2022 / #11 Strait of Georgia

by | Apr 27, 2023 | 2022 Posts

Sunday, September 18

Last night at bedtime we went on deck to look at the stars and saw a straight line of lights, a dozen or more, rise in the vicinity of Arcturus and slowly follow each other across the northern sky, each of them vanishing in turn in the area of the North Star. Karen thinks they were an alien invasion fleet.  I suspect they were an unusual group of satellites all in the same orbit that vanished as they moved out of view of the setting sun.  But she might be right so keep your eyes on the sky.

Today we took the concept of “late start” to a new extreme.  We had to wait for the tide to rise so we could make it over the bar without issue so our takeoff time was 1:00.  We spent the beautiful morning looking at the scenery and defrosting our second freezer – we are down to so few provisions we need only the one freezer now.  That means less of a load on the batteries, which is good.  That and a few more boat chores and we finally go underway.

But we didn’t go far, just to Tenedos Bay, about 3 miles away.  It is a beautiful anchorage with many nooks and crannies where a boat can go but the bottom can be rocky and a stern tie is called for in many locations.  It does have a large open area with a good mud bottom; its only downside is that it’s 60-70 feet deep.  Since most of the other prime spots were taken that’s where we ended up, after two failed attempts, I might add.  This is all because I’m obsessive about having my anchor set well enough to withstand a gale, even though there is barely a whisper of a breeze and even that will die later.

We are positioned now to be able to leave early and begin our journey South.  We’re still taking our time, cruising in response to the weather and sea conditions. We expect to be in Seattle by the end of September but have no firm date.


Monday, September 19

Last night’s satellite display was the same as the night before.  We saw the line of lights at about 9:20.  We looked at different areas of the sky but didn’t see any others.

I was right, there wasn’t a breath of air all night long.  I’m sure we would have stayed put no matter where we put the anchor, even with no scope at all, as long as it was on the bottom.  The dawn brought more clear blue skies and light breezes to Desolation Sound.  We don’t want to leave in such perfect weather but the long slog back to the Gulf Islands would be most unpleasant if we waited for the change in the weather coming later this week.

So we joined a long line of boats heading South.  We didn’t really feel up to a crowd so we passed by Westview and decided against Pender Harbour in favor of the small marina at Sturt Bay, which is on Texada Island.  In looking at our copy of Waggoner’s Guide we noticed a picture of the marina that has Mischief in it.  I guess we’re famous.  It must have been taken on our first visit here in 2019.  And today we were here early and got the same spot on the dock.

There are few services at the marina but there is a decent grocery store a few blocks away and a very nice, and easy, trail to Emily Lake, known locally as Turtle Lake because of the Western Painted Turtles that are seen there.  We didn’t see any turtles but did see lots of dragonflies of many different colors when we went to the swimming float (too cold to swim, though).  It was a very nice hike over easy trails – just what we needed to give our knees a little rest.  Clearly we are starting to wind down.


Tuesday, September 20

We had a peaceful night at the dock and left in the morning for our long journey down Malaspina Strait.  The wind was from behind us, the small chop vanished after a bit and the water became calm.  As is often the case with us we had no particular destination in mind so we decided to check out some good spots as we passed them to see if they were vacant.

First was Anderson Bay on Texada.  It has room for one boat and there was already one there so we went on by.  Next was Codfish Bay on Jedediah Island but it was already taken as well.  We tried anchoring in Home Bay but decided there wasn’t enough room (besides it was too windy) so we went on around Jedediah to the more sheltered west side and finally decided on Deep Bay.  It’s not all that deep but it is narrow and it took two tries to get the anchor in the right place for us to set up a stern tie to shore.  Now nice and secure, we decided to go for a hike.

The entire island is a Marine Provincial Park and has several nice walks.  The terrain is quite varied with forest, hills, grasslands and orchards.  The old buildings of the original homestead are still here, being allowed to slowly decay.  At least one that we saw had already fallen down.  I’m sure the others will follow in time.  There is a small flock of sheep, no doubt being used to keep the grass trimmed.  And we saw an otter swimming in our bay on our return.  It’s a lovely and bucolic place.

We looked for satellites again but didn’t see any.  The air is definitely not as clear and there is probably sky glow, both of which would prevent our seeing such a dim display.


Wednesday, September 21

We’re always glad to have a nice day to cross a major body of water and today was pretty good.  Wind was light and mostly from behind us and the sky was a brilliant blue.  The only wrinkle was a diversion around a military exercise area called “WG” on the chart because of military activity.  We didn’t see any military ships but WG is used for testing torpedos so who knows.  It lengthened the trip by a couple of miles, not much over a 4 hour journey.

We were headed to the Gulf Islands and to enter the sanctuary of the Vancouver Island side, away from the Strait of Georgia, you have to go through one of the passes.  We chose Gabriola Passage since we expected to be arriving there at exactly slack water.  And amazingly we did.  But we couldn’t go through – the entire passage at its narrowest point was filled with a log boom being towed our with the last of the flood current.  We just had to wait since log booms don’t move very quickly.

Our destination for the night was Pirates Cove Marine Park, but not the main anchorage.  We prefer the somewhat exposed anchorage in Ruxton Passage – it’s always much quieter.  Today there are two boats here while there are 15 in the cove itself.  We went ashore and hiked a 2 mile loop around the park that goes along the shore line through Madrona forest, very pretty.  We’re getting back into territory that’s close to home and familiar – and popular.

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