S/V Hello World's Travel Log

the broughton archipelago

After six days of waiting out a 30 to 40 knot blow on Johnstone Straight, we finally escaped that unfriendly stretch of water and headed into the Broughtons. The last time we were up here, the Broughton Islands were one of our favorite places. We got near the end of Johnstone Straight and took a right turn up Havannah Channel, headed to Lagoon Cove.

May 19th - Lagoon Cove

We'd long heard of Bill and Jean's hospitality and couldn't wait to experience it ourselves. It was the first civilization we'd seen in two weeks, though calling it "civilization" might be stretching the truth a bit. Lagoon Cove marina is situated on East Cracroft Island in what could best be described as the back and beyond of nowhere. Electricity is produced by generator, but only after 4pm. All supplies arrive by boat. They do offer an internet connection but it's a satellite connection that's pretty miserly with the bandwidth. Keep your eyes peeled when you're walking around because there's more bears than birds.

Lagoon Cove is well known amongst PNW boaters for their happy hour. Every morning, rain or shine, Bill heads out in his skiff to haul up his prawn traps. Every afternoon at 5:00 on the dot, happy hour commences. It's a bring-your-own-appetizers-and-bottle affair, but Bill and Jean provide a metric shit-ton of fresh prawns and giant bowl of cocktail sauce. So we spent a few hours shoveling prawns into our faces and chatting with Bill, Jean and the crew of M/V Important Business - the only other boat on the dock. We reveled in conversations with someone other than each other. Christy and I love each other dearly but after two weeks of only talking to each other, Christy was ready to tackle the next person she saw and hold them down until they talked to her.

The afternoon turned sunny and calm so we rigged up the hammock. Christy, right before one of her few naps that afternoon.

This guy was sniffing around our happy hour. He was big and shiny - clearly well fed.

While we were there, we bottled another batch of home beer that we brewed in Octopus Islands. A giant thanks to s/v Bint al Khamseen for teaching us their beer recipe.

May 20th - Waddington Bay

The next day, we took off intending to head for Turnbull Cove. We turned to the weather channel on VHF and learned of a 40 knot blow set to blow through Queen Charlotte Strait. Turnbull Cove has a reputation for being dodgy in a southeasterly so we changed course and headed to Waddington Bay. We were here a few years back and really liked it. After spending a quiet night, we decided the gale was a non-event and took off for Turnbull. We had a bit of time getting the anchor up on deck but that'll have to wait for another blog post.

Waddington Bay is protected by a smattering of small islands called the Fox Group. After winding our way back out the entrance, we headed up to the intersection of Eden, Insect, Baker and Tracy Islands. The four islands construct a tight four-way intersecting channel that we had to check out. The channels are narrow but the depths are all pretty good. It felt like driving up a river.

This was our route out of Waddington Bay. One of the reasons we love this area so much.

Heading towards Fife Sound.

May 21st - Turnbull Cove

We pulled into Turnbull Cove and found M/V Important Business the only other boat anchored in the large cove. We spent three days here and had dinner a few times with Ed, Myrna, Lloyd and Delores - the crew of this 55 foot gin palace. We really enjoyed their company. Especially since they're all from Butte, MT. It was kinda fun to recount the times I got beat up in Butte while I grew up in Helena 60 miles away.

Turnbull Cove is ever farther back and farther beyond nowhere. The area is surrounded by small inlets, lagoons and one hellacious rapid named Roaring Hole Rapids. We chose not to tempt our fate. Rightly so, as Ed told us about the time he tried it in a dinghy and flipped half way through. We were really happy to have our planing dinghy with our awesome 15hp outboard in order to explore the area. We spent alot of time at 20 knots blasting around into different inlets and passes. We spent the days crabbing, prawning, playing cards and just burrowing farther into cruising mode. Perhaps a few naps were had.

The mist from Roaring Hole Rapids. This was nowhere close to max tide and it was still a Class II rapid.

Hauling up 400' of prawn trap line that was wrapped around part of a tree.

Our haul included a few prawns and a starfish with two hundred legs (I counted).

On our way out of Turnbull Cove, a thick fog settled in. When we weighed anchor, we couldn't see any shoreline. With a bow watch, a pitiful fog horn and good radar we picked our way through.

