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 Island Dreams No. 922 - Salish Sea Sail
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Carl in LA
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Initially Posted - 07/29/2019 :  19:18:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings everybody...

This year I set aside time to have an extended sail in the Salish Sea. My home port is San Pedro, CA so the adventure of this cruise also includes getting there - which is partially described in the Preparing to Haul thread in the 250 subforum.

I'm scheduled to be in the cruising grounds for a little over a month. My only goals of the cruise are to visit Desolation Sound and attend the Port Townsend Wooden Boat show. The boat show is on September 6th thru 8th.

I thought about starting a blog to record the adventures but for now - I'll use this thread as a kinda-blog to record progress and findings.

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat

Edited by - Carl in LA on 08/01/2019 21:26:37

Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 07/29/2019 :  19:41:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess we have to start back at the beginning of Catalina 250 ownership to see how this cruise evolved.

All boats are compromises and the compromises I was looking for when boat shopping were first - cheap moorage... and in Los Angeles that meant a smaller boat. And the smallest seaworthy boat for the Pacific Ocean in the LA area tends to be 25 feet and above... granted Ken L. Sails his Catalina 22 to Catalina Island all the time but those boats are rare out at the island.

For me - the 250 has a modern "cavity" interior, stern seats, open stern, and has the good Catalina Yachts quality was enough to make me buy-in. Competing boats were MacGregors, Hunters, and Nor'sea's... the Nor'sea's would have been great if they wern't so expensive for anything newer... and MacGregors... I never warmed up to how light their hardware is... it achieves their goal but the pounding the Pacific delivers just calls for the slightly heavier gear the Catalina offers. A 250 became available in Oakland (technically Alameda Island) and it's the one I bought.

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 07/29/2019 :  19:53:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Buying a boat on a trailer started me thinking that I more possibilities and the idea for sailing in the Pacific Northwest, Baja in the Sea of Cortez, and perhaps the canals of Ontario, could be possible. Since starting to think about cruising a bit I read that other owners have taken their boats to the Great Lake and the Bahamas...

So I began on enhancements to make the 250 more livible for more than the weekend. The bimoni for shade, the solar panels for power, the C-Head, the shelving, the microwave, the extensive electrical system work, the additional water supply... all applied to make the boat suitible for cruising.

It's tight...

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 07/29/2019 :  20:34:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A tow beast...

I bought the 250 without having a tow vehicle. Of course the broker delivered the boat to LA from Oakland. A good broker does whatever it takes to make the sale go through.

Earlier this spring, knowing that this Salish Sea adventure was upcoming... I started shopping for a tow vehicle.

I had four criteria... one ton vehicle, diesel, not too nice to be a theft threat, and under $10k.

The truck I ultimately satisfied three out of four... but only because I wanted to somewhat bullet-proof the vehicle... I ended up with a 1999 F350 diesel that I paid $7k for but put another $7k overhauling the rear axel, oil leaks, cooling system, upholstry, LED headlights, and a few dress-up items like a new grille and fender trim.

It is a decent tow beast...

It's not as powerful as a newer truck but it didn't cost like a new truck.

All the stuff I've added to the 250 brings its weight up to about 5,800-lbs and I'm guessing the trailer is 1,200 so I'm towing 7,000...

The truck's first test was the "grapevine"... a nice 6% climb up and over the San Gaberial mountains north of LA... after you climb to 4000 feet you get to descend 2000 feet at that same 6% grade... A qualifer - I'm not the kind of owner that's going to hammer and pound the machine with no concern for it's longevity... so my findings may not be the same as another driver...

45-mph up the hill... I may have squeezed 50 if there was a clear road ahead - but there just didn't seem to be the horsepower for much more... 55-mph to 65 was comfortable across the smaller grades. The temperture gage never budged.

