Friday, April 25, 2008

Post from the Broughton Islands

Friday April 25, 2008
Location: Windsong Marina, Echo Bay, Broughton Islands, British Columbia
Lat/Lon: 50°45.148'N, 126°29.781'W
Weather: Hi 55° F Low 44° F, Winds light

This is our first blog post via SailMail. I'm starting to figure out how to get email via the SSB radio on a regular basis so we'll start posting more often and you can start sending us emails to our SailMail account.

We have spent the last 4 days in the Broughton Islands, a group of islands off the mainland of British Columbia near the north end of Vancouver Island. We're having a great time, no breakdowns or boat troubles and mostly fair weather. We're traveling with our friends Art & Diane on their boat named 'Kirkwall' which is a new 42' Nordic Tug, a very nice boat. They are avid fisherman, crabbers, and shrimpers and we hope to learn a lot from them. Yesterday we did some crabbing off of the dock and had a crab feast for dinner, more crab than the 4 of us could eat.

We're are at a small marina that has not yet opened for the season so there's no one around to collect the moorage fees, hence we're staying for free. Boaters normally don't arrive in this area until mid May so the marinas are not opened and ready for business. We're going to stay in the Broughton Islands until we go around Cape Caution on May 1st, weather permitting. Our insurance stipulates that we can't go north of Cape Caution until May 1st. Rounding Cape Caution is our most exposed passage to the north Pacific that we'll make on our trip to Alaska therefore we'll need to watch the weather closely before heading out. It's nothing dangerous, you just need to approach it with respect.

We'll post more soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Location: Campbell River, British Columbia
Lat/Lon: 49°48.466'N, 124°57.730'W
Weather: 10° C, Low -2° C, Winds S 15 kts

We had a 'lumpy' and long trip from Nanaimo to Campbell River yesterday. It was 70 NM and 11 hours with 4'-6' seas for the first 4 hours. Thankfully the seas calmed down later in the day and the last part of the trip was very enjoyable. A warning to other boaters in this area, if you hear the phrase 'low swell' in the forecast that means that you will have 4'+ waves, steep sided and not what I consider swells.

Tuesday we're heading north through Seymour Narrows and up Discovery Channel. The slack at Seymour Narrows is at 6:43 AM so we will cast off the lines at 5:15 AM to make the narrows on time. We will not have internet connection for a few weeks so postings will be limited to SailMail text emails for awhile.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


That arctic high arrived, in spades. We woke up this morning to 10” of snow and a thin sheet of ice in the marina. This is April, right? The people on the boat in front of us are having a snow ball fight on their boat. Strange times. The good thing is the winds have died down and we'll be able to get out of here tomorrow. The winds are calm enough now that we could probably leave today but it's going to take most of the day to dig the boat out from all this snow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Waiting for a weather window

Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Lat/Lon: 49°10.031'N, 123°56.052'W
Weather: 45° F, Winds NW 15 kts, gusting to 25 kts

3 days out and we're stuck in Nanaimo waiting for a cold front to pass over and an 'Arctic' high to form. Waiting is not difficult, Nanaimo is a nice town with a clean and modern marina, but thanks to the falling value of the US dollar to the Canadian dollar, it's expensive. Nanaimo is $64 per day for our size boat. That's one reason we like anchoring out, it's a lot cheaper! We also want to keep moving. Alaska is a long ways and we're anxious to keep going. But there is no urgency and it's foolish to pound into wind and waves when there's no need. The wind is blowing nearly 30 mph in the marina, more out in the Straight of Georgia, and it's cold. This morning it was 38°, this afternoon, in the sun, it's 45°. Factor in the wind chill and it's really cold for this time of year, even in the sun.

Note: We will try to include our Lat/Lon on all post so you can go to and copy the Lat/Lon into the search box and see our location on the map.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time to leave

It's April 12, 2008 and Linda's daughter, Sue, just drove off in our car which we had given to her son. In the previous week we had finished provisioning the boat, packed all unneeded items into the storeroom, closed our local bank account, and said goodbye to Anacortes, WA. Our lease on our slip ended in 3 days but there was nothing holding here, we had nothing left to do but leave. After nearly 2 years of shedding most of our land based possessions all we owned was contained on our boat or small store room and it was time to start on another adventure. The plan now was to travel to SE Alaska and then return to the Anacortes area in August and head south to Mexico. With luck we'll be in La Paz for Thanksgiving. After that will be a few years travelling in Mexico, Central America and maybe the Caribbean. We plan to continue as long as were having fun and the money lasts.