September 12, 2017: Braesail’s too big–big sigh!

Cloudy skies and Braesail’s gentle rocking greeted Walt and me on Tuesday morning, and by about 10 am, after Morning Prayer and a bit of breakfast, we were ready to take Coracle through “The Cut,” the shallow, wooded passage between Thetis and Penelakut islands that leads to Telegraph Harbour on Thetis Island. The sun peered at us through the clouds as we motored and kept our eyes on the muddy bottom of the passage; we could see clam and other shells, clumps of seaweed, and rocks through the clear water, and we could also see that the path we’d chosen through a lagoon was leading to ever shallower water. At last the outboard motor’s propeller caught the mud and Walt had to use an oar to shove us back into deeper water. We finally found our way past some houses, ramps, and floats on the Thetis Island shore and along a lengthy spit of sand and rocks to the opening leading to Telegraph Harbour, where many boats were docked at the marina and others were anchored out, and many more were in transit across the bay. We explored our surroundings for a bit, and passed under a low bridge connecting the docks with the shore, looking for a dinghy dock. Not finding one, we began to tie up at the main dock, but we were told that that area was reserved, and we’d need to find the dinghy dock, but we weren’t told where it was. About then, Walt noticed that he didn’t have his wallet with him, and so we decided not to land and wander through the general store but simply to return to Clam Bay and prepare Braesail for the trip to Wallace Island, our next planned stop.

We motored back through The Cut without incident and by about 11:15 we were on our way out of Clam Bay as the day warmed and brightened. We arrived near noon at Princess Cove on Wallace Island, an anchorage we had very much enjoyed last summer, saw a seal or two “up-periscope” at the mouth of the anchorage and observed many more sunbathing on some nearby rocks, and also realized that the cove was quite full of stern tied boats, so on we went to Conover Cove, another beautiful spot in Wallace Island Marine Park. We decided, however, after entering the lovely cove and reading what the depth sounder had to present, that the water there was too shallow to accommodate Braesail’s 7-ft. draft safely, and so, rather wistfully and reluctantly, we motored away toward Montague Harbour and Marine Park on Galiano Island, a very large space where we could anchor easily.

At about 1 pm, after having a sandwich lunch and a pleasant ride with little wind under a sky containing at least a half dozen different varieties of clouds from cirrus to cumulus, we approached the marine park’s less sheltered side, where a white clam-shell-fragment midden beach stretched before us. This area is safe for temporary anchorage only, however, because of its exposure to prevailing northwest winds, and we therefore continued around Gray Peninsula to the roomy, much better-protected, section of the harbor, which we explored quite thoroughly in our quest for a comfortable anchoring location. Once Braesail was floating securely “on the hook,” Walt napped in the aft cabin and I rested in the comfortable cockpit after reading some e-mail. The harbor is surrounded on most sides by high, thickly-forested hills, with houses perched on the shores and high on the bluffs, a marina with store and restaurant at one side, and a fine marine park with mooring buoys, trails, and beaches at another, and is quite attractive to observe as a boat swings at anchor.

After Walt’s nap, we shared chips and cheese dip and Walt began work on a steak dinner while I started to write this post. After supper, I did a little more work on the removal of the peeling varnish on Braesail’s toe rail (there’s very little left for Walt to sand off later), and we enjoyed our customary late dessert (cookies and tea or cocoa) before bedtime. Clouds gathered and breezes sang softly in Braesail’s rigging as we settled into bed, anticipating a generally tranquil night.

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