Downhill was a pleasent surprise. The truck came equipped with a thing called a PacBrake... and it's an electriclally operated exhaust brake. I had not had the chance to test it until hauling the boat on this adventure. At the top of the grade I shifted out of overdrive and engaged the PacBrake... near instant rolling resistance... all the way down the grade the truck/trailer maintained about 55-mph... I never touched the brake pedal all the way down. Impressive.

The trailer pulled smooth... no issues with it verses the truck.

Fuel economy? Unloaded the truck gets a somewhat impressive 18-mpg...
Hauling the trailer... down to 12-mpg... the 250 is not super heavy but enough to drag down the mileage.

So as tow beasts go - I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/01/2019 :  07:31:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Getting there...

My boat preparations are noted in the thread Preparing to Haul over in the 250 sub forum.

I made it.

Originally I had envisioned that I would start the trip from Port Townsend as I wanted to end the cruise by attending the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Show in early September. But then I lost a week from my schedule waiting for delivery of a trailer part (my fault). So I followed the old axiom - a boat on a trailer goes 60 miles per hour to windward and shifted my departure point more northerly and began researching launch and storage options elsewhere.

The thread Failure to Launch in the 250 subforum gave me the clue I needed... Anacortes.

So off we go headed to Washington...

The first order of business is crossing the San Gaberial mountain range north of LA... the tow beast did fine hauling the boat up the hill. Uphill speeds were only 45 but there were slow trucks and other RV's going slow that choked the road... no worries. Made it to the top.



And going downhill was a piece of cake as the truck has an engine brake to maintain a safe speed down the long grade. The PacBrake engine brake would be used several times on the trip up.



And crossing the California Central Valley was miserable... the condition of the Interstate 5 was deplorable... broken concrete paving continuously for hundreds of miles. The truck and trailer was just pounded.

And the heat... all afternoon and late into the evening temperatures were over 100 - significantly over 100 like 107.

Around 10 pm I decided I'd made pleanty of progress for the day and pulled into the next rest stop planning to sleep in the boat. That was not to be... inside the boat still 95 degrees at 10 pm... wow.



So I continued on to Red Bluff and rented a room at the Travelodge which worked out fine.

The next big thrill for me was crossing Lake Shasta... by now the hihways were paved with asphalt and were much smoother. That helped.



This area was very smoky and the smoke was quite thick and virtuall obscured a view of the monster Mount Shasta - which was close - but not visible.

My life for a couple days... stopping at every rest stop...



Many mountains later I made it to Oregon... and right crossing the boader I see this sign Boat Inspections...



Inspecting incoming boats for invasive species... no worries - Island Dreams passed inspection.



And another surprise... a gas station attendant... havent had someone pump my fuel in decades...



Found the source of the smoke - way up in central Oregon...



Yay!!! Made it to Washington...



Ok... I believe that makes ten photos for the post so I'll leave it at that and continue in a bit...

Best to all,

Carl

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 08/01/2019 :  07:56:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two thumbs up!

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/01/2019 :  17:04:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To continue...

The last driving day started in southern Washington. Got a normal start out of yet another nice rest stop. After a couple hours of driving it was time for another rest stop. At this stop, a volunteer organization provided coffee to travellers... pretty nice.



The final leg of the drive was through Tacoma and Seattle during morning rush hour... not too bad for a veteran of LA traffic like me... going slow gave me a chance to study the Seattle skyline.



Arriving at Skyline Marine Center in Anacortes was almost easy enough. Sadly - Anacortes has two traffic circles to navigate to get through town... required three eyes to point the truck in the right direction, yield to others already in the circle, and a third to check the trailer tire location... but I made it through.

Skyline has a good setup and was able to provide launch, transient moorage, and parking for the truck a trailer for the duration of the cruise... I could not have expected an easier arrangement.




So I set about rebuilding the boat.



Must have been a little buggy along the way...



