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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn

Cruising the Canadian Portland

May 27, 2022

Finally, back to the boat and ready to start a week of vacationing! Mark had scoped out a Japanese food truck while I was in the City. We lunched on okinomiyaki and we watched the boats in the harbour bob around in the wind.…We were really glad we were securely tied to the dock.

Jaclyn enjoying okonomiyaki in Salt Spring

After lunch, we took a long stroll through the whole town and decided on the same restaurant as the night before for dinner. The lead singer from The Grapes Of Wrath was performing and we spent hours listening to him. He played all my favourite styles of music - folk and old country. Mark was a good sport. Even though he was dying inside and his ears were surely bleeding, we stuck around until the restaurant closed before we made the short commute down the dock back to the boat. There’s something nice about being tied to the dock in the middle of town.


May 28, 2022

After the Salt Spring Saturday morning market, where the purchase of a sweet cigar box ukulele happened, we untied the lines and headed out to Portland Island. We were planning for a short (as short as sailing is) 15 mile cruise.

Portland Island brings back memories of sheer embarrassment for both of us. When we first bought the boat, this was our first stop on our shakedown cruise. At the time, neither of us knew how to use an electric windlass. We didn’t know how long it would take the anchor to hook the seabed and we couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t grab. After about 10 failed attempts, a flipped dinghy and dropped gas can, we gave up anchoring, collected our tank and left leaving a wake of embarrassment behind. Fun fact: we were only dropping about 20 feet instead of the 50 we thought we had out. Anyways, after a light wind sail, we drifted into an empty Royal Cove at Portland.

Royal Cove is a small anchorage on the North side of Portland Island and it requires a stern tie to one of the six rings installed by Parks Canada. We stern tied a couple of times with Crew’s Control, but not with the new boat. Turns out with the new boat things were slightly (a lot) more difficult. After setting the anchor, Mark had to do some acrobatics by crawling through the stern rails and dangling off the davits until he reached the dinghy. Then he had to grab the stern webbing, row to shore, find the ring and loop the webbing through. Should have been simple enough. Except the webbing promptly sank and got tangled on the shore. Mark ended up wading into the water to sort it out and slowly rowed back to the boat a little worse for wear. Oh after all this, we realized we were a touch too close to shore and would be watching the tides closely to make sure we didn’t touch bottom. Oops.

After what felt like a lifetime of anchoring, we settled into life In an empty anchorage. We spent the next couple of days hiking around the island and practicing the ukulele. I serenaded Mark with endless hours of “plink, plink, plink”. Meanwhile, he plucked away some Bob Marley favorites. We also tried our hand at some fishing and crabbing with no luck (this sets the theme of the summer btw).

NM Sailed: 18



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