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Provisioning At Heriot Bay On Quadra Island

Provisioning at Heriot Bay on Quadra Island

The Proximity of Heriot Bay to Desolation Sound, Gave Us Another Option for Provisioning The need to provision mid-way through our month-long stay required a major shopping trip. Unlike our two-week trip to Desolation Sound three years ago. Since we are consuming breakfast, lunch and dinner – all on the boat every day, we eventually ran out of the supplies that keep our bodies happily fueled. Provisioning while cruising in Desolation Sound for a longer stay is a little bit of a challenge. The options nearby are limited to Refuge Cove. Although centrally located within Desolation Sound, the products available at Refuge Cove are limited and quite expensive. It's a fun stop! If you are only staying a week or two in Desolation, you won't starve. You can catch up on most chores, use wifi, enjoy a fresh baked cinnamon roll, fuel up and restock the propane and water tanks. Just like we would at any marina. But thrifty boaters that we are, after two weeks we…

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Phenomenal Factory Rendezvous Turnout!

Phenomenal Factory Rendezvous Turnout!

The Largest Boat Rendezvous in the World – Jeff Messmer When we made plans last fall to bring Kismet out to the Pacific Northwest for a full year, we knew we wanted our itinerary to include Fluid Motion’s (parent company of both Ranger Tugs and Cutwater boats) 2016 Ranger Tugs & Cutwater Boats Factory Rendezvous. This year the event was held at Roche Harbor, Washington the first week in September. 150 Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats Attending the 2016 Rendezvous in Roche Harbor, Washington We’ve now been to three rendezvous in Washington state. Our first was in 2011, when we took possession of our Ranger Tug R27, it was held in Bremerton, WA. The second was in 2013 when we trailered our boat out for the summer season – mainly to join the Desolation Sound Cruise (a group cruise put on by the factory to help new owners get out on the water). The 2013 rendezvous was held in Anacortes, WA. With each event attended, we encountered a growing and cohesive boating…

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Anchoring In Von Donop Inlet – Ha’thayim Marine Provincial Park

Anchoring in Von Donop Inlet – Ha’thayim Marine Provincial Park

  We Chose Von Donop Inlet as an Anchorage Twice During Our Stay in the Desolation Sound Area – Von Donop Inlet is situated on the northwest side of Cortes Island, it can be entered from northern Sutil Channel. The inlet is part of the Discovery Islands, not Desolation Sound Marine Park. We had to leave Desolation Sound on two occasions to provision. So, we used Von Donop as an anchorage both times. First was a trip to Campbell River and another time on our way to Heriot Bay. The inlet is long and narrow and, although we cruised past many boats already anchored the length of the inlet, we chose to go all the way in to the bay at the south end. We felt it afforded the most protection from high winds and we felt a storm brewing. Rainy Day Blues in Von Donop Inlet We love to read and have lots of books downloaded to our iPads. But for rainy days on the boat, ones where you don't even want to read anymore, walk…

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Toba Wildernest – Experience The Magic!

Toba Wildernest – Experience the Magic!

Toba Wildernest – One of Our Favorite Spots in the Desolation Sound Cruising Area – Toba Wildernest is a picturesque mountainside marina and resort located at the mouth of Toba Inlet. The inlet is a deep fjord on the mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to Desolation Sound. The marina is well-protected by Double Island. The first thing that strikes me as unique about this inlet is the most unusual, milky, greenish blue color of the water leading to and around Toba Wildernest. It continues as far as one can see. The beauty of Toba Inlet opens up my heart and soul! I believe the many boaters who come from all over the world to visit the Hunters’ in their little slice of paradise, can’t help but be transformed internally and perhaps spiritually by one of nature’s masterful creations. A scenic panorama of truly massive proportions has the ability to make a human being feel humble and almost insignificant in the scheme of things –…

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Grace Harbour – First Anchorage In Desolation Sound 2016

