The night before we left Otter Bay, we decided to set the crab trap off the transom. By morning time, we weighed anchor and brought in the crab trap. We were blessed with two large male red rock crabs, suitable for eating. I cleaned them while Debra was at the helm as we were on our way to Ganges for an evening with our friends, Bob and Brenda. We arrived, tied up to the mooring ball and I went ashore to do some laundry. Bob and Brenda finally returned from their trip to Nanaimo, and we had dinner at their condo, along with a game of all 5s dominoes with Brenda to confirm that they were following the set of rules as we know them. We decided to try our luck with a second day of crabbing and set the trap in Ganges Harbour. The following morning, Bob took me to recover the trap in his zodiac, and we were lucky again to nab a couple of large reds. Unfortunately, Bob grabbed one the wrong way, and he took quite a cut on his thumb when the crab grabbed it with his claw. Boy can they pinch hard when they are fighting for their survival!
After returning to Lion's Paw, I cleaned and cooked these crabs which made for a big enough meal of crab cakes. I added them to the first two in the refrigerator with plans to recover the meat during our long leg of our journey to Nanaimo after a short overnight stop in Montague Harbour. We began to notice in Ganges that the sky was filling with smoke which has now continued throughout this leg of this summer's adventure. There are severe wildfires burning throughout inland British Columbia, and the winds have decided to blow the smoke west to the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. The haze is so thick that it can be difficult to distinguish between red sunrises and sunsets. Here are two examples:
We left Montague and headed north to rendezvous with Debra's father, Warren, for his annual trip aboard Lion's Paw. We once again timed our passage through Dodd Narrows, but we were confronted through most of this leg with strong headwinds. We finally reached Nanaimo, but there were no openings to dock at the yacht club, so we anchored off of Newcastle Island within binocular sight of the dock in hopes that something would open the following day. I had successfully separated out the crabmeat, so it was crab cakes for dinner.
The next morning, we began watching the yacht club dock, and about mid-morning one of the sailboats departed, so we quickly weighed anchor and headed over where we secured Lion's Paw while awaiting the arrival of Debra's father the following evening. We had a pleasant stay at the dock, and we launched the electric bikes during our stay. We rode them along the bike path which runs along the shore of the harbour and had a delicious dinner at the bistro in the main marina. I also managed to make a couple of runs to the grocery store for some last minute supplies for Warren's visit.
Warren arrived by ferry and taxi Friday evening along with a workmate, John, who accompanied him for the long weekend.
Warren brought special gifts for Debra and me-T shirts with some interesting lettering.
We awoke Saturday morning and headed out for our first destination, Silva Bay, where we had visited last year with Warren. The winds filled in nicely so that we were able to get in a bit of sailing before entering the harbour. We docked in the same slip we had occupied last year, and Warren was right at home hoping to once again socialize with the other boats in the marina.
Unfortunately, there just weren't the numbers of boats this year as last, so I think that he was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, we did manage to launch the dinghy and take a trip to the beach which he so enjoyed last year.
We arose on Sunday morning and set out for our next destination, Thetis Island Marina in Telegraph Harbour. The water and wind were calm, so Warren and John sat on the foredeck enjoying the journey.
We arrived at our destination and tied up to the dock. We had several admirers of Lion's Paw and talked to them about the boat. One, in particular, Patrick, was quite interesting, living in the winters in the Okanagan and the summers on Thetis Island. He told us about a car race track built in the Okanagan and designed by Jacques Villeneuve, a Canadian Formula 1 racer. It is a private club where one must buy a membership and then is able to use the track. It made me a bit nostalgic for my days owning Mountainview Motorsports Park in Colorado. We launched the dinghy and motored around to the other side of the island where there was a government dock and a beach where Warren and John were able to get in a nice swim in the cool water.
The temperatures have been mostly in the high eighties and low nineties, so any chance to cool off is welcome. However, Debra and I found the water a bit too cold for our liking, so we just enjoyed our stay at the beach.
John has First Nation blood, so he does not need a license to fish, so we decided to once again set the crab trap for the night. I awoke early Monday morning and retrieved the trap which was filled with about a dozen reds, four of which were large enough for keeping. They are now cleaned and cooked and ready for me to retrieve the meat for more crabcakes later in this journey. It is interesting that, for the most part, there simply are no longer any large Dungeness males around. It seems like the commercial fishermen have caught them so that the individual fisherman is simply out of luck. Reds are just as tasty, but they simply do not have the amount of crabmeat, being much smaller and with minimal body meat. It takes a lot of work to retrieve the meat so many cruisers simply do not want to put in the effort.
We set out from Thetis Island to time our passage once again through Dodd Narrows on our return to Nanaimo where we dropped off Warren and John for their return to Vancouver. Fortunately, there was a space available at the yacht club to drop them off and for an overnight stay before we head south as we return to the U.S. Our first stop will be Point Roberts, and the wind forecast, if it is accurate, will allow us to enjoy a pleasant, downwind sail.