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Kia Ora
Back in Sidney
Julie Sunny but cooling down
09/12/2011, Sidney, BC

Well, we've returned to Tsehum Harbour near Sidney. The darn engine started kicking up a fuss again (same problem that we've had all summer). We keep 'fixing' it, the 'fix' lasts about 3-4 weeks then we start noticing problems again. We're both frustrated so we've hired a mechanic. This will blow the September budget but we HAVE to get this thing under control before heading to Mexico next season.

Took the cats for a walk this morning. Two small, old dogs were out for their morning walk and Elliot (the brute) stared them down. The dogs took a route as far from Elliot as they could. Elliot didn't move. The guy walking the dog laughed the whole way, as did I! I'm glad that our silly cats can bring a smile to others.

We're going to walk around Sidney tomorrow as we've never spent much time seeing the town. Wedneday we'll move into a slip and the mechanic will take a look at the engine. He's perplexed by our description of the problem so that isn't a good sign. He's the authorized Westerbeke mechanic in town though so he's probably our best bet. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us.

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Portland Island trails
Julie
09/11/2011, Princess Cove, Portland Island

Our friends George and Daphne (Hi!) recommended Portland Island for its nice trails. We dropped the anchor in Princess Cover on the southern side of the island and headed for the shore at 3:00. We decided to take the coastal trail and when it came out to a beach we couldn't find where exactly it continued. We found a bit of a trail and followed it but half an hour later found ourselves lost in the woods (is this a continuing theme with us??) Oh well, we were on a small Island, how bad could it get? After an hour of beating back the brush we managed to come out on a real trail and got ourselves home. Ugh. I was in shorts and my legs are all scratched up and now I'm itchy.

The weather continues to be nice.

Ken lost the remote to the TV. How far could it go on a 44' sailboat? He watches Seinfeld every night while I fall asleep. I think he's seen every episode 3 times on this trip alone.

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Ganges
Julie
09/09/2011, Ganges

We must be getting used the the summer like weather that we have FINALLY received because instead of doing to play-outside-in-the-sun stuff, we are doing chores. Ken is working on varnishing the rails on deck and I am making bread. The cats are busy play/fighting and the fur is flying! Don't worry, the bread is covered.

Ganges has been a nice place to visit. They call it a village but it's more like a very small town. Everything we need is within walking distance of a dinghy dock. There are about 8 art galleries in town too. On Saturdays they have a market in the town center. We found vendors selling produce, bread, pastries, flowers, arts, jewelry, books and so much more. It was fun to visit. We bought a strawberry, rubarb, mango pie. Yum.

The weather forecast continues to be good but it sounds like we've got intermittent clouds coming our way. No rain in the forecast yet.

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Is this a clothing optional trail?
Julie
09/06/2011, Tumbo Island, Cabbage Island

We anchored between Tumbo and Cabbage Island this morning. It's a beautiful spot with unobstructed views of the Strait of Georgia. All of Cabbage Island is a park and most of Tumbo is too. We took the cats for a walk and a scratch on Cabbage Island, dropped them back on the boat and then headed up the bay to the trail at Tumbo. The trail is a loop that takes you through an area of 'historic' cabins (there was no explanation as to why the cabins are historic), a huge marshland and up into a second growth forest.

The walk on the trail was nice but became...uhhh...ummmm...shall we say...unusual when, in the opposite direction came a couple totally nude. Yup, naked. They didn't even have shoes. I wasn't sure how to act so as we passed them (on the foot wide trail) I said 'well, you don't see this everyday". Maybe I should have just said 'hi', or 'where are your shoes?" They said something about this being a popular island and that they swam to shore from the boat. Huh. Why is she out in a canoe, paddling around the bay without clothes right now then?

I wish I had a camera with me...

I love Canada!

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Bedwell Harbour
Julie
09/06/2011, Bedwell Harbour, South Pender Island, BC, Canada

We got an internet connection from the boat when we were anchored in Ganges Harbour and received an email message from friends Daphne and George from our home town marina. They were in the area on their boat. We called them and decided to meet at Bedwell Harbour on Friday.

Bedwell is a lovely place. There is a huge bay with several mooring balls and a marina. We chose to anchor, as usual. George and Daphne arrived and rafted to our starboard side. We enjoyed visiting, catching up, meals and a good but exhausting hike up to Mt. Norman.

Our friends left Saturday morning and Ken and I headed out in the dinghy with our dirty laundry and empty grocery bags. There is a village a few miles from here at Port Browning and we got our chores done there. It was the holiday weekend and the marina there was more than full. People sure were having fun.

We've been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (YAY!) here and decided to just stay for a few more days. We found some new trails up at Medicine Beach yesterday. There is a nice salt water marsh there.

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Tod Inlet
Julie
09/01/2011, Tod Inlet, BC, Canada

We left Victoria last Sunday and sailed/motorsailed up to Sidney Spit, just east of Sidney, BC. There is a BC park located there and is a VERY popular spot for locals. A small ferry services the island and the park put out 22 mooring buoys. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and there were probably 50 boats anchored and moored at the park. We dropped anchor. A few hours later some friends that we had made on the North West Coast of Vancouver Island motored up to say hi. They had just come around and were headed into Sidney to reprovision.

On Monday we took the dinghy to shore and explored the park. There are several miles of well groomed trails as well as camp sites. After exploring the trails we headed out the spit. The wind came up with gusts to 30 knots while we were headed out the the end of the spit and were forced to walk against it on the return walk. I'm still picking sand out of my teeth!

As we were getting ready to leave on Tuesday morning a commercial crab fisherman was pulling his traps. They are allowed to put out several traps on one line and only need to put out one buoy for each 5 traps. This makes it hard to tell where the long line of traps are. Turns out that we had put of anchor chain right on top of one of their lines. As they were pulling their traps, up came our anchor chain. They were cool about it, told us what what had happened, cut their line and went on their way. We pulled up our anchor immediately and were on our way, too. We heard them thank us over the radio as were were heading out.

We moved the boat into Saanich Inlet about 3 hours away and are now anchored in beautiful Tod Inlet. The big attraction here is Buchart Gardens. We didn't go. The entrance fee is now $29 each and we were there recently so instead we walked around the small community of Brentwood Bay and the park trails located here. The sun was out so we enjoyed an afternoon on deck absorbing some heat. Ken and Kaye (the people on the boat that that I mentioned earlier) are here too so we've spend time on each others boats visiting.

We are going to head north today. We've never been to Ganges and they are supposed to have a fabulous Saturday market so we are heading there. I'm sure it's going to be a very crowded anchorage as it is a long holiday weekend for both Canadians and Americans.

Things are going well. The forecast is for warm weather and clear skies. Most of the friends that we have made along the way are either home already or are headed home next week. We intend to stay out for another 4 weeks or so. As long as the weather holds out, we'll stay out. Besides, someone is in our slip until September 15th!

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