Update #2 from the Carlyn Voyage
The second phase of our voyage brought us to Desolation Sound. This is an area with many anchorage areas designated as marine parks. On 8/6 we had a day of light wind sailing to our first spot Tendedeous Bay. The water was 74 degrees F in the bay. This is the area I call tropical Canada. We swam from the boat and also in Unwin Lake, a short hike inland. The freshwater lake was a couple of degrees warmer than the salt water. This spot had a pileup of floating logs at one end of the lake. We could cross the lake stepping from log to log and sit on floating log to take a break from swimming. Between swimming experiences, we made a salmon dinner and banana boats for dessert. This day marked the beginning of our cruise’s second half, and we had not yet sighted whales on this voyage. I placed three marshmallows in a ziplok bag and tapped this snack to the main mast, to be given to the first person to sight a whale.
On 8/7 we motored north through Homfrey Channel and into Toba Inlet. The wind was very light most of the day. We set the jib for a couple of hours in Toba. I scanned the shore and the water with binoculars for wildlife because this area is known as a good spot in late summer. Tour boats from Campbell River come to this area. During the mid-day low tide, I spotted a black bear on the beach on the north shore of Toba Inlet. The bear was scavenging for shellfish. We brought Carlyn closer to the north shore and watched the bear for close to an hour. In the late afternoon, we sighted a humpback whale near Double Island in Toba Inlet. But the marshmallows were, by this time, sad and shriveled. We drifted watching the whale for a while. Then we entered Waddington Channel and anchored in Walsh Cove. Dinner was our Carlyn version of Burger Bar. The theme was Tropical Canada. There were decorations and Hawaiian music. The evening time was shore-explore, rowing to and climbing around the little islands nearby. By this point, we had given names to our watch groups “Helms’a’wee” and the “Skullcrushers”. There was a pillow fight on the fore-deck before bed. It was a loud affair.
8/8- light winds again and we planned a short transit to our next tropical Canada spot, Pendell Sound. We reviewed emergency procedures during the trip and performed drills, crew overboard, fire, and prepare to abandon ship. This anchorage was popular. There were many large power boats, at least one of which was a passenger vessel. Nice swimming water again, with 73 degrees by afternoon. We found a lagoon we could enter in the small boats during high water. Inside there was a scuttled barge, probably from the 1800s. The evening activity was craft night, and we stenciled our custom t-shirts.
8/9- Our next location was Gorge Harbor. It is a pretty and well-protected harbor with a narrow entrance. It reminded us of Deer Harbor combined with Doe Bay campgrounds. Carlyn has not been to this spot in recent years. We anchored out but got showers and snacks at the Marina. In the evening we played a game we call “Boatman’s Bluff.” This is a word game in which one team must guess the true definition of an obscure nautical term while the other team tries to bluff them with made-up definitions. Some of our words this time were hawsehole, cat head, bow pudding, wisker stay, and futtocks.
8/10- There was some south wind for us this day as we sailed north. We had to approach the passage known as Hole-in-the-Wall at approximately 1630, slack water. This spot is whitewater most of the time. This passage brought us to Okisollo Channel and Pulton Bay. Pulton Bay has a dock on the property of the Bounous family, which Carlyn has visited during most trips to Canada. Sue Bounous attended Four Winds, and her daughters did as well about ten years ago. This evening was our nautical movie night, Captains Courageous (again this year) starring Spencer Tracy and Lionel Barrymore.
8/11- This day was spent at Pulton Bay. Surprise, Ruth Brown Day and our trainees were wakened by singing and the cockpit decorated with dozens of flags. Our Ruth Day theme was, “A Kennedy Family gathering at Hyannis, MA”. After breakfast, each of us was given a Kennedy persona. For example, Felix became Joseph P. Sr. and was to be referred to as “father” by Addy because she became Eunice, etc. Everyone did their best to dress in mid-century New England style. During the morning we played a game of touch football. Patrick (aka Joseph P Kennedy II) helped everyone to learn to throw great spirals. AJ made fancy drinks before our lunch on the sailing yacht. And we learned some Kennedy fun facts such as: How many children did Robert and Ethel have? Answer: 11, including one born after his death. And, What was the name of Caroline’s Pony? Answer: “Macaroni”. The staff also challenged the trainees to construct their original antimetabole, a turn of phrase utilizing word reversal. JFK was famous for “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” We came up with, “Wash your hand in the head, and wash your head with your hands.” Also “When leaves fall, fall leaves”. And “If ducks fly, flies duck” In the afternoon there was swimming in the warmest freshwater lake of the trip, also, fishing from the rowboat. Followed by salmon grilling dinner led by Aslan, and in the evening Folk Dance on the lawn lead by AJ.
This brings us to 8/12 the day of our arrival at the marina in Campbell River. This was a day for resupplying. We arrive at 1330. In the afternoon there was a trip to the grocery, laundry and boat chores. This was Felix’s 15th birthday which we celebrated with two cakes served in the evening.
Today, 8/13 we enjoy Campbell River and look forward to our return sail to America 135 nm to the south. This group has done a great job of continuing our version of camp traditions during the trip. Looking forward to our overnight trip, but also wishing we lived in a world where there was a Third Session. It has been a wonderful trip with this lively group. Everyone has been doing a great job learning to sail Carlyn as well as learning rowing skills, cooking skills and learning to become great shipmates.