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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn

One Week In: A Birthday, Everyone’s Alive, and No Tears Have Been Shed

April 8, 2023

Basically the week has been a success.

It's hard to wrap our minds around the fact that we gave up our marina slip last week and have been on the move since. Now the weather dictates where we drop the anchor instead of where we want or need to be.

We had been hoping for a gentler ease into this lifestyle, but Mother Nature had other plans when she threw a low-pressure system at us within the first week. I'm writing this while we listen to the wind howl through the rigging while we swing around with just a 25-kilogram anchor and 180 feet of chain holding all our belongings from washing up on shore.

When we left Vancouver on Thursday, we set sights on Nanaimo based on the tides and the time of day we needed to go the slip. We weren't expecting much for wind, but we got to enjoy a sail over that seemed to involve almost every point of sail. We grabbed a mooring ball in the marine park and headed over to Protection Island to visit some friends. We had agreed that for at least the weekend, we wouldn't be doing any projects and were just going to decompress from the stress of getting off the dock. Which we did.

Saysutshun - Not a bad place for morning coffee

We left Nanaimo on Sunday with plans to head to Wallace Island Marine Park and then later in the week to Portland Island for Mark's birthday. Hahahaha. What started as a pleasant, blue sky (albeit cold) sail quickly turned into an even more brutal, blustery slog through a narrow channel with tankers and rocks. The wind kept shifting around, and what was supposed to be benign conditions quickly turned into a swearing-fueled sail trying to avoid reefs while simultaneously not running into the side of a tanker...Perhaps it wouldn't have been so frustrating if I had better-understood physics and how fast we moved (at the pace of a slow jog). But I don't. So it was a frustrating exercise in tacking back and forth while listening to the contents of our home shoot across the boat. We had to give up on our plans to go to Wallace Island again because the looming forecast just wasn't going to work. So off we went to Montague Harbour.

Once we were anchored in Montague, the weather had changed again (this seems to be the theme of Spring), and the skies were even felt warmer. Sprocket has been getting used to our sailing but still insists on immediately getting off the boat. So he jumped into the dinghy and patiently (not really patiently) waited for us to take him to shore. Montague isn't the worst place to end up. We got to stroll around the empty park and beaches, and Sprocket got to bury sticks and scoot around.

Looks warm. It’s not.

We planned to spend only a few days at Montague before heading to Portland Island for Easter and Mark's birthday, but the weather had other plans. We woke bright and early Tuesday morning and cruised into what looked like Armageddon. We had hail, sideways rain and cold weather. After another look at the forecast and some internet research, our destination wouldn't be good in the strong southerly wind. So we retreated back to the safety of Montague Harbour and put ourselves a little closer to the southern shore in hopes of it breaking the wind. So much for Easter in Portland.

There's not much happening on the Montague Harbour side of Galiano. Mostly everything is closed for the winter. So life's become pretty simple. We get up, take the dog to the beach to bury some sticks and scoot around before we settle into the workday. Then back to the beach for some more exploring. Dinner, sleep and repeat. The dog isn't complaining, but Mark's gotten desperate for civilization and taco chips. He suggests we walk the hour and a half to the store to get some.

Chompin’ sticks

We managed to keep our boat project promise for the weekend but have started some things we wanted to tackle. Mark built the last of his batteries. I assembled an enclosure for the cockpit with some leftover material and vinyl I had onboard. She's not pretty, but she's keeping the wind and rain out.

We waited for these winds to show up, and on Mark's birthday, they still hadn't. Inside the boat, we couldn't tell if we were tied up to the dock; it was so calm. But since we were waiting for Armageddon to hit, we stayed in with pizza and cake for his birthday celebrations.

By Friday, we were both bored of strolling around the same two streets, and the lure of the taco chips was hard to deny. The forecast looked good, so we loaded the little bikes to head over the hill to the store. Tiny wheels and big hills don't make for an easy combination. Still, we made it over, had lunch stuffed our packs with taco chips, eggs and some other things and headed home in time to enjoy the last of the sun.

The wind and rain have finally found us, and now we wait for the weather to chill out a bit to make it over to Canoe Cove to haul the boat out and finish the last of our big things before our trip. Yay. More boat projects.

NM Sailed: 48.3

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