Grace Harbour – First Anchorage in Desolation Sound 2016

Grace Harbour is a Good Starting Point for Our Desolation Sound Cruising Adventure! Keeping true to form, we decided to begin our Desolation Sound cruise by anchoring in Grace Harbour, just as we had done in 2013. Grace Harbour is a small anchorage and Marine Park on the mainland of British Columbia accessed by Malaspina Inlet. The anchorage is extremely well-protected from wind and waves. The harbour has a little beach with a restroom facilities and a hiking trail. A Slow Start to the Boating Season! The anchorage was not very crowded this time, a fact we would soon wonder about as we proceeded north through the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, Jervis Inlet and finally Desolation Sound. We were here, starting our cruise, in late July three years ago. Maybe the season is off to a slow start, because we had a hard time finding a good spot last time. Timing makes all the difference when cruising British Columbia. We started…

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Stopping At Powell River To Provision

Stopping at Powell River to Provision

Powell River – Great Place to Provision – After only four days spent at Chatterbox Falls, you wouldn't think we'd have to provision again so soon. Since our mode of transportation is walking from grocery stores with our shopping bags, we can only cart so much stuff back to the boat. It will be harder and more expensive to grocery shop in Desolation Sound, so we always stop at grocery stores when we can and stock up on important items such as beer and chocolate. Sometimes the grocery stores offer to drive us back to the marina, and we almost always take them up on the offer, unless we don't need much or need the exercise. We also needed to take care of some business while in Powell River. We'll be visiting a copy shop, the post office, a used book store and, of course, the grocery store. Shoe shopping is on the list, Jim is looking for new sandals, because his old ones…

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Lasqueti Island – Life Off The Grid

Lasqueti Island – Life Off the Grid

Lasqueti Island – Our fascination with this island had just begun – It was just a short 12-mile hop from our anchorage in Tribune Bay on Hornby Island to False Bay, located at the north end of Lasqueti Island. The roughly 42-sq-mile island is situated less than ten miles from Vancouver Island. We really didn’t know what to expect once we got to the island, but we had a feeling that we were in for a special treat. We had heard a little about the alternative lifestyle on Lasqueti Island during our last visit to the Pacific Northwest. We were intrigued but, due to circumstances at the time, the stop was bypassed. All we had heard was this… there was an island in the middle of the Strait of Georgia that, in more recent history, a bunch of hippies had made their home, living off the grid… in more ways than one. There are two docks, one at each end of the island.…

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Hike To Conover Cove – Wallace Island, BC

Hike to Conover Cove – Wallace Island, BC

Conover Cove - The Dream of David and Jeanne Conover – The next morning we rowed to the dinghy dock located mid-point in Princess Cove. We wanted to hike the path at the perimeter of Wallace Island, which leads to Conover Cove. Once there, we stumbled upon a surprising find, the structural remains Conover Settlement. One of the buildings in particular knocked our socks off because of all the, mostly driftwood, carved, painted and decorated mementos left by boaters to mark their visit to the island over the years. It truly is a work of art in the making. Royal Cedar Cottages Were Built by the Conovers mid-nineteenth century. The island's origin was charted as Narrow Island, but named after Captain Wallace Houston, a surveyor in the 1850s. More recent history states that Wallace Island was owned by David Conover and his wife, Jeanne in 1946. Their desire was to build a resort on the island, Royal Cedar Cottages – there were once ten buildings built in the…

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Ganges Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Ganges Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

One Night in Ganges Salt Spring Island –  After we pulled up anchor in Madrona Bay, we headed the short way into Ganges Salt Spring, to stay for one night before we head over to Wallace Island to anchor in Princess Cove. We love Ganges, it's a quaint waterfront town with lots of character. The only other time we were here was during our trip to the Pacific Northwest for the Ranger Tugs Desolation Sound Cruise. The town is just big enough that everything is within walking distance of the marina and docks on the waterfront. The marina was not very busy and there were lots of available dockage. There were two other Ranger Tugs with us at the dock this night.      

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Madrona Bay Anchorage – Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Madrona Bay Anchorage – Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

A Quiet Night on the Hook in Madrona Bay – We left Poets Cove and South Pender Island for a three-hour cruise to Madrona Bay, near Ganges on Salt Spring Island. There are two routes to get to our days destination. We could have transited Boundary Pass, a more exposed route, but we chose Pender Canal due to the high winds we had experienced the last few days. After three days of social activity at Poets Cove, we were looking forward to a night on the hook in a quiet cove. This is just what we found at Madrona Bay.      

