Fighting Rapids at Squirrel Cove – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

We left Pendrell Sound this morning to motor over to Squirrel Cove. Several boaters recommended this spot as a very well protected anchorage and since our weather turned a little sour we decided the cove might just be the ticket for a good night's sleep. The photo below not only shows a pretty typical type of cruising boat in Canada's Desolation Sound but some of the huge logs boaters have to contend with when cruising this area. Squirrel Cove is a popular place, it provides a very protected anchorage for a large number of boats and, as a bonus, there's…

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Swimmingly Warm in Pendrell Sound – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

We left our anchorage at Octopus Islands late morning, during slack tide, to head to Pendrell Sound. Just as most days during this trip, we had sunny skies and calm waters for our day's cruise. "How was the swimming?" We often get asked this question in regards to how a cruising territory meets some pretty typical boater's desired water activities. The reason I bring this up in this post has to do with our stop in Pendrell Sound. British Columbia's Desolation Sound is located within close proximity to the 50th parallel. As a reference the only place above this parallel,…

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Negotiating Rapids At Hole In The Wall – Octopus Islands Marine Park, Desolation Sound

After a restful time at Toba Wildernest we departed late morning for Octopus Islands Marine Park on Quadra Island in Desolation Sound. Our departure was timed according to the tide schedule to achieve safe passage to and from the Octopus Islands area. Boaters have to properly negotiate one to three sets of rapids through narrow, shallow passages, depending on one's chosen destination. "Rapids?" You may ask, "How the heck does someone do this in a boat?" First of all the key is to do it "properly." The tide fluctuates twice per day, up to 12 feet per cycle, but usually…

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Something Special About Toba Wildernest

We found Toba Inlet to be some of the most beautiful areas in Desolation Sound. When we were there the water was that greenish color, almost like we'd see in the Bahamas, it seemed to have phosphorescent glow about it. As we approached Toba Wildernest Resort, we enjoyed a parade of boats passing us as they left the marina. As we slowly approached the marina dock I radioed Kyle, who gave me instructions to dock on the inside of the T dock closest to shore. My immediate concern was if there would be enough water being that close to shore. With…

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Cruising Homfray Channel to Walsh Cove, British Columbia

One of the beauties of cruising in Desolation Sound is that when you leave one place you have plenty of spots to consider for your next days docking or anchorage. We left Laura Cove after the three-day holiday weekend and headed northeast up Homfray Channel. We passed Homfray Lodge, a stop recommended by some friends, but we decided to pass on it and continue cruising as we were hoping for a black bear sighting. We had heard bears were often sighted along the shoreline of the channel, however, after striking out on the bear sighting, we cruised up to Wildernest…

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Lots Of Rocks In Laura Cove

During our three days in Laura Cove, we swam next to the boat every day in the clear, warm water, we hiked a little, took dinghy rides around Prideaux Haven to explore and visit with other boaters we knew who were also staying in one of the coves for the Canadian holiday weekend. We liked our spot. There were three other boats rafted off the narrower tip of the rock and a few more on the other side but there wasn't any room for another boat to stern anchor in our vicinity. We took a dinghy ride over to Melanie Cove, still lots…

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Settled Into Laura Cove For Canada’s Civic Holiday – Another Hike To Unwin Lake

Once our anchor was set and lines tied to the big rock, Lisa prepared lunch to take out on a dinghy exploration of the surrounding area. We ventured out of the cove into Homfrey Channel turned the outboard off and floated around while having lunch with a spectacular mountain view surrounding us off in the distance. Afterwards I dropped Lisa off at the boat and continued on, by dinghy, to a hiking trail located off Melanie Cove. I'd read about this trail somewhere and how it leads up to Unwin Lake, the fresh water lake we'd hiked to and swam…

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Cruising To Prideaux Haven

Checking Out Melanie and Laura Coves Prideaux Haven, the area made up of Melanie and Laura Coves, is where we cruised to next. As you can see from the photos it was a spectacular day for cruising in Desolation Sound. This area is a very popular anchorage in Desolation Sound and since we knew ahead of time we were going during Canada's Civic Holiday, a three-day weekend, we knew it would be a busy place. As we neared Prideaux Haven, we followed a few boats into Melanie Cove and found it to be quite large and filled with boats of…

