June 20, 2001

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June 20, 2001

Latitude N 48 degrees 39.2 minutes. Longitude W 122 degrees 23.7 minutes.

Daytime temperatures 65 to 75 degrees, wind calm, sunny clear skies, barometer steady.

We're in Sidney Harbor, British Columbia. Port Sidney Harbor, surrounded by a very high, man-made stone seawall with a narrow inlet. This a retreat on Vancouver Island for big white fiberglass powerboats. There's a planned gathering of huge Ocean Alexander power yachts this weekend. We'll have to leave our berth, for the Ocean Alexanders all have prior reservations. With moorage at $64 CDN per night, this harbor is an expensive stopping point, but it is idyllic. The marina is well shielded from Haro Straight, and the heart of the town is just two blocks away. The main, or central floating dock, is concrete and must be twenty feet wide. Down the dock centerline are antique lamp posts, and decorative flower pots hang on the pilings. It's like a promenade where local people just enjoy a walk to see the boats. Here we're known as "the blue sailboat" to those dockwalkers. Surprisingly they're fascinated with "Love of Liberty's" traditional lines and varnished wood amidst these sleek polyester powerboats. A French speaking lady stood alongside and said "C'est magnifique!" at least three times, and something else in French -- a compliment I think. We arrived here after our shakedown cruise which was up Georgia Straights to Sucia Island, a few nights stay there and down Haro Straight to Sidney Harbor. Almost all was under clear, sunny skies as we passed these rugged islands where cedars grow to the water's edge. Tomorrow morning we leave for a cove to the north, at the end of a what looks like a fjord on the chart -- Ganges Harbor. The boat is ready, and signs are showing for a good cruise. "The moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligned with Mars." I was born on February 19. This is the Age of Aquarius, and I am an Aquarius. "Peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars." When I was thirty, I didn't think it made a whit of a difference where the planets were when I was born. In the 1960's, everyone seemed to entrust their decisions to signals from "their sign" in the Zodiac. At the time, I rejected that stuff, but I'm older now. I'm reconsidering. I don't want to renounce any help, no matter the source. If this boat should become un-steerable and decide to go sideways through some narrows with a strong surge of current, I believe I will feel better if the moon's in the seventh house and Jupiter's aligned with Mars.

In the bleak month of February we arrived in Flounder Bay, a layer of snow still melting on "Kaimanu's" deck and cockpit floor. A month later, "Love of Liberty" arrived from Wisconsin by truck, and she was launched March 29. We've moved aboard "Love of Liberty", we've worked hard, and now this boat has been outfitted perfectly. What we want is here and is stowed. My hand tools, the sewing machine, frozen salmon, wild rice, flour and yeast, Pillsbury pie crust, beer, wine (beer cools nicely in the forward bilge), cold weather gloves, sun shorts, hiking sticks, foul weather gear and bar-b-que briquettes are here. Our brightly varnished dinghy, "Sam", is finally finished and hangs in the davits. In these past few months we made several friendships on the docks and have now said goodbye to all in Anacortes. They are all good people. We'll someday share another anchorage out there.

Good-by Erica and Bob at Flounder Bay Lumber (Their cedar, ash, oak and spruce boat lumber built "Sam".), Lowry, Roy Nestle at Cafe Dot.com (The most un-nutritious food but the best internet connection we've ever had.), the crew at Ace hardware, Cole at North Island Boat (A true sleuth at diagnosing wiring problems.), Linda Barnes of L&T Canvas, Paul Gullicksen (A Sterling person, this man can paint a boat!), Chris (I understand why he quit his job.), Ted Krieg of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Atollo the history buff, Billy ("Yes, the herd's following"), Gordon, Vera, Beth, the West Marine Store, Doug, The Brown Lantern Ale House (our only source of Moose Drool Beer) and lastly the great group at Marine Supply and Hardware Company. You want Grade 3 carborundum paste, an 8-inch silicon bronze bolt, free cookies and a double claw chain hook? Marine Supply and Hardware Company has it.

I do believe there are some experiences in life that should not be endured twice by any man. One for myself happens to be my recent relationship with certain rude and self-centered people. I do not know what has crippled the minds of a few who work at this harbor here at Flounder Bay, but despite their ways, they manage to do a modicum of business. Whatever they have achieved is in spite of what they do, not because of what they do. Goodbye to them also!

I've learned that the Canadian Coast Guard requires boaters to use Canadian Hydrographic Service charts - not U.S. Charts - when sailing in their waters. Obligingly, we purchased Canadian Charts. Of course, the symbols are different compared to U. S. Hydrographic Charts. On a Canadian Chart, I wondered what is a ... Fl(3)WRG.15s21m15-11M ... next to a small sixteenth inch in diameter star insignia with a slightly longer red tear drop on the top of the star? I knew you'd wonder also. It's a buoy or marker light that repeatedly flashes a group of three flashes ... Fl(3)..., white, red and green exhibiting the different colors in different sectors ... WRG ..., the period to exhibit one full sequence of flashes and eclipses ... 15s ..., the light is 21 meters above the tidal datum ... 21m ..., lastly the range of the light is 15 nautical miles for white, green 11 nautical miles and red between 15 and ll nautical miles ... 15-11M!!!! All done in meters ... m ... and nautical miles ... M.... Oh yes, there's also a duplicate description in the French language. Pay attention! These markings designate buoys that sometimes, unassumingly float near underwater rocks. Rocks waiting, like the troll under the bridge, to grab our keel.

On our course line is Ganges harbor, Salt Spring Island, Thetis Is, Dodd Narrows, Newcastle Is., Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound, Malaspina Inlet, Isabel Bay, Tenedos Bay, Roscoe Bay, Von Donop Inlet, Surge Narrows, Octopus Island, Johnstone Straight, Nodales Channel, Knight Inlet, Queen Charlotte Islands, Claydon Bay, Turnbull Cove and Port Hardey. Several people have said we should make a try for Ketchikan and a cruise up the Inside Passage.

It will be impossible for me to take bad pictures in the Gulf Islands, someone said. We will see. I'll upload some photos and narratives wherever I can find a phone line out there.

Best regards to all, Terry and Ellen

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