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Fox Cove Anchorage – Sucia Island In The San Juan Islands

Fox Cove Anchorage – Sucia Island in the San Juan Islands

We Anchored in Fox Cove for a Peaceful Night on the Hook – Our much anticipated return to Sucia Island did not disappoint. This time we anchored in Fox Cove cove near the beach to the campground, across a small stretch of land from Fossil Bay and the boat docks. When we arrived, one lone sailboat sat anchored between the mooring balls. Another small sailboat arrived near the end of the day. We decided to spend two nights in this spot.    We found out that this woman's (photo - below) husband built this boat from scratch. We think he used plans from Devlin Designing Boat Builders. A Black Crown 30. It's a beauty!

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Dinner Date With Bob & Nita On Nellie Too

Dinner Date with Bob & Nita on Nellie Too

Bob & Nita Welcome Us to Anacortes –  One thing we love about trailering our boating all over the United States and Canada is all the great people we get to meet, people we may not otherwise have the opportunity to get to know. During our many trips to boat in the Pacific Northwest we have bumped into Ranger Tug owners, Bob & Nita, on Nellie Too, several times. The first time we met them was at the Ranger Tug Rendezvous in Bremerton. It was our first experience with the Ranger Tug community. Bob and Nita bring their commercial-size margarita blender to all the rendezvous and happily serve everyone their delicious margaritas. They made a big impression on us then and we come to love connecting with them when boating in this part of the U.S. When Bob & Nita found out we were coming to Anacortes for a week, before we departed for our month-long stay in Victoria, they tried to anticipate our…

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Port Of Port Townsend – The Big Boy Boat Yard

Port of Port Townsend – The Big Boy Boat Yard

A Boat Yard with Muscle! Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven is a massive boat yard with 475 commercial and recreational vessels and more than sixty marine trades businesses located on the property. You can get anything from a complete boat restoration to bottom painting, major or minor repairs. Not only that but, you can have coffee, lunch, dinner or grab a beer and buy fish all at different establishments right in the yard, it’s that big. With a Laundromat, a couple of restaurants and a brewery located on the grounds, you don't need to go far to take care of the necessities and to top it off there is a full-sized grocery store right across the street. We stayed at the marina for a night before we were scheduled to be lifted out of the water for  our bottom paint job. Work was done by BUMS. So the next day Kismet joined the huge fishing boats, trawlers and yachts on jack stands in…

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First Nation Woodcarver, Nelson

First Nation Woodcarver, Nelson

First Nation Woodcarver, Nelson is Very Talented –  Life is interesting. Sometimes things happen for a reason and maybe there is that element of how things were just meant to be… we call it, Kismet. Our son, Ross had a birthday coming up so we were on the lookout for a memorable gift. During our stay in Victoria, we had lots of time to think on this and do the legwork. He and Sarah were expecting their second child shortly after his birthday, a new playmate for their first born, Silas. One day, while walking the waterfront, downtown Victoria we came across Nelson, a First Nation woodcarver. Nelson, with his ever present smile and pleasant demeanor, sells his carvings in his open-air shop at the base of the inner harbor in front of the Empress Hotel most of the year. We immediately took a liking to Nelson as he explained to us the First Nation meaning behind each of his…

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Easy Access To Downtown Victoria BC

Easy Access to Downtown Victoria BC

Yes! That is a Palm Tree in Beautiful Downtown Victoria BC See photo (above) Downtown Victoria BC sits on the northeast shore of Victoria Harbour along James Bay and the Inner Harbour, just a short walk from our marina, Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina. Our month here in Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, started the first of February. February is not really cruising weather per se, but more of an opportunity for us to explore and absorb our surroundings, interact with friendly Canadians and acquire another perspective about life on the other side of our northern border. While we are not really out on the water actively cruising, we are walking a lot and getting a feel for what it's like to live downtown in this amazing city. We walked–we shopped–we ate. We walked–we shopped–we ate. As you can see in the photos – We mostly walked, shopped and ate. We typically take our boat to Florida for the winter months, but this year, because we are hovering around the…

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Mexican Night Onboard Moondragon

