Thursday, 18 September 2014

Anchored Out

Cadboro Bay, Victoria
We're anchored off the Royal Victoria Yacht Club ... we'll tie up to our usual place in front of the Empress Hotel tomorrow. We've had a wonderful summer and are grateful that we were able to complete our plans and that all went well. Best wishes to all our friends and fellow sailors for the winter.
Mary Anne & Larry
Traversay III

Junior sailors racing in the Bay

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Our Communications

Sidney BC
Traversay III NE Pacific Circuit 2014
We're nearly finished with our voyage for this year. Soon we'll be returning to our home port, we'll be visiting relatives and friends. We won't be 'blogging' again for a long time.

Before we go, I want to explain a few facts (as I understand them) about our communications (or lack thereof). Larry has patiently explained all these issues to me a number of times, and I regret that I will probably STILL be wrong. However, those of you who have known him for a long time will realize that he is a navigational and electronics genius. He was winning the right to program room-sized computers at the University when we were in Grade 8.

We can post our blog and location (along with very small photos) everywhere. We can normally send text-only messages and receive them at our gmail address. But sometimes this only happens with a great expenditure of money using the Sat-phone. We CANNOT RESPOND to our blog.We update the small photos with higher resolution or additional photos when we get to places with hi-speed internet.

ON THE ABOVE MAP (April-September 20, 2014)
We can post Blogs and Locations and very small photos. We can receive and respond to personal gmail messages. We cannot respond to messages on our Blog. Sometimes we need to use a Satphone to send our messages.

 In these locations we were able to use cell phone but with high roaming charges. A- Port Townsend 3 days B- Monterey 3 days and San Diego 3 days D- Hawaii in Honolulu we had a week (no phone coverage E of Honolulu) E- King Cove 3 days
 In Ensenada Mexico we had erratic hi-speed at the marina. However, we could also make short International calls from the Marina Office ... 3 weeks

F-Prince Rupert Hi-speed; cellphone coverage - we were there about 5 days
G-Bella Bella - cell worked for 20  minutes to send out blog H-I Usually the cell worked and sometimes we've had hi-speed at the marina

This is also a sign meaning hi-speed internet

In The ARCTIC last year - once we left Upernavik Greenland, we had a struggle to remain connected. Only wealthy boats (such as Libelulle which had Inmarsat Fleet Broadband - at an equipment cost of $12,000 and $12/minute connect costs) were able to get information in and out easily.  We all shared information. In our case, we were fortunate to have our friend David Lloyd from Edmonton who knew how to condense the ice charts and other information we needed. However we did spend $2400 on the Satphone over the Passage as often the short-wave single-sideband failed to work.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Sunshine Coast BC

We spent a wonderful 2 nights tied to the magnificent new government dock at Gibsons Landing ... right in the middle of this busy little community and magnificent because, unlike many docks, it is the same height as the deck of our boat. The Sunshine Coast is on the mainland of the province of British Columbia but can only be reached by boat. Most people come here by ferry and so have we in times past. In fact, this is the first time Traversay III has visited 'the Coast'.
A calm moment in the Brahms
Bob and Karen selecting songs
Richard and daughter Becky
Kathleen and Ed
Kathleen, Shelley and Josephine
Many friends from the past wanted to see her and it turned into a feast of music and food. At the 'Boat Show' on Friday night, after a little wine the guests were tricked by Larry into a sing-along. My great friend violinist Kathleen was cajoled into taking up the fiddle and launching into a rousing rendition of one of Brahms' Hungarian Dances (danced by Larry in trued Cossack style!) Kathleen had included me as pianist, harpsichordist and organist when she started the 'Seacoast Chamber Players' in the 90's. Other guests that night included our neighbours  at the dock Richard Till and daughter Becky on  MY ISLAND - a beautiful seaworthy steel boat built by Richard himself.  On Saturday we had a reunion with Kathleen's husband Ed at their home and some violin/piano music - Bach, Mozart, Bartok, Ravel - we then went on to visit  Josephine Hammond (soprano) for a musical marathon of of Mendelssohn, Schumann and a read-through of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (performed some years ago with Jo and mezzo-soprano Shelley Dillon in the vocal roles).
As we ate the beautiful dinner prepared by Jo and contributed to by all (except Larry and myself who were treated like visiting royalty) we looked out across the waters to Keats Island and to one of the Hammond boats tied to a mooring ball. Jo's son Erik has taken over his parents log-salving business plus helps operate a water-taxi service. We were privileged to view his new second-hand aluminum vessel - destined to be re-configured as a liveaboard boat to take his young family on exciting adventures along this BC Coast.

Erik Hammond's new boat


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Princess Louisa Inlet

These 9 photos are worth more than 1,000 words to describe our 2-night stay.
Approaching Malibu Rapids

Malibu Resort
Queen's Reach
Evening Peace over the Inlet

Peak amidst the clouds

Princess Louisa Inlet

 Sailboat enters in the evening

Chatterbox Falls

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sailing South

Mary Anne and Sea Star
Sea Pen
Since leaving Prince Rupert behind, we managed to fit in 3 SCUBA dives.  One was in an area new to us: Hurricane Island in the Hakai recreation area; the other two at the Walker Group of islands at the north end of Queen Charlotte Strait.

The Hurricane Island dive featured a wide variety of rockfish; the Walker Group featured a wild profusion of colourful invertebrates.  There were sponges, tunicates, different sorts of crabs, nudibranchs and sea stars a meter and a half across and the ever-present beautiful plumose anemone.  It brought back fond memories of our dives many years ago in nearby God's Pocket and Nakwatko Rapids.

As we headed south from our dives toward a rendezvous with Richie Penner and his wife Lillian in their power-boat PRAIRIE OTTER, we were passed by a nearby pod of Orca Whales.

Lillian, Richie and PRAIRIE OTTER
But back to PRAIRIE OTTER:   Richie along with his two sisters Anita and Leona are the children of Mary Anne's father's best friend from his boyhood in Russia.  Mary Anne used to play at their farm when she was a child and hadn't seen Richie for some
50 years!  Of course a shared anchorage and dinner together was arranged!

A bit south of that rendezvous, some careful calculations were required with departure times to avoid fighting massive currents along Jonstone Strait.  Further along, the timing is even more critical at the Dent, Gillard and Yuculta Rapids where the wrong timing makes the channels either impassable or quite dangerous with eddies and overfalls.

Approaching the Rapids
We managed to scurry through the last of the tidal rapids at the right time, and thus unscathed, and headed to Walsh Cove in the Desolation Sound area.  There we tied alongside Bob and Anita's MOONDANCE. Anita, mentioned before, is Richie's sister and a childhood friend of Mary Anne.  Just to complete this family rendezvous, Leona and her husband Lee were also aboard MOONDANCE as guests.

Anita, Mary Anne and Leona
We spent three nights tied together at Walsh Cove and at Isabel Bay in Okeover Inlet.  There were shared meals, hikes in the forest and swims in the sea.  Altogether a very good time amid beautiful scenery.

We are now on our way again with plans to head up Jervis Inlet to revisit Princess Louisa Inlet - a beautiful mountain circled pool that we have not seen since the early 1990's.