July 1, 2014

Our adventure begins: part II

Ahoy: The first in a series of four-letter words commonly exchanged by skippers as their boats approach one another...   (Sailing Pocket Dictionary by Henry Beard & Roy McKie)
So, after settling our truck/camper/trailer in my brother's back yard, we returned to our new home, Denali Rose in Anacortes. We are very grateful that Ralph and Gloria graciously offered us that option, it means that we don't have to think about the security of the Wagon Train.

It was now time to leave Washington, we had spent enough time, effort, and money, and we were arranging to "buddy-boat" with our good friends from Fairbanks, who now live on Gabriola Island, Canada. We joined 50 of our closest boating "friends" for the night, in Prevost Harbor, the last bay before crossing into Canadian waters.  It was the first anchorage using our new windlass and chain, and we were very pleased with how nicely it ran.

The next day we head to the closest customs office for cruisers, Bedwell Harbor, and with passports in hand, we check-in for our stay in Canadian waters.  It was a beautiful day, but a long afternoon.

The customs officers said that since the boat was new to them, and we to the boat, they would need to do a thorough search this time, and then we would be in the data bank, for subsequent visits.  (We are applying for our Nexus cards, to make it easier on everyone in the future...)

They found one [out of 6...] can of bear spray, that wasn't labeled correctly, and we voluntarily gave it up to the officer. After the paperwork was completed, they did comment on how organized, and well prepared the boat was.  My efforts at putting items in rubbermaid tubs of various sizes, and labels on the front paid off.

They released us into Canadian waters, and off we went to Gabriola Island, Silva Bay, and Bob/Polly's house.  It was Canada Day, and we heard over the radio at the bay, someone razzing us because our U.S. flag was so big and our courtesy Canadian flag was so small.  It just happened to be the largest one we could find, and it was better than not flying one at all. (we thought) There are rules about Maritime Flag Etiquette, most of them date back to early sailing days, and they are very specific about what flags, where to fly them, how big, etc.  We bought a bigger one in Canada, as (duh) they have a larger selection than the US stores.

The view from the deck

A tug (on the left) pulling a raft of logs, called a log boom.  Something to watch out for when navigating Canadian waters.
After the weeks of hustle and bustle, it was really nice to relax with good friends, Bob and Polly, and enjoy their comfortable, spacious, and beautiful home for a few days.  Gabriola Island is a delightful place to visit or live.  It is filled with farms that sell produce and meat, lovely scenery, and windy roads that seem to take you "over hill and dale".  We provisioned up with local foodstuff, and took Denali Rose over to Ladysmith Harbor at Nanaimo to meet up with the Vahalla.

In Ladysmith Harbor, note our large Canadian flag. (Especially next the the dinky one that Vahalla has. Hey Canadian friends, whats with making fun of us anyway?)

Since Bob was on the docks to help with the lines, Bill was behind the wheel, steering us into the slip. We had some difficulties, (read: very tense moments), getting into place when the engine died on us several times as Bill was getting the boat to turn into the slip.  We had everyone who was nearby, helping to fend us off from bumping into other boats, and grabbing lines to pull us into the dock.  I was VERY glad not to be at the wheel that day.  Bill later found that the idle on the engine was too low, he adjusted it up, and the engine has purred obediently since.

We finished our shop for groceries, and boat items in Nanaimo, packed it all into our lockers and holds, and headed north with our ultimate joint destination of Ketchikan Alaska.
Cool store front.

Motoring by a log boom, as we leave Nanaimo, watching carefully for stray logs.

New barbecue, a necessary item on a boat.

Leaving Ladysmith, it was a rainy day.

Large Canadian flag waving in the wind. (just wait till you see my new Alaska flag)

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