50° 57.555'N 126° 50.229'W

cruising mode

May 9th - Smuggler Cove

I gave myself an accidental eyebrow wax, eyelash trim and haircut yesterday.

It turns out the propane oven flame had gone off and I thought I'd relight it. Poof. That was one big ball of flame. Fortunately I did not burn the boat down (see Jason's rule #1) or cause any other damage to the boat or us.

But hey, free haircut! We're always looking for ways to cut costs when we're out. Seeing as we have no money coming in, we consider ourselves in "cruising mode". Cruising mode means doing anything we can do ourselves to be as self-sufficient as possible and avoid spending money; very few dinners out (and then only at cheap places), finding free entertainment, limited spending on booze and other expensive items, and certainly no haircuts.

It may not sound like very much fun, but we manage to get by just fine. Lately I've been fixing up fairly gourmet dinners. Roasted red pepper and goat cheese pizza on homemade dough (ala Dad). And last night was crab stuffed portobello mushrooms.

With crab we caught off the boat

Entertainment can be free if you know where to look for it. Here was a guy on a paddleboard in Vancouver getting pulled over by the police:

And since booze is so damn expensive in Canada, we get around that rule by making our own beer on board (more on this later)

Not too shabby really :)

This second time around, we have agreed that we'd be willing to spend money to experience more of the culture of wherever we are. We feel like we missed out on some of that in Mexico because we were so extremely on the cheap. Maybe Jason will also let me pay for a haircut once in a while...

49° 30.953'N 123° 57.955'W

on our way north

May 7th - Smugglers Cove

From Vancouver, we skipped on up to Smugglers Cove for a few days while we waited out weather to go further.

This was one of our favorite spots last time around; partially because we thought we were badass after getting through the entrance (after being scared to death of the 60 ft wide break in the rocks), but partially because it's just a gorgeous spot.

Called Smugglers because it is so hard to find and people used to use it as a hiding spot to smuggle booze and Chinese laborers back in the day.

They've got a great trail there, which we checked out

But mostly we ate lots of crab - yum!

May 11th - Prideaux Haven

From Smugglers, we made it to Desolation Sound - an area smack in the middle of the backside of Vancouver Island. Turns out it's not so desolated in the middle of summer because the ocean water gets honking warm since the tide cycles don't fully exchange the water. Fortunately, we missed the crowds (and the warm water) and had only a few other boats in this gorgeous spot for the night we stayed.

We caught our first prawn - woohoo! A little more work than crab because they live at about 300-400 ft under, so we're still working on our prawn trap recovery system, but we're pretty sure it will include that new spin pole of ours (we have actually used it for sailing...once).

Turns out prawns like cat food. And crab like old smelly pot roast. Those have been the successful bait so far. It makes me wonder if we're eating the guys that would have won the Darwin awards if they were human.

They're spiky little suckers that like to flip off the deck if you don't watch them.

May 12th - Octopus Islands

Off to another spot that we visited last time, but just so gorgeous that we couldn't pass it up. This time we entered the Octopus Islands from the north instead of the east - much less pucker factor since it's not so rocky (last time there was a big ol' rock a few inches from the bottom of our keel).

There's a great hike here up to an alpine lake

It's a great spot for a few days, but we ended up there for six, waiting for a weather window to get through a particularly nasty area (Johnstone Strait). And since I saw this print on the 2nd hike, we decided to spend more time doing boat projects for most of that time:

50 16.755'N 125 13.767W

escape velocity

The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.

- Newton's first law of motion

From June 2010 to May of 2012, Hello World's velocity has truly remained a constant zero. We'd been at the dock for almost two years, working on the boat and making money. In that two years we rarely left the dock, settling into an uncomfortable inertia. As our scheduled departure date of April 2nd came and went, we frantically worked through projects and revised and revamped our departure. On May 1st, we finally broke free of Seattle's gravity and made for northern waters.

We ran up the backside of Whidbey Island to avoid the dreaded Straight of Juan de Fuca (see here for our first jaunt through the Straight).

We timed our arrival at Deception Pass for slack tide and had an easy motor after picking our way through all the sport fishing boats.

