Our cruising continues with fair weather and calm seas. We finished our stay in Vancouver with a pleasant dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Itoga on Robson Street. The quality is always good, and you cannot beat the prices. It is so popular that they usually have to close early because they run out of fish. We hit Whole Foods on our way back to the boat to stock up on some perishables as we plan to be in remote locations for about 10 more days.
We left Coal Harbour once again under sunny skies. There was a bit of commercial traffic just outside English Bay, so we spent a bit of time working through it before being able to set sail for a couple of hours under 10+ knots of wind. The angle to our next destination was not ideal, but you need to take advantage of good sailing conditions whenever they are around. The winds finally subsided so it was time to motor to our final destination of the day-Cabbage Island just north of Saturna Island. It was a 45 mile journey, so it took until late afternoon before we were able to tie up to one of the mooring buoys that are available. Two bald eagles on one of the exposed reefs greeted us upon or arrival.
The evening started out relatively calm, and we were treated to our first sunset of our trip.
There was a bit of a blow overnight, so it was nice to know that we were securely tied to a buoy rather than at anchor.
The morning brought another perfect day-blue skies and light winds. We launched the dinghy and went ashore where we paid our mooring bill at the unmanned pay station. It is pretty much an honor system as these locations are unmanned (but we did actually see the park ranger arriving just as we were leaving later that morning). Cabbage Island is quite small. It takes about 15 minutes to circumnavigate it on foot. We had a pleasant walk along the shore and spent a bit of time sitting on one of the large logs which had washed ashore in some prior storm, just taking in the beauty of the scenery.
We were treated to a single Canadian Goose feeding in the shallows.
We returned to Lion's Paw and released from the buoy as we headed for a popular anchorage which we had previously visited-Winter Cove. It is well protected and quite shallow-we had less than 5 feet at times below our keel as we found our anchorage. There was only one other boat in the cove, and it just happened to have selected the location which we had previously used and marked on our chartplotter. We anchored not far away and launched the dinghy to enjoy one of the unique features of this anchorage. The opening to the Georgia Strait is quite narrow and shallow, so as the tides change, it creates a bit of rapids. If you go back to one of our earlier blogs, you can see a picture of this unique feature. It is a pleasant walk of .5 kilometers from the dinghy dock to the rapids, and there is a nice wooden bench overlooking the opening, so we sat for quite awhile watching the whitewater and eddies that are created. We returned to Lion's Paw for the remainder of the day and had a pleasant overnight in perfectly calm conditions.
We awoke this morning to overcast skies-something that we have not seen for days. We had thought about a bike ride on Saturna Island, but the cool, damp weather put a kabosh on that idea. We took the opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping onboard instead.
There was little reason to stay in Winter Cove with the weather conditions so we decided to take a short trip to Port Browning and spend a night at a marina with a restaurant. A highlight was when I saw a sea otter lying on the docks, cleaning itself.
About an hour after arriving at the marina, the sun began to finally peek through the low clouds, and I took the opportunity to launch my folding bike and do a bit of exploring of North and South Pender Islands which are joined by a short, one lane bridge across a narrow channel which provides a shortcut between island harbours. A sign at the bridge explains that the two islands were once connected by a narrow isthmus, and the boaters had to portage their boats across. The channel was dug in 1903, but I do not know when the bridge was built. After riding a mile or so on South Pender Island, I turned around and headed north up to Hope Bay where there is a building with a few small stores and a public dock which was full had we decided to try that location rather than where we are now. On my way back, I saw a sign for farm fresh eggs, so I stopped, put my $6 in the slot for the money box, and brought a dozen back to Lion's Paw for the remainder of our journey this cruise. Tonight we had dinner and attended a jazz concert at the marina.
Tomorrow we return to the United States where we will spend the next week in the San Juan Islands. First stop is Sucia Island, a place which we have enjoyed in the past. Good weather remains in the forecast.