On the road
01 January 2010
We've created a new blog for our RVing adventures on -- guess what? -- an RVing blog site. Please join us at:
for our winter 2010 road trip to the Baja!
Blurry? Who's blurry?
25 November 2009 | Vancouver BC
Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain...
Yup. That's Ron on the right.
Yup. That's our NEW (2006, but who's counting?) RV!!!!
This picture may look blurry, but it isn't really. That's Cameron, from Traveland in Langley, beside Ron. We've just finished a day and a half of going through all the systems: water, propane, water heater, furnace, fridge, plumbing, awning, generator, refrigerator, 12-volt, 110, etc., etc., etc. So it's actually us who is blurry. We had to go through some things twice. Cameron is very knowledgeable. And patient!
Yup. We're still sailors, but in the West Coast summers. In the West Coast winters, we're outta here (did I mention the rain?), but via road this time. So now, La Contessa Salsa gets to come along and check out the beaches. And we avoid plague and pestilence on airlines, busses, and seedy hotels. That's the theory. Plus, we just wanted to.
We've been talking about this for a while. Then last year in Oaxaca we met some folks from Quebec who, with much enthusiasm, showed us around their van-conversion campers and their campground high in the hills above the city. At the same time, we were getting emails from John and Tammy, who were off-roading it in Guatemala. The folks from Quebec are now in South America. John & Tammy have just acquired a new Very Serious vehicle for even more off-roading. We're just peeking over the edge, still in Vancouver, but it is raining incessantly and in early January plan to hit the road and find out what these guys are raving about. That is, if we're not snow-bound. The Baja has a certain je-ne-sais-quois appeal. Mulegé, here we come!
Better Late Than Never
29 September 2009
Okay, here's the update. There has been a bit of a gap. We did return to our home port in Vancouver in mid-July, after returning to the hospital in Bella Bella and then checking in at the Alert Bay hospital a couple of times. At every dock or anchorage we went to there was someone who looked at the large bandage on Ron's hand and said, "I'll bet you had a run-in with a windlass. Me too!" We now have a library of stories about windlass injuries and know Ron was very lucky to have come away with such a minor altercation. The rule: Never Underestimate the Power of a Windlass.
From Alert Bay we made it to Vancouver in four days. Not bad for plugging along at 5-6 knots. (L-o-n-g days.) Ron's finger has healed nicely in the interim, Salsa had her surgery and recovered, and we have been messing around here planning the next outing. (Dr. Keith and his wife even stopped by for a visit.)
We did make out on the boat in September for a Howe Sound cruise, where we met up with Robert O at Plumper Cove who said we really must update our blog--the world had to know that Ron wasn't languishing at a dock somewhere between here and Bella Bella.
So, it's all good. The boat is tucked into her moorage spot. We're hoping for a few more nice days to do a little more work on the brightwork, and then that will be it till next year.
06 July 2009
So we did leave Prince Rupert and we are now in Shearwater and we've had a lovely time in between, but the internet here in Shearwater is deadly slow and a previous attempt to let you in on all the details as failed/timed out/something unprintable.
So here we are. We've caught some salmon, seen some bears, visited with old friends, dined with new ones, seen some fabulous waterfalls, and yesterday Ron caught his finger between the anchor chain and the windlass so he ended up in Bella Bella at the hospital.
All's well that ends well. The Coast Guard, if you can believe it, met us at the dock, the doctor (thanks, Keith) and the staff were excellent, it seemed everyone in town knew of Ron's injury and asked how he was doing, and he is counting his lucky stars that he didn't lose part of his finger. We will stay here until Tuesday when he goes back to the hospital for a re-dressing and then will will be off.
So although we were heading home beginning in Prince Rupert because Salsa needs surgery, we are now heading home with renewed focus because we don't want to tempt fate and the rule that says once you hit your thumb with the hammer you are duty bound to hit it again.
We have some weather vulnerabilities to deal with (Cape Caution and Johnstone Strait come to mind) and a cruising speed of 5.5 knots, so we won't be on the doorstep tomorrow, but sometime in the next couple or three weeks.
Internet connections are sketchy. We will try to post more and pix too, but not sure it will come to pass.
Now, press "Submit" and hope for the best!
The Big Blow
28 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
Just outside the harbour! Forty-eight knots of wind! Seas of 4-5 metres! Yes, we're still here. Who wouldn't be? It's WILD out there. The weather forecasts say it will calm down by tomorrow -- as much as we've enjoyed Rupert, we will be glad to get off the dock. (It has been over a week, after all.)
Yesterday we took advantage of a lull in the storm and took the bus to the North Pacific Historic Fishing Village and Cannery Museum at Port Edward. Very impressive. But boy did it blow last night! Don't think I've ever heard wind howl like that -- and we were on the dock. Can't imagine what was going on on west coast of the Charlottes.