May 2nd - Sucia Island

We motored up to Sucia Island at the very northern end of the San Juan islands in no wind. We spent a few days here unwinding from all the boat projects. We did some hiking, some relaxing, but mostly just sat around grinning at each that we left.

May 4th - Vancouver, comma, City of

Because of our delayed departure, we scrapped plans we had of spending more time in the San Juan islands and any time at all in the Gulf Islands. We decided to try a new place and took off up the Straight of Georgia headed to Vancouver. We checked in with Customs (turns out you can bring as much booze as you want into Canada but leave your potatoes at home) and anchored out in False Creek.

False Creek is this cool inlet that sticks directly into downtown Vancouver. It's surrounded by parks, and trails. Granville Island resides up near the mouth of the inlet and we spent a lot of our time there. They have an incredible market (mouth watering meats and veggies), great coffee shops and parks everywhere. We really like Vancouver by boat.

Christy bought scallops right off the fishing boat that caught them.

This whole cruising thing is slowly coming back to us.

49° 16.135'N 123° 57.995'W

playing catchup

We've spent the last month deep in the weeds of British Columbia. The only internet access we've come across since checking in to Canada has been a sketchy satellite connection at a backwater marina in the backwoods of the Broughton Islands. Hence the radio silence here on the blog. Now that we've landed in Port McNeil, we're in the process of catching up. We'll be putting up some backdated posts over the next couple days to get y'all caught up.

a quick update from lagoon cove

Hey all, we haven't updated the blog (you may have noticed) at all during the last few weeks. We've been buttoned up in a few hidey holes waiting out gales in both the Straight of Georgia and Johnstone Straight. We're in Lagoon Cove today and have access to the interwebs. But, it's a satellite connection that has finite bandwidth so no photos, no big blog updates. Just a note to say we're doing well, we love it out here, and we probably won't be able to get a consistent internet connection for another week or so. Cheers!

second time around

When we left in 2009 for the Inside Passage and eventually Mexico, we were all-consumed with what cruising would be like. It's all we talked about, thought about. We read blogs incessantly. We debated the merits of different anchors with our boat friends (as if we knew anything about anchoring). We poured over charts predicting our route and imagining what far-off anchorages were like. We consumed cruising how-to books, learning all we could about storm tactics and how to check into French Polynesian islands. We were actually jittery and wild-eyed with excitement when we slipped the dock lines and left Shilshole for what would surely be our last time. We never once looked back as we took off towards the Inside Passage.

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. We'd been back in Shilshole for almost two years after our last cruise. We spent that time working and getting the boat ready for cruise #2. We slipped the dock lines from J dock once again bound for Alaska this time and once again had no plans of coming back. But this time was different. As we left J-dock and motored our way out the north entrance of the breakwater, we found ourselves kinda torn.

We've spent the last year and a half in the company of incredible friends. Friends we'd known for years, friends we met cruising in Mexico and friends we've only recently gotten to know. We had several going away parties (as is our style) and each one left us more melancholy than the last about leaving these people. We rafted up in Eagle Harbor with several other boats from Shilshole. I even broke several of my cardinal anchoring rules (I don't raft to other boats and I never drink too much at anchor). We spent a gorgeous April weekend laughing, eating awesome food and drinking good rum. As we walked into The Sloop for our last farewell party, we were greeted with a chorus of "hey!" from several tables as everyone raised their glasses. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

As Hello World motored up to the marina exit, our buddy CB stood on the fishing pier filming our departure. We yelled and waved and gave a failed attempt at blowing an air horn (put "new air horn" on the list) as we slipped past. We thought about all the marina volleyball games and Taco Tuesdays we're missing out on. We thought about the great times at The Sloop. We thought about the family and friends we're leaving behind this time and this time, we were just a little sad about it.

As we cleared the red day mark at the end of the breakwater, we nosed out into a southwesterly blowing 18 knots. We unfurled the genoa and Hello World took off to the north with a bone in her teeth. Christy and I flashed each other shit-eating grins as we passed hull speed.

Oh right. This is why we left.

Hello World has left the building*

Gear is stowed Paseos sandwiches have been eaten Boat projects are done (enough) Car has been sold (for $1) We are outta here! *maybe past tense is a little misleading. We are ABOUT to leave - 10 min away!