Uh oh... a problem... I had attempted to make a version of the Catalina Direct trailer mast carrier... and used aluminum... big mistake - the weight of the mast crushed the aluminum... had to resort to borrowing one of the marina staff to have them help by lifting the mast to get it started on its way up...



And on the second day at Skyline we launched...



Closer...



And shes in the water.



This is probably a good place to stop this entry...

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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/01/2019 :  17:20:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Skyline had space to accomodate me for a lay day... which was very helpful... the layday gave me a chance to go through the lists and finish preparing for departure.



Shower...



Laundry...



And walk around admiring the other boats in the marina...





And enjoy the nice surroundings...



Which brings us up to departure time... and a significant bit of learning curve...

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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/01/2019 :  18:21:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Departure day... I chose to leave at a decent hour with skys clearing and light breeze.



And headed out into Rosario Straight...




But something was not right... I wasn't making the progress crossing the straight that I should have been... and then I noticed odd boiling wavelets in the distance... and then I noticed whirlpools! Oh no... I neglected to take into account the tides and current.

With the honda at full throttle I could not make headway. Worse, I was being swept dangerously close to rocky islands.

I bailed out... and began grinding my way back to Skyline. And that was not easy either... I subsequently learned the current at that time was an ebb at three to four knots.



Thankfully Skyline was able to accomodate me for another night.

When I was tied up I went to the office to ask for local knowledge on how to contend with the currents and tides. I kept hearing the term "slack tide". The office staff referred me to the nearby charter company and staff there explained what was happening.

They use a website www.deepzoom.com which has tide and current predictions. They showed me how to use the website and it explained a lot of what I had encountered earlier in the morning.

Without going into the details I now know that I can't just leave when I want to - I have to work around the tides as they flow around the islands and through the straights...

Live and learn.

Hopefully more to follow...

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat

Edited by - Carl in LA on 08/01/2019 21:04:10
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wm36
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Response Posted - 08/02/2019 :  19:20:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Last year when we were leaving Roche Harbor after a wonderful overnight (side note: recommend staying overnight once if you can - the retiring of the colors ceremony at sunset is worth seeing once anyway), we turned into the wind to raise the main. By the time we turned back on course, it took us a half hour (even with the motor) to get back to where we started. Knowing the currents up there is necessary. They sell a little book for when you can't use deepzoom, but it takes some figuring out how to use it.

I see that Sunset can launch with the mast up. That was another disadvantage of Cap Sante - mast had to be down to launch and raised on the water. We prefer to do it on the trailer when we can.

Thanks for the travel log! Living vicariously through you!

Wayne & Lynn
Hillsboro OR
1995 C250 WB #151
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/02/2019 :  20:40:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Appreciate the note and tip on Roche. Hope I get to go there either sooner or later.

Today I had better fortunes with the current... post forthcoming in a moment...

Keep in mind if not for your post on launching difficulties I would not have hooked-up with Skyline... your post was appreciated.

Best,

Carl

quote:
Originally posted by wm36

Last year when we were leaving Roche Harbor after a wonderful overnight (side note: recommend staying overnight once if you can - the retiring of the colors ceremony at sunset is worth seeing once anyway), we turned into the wind to raise the main. By the time we turned back on course, it took us a half hour (even with the motor) to get back to where we started. Knowing the currents up there is necessary. They sell a little book for when you can't use deepzoom, but it takes some figuring out how to use it.

I see that Sunset can launch with the mast up. That was another disadvantage of Cap Sante - mast had to be down to launch and raised on the water. We prefer to do it on the trailer when we can.

Thanks for the travel log! Living vicariously through you!


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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/02/2019 :  21:25:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Success... I crossed Rosario Straight... and without difficulty, and with a sail up, and at peak Catalina 250 speeds.

I departed Skyline Marine Center at 12:30 which was dictated by slack low tide. And the straight was mellow enough. Wind was out of the southwest which made for a perfect beam reach... motor on, wind at +-10, slight push from incoming flood... 6 knots all the time and pushing seven for several miles. Epic.



