After reading for most of the morning, we moved Braesail from Montague Harbour’s north cove to the south cove on the afternoon of Monday, October 3; here, the surface of the water was smoother and the boat rocked less from side to side. Paraiso pulled along side us after their trip to Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island, and Michelle handed a carton of eggs across from her deck to ours–so kind! They motored off to raft their boat to a friend’s boat across the harbor, and I finished writing to some friends before the sun set and I climbed into the cockpit to watch for good sunset photo opportunities (I got two!).
In mid-morning on Tuesday, Walt’s brother Ken phoned from the Sacramento, CA, area to tell us that Joy, Walt’s 97-year-old mom, had died during the night. Walt and I had visited with her by phone on Saturday when she accidentally dialed Walt’s number, and all three of had a fine visit. She’d been diabetic for many years and had taken excellent care of herself, and had been in surprisingly good health and spirits recently. We think that her blood sugar levels descended during the night, she didn’t hear her glucose monitor’s alarm sounding, and died peacefully in her sleep when her heart stopped. This is exactly the way she’d desired and prayed to go! We are very sad, but are pleased that she met just this sort of end and is now rejoicing in the nearer presence of God she loved and served all her life!
Walt called the yacht chartering agency in Anacortes where Braesail “lives” and learned that they would have room for our boat beginning on Wednesday, so we packed up the food that the US doesn’t allow people to import, delivered it to Tom and Michelle on Paraiso, checked the strength and directions of the currents, and headed for Matia Island in the San Juan Islands.
As we were motoring, an RCMP patrol boat pulled along side, and we stopped, of course. An officer came aboard and wanted to see our identification and vessel documentation, and once he saw that everything was in order, he complimented us on a lovely boat, wished us a good trip back to the US, and, with his partner, went on his way. In all of our 30+ years of sailing in Canadian waters, this was the first time we’d been boarded!
It wasn’t long before we heard the Coast Guard on the VHF radio, inquiring about a boat that had contacted them, saying that they were sinking! We never heard what happened, but soon another distress call was coming from a large powerboat that was taking on water not far from our destination of Matia Island. A number of boaters responded to their call for help, and as we neared the area we saw the promised Canadian helicopter flying their way. When we passed the boat in distress, we saw that two other watercraft had come along side; one was a fishing boat that was rigging up an auxiliary pump. I so hope that the story will have a happy ending!
We are now tied up at the dock in Matia Island Marine Park, a place we have visited and loved for MANY years. The sun is smiling, the waves are cares-s-s-sing the rocks on a small nearby island circled by amazing sandstone sculpture galleries,
birds are chucketting, seals are slipping by and find a resting place,
a sea lion is growling and snuffling, and Walt and I must decide what to do once we are moored in Anacortes once more, exactly 6.5 months after our departure from there on April 7.