September 4, 2017: A hot holiday afternoon in Vancouver BC

The four of us rose on another shiny morning after having enjoyed a restful night and downed granola and yogurt for breakfast. I retrieved my laundry from Jan and loaded it onto Braesail, we said our farewells after Sagres had been toured by Sean’s family, and we left the little Gambier Island hideaway’s dock at about 10 am with SOME breezes blowing. What a splendid time we’d all had!

Gambier Island beach at noon
The “pocket beach” in Center Bay on Gambier Island at low tide with Sean’s little cabin in the trees at left

As Sagres sailed, we motored on Braesail so that we could take photos of the smaller boat from many different angles; Martin and Hans are planning to use our pictures and Sean’s videos to encourage friends in the Vancouver area to buy Walt’s and my half-share in Sagres’ ownership and to become partners with Hans and Martin. Walt got some very good shots, but by the time we had finished the photo project, the wind was dying and choppiness was increasing because of boat and ferry traffic. We also needed to run Braesail’s engine to recharge the ship’s batteries after two days without using shore power, knowing that we’d be anchored in False Creek in Vancouver for over two days, again without shore power and with the need to defrost and then cool the fridge and freezer. So we continued to motor around Point Atkinson,

The Point Atkinson Light House and a few white caps

where we encountered very “confused seas” due to winds blowing opposite to the flow of the sea’s currents in addition of the turbulence caused by watercraft of all sizes from little “Aquabus” water taxies and motorized dinghies to gigantic tankers and container ships (on a holiday weekend blessed with fantastic weather, waterways are much busier than usual!). The rough seas provided us with a rough ride, but we passed under the bridges and down the shallow waters of False Creek to the bustling anchoring area, surrounded by glittering high-rises, without incident, arriving there shortly after 1 pm; the crew of Sagres had a much tougher time after they lost the wind and had to motor, but they arrived safely at their marina as well at about 3 pm.)

We found a convenient anchoring spot for Braesail near some dinghy docks, but once we were securely hooked, I realized that we needed to pump out the holding tank (which holds only 30 gallons of sewage), and, once we’d determined that the station was close at hand, we raised the anchor and motored over. Walt had to squeeze a large vessel into a tight space, but two men on the dock assisted, we pulled Coracle around to one side out of the way (we’d been towing it from Gambier Island), the task was accomplished, and we returned to our original anchoring location and settled in. We lunched on sandwiches, as is our custom, and, since the afternoon was uncomfortably hot and humid, we both took long naps in the coolest spaces we could find, Walt in the aft cabin and I in the bottom bunk in the crew cabin after the small breeze I’d enjoyed in the cockpit faded away.

Walt decided that we would need a cable lock for Coracle if we were going to leave it unattended at a dinghy dock for any significant length of time (we plan to travel with Martin in a rental car to Everett and the Seattle area on Wednesday so that Walt can pick up his new laptop onto which to load his vast quantities of data when we return to the boat). Consequently, at about 6:30 pm Walt rowed the two of us in Coracle to the nearest dinghy dock, beneath a restaurant, where I could read and keep an eye on our tender tender while he walked a mile to a Canadian Tire store to purchase a cable and lock.

It proved to be a lovely evening,

View of False Creek anchorage and shoreline in Vancouver BC

and I read mail on my smartphone and enjoyed watching people come and go in their dinghies and on the paddle boards and “pedal boards” (bicycles, attached at their bases to flotation devices, that one pedals in order to be propelled through the water). Shortly before Walt arrived with his purchases, I observed a large seagull cracking open a clam on the cement portion of the dock, neatly picking out all the meat for his dinner, and then pushing the shells back into the water as a responsible bird should do!

Back to the boat we went at about 8:30 pm we snacked on chips, salsa, and grapefruit juice on the table in the cockpit because it was so warm and sticky below decks, and there was at least a tiny flutter of breeze over the water. Walt grilled steaks for a late dinner, I performed my usual cleaning duties, and then we both sat on the comfortable folding lounge cushions in the moonlit cockpit with the soft reading lights glowing. Walt read and I wrote blog posts, and we both enjoyed the parade of boats that continued to pass by on the waterway, as they had all afternoon, with their colored lights winking cheerily. At last it was sufficiently cool in the aft cabin to make sleep possible, so we retired for the night, expecting an even hotter day on Tuesday–aaack!

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