Andrew and I woke up about 6:00. It is Sunday morning and I can assure you that we never wake up this early in Houston on a Sunday morning. How in the world did he and I get to be morning people this quick? We are both nervous this morning, the little kitty has no idea what she signed up for and is still sound asleep. Here we are, do we have the nerve and can we actually do this trip safely. The weather is calm and there is a slight breeze and it is wonderfully quiet outside. I can hear the water and the seagulls. We were both too nervous to eat anything so we checked that things were fastened down all over the boat.
Early on we decided together that Andrew would be the captain, based on his boating experience, and that I will serve as first mate and helmswomen. We both think that is incredibly important that one person be in charge on a boat BUT that all people should be responsible and capable. So for the next 3 months Andrew is not only my husband but he is now also my captain. (I will let you know how that works out for our marriage!) I will take my turn at navigating and at the helm and we will as a team make important decisions and chart navigational courses.
This morning we decided that we would prefer to be ahead of the group rather than behind. So at 7:15 AM, which is earlier than I normally get to work, we untied the boat and with a little help from Sam we let the current float us out of our slip and with no trouble at all we turned the boat and headed out of Cap Sante with a commitment to each other that once we started we were not turning back! Safety first and foremost of course. I climbed, yes I said climbed up on the gunwales of the ship (which is a nautical term to describe the 5 inch plank walk around or foot rails on each side of the boat. Every time we leave a dock I have to climb up on the Gunwales, grab the overhead grab bar and shimmy my way up the side of the boat and pull in all the fenders (which is big rubber bumpers to protect the boat from the dock or protect the dock from the driver) as well pull in and neaten up the bow, midship and stern ties so that they are ready to go out at the next dock. I actually am starting to get the hang of it. I am in my life jacket and boat shoes and am fully prepared for the first time I fall in the drink! I promise to share that as well, even though I will be thoroughly embarrassed.
We discovered underway that the VHS is not sending. We will be checking the antenna cable, so that item goes on the list! The flotilla caught up with us and passed us before we reached Bedwell. They all had Nexus cards and cleared Customs pretty quickly and were out of Bedwell long before we reached the dock. We could see Sam in the distance headed towards Ganges.
I spent the morning making sure that the boat book was ready for customs and that I had made a Customs Declaration list for Andrew to read from once we arrived at Bedwell Harbor. We arrived at Bedwell Harbor at 12:29 and had to figure out which dock to tie up to. It is a quiet calm, peaceful little place. There is small beach and I could see a slight woman out on a paddle board with her small dog (in his lifejacket little kitty) enjoying the beautiful conditions. I have learned to tie under and bring the rope back into the boat for quick release. Only the captain can leave the boat at customs dock so Andrew took the boat book and walked up to the top of the dock and picked up a phone and called into customs office and reached Ottawa. She asked him some very specific questions about all on board including little kitty, the boat and the boat ownership. Are we importing fire arms, tobacco, alcohol or chicken? Nope to most and yes to some lovely wine and a few bottles of ships stores, (open bottles which don’t usually count.) And that was that! We got a clearance number and we wrote it on a piece of paper and posted it in the Starboard helms window. We are now legally in Canada.
Another 2 hours underway from Bedwell to Ganges. Large hazard in the entrance of the marina called “MONEY MAKER ROCK”. This was the navigational hazard for the day. We were both very nervous but made our way through and into a very tight slip with very little trouble. We were welcomed by Sam , Kevin, Eileen and Dan. Great to have friends help with the ropes! We were docked in a few minutes and then off the boat to stretch our legs including the little kitty. (Have to keep my eyes out for eagles because she probably looks like lunch to them.)
Free taxi ride to the big grocery store for fresh meat and produce shopping. I am so tired of buying groceries. Good thing this is the last time in a while. HOLY COW is chicken expensive in Canada. Andrew also purchased a bottle of Lamb’s 151 Rum in honor of the Adams grandparents and I got Guinness! We gathered our last minute items and headed back to the taxi which is generously paid for by the grocery store in exchange for a lot of your money for food! We unpacked and then cleaned up and then headed to the marina pub called MOBY’s for dinner with the group and to wait for the arrival of the Sandy and Dale, remember that they are on their 26’ Sea Ray and running up to us after their incredibly long day from San Diego!
Tomorrow we don’t leave until 12:00 so Eileen, Dan and I are going to walk the other direction to the town of Ganges and poke around for a few hours. Andrew will be making contact with family and booking last minute airlines tickets for family members to visit us this summer. So far so good and we are both feeling much more confident and happy. We are doing ok and neither of us is unhappy or having any regards yet. We are both tired but catching up on sleep by going to bed at 9:00 even though it is still light out until 10:00ish or later. It is amazing how much work it took to get ready for this adventure, both emotionally and physically.
Off to $9.00 fish and chips night at Moby’s Pub! YUMMY and Highly rated!
Left Dock/Weighed anchor: 7:11
Cruise Log: 31.4NM to Bedwell + 7.3NM to Ganges, 7 hrs
Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Dock at 12:29 -Bedwell Harbor. Cleared Customs in 10 minutes.
Weather Conditions: Calm, fog early that burned off quickly, light breeze and very favorable, 4 knots on our stern which pushed us to 10 knots!
Wildlife Sighting: Harbor seals and Seagulls
Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: 2:11 PM
Slip for the night: Ganges- Salt Spring Marina-Slip A8 @ $57.50
Time today Helm for TEA: 2.5 hrs
Time today Helm for ACA: 4.5 hrs
Lessons learned: We have to be able to really trust one another so Andrew left the Helm and took a shower while underway. Diesel engine heats the water so you get a great hot shower while boat is running. Kitty likes to sit on the helm chair and watch or sleep as we navigate. We have decided that the boom should be down while underway in case we hit heavy seas so that it doesn’t knock against the mast. We forgot to replace the wind shield wipers and now have a project list which seems essentially to keep up with daily items. I love me some bungees cords! I had no idea how marvelous bungees cords could be! They can fasten anything together and hold it there. I am getting better at the ropes and Andrew is getting more confident at docking. I am going to have to take a turn soon and will be very nervous.
Fun Meals while underway: Sandwiches…..boring but easy.