Walt and I arrived in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island’s eastern shore not long after noon today (Tuesday, September 6) after motoring for about three hours from an a-maze-ing anchorage called “Murray Labyrinth,” which is filled with rock conglomerations, kelp-and-other-seaweed “islands” and rock-and-tree-covered islands, bare, tumbled islets of all shapes and sizes, and twisty little waterways amongst the above, all different!
The six-hour journey to Murray Labyrinth from tranquil Fly Basin, where we spent a tranquil, restful Monday night after an easy rounding of Cape Caution, featured gentle swells, an hour of lovely, relaxing sailing, and many astonishing displays of leaping, dancing surf fountains beneath a sky awash in billowing heaps of cloud-suds.
Paraiso followed us through the circuitous passages of Murray Labyrinth and then her crew, Tom and Michelle, joined us for a scrumptious dinner in Braesail’s cockpit; Michelle provided some shrimp that they’d caught, and Walt served as chef. We had a marvelous meal and visit and caught several glimpses of seals and otters investigating Tom’s prawn trap!
This afternoon was a strenuous one: First Walt cleaned out the refrigeration system’s water pump and was pleased to see it functioning properly again. He then hiked to a nearby store and picked up the two lead-acid batteries that were waiting for him there. Each weighed over 100 lbs., and the store very kindly loaned him both a truck and a hand-truck so that he could take them to the dock and load them onto the boat. The two aging batteries being replaced had to be removed from the boat and loaded into the truck, and this entailed lifting and working beneath the queen-sized mattress in the aft cabin and the double-sized mattress in the forward cabin.
Once the new batteries were under the beds and tested, we drove the truck to the grocery store, filled six bags with provisions, and returned to Braesail. Two kind gentlemen on the dock saw me struggling with the bags (Walt was returning the truck and walking back to the marina) and helped me carry them down the very-steep ramp from the shore to the dock. I stored the provisions while Walt put away tools, and then we walked to the on-shore pub for a pleasant dinner of Asian cuisine. Back on the boat, I remade the beds and replaced all the items I’d had to remove during the battery-replacement operation, and am finally sitting down to write. All of the exercise today should produce a good sleep tonight!