September 5, 2015: Smoke gets in your skies

Instead of waking to blazing sunshine as expected at about 8 am, the skies over Vancouver were a miserable iron gray and the sun an angry orange as smoke from wildfires up and down the West coast, especially near the Oregon/Washington border, spread north. An air quality advisory was issued, but at least high temperatures proved to be about 20 degrees lower than forecast, for which I was thankful.

Walt and I shared Morning Prayer and spent most of the morning reading and writing while munching English muffins and drinking tea in the saloon (the main cabin) and enjoying the cooler weather, though news of the wildfires was heartbreaking. Walt defrosted the fridge and freezer and I repacked them, taking inventory of their contents as I did so. We shouldn’t need many more provisions before the end of our wanderings in about three weeks.

Not long past noon, Walt motored in Coracle to a spot where he could lock her to a dock and walk to COSTCO, and following his return after about two hours, Martin called, telling us that his planned Wednesday drive in a rental car to Bellingham and Everett was not going to take place due to non-deliveries of goods and cancellation of meetings, and so Walt was left to consider whether or not, or how, he should get to an Apple store south of Everett to pick up his new laptop as he’d planned to do. I climbed aboard Coracle and Walt and I began to motor to Granville Island, past the great variety of watercraft anchored and moored and plying the False Creek waterway, and the shore side parks, in which bright fall colors are beginning to dress the trees, through which people were walking and bicycling despite the poor air.

Suddenly Walt noticed another Moody sailboat anchored just ahead of our path and recognized the name of the boat, Time Piece; her owners, Bob and Claudia, had visited with us when we were all docked in Friday Harbor in late June, so we pulled Coracle alongside and hailed Claudia and Bob. They appeared in their cockpit and we talked about our adventures, in the course of which conversation Walt mentioned that he’d been hoping to get into the Seattle area on Wednesday in order to pick up the replacement for his stolen laptop that was awaiting him in Lynnwood. It just so happened that Claudia was going to depart from SeaTac Airport on Wednesday, and as a result, she and Bob were driving a rental car south and could give Walt a ride to and from Everett, where Walt could pick up our Miata and drive to the store to get his computer, collect accumulated mail and some other items at our condo, deposit a check, etc. How fortuitous, and how thankful we were! Bob and Claudia arranged to pick Walt up by dinghy from Braesail at about 6:15 am on Wednesday and motor to a SkyTrain stop from which they could ride to the place at which their rental car would be waiting. I could go back to bed and have the day to myself.

With these plans made, Walt and I motored on to Granville Island, spotting on the way some floating debris that turned out to be the splotchy noses and bright eyes of sea lions! We spent some time wandering around the terrific public market there and bought some items, stopping for a break near a very nice bakery–the “blueberry bread” pastry I chose was excellent! Walt had gotten a free cup of coffee because he’d purchased some ground beans, and it went very well with his sticky roll. After our stroll, we took Coracle back to Braesail, Walt took his usual nap, I rested in the cockpit where there were a few breaths of breeze and I could watch the watercraft pass by, and then I made tuna salads for supper.

Because of Walt’s need to get up at 5:45 am (aargh!), we went to bed early, after a very dreary day, but I wasn’t able to fall asleep for quite some time. I’m writing this post while Walt’s away–he HAS picked up his laptop and is loading files from his back-up hard drive. Things seem to be going as hoped, and I’m giving God thanks for the transportation for Walt and praying for the extinguishing of the wildfires and for those suffering from the horrific hurricane damages!

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