Well this post is coming a little late because we are finding ourselves quite busy! I thought I’d just explain what keeps us busy on Arctic Loon.
We think about where we are going in the following days and all the planning that goes along with that ex: route planning on the chartplotter, reading the cruising guide, checking the weather, tides, and currents. We are also cooking all of our meals and rationing our fresh produce so it lasts until the next time we can reprovision. We try to keep the girls on a bit of a routine so we do at least one nap for each girl on the boat in a bunk. Ellery is constantly doing maintenance, minor repairs and trying to improve something on the boat. If we are at anchor, we go ashore to explore a beach, village or go for a hike for the morning. If we are tied up, we are focused on reprovisioning (groceries, fuel), filling up the water tanks, doing laundry and getting showers. We also have been visiting with some friends recently which has been great fun! This does not include parenting two very busy girls, general tidying up and then of course, sailing!
If and when we have free time, which we don’t get much of, we usually have a beer and relax. This is why the post is a little late and why we haven’t yet gone fishing or used our inflatable SUP.
We left Ladysmith Marina late morning and headed to Pirates Cove on De Courcy Island. The entrance to Pirates Cove is narrow and shallow and the draft of Arctic Loon is 5 feet. This means we had to wait until the tide rose a certain amount before we could motor in. Ellery did all the calculations and went over them with me so we could be sure we had the timing right.
It was a straight forward sail from Ladysmith and we arrived too early to enter Pirates Cove. The wind was blowing SE so we hove-to in Pylades channel and waited. Heaving to is not something that coastal sailors commonly do although many know the theory of it. This was a good time to practice the manoeuvre to figure out what works best on Arctic Loon.
When the tide was high enough, we motored into Pirates Cove. We anchored and tied a stern line to a ring on shore. It was lovely evening and the water was like glass. Our girls were both asleep by 2000, which rarely happens.
We woke the next morning to find the wind had changed to NW and increased substantially, as predicted. We let go our stern tie so we were pointed into the wind, which is more comfortable on a sailboat. We thought about anchoring deeper into the cove but it was so shallow and we just didn’t feel safe so we stayed put.
Ellery took Maddie to shore in the morning while I stayed onboard with Amelia as she napped. Ellery and Maddie discovered a treasure chest near the sign at Pirates Cove, which was filled with a variety of kids toys. Maddie was very happy to explore the depths of the chest but was especially taken with a Cabbage Patch doll.
Around 1300, which was low tide, we watched a sailboat come through the entrance to the cove and run aground. Neither of us had ever seen a grounding before so Ellery hoped in our dinghy to go talk to them. As Ellery was talking to the boaters, another sailboat was headed in! Ellery quickly bombed out that boat in the dinghy and informed them that one boat was already around as it was low tide.
Later that afternoon the tide rose and the sailboat was able to motor into the cove and anchor. We spent the windy afternoon ashore exploring and checking out the treasure chest again.
It was a windy night onboard Arctic Loon and neither Ellery or I slept very well. It was never unsafe, just uncomfortable.
The next morning as soon as everyone was awake we weighed anchor and motored out of Pirates Cove as it was near to high tide. We motored around the island of De Courcy to another bay, locally known as Wally’s Bay, where we would be more sheltered from the strong NW winds.
We were so glad we moved to a new anchorage and after breakfast we headed ashore to go on a short hike and explore the beach.
The afternoon of our second full day in the area, some of our friends arrived, onboard their sailboat Nordri, to meet up with us. We had been looking forward to Kim & Scott’s arrival so we could visit, talk sailboats and so our toddlers could play together!
We visited Kim & Scott on their boat and then had them over for dinner on our boat. It’s always great to see other sailboats and this was no exception, especially people who also have kids onboard. It’s just so helpful to see how others in a similar situation are doing it. We had a yummy dinner of burritos followed by cream and strawberries for dessert!
Our final full day was Fathers Day. Ellery got a rare snuggle in bed with Maddie while I got up early and made coffee. I surprised Ellery with a picture Maddie had coloured a few days earlier. We headed to the beach after breakfast and I just felt so grateful to spend Fathers Day with Ellery on our sailboat and hanging out on a beautiful beach with our girls.
We met up Kim and Scott and their kids on the beach later that morning. Farren & Maddie really enjoyed looking in the tide pools at crabs and sculpins. We finished the morning by going for a hike to show them the treasure chest. It was a super fun morning and the weather was gorgeous.
We had a relaxing afternoon on the boat, napping and Maddie enjoyed a bath in a Tupperware bin. We were lucky to see about 8 Orca whales from our boat late afternoon as well. We think they were transients. They were tail slapping and showing us their pectoral fins. I think there was even a baby there. So amazing!
Kim & Scott joined us for dinner again but this time they brought delicious Mango Curry. We provided the Port & chocolate. It was so lovely to visit with friends while out sailing, we hope to meet up again!
The next morning we weighed anchor and headed through Dodds Narrows to Nanaimo.