A beautiful sail across the Strait of Georgia
I have managed to skip writing about our spring cruising, so will briefly summarize our two cruises. Both cruises were to the Gulf Islands.
On April 17th, we left our berth at the Vancouver Rowing Club and enjoyed a beautiful sail across the Strait of Georgia, entering Porlier Pass with the last of the ebbing current sweeping us into the sheltered waters of the Trincomali Channel. As the waves of the strait fell away, so did the wind, leaving us motoring to nearby Montague Harbour for the night. Here we picked up a mooring in the provincial park using my new handy-dandy mooring hook for the first time... an excellent addition to the equipment inventory. All provincial moorings have a ring to which you have to attach your own pennant. Without the hook, it can be a tough job in anything but flat calm. Last fall I watched a boat use a hook, new to me, and got the information on it. Now no problem!!
In the morning, as I turned on the Espar to warm the cabin, I noticed that its noise level had increased considerably... not a good sign! It was obvious that we had a problem, so I added it to the list for our appointment at Philbrooks Boatyard in Sidney. The main objective of the trip was an appointment to have our genset repaired. It wasn't pumping water, and I just didn't have the necessary enthusiasm to curl myself into a ball in the confines of the cockpit locker to troubleshoot the problem which was most certainly the impeller..
Two days later, Chris, the technician we have used before, had replaced the impeller in the genset and fished out all the broken bits from the old one that had escaped into the hoses. And he also diagnosed a worn-out bearing in the Espar, requiring removal and ordering a new part. So we left with a repaired genset and no heater.
From Sidney we took a short trip to Ganges where we tied up at the VRC dock and plugged in to allow us to run our electric heater. Days are warm in the sunshine and in our new enclosure, but nights cool off and mornings are a chilly affair. Next day, back to VRC, our shakedown cruise over.
After a trip to PEI to set up summer arrangements for the house, we were back in BC and off on another trip to the Gulf Islands to retrieve our heater. Another beautiful sail across and into the Gulf Islands. Back at the VRC dock in Ganges we again used our electric heater to take the morning chill off. Then another visit to Sidney and Chris had our Espar back in and working better than in years. It is 14 years old and this is the first problem we have had with it, so we can't complain. Heading back to Vancouver, we tried a new anchorage in Wallace Island, another provincial park. We anchored in tiny Princess Cove, sharing the anchorage with five other boats. Our cruising guide says it can hold as many as 50 boats on a busy summer weekend, a very crowded spot under those conditions. But we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon and night. Ashore we hiked the trails working our way down past tiny Conover Cove, too small for us, to the southern tip, Panther Point.
Sunset in Princess Cove
Back at the anchorage we met Riyad Abu-Laben and Carol Shaben. We enjoyed a glass of wine watching the sunset and learning about their experiences circumnavigating Vancouver Island, a challenging cruise we are looking forward to perhaps next year. Next morning was an early (for us) 8:00 am departure to catch slack in Porlier Pass, a beautiful sail back across the Strait of Georgia to our berth at VRC. Next destination, Desolation Sound in July.