Log: The Home Stretch

Sunday, July 22 49º58.81’N 124º45.78’W Lund

We had no idea what to expect of Lund. Would it be a run down, end-of-the-road industrial site with some aging working boats? Oy a silly, expensive, prettified place focussed on its historic hotel, a bit ilke Roach Harbor? It was neither.  We’ll go back again.

Lund is small with several picturesque coves facing the sea. It’s about 20 miles from Powell River, close enough to be administratively a part of that community. But the harbor is community-owned and operated. Two floating fingers serve recreational boats and one commercial boats, although we were given space at the commercial dock. An ingenious, segmented, offset breakwater has hundreds of feet of tie up space with easy access to a dinghy dock. Moorage was a welcome $0.65 a foot. Surrounding businesses include the Boardwalk restaurant, Nancy’s Bakery and the 1905 Lund Hotel. The hotel, which is owned and operated by the Slimmom First Nation, had everything we needed: first real grocery since shearwater, laundry, and a friendly pub with internet.

Monday and Tuesday, July 23 and 24 49º37.85’N 123º07.53’W Pender Harbour

We sailed down Malespina Strait on reliable winds for wing and wing. I’ve figured out how to pole out the jib by myself. I figured out how to use the the anchor snubber to keep from losing it over board and to keep it from catapulting me overboard when I remove it under pressure of the sail.

We were delighted to see they Fisherman’s Marina could take us. Unfortunately, this meant a poor season thus far for Dave and Jennifer. The level of simple service remains high. We were greeted and made fast by the utterly polite and accommodating front line liveaboards, John and Liz. It was nice to finally be able to attend to email and enjoy a beer and supper at the Garden Bay pub, despite the shock of so many boats and people around.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 25-27 49º17.47’N 123º07.53’W Coal Harbour

We’d phoned Coal Harbour for reservations, which proved unnecessary. Hordes of people out in the hot sun on the waterfront and in the parks, however. We visited the Aquarium and got our questions about marine mammals answered. Despite the awkward choice of days, we got to spend time with the Habibs, who hope to go sailing with us out of Port Townsend over Canadian Thanksgiving. On the last evening, Poonam took me to dinner, talked about her interesting job, and provided helpful orientation to what I need to do for PHLUSH on return to Portland.

Saturday, July 28 48º145.04’N 123º11.04’W Bedwell Harbour

We had a terrific sail across the Strait go Gerogia to Porlier Pass but arrived too early for slack. So then we did a counter productive tack south against wind and current and ended up having to motor down to Active Pass to hit it at slack. It lived up to its name, with many ferries going and coming, the largest shooing us to one side right in the middle. Jack had me at the helm and said, “Just stay on course and do NOT look behind you,” It was great to do our first transit of Active Pass on such a nice day.

In Bedwell, we seemed to lose our anchoring karma. After moving away from a boat to which we seemed too close we landed a bit too close to another but stayed on deck in hopes of telling them how great our ground tackle is. But as soon as we went down for supper, they moved! If only people would communicate. In the morning, about eight links of our thick chain chain jammed but this provided a chance to practice what seems to be a foolproof unjamming technique: I use the staysail sheet and winch to put counter tension on it.

Sunday, July 29 48º145.04’N 123º11.04’W  Friday Harbor

Just as well the anchor routine took time; some of the fog out in Boundary Channel could dissipate. No problems. We had the usual Canadian flag lowering ceremony. With cell phone data service I was able to check US Customs and Waggoners sites for updates on regulations. It seemed that a beef ban was in effect, although the Customs guy in Alaska had asked only about fruits and veggies. So we tossed our a Vancouver Safeway steak overboard, only to discover at Customs that the ban had been lifted and our dinner was feeding the orcas! Next year we’ll do research and hope that USDA coordinates with customs so the current regs – somewhat complicated in the case of Canada – are clear.

Customs people were very cordial but the Friday Harbor Customs float is weird. Large cleats are too distant to be of use and there are only a few openings under the metal toe rail. The wind and current were against me but I managed to secure the midships line to a chain holding the dock’s rubber fenders and the stern to a cleat. The official had appeared by that time but said he wasn’t allowed to help people tie up. So I just threw the bow line on the dock and raced onto the float to retrieve it. The other weird thing was that there was no American flag. Not very welcoming.

By the time the sun broke clear there were boats everywhere, mostly sailboats. A typical summer Sunday in the San Juans. We took one look at the busy fuel dock and gave up. As the places on the outer transit dock disappeared, we anchored after carefully agreeing on the best place.

July 30    Return to home port, Port Townsend.

A spectacularly beautiful and happy journey ends.  And isn’t this the prettiest town on the Inside Passage?