Thatcher Pass was easy too with a now decent current push... got a close-up of the ferry...



And noticed this interesting little scow (?) sailing down the pass (sorry, pic is zoomed and cropped)...



After turning the corner into San Juan Straight I ran into the boiling water again... enough time must have passed that the flood was running hard... but San Juan Straight did not have the power that Rosario did - so me and the Honda muscled through without spinning in any whirlpools.



And shortly thereafter I was in Friday Harbor.



And I chose to anchor in the north end of the harbor... 60-ft... but thats why we carry 250 feet of chain and line.



A helpful sign at the top of the marina gangway... I went left...



Stocked up on health food at the grocery store...



And had dinner at a nearby sports bar... my wife said I looked worn out... she is right... I feel like making it to Friday Harbor is milestone... buying a trailer boat, making it habitable for more than a weekend, getting a truck, hauling a thousand miles, climbing a tide/current learning curve... yep... I'm worn out. But it's worth it.


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solvasoncc
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Response Posted - 08/05/2019 :  18:32:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep it comin' Carl. This is an awesome adventure. I have two sets of friends who drove up from Texas to cruise those waters, one in Nimble Wanderer who stayed for 3 months, and one in a Guppy 13 who did the Salish this year. The couple on the Nimble had such a good time that they decided to go even further to Glacier Bay and said they'd only leave when the snow/ice makes them. One of these days we'll haul our Catalina 250 and do the same. For now, it hops between Texas lakes and the coast. Take care.

Charles

Catalina 250 WK SR Hull #475

Edited by - solvasoncc on 08/07/2019 18:11:30
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/06/2019 :  18:04:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I walked back to the dinghy dock a photo-op presented itself... Friday Harbor Marina gangway and the Washington State Ferry arriving...



The overnight anchor in the north end of Friday Harbor went well... no wind as it turned out... the boat simply drifting around in circles about the anchor.

It sure was cool in the morning...



As I had a few hours through the morning awaiting the tide to turn I did a few things - starting with inventorying the food I had on board. Henk said to have about two weeks stores and I think I'm close...



Later in the morning I went back on shore as I wanted to attend a yoga class to stretch out the kinks from adjusting my body to living on the boat... it was not to be... when I arrived at the studio they were open but there was no attendant (?). And while waiting for the attendant I flipped through the brochure and found that my single class was going to be $25 so I bailed out. I'm spoiled at my local YMCA for unlimited classes for $90 a month.... The faciliy looked great though...



While walking back from the yoga studio I noticed the cars were stacking up for the ferry...



And I can report the Friday Harbor Marina showers are clean and perfect for transient cruisers...



After showers it was back to the boat... time to raise anchor and sail (yeah right - motor) to the next destination... Provost Harbor on Stuart Island.

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat

Edited by - Carl in LA on 08/06/2019 18:06:46
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/06/2019 :  18:44:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stuart Island...

Dropped pin
Near San Juan County, WA 98250
https://maps.app.goo.gl/5YcAmh2FT9VZMji96

Hope the map link works...

Back at Skyline Marine Center my boat neighbor suggested I visit Stuart Island on my way north... and it was a great recommendation.

It only took a few hours to motor from Friday Harbor to Prevost Harbor - they are pretty close.

And when I turned the corner cruising into the harbor - I was stunned... I could not have imagined a more perfect small boat harbor existed...

Sizeable enough for several boats, shallow enough for easy anchoring, deep enough for no depth and tide issues... sheltered on all sides...

Wow.



I idled through the anchored boats end eventually found my spot maybe 3/4 way down the harbor...

After anchoring I double checked to make sure this was real... it was...



Ok... one notch less than perfect... this tidal crud drifter back and forth...



In the morning light on Sunday it was reinforced what a beautiful anchorage Prevost Harbor is...



Time to explore...

