BACK TO CIVILIZATION AND JUNK E-MAIL and DEALING WITH A DEMENTED DEPTH SOUNDER: Friday, August 5

Having risen at about 6:15 am in time to see the morning light coloring the cliff top clouds in cotton candy pink and dusty blue, we loosed the stern line, raised the mud caked anchor, and began our motoring trip back down 40-mile-long Jervis Inlet to Garden Bay in Pender Harbour at about 7:15 am. We crossed the Malibu Rapids around 8 am with no difficulty as the tide was running slack, and traveled under gradually lightening skies directly into a wind that rose to 20 knots now and then. This time we could see many more of the mountain peaks lining the long inlet that had been veiled by clouds during our Tuesday trip, some of them streaked with snow—it was like boating through the Rockies!
After about nine hours of motoring, we entered Garden Bay and found it quite full of boats of all sizes and types. As we looked for an anchoring spot, we noticed that our depth sounder was acting like a random-number generator, which is highly disconcerting AND dangerous as one tries to avoid running aground or anchoring in water that will be too shallow as the tide ebbs and water levels lower during the night. Walt had spent a considerable amount of time over the previous two days tracing a problem with the nonfunctional indicators (particularly the tachometer, engine water temperature gauge, and oil pressure gauge) on the binnacle (instrument panel) —the culprit was a blown fuse (easy to fix!). Now he had to spend MORE time dealing with the depth sounder. First we had to make two attempts at anchoring because of the proximity of other boats in the busy bay (one does not want one’s boat to swing around its anchor during the night and encounter other anchor lines or boats!), and maneuvering the anchor into position proved particularly challenging for me, so, feeling somewhat tired and dispirited, I sat in the cockpit as Walt worked on the depth sounder in the cabin; I spent time reading, watching the depth sounder’s output, and reporting on its behavior. It finally seemed to be reading accurately after some work on its wiring, and Walt then decided to motor in the dinghy to Madeira Park (where we had stopped on Tuesday to buy supplies). He had found that dinghy seats were not available in the local marine stores and had to be ordered at a cost of about $120, so we decided to make do without one, but we needed a few groceries. The outboard motor proved recalcitrant again, which delayed the beginning of the supply run, but it finally decided to cooperate, and Walt was fortunate to be able to make his purchases before stores closed at 7 pm. After a late supper, we retreated to our beds, glad that the depth sounder seemed to be in its right mind once more, and sure that we wouldn’t swing into neighboring boats during the night.

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