Day 24 overall, Day 17 afloat, Bottleneck Inlet to Bishops Bay (6-15-15) HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW

Pictures: Heron on shore, we rafted THE BOATS, shepard’s pie and people photos. Hot Springs, photo of Fortunate

Blog Reader, Blog Reader, Blog Reader, another day BIG DAY on vessel Domino and Tammy here at the Blog. We are celebrating Andrew’s 44th Birthday. What a place to celebrate your birthday right?

Anchor up at 8:16, running lights are on and the instruments are all reading normal. We did a morning check of the engine room and things are running quite well. No problems since we tightened up the alternator belt and no more squeaking. Thanks Kevin and Sam for the advice.

It is a quiet, beautiful, sunny, peaceful day. BC has once again given us the perfect day to cruise and a really beautiful day to celebrate Andrew’s Birthday. It will be long day as we make our way through another 54 NM as we make our way to Bishop’s Bay. This will give me time to work on Andrew’s Birthday celebration and Captain Andrew can do whatever he wants today because today is his name day! A big thank you to Carol, Richard and Michael for having such a great guy and raising up such a wonderful man! Also, not to be forgotten and most importantly, thank you to Andrew’s brother and sisters, John, Allison, Andy and Jennifer for letting Andrew live to adult hood. Story I have been told, from reliable sources, is that Mr. Andrew was well known for his precocity as a youngster but those stories will hold for another day and oh that day is coming. Too much material there to just let that go!

We started the day with a big birthday and hug followed by VHF calls from the entire flotilla wishing Andrew a Happy Birthday. My God if there is better way to live than Andrew and I are living right here and right than we have wasted too much time getting here and I need to exercise my imagination and wake up my heart beyond today and tomorrow and find it! We radioed back and invited everyone to dinner to celebrate Andrew’s big day. Andrew chose Shepard’s Pie for his birthday so into the Galley we go and I will be busy there most of the journey. I sang while I cooked to tease him. It sounded like this;

(This is for Alyssa, Bailey and Aiden and hopefully they will sing along!)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, You look like a monkey and you smell like one too!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Because you smell like a monkey, you belong in a zoo!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, You hair line is fading and you your waist line is too!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, You wish I would stop singing and now you’re singing too!

Happy Birthday my adorable, loveable, smart and adventuresome Hubby! And many more!

10:45: Ran and Jan, on the Discovery, are ahead of us this morning. Ran radioed back to give us coordinates for a bear they just spotted. Once we arrived at Flat Point, because as is typical we running cleanup, we slowed down and sure enough there was the bear. It looked young and very thin and it appeared to be eating everything it could grab. Kevin and Sam tell us that these bears make their way to the grassy areas near the shore and eat grass until the salmon start running. So they eat grass and then turn over stones and eat crabs, etc. They also dig in the mud and eat clams but I am sure that they look forward to the time when they will fill their bellies to the top with fish! So it appears that if you want to see bears on the shore, in the spring, you must start by looking at these green grassy open areas. Once you know “HOW TO LOOK” you start seeing all kinds of things. I think I am finally starting to remember “HOW TO LOOK” again and British Columbia is paying me back in spades! I just want to keep looking!

12:24 A school of black and white porpoises. We thought they were orcas at first but then they start flipping and jumping out the water and you know pretty quickly that they are not whales. Man these guys are fun to watch.

12:50 Passing Butte Dale, on Princess Royal Island, which is an abandoned town on the water front. It is now privately owned and managed by a full time caretaker that lives there with his dog and cat. The cat and dog are best friends and come running out to great every boat that comes to the dock. The dock is in pretty bad shape but Sandy and Dale made a quick side trip in and met the caretaker Cory Lindsay The town has fallen down in the last 10-15 years despite attempts by preservation societies to restore the building. You have to radio in and request permission to come to shore and the caretaker seems glad for the company. Why go there? Well despite the fact that ghost towns seem to attract people, Butedale has an amazing waterfall and Big Halibut can be caught just offshore of the island. It seems that these towns were mostly sponsored by canneries in the past 20 years but those canneries have moved around and consolidated and left these small towns to perish and return all the building materials to the earth and into the sea. The island was purchased in 2013 and we hope that the new owner will rebuild and save the island and the history with it. We motor on, because remember that we are slower than most of the flotilla, but we will stop at many of these places on the way back. Cory—See you soon! We can’t wait to meet the dog and the cat. Perhaps our little kitty, Patience, will make friends.