The boat neihbor had also mentioned that there was a road which led to Turning Point Lighthouse and I wanted to hike that road. Getting there ment a dinghy ride all the way back to the northwest end of the harbor.

Along the way I took closer look at the State Park dock... looks good from out here.



I tied up to an iffy dock at the pier... there is a better condition modern dock opposite the pier but it was filled with boats.



And so begins the hike to the Turning Point Lighthouse...



And taking a look bac toward the harbor was beautiful...



Kinda interesting... an honor system store...



Selling island logo t-shirts... I got one.



Ok - thats ten pics... more to follow in the next post...

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/06/2019 :  19:10:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Continuing on the hike to the lighthouse...

A good well maintained road...



And something unexpected...



I made it... it was only maybe a mile and a half...



And there it was... I subsequently learned the big steucture is the Lighthouse Keepers house and the smaller structure in the distance is the lihthouse...



Down closer to the water this plaque identified the surrounding area... and man o man - notice that boiling tidal rip ongoing down there. While observing several power boats just blew through the rip at speed... one larger sailboat struggled through but he made it... no 9.9 horsepower 25 foot sailboats were observed attempting to go upstream through this rip!



As I had arrived pretty early the docents were just opening up - including raising the flag. I subsequently learned that the lighthouse is staffed by docents for two months during the summer. Individuals that would like to serve as docents can sign up with the lighthouse preservation society. The docents spend a week on the island staying in a society trailer, and then the next week the next docents arrive for their duty. They told me the society currently has a five year supply of docents and are not currently taking applications.



Inside the lighthouse building which is now a museum were some interesting things...



And closer to the water is the modern "lighthouse"



Good stopping point - more to follow...

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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/07/2019 :  13:21:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charles...

You have friends with interesting boats.

The Wanderer may be nearing an ideal compromise boat per the conditions I've seen so far... the guppy? Don't know about that...

Hope your turn comes soon.

Best,

Carl

quote:
Originally posted by solvasoncc

Keep it comin' Carl. This is an awesome adventure. I have two sets of friends who drove up from Texas to cruise those waters, one in Nimble Wanderer who stayed for 3 months, and one in a Guppy 13 who did the Salish this year. The couple on the Nimble had such a good time that they decided to go even further to Glacier Bay and said they'd only leave when the snow/ice makes them. One of these days we'll haul our Catalina 250 and do the same. For know, it hops between Texas lakes and the coast. Take care.


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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/07/2019 :  13:58:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Back to the lighthouse...

The lighthouse keepers house is actually a duplex with one side for the keeper and the assistant keeper.



The inside of the keepers half of the duplex had been restored. The assistant keepers half is apparently unrestored.

And the restoration is impeccable.

Here is the master bedroom on the second floor...



The second bedroom...



And the third bedroom...



The living room on the first floor...



The dining room...



And the kitchen... what effort and expense the preservation society went to for the restoration... all the period furniture, fresh wall paint, a total remodel but period correct. Very cool.



Spending a few minutes on the porch overlooking the water and visiting with the docent...





And then hiking back along the road...


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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/07/2019 :  14:40:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another day... Monday I believe...

Going to Canada...

I left at a decent hour as the goals for the day were to head to Bedwell Harbor to clear into Canada and then continue on to Ganges Marina presumably to stay the night...

Here is the arrival at the customs dock in Bedwell Harbor. Horrible lighting...



And the customs office up on the dock...



But the office was not open... it was 8:30 and they open at nine... so I used the office phone on the side of the building. I waited on hold for about ten minutes and eventually an officer answered and asked several questions about the trip, the boat, passport number and my answers satisfed the criteria so they gave me a clearance number and sent me on my way...



The dock was new and really nice... Hope I see more nice infrastructure like this on the remainder of the cruise...



I saw more of the infrastructure sooner than I expected...

