The plan for this morning is to hike from Laura Cove to Melanie but it’s pouring rain so we got a late start. It was still raining during the hike and we got pretty soaked but it was nice to be able to do a long shore activity (safely, without the threat of bears). The afternoon cleared up nicely so we took the dinghy out to Otter Island about 1.5miles outside of the cove. We were pretty disappointed that we didn’t see any otters so went back to Grampa John Rock for swimming and Alex’s rowing. He wanted to row from Grampa John Rock all the way back to Samadhi so we thought we’d let him go until he got tired. He rowed the whole way! .39nm! He’s the most amazing 4 year old ever! We got some video for his Harvard Crew application, even though that’s 14 years away.
The head of Toba inlet is so absolutely beautiful but there isn’t much to do on shore, especially not with little kids, so it’s time for us to head back down into Desolation Sound. We weighed anchor by 9am and set off to look at some of the waterfalls we saw while we were coming up the inlet. We didn’t take the time to explore them on the way up so we plan to stop on the way back down. We found one that cascaded into a bunch of pools and from the water we could see that there were ropes tied on the rock faces as well as some ladders. We got Samadhi out into deep water, actually it’s all deep… you are in 100’ depths when you’re 20’ off the shore. So, we got her out into open water, I should say, where she could drift without hitting anything and we all climbed into the dinghy to explore the waterfall pools. Dan went up first and got the dinghy tied up and brought the ropes down to where we could use them to get ourselves up the rock face. Then we used to ladder to get up onto the first ledge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t safe to actually get the kids to the pools – the water rushes quickly through them then cascades down but it was still neat. Dan continued up the ropes and got quite a bit higher than Ashley & the kids. Once we were done he got them to the dinghy and Ashley went down 1 level to a place where you could safely access the pools. She washed her hair and bathed and then Dan came over for a wash up. We dinghied back over to Samadhi and Ashley and the kids got onboard. Dan took off in the dinghy to get some fresh water into the solar shower and explore the next waterfall. Ashley motored Samadhi over towards him then they traded places. She got into the dinghy with the camera and he motored Samadhi right under the waterfall. It was so beautiful to see Samadhi under the falls. Once we were back underway we got a call from Dorothy on the vhf that they found a grizzly bear on the river bank at Brem Bay. We took off over towards them and were very impressed with his size. We didn’t want to drop the anchor, it’s not a quick process, so Dennis came over in a kayak and towed the other. He climbed aboard Samadhi to safely motor her about with the kids. Ashley climbed into his kayak and Dan into the other and we were able to go check out the grizzly. After we’d had enough bear watching we kayaked back to Samadhi and traded places. Dennis kayaked back to Slojourn to weigh anchor and we continued back down Toba inlet. What a morning we’ve had, it’s only noon! There wasn’t enough wind to sail out of Toba Inlet so we motored all the way down. We got blasted with 20kts on the nose as we were leaving Toba but it too eventually died and we didn’t get any sailing in. Laura Cove was packed when we went in so we went around to Prideux Haven. There was enough room for us to anchor without tying the stern to shore. We quickly got ourselves ready to go over to Grampa John Rock (named by us) for swimming and for Alex to row around in his little boat.
Today is a work day on the boat. After breakfast Dan took the kids over to stay with Grandma on her boat. His project is to work on more wiring. Our DC breaker panel has 20 circuits on it, quite a few not used, while some circuits have more than they really should wired to them. While he did that Ashley chased down a water leak and did some miscellaneous projects and put things away. We picked up the kids and went up the other river here, the Tuhumming River. You can only get a few hundred yards up river before you’re stopped by rapids but it was still neat to explore. We saw lots of salmon jumping so went back to tell Dennis and the other sailboat here about the salmon, since both like to fish. After dinner Grandma & Grandpa came over to play cards.
