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Hunter Rendezvous 2012
Friday...June 1, 2012
We purchased our Hunter 340 sail boat from Specialty Yachts on Granville Island in Vancouver. Every year they sponsor a Hunter Owner Rendezvous. As in the past, this year's rendezvous is being held at the Telegraph Harbour Marina on Thetis Island (just south of Ladysmith BC). We heard from other Hunter boat owners that they put on quite the event so we decided to take BeeJay down.
The event is held the week-end of June 8th and 9th. It will take us at least 2 1/2 days to get there so we decided to head out tomorrow and take our time going down. Our friends Val and Terry Smith are heading out from their moorage on the Fraser River and plan to meet us on the mooring buoys at Newcastle Island (near Nanaimo BC). We will do some poking around with them for a couple days before we have to head for the rendezvous.
We are better prepared for this trip. Larry took back the 12V cooler that we purchased from Costco last month. We were not too happy with it. We bit the dust and purchased a Nova Kool 45 litre frig/freezer cooler from Ocean Pacific Marine sales in Campbell River. It is a lot more expensive than the first one but far more efficient. At the moment we have it full of vegetables, pop, and cheese. Our built-in unit is full of our frozen goods, eggs, milk, dressings, etc. Between the two we should be able to manage quite well for several weeks. The portable cooler can be turned into a freezer if we need it for freezing fish or shell fish.
When Larry mentioned that he would like to get a better portable frig/freezer I suggested we get the big 60 litre size. Well, he followed my suggestion only to find that it would not fit through the opening to the V-berth where we wanted to stow it. As it turned out, the 45 litre cooler fit through the opening only when Larry took the door off! Now, it is nice and snug and handy in there. Larry was able to run a wire along the upper part of the side settee. He inserted a cigarette lighter plug on the outside wall of the locker in the V-berth. And now, we should have ample cooling space.
One of the frustrations we had experienced on our past trips was keeping fruit and vegetables fresh. We seemed to experience a lot of spoilage. This time, I washed and dried everything at home before packing it away. Lettuce seemed to be the first to go off, so I really dried it well before wrapping each head of romaine in cling wrap before putting them in those handy green bags. Then they go into a small plastic container before going into the portable cooler. Each day on our trip I will check each container for moisture and dry things off if necessary. I washed and dried zucchini, baby cucumbers, snow peas, asparagus and peppers. Potatoes, onions and carrots were not washed at home. These will get stored under the sink. It will be interesting to see how this all works out.
We left home shortly before 2PM today for our marina and managed to get all our food and clothing stowed away on BeeJay before Larry's cousin, Sheila Edgington and her husband, Paul came for a visit at 5PM. We all went over to Boston Pizza for dinner.
One of our dock buddies, Larry Seeley, is the owner of the Boston Pizza here in Campbell River. A real nice man who has given (my) Larry lots of boating tips. He also offered to park our car over by the restaurant. Parking has always been a bit of a concern for us when we are gone for a long period of time. There is a gravel parking lot that belongs to the marina. It is supposed to have surveillance cameras but recently there have been vehicle break-ins so we have been a bit concerned about leaving our car parked there. Larry Seeley said that there is usually someone in his restaurant 24 hours each day and our car should be okay if we park it under the street light in front of the restaurant.
We all had a great dinner. Be sure to give them a try whenever you are up in CR. They have a great menu....not just pizza. My favourite is their spaghetti and meatballs.
Campbell River to Deep Bay
Saturday, June 2, 2012
We managed to leave Campbell River at 10AM. It was a lovely sunny day. We motored as far as Deep Bay. We could not reach anyone at the Deep Bay Marina. It was going on 5:30PM by the time we got inside the bay. The government dock was full with commercial fish boats and tugs. A guy called us from the dock and suggested that we could raft up to a tug boat at the end of the dock. THANKS BUT NO THANKS. The tug boat had huge black and dirty tires hanging off the side and I could just see how dirty BeeJay would be by the next morning. We continued deeper into the bay and soon came to the conclusion that mooring space would be limited. There was one small space at the outside dock. We spoke to another man who said it should be okay to dock there as the owners have been away for a while...so we took our chances and with some on shore assistance we tied up with just a few feet to spare. Larry went up to the office. There was a honour system in place. Larry stuck $15.00 in an envelope and stuffed that through the mail slot. We had a good sleep despite the loud music coming from a party across the bay. And thankfully we were not booted out.