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Fueling and Provisioning at Refuge Cove

We haven't been out cruising in Desolation Sound that long, this being our fifth day, but we missed getting fuel while we were at Gorge (it was busy when we left and we didn't want to wait). So when we left Teakerne Arm we thought we'd head over to Refuge Cove, a fully functioning marina and year-round community, centrally located on West Redona Island in the heart of Desolation Sound. We wanted to fuel up and top off our water supply. Refuge Cove is a relic of a past time. We marveled at how the store still stands in one…

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Teakerne Arm – Wilderness With A Waterfall And Fresh Water Lake

Leaving Grace Harbour, we  had a short cruise to Lewis Channel before we made a turn up into Teakerne Arm and another anchorage in the wilderness. In the open waters I kept seeing a distinctive peak off in the distance, it seemed to appear from behind and above the waterside hills, fjords and mountains as if it was following us as we worked our way around Desolation Sound. With a little research I found Mount Denman (the pointy tipped mountain in the middle of the photo below - taken from just outside Melanie Cove) to be 6,299 feet high, it…

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Gorge Harbour, British Columbia

We could not have had a better weather day to cruise from Comox to Gorge, BC, the last stop for the Ranger Tugs group cruise, after a little down time and one last party at the marina, we'll all go our separate ways to explore Desolation Sound. As we all slowly trickled out of the marina, glassy water awaited us, the kind every boater dreams of for a first rate cruising day. We also got our first glimpse of some snow capped mountains off on the horizon. A short way out we crossed paths with the fishing boat we brought…

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A Top-Notch Marina in Sidney, Canada

Sidney, not Ohio or Australia, a city on Vancouver Island was our next stop after Butchart Gardens. Working our way north out of Saanich Inlet and then east through Satellite Channel we ducked into John Passage, at less then slack tide, for a short cruise south to Sidney. We'd heard Sidney was a busy and robust little town with all the charm of a small seaside resort. Upon arrival at the beautiful Port Sidney Marina, I went up to the showers. After quickly shaving I walked into the shower stall, got completely undressed and prepared for my nice hot shower…

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Time To Stop and Smell The Roses

After checking in with Canadian Customs at Bedwell Harbor, we continued our day's cruise over to Vancouver Island, down into Saanich Inlet continuing south to Todd Inlet's Butchart Cove. We wanted to pick up one of the free mooring balls for the night, we could then dinghy over to have a tour of the famous Butchart Gardens, located in Tod Inlet, Vancourver Island. The Butchart Garden provides five free mooring balls for visiting boaters for a one night's stay while they spend time at the garden. One of those mooring balls ahead of us has our name on it, we lucked…

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Checking In At Bedwell Harbor

When entering Canada by water boaters have to check into Canadian Customs at the first available Customs Station. After anchoring in Prevost Harbor off of Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands of mainland Washington (at the northwestern furthest point in the 48 contiguous United States), we headed into Canadian waters early the next morning. Our destination was only six miles or so north, across the Canadian border to South Pender Island where we docked for a physical checkin with Canadian Customs at Poet's Cove Marina in Bedwell Harbor. With passports and boat papers in hand I headed up to…

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Positioning Ourselves In Prevost Harbor Off Stuart Island

From Anacortes we headed straight to the northern end of the San Juan Islands to spend one night on the hook in Prevost Harbor before we checked in at customs in Bedwell Harbor, British Columbia. Stuart Island was just south of  Boundary Pass and Bedwell Harbor and just short of a heavy fog bank that just seemed to hang around the western edge of Stuart Island. As we arrived in the harbor, we immediately spotted this Fathom 40 (below - just like our previous boat, same color too), we cruised by to say hi to the owners, thought maybe we'd know them,…