1:30- Fresh crab salad made from the crabs that I caught last night! Yummy…. Now back to the party preparations. I should call this blog, tasty meals in a tiny little kitchen (or at least we hope they turn out tasty).

5:00 arrived at Bishops Bay which is a first come first serve location. There is a small dock which is no longer connected to shore but is stable but only holds a few boats. Arriving late means that you grab a mooring ball and raft up with other boats. Sam suggested that we raft up with Fortunate and Safe Harbour. We easily got the boats tied together and Sam was in the middle and tied to the mooring ball but about 30 minutes later we realized that we were moving the mooring ball and getting closer to shore so we had to break up the raft. Sam and Kevin made their way to anchor and then we rafted to them so that we would have a Birthday barge and have plenty of room for the part. So exciting and we learn how to use the mooring balls and rafting.

We have all the ingredients ready for the party now I just have to put it all together and in the oven.

7:00- The perfect party ingredients:

  • Raft a 37 foot Nordic Tug to a 40 foot Willard in a spectacular location like Bishop’s Bay
  • Put an all hands call out on the VHF for a potluck and hands come together and produce a potluck for the likes of Neptune! We have home-made sour dour bread, freshly caught fried fish, wonderful fresh green salad and two kinds of potato salad (Kevin made mustard potato salad especially for Andrew since he does not prefer mayonnaise), pasta salad and Shepard’s pie! I would party and eat with this group anyday. Wine to drink or in Andrew’s case a rum and coke and the feast begins.
  • Fill you plates and make sure that food is demolished.
  • Add a round of the Happy Birthday song (the nice version, not the one I sang earlier) and a very nice card from everyone in the flotilla.
  • Add a cheer of pure joy from Tammy because, I kid you not, the boys did the dishes! Thanks Sam and Ran!
  • Move the party to the next location by motoring up the Dinghies and we all head to shore to climb up the board walk up to the natural hot springs hot tub. A natural spot carved out of rocks which fills itself with hot springs, unbelievably cool and just below another pool. Water cascades down the layers and cools and then eventually runs into the bay. So pick your pool by temperature. Water is flushing through constantly so water is as clean as it is when it comes from the ground. Eat your heart out local health spa, Mama Nature wins again!
  • Final product: A Happy Birthday Boy on a day that simply can’t be replicated but will always be remembered!
  • Add one last look at the scenery before going to bed and there it was a rainbow to end the day. Happy Birthday Andrew, the rainbow was a special request!

Happy 44th my handsome man! Thank you Waggoner flotilla; Sam, Kevin, Ran, Jan, Sandy, Dale, Eileen and Dan for coming together, as only this group can do, and helping me celebrate Andrew and his special day! You have given Andrew a wonderful gift on this trip and we have really enjoyed spending time with you all. Heaven knows what I am going to have to pull off for number 45 to top this!

This is Tammy, full, happy, soaked like a prune and surrounded by new friends that both Andrew and I enjoy. I am ready for a nightcap and this is the vessel Domino signing off for the night. See you tomorrow on VHF channel 68.

  • Left Dock/Weighed anchor: Anchor up and underway 8:16 AM
  • Cruise Log: 54 Nautical Miles
  • Weather Conditions: Mostly Sunny and traveling most of today in a protected channel and wind will be of little consideration or effect.
  • Navigational Obstacles: Learning more about our radar and how to track other boats. Easy day of boating.
  • Wildlife Sighting: Bear and black and white porpoises. Also a lot of boaters in a natural hot tub. Uh oh we just placed ourselves in a hotpot isn’t that what happens to crabs before we eat them?
  • Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Arrived @ 5:00 PM, rafted up on mooring ball and then un-rafted and re-rafted on Safe Harbour who has dropped their anchor.
  • Slip for the night: $0
  • Time today Helm for TEA: 2.5 hrs
  • Time today Helm for ACA: 6 hrs
  • Lessons learned: Rafting with other boats and using mooring balls and then dragging a mooring ball and what that looks like!
  • Fun Meals underway: Fresh crab salad and Shepard Pie

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