Friday, August 3, 2012

Blaine to Comox Summer Vacation 2012 - Days 6 - 10

Day 6 - 7/24/12 – Tuesday – Ladysmith to Pirates Cove

We left Ladysmith Harbour after breakfast headed for Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Island. The water was as close to dead calm as it could be and we ran just under 7 knots, with no wind or current against us – ideal for fuel economy!

We love Pirates Cove, checking my log book, we were here in 2005 and 2007. In 2007, Austin was in the dinghy and did everybody's stern ties – very helpful!

Daydream Stern Tied at Pirates Cove
Pirates Cove is fairly small and tight, so to maximize the use of the available space, boats set their anchors and then run stern lines to rings in the rocks on the shore. That way each boat does not have to have swinging space. A couple of sailboats that had been stern tied left shortly after we arrived at Pirates Cove and we were able to get four rings for stern ties next to each other. We did miss Austin though – four years ago, he handled taking each C-Dory's stern line to the ring on shore, this time is was every man for himself! We finally all got our anchors down and stern lines tied.
Anna Leigh, Amy Marie, C-Change and Daydream Stern Tied at Pirates Cove

Garry, David, Patty, Vicki and Jan on MBYC Float
at Pirates Cove
We dinghied out to the Maple Bay Yacht Club float for afternoon drinks and appetizers, and then we took our hike around the island. Baxter loves it because he gets to be off leash! There is another little bay on DeCourcy Island directly across from the end of Pirates Cove with a nice sandy beach. Today there were quite a few sea kayaks there.

Sea Kayaks at Small Bay Opposite Pirates Cove
We all retired to our separate boats for dinner. We spent a pleasant evening reading and turned in early, since we want to get out fairly early tomorrow to catch the slack at Dodd Narrows.

64.59 NM / 24.1 gal = 2.68 NM / gal

Day 7 - 7/25/12 – Wednesday – Pirates Cove to Newcastle Island (Nanaimo)

Eagle Seen on DeCourcy Island
We left Pirates Cove around 9 a.m., hoping to get to Dodd Narrows while current was still favorable, almost made it! The current was running only a little bit against us in Dodd Narrows, but when we came out the other side, we were open to the Strait of Georgia, and were bucking big waves, 3-4 footers, never felt unsafe but definitely uncomfortable!

We fueled up at the gas dock at Nanaimo Marina. The Navman fuel flow meter had us at 33 gallons used but fill was only 30.5 gallons. The Navman LCD display has also become next to impossible to read, so not sure how we will track this on a daily basis now. Baxter took a flying leap from the boat to the fuel dock and missed, and took an unintentional swim! Fortunately, the gas attendant was able to reach down between the boat and the dock and pull him right back up. He was dog-paddling like crazy, and we were afraid he might swim under the fuel dock.

There was ample dock space for us all to get tied up at the Newcastle Island dock. The whole island is a marine park, and it is simply a great spot! There are restrooms with showers, and a pavilion, which unfortunately was closed today. We plan to stop here again on our way back down from Comox.

The boat across from us was a 25 Albin, which is fairly rare, and we talked to the owner, Marv Glover, who is 93 and still cruising. Talking to Marv, he is friends with our amateur radio friend Norm Lim, who has an Albin 30. They are both in the Albineers club in Sidney, B.C. I hope to be vertical and lucid at 93, and being able to cruise our boat would really be frosting on the cake!

We took the little ferry over to Nanaimo from Newcastle Island. We were on a mission, Patty had mistakenly taken the wrong bottle of meds, so she had her local doc call in a two week supply to a pharmacy in Nanaimo – only problem, this pharmacy did not have the main med Patty needed. They called every other pharmacy in town and finally located it and faxed the prescription there, a drug store on the outskirts of Nanaimo. It was a $30 taxi ride each way, but Patty did get her meds. Bonus for me, I got a pair of suspenders in the same mall, so now my shorts won't be riding around my knees!

Nanaimo from Newcastle Island
We finally got back to Newcastle Island just in time for drinks and appetizers. Patty did not feel much like either cooking or eating, so I had a couple of hot dogs and a beer and called it dinner. After showers (a looney for two minutes) at the park shower facilities, we had a nightcap with our friends at the end of the dock, and marveled at the view before us of the water, the boats, the Nanaimo skyline and the mountains – this is truly a beautiful spot!

Our plan is to take off for Hornby Island as early as possible tomorrow morning, and if the water is smooth, to continue on all the way to Comox and arrive a day early. The alarm on the iPhone is set for 5 a.m.! Garry and Vicki will be heading back south to Ganges tomorrow on Amy Marie for the Ranger Tug rendezvous, and the C-Dorys will head back down south from Comox on Sunday, and hook up with Garry and Vicki on Monday somewhere around Cowichan Bay, if all goes as planned!

74.75 NM / 30.5 gal = 2.45 NM / gallon

Day 8 - 7-26-12 – Thursday – Newcastle Island to Comox

I got up at 4:50 a.m., turned the alarm off and got the coffee going. It was still pretty dark, and I walked out to the Georgia Strait side for some sunrise pictures. Then a BC ferry sailed right into my viewfinder! Some times you just luck out!

