July 27, 2017: The end of an inlet and of another lazy day

I am writing tonight from a tranquil anchorage surrounded by all manner of forested islands, islets, and rock clusters. We arrived here in the Muirhead Islands at noon today after motoring for about 2.5 hours as the sun finally chased the morning clouds from the sky and scared away the wind as well. It was my turn to take the helm after downing some granola and sharing Morning Prayer with Walt, and I was pleased that we made it through the Stuart Narrows’ somewhat chaotic currents and into long, quiet Drury Inlet with only a few scary moments on my part as the force of the water shoved Braesail in directions I did not want to take!!

The journey along the inlet through calmer water was especially beautiful as vistas of contemplative low hills and inquisitive distant islands continued to open before us as we motored. After we arrived at Sutherland Bay at the end of the inlet we decided that the Muirhead Islands would provide a more interesting anchorage, and so “dropped hook” among them after circling several islands to locate water about 30 feet deep. We chose to move further away, however, from a rock-strewn shore, lined by stately cedars from whose branches long yellow-green icicles of Spanish moss dripped, after viewing the results of our initial anchoring attempt–we did NOT want Braesail to swing into a “scrape” over the course of the coming 22 hours!

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Muirhead Islands floating on blue ruffled silk waters in the afternoon

During another leisurely afternoon I reached the half-way point in my sailing book and spent some time relaxing in the cockpit and watching the islands, the shores, the rippling water, and a pretty ketch (a boat with two masts) that was anchored nearby “sail” past as our boat swung back and forth and round and round at anchor as the wind increased (it generally comes out to play in the late afternoon, goes to bed in the later evening, and enjoys sleeping rather late in the morning!). I took a few photos,

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Looking at Muirhead Islands in the other direction

cleaned the salt and rain streaks from the port lights, and then stretched out for a while on the fore deck on top of the cabin, a wonderful place for languid lounging with its teak decking transmitting the sun’s warmth to one’s body while one is simultaneously being cooled by the breezes brushing gently by. Walt did more work on his Messiaen organ score, working on structural analyses and fingerings, and then, with a bit of help from me, replaced our stiff, frayed stay-sail furling line and whipped its end (no, he didn’t give it a spanking!) to keep it from unraveling. He finished reading his book on the best way to use a ship’s radar and moved on to look back through the two books that he’s read and will be reviewing for a journal.

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Muirhead Islands in evening light

I made supper (pasta with tomato-beef sauce) and completed galley cleaning, Walt took a shower, and I managed to get a nice sunset photo to post with this narrative.

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Sunset in the Muirhead Islands

Walt and I looked over the nautical charts after planning our trip east out of Drury Inlet, south through Wells Passage among more islands, and then across Queen Charlotte Strait to Part Hardy, where we will leave Braesail for nearly three weeks (our son Martin and his long-time friend Hans hope to take her out for a about five days during the first week of August, however, so she won’t forget how to behave in the water!). I then programmed our route and a number of way points into our chart plotter in the cockpit, with some coaching from Walt, and I’m now drinking hot chocolate and finishing this blog entry. We will begin our Friday journey (with almond croissants) around 10 am after what promises to be another still, cloud-shrouded night.

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