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Thursday, July 15, 2010

July Cruise to Princess Louisa...

In July we decided to take a few days off and head to one of our most favorite places - Princess Louisa Inlet in BC.  We left Anacortes late in the afternoon and sailed to Bedwell, hoping to clear customs and hang out around the pool at Poet's Cove.

Unfortunately we made it to Bedwell just after customs closed, so we had to stay the night on the dock confined to the boat until morning.  Late the following morning two customs officers arrived to personally inspect us and read us the riot act for arriving late.  After promising that they were God's gift to humanity and that we would never in the rest of our present & future lives ever arrive after customs closed they let us go.

We decided to head up the inside and push out into the Strait through Porlier Pass (the same route we took during the Van Isle 360).  Unfortunately given our late start it was rather lumpy in the Strait and our guests were starting to heave to, so we decided to bail at Silva Bay and take Dodd Narrows to Naniamo.  When we got to Naniamo the marina was completely full as everyone else had decided to stay put given the gale outside.  We managed to find a place on the commercial dock, grab some dinner and head to bed for an early departure.

At about 6:00am the next morning we left to cross the Strait in 4-6' seas - nothing to worry about, but somewhat "upsetting" for our guests.  We made a quick passage across the Strait and up Jervis Inlet, arriving at Malibu Rapids by noon.  After waiting around about an hour for the rapids to subside we entered the inlet and spent an enjoyable two days anchored at the foot of Chatterbox Falls while hiking & swimming.  While in the inlet we met up with some family friends and had a great and unexpected reunion.

After two days we left early in the morning and re-traced our steps back down Jervis Inlet.  The winds were moderate in the Strait so we set our cruising kite and limped along at 12-14 knots of boatspeed south to Porlier Pass and then down the inside to Bedwell Harbor.  On the way we ran into a pod of Orcas and spent some time observing them and taking many pictures.  We arrived at Poets Cove around sunset and hit the pool and hot tub.

Early the next morning while getting ready to leave we were startled by two osprey chasing a pigeon.  In a desperate attempt to avoid being breakfast the pigeon made a last minute dive for the cabin of the boat while the birds of prey circled the boat for about 20 minutes making loud noises.  Eventually the osprey left and we motored out of the anchorage - while doing so we managed to coax the pigeon out into the cockpit.  Just before the pigeon flew away we noticed that it was banded and took a quick picture of the band before it flew away.  Later when we got home Joy tracked the pigeon down - as it turned out it was nearly home to Victoria after a flight from Eastern Canada.  The pigeon owner was so grateful to get the bird back that he named it Joy Girl and retired it from racing - kind of an unusual end to a wonderful trip!

Icon at anchor off Chatterbox Falls