Today will be our next big challenge as we will cross out into open water and through the Straits of Georgia. Based on current conditions we will see rainy and windy weather which will result in choppy water and then there is this minor issue of an active Torpedo Range called Whiskey Gulf which we will have to steer around the northeast corner. As luck would have it the coast guard confirmed that the range was indeed active today and so we will be very careful as not to enter the range.
We once again made the decision to leave the marina first so ropes off at 7:37AM. We managed to get off the dock with no help and off we went. The first thirty minutes was in calm protected waters and was ok but once we entered the Straits of Georgia the waves began to build up. It started with about 3 footers but within about an hour we were running through 3-6 foot seas. Little kitty was not pleased at all. Domino has a round bottom like a sailboat with a bit less keel, so the boat is very sea worthy but to those on land a round bottom boat equals rolly boat!. So imagine taking your house and rolling it back and worth pretty significantly with all its stuff homogenizing together s it rolls. Andrew was great and handled the helm and I handled the kitty and the flying stuff! Patience has been great so far so I hope this one rolly day won’t make her hate boating. No one wants an unhappy cat on board! She seemed more confused and scarred and I couldn’t tell but perhaps a little sea sick. Andrew and I did fine. In fact we spent 3.5 hours facing 6 foot waves and the sea to starboard beam with a seven second period. The Domino handled the waves beautifully and about two hours into the passage, I settled down with the Little Kitty and took a nap. She really did not want to be left alone so I snuggled her up and she fell asleep in my arms just like she did when she was a little kitten. Now for those of you who know Ms. Patience, she is not a cat to be held while she sleeps! She would prefer to be near her humans but remain in control and not be hugged! Not so today, and I enjoyed being there with her and making her feel safe. I guess you could say that today, I was her safe habor. Safe Harbor is an old navigators term but it is also a legal term that obliges port towns to render a safe place for boaters to land in bad weather or troubled waters. Once we entered Welcome Passage, which it most certainly was, she regained her senses and off she went to the other side of the bed to continue her nap. We rounded Merry Island and then sunshine Island but there was absolutely no sunshine today.
She slept most of the day so I suspect that she was a combination of freaked out and sea sick but she is fine now and demanding fresh fish and will barely touch her real cat food now.
We continue to learn to watch the gauges and instruments that report on engine, water temp, amps, volts, oil pressure, etc. It is important that you stay healthy but it is just as important that your boat stays healthy and no one wants to intentionally go adrift and be facing beam seas which by the way is exactly what we are faced today. A beam sea is when the wave are coming at you from one side of the boat or the other. For those of you at home watching, don’t worry this boat can take it and it is yet to be determined just how much Andrew and I can take, but so far so good.
This week also marks my 6th week on Humera and my skin is completely clear. It is amazing. I haven’t itched in weeks and I can sleep through the night and in fact I am beginning to understand that it has been years since I have actually slept through the night. How can someone be happy if they can’t sleep at night? Amazing, at 53 I had somehow forgotten the important of safe harbor. We all we all need safe place to land from time to time and occasional aid. The kitty needed it today and I am learning that I have to ask for it as well when the waters are troubled on the boat and in my own life. Additionally, we should all render aid when it is needed even if it is not required because helping each other that is really the only reason that we exist. The help and support that I am getting today from my husband, my friends my family, my company, my work colleagues and Humera are my safe harbor today and I am so very fortunate to recognize this before it was too late. I beginning to again see the importance of looking for a safe harbor whenever there is chaos or foul weather so that I can remain healthy, safe and strong and recapture my own strength so that I can offer the safe harbor that I know that I am capable of rendering to others.
At 1:00 we happily arrived at Garden Bay Marina. Boats were stacked on finger docks so we had to parallel the boat into an open spot. Andrew headed into the spot and was able with some help from me, the ropes and a dock hand on shore we landed safely. Getting out tomorrow is a whole other thing! Once docked we took a dinghy ride to get more fuel for the dinghy and then came back and walked to Laverne’s for lunch. Laverne’s is a fabulous little diner that has been around for ~30 years. You’ll get a kick out of this but we had to go there because they are known for their homemade shakes and of course great food but Andrew was focused on the shake! We ordered fish and chips and order of onion rings and a chocolate milkshake. The milkshake arrived with two straws which always annoys Andrew because then he has to share. The shake was delivered in the large stainless mixing cup and it was entirely full. FANTASTIC! A huge plate of piping hot rings arrived and we tucked into the plate. Then the fish and ships arrived and oh my, my! Two large pieces of fresh cod and a pile of fries. Now we have plenty of food aboard but it is just fun when you get a chance to eat at some of the local places as they are full of charm! We loved the meal and then I had to meet the chef. I walked up to the counter and introduced myself and asked if the chef in front of me was Laverne and indeed it was. Laverne was so kind and gracious that she let me walk into her kitchen and look around. This incredible woman is rocking some of the freshest and best tasting fish and chips that I have ever inhaled! Everything from the milkshake, the rings to the fish and chips was so nicely done. The batter was light and tasty, the fish was fresh and the ice cream was real! The batter was hugging the fish and golden brown and crunchy and tender all at the same time. The batter was so well composed that it held up with salt and vinegar added and after all without vinegar it really isn’t fish and chips! Laverne has arranged a small diner into a cozy homey welcoming place to be and the view from Laverne’s is worth $10MM at least that is what she would pay for that view in California. The picture included is of Laverne with short dark hair, Tammy and Sandy her helper (forgot to ask if Sandy was help or part of the ownership family). Laverne is located at the top of a small hill and looks out across the lovely bay. Laverne’s is surrounded by trees and it was lovely 5 minute walk from the dock up the street through a beautiful wooded area. If I had to do it again, I would walk through the rain and wind to eat at Laverne’s. We give this place 5 out 5 Texas Stars! (My new rating system for the food awe find along the way.) Laverne’s go on the map for the trip back.
We met the group for dinner and another fabulous meal at the Marina Pub. The staff is so friendly and accommodating. Andrew and I were still pretty stuffed from Lavern’s so we ordered the seafood chowder and a walnut spinach salad. Once again the ball was hit out of the park, The chowder was incredible and obviously fresh. There were chunks of all kinds of seafood and the broth was creamy and rich and seasoned perfectly. Each bite was a warm welcoming reminder of homemade soup from my childhood. The salad was also very fresh and the ingredients were well thought out. Each bite was a warm welcoming and this meal wrapped up a brief but relaxing and enjoyable stay in Pender Harbour.
Kitty has recovered and started to figure us for the rough seas today. She snuggled in with Andrew I in the cozy master bed and we all fell blissfully off. I will be dreaming of Laverne’s and those fabulous fish and chips.
Left Dock/Weighed anchor: 7:37 AM
Cruise Log: 35 Nautical Miles,
Weather Conditions: Gray skies, rainy and wind @ ~20 Kts, 2-3 foot seas building up to 6 foot seas by mid morning.
Wildlife Sighting: Kitty because she does not like a rocking boat!
Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Docked @ 1:00
Slip for the night $60.50
Time today Helm for TEA: 1.5 hrs
Time today Helm for ACA: 5.5hrs
Lessons learned: Batten down the hatches and everything else on board including the LITTLE KITTY.
Fun Meals while underway: No breakfast, not hungry, we ate a big dinner at Pub last night so cereal onboard. Still taking the easy route! Cheddar Cheese, Chorizo Biscuits for happy hour last night.