Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Buccaneer Bay, Thormanby Island BC

Summer had finally arrived. I had a few days free time and only a desire to get out of the city to go fishing. That meant I could either go to sea or jump in the truck pulling the new fishing boat and head out to the Okanagan. The weather report said the chance of less rain and more sunshine was greatest in the interior.  I'd planned to go sailing.

The hard choices of the gifts of recovery. I made a decision, speaking with God about my cadillac problem, that if it was sunny in the morning I'd continue with the plan to go sailing.  G-O-D: Good Orderly Direction.  I awoke to glorious sunshine and set about filling the water tank then stowing gear.  Final tide check and sure enough I'd have the tide with me heading out.

I'd not towed the new AB 12 Profile with the Honda 4 stroke 30 horse power outboard but hoped it would be alright. I cast the lines and shoved off.  No difficulty leaving with the fishing boat tied to the side.  Out in the channel I stopped the main boat's engine and slipped into the little boat to pull it around the back to tie its painter in the centre of the stern.  Back on the main deck with Gilbert all excited that I returned, whatever goes on in that little dog brain, I put the engine at 2500 rpms my normal cruising speed.  Pulling the dinghy I calculated I still got between 4 and 4.5 knots only losing .5 to a knot due to the tow. It could have been worse. I was more than satisfied.

As usual I drank coffee as I motored across Coal Harbour watching out for tankers and ferries. It was a pleasant morning to be boating and I thought of a lot of other departures and adventures that had begun with passing under bridges heading out to sea. Lion's Gate Bridge is truly a sight to behold from beneath, it's incredible engineering inspirational.  Gilbert with his hair cut was a little chilly in the morning breeze, when the sun went behind the grey cloud bank,  so I put his seaman sweater on.

There's not a whole lot to do motor sailing. I love my new true Raymarine Autopilot. I had checked the oil in the engine before departing, having concerns I was burning more oil than normal on my last return.  Keeping an eye on the oil pressure throughout the trip I saw no concern.  It would turn out I was burning about a pint of oil for every 10 hours of engine usage, much more than normal but no worry as  I had a couple of gallons of oil along.  Eventually I'd have to do something but there was nothing to be anxious about. I'd checked the motor for leakage before leaving and found none.

The onerous task of watching out for logs and reading the latest Robert Ludlom Thriller fell to me while the first mate chewed on a new doggy toy.  I passed Pt Atkinson, crossed Howe Sound, Rounded Bowen, noted Gibsons then a long while later saw the White Islet and the Trail Islands. Then it was the Merry Island lighthouse station, a picturesque place indeed.  Welcome Passage was half filled by a tug boat slowly towing a forest of logs. I slipped to the side of it then checked in on the busy land side all weather anchorage Smuggler Cove before heading to the almost empty Bucaneer Bay. It was open to the northern wind but only 5 to 15 knots were forecast. I'd anchored in gales with sand bottoms in Sea of Cortez.  We're terribly spoiled with excellent anchorages in the Strait of Georgia.  South of Wolf Point I put out some more chain than usual in 50 foot of depth with sand bottom and settled in the for evening.

I took the fishing rod out and headed out with Gilbert, first to check out the beach, then to do a little mooching. I caught a rock cod first off. Pan fried in butter it was delicious.  After dinner I read and had a great sleep at anchor.

In the morning I woke in paradise. The sun had come out full with increased ampage and a smile and grin to boot.  I fixed myself coffee and an omelette.  Gilbert loved his run on the beach.  Trolling with the down rigger later I'd catch another rock cod, this one I thought too small to keep but later found in the regs that there really wasn't a minimum on rock cod.  I threw back a lingcod too which I really believe would barely have met the minimum length.  I really was fishing for salmon too and didn't know then I'd not catch any more fish though I'd be out for another few hours right where everyone else had caught salmon in the morning.  

I drove the boat into Secret Cove and saw fisherman cleaning their morning catch. I bought Gingerale at the Secret Cove marina and an anchor and some chain for the dinghy at the Buccaneer Marina.  This was an all weather anchorage and I thought about coming here if the weather report wasn't favourable.  As it turned out when I got back to Buccaneer Bay the southern wind forecast had brought with it a half dozen other sailboats and motorboats that anchored the night.  I filled a thermos of coffee and Gilbert and I drove out to the point where I'd learned everyone was catching salmon.  Not in the afternoon. I did catch  little sun burn, had a wonderful time and returned to the big boat when Gilbert looked hot even with his crew cut  hair.

Planing on the new boat was fun. It goes like stink and I just soar but it does take a bit to get up on plane, plowing along with me thinking it's going to flip full over any minute. Then it crests and I'm cannon shot across the ocean bouncing I was riding at a canter.  Gilbert's not so impressed but it sure makes for a quick transit.  The boat trolls at slow speeds too. Nothing beats a Honda 4 stroke and 30 hp is more than enough engine for fast and handles slow just fine, surprisingly.

I jumped overboard when I got back. The kids nearby were in the ocean and even some dogs. Not Gilbert.  He barked.  I swam. Refreshing.  I loved showering off the sea water too when  Igot back in the boat.  Luxury.  I watched an episode of Torchwood British Sci Fi having finished the NetFlix tv season of Glades.  Another great sleep at anchor.

In the morning I took Gilbert ashore and then rather than hang out another day decided I'd head back.  Nothing to that. Just tie the boat to the back of the boat, weigh anchor and go.

Off Mission Point I decided to spread Angel, my cat's ashes.  I said a prayer and thanked God for her years of loyal company and seafaring.  Laura texted me that day asking that if I did decide to spread Angel's ashes to say a prayer for her as well. I liked that another who loved her was on the same spiritual wavelength.

I thought I'd put in at Gibsons or Keats but it was still light so I roundedBowen Island and passed Howe Sound and Pt Atkinson.  Just before Lions Gate Bridge the floral earthy fragrances from Stanley Park hit me I was reminded of the glorious scent of the Hawaian Islands.  The foliage and land smell so incredible coming in from sea.

I was taking pictures of the night Vancouver Harbour only to have a tanker honk at me from behind causing me to scurry way over to the side, the two of us barely fitting together under the bridge.  Then I was across the harbour, bringing the boat up beside the big boat and navigating up the channel to my moorage.  My neighbour wasn't home. He'd gone off for the weekend with his lovely girlfriend and her dog.  More room for me to land with no problems with the little boat tied along side.  I tied up the boat and let Gilbert jump down on the dock. He raced up and down it as he loves to do when he first gets off the boat.  I connected electricity and filled the tank with water.

A great trip to Thormanby Island.  Wonderful summer weather. I almost sailed. I had the lines out and was all set to put up the jib at least but the wind was never really more than 5 knots.  Another time.  The engine fared well.  Gilbert and I had a marvellous time.  We caught a tasty rock cod and the AB Profile worked just fine.  Thank you God for all your blessings.
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