Thursday, August 1, 2013

What a Day! -- Tuesday, 7/30/2013 -- Day 5 of Desolation Sound Cruise -- Day 81

We are beginning our last leg of the journey to Desolation Sound, where we will gather at the beautiful Gorge Harbour for one or more days. It is sunny, 69 degrees and the second day of perfect weather.   Like clockwork, Pods gather at the appointed time, but as we begin to move out, we see a line of small sailboats tethered and being towed by a small craft.  Not a problem, as we can thread our way through -- but wait -- they are turned loose to sail on their own, scattering like so many seeds blowing in the wind!  

The Tugs maintain slow speed until we can get safely past them.

Our charts show range markers to guide us over Comox Bar and Herb alerts the Pod to watch for them.  Do my eyes fail me?  I see one white sign on shore, but never see the second one to line up.  Wagner's Cruising Guide warns that the markers are hard to see in bright light, but well identified in fog or at night.  I am glad it is day.

In spite of not having the guides, we keep checking our depth finder, and never see less than 16 feet of water.  Wonderful!

Fishing must be good here.  Herb sees the lady land a catch, but my camera doesn't grab it.

Someone radios seeing whales, but we are not lucky enough to find them.

Our route takes us diagonally across the Strait of Georgia with minimal winds, mostly calm seas and thankfully an uneventful trip. We will travel 33 miles in the Strait of 12 - 15 miles wide, and can see both coasts at all times.

The Strait is kind to us today and we have a gentle crossing.

Ranger Jeff on Messmerized calls to say the marina asks that we arrive a bit later so they can work out the puzzle of where to dock everyone.  Gerry on Celtic Sun tells us of a popular beach with quite a bit of wildlife on Mitlenatch Island, just ahead, and we take advantage of our delay to visit it.

There are more than 20 harbour seals sunning themselves on the rocks, and we turn off our engines to hear the cacophony of voices as they serenade us.  

Seagulls dot the point of the island, as they rest from a morning of fishing.

I remember how delighted I was when I first heard the bell in Buoy #Q 20 a two years ago, and will enjoy it again in a couple of days as we turn around it heading to Desolation Sound.

Our arrival time at Gorge Harbour today is early enough to allow laundry chores and visiting before the cocktail hour on the reserved Oceanside Campfire area.  Jake takes advantage of the time to swim and play fetch the stick.  

He expends much energy shaking the water off.

Jeff gets our attention to thank everyone for coming and give a few hints on where the great anchorages are in Desolation Sound.  

He introduces Ron of Vovlo Penta, who supplies the engines for the new Ranger Tugs, and who now gives out blue caps.  Do I hear they are only for those who have a new Ranger Tug with Volvo Penta engine?  Hmmm, maybe for those who will upgrade this year....

Ron is our host for tonight's dinner of chicken or beef burgers, hot dogs and picnic sides.  Mark of Orion volunteers to cut onions, while Jenny of Volvo slices tomatoes.

What a feast!

As we leave the picnic area I see Jack Messmer taking one last swim for the evening.  Great form in the diving!!!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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