June 30, 2017: An unintended excursion

Thursday night WAS soundless and the boat rested motionlessly at anchor. I woke at about 7 am, however, yawned, stretched, and immediately felt muscles in my left leg begin to cramp violently! I scrambled out of bed and stood for a time, and the cramps subsided, so I lay down again and was soon asleep, not waking until about 9 am. Walt and I shared Morning Prayer, and by a little after 10 am, Walt had raised our anchor and was trying to free it of great clots of sticky mud and kelp containing numerous shellfish–what a mess!

I stayed at the helm until about 12:30 pm as we motored under mostly-sunny skies from lovely Horton Bay toward Ganges Harbor on Salt Spring Island. On Thursday we’d had the seas almost entirely to ourselves, but Friday’s journey took us through much busier areas, and I had to keep a careful watch for other boats (especially high-speed power boats), BC Ferries, long “kelp serpents,” often with leaves, twigs, and other seaweed entangled with them, and drift logs of various dimensions. Walt took over the helm shortly before 1 pm, and we were merrily motoring along at a good speed when Walt suddenly realized that he was heading for the wrong harbor, executed a neat a U-turn, and began retracing our route–ooops!–too much relaxation and too little attention!

We arrived and found an anchoring spot at bustling Ganges Harbor at about 2 pm, having gone a fair distance out of our way, but apart from unnecessary use of fuel and warming of surrounding ocean waters, the mistake was not serious. Walt deployed Coracle and headed for the dinghy dock to do some banking and grocery shopping, while I lounged in the comfortable cockpit and worked on my blog posts. Walt returned at about 3:30, having successfully acquired some Canadian currency, but the bank, that had issued his sizeable Anglican Church of Canada Pension Fund retirement check, in Canadian funds, refused to cash it and give him its equivalent in US funds because Walt doesn’t have a Canadian bank account of any kind–SIGH! He WAS able to bring back a heavy sack of groceries that included two chocolate-filled sweet buns and some fresh BC cherries–mmmmm!

Now it was my turn to clean the oozy, gluey mud clumps (containing enough clams to make a nice chowder, I thought!) from the anchor and its chain as Walt raised it remotely from the cockpit. We made our way through the many boats anchored in Ganges Harbor and were soon entering long, lovely Annette Inlet on Prevost Island, a roomy anchorage in which we’ve enjoyed spending the night twice in the past. The water in the entrance channel was relatively shallow (low tide again), and when we saw two kayakers paddling ahead of us and seemingly oblivious to Braesail’s presence, we had no choice but to sound our air horn in their direction. When there was no response, we blew the horn again, and still they blocked our way. We tried a third time, but discovered that the horn needed to be recharged, so I grabbed the back-up horn from the cabin and Walt pressed the button, releasing a loud, very long blast. At last one of the kayakers seemed to notice the big boat coming up behind them, turned around to look, and then moved to the left, with her paddling partner doing the same with her craft. Whew–we were not able to pass them because the channel was too shallow on either side, we couldn’t simply stop in mid-channel and lose our maneuverability, and we certainly didn’t want to run them down!

There were only a few other boats at the head of the inlet, and we had no difficulty in locating a good place in which to drop anchor at about 4:30 pm. Walt took a long nap in the aft cabin, and I set up one of our comfortable adjustable cockpit lounge seats on the fore deck to sleep in, rested in the shade provided by a small flock of cloud-sheep wandering in the cerulean fields overhead, and was thankful for the caress of the breezes that wandered by, but I couldn’t sleep because I kept coughing and snuffling (left-overs of my cold), and so I did some reading and wrote this post instead. After his nap, Walt worked on cleaning the galley stove’s broiler, and it was soon working just as it should! My usual galley clean-up duties followed a very nice supper of cheese omelettes, green salad, and potato patties, with ice cream for dessert, and at about 10:45 pm I began to prepare for bed as the last orange-tinged daylight faded into the sea to the northwest and a silvery moon slice hung silently above the trees lining the inlet’s shore.

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