Happy anniversary to Dan & Ashley! They’ve spent at least half their anniversaries on their yearly 2-week sailboat trip, as well as their honeymoon. We love this life and are so lucky to now be sharing it with our kids. This morning Ashley made her favorite breakfast to celebrate and we got ourselves ready for the day’s adventure. Walsh Cove is the perfect jumping off spot to make the trek up Toba inlet. The trip up Toba was uneventful, there wasn’t a breath of air so we weren’t able to sail. We weren’t sure if we’d anchor, all the books say the chart depths can be inaccurate due to silting and that with the logging debris it’s a good place to snag your anchor. If you don’t anchor the only other choice is to tie to a log boom. We weren’t exactly sure how to do this and the logging operation was running even though it’s Sunday. Also, a tug boat followed us up the inlet. What if he’s there to take a log boom down? What if it’s the one we’re tied to and we aren’t at the boat? We took our chances anchoring. All went well when we dropped it, we’ll see tomorrow how easily it comes up (or not). Dorothy & Dennis anchored a few hundred yards away and there is also a fully crewed mega yacht here. Once the anchors were safely down we decided to do some exploring. In these inlets there are inflow and outflow winds and the outflows are pretty chilly. There is still some snow on the mountains so we got into long sleeves for the first time on this trip. We piled into our dinghy and the grandparents into theirs and we took off up the larger of the 2 rivers that flow into Toba inlet, Toba River. The first order of business was to let Ranger off to do his business. We found a nice little shore right where we saw some elk crossing, once he was off the boat we noticed a large bear print in the mud! Once he was done we continued up river, the river really flows down quickly and there are lots of little eddies. In addition to what seemed like natural rip currents there were lots of logs to dodge. Some were submerged just under the surface and you could only really tell they were there by judging those eddies and looking to see if they had a long disturbance in the water, a longer line basically than the average eddies. You definitely don’t want to hit one of those (the water was 47 degrees)! We got about 6 miles upriver before the kids were all done with that. We found a really nice sand beach that also was a great place to take pictures of a gushing waterfall, you could see another waterfall from that spot but it was partially obscured by the trees. The kids played in the sand, Ranger chased his ball, and the grown-ups marveled at how amazing this place was. Ashley also found another bear print but it wasn’t as big as the first. The trip back into the inlet was quicker, we were moving with the current and felt more comfortable with where logs, rocks, and sand bars were. After dinner we went to Grandma & Grandpas boat for more cake and cards. I’m not sure what we’ll do when the cake is gone. The night is clear and absolutely gorgeous. With the mountains surrounding us on all sides the moon hasn’t yet risen so the night is pitch black. Except for every single star. Wow! The constellations are in full view, you can see the milky way clearly and we saw a couple shooting stars. The kids were already in bed when Ashley happened upon it but it was so beautiful we had to get them up. I’m not sure they even looked at it for 30 seconds.
Yesterday when we hiked to Black Lake the kids wanted to trail run. Dan & Ashley had those crazy backpacks so that idea was vetoed. This morning we went back with the grandparents to run the trail. Both kids did great (it’s only a mile round trip but still!) and got to play on the beach afterward. When we returned to the boat we got everything prepped to weigh anchor. We motored over to Tenedos Bay. Often in Desolation Sound the anchorages have ledges where you’ll go from 100’ depths to something more reasonable (30-60feet) backing straight up to a rock ledge. Tenedos is no exception. Our anchor was dropped in 60’, the center of the boat is about 55’ and the back of the boat is 20’ from a rock wall. Between the rock walls and tight anchorages you don’t want to swing on anchor here so the stern line is out keeping our stern snug to shore. Dan’s parents found a spot a few boats from us. After dinner we hiked to Lake Unwin, swam a bit and did a wash up. After returning we went over to the grandparents and played cards with the kids. We had a game of War, Hearts (that was for the grown-ups) and then Crazy 8s. It’s so fun now that they’re to an age that we can play card games with them.
This morning we got up and readied ourselves to go back to Lake Unwin for a fun morning of swimming. You have to hike about half a mile to get to the lake but the access there is a huge log jam. You can hike off to the right to view the lake but there isn’t any good access to the lake where you’d actually want to swim. If you turn off to the left before the lake you hike along the rocky side. There are about 5 or 6 good rocks that you can hang out on and swim off of. We got there early to get our favorite rocks (last time we were here was 7 years ago). Our “spot” is actually 2 of the rocks, with a little bay in between them, joined by a large log. The log across the bay makes for a shallow enclosed pool that is perfect for letting the kids play without lifejackets. Grandma & Grandpa joined us and we got lots of swimming in before it got busy. We were only 1 of 2 groups at the lake when we arrived, when we left there were or had been at least 6 more. The afternoon before Dorothy & Dennis saw 8 dinghies at the trail head. We brought Alexander’s little raft and he rowed around the lake quite a bit (seriously the best $25 investment ever). At one point his oar came apart so Dan had to swim quite a way out to rescue him. Around lunch we decided to go back to Samadhi and give our spot to the next group. On the hike back Ashley bumped Alexander’s raft into a sharp tree branch and it’s slowly losing air. Darn it! Thankfully we still have the other and somewhere we have a patch it. Once the kids were in their beds for nap we got ready to raise anchor and head towards the next spot. We got a bit of sailing in before the wind died due to us being in the lee of an island, we motored till we were out of it, then poled out the genoa for a bit of downwind sailing. Except the wind died again. Oh well. We started the motor and met up with Dan’s parents in Walsh Cove at Waddington channel. Dan and the kids went to explore the little island while Ashley made dinner. After dinner we went over to Dorothy & Dennis’s boat for cake and cards. It was another late night, we didn’t get back to Samadhi until 10:30.