Mexican Night Onboard Moondragon

Moondragon – Thirty-one People Onboard for Mexican Night! The winter party was just down the dock from us on Moondragon, an old Chinese Junk boat (circa 1970). Boaters have the best parties! Never so true as last night with this group of boaters in Victoria, BC. Even though we have only been here two weeks, we felt like part of the family here at Coast Harbourside Marina. Thanks to hosts Dennis and Lynda for a fun night (many margaritas) and to the Jolly Mon Band for the fabulous music and sing-a-longs. Can you spot Jim Favors?       It was just a little tight on the boat with 31 partiers, most sat around the huge table in junk's big saloon. Friend and fellow Ranger Tugs owner, Mark, on Irish Mist, (below-left) showed up in full gear, with wig and sunglasses, helping us all feel like we were somewhere quite warmer than chilly, rainy Victoria, British Columbia. As you can see the party soon took a…

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Cruising To Victoria, British Columbia

Cruising to Victoria, British Columbia

Destination – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada We left Anacortes, with Skyline Marina in our wake (above), mid-morning for the cruise to Vancouver Island with a final destination of Victoria, British Columbia. We had planned to leave either on Sunday or Monday, depending on which day the weather looked best. We would have waited longer if needed. We don't like nasty weather cruising and by that I mean mostly high wind and waves. When Sunday arrived, Jim thought Monday looked like the best day, so we waited the extra day. As it turns out it was perfect. It was a little lumpy the first hour or so, but then smoothed out nicely as you can see from the photos below. All in all, it took about 4 hours to reach our home for the month of February, Victoria.   Vancouver Island is now in sight of Kismet's bow (above). The Olympic mountains, a massive and majestic mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula, lined our portside view…

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Seattle Boat Show In Full Swing – 2016

Seattle Boat Show in Full Swing – 2016

Lots to see at the 2016 Seattle Boat Show! As luck would have it, we would still be in Washington State during the beginning of the Seattle Boat Show. Anacortes is about 80 miles from Seattle, so it was a nice road trip for the day. Ranger Tugs/Cutwater had a huge presence at the show and a very nice display of all their Ranger Tugs and Cutwater lines. We haven't been to a boat show in quite awhile. The last one we were at in Seattle was in 2008, when we spent the winter in town waiting and watching our Fathom 40 be built. We feel going to a boat show can be a little dangerous as you never know what you might leave with after seeing all those shiny, innovative boats and yachts. We were lucky this time, we left with only a couple of bags full of giveaway stuff. We still love our Ranger Tugs R27, it's the perfect boat…

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Winter Cruising Begins In Anacortes, WA

Winter Cruising Begins in Anacortes, WA

Have You Ever Tried Winter Cruising? After spending two months at home for the holidays, we returned to Portland, OR for a week to visit with family before hooking Kismet and trailer up to the truck for the first time this year. Our immediate plan for Winter Cruising is to drive to Anacortes, Washington, on Fidalgo Island, and stay at Skyline Marina until the end of the month of January. We have reservations at the Coast Hotel and Marina in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for the whole month of February. Fellow Ranger Tugs owner and friend, Bob, on Nellie Too, met us when we arrived in Anacortes to help us with launching the boat at the Washington Park boat launch and storing our trailer. Bob also helped us secure dockage at Skyline Marina for our stay in Anacortes. Although we usually manage the launch by ourselves, it sure is quicker and easier when we have another person to ferry back and forth our truck…

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Willamette River Cruise To Downtown Portland – Day Trip

Willamette River Cruise to Downtown Portland – Day Trip

Cruise from Columbia River to Willamette River In an effort to get several cruises in before the weather turns on us, we planned a cruise from the Columbia River to the Willamette River. We left the marina with our son, Ross and grandson, Silas, to Portland within ten days of our arrival. This will be Silas' third boat trip on Kismet. His first trip was when he was just four days old. The second was in Traverse City last summer. We think he is starting to be old enough to appreciate what our tug can do on the water.   There are nine bridges in downtown Portland. In all, we passed under eleven bridges on our Willamette River cruise. The Bridges of Portland, Oregon "Who's driving the boat papa?" "Oh, now I am!"     Things really got exciting for Silas when papa gave him the wheel. Look at that expression. Silas is on his way to being a boater.  …

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Government Island – Friends On Board In Portland, Oregon

