary Channel between Stuart and South Pender Islands. This was made memorable by a huge oil tanker which suddenly exited the southbound shipping lane, crossed the Northbound lane and the sliver beyond where we had been. It passed without incident, revealing a Maputo (Mozambique)registration. Maybe first timers wanting to have a closer look at the pretty, still-green west coast of San Juan Island?

When we stopped to clear customs in Bedwell Harbor, we found no damage at the waterline from the collision with the drift log. With a lot of afternoon before us we pressed on and caught a buoy in Montague Harbour.

Monday, May 26  49º29.8’N 124º13.9’W  Boho Bay on Lasqueti Island. We were headed for Nanaimo but rather than having to get the timing right to go through Dodd Narrows, we were good for a morning slack at Porlier Pass. So we spent a fabulous day out in the middle of Georgia Strait, which is sixty miles long and twenty across. Clouds foaming at the snow level on Vancouver Island and the Mainland but blue sky above. And the water was silver. Finally Cruz teased some energy out of the very light winds. We polled the jib out and sailed silently most of the day. We’d been headed for Comox but the thought of a city did not resonate even if we really needed an onion and some fresh produce. So we went on to the southwest tip of Taxeda to Lasqueti, a lovely island with rocky madrone-cvered slopes and numerous charming little gunkholes.

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A squall in the distance and a rainbow for us.

Tuesday, May 27 50º02’N 125º14.5’W  Another day out on the Strait headed straight for our destination: Campbell River. Rocked and rolled the length of Taxeda Island  but then things calmed down.  After a distant squall arched a rainbow over us, the sun stayed around for real. No wind but the bright warmth of the deck the chance to dig into a couple of the books that had been waiting for this day. We now have onions,some fresh fruit and produce, and a supply of wine and beer things Canadian Customs is sensitive about.

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