Friday, June 19, 2009

Days 3 & 4 - God's Pocket to Shearwater

After taking on fuel and water in Port McNeill Wednesday afternoon, we cruised another hour or so to God’s Pocket, a safe anchorage and jumping off point before crossing Queen Charlotte Sound. Right before we got to God’s Pocket, Val spotted our first humpback whale of the trip! Bill, the owner of God’s Pocket Resort greeted us as we motored up to the dock. Bill and his family were so warm and welcoming; we decided to spend the night tied up to their dock. They were between groups so we had the whole place to ourselves. They love dogs and treated Tanner and Lucky like spoiled kids, which they really are. They recently had to put down their lab, Lewis, so they really loved on the pups. Tanner put on his cliff jumping show and Scooby snack nose tricks for them. We used their shower, grilled some steaks, and played poker. Connor won! Every night, all summer long, we play a family game (I know, poker probably isn’t the best family game, but we love it) and the winner gets one point, the loser 4 points. Cody is ahead for the summer, but it’s still early in the season. Val won the last two summers but the boys are bound and determined to de-throne her. Bill gave me some great tips and advice for crossing Queen Charlotte Sound. Thursday, Val and I got up at 5AM, checked the weather, and set sail. We made it out of the cove and ran smack into a fog bank. Five minutes later, we’re tied up at the dock and back in bed. At 7:30, the fog had lifted so we made another attempt. This time, the fog was just above the boat and the seas were glass-flat…another eerie, beautiful cruise. We got to Fury Cove (which we now call Furry Cove because of all the hair our dogs are shedding; we have the furriest boat in the Pacific Northwest) about 10AM or so. Val cooked a big breakfast: eggs, bacon, and pancakes…oh, so good on a boat! It is so beautiful here and we are the only boat in the cove. Nice. The sun broke out and we went to explore the beautiful white shell beaches, which look more like the Caribbean, than British Columbia (at least until you put your big toe into the water!) Five other boats found our little spot, which, evidently, is a popular resting place for those crossing the sound. Every boat came with at least one dog and the beach soon became a playground filled with lots of fetching, wrestling, barking, laughter, and of course, big fish stories. Cody worked on his home schooling. Val was cooking some exotic seafood recipe. Connor and I went fishing and put out the crab pot. We had a blast and caught one fish after another, albeit they were small. We came back with four keepers and were out there about an hour, which is a pretty good attention span for Connor. It was a great day. Here in Furry Cove, on day 3, our trip odometer says we are 297 nautical miles from Orcas Island. (For you land-lubbers, you can add 15% for statue miles.) With full fuel, water, and all Val’s cookbooks, we’re only getting a cruising speed of about 22 knots, down from 25. Couple that with fog, we’re spending more time cruising and less time exploring than I hope, but we had three great days, made three great crossings and now we can slow our pace a bit. We’re ready for that! Thank you, Lord, for a great trip so far! I wrote the above last night...this morning, after pulling two crabs out of the trap, we sailed up Fitz Hugh Sound, cut through Gun Boat Pass and are doing some provisioning and communications it Shearwater Marine Resort before sailing again for a while. All is well in our world; how about yours?