Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Gulf Islands Tour
After a whirlwind couple of days in Sidney and Victoria we set sail for Princess Cove on Portland Island. This is Emma's first time on a sailboat and it was so fun to watch her amazement as we set into motion. The kids were all smiles out on the foredeck as we motored out into the water. With light winds from behind us, it was a perfect day for an introduction to sailing. Isaac, literally, showed her the ropes. Together they raised the main sail followed by the jib. Then we relaxed and enjoyed the motion of the boat. Along the way the kids made a hilarious iMovie about ferrets, hidden chihuahuas, and epic seas. After a lovely sail we tried out our new anchor for the first time in Princess Cove at Portland Island. The anchor worked well with an immediate solid catch.
Princess Cove is a beautiful anchorage but roll-y as it is exposed to ferry traffic. I was a little worried about the rolling being potentially nauseating to Emma but she loved the motion. After we were all settled we dropped the kayaks into the water and paddled to shore. We first walked over to the old orchard left over from a group of Hawaiians who had tried to settle long ago. After watching the chihuahua run happy circles through the green meadow the kids lounged in the grass and made daisy chains for close to an hour. We then hiked over to the white shell beach formed from discarded shells of the First Nations people. The kids blissfully (I'm probably going to use this word a lot over the course of the next few weeks) threw rocks into the gorgeous green-blue waters. Back at the boat the kids played guitar while admiring the sunset. Emma even brought a travel violin that she broke out for a Celtic tune.
The next day we stopped in Ganges for lunch and diesel before hopping over to James Bay on Prevost Island. We spent the following morning on shore exploring tide pools, playing in the trees of the old orchard and taking a hike out to lighthouse point for a picnic lunch and gorgeous views. In the afternoon we made the short hop across to Montague Bay. We were hot and sticky when we arrived in the warm sunshine of late afternoon. Against all reason Emma and I desperately wanted a swim. We didn't think it could possibly be warm enough but after some waffling we both couldn't help ourselves. We both disappeared below to change into our swimsuits. We emerged up top still unsure if we would really swim. I crawled out on our kayak Banana and starting dipping my legs while Emma bravely and boldly lowered herself from the swim step and swam over to Banana. Emboldened by her swim, I lowered myself in. It felt soooo good. It wasn't nearly as icy as I had anticipated. All the boys incredulously watched from the cockpit. After a few more dips, they couldn't help themselves and joined us. It was so amazing to be swimming in May. After we had our fill, we sprawled out on the foredeck to soak up the heat from the warm teak decks. After we had changed back into dry clothing we paddled to shore to catch the the famous Hummingbird Pub Bus. After waiting at the bus stop for a while, we discovered that the pub bus is only running Fridays and Saturdays at this time of year. Bummer. So it was back to the boat for yellow curry and more music instead. Not too bad.
The following morning we were up at 5:50am so we could hit Active Pass at slack tide. The Strait of Georgia was behaving herself this time with calm winds and seas and we had a lovely sail across. Six hours later we arrived at Bowen Island with both Emma and I only slightly green from the choppy waves that developed towards the end. It has been so fun to introduce Emma to the sailing life in the Gulf Islands. She is soaking it up and loving every step of the way. We love watching the wonder of it all through her fresh eyes.
Click here for photos.