22 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
Although the commercial fishing is devastated, compared to what it once was, and thanks in part to our very own billionaire who did not make his money being fair or generous to his employees (you know who you are) -- in fact, so widespread is the discontent here, one could use it as a verb -- to be pattisoned, and everyone would know exactly what you're talking about -- but that's another story. The point is, despite all that, there are still fish bits being thrown in the water by the docks and the eagles are all over it.
It's worth a trip to Rupert just to watch them soaring and diving and the aerobatics are truly amazing. Click! Click! Click! Click! Click!
There's one tree in Cow Bay where we counted almost a dozen the other night, right at an intersection. What do they care? Dinner is right over there!
The Big Grizz.
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen
We had two great looks at grizzlies. One was the small female, who stars in the video and the other still shot here. Then there was the great big male. We couldn't get as close to him, but maybe it was just as well.
He was munching away on sedge grass surrounded by delicately coloured wild flowers -- lupins, Indian paint brush, and buttercups -- and off to the side was a beautiful cascading mountain stream. But man, was he big. Don't-mess-with-me-big. BIG.
All this and was solstice, too. Pretty darn cool.
The Cute Grizz!
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen
More grizz shots. This little female was not bothered at all by us gawking at her and went about her business of eating and eating and more eating with grace and aplomb. We were able to watch from fairly close for a half hour or so and left her as we found her, eating, eating and eating. (Hmm, perhaps something to consider for my next incarnation ... )
The tour we took, just in case you're coming up this way, was with Prince Rupert Adventure Tours. (www.westcoastlaunch.com 1-800-201-8377). We were very pleased. A family run operation. Nice folks.
Does A Bear ...?
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen Inlet
What a day we had! It was Father's Day and we decided to take a tour to grizzly land -- the Conservancy at the end of Khutzeymateen Inlet. We'd been thinking of slogging up there on the boat, but it's a l-o-n-g way up and the anchorages are iffy, so the big fast power boat was definitely the way to go. As well as 6 or 7 grizz, we also saw humpbacks and 2 transient orca pods.
We had one up close and personal sighting of a small female grizzly, doing her business, literally. As you will see from the mini-video posted here. (It was taken from the boat, so it's a big jiggly.)
The Spring Are Running!
20 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
We've been looking for the fish on our way up the coast, but as far as we could tell, no one has been catching much of anything. Then we arrive in Rupert! And oh my goodness! They're hauling them in by the wheelbarrow load!
This was a charter that had just landed at Atlin Pier in Rupert and the customers were smiling ear to ear. A good day on the water.
20 June 2009
We really had no intention of coming here, or at least making this any more than a stop along the way, but it appears to be our destination! Funny how that works out.
We came up yesterday from Kumealon Inlet on Grenville Channel--a l-o-n-g leg on a foggy and rainy day. Fortunately the wind was resting, so the water was calm. And it was a teasy kind of fog, lifting for 10 minutes, then swooping back in, then lifting again, adding a little rain, then a lot of rain, then some blue sky, then repeat. Nobeltec only concked out once, but it was during the pea-est of the pea-soup fog, and it was only trying to help by building our confidence. Hah!
We had met Fulford Girl, a lovely converted fishing boat in Shearwater a couple of weeks ago, and when they pulled in beside us at the anchorage in Kumealon (photo) we finally got to chat. Fortunatley for us, they left before us the next morning, and had the docks all scoped out when we chugged into Rupert two hours after them. It's a busy place, this Rupert, and it appeared it was going to be a bit tricky to find a place to tie up. But they managed to find a small opening at the dock at Rushbrooke and once we were within shouting distance, retied some boats making a spot for us magically appear! Voila! It was a demonstration of boaters' camaraderie if I ever saw one. Last night we repaid their kindness with a Prawn Pasta dinner, with prawns from Kumealon, prepared by Ron!
So here we are in Prince Rupert -- and it's not raining. Right now. We will spend a couple of days here, doing laundry, getting some cabbage and carrots, and relearning how to walk on land. We are cleverly gleaning fishing tips from whoever we meet on the street, so we may even bag a few salmon when we leave. So far, the fishing has been pretty dismal, but then if there are no fish, you can't catch them.
Know Thy Place
19 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
As we were coming into the harbour after slogging through fog and rain for 20 miles or so at the breakneck Erramus speed of 5 knots, we found this little piece of loveliness dogging our tail. Eventually she sped by us, causing a certain amount of wake as befits a woman of her stature.
She is the mv Archimedes, just one year old and worth $100 million! (At that price, why not pass everyone on the lake?) I looked it up on the internet: 222 feet, a crew of 14, takes 12 passengers, has 2 2000 HP engines, cruising speed of 15 knots. Made in Holland. Owned by someone from NY. (Not Johnny Depp as one site says.) Our friend Robert O says she has a swimming pool on the top deck. I couldn't see up that far.
It's good to see these things every once in a while. It's crazy out there!