How/why? Well... I had just expected that there would be room at the Ganges Marina for the little 25 foot sailboat... so upon arriving near the marina I pulled in close to an empty long dock... I VHF radioed my arrival on 66a but did not receive any confirmation... so I went ahead and docked the boat. By then - a dock hand had arrived on the dock assisting a power boat on the inside of the dock. I asked about overnight moorage and he said they full up.

Hummmmm... continuing on to my next planned stop seemed like the best option so I asked if I could stay tied up long enough to walk the gas tanks over to the fuel dock to fill up... which I was allowed.

At the fuel dock I had my first Canadian experience... bought gas by the liter (whats that?)... and I ran into friction at the office paying for the fuel... could I anchor out and use the showers and laundry? No... marina guests only. Can I make change in loonies? Nope... avalible for marina guests only... Can I log into the wifi and upload some pics? No... wifi for marina guests only. Got it... move along...

So I did... as I'm still uncomfortable judging distances and knowing when to expect current with me or against me I was not sure I'd make it around Salt Spring Island and up the bay to Ladysmith before dark...

Thankfull I wouldn't have too... the Navionics chart app showed a public dock along the east side of the island the would be a good stopping point for the day... Sure enough, a while later I see the dock sticking out into the channel...

The outside od the dock was empty... perfect - my preferred tie is port... I coasted in, hit the reverse to slow the boat (yes... just when I decide to stop, the current goes in my favor) and tied up...



This is the dock at Fernwood Point... could be good for overnight.

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glivs
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Response Posted - 08/07/2019 :  19:28:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just curious....are you towing a dinghy? How is that working out? Any questions about VHF use by the Customs Officials?

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972

Edited by - glivs on 08/07/2019 19:33:10
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/07/2019 :  19:48:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Gerry...

Yes... towing an eight foot West Marine inflatable... the dingy tows easy enough... I have 50-feet of polypropylene tow line but I tend to keep the dingy within a couple feet behind the boat. Why? Backing up... with the dingy directly behind the boat there are no tow straps deep enough in the water to foul the Honda prop...

Having a dinghy is a huge improvement over no dinghy and having a dinghy outboard motor is a huge improvement over no motor... combined cost of dinghy and motor... $1,300... worth every penny...

I donít recall any questions about VHF during the Customs phone interview.

Best,

Carl

quote:
Originally posted by glivs

Just curious....are you towing a dinghy? How is that working out? Any questions about VHF use by the Customs Officials?


Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat

Edited by - Carl in LA on 08/07/2019 19:51:43
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/09/2019 :  20:04:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fernwood Public Dock...

In retrospect I should have pushed on to Ladysmith that afternoon but as I'm still learning to gage distances in the PNW I choose to err on the side of caution and stop.

Also in retrospect the Fernwood stop was a chance to see a slice of island life that you can't get without being there.

The public dock had the longest gangway but I guess thats what it takes when you have high-ish tides...



A decent information board at the land side of the gangway.



Walking just a hundred feet up the road... and I really felt like I was in the country...



A couple more steps and... just what I needed...



A nice organic health food dinner...



Later, from inside the boat I heard this awful screeching sqwak... what the heck was that... looked out back... my first Canadian Goose (I think). Impressive bird.



Closer to dusk I heard a splish-splash... what the heck was that... an otter-rat (Canadian River Otter perhaps). This guy was obnoxious... he came up on dock to piss and poop... and he intentionally laid it right next to the dock line of that boat across the way... I did not like the looks of this guy... he was not like the sleek lay-on-their-back eating a mussle otters... he was a ruffian... my wife named him the otter-rat... I agreed.



Anyway... the remainder of the night at Fernwood Point was uneventful and in the morning I continued on to Ladysmith.

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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/09/2019 :  21:09:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The course to Ladysmith took me through the Houstoun Passage and up the Stuart Channel... I must report it was beautiful...



That ferry was arriving at Chemainus Bay... Being curious I hauled over there for a closer look...