Government Island – Friends On Board in Portland, Oregon

Government Island is Just a Short Cruise from Salpare Marina. Having just arrived at Salpare Marina, in Portland, Oregon, at the begining of October, we didn't want to waste any time getting out on the water while the weather was still good. A good day presented itself and we called our friends, Patti and Eric to come down to the boat for a cruise out to Government Island. It really was a great day, with blue skies, calm water and a sunny warmth shining down on us. (Glad we did because there were not many days like that during our six week stay). Government Island is not far from the marina, so it was a quick trip there. We packed plenty of food for the afternoon excursion and we were satisfied to just cruise the short way to anchor. Time just flew by as we caught up on the time since we had all last been together. Patti and Eric always make us feel so welcome…

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Salpare Bay Marina – On The Columbia River – Portland, Oregon

Salpare Bay Marina – On the Columbia River – Portland, Oregon

Salpare Bay Marina is located on Hayden Island, in the Columbia River, north of Portland, OR, across from Vancouver, WA. Salpare Bay Marina is home for the crew of Kismet for six weeks while we visit family in Portland Oregon. We've stayed at two marinas in Portland over the years with our trailerable tug. Our first visit was in 2011 and we stayed at the Riverplace Marina. While it was fairly exciting to be in the thick of things in downtown Portland, with beautiful walking paths along the river, restaurants and shopping within short distance of the marina, our main problem with that location is there is little to no parking, especially for a truck and trailer. We had to scout out a vacant lot up river to park our rig and it was a little inconvienient. However, we did have family and friends nearby to pick us up if we needed anything during our stay. At the time, we stayed at Riverside a week…

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Staging Storing In Portland, Oregon

Staging Storing in Portland, Oregon

Staging Storing Whenever we plan a major trip, usually once a year if we can manage, it usually involves what we like to call "Staging Storing." We often need to stage our boat somewhere near our intended future cruising area well before we actually start cruising. Whether it be storage or docking somewhere nearby to avoid weather restrictions, to avoid higher costs, or we think we'd like to take in some interesting activity short of our final destination – making plans to stage and store the boat is an important element of trip planning. Our cruising plans for the next year will be focused on the Pacific Northwest, primarily Puget Sound and British Columbia. We often take our boat south to Florida for the winter months. In that scenario, we'd take a trip in the fall, to ferry Kismet well away from Michigan and it's brutal winters, to stage and store her in a warmer state, Tennessee or Alabama for instance. Maybe we'll cruise somewhere nearby the staging/storage area…

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Coeur ď Alene, Idaho – Last Stop On The Road For Kismet

Coeur ď Alene, Idaho – Last Stop on the Road for Kismet

Having never stopped in Coeur ď Alene before, during our travels across the northern part of the U.S.A., we decided it was high time we stayed at least a night near town and had a look-see. It is so much fun driving through parts of Montana and Idaho. The mountainous vistas and open skies are inspiring and entertaining, perking up the weary bodies near the end of our cross-country trip. Mid-afternoon, our RV Park app directed us to a park on Blackwell Island, located just across the Spokane River from Coeur ď Alene. Nice looking RV park, great location near the downtown area and, with it being off-season, plenty of available sites for the night. However, we had a little snag while checking in. Blackwell Island RV Park, in Coeur ď Alene has a policy about not allowing boats to stay at their campground. First we explained how we are like any RV, but just a different shape with an added benefit of being able to float.…

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Montana RV Park Stops – On The Way To Portland, Oregon

Montana RV Park Stops – On the Way to Portland, Oregon

Miles City and Cardwell – Our Montana RV Park Stops Miles City, Montana RV Park was our next stop while driving to Portland, Oregon. In this part of the country, while driving west on I-90, we look on one of our RV apps to see what place is closest to the Interstate. We don't need to drive way off our route to get to an RV park. We aren't necessarily looking for a primo park, our requirements are very simple. We like a pull-through if possible, our rig is a total of about 55 feet (35 feet for just the boat and trailer), but we can back in and disengage the truck to park alongside if the site is not long enough. Our only other requirement is 30-amp power hook-up which most parks have, but not all. We need electricity to power our small plug-in heater. While the daytime temps are quite warm, it can get cold at night in these parts. Our…

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