Growing Roots on Pender Island
This week started off on a somber note. We ate the last of the Tawainese pancakes that we had bought in Vancouver. These greasy and crispy pancakes became a staple breakfast food over the last month. I'm sure every Taiwanese person would cringe at the fact we were making breakfast tacos with them, but I don't care. Using them to make breakfast tacos is the best way to start the day.
Our friends have been raving about Saturna Island, particularly Winter Cove, as their favourite island and anchorage to visit. We had a week to kill before the Bluewater Cruising Association (BCA) rendezvous on the May long weekend. We figured this was an excellent opportunity to check it out. So we hauled up the anchor and set off for Winter Cove. There were all about 2 knots of wind, and we were on a time crunch (since we were still "working"), so we motored south towards the island. This worked well, and we managed to top up our batteries a bit. We had just enough fuel in the tank to get us there.
After a very loud but uneventful sail, we arrived. We knew it was shallow, but wasn't expecting it to be 8 feet shallow! We knew approximately where to anchor, but, unfortunately, another boat was in the perfect spot. No worries, we went a bit closer to shore and tried. No luck. The anchor just skipped along the bottom. So we pulled up the anchor and what looked like an armload of seaweed. We tried again. Same results. Again. Same issue. So we swore a little, yelled a little and tried a slightly different spot. Nope. After about an hour of putting the anchor down, skipping it across rocks, and losing our collective bananas, we left. We've deemed Winter Cove un-anchorable and moved on.
Supremely annoyed, we motored over to Poet's Cove and deemed that we deserved a night in the marina for our troubles. We'd fully charge up the boat batteries and fill the water tanks. Not to mention the pool and hot tub we'd have access to. By the time we were tied up in the marina slip, the annoyance of the whole anchoring business had subsided…Kind of. To be honest, it only really stopped after a beer and soaking in the hot tub.
I guess it's a win-some, lose-some situation with anchoring. I'm glad we usually make plans A, B and C in these situations.
Side note: We eventually discovered that Winter Cove is a pain to have the anchor set. The pro-tip is to drop the anchor, go have a cup of coffee or tea (or whatever), and come back to set the anchor after about 45 minutes when it's had time to cut through all of the seaweed. Frankly, we're not that patient, so it's not likely we'll ever attempt visiting again.
The perks of the marina are lovely, but it's like staying in a parking lot. We much prefer to be out at anchor bobbing along in the relative peace and quiet. Once we had our power and hot tubs, we filled the water to find out it was still turned off. So we lugged jerry cans of water to fill the tank (5 gallons at a time). Annoying, but we hadn't commissioned the watermaker yet, so it had to be done.
We weren't going far, just a mile up the bay to Medicine Beach. Since it looked like we were going to be on Pender for a while, we figured we'd try up there instead of the marine park beside the marina.
Medicine Beach doesn't have a lot going on. There is a coffee shop, a liquor store and an overpriced deli/grocery store. But what it lacks in services, it makes up for in its lack of people. We were the only boat there. I guess there were some birds that kept landing (and pooping) on the boat.
We decided it was a good time to break the folding bikes back out for a spin around the island. Little did we know that it's made up of steep hills. The hills just don't stop. Each time we'd go up, there would be another hill. It was honestly uphill in both directions.
The endless hills didn't deter us, and we headed out on the bikes again. This time to the farmer's market. It's early season, but there was still candy, garlic and eggs for sale. We even made stops so I could look at all the farm animals.
The week was flying by uneventfully until one night when just as I was falling asleep, I found myself levitating in the bed. I asked Mark (who was outside) if we have some wind or something? In minutes, we went from 3 knots of wind to 27 (basically 6km/h to 50ish). We had to scramble to bring in all the solar panels on the deck and anything else that might blow away. All the while, the boat was bouncing up and down in 4-foot waves. It only lasted an hour, but it was wild.
Another week down. We're starting to countdown to finishing up work and heading now.
NM Sailed: 21