Deep Bay to Nanaimo
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Today is another lovely day for sailing the open water to Nanaimo. BeeJay departed Deep Bay at 8AM and as we motored past Schooner Cove (East side of Nanoose Bay), we were entertained with several day sailors who were participating in a regatta right in the middle of our route. They all had their sails up so it was up to us to weave in and out around them. It was really neat to witness them manoeuvre around the set markers in light winds.
Newcastle Island came in to view at 5PM and there were Val and Terry anchored off the island. We rafted up beside them in our usual spot, and of course, the first thing we did was haul out the cards!!!
Nanaimo to Silva Bay
Monday, June 4, 2012
The weather today is little iffy with lots of wind and dark storm clouds. At first we were just going to stay put at Newcastle Island. The winds died down and the rain stopped shortly after lunch so we decided to make a run for Silva Bay. Silva Bay is a large protected area located at the south east corner of Gabriola Island. The trip there was only 2.5 hours. Val and Terry got there ahead of us and had their anchor set and ready for us to raft on.
We are sure noticing the difference in boat traffic compared to our area further north. Newcastle Island was very busy and Silva Bay was chocker block packed with boats. It is a very pretty location though. We decided against going ashore to the pub....card playing was more important. Val made a delicious meat loaf for dinner.
Silva Bay Resort and Marina
Silva Bay to Wallace Island
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Today the two boats headed for Wallace Island. We had to traverse through Gabriola Passage to reach our destination and managed to go through at slack tide. Gabriola Passage is a narrow opening between the southwest end of Gabriola Island and the northwest end of Valdez Island.
Wallace Island is a small long and narrow island located in the Trincomali Channel between the two larger islands of Galiano and Salt Spring.
Not long after our arrrival, Terry and Larry put on gumboots, grabbed a small bucket and took our dinghy (WeeJay) across to the island. They hiked across the island to the east side and managed to harvest a bucket full of small butter clams and about 18 large oysters. We hung them over the side of Terry's boat in a mesh bag. This allows most of the sand to be rinsed out.
Quest for Clams
The rest of the day we spent doing small chores on board and of course, played more cards.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The winds still have not died down and the rains have not let up much so we decided to stay put. We played Pegs and Jokers most of the day before we had a delicious meal of steamed clams done with garlic and butter. Larry prepared the oysters. He cooks them in boiling water for 10 minutes. He cools them off and drains them well before rolling them in seasoned flour, then an egg wash before rolling them in Japanese bread crumbs. He pan fried them in a little olive oil....Man oh man were they ever good. We also had a small steak and Val's famous Caesar salad to go with this.
On the way over from Silva Bay, I had made up a batch of burritos for supper for the four of us. I was quite pleased with them as I made my own flour tortillas.
Wallace Island to Telegraph Harbour
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Well, the winds have let up somewhat but the rains are still pretty heavy. The sea was not too rough so we decided to head up to Telegraph Harbour Marina on Thetis Island. We parted company with Val and Terry around 11am. They actually spent another night on Wallace Island before they headed back to the mainland.
The trip to THM was a wet one. The rains came down very heavy and stayed that way until shortly after we docked. This trip took us around the north end of Saltspring Island, around the west side of Kuper Island to Telegraph Harbour Marina which is tucked on the far north side of the harbour.
The BeeJay arrived at Telegraph Harbour Marina (THM) shortly after 1:30 PM. Getting docked was a bit nerve-racking. It was low tide and our depth sounder alarm went off.....our draught is 6 feet. Our depth sounder was showing just over 6.5 feet. The owner of THM was on the dock and assured us that we will be okay. Larry had hoped to get fuel from the fuel dock but changed that plan when Ron, the owner, informed him that the fuel dock only had 5 feet of water. With Ron handling our shore lines we did manage to get docked without scraping the bottom. Fueling up will be on our agenda when we head out on Sunday. The tide tables inform us we will have more water below us on our departure day.
I was getting a little short of wine and THM did not have off sales. Ron mentioned that there was a liquor store at the Thetis Island Marina across the bay. Larry took the WeeJay over while I made more tortillas for our dinner. He seemed to be gone for a long time. In fact, I was starting to get concerned. Over an hour later he showed up without any wine. Apparently the weekend liquor supply had not come in yet. The bar keeper was waiting on the new shipment to come in on the next ferry from Chemainus. We waited one more hour before the two of us went back on WeeJay. The truck was just unloading as we arrived.