The north half of the bay had the ferry terminal and possibly a small marina...



And the south half was stuffed with what I subsequently learned were log-booms (may not be saying that correctly)



And logs were scattered in the water too... had to keep an eye out for those...



As I cruised closer to Ladysmith I noticed several sawmills with their stock of logs...



I hate it when there are not enough pictures to fill in the information blanks - so we just jump to the end game... I got a side-tie at Ladysmith Marina... but that does not tell the whole story...

The closer I got to Ladysmith I began to see vessels anchored out on both sides of the waterway... some exposed out in the open roadway, others tucked back in small inlets... so I could see that anchoring was an option if the marinas were full... after my experience at Ganges I was more cautious about the topic.

The first marina when you arrive is "Ladysmith Community Marina" maybe its a non-profit marina... could not tell - but it was packed... zero obvious dock space. Further... I telephoned them earlier and had to leave a message... while on their doorstep I radioed in on 66a and got no response... I really needed to do shopping, laundry, and shower so anchoring out was a third choice... second choice was to continue northbound to the next marina... "Ladysmith Marina"... similar name... totally different place... maybe four times as big as the community marina.

Thankfully they had space... I told the clerk I was singlehanding and helpfully she sent a dockhand down to guide me in and catch a line - very helpful.

And right after I tie-up guess who phone calls and offers moorage... yup - the community marina... oh well - they looked like they had plenty of business.



Many interesting boats at Ladysmith Marina including this tired Cal 25... a Cal 25 was my first sailboat and they have a special place in my heart so to speak. Someone made a decent attempt at a raised cabin... but there are many issues for this old girl... hopefully the owner goes big and drops $15k on it and makes it beautiful again.

As an aside - back at Two Harbors last month there was a completley refurbished Cal 25 on the string line... we chatted with the owner and he talked abut the retrofit... turned out great... he also mentioned that it was THE FIRST CAL 25... really? Pretty cool.

Anyway... the rough old girl at Ladysmith...



Ladysmith Community Marina appears to be right in town... Ladysmith Marina is not exactly in town... In fact, I understand it is 0.7-miles to the edge of town... and thats after you walk a quarter mile of dock to get to land, and up a steep-ish hill to get to the road to town...

The upside? This excellent hardware store is one of the first businesses you arrive at once you get there...



But for me - I was over dressed in a thick longsleeve t-shirt (black no less), toting a full backpack, and roasting in the heat of British Columbia...



In any event I was in Ladysmith and glad to be there...

Catalina 250 - Pretty Good Boat
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/12/2019 :  19:07:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A continuation of the happenings in Ladysmith...

As mentioned I was beat from the BC heat (roasting in the 80's) and after walking from town there's all this dock to walk to get to the boat...



The second leg...



And finally the third leg... the take-away... Ladysmith Marina is a really nice marina with tons of boatsheds... yes - my side tie is at the end of the third leg...



And I always take pictures of other interesting boats... this lady is further out than me... I'm hidden behind the newer yacht.



The restrooms and showers were clean and adequate at Ladysmith Marina...



And good laundry facilities...



A nice advertising map of town...



And an overview from the top of their driveway hill.



And finally making it into Ladysmith downtown. This traffic circle demarcates the north end of town.



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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/12/2019 :  20:00:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ladysmith continued...

Ladysmith has several public art items on several street corners celebrating their coal mining heritage... more on that museum in the background in a moment.



And the brief back-story of Ladysmith...



And in the museum there is the back-story on the name Ladysmith... hope you can zoom in a bit and read it...



The neighbor to the south of the marina is a sawmill...



And I think all those logs in the water are called a log-boom...???



How do I know these things? Because I asked a fellow that was walking back from the yacht club (which is even further out the dock). I asked if he knew what that machine was and he said yes, its a sawmill that makes 6x6 lumber... but it wasn't operating today as the workers were out on strike...

