Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 85 - Gorge Harbour BC - Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Sleeping in this morning, we have a 9 o'clock start with the first boats leaving Pilothouse Marina at Pender Harbour.  It is an orderly exit, as the last in are first out and others tuck in, following.

We see Stout and Laxey among the first.

We head up Malaspina Strait east of Texada Island.  (You people from Louisiana and Texas call this 'Tuh-ha-da.'  Here it is 'Tex-a-da.')  

The scenery is absolutely beautiful with the snow-capped mountains in the background, nestling the green hills at the water's edge.  Smooth as glass near the Agamemnon Channel on our starboard side.

We note that it is around 2400 ft. deep east of Nelson Island.  Malaspina channel is wide enough for the Tugs to spread out and minimize wakes to each other.  Wide enough for a few sail boats motoring along.

And then we are together again.

And changing our position again.

On our port we see Port Boathouse passing Stout; he is followed by It's a Secret.  They gave us a 20 minute lead on the cruise, and now at 19 knots are overtaking us.  The Cutwaters are cutting the water!!!

Looking good!

We enjoy seeing this nice sailboat taking advantage of the winds today.

Some Tugs go to the starboard and give plenty of room.

We would be in a heap of trouble if we did not have charts, GPSs, and navigation aids that we see along the way to guide us.  Many of them are especially pleasing to the eye.  We are warned of a rocky area.

Did I forget to mention that our own watchful eyes help?  Here comes the ferry!

There goes the tug pulling its load.  On this trip we also have the helpful announcement on VHF channel 72 by Patrick and Ranger Jeff directing us where best to pass these vessels.

And then we have the travelers among us who radio about hazards like logs in the water and give the location where they are seen.  We appreciate this help.

On our starboard is a chapel, and we wonder if it is named, "Chapel by the Sea."

Now boats on the starboard again.

Leader of the Pack, Ranger Jeff
More interesting scenery -- nice rock!  I love rocks!  But not under my Willie's Tug, unless it is way far under!

Big heads up!  Here's the tug.......
...and here's the load -- a log boom.  I am impressed!

As we near our destination, we cruise to the east and north of Hernando Island, then turn west to round the southern point of Cortes Island.  Another navgation aid -- the bell -- at (I think) Sutil Point on the south end of Cortes.  I am not sure where we are, as I am watching the rocks near shore.

 We approach Gorge Harbour, our destination today.  
Again, as yesterday, we have a very orderly docking with assigned slips.  As Herb and I are tying up to the dock, we are greeted by Johnny and Mary of Red Ranger, whom we met at Poulsbo last month.  They met with us to help plan the Rendezvous to be held at Bremerton in September.  It is good to see them again.

Find Willie's Tug -- peeking out between the trees.

Gorge Harbour is a very, very beautiful marina and village.  There is a good uphill walk to the grocery store, hot tub, and restaurant.  I listen to the sound of the water tumbling over the rocks in the stream as I cross the bridge.

At 5 o'clock we meet at the barbecue area to visit and discuss the wonderful coves that Desolation Sound has to offer us for the next several days.  We bring our Dreamspeaker travel books and highlighters and take notes, compare notes, and make some decisions -- or not!

We raise our glasses in appreciation of the ones who put this trip together and are taking such good care of us.

Then we see the deer.  The camp host is sitting in her yard with apples to feed them, and is joined by her cat.

We watch for several minutes and gradually move closer as the deer feed and trust us.

The deer go for the apple near Kitty.

The camp host tells us that the deer will not come past the "Private" sign, but when she goes inside to get more apples, they sneak out.

We wait until the deer are safely back in their hiding places to take Jake for a walk.  Discovering the wonderful grassy, sloping hill made just for him, he is still 'on leash' and runs, jumps, and rolls until his heart is content!

Okay, Jake, that's enough now!

The day is coming to an end.

Jake takes a rest from his frolicking to sit on the unique carved bench.  
The restaurant has Baby Back Ribs on the menu, but we have pork chops that we should grill. 

Meanwhile, back on the dock, Lincoln shows proof that he did in fact catch fish.  Six, I think!  Grandpa Tym teases him about not having the proof, but we gotcha covered, Lincoln! 

We join a group of guests, including Tim and Ann of Chameleon, who are listening to folk music.  The artist sings of Johnson City, Tennessee, but admits she has not been there.  I think she should, and should continue to eastern Tennessee to visit Deal's Gap -- more interestingly done on a motorcycle.

Very pleasant with the fire, as the sun is setting and we feel the cooler temperature.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and Walldog, Willie and Jake

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