Saturday, June 16, 2012

True North Summary, June 11 - 15

We're now into the third week or our trip.  Anne has updated the Google Map of our route. You can see that at:

True North Summary, June 11 - 15

Monday, June 11: We awoke to beautiful sunshine in Squirrel Cove. We had planned to spend a relaxing morning here before going across Desolation Sound to Refuge Cove to pick up Chris. The scenery here in Desolation is stunningly beautiful with deep blue water and green forested hills and mountains rising from the water. We're on the way to Refuge Cove early because last night we discovered that our battery wasn't being charged. We observed Bill Ray's mantra: check the obvious, the easy, and what was last repaired! Finding nothing obvious or easy, Gregg pored through the manuals. Actually, there was a 'repair' or upgrade made by the previous owner: a more powerful alternator! Maybe there's an electrician in Refuge Cove; we'll now spend the night there. Chris arrived via Kenmore Air at 1130 and immediately joined Gregg in searching for the charge problem, along with input from just about every boater on the dock. They tried several fuses, blowing out each. There's no electrician in Refuge Cove. We've decided to charge up for a day at a marina, then go out and about for a couple days, then back to a marina for a night and at the end of the week bring Chris to Campbell River instead of Dent Island so we can find a marine electrician. Several were recommended. We spent the rest of the day hanging around Refuge Cove. A dozen friendly boaters from the Ladysmith Yacht Club invited us to join them for happy hour where we had some good laughs. Another skipper with new boat problems lamented that the rest of the day was “sad hour(s)”. They made a fairly convincing case for joining the LYC in order to take advantage of the free reciprocal marinas throughout the area. We'll think about it!

Public dock, Squirrel Cove

Chris arrives on Kenmore Beaver

Tuesday, June 12: Rainy morning. We're waiting until noon to see if the clouds lift a little before leaving for Laura Cove near Prideaux Haven. “Cat's Paw”'s skipper stopped by to talk, something he can easily do for hours at a time. His stories were good, having been a reporter for the Vancouver Sun for 30 years and a freelance writer for Pacific Yachting. Another couple docked nearby was in a 26' pilot house sailboat which they recently bought after having previously owned a 38' sailboat which they sailed across the Pacific twice. After describing their passage in some detail, beans & rice for 3 weeks, it was easy to conclude they are minimalists.

Refuge Cove

Wednesday, June 13: We waited for the rain to clear a bit before leaving Refuge Cove and heading out to Teakearne Arm with its dramatic waterfall at the end. Had a good sail in gradually clearing weather. By the time we got to Teakearne Arm it was sunny and clear. Gregg and Chris took the dinghy in towards the falls to hike up above to a lake we had been to once. Because the water's very deep, I stayed with the boat and drifted while they were away as there wasn't anywhere to anchor w/o setting a stern tie.

Cassel Falls, Teakerne Arm

When they returned, we sailed Lewis Channel to Desolation Sound before arriving at Laura Cove for the evening. It was beautiful! Snow capped peaks and just one other boat in the cove. It was a challenging stern tie with rocks on three sides but fortunately, no wind. Still, it was unnerving until all was set, making sure the line doesn't dangle in the water to get caught in the prop. Leaving the following morning could have been tough with even a light wind but we found ourselves with the predicted calm morning.

Laura Cove

Thursday, June 14: Such a beautiful evening last night but this morning, back to rain. It may be a boring topic of discussion but the impact of rain on sailors is only fun when it's not constant! Our goal today: Walsh Cove via Homfry Channel and a short tour of Toba Inlet. The passage through Homfry was dramatic with mist and clouds partially hiding the snow-capped peaks. There were no other boats in the channel!

Homfry Channel

We spotted a couple of porpoises which played at the bow of our boat, before turning into Toba Inlet for a view of some spectacular waterfalls – there are so many. We took lots of pictures of the falls and returned to the head of the Inlet and on to Walsh Cove, just south of Dean Point at the north end of a passage between East and West Redonda Islands. So pretty!

Porpoise riding bow wave

After securing an easy stern tie (no wind), we took the dinghy out to find the pictographs on the rock cliffs and explore/hike the small islands. Several Oyster Catchers (birds) were chirping at us intently so we probably were hiking near their nests which would be on the ground. We spotted the familiar small round head of a seal peeking out of the water, sometimes mistaken for a rock or deadhead. On returning to True North, Chris' sunglasses popped into the water (60') as he was securing the dinghy and he has been trying several creative dredging techniques to retrieve them though none has worked yet.

Hiking, Walsh Cove

Friday, June 15: We spent an easy-going couple of hours in Walsh Cove before leaving for our next stop, Gorge Harbor on the W side of Cortes Island. Here we'll find a marina which we need to charge our batteries. Then we can go out for another couple of nights before needing another charge though we will be aiming for Campbell River on Sunday for a scheduled repair with the marine electrician on Monday. Regulator or alternator problem? Or wiring? Or engine electronics? This morning, the hour meter wasn't working adding to the tach which also isn't registering.

Chris trouble-shooting the alternator

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