BC Ferry in Strait of Georgia at Sunrise
After coffee and cereal we were underway at 6 a.m., leaving Amy Marie on the dock! We had a little chop in the Strait of Georgia, but pretty soon we settled in at a comfortable 14 knots, and the water actually smoothed out the farther north we got, about as good as the Strait of Georgia gets.

When we reached the south tip of Denman Island, it was only 9:30 a.m., and so we decided to push on for Comox. We arrived at the Government Docks in Comox about 10 a.m. This is also a great facility, and I have WiFi, so I can catch up on everything, add pictures to Days 1 – 5.

Anna Leigh, Daydream and C-Change
Tied Up at Government Dock at Comox
We were the first to arrive, so Anna Leigh, Daydream and C-Change got tied up and registered, then as the day went on more boats arrived – not too much room left on D Dock, and most of the boats coming have not arrived yet! Although it seems there is plenty of room here, we may be spread out a bit. We spent the day on the boat and on the dock, helping others with their lines as they arrived. Per usual, drinks and appetizers on the dock at 5 p.m. 

Shrimp Boat at Comox
Cooking the Big Shrimp!
The highlight was the shrimp boat's arrival at the dock at 6 p.m. - a pound of big shrimp tails (head already removed) for $10! Most everybody bought a pound and immediately sauteed them in butter and garlic – we all shared, but we still have a big bowl of shrimp for today! These shrimp are really fresh and just melt in your mouth!

As we were cruising here, our Navman 3100 fuel flow meter LCD display became completely unreadable, it had been marginal before but now it is completely useless, so I can record distances traveled but not our fuel economy. I will miss the display of fuel remaining the most, and will probably try to fuel more frequently now!

124.6 NM

Day 9 – 7-27-12 – Friday - At Comox

Lazy day! More C-Dorys arrived this morning. A lot of talking with everybody on the dock, and a walk up to the town. Replenished liquor stocks, we are enjoying lunch time gin and tonics, and sundowners have been Manhattans for me and a martini (big glass of cheap gin) for Patty. I still have some Bowen Island Pale Ale from Nanaimo, and I bought some Strongbow dry cider here as well, which is very tasty!

A grand surprise! Our C-Brat Head Nerd, Bill Giese, walked down to the Comox dock in his motorcycle gear. He has recently moved up from California to the Port Angeles area, and took his Triumph Tiger from PA to Victoria on the Black Ball Line MV Coho, and then up the island highway to Comox. C-Brats exists because of our web site,, founded by Mike Barber (Tyboo) and Bill (DaNag). Bill is the bona fide techie who built the site, has kept it running and continually improved it over the years.

We have been using our Edgestar ice maker here at Comox, since we have shore power – it has been working great, better than we seem to remember in the past, and we have basically filled our round cooler with ice we have made on board. We bought this with Lake Powell in mind, where ice may be hard to come by. Ice is readily available here, and we have been buying block ice for the big cooler.

We had our first official function, a meet and greet in Comox Marina Park, which is (as you might guess) just above the marina, and is a wonderful park with two pavilions, lots of well kept lawn and flower beds, a little trailer that sells fish and chips, and nice restroom facilities. Our host, Martin Bridges, had a grill set up, and we enjoyed hamburgers, chicken burgers and hot dogs. Baxter enjoyed being off leash in the park for a little while and running crazy with dogs from many of the other boats. He is a great boat dog!

We bought another pound of big shrimp tails for $10 and 5 pounds of smaller shrimp at a dollar a pound! We boiled up the little shrimp and will saute the big shrimp with butter and garlic tomorrow morning.

This CBGT (C-Brat Get-Together) is off to a grand start!

Day 10 – 7-28-12 – Saturday – At Comox

I got up early after a great night's sleep, and took Baxter up to Comox Marina Park for morning duty. Then I shaved and showered and did laundry – all activities that pretty much require a marina (or a much larger boat than a C-Dory!). Bill Geise headed back to PA around 11 a.m., and so will miss the major event today, our traditional Saturday afternoon potluck.

We walked up to town again, and bought a few more things, and fortunately we did not need to contribute any more to the BC Liquor Store system!

Jack, the 11 Year Old
Guitar Virtuoso
Martin Bridges, Our Host
at the Comox CBGT
The potluck, as always, started at 5 p.m. Our hosts, Martin and Andrea Bridges, really outdid themselves for the potluck program! They raised the bar for all subsequent C-Brat potlucks, with a speaker on the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue program in Comox, an 11 year old virtuoso guitarist, and a lot of great prizes, which were awarded by drawing boat names and letting the owner pick. There was at least one prize for each boat. Martin had not even purchased his C-Dory when he volunteered to coordinate the Comox CBGT. Patty was at first a little reluctant because she thought Comox was just too far to go for a CBGT – I think her mind has been changed, and we will be the first to sign up again the next time this one comes around!

1 comment:

  1. I want to come here in Pirates Cove because It looks exciting and I'm sure I can have fun and enjoy here. I will encourage my friends to go here. Keep on sharing!

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