07 July 2013 | Halfmoon Bay to Pender Harbour
Laurie / Sunny and Warm
Day 2, July 6, 2013 Saturday
Our second day found the crew a little slow to get going in the morning. We did manage to get ourselves mostly up by the time our company arrived. The plan for the day was to go to Pender Harbour. Jane, her grand-nephew Angelo and Tootsie her small dog, were joining us for the day and they arrived at the boat as we were getting ourselves awake and having breakfast.
After a little deck cleanup, we cast off our lines and motored away from the Halfmoon Bay dock. The wind had picked up abit, maybe about 8-10 knots northwest. Moe quickly had the main sail up but we knew when we turned right into Welcome Pass that it would have to come down as we would be going directly into the wind, which is exactly what happened, though it did pick up to about 10-15 knots as we left the Pass.
Angelo, who just turned 13, had never been on a sail boat before. He brought his fishing gear in the hopes of catching himself a nice salmon so Moe prepared the downrigger and our fishing rod and showed Angelo how it worked. Fishing off our boat is a little challenging because it's hard to get the boat moving slow enough, which is kind of funny considering we sometimes have a hard time getting it going fast enough for sailing! Because we were fishing we didn't do any sailing on our trip to Pender Harbour.
The day was absolutely beautiful and it wasn't too long before the crew were all at the stern of the boat. The fishing rod was there, and the wind was not, so it was very pleasant to sit together in the warm sun, talk about the fish we would be catching and letting Otto drive. Eventually it occurred to me that it probably wasn't very wise to have all eyes facing the stern and Moe was busy with Angelo and the rod so I went into the wheelhouse to see how we were doing. I had a quick look at the GPS and saw we were about to go over a 5 metre shoal! I called back to Moe who quickly brought up the many feet of line he just had put out. We knew that the depth was fine for the boat, but didn't want to sacrifice our gear to the sea gods. I steered us away from the shoal and we all realized how foolish it was not to have someone paying attention to driving the boat! Though Otto might be great at steering us in a straight line, we can't count on it to watch and alert us of any dangers. Lesson learned.
We continued motoring and fishing until we neared the entrance to Pender Harbour then the line was brought in (sadly, no fresh fish for the crew) and we picked our course into the harbour. Moe gave Angelo a turn at the wheel and though he said we might crash he did a fine job of steering us.
As we came into the harbour we saw many sailboats with their sails up and determined it was Saturday race day. It was so cool to see all the boats sailing in the harbour! Of course, we were quite respectful of them and gave them the room that they needed to sail as we motored by on our way into Garden Bay. It was still relatively early in the day when we arrived so there was plenty of room and we soon picked just the right spot to drop our anchor.
Pender Harbour is one of my favorite places on the Sunshine Coast. It is so beautiful here and is big enough to accommodate lots of boats without feeling crowded. Not to mention the many bays and coves that can be explored via dinghy.
Once we were settled Moe had a nasty job to look after while the crew prepared some lunch. Just before we left the dock at Halfmoon Bay our head became plugged. There was no point trying to fix it while we were under way so he immediately set about the yucky job of cleaning out the plugged toilet. Just as he was beginning his work he opened the venting hatch above toilet and darned if it didn't fall off in his hand! Another task to look after once the toilet was working. Sometimes the skipper has the most unpleasant jobs. The crew were all respectful of what he was doing and did their best to assist while still enjoying the sunshine and cold beverages on the deck.
With the head back in working order (thank you skipper!) we all sat down in the cockpit and enjoyed our lunch. After we had eaten Moe got our faithful dinghy, James, off the davits and into the water. Angelo got in and rowed Tootsie and Jane over to the shore so Tootsie could do her business. When they returned, Moe rigged James for sailing and hopped in. While he sailed around we found the heat on the deck too much and had to get into the water. Before he left Moe had attached our swim ladder. One by one, Lisa, Angelo and I all dipped the lower half of our bodies into the water and decided that it was, indeed, pretty refreshing (aka cold!) but definitely swimmable. None of us wanted to do the full shocking immersion by jumping in and I was the first one to slowly descend the ladder and get in. Once in I found it only took a couple of minutes and I was encouraging everyone else to join me as the water was great! Jane and Tootsie cheered us on and took pictures as Lisa, Angelo and I enjoyed the water. Moe did make his way back to Reborn and soon Lisa and Angelo were in the dinghy sailing around the harbour while the rest of us lounged on deck.
We blissfully whiled the afternoon away in our paradise knowing that soon Jane, Lisa and Angelo would have to call for their ride home. We would have dinner together before they left. Jane had brought some lovely salmon and corn on the cob. We soaked the corn cobs in some salt water while Moe fired up the barbecue and before long we were eating our dinner and talking about how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy our boat and each other in such beautiful surroundings. Truly we are blessed! Of course, being able to do this doesn't come to us on a silver platter and we lauded Moe for all his work and efforts to provide us with our very worthy vessel that got us here. Hail the skipper!
With dinner done, it was time to call for the ride and pack up everyone's belongings. Once we piled all five of us and Lisa's large traveling bag into James we set out, with very little freeboard, rowing our way across to Madeira Park. With so many of us in the boat it was necessary to have two oarsmen so Angelo and I shared the task. He rowed the port side and I rowed the starboard side. Moe rigged up a third oar off the stern and was acting as our rudder. We must have presented quite a sight as we zigged and zagged our way along the water! No one was in any hurry to end the day so we didn't exactly make a beeline for the shore.
Peter, Moe's cousin, was waiting for us at the dock and helped bring everything up to his van for the ride home. We had lots of hugs and promises to do this again and then our company and most excellent crew departed. Moe and I sauntered our way back to James and I rowed us back with the help of Moe on oar/rudder. Our line was a little truer coming back!
The evening was warm and spectacular so when we returned to Reborn we sat on deck and soaked up the ambience of a beautiful summer evening anchored in paradise.