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The Anacortes Connection

We'd been to Anacortes, Washington, the gateway to the San Juans Islands, several times in the past 15 years so it felt a little like a home away from home for us. After launching the boat and stowing the trailer and truck it was time to get organized for some serious PNW cruising. We needed to stock up and collect our thoughts a little. Guess the week we spent on the road took it's toll. Lisa kept saying maybe we need another day to get organized so we'd not feel so rushed, plus there were several Ranger Tug owners we…

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Family Time… In A Family Way

After dropping our boat off at the Ranger Tug factory in Kent Washington for an auto pilot install we drove to Portland, Oregon to spend time with our son Ross, his girlfriend Sarah and our soon to be grandchild… due date early October. Lisa and I were able to spend the afternoon with Sarah while Ross was working, which included a delicious Thai lunch where she caught us up on all the pending baby plans… we couldn't be more excited for them and proud to see our family grow in yet another way. When Ross arrived home from his job…

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Boater Homing in Fruitland, Idaho

Our last two road days included a stop in Fruitland, Idaho where we selected a shady site at an RV park for the night. Still hot but bearable with the shade of the overhead trees filtering the intense heat from the sun making it comfortable sleeping in the boat. We are excited that the road trip part of the trip is just about behind us. We can't wait to get the boat back in the water. Destination reached.  

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Preparing, Packing and Planning…

After spending this past winter holed up at home in northern Michigan remodeling our kitchen, we feel we're more than ready for some new cruising adventure, so we are preparing, planning and packing to head west soon to begin another fun boating season. First we'll visit the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Northeast Utah/Southern Wyoming, then we'll continue on to Puget Sound in Washington State, there we'll put in at Anacortes and cruise north into Canada's Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and more. Check back often, the fun is soon to start.

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Last Night in Portland

We spent our last few nights in Portland at the City Dock right next to the River View Marina. Not a bad view at night with all the lights from the bridges and downtown. No amenities on the almost free dock but it's right downtown and that was a big plus for us during our visit. Late afternoon the yacht Lady M arrived to tie up across the dock from us and started to make us really feel small (below - 164' to our tiny 27'). There was a lot of excitement about this vessel when it arrived. It was…

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Today We Come to Name this Lady… Kismet

For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate... KISMET.    To the Sailors of old… to KISMET    The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this ship be given the strength to carry on. The keel is strong and she keeps out the pressures of the sea. To the Sea…To the sailors…

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Meeting Naomi…

Two nights ago, we finally got to meet Ross' girlfriend, Naomi. We live so far away from Ross and opportunities to connect are so few. So these five days in Portland with Ross and Naomi are very precious to us. They both took time off work several days to sightsee, eat out at favorite restaurants and take us on errands like the DMV, hardware and grocery store. We really got a chance to get to know Naomi and enjoyed every minute. We knew the weather was supposed to be great today so we planned a cruise downriver to the little…

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River View Marina – Portland, Oregon

On our own this time dropping Kismet into the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. We took our time and eased the trailer onto the boat ramp and into the water. Because we were going slow it took us about an hour to complete the whole process. Finding a spot to park the truck took a little more thought and time. Since we could only park the truck and trailer in the parking lot at the boat launch during the day we decided to take it up river to a spot Jim heard about from another boater, we could leave the…

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Back to the Factory to Pick Up Boat and Trailer

After a few minor fixes and upgrades we prepare to depart from the Ranger Tug factory in Kent, WA. Kenny (below-left) helped us get on our way by checking tire pressure and helping with hitching the boat to our truck for the first time. We'll be heading to Portland, Oregon today (a two-day trip for us) to visit our son, Ross and meet his girlfriend, Naomi.

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Sleeping in Seattle

After a walk through the market, and dinner still warm in our tummies, we were treated to a full moon and the bright lights of downtown Seattle. A great way to end our stay on the water in Washington State. We'll take the boat out of the water and drive down to the factory for some minor adjustments to Kismet and while this is being done we'll drive over to the Olympic Penninsula to visit the Hoh National Rainforest. We were not able to visit the rainforest when were were here in 2008 due to unusual flooding that year which…

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