Adventures aboard the SV Mystic

SV Mystic adventures

Who: Kenneth M. Fersht & Kathryn Nimetz
Port: Pender Island, British Columbia
30 June 2011 | Salt Spring Island: Pender Islands
20 June 2010 | Pender Island, BC
14 November 2009 | Pender Island, BC
20 October 2009 | Gulf Islands, BC
03 September 2009 | Otter Bay Marina, Pender Island, BC
10 August 2009 | Poets Cove, Pender Island

Cape Keppel, Dogfish, Poet's Cove

30 June 2011 | Salt Spring Island: Pender Islands
Kmax, clearing, light
After spending the winter in Ganges Harbour, on Salt Spring Island, we are back sailing again. Got a job to make a web site and do some photography for a property developer down on the south end of the island. The property is lovely; it sits nestled on the southernmost tip of Salt Spring Island, on the shoulder of Mount Tuam and going down through some 30 acres of forest, meadow, steams and trails. The place has a dock, electricity, wireless internet, with a guest house and a hot tub bath, gazebo, the worlds best espresso machine (in my opinion). About 10 minutes after dropping anchor i caught a dogfish, about a foot and a half long, with glowing cat-eyes. I was just in the middle of helping finish up with cooking dinner at the time (red-snapper with potato chips and salad, i did not catch the snapper i bought it). I'm not sure that i like dogfish(except for photographing them) but i suppose it would sustain you in a pinch. With a dog fish, you have to watch out for their small but very sharp teeth and also a spur on the tail can do some damage if you're not careful. A dog fish is essentially a miniature shark.

This fellow got his tail hopelessly wound in my net, which meant that i didn't have a chance to throw him back in the sea. If you want to eat a dogfish, which is very popular in some parts of the world, like england for example, you must kill and clean the fish immediately and then soak in fresh water for 12-24 hours to remove and ammonia in the flesh. I'm no expert in this so you should do more re-search before eating one of these, to find out how to properly clean this fish. What did i use for bait? Lox believe it or not, that's right smoked salmon on a bomber. Not a very good trade in retrospect but i got a whole bag of trim for cheap on Salt Spring Island.

On second thought, may as well just leave dogfish alone and throw them back if I can. I will if i ever accidentally catch another one. Ok here comes the sun so i'm going to get up on Deck. I'll attach a picture of the property on Cape Keppel for you to see and also a picture of that dogfish with the cat-eyes.

Currently at Poet's Cove on Pender Island, one of our favourite local destinations, due to the fact that the dock staff are so nice, and they have a pool, hot tub, spa and a pretty good restaurant with wi-fi. Great little hike to green lake is close by also and it's right on a marine park with mooring buoys or you can dock, there is usually space mid week at least.

Two Photos by Kmax in June issue of Pacific Yachting Magazine

03 August 2010 | Ganges
I suppose i should mention, belatedly, that two of my photographs were chosen for the June issue of Pacific Yachting Magazine for their article on Ganges, "Ganges Grows Up". Here they are for you to see.Ganges Harbour seen from Moby's Oyster Bar Patio


Surrounded by Orca

20 June 2010 | Pender Island, BC
I was sailing north from Poet's Cove on South Pender Island the other day when suddenly i was surrounded by a Pod of Orca. There were perhaps 12 individuals in the group. I was trying to go wing on wing at the time in a light wind, a precarious balance especially when one first sets one's sails.

They caught me by suprise; I heard a loud splash of tail fluke and a distant cheer from a whale watching boat that was about 1000 metres astern off my port side. I turned and saw the whales swimming close to shore, along the bluff's where all the locals, seals, and various other boaters fish for Salmon.

These waters are rich in Coho, Spring, and other varieties of Salmon. It's herring spawning season too and there were millions if not billions of herring jumping out of the water and spawning, mainly at dusk.

I had an immediate thought when i saw the first Orca; 300 mil lens. I dove into the boat and dragged up the big artillery, a contax 35 mil film camera and a 300 mil lens. While trying to balance the tiller (unsucessfully) between my knees and keep Mystic on track i attempted to change lenses, from the wide angle that was on the camera to the 300 mil. Something went terribly wrong and i could not focus the damn thing. It was not mounted correctly. I saw that the Orca were going to be a challenge to shoot as they appeared relatively unpredictably on the surface and were gone before one could have a chance to frame and focus. I discarded the film cam and grabbed the digital SLR that was sitting always ready on the cockpit, gib flapping in the wind due to the relatively low wind and wing on wing running directly down wind. I guessed at where, directly off my port beam the next Orca might appear. Bingo! The Bull of the POD, leader of the pack surfaced right where i had guessed and i held my finger on the shutter shooting 5 frames per second of the whole sequence, set upon the simplicity of the Trincomali Channel and it's various Ilsands and islets. Here is the best of the sequence, shot on an 85 mil canon lens, not the right lens for the job really but all's well that ends well.

Pod of Orca off Pender Island, British Columbia

New Developments

14 November 2009 | Pender Island, BC
Kmax/calm, sun is breaking from fog
Just sailed back to Pender Island and anchored at Otter Bay last night. We sailed out from Ganges Harbour due to an infestation by giant reptiles which were stalking and eating the small sailing vessels and tugboats there. We had a favorable wind all the way to pender, wind was about 10 knots from the NW and we went wing on wing for the 2nd leg.


Our auto pilot is busted so i was on manual tiller the whole way and single handed for the most part, as Kathryn, a.k.a. Admiral Nimetz, had a snooze and made tea and such while i sailed her over.