The rains had stopped and the sun was making its way out. Larry and I returned to our boat and sat out on the cockpit. There was a larger Hunter across from us. Larry had spoken to the couple from Victoria earlier. They did not seem overly friendly.....hmmm....they had two yacht club decals on the back of their boat.....we knew we were out of their class when the husband yelled over to ask if the name of our boat was "Home Depot". On our transom at the back of BeeJay there was a stack of Home Depot buckets some with holes and some without which we use for keeping our crabs alive. Anyway, it must have been a bit tacky so I convinced Larry into stowing them away but not before we brought out our "London Drugs" shopping bags to use as our shower bags!!!! Well, we will see what tomorrow brings.
Telegraph Harbour Marina is just beautiful. It is nestled in at the end of the bay, lots of dock space, fuel, water and is very busy in the summer. It has a Bistro, small store, showers, playgrounds, walks and the owners Ron and Tara are just great. We love it there.
Friday, June 8, 2012-06-11
The day turned out just great today, no wind and the sun was shining, it was a perfect day to begin the rendezvous. Our day was spent watching the boats come in and visiting up and down the dock, enjoying the shower facilities and going for a walk.
At mid-afternoon there was a knock on our boat. One of the staff was giving out welcoming gifts. Inside a canvas bag (with the Hunter logo) were two Hunter ball caps, a copy of the June issue of Pacific Yachting, a copy of the June issue of Canadian Yachting West, two Specialty Yacht pens, two key chain floats, and a sun glass holder.
The marina has a large covered pavilion which is perfect for this type of event, especially if it should rain.
The first sponsored event was an 8PM barbequed smokie, salads and beer social get together. We sat at a table with some interesting couples. One man was a retired military officer who was involved with security at the Olympics at Vancouver. He had some interesting stories to share. They now live in Victoria. Another couple, were guests on a boat but are back in the market to purchase another sail boat. They told us some interesting stories about when their two sons were 9 and 11 and took them on a two year around the world sailing trip. The boys are now in their 20's and none the worse for wear.
Saturday, June 9,
Today was a full schedule of seminars. We attended most of them and found them very informative. Sarah White of Specialty Yachts gave a demo on how to clean and maintain your winches and windlass. Sarah knows her stuff and a delight to talk to. We do not know how Specialty Yachts would manage if Sarah should leave. She is the mechanical brains behind the operation and knows her boats from stem to stern.
Members of the Ladysmith Coast Guard Auxiliary were there and offered free boat safety inspections. We were pleased that BeeJay passed 100% with our flares and extinguishers up to date as well with our life jackets certified according to Canadian Coast Guard Standards. They were mentioning that some boats could be fined up to $1500.00 by having out dated safety equipment on board. It amazes me why some boaters would be so slack with their safety equipment.
After the race, they put on a happy hour with free beer and wine and appies. Lawrence gave out a whole bunch of prizes. The first place winner of the dinghy race won a folding bike. We were amazed with the value of some of the prizes. There were two fold up bicycles, several hand held VHF radios, inverters from four hundred to one thousand watts, cruising books, subscriptions to Pacific Yachting, first aid kits, tool kits, boat accessories and on and on. He kept drawing names until everyone won at least something. We won a pound of specially ground organic coffee from Granville Island. Only thing is, we need to pick it up at Granville Island, so we will send the gift certificate over to someone who lives nearby .
A Baron of Beef and Pig Roast was served for dinner. It was Lawrence's birthday today so he got to celebrate by carving up huge slices of baron of beef and treating us to slices of his delicious birthday chocolate cake for desert.
Our table buddies that night were more interesting people. One nice man was the owner of "Que Pasa" Tortilla chips. Their plant is located in Richmond. BC. Be sure to try them...they are very tasty. Another buddy was a delightful and gutsy lady from Vancouver. She very bravely skippered her own Hunter over from Vancouver. She is a Dr. from Children's Hospital and very interesting to talk to.
At 8PM, our guest speaker was Christopher Gaze, the Founder and Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach. Christopher was just amazing. Bard on the Beach, a Shakespeare Festival, is held at Vanier Park in Vancouver every summer. Be sure to take in one of their plays..you will not disappointed.
The beer and wine were still flowing.
Jennifer Lauren entertained again after desert was served. Larry and I were getting tired so it was back to the BeeJay around 9PM to unwind and relax before bed. I understand that the party continued on until 12:30AM and not a beep was heard by us.
Telegraph Harbour to NewCastle, Nanaimo
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Sunday morning saw a few boats depart before breakfast. We did not need to prepare to leave until 12:30PM. Tara, Ron's wife, and her staff prepared a wonderful brunch of fruit, muffins, coffee cakes, frittata, pancakes, ham and juice. Everyone in attendance was amazed at how well we all were treated the entire week-end. What impressed me was....the down to earth atmosphere of the whole event. Remember Thursday when we thought we were outclassed with the yacht club people...it was not like that at all. We met several very nice couples and plan to keep in touch with several of them.
