The Voyage of S/V Estelle

Cruising the British Columbia Coast

04 August 2017 | Van Isle Marina
25 July 2017 | San Juan Islands, Wa USA
22 July 2017 | BC Gulf Islands
21 July 2017 | BC Gulf Islands
28 April 2017 | Steveston, BC
14 February 2017 | Whistler, BC
13 November 2016 | Pender Harbour
31 October 2016 | Vancouver Rowing Club
10 October 2016
17 August 2016 | John Williams Boatyard, Hall Quarry, Mt Desert Is.
11 August 2016 | Wooden Boat School anchorage, Eggemoggin Reach
09 August 2016 | McGlatherties Island
08 August 2016 | Castine, Maine
07 August 2016 | Bucks Harbor
06 August 2016 | Castine, Me
05 August 2016 | Cradle Cove
28 July 2016 | Boothbay Harbor
22 September 2015 | Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine
15 September 2015
25 July 2015 | Oromocto, NB

Gulf Islands Spring Cruise Part 2

22 July 2017 | BC Gulf Islands
Warm spring weather
Montague Harbour

May 23
Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island


In more warm sunshine and light airs, we left Victoria. With a forecast of one more nice day, followed by some gale force winds, we contemplated our options. But for today, our options were where to spend another beautiful night before the winds picked up. Working our way back up into the Gulf Islands, we contemplated our options. Passing Sidney Spit, we lost count of the boats at anchor.
The next option was Portland Island. Portland Island has two small anchorages. Both Princess Bay, on the southern tip, and Royal Cove on the north tip are small anchorages, and on Victoria Day weekend, the first "summer weekend", both were full beyond our liking in mid-afternoon. Carrying on, we settled on Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island.
We followed Swift Current into the harbour and anchored outside the crowded anchorage. Dinghying ashore, we enjoyed a walk, did some essential grocery and wine shopping, and enjoyed a final evening with Swift Current.

May 24
Montague Harbour

The best part about Montague Harbour is its protection. With two small entrances, and surrounded by 125' cliffs, it is an excellent spot to wait out a blow. And that's what we did. And a bonus is the provincial park on its shore. With moorings at $20/ night, an excellent dock for landing and great hiking trails, a great place to waste a day. And so we did. We hiked, wandered, walked through the paths of this well-kept park. We took a short dinghy expedition to the marina where we looked through the store, bought a few groceries, and another walk. And with that, the day was over. In the evening, our Dickeson BBQ again showed its worth, grilling salmon and veggies as the winds swirled arouns us. But tucked in, and in our newly enclosed cockpit, we enjoyed the sunset.

May 25-26
Port Bedwell, South Pender Island


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Resting...
Port Bedwell doesn't really exist. It is a large (1.7 nm long, 0.5 nm wide) harbour with a few homes, a mooring field for Beaumont Marine Park (part of the Gulf Islands National Park), and Poet's Cove Resort and Marina. We planned to only spend one night here, but found too much to keep us busy to leave.
We left Montague Harbour in mid-morning, motoring out into Navy Channel where we raised the sails for a quiet (10-15 kts) west breeze. Down into Plumper Sound where we rounded the southern tip of South Pender Island and up into Port Bedwell.
Safely tied to a mooring ball, we dinghied ashore to the Poet's Cove Resort and Marina. This place takes itself seriously! It is a beautiful resort with all the amenities. We wandered through the grounds, finally unable to resist the charms of the bar and its outdoor patio and the warm sunshine. On our return to Estelle, we explored the landing options for hiking in the park. Signs warned us away from the remains of an ancient midden, but we finally found what looked like a good spot for the next day's hike.
Next morning we landed on the park beach and did some careful adjusting of lines to assure ourselves that the dinghy would not only be there when we returned, but also floating. The reason we were concerned is the height of the tides... 10' to 14'. We didn't want to find the dinghy floating 200m from shore, or high and dry 200m from the waters edge.
The hike, to a lookout on Mt Norman was listed as strenuous. And not well marked should have been added. But after three hours and few mis-steps, we were heading back down to find the dinghy floating perfectly... in a few feet of (cold) water.

May 27-28
Van Isle Marina

We left Port Bedwell in mid-morning, heading for Van Isle Marina in Sidney, just north of Victoria. The reason... a sleep-over with Henry and Johann!!!
Leaving Port Bedwell in a calm morning and with less than 10 nm to go, we decided to do a bit of exploring. Passing north of Moresby Island, we cautiously entered Royal Cove on the north end of Portland Island.
Portland Island has an interesting history. First Nations people utilized Portland Island going back 3,000 years as is verified from the middens that can be found on the island. Subsequently the island ended up being inhabited by Kanaka (Hawaiian) immigrants and was utilized primarily for farming purposes. An eccentric owner in the 1920's was Frank "One Arm" Sutton, a retired British army officer. Frank Sutton acquired the island with funds he had won gambling on horse races within China. The plan was to raise & train thoroughbred race horses on the island. All evidence of the old horse racing track and a golf course have now vanished.
In 1958 the island was presented as a gift from the Province of British Columbia to Princess Margaret to commemorate her visit to the province. It was apparently expected that the princess would accept the island and immediately return it but apparently she had other ideas for the next 9 years! Princess Margaret finally returned the island to the province of British Columbia in 1967 to be used as a park and it became known as Princess Margaret Marine Park. The Canadian Government bought the island from the Province of British Columbia and it became known once again as Portland Island and became a portion of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada.
But today we just stuck our noses into Royal Cove where one boat was anchored with a stern tie to shore. There was room for three or four boats at max. Circling down to the south end anchorage, Princess Cove, we just passed by as we could see it was fully occupied. Rounding the southern tip, we anchored for lunch between Hood and Breckman Island where we watched the ferries coming and going from nearby Schwartz Bay.
After lunch, we continued our wandering trip through Stranger Passage and John Passage and into Tsehum Harbour, home of Van Isle Marina. In this small harbour there are three or four other marinas and a couple of yacht clubs, making it a busy spot.
Topping up with fuel we were soon settled in our berth and making ready for our visitors.
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And our visitors arrived on schedule with an impressive array of gear for one night. All settled, playing in the dinghy became the favorite passtime.
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For supper, we went into nearby Sidney. Back aboard, more dinghy play until bedtime.
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And surprisingly, all was quiet until 0700 hrs next morning, when dinghy play resumed.
After breakfast and more dinghy play, we were off to the nearby Buchart Gardens for an enjoyable morning.
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For lunch, we headed for nearby Zanzibar Cafe where we enjoyed a great lunch. When I went up to pay the bill, the waitress said it had been paid! Apparently, a patient of Sarah's had seen her and paid it for us! Very kind!
Back at the marina, we said goodby to our guests and headed back aboard for the night.


