Monday, August 30, 2010

Pender Harbour to Vancouver, July 17 to 21

Yanmar problems fixed – turned out that the ground connector was corroded – so, starter okay, alternator okay – Doug took the connector off, cleaned it up, put it back on and no trouble since. Phew!

After Jedediah we sailed across to Pender Harbour at about 4 knots arriving in the late afternoon. Pender Harbour is huge and consists of a number of bays and coves inside a relatively easy entrance. We anchored at Garden Bay – not the greatest of holding in a mucky, oozy bottom, but very sheltered.

Ka'sala (centre) Pender Harbour

We spent 4 sunny warm days on the hook where I took the opportunity to put two coats of paint on the diamond non-skid grids on the carriage roof. Finding a colour that would work was a challenge, as to repaint it the original white looked too bright. The next available shade in International Deck-Kote was cream – way too yellow – so ended up mixing the two to come up with a custom light cream that I really like.

We also launched the dinghy and explored the nooks and crannies of the harbor and docked at the public wharf in Madeira Bay, to walk over to the grocery store to top up our fresh food. We spent an evening at the Garden Bay Pub where we enjoyed some quirky coastal entertainment that ran from Blues to Reggae, with some folk songs plugged in throughout. We hiked around the local area and admired all the beautiful, expensive properties around here. (Retired people? If not, where do they work? – too far from Vancouver!)

Hospital Bay, Pender Harbour

There are also an extensive series of back roads that could take you to a lake and a look out, but we found we didn’t have the time or gumption to do them. We'll do it next time – Pender Harbour is still close to home! The weather continued sunny and warm the whole time we stayed there.

Leaving Pender Harbour

July 21 we headed out for Plumper Cove, just opposite Gibsons. It was a long day in light winds, but we sailed on a beam reach the whole way at about 3 knots - very relaxing. We picked up a mooring in the marine park about 8 o'clock that night and were eating dinner by 8:30 in bed by 9. Unfortunately it was a bit of a rolly anchorage, so we were up early to continue our journey to Vancouver.

Evening in Plumper Cove

Looking to Gibsons, Plumper Cove

We motored around Bowen Island and faced a stiff breeze on the nose heading down to English Bay. Ka'sala behaved herself and, as we came close to Point Aitkinson, we raised the sails and had a pretty spectacular run for an hour or so - very big and confused swells and 20 knots of wind. We were crossing the swells and the wind kept the boat steady. I am proud to say I was at the helm - a little nervous - Doug had to convince me it was the thing to do, and I was glad I did. Once we were well into the bay everything calmed down. The next nerve wracking part was finding a good anchorage in False Creek as there are many boats there. We tried a few times and had to move the boat twice before we were happy. This part is really tough on Doug. But things settled down and we headed over to Granville Island to the community centre - FREE showers!! It’s incredible how something so simple can be so pleasurable! Afterwards we celebrated with a wonderful salmon dinner on the pier at Bridges before returning to the boat.

Evening in False Creek

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