We had a really good night of sleep – all of us slept in until 830! After breakfast we packed up to go on a hike to Black Lake for some swimming. It’s only a .5 mile hike but we still had backpacks of stuff… swimming stuff, drying off stuff, stuff to eat and drink and 3 cameras. Dan, Dennis and the kids all braved getting into the shallow murky, mucky lake. Ashley & Dorothy offered encouragement from the shore. We returned from the hike for the usual lunch and naps. Since we’d gotten lots of sleep the night before the grown-ups each worked on their own projects. Dan is working on the electrical system. The wiring in this boat is insane. Almost 30 years of systems being replaced and no one ever tearing out unused wiring and there’s a bit of corrosion here & there. He spent 4 hours doing that. Ashley is replacing the portlight lenses with the new ones she picked up from the plastics store. It’s one of those things where the existing still worked fine, they opened to let in fresh air and when closed kept out the sea water, rain, etc. However, the acrylic was so crazed that it was hard to see out of them. It’s definitely not a quick project but a trained monkey could do it. She got 12 of the 16 replaced today. You can’t believe the difference! The other ones didn’t seem “that bad” until you look out of the new ones. After nap & project time we headed back to the swimming rock for swimming, playing in the rafts and snorkeling.
We were basically up with the sun this morning, so much for sleeping in. The mosquitos had invaded the boat making the night miserable. Alexander woke at 6 saying he was itchy… the kid has no less than 25 bites and he reacts to them much worse than the rest of us. While Dan took Ranger to shore Ashley readied us to pull up the anchor. It was a horrible night’s sleep but we can nap on & off on the trip up. It would have been great to have a lazy morning here but the mosquitos are making it miserable. Overnight we burned the 2 citronella candles that we had on board all the way to the end. Our only mosquito defense is 1 net to go over a bed and some coil bracelets. This won’t do for the next 12 days! Thankfully Powell River is up ahead and we’ll just pull up to the fuel dock and one of us can run into town with the bike to find supplies. T
he water was nearly like glass and we didn’t need fuel so we launched the dinghy and Dan pulled up beside Samadhi. Ashley lowered the mountain bike to him and he zoomed off to town. Ashley & the kids slowly continued north without him. A few hours later we saw a small shape gaining on us so slowed the boat to a stop and helped him get the bike and everything back on board.
We didn’t get to pull out the sails at all but did make it to Desolation Sound about 1pm. Our first anchorage is our favorite, we start at Grace Harbor just inside of the park. We didn’t ever get those naps in we had promised ourselves so as soon as the anchor was down we headed to bed. All of us.
Dan’s parents have been here over a week on Slojourn. They are anchored over in the inner harbor (we’re in Canada… I meant harbour). After “naps” (no one actually slept) we went to our favorite swimming spot. We got the kids cheap, little 1-person rafts for the trip so got those blown up right away. Alexander got in his and immediately was an expert rower. It was amazing to see him! Victoria… not so much. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep?!?! She got removed from her raft and we’ll try again tomorrow. Last year we also got them nice little kid snorkeling sets so Alexander snorkeled. After our time there we went back to our separate boats for dinner. Today is Dan’s dad’s birthday so after dinner Dan & Alexander dinghied over to Grandma & Grandpa’s boat for some blackberry cobbler to celebrate. Victoria went straight to bed and Ashley cleaned up. We all have mosquito nets over our beds thanks to Dan’s dinghy adventure shopping trip so are hoping for a better night’s sleep!