When we had dinner with Sheila and Paul they mentioned that friends of theirs, Bob and Janice Hunter owned a Hunter sail boat. We looked for them at the rendezvous. They were on the "Tea Bag". We had a couple good visits with them over the week-end.
Dave and Linda Webster from Victoria with their Hunter named Lida (LIndaDAve)
A small Sunday Market was being held in the pavilion. We purchased some curry samosas to have for our lunch after we get under way. Larry also bought a hand carved Indian sculpture which is now on display in BeeJay`s salon.
THANK YOU SPECIALTY YACHTS FOR A WONDERFUL WEEK-END!!!!
Well, now the time has come to head up Island. We spent a few minutes saying good-bye to some new friends and taking last minute photos before making our way over to the fuel barge. We were able to get fuel without scraping bottom and were underway shortly after 1PM. We needed to reach the slack water at Dodd Narrows by 3:30.
RESCUE AT SEA!!!
At about 1:45PM we had just cleared the northwest end of Thetis Island when Larry heard a "PAN, PAN, PAN" on the Marine radio. A small sailboat had run aground off a reef near Miami Island. The tide was going down!
In radiotelephone communications, a call of three repetitions of pan pan is used to signify that there is an urgency on board a boat, ship, aircraft or other vehicle but that, for the time being at least, there is no immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. This is referred to as a state of urgency. This is distinct from a Mayday call, which means that there is imminent danger to life or to the continued viability of the vessel itself. Thus "pan-pan" informs potential rescuers (including emergency services and other craft in the area) that a safety problem exists whereas "Mayday" will call upon them to drop all other activities and immediately initiate a rescue attempt.
I was down below in the galley heating up the samosas when Larry called down for me to get up into the cockpit. He did not want to answer the PAN, PAN until he checked with me. He said that the grounded sailboat was almost straight in front of us....20 minutes away. If we were to stop and give assistance we could possibly miss our slack crossing at Dodd Narrows and would have to return to THM for the night. I looked out at the sea with our binoculars and could see several sail boats in the area but no one answered the PAN, PAN to give assistance. We changed our course to intercept the stranded sailboat hoping someone else would answer the URGENCY call. No one did. There was no way we would leave them stranded. I said go for it.
Larry got in contact with Victoria Coast Guard and said we were 20 minutes out and we were prepared to give assistance. We kept constant contact with Victoria Coast Guard. In fact, we had to relay messages from the Coast Guard to the "Copy Cat" and back as Victoria could not hear them very well. A Coast Guard Auxiliary boat was dispatched from Ladysmith.
As we were traveling towards the stricken sailboat Victoria Coast Guard Radio advises us that he has received reports of distress flares in the area and asks us if we have seen them. We did not (I guess our heads were down under our canopy) but after contacting the Copy Cat he confirmed that they did indeed fire flares. That changes things, he is now declaring a MayDay.
We were able to get BeeJay fairly close to "Copy Cat". They were hung up on a small atoll.
Larry radioed the skipper and told him to loosen the halyard line and row it out to "BeeJay". The line was too short. Fortunately the skipper had a smaller rope in his dinghy which he attached. Using our boat hook, Larry was able to pull in the halyard rope and attach it to our stern line. It did not take long for BeeJay to slowly lift "Copy Cat" off the reef. There was a female on board who very bravely managed the helm and knew to steer towards "BeeJay". The whole rescue took less than 5 minutes but could have been disastrous if no one helped them off the reef. Several sail boats and a couple power boats stood by to give assistance if anyone should end up in the water. Fortunately all went well. The Coast Guard arrived on the scene just as we were pulling in our stern line. We did not hang around because we were in a hurry to meet the slack water at Dodd Narrows.
Bringing rope attached to mast over to BeeJay
Hey, I ran out of rope, can you move closer?
Attaching rope to the stern cleat
Gently applying power to pull off of reef
Boat is free and owner rushing back to assist his wife
Coast Guard Auxiliary arrive and check for problems
A few minutes later, the Coast Guard Zodiac caught up to us to thank Larry for his assistance. They said that they could see that he knew what he was doing when he lifted the boat off the reef using the halyard rope. That manoeuvre provided a lifting action as opposed to scraping the hull across the rocks. The owner of "Copy Cat" sent along a small box of red wine to give to us. I am sure they did not sleep well that night after their experience on the reef. The Coast Guard told us that several boats are taken by surprise there. There needs to be a marker in place.
We managed to slip through Dodd Narrows on time and were tied to a mooring buoy near Newcastle Island, Nanaimo, before 4pm.
