We received an email from Cathlyn and Doug of Penguin saying they were headed towards Desolation ,so for two or three days I have been hailing them cold on the VHF hoping to catch them. Every time we made it into an opening amidst the towering hills I would send out a call. It was rather like calling alle alle atzen free into the dark but then amazingly they heard us this morning! It was such a treat to hear the voice of friends. Unfortunately we were like two ships passing in the daylight....we were motoring out of Hole in the Wall near Octopus Islands south bound and they were leaving Blind Chanel for Johnstone Strait headed north.
Penguin wont be back in Seattle until we are well past San Francisco. ~piffle~ regardless it was good to hear the call back and hope some day we will look up as we pull into a new anchorage see Penguin there ahead of us.
So I guess we really are back in civilization. We spent two days in the Octopus Islands just north of Desolation Sound and the place was jumping. We visited here on our first trip to Desolation 4 years ago and at the time it seemed like this was out in the middle of nowhere. We felt so adventuress for making it past Desolation and were rewarded with a very quiet anchorage. Then it wasn't empty but we were one of only a hand full of boats. The main reason fewer boats come this far is that of the three routes in two are through narrows that must be transited on slack tides. This trip as we floated through on the slack from the north we were instantly in a que of boats from the south all headed to the same place. Traffic jam!all day. There must have been 25 boats and more came in once we were anchored. The next morning the exodus started with roughly 3/4 of the boats moving on and then a whole new crop making its way throughout the day.. The second afternoon we were packed in with even more including one from Japan.
We had decided to stay the second day and get some work done. Bill worked on a leak in the dingy floor and then began work on the back deck bench that will go over our propane tanks. I spent the day sewing a new shade for the V-birth and building a new cover for the vane of wind vane "Carly." The standard issue bright red Hydrovanes' nylon cover gave out on our way south. The new shade, dark blue by default as it was the only piece of material I had on board that was large enough for the job. Hopefully the UV will not eat this new on in a few months of tropical sun.
Before we left we bought my very first sewing machine. I have been sewing a project here and there since we got the boat but have always used my moms machine. The new one works well for me and I can even run it off solar power through the inverter while at anchor. The only problem with sewing on the boat is the lack of any place large and flat that I can lay out projects and cut material. It is always a challenge to work with anything larger than a hankie though the nav station makes a pretty decent sewing table. It felt good to get some projects going again though it seemed a shame to sacrifice a beautiful summery day.
From there we headed farther south into Desolation but it is taking some time to adjust to the traffic. So many boats, the anchorages are all full and the radio crackles and barks out a constant flow of radio traffic as well. But I guess we need to get used to it as it will be back to civilization from here all the way through California. By the time we find a quiet secluded anchorage in Mexico we will be jonesing for some privacy.
Tonight we sit at anchor in Nanaimo. Tomorrow we will likely clear customs in Friday Harbor. Then "home " in a couple of days. It feels like home even if there home is really here now. Will be wonderful and sort of odd to be in Seattle again. I am excited to see friends and family but know the time will fly by and then we will just have to say good bye again. Just another part of this thing we do.
See you soon, kat