Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's been awhile!

We spent our last day at Poets Cove running by inflatable through the ‘canal’ to Port Browning on North Pender, doing a little grocery shopping and then a little exploring. Here’s the bridge in the centre of the canal…

(Remember that you can click on any pic to see it bigger, and this is your warning that this update is long and picture-heavy!)


So we left Poets Cove on Friday morning to head out to Cabbage/Tumbo Island Marine Park. It was hot and sunny, and we knew we could ‘run with the tide’ for the two-hour trip … Cabbage and Tumbo are two islands that sort of wrap around each other, which creates a beautiful ‘basin’ anchorage on the inside, on the very outside edge of the Gulf Islands, off the southeast coast of Saturna Island. It’s wide open Strait of Georgia from there to the City of Vancouver on the mainland.

I’m always a little apprehensive at the start of any passage we make – after all, we’ve learned, through many adventures out here, that the sea is ‘in charge,’ not us. My fears about this passage (along Boundary Pass, basically about 3 miles from the US border) are two: major currents off East Point, and having to deal with the wakes of freighters, which are frequent.

Only one freighter went by, and it hardly left a wake…

and there were no currents to speak of this year, for some reason. It's one of the prettiest legs of our trip because you can usually see Mt. Baker in Washington, and off into the distance...

So all my worst fears were for naught. However… just after I took those pictures, off the south end of Saturna, Michael slammed the engines into neutral – two Pacific White-Sided dolphins were hurtling through the water directly toward our bow, leaping out of the water and ‘flying’ by us! By the time I recovered from the sight and grabbed my camera, they were already surfing our wake… some picture, huh?

It was amazing! We’d seen a school of these dolphins up-Island once, years ago, but at the time they were just busy feeding and hardly noticed us - they certainly never leaped out of the water. This was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for sure! The picture may not have turned out so great, but I have forever burned in to my memory the picture of two dolphins six feet in the air twenty feet in front of our bow!

About half an hour later we were visited by a pair of harbour porpoise, with the same result – lovely to see as they broke the surface about 30’ away (but not as dramatically as the dolphins), but they disappeared again too fast to get a picture.

I did catch this, though…. a sailboat in the distant mist with Mt. Baker in the background.

We arrived at Cabbage and grabbed the second-last buoy, and Michael was in the water within minutes!

It took me until the next day to get wet, though…

Will she? ….

Or won’t she? ….

She will, and she did … for about 30 seconds, I’m guessing.

We circumnavigated Tumbo this year by inflatable … it was lovely. Check out the rock formations, with TREES growing out of them.... amazing!

Michael went for a couple of long kayak rides, we explored ashore again, and we ate fresh oysters off the rocks for a shameless number of meals.

Looking back at the Wind Walker from the oyster beds... check out the heron 'fishing'!

But speaking of herons, here's one of my favorite pictures so far this trip ... how's this for 'perspective?'

I've knit a baby blanket and two pairs of socks … I can't find my picture of the baby blanket at the moment, but I'll post it another time!

I have so many photos from Cabbage and Tumbo Islands ... it's a truly magical place (and if you want to hear me gush even more about it, look back through my blog archives to Sept of '08's holiday!) I think I'll open a Flickr account when we get home to upload all the photos ... it's so hard to choose even which ones to use here!

Anyway, on Monday morning we woke up to a predicted south-easter and decided to high-tail it out of Cabbage Island before it got any worse – according to the weather forecast, it would blow until today (Thursday) or tomorrow.

Each year I set myself a new navigational challenge, and this year’s was to get from Cabbage to Galiano on the ‘outside’ of the Islands, in the Strait. Not only is it likely to blow harder, but there’s a chain of rocks and reefs that have to be avoided for the entire passage.

I’m happy to report that I met the challenge. :-) We surfed up the outside of Saturna with a 10 kt south-easter on our tail, and it was lovely until we got just outside the entrance to Active Pass. Here's the entrance to Winter Cove, which we'll visit next week from the 'other' side:

My wireless connection is so slow, it's taken me almost two hours to upload this whole post, so I'm not going to try to add any more photos now ... I'll see if I can re-boot and do another post before I lose my connection again. Just to finish this update, though... we spent two days at Sturdies Bay on Galiano Island visiting with our old friend Mike, and we've now been in Ganges on Salt Spring Island just overnight, long enough to fill up our water tanks -- it's been such a hot, dry summer that all of the Gulf Islands have a water shortage. We'll leave here this morning and go over to James Bay on Prevost Island for a few days! I'm not sure how well you'll be able to see the details, but I've created a map of our journey so far... which, according to my GPS, has been only 62 nautical miles...


Hailey said...

Whoa - Good Update!

Can't believe the story about the Dolphins, how neat!!

Looking forward to seeing all your photos on Flickr.

Sorry to say that I can't get away to SSI this weekend...Boo!!! Oh well, try to have some fun without me!

Love you and Chat Soon,
(Hi, and Hugs to Dad!)

Anonymous said...

Love that you put the dolphins on the map:)

You're right , that picture of the heron and the freighter is an excellent one.

Great update.


Unknown said...

Wow! what great update.
Beautiful memories being made for the two of you. That is what growing together is all about.
Can hardly wait to see all the pictures.
Glad you loved to oysters. But did you find a pearl?
That is the only reason they were created. :P(that is a tongue sticking out I think. aaha ha. lol.
Say hey to the hubby.
Hug to you,