NewCastle to Ford Cove, Hornby Island
Monday, June 11, 2012
We left Newcastle Island at 8AM. Our destination is Ford Cove Marina on Hornby Island. Larry has never moored there so we thought we would try it out. The sky was overcast with little wind. The sea was basically calm. We did good time and arrived there around 2PM.
Hornby Island Marina is located on the west side of Hornby Island facing Denman Island. It appeared that there were more full time boats moored there as opposed to transient boats. We spotted a space alongside one of the floats. A young woman was on the float so I called out to ask assistance with our docking lines. It turned out that she owned the small sail boat in front of us. Her name was Amber.
We had a little visit with her. She was from Salt Spring Island. Amber spent last winter tied to a mooring buoy at Saltspring Island. She put a wood heater in her boat. She used her inflatable dinghy to haul wood and water back to her boat.
Amber was 28 and on her way to Prince Rubert and needed someone to help her with the sailing. She found Michael, who lived on his old trimaran on Saltspring Island. He had plenty of free time so volunteered to go as far as Port Hardy with Amber. Michael was in his 70's and had some sailing experience.
During our conversation we found out these items of interest.
1. Her tachometer did not work, she used the sound of her motor to adjust her speed.
2. She traveled at 4 knots (her knot meter did not work but had a small GPS chart plotter with charts only as far as Port Hardy... after that "well we will see")
3. When I asked how hot her engine ran at that speed. She said she didn't know, she had no temperature gauge and the alarm kept going off so they disconnected it. I asked if she cleaned the filter screen for her cooling water intake and she said, "no, should I?)
4. She only had one battery on board that worked and that she was babying it to use for starting her motor. For lights they used candles and she hoped to find some used batteries on the way.
5. Amber said she only had $140 for fuel and hoped it would be enough to get her to her destination. If not, she might find some work on the way. She was a very gutsy girl.
Amber asked where we were headed. When we mentioned we were on our way to our home port of Campbell River, she asked if she could tag along with us the next day for safety. Larry said she could but we traveled faster then her and if she left earlier we would catch up to her on the way.
We did not try to talk her out of her plans but asked her to think things over very carefully before proceeding North of Port Hardy. We did not see her the rest of the day but we did have a visit with her partner, Michael. He mentioned that he would travel with her as far as Port Hardy. There she hopes to get another crew member to take her as far as Prince Rupert.
After we visited with Michael, a local lady rowed over to our float. She and her husband ran the little store up on the dock. She brought me some fresh mint. Her husband tried to source us out ..... in a round about way, I think he was trying to find out if we would be interested in buying some of the local product....we were very candid and did not encourage them. He did mention that they were artists and that 90% of the Islanders were artists and all lived of the "fatted cow".
Larry and Amber had arranged that she would leave with her boat at 6AM as she would not be going as fast as our boat. Sure enough, when we got up at 7AM she had pulled out. We were underway at 8AM. It was a rainy day with some fog but visibility was good. The sea was calm and smooth like pudding until we reached the mouth of Discovery Passage where the outcoming current was bringing choppy water.
It was there that we caught up to Amber and Michael on "Spellbinder". We pulled along side of them and wished them well. They planned on anchoring off April Point that night. We hope all goes well with her.
The BeeJay arrived back at our home port of Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River at 3PM. We stopped for fuel before we headed for our slip. Prior to our departure on June 12, Larry set up our dock lines with three loops set in bungees. The plan was for me to use the boat hook and slip it through the middle hoop as we backed into our slip. I had a bit of a problem yanking the loop loose but it eventually came loose but not before Larry yelled at me to hurry up as we were getting closer to the back dock....in a matter of minutes we were tied up to the dock...I was so pleased with myself!!!! Before we head out again, I will practise this to get it down pat. Last year, I was so nervous docking. Larry would call the marina office and ask for assistance. Larry and I are sure learning a lot with this new experience.
The both of us spent some time getting the boat cleaned up before the trek home and were both pretty tired when we got home. After putting away the perishables Larry and I cleaned up and headed out for a Chinese Buffet for dinner.
What an amazing 11 days we had. The Hunter Rendezvous was awesome. Our times with Val and Terry are always fun. Thanks for sharing those days with us. The finale of the sea rescue and the humble experience at Ford Cove Marina brought us back down to the real world of life on the BC Coast.
Our next plans will be our trip to Bella Bella and Shearwater. The plan is to leave near the end of July for the Broughtons. Val and Terry are hoping to meet us in Port McNeil in early August. Stay tuned for another adventure on BeeJay.
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