Can I have an aside here... when is the perfect time to go on strike? In August in fishin' weather... no need to strike in January when all you can do is wait at home.

Anyway...

He asked about my trip and I told him my destination and that my next challenge was Dodd Narrows... I showed him the Navionics app on my phone which said the slack tide at the narrows would be at 11:38 am in a couple days... which was my time to go through.

Later that evening when I returned to the boat I found this note in the cockpit...



He had double checked his navigation software to verify the timing... without me asking... now that is a gentleman.

And it turned out he was correct... the Navionics app had a popup that warned about the use of daylight saving time... so that accounts for some of the difference between 11:38 (incorrect) and 10:18 (correct) (and I may not knlw how to read Navionics current feature correctly)

And the neighborly help did not stop there...

When I chatted-up the fellow with a Columbia 26 across the dock he told me had been through Dodd Narrows many times. He also said he had been to Desolation Sound many times. He suggested that I contine northbound along the coast of Vancouver Island... The fellow back at the Skyline Marina that helped me understand tides and currents said the same thing. Our own Henk had suggested iteneries for going up either coast... so I set my mind to go north on the Vancouver Island side.

Then he asked a sobering question... where are you going to go in Desolation sound... I had not even thought of that... don't know anything about the place.

He loand me a book for the afternoon...



The book was from the 1980's... and on many of the pages it had hand written notes about courses, anchorages, passages, and the notes had dates in the 1980's and 1990's... He said those were his mothers notes... epic.

In any event, I scanned the maps and decided my destination would be Laura Cove.



One last Ladysmith picture before we move on... the tiny tiny Catalina 250... hanging with the big boys...



Onward to Dodd Narrows.
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Carl in LA
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Response Posted - 08/12/2019 :  20:41:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dodd Narrows...

After my bad experience with boiling-waters, whirlpools, and nearly being swept onto rocky shorelines on day-one in Rosario Staight I was a bit sensitive about the prospect of going through a known beast like Dodd Narrows... Henk also said to watch-it. But I kept looking at the charts and it is the gateway to the north... yes, you could go around Gabriella Island but just to get to the Straight of Georgia side of Gabriella you have to go through another pass and sail exposed to big water for many miles until you round the top of the island to get to Nanaimo - or you can go through Dodd Narrows.

I left Ladysmith pretty early around 6:30 am... anticipating to take three hours to get to the narrows... I have a hard time judging time and distance because some legs I have favorable currents assisting and other legs I'm against the current - so I allowed lots of time to get there... too much as it turned out. I slowed way down when I was within site of the narrows.

Here is what Dodd Narrows looks like when you are pretty far in there...



As I had no experience with such things I did not know how much time on either side of slack you could cheat and go through without problems...

Now... backing up a bit... I had checked the Canadian governments webpage for currents at Dodd Narrows... they published that slack would be at 10:38 am... so I had Navionics at 11:38 am, government at 10:38 am, and neighborly advice at 10:18 am... I think I tested the waters at about 9:50 am and as I got closer to the gap the GPS showed a rapid acceleration... I backed out and went the other direction for a while. I should note that the tide was flooding northbound and I was arriving at the tail end of the flood...

I think I tested again at about 10:10 am... still too much acceleration... turned around and backpeddled for a while...

I made my third attempt at about 10:20... Success... but it was a sleigh-ride... the GPS showed ground speed three knots faster than knot meter speed. I had riden through Dodd Narrows on a three knot flood - within 20-minutes of the govenments published slack tide.

Wow...

And going through the notch was weird... on the other side is a large region of water that is the southern end of Nanaimo Harbor... there were whirlpools and eddies near the gap but not enough to alter my course.

During this whole eposode power boats continuously blasted through the narrows apparently oblivious to the conditions that cause low horsepower sailboats so many problems.

Here is the photo looking back at the gap in the wall that is Dodd Narrows.



Nanaimo up next...

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