May 29
Royal Cove


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Stern Tie in Royal Cove

Plans for the balance of our cruise were the US San Juan Islands. But being the end of the Memorial Day weekend, we decided to postpone our arrival at US customs until the next day. So the plan was to return to Royal Cove on Portland Island for the night. Arriving, there was one boat already anchored, using a stern tie to shore. But with lots of room, we were soon settled, executing our first stern tie without too much confusion.
Stern ties are common in this area, and used for two reasons. First, in crowded anchorages, their use in crowded anchorages reduces swinging room. The second use is a bit unique to this area where water depths can be quite deep right up to shore. By droping the anchor on a steeply sloping bottom, the stern tie means the anchor will pull only "uphill" towards shore where it can dig in. In any offshore wind, the stern tie holds the boat where the anchor would otherwise trip in the deep water.
As part of the Gulf Islands National Park, there was a nice dinghy dock in the cove, where we tied the dinghy for a short walk on one of the trails.

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Curious Racoon

A nice quiet night. Tomorrow, off to the US San Juan Islands!
Comments
Vessel Name: Estelle
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1
Hailing Port: Charlottetown, PEI
Crew: Jeannie & Jim Lea
About: Flag Counter
Extra: After cruising the east coast of North America for 10 years, from Nova Scotia to Panama, it's time for a change. Estelle will be cruising the coast of British Columbia and Alaska beginning in 2017.
Estelle's Photos - The Voyage of S/V Estelle (Main)
Our cruise of the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in May & June, 2017
84 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
Our first BC cruise, from Pender Harbour to Strait Marine in Steveston BC
26 Photos
Created 27 April 2017
Estelle's arrival in Vancouver
8 Photos
Created 31 October 2016
63 Photos
Created 28 July 2016
Our first year cruising... Exumas, Bahamas.
11 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
69 Photos
Created 24 July 2015
17 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
8 Photos
Created 12 April 2015
25 Photos
Created 4 December 2014
3 Photos
Created 30 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
5 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
13 Photos
Created 13 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 9 November 2014
Pics of our trip from Mount Desert Islans to the Saint John River in July 2014.
64 Photos
Created 14 August 2014
15 Photos
Created 9 May 2014
60 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
18 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
50 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
104 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
40 Photos
Created 1 December 2012
23 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
19 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
14 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
47 Photos
Created 6 March 2012
59 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
70 Photos
Created 27 February 2012
107 Photos
Created 21 January 2012
Nov/Dec 2011
48 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
San Blas Islands
4 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
58 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
23 Photos
Created 29 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
49 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
52 Photos
Created 29 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
Feb, 2011
67 Photos
Created 11 February 2011
33 Photos
Created 7 February 2011
34 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
33 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
62 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
39 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
41 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
25 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
17 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 3 October 2010
13 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
9 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
14 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
Some photos at John Williams Boatyard as we prepare for departure.
7 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
Our trip to various BC ski resorts Jan-Feb 2010
69 Photos
Created 7 February 2010
August/Sept in Maine
58 Photos
Created 29 August 2009
Our trip from Norfolk Va to Mount Desert Island, June 20th to July 7th, 2009. Gerard Watts aboard as crew!
89 Photos
Created 8 July 2009
11 Photos
Created 26 April 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 22 March 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 February 2009
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
42 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
5 Photos
Created 23 December 2008
27 Photos
Created 22 December 2008
Our trip from Maine to Miami
108 Photos
Created 19 December 2008
Pics from Jan to June 2008, Bahamas to Maine
50 Photos
Created 18 June 2008
Trip south from Maine to Bahamas, Sept-Dec 2007
42 Photos
Created 26 December 2007
14 Photos
Created 25 December 2007
4 Photos
Created 21 August 2007
These are pictures of The Hermitage on Cat Island, Bahamas. It was built single-handedly by Faather Jerome who was sent out by the Church of England to rebuild churches destroyed in the hurricanes in the early 20th century. He then converted to catholicism and built a number of Roman Catholic churches until he sought and received permission to build this hermitage where he spent the remainder of his life.
10 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 June 2007
1 Photo
Created 24 June 2007
21 Photos
Created 23 June 2007
3 Photos
Created 12 June 2007
These pictures were taken while on Long Island, Bahamas, in February, 2007
6 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
This album contains some photos of our time in the Jumentos Islands, in the Bahamas
11 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
3 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
4 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
19 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
13 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
5 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007