It Was a golden rose colored sunset. Did not use the engine coming into Otter bay...sailed right in and dropped anchor in 20 feet of water. Put out 130 feet of chain and had spare anchor ready to go due to a weather watch for high winds. Lot's of fetch where we are right now, althogh convenient for the morning, not the wisest choice of anchorage really.

That's all for's starting to get light out and it's overcast.

Oh more thing...i'm booked into a really good recording studio on Salt Spring Island for this Tuesday. I'm really really excited about it:-)) Daryl Chonka is going to enginneer the recordings for me which is great!!! His work is world class so once again i'm so stoked about it!!!


Wing on Wing

20 October 2009 | Gulf Islands, BC
Kenneth M. Fersht
Wing on Wing and everything! I keep seeing airplanes flying up above as we sail along. I decided to start a photo series called, "wing on wing", which will feature this exact phenomenon as a sort of play on words. I like sailing wing on wing, although it's a bit of a precarious balance sometimes. The first time i tried it i was almost decapitated i'm sure when i got too far off the wind and the boom swung hard about.

Trouble in Otter Bay

03 September 2009 | Otter Bay Marina, Pender Island, BC
Kmax: Fair, light winds
We anchored in Otter Bay last night, having come from Poets Cove. It's my birthday today:-) Kathryn, the love of my life, is here with me and she has been treating me like royalty all day. She's so sweet! I totally lucked out with Kat, she's the kindest, warmest, gentlest creature i have ever met. She has extremely refined massage skills also so I'm lucky boy:-) Now we are sharing a bottle of fine local wine from the Morning Bay Vineyards, a superb 2006 Pinot Noir.

Something a bit odd just happened. I have a few friends and clients on Pender Island, and actually produce the top online tourist map of Pender Island, called

Yesterday evening, after we anchored, i took the tender into the Otter Bay Marina to meet a client about a web site design project we have in the works. The client is an artist of the wood working variety, and i mean a REAL artist.

Apparently the manager of the marina, reported this meeting to the RCMP. For those of you who are not Canadian, RCMP stands for Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

So i was having a siesta in the V-berth, reading my new book by Joseph Conrad, Typhoon and Other Stories when Kat comes in and says, "there is a police boat outside". I said, "really"? "yes really" she replied. I went out to investigate, and sure enough there is a police boat out there.

They said that they had had a report of 'suspicious activity' and asked me my name. Apparently, i was "walking around in circles" in the parking lot and the manager felt that this was quite suspicious. After all day aboard a boat i do feel like stretching my legs once i get ashore and I think it's safe to say that this is true of most people. I felt insulted but i told them my name. They can look me up, no problem.

Since when is meeting someone in a parking lot "suspicious" activity? Of course we both have long hair and some people may view that in itself to be "suspicous".

I suppose it wasn't too suspicious the last few times i walked across their grounds in order to spend some of my money in their cafe however. They do make a good bagel, i'll give them that and the fellows wife is quite nice. However, I won't be spending any money there ever again.

We have an office on the other side of Pender Island, where we build web sites, work with the Ptarmigan Music Society, a registered charity in British Columbia which provides music instruction to children who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and we also use that as our base for making tourist maps of the gulf islands,

After this anoying experience, and incidentally i'm not the only one who has had a negative experience with this particular dock manager, I have decided to look more fully into the Otter Bay Marina and associated condo's and see what I can uncover. I do NOT recommend this marina to anyone, based upon my personal experience thus far. You are much better off, in my opinion, to go to Poets Cove, where the dock staff there have repeatedly shown us kindness and courtesy. There is a spa there also, and a nice swimming pool and it's much more high end for the same or lesser cost for moorage, and it's right on The Beaumont Marine Park. Beautiful medicine beach is within tender distance.

While i'm on another rant i'm going to mention my last experience with the same dock manager a few weeks ago. We were on our way back to Hope Bay from Poets Cove when it became apparent that we would not make it through the Navy Channel in time for Kat to make her business meeting. We anchored at Otter Bay and i gave Kat a dingy ride up to the dingy dock just to drop her off.

As we approached the marina manager, same guy, said, "you have to pay 5 dollars to tie up at our dingy dock". I said, I'm just dropping Kat off, she's going to work". He did not reply. I was considering to go and get breakfast also but I thought to myself though, "yah right, like i'm going to give you $5 for the privlege of tieing up for 20 minutes to go spend more money in your mediocre cafe"

Last week we were moored in Hope Bay. Another boat pulled up and i caught a line for them. I asked them where they were sailing from. The fellow said, "Lopez Island" which is in the San Juan Islands. They had a nice motor cruiser.

The fellow said right away, "we just got kicked out of Otter Bay Marina" with a grin? I asked, "what for"? He said that he had gone to tie up there when the Marina manager came out and started yelling at them for not radioing in before hand. Ironically he had tied up where the Police vessel PV Driscol usually ties up. I think we all know that half the time when one radio's in to a Marina, there is no one on the other end of the radio, so one just ties up where one can and goes to look for the dock manager. So i know that i'm not the only one who has had trouble with this particular, and apparently uptight, individual.

There will be more notes on this incident as i talk to other boaters in the area to see if they have similar stories to share.

fair winds to you all, sincerely, Kmax

Vessel Name: Mystic
Vessel Make/Model: Spencer Sloop
Hailing Port: Pender Island, British Columbia
Crew: Kenneth M. Fersht & Kathryn Nimetz
We are a pair of multimedia production artists. Ken makes online tourist maps,, builds fine web sites, does photography, and makes music along the way. [...]
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Mystic's Photos -

SV Mystic adventures

Who: Kenneth M. Fersht & Kathryn Nimetz
Port: Pender Island, British Columbia