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Monday, December 20, 2010

Recommended Navigation Programs

Open CPN opensource software created by sailors for sailors. The best feature is the price of FREE. This is one of the few software programs that will run the complete portfolio of CM93 charts which are in wide distribution and offer a sailor the possibility to have nearly every chart in the world at their fingertips. This is looking like a better and better solution to using a legacy version of MaxSea as many cruisers are today.

Opening CM93 charts in OpenCPN 2.3.1

On the top tool bar click on the 'Tool Box' (i.e. Wrench icon)
Click on 'Charts' tab.
In the upper dialog box 'Available Chart Directories' select the CM93 folder. Something similar to 'C:\CM93'
Click 'Add Selection'
In the lower dialog box 'Active Charts Directories' you should now see the path for CM93 file folder.
Click OK
CM93Charts should now load automatically.

For a second time click on the 'ToolBox'
Click on the 'Vector Charts' tab
You can experimental with the setting on the 'Vector Charts' tab.
Here are some recommendations:
Chart Depth Units = Meters
Display Category = 'MarinersStandard'
Check the box for 'Show Soundings'
Colors = 4
CM93 Zoom Level = 5

To speed up the program, again click on 'ToolBox'
Click on 'Settings' tab
UNcheck the box 'Show Chart Outlines'

As a final catch all...If in doubt reboot the computer


IF your sailing will be limited to US waters then my favorite program is Coastal Explorer http://rosepointnav.com/CoastalExplorer/Trial/default.htm is superb for the USA as one can download Electronic Navigation Charts (ENC) for free (USA only). The program is $300 plus, but the trial is great for 15 minutes then requires a restart of the software. Very cool interface that brings together charting with live GPS, AIS as well as NOAA weather, Coast Pilots, tide and current streams.

Not sure what navigaiton program to use? Run several at the same time using a Virtual Serial Port Emulator. This VSPE software will enable physical serial port data such as a USB GPS to be shared to several applications. Very cool.
One of the best is Franson GPSGate 2.6+ and I find ti worth every penny of the $40 purchase price.
another I just came across, but have not tested can be found here: http://www.eterlogic.com/Products.VSPE.html this free version is for 32 bit machines only. The 64 bit version is around $25.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Connecting to the internet while afloat.

In today's rapid paced information age, reliable internet connectivity is pretty much taken for granted...ashore. Once on the water, getting connected at all can be difficult if not impossible.

The purpose of this post is to discuss connecting to shore-side internet access points or 'hot spots' once the anchor is down. Typical laptop computers carried aboard have low power WIFI radios so unless the boat is very very close to the access point connecting directly via the laptop is unlikely. Withstanding a high-power on-board WIFI system, which I will discuss next, the only alternatives are:

#1 Haul the laptop ashore in the dinghy and track down an internet cafe.
#2 Tether a smart phone to the laptop.
#3 Utilize a 3G Mobile Broadband Modem
#4 Install super expensive expensive satellite based Internet

I won't go into pros and cons of above, but instead focus on obtaining 'free' internet access via shore side access points.

Nothing is really free, but after the initial cost of installing a high power long range WIFI system, internet access can often be obtained for free. Even with a long range high power system, selecting an anchorage often comes down to availability of WIFI.

Over the past five years of full time world cruising we've tested many systems with varying degrees of success. I'm often asked about the specifications of our WIFI system so without going into the alphabet soup of techno jargon here is what we use:

Long Range WIFI system used on LightSpeed.

Bullet 2HP wireless radio
by Ubiquity.

About $79 as of 12/17/2010 from many suppliers.
29dbm/800mw output which is 20+ times more power than a typical laptop.
Signal strength LED meter for antenna alignment.
Integrated N-type Male Jack connector for the antenna and RJ45 connection to the laptop or router. Robust weatherproof design
Power input from 12-24 volts DC so it happily runs on ships 12volt system.

Hyperlink HG2415U-PRO 15dbi Omni-Directional antenna from Microm
About $100 (0ther cheaper options abound)
Integral N-type Female connector connector
Weatherproof
Pros: Best quality and performance.
Cons: 40" tall and heavy at 3.3 pounds
A 12dbi would be fine for most.

Power Over Ethernet (POE) Injector from Retailers.
Alfa Wall Mount Passive Power Over Ethernet PoE Adapter

Provides power wireless radio from ships 12 volt system.

Cat5 Ethernet cables (outdoor rated)
Antenna to POE Ethernet Cable. (Length up to 300')
POE to Wireless Router (typical 3' patch cable)

Wireless Router
Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router
About $50 new or $20 used online from various retailers.
We use an old Linksys WRT 54G running DD-WRT firmware. You might have one already laying around the house and the older Linksys wireless routers are still a good choice.

Antenna and wireless radio Mount
Still working on a good solution and will post pictures here mounted.

Someone to Hook it all up and configure router.



Unlocking I-Com M802 Ham Frequnecies

How to unlock the 'Ham' Frequencies on a Icom M802 SSB. Simultaneously press the "2" + "Mode" + "TX" buttons, and then turn on the power and the radio is 'unlocked'.

A 'unlocked' Icom M802 radio may be tuned to any frequency, not just the default pre-programed Icom SSB frequencies. Note: A Ham license is required if you wish to broadcast on these additional frequencies. More info on Ham licensing can be found at: http://www.arrl.org/

For the more technical you can find some great programming software at this link: http://www.icomrecievers.narod.ru/ to automatically program the frequencies on your Icom.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sun Valley for Turkey Day


Enjoyed a great Thanksgiving at Sun Valley, Idaho with my sisters and families. Even hit the slopes to see if we could remember how to ski after five+ years in the tropics.

Bruce, Anne, Andrew, Tim and Jane sledding at Sun Valley, Idaho.

Portland, Oregon

We're now in Portland, Oregon to recharge our cruising kitty. Kathy is working for a biotechnology company and Dave is slowly working on a job while working on some boat projects. See the sidebar for our most current phone numbers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's good to have friends with docks


Check out this snow man... our first aboard LightSpeed.
After our journey down the Washington Coast it was great to pull up to our friends dock on the John Day River. Shanon, Jasmine and Solice were great hosts and we look forward to sharing adventures in the future, hopefully some where warm.

Shannon, Solace and Jasmine.

High and dry for a propeller change.

Monday, November 15, 2010

LightSpeed's jouney to Oregon included SWIMMING in 50 degree water!

Weather was good on Sunday so we made a direct trip from Neah Bay, Washington to Astoria, Oregon. Good size swell from the WNW made for a bumpy ride, but not bad for mid-November.

The excitement of the trip was snagging a crab trap float on our starboard propeller. As these things go a line wrapped on the propeller is never good especially when that line is attached to a crab trap 150 feet down. The crab trap acts like an anchor and in rough seas could cause damage the sail-drive mounted propeller. Luckily we tangled up during mid-day so we could see what we were working with and cut away the crab fisherman's trap with one float still attached. The remaining two floats were in a big mass of line wound around the propeller.
The first plan to remove the mess was for me (Dave) to put on a survial suit, jump in the water with a knife and remove the line. As anyone who has ever been in a survival suit can tell you they float really good, but are bulky and render the occupant mostly immobile. The suits are big and designed so that you can climb in fully clothed including boots, jump in the water and float around on your back until you get rescued. The hands include two fingers and a thumb and are clumsy at best and once zipped up only your eyes and nose protrude.

So I climbed in the suit tied a knife on a lanyard to one hand tied a safety rope around and jumped in the water. I was floating like a cork and trying to purge the air from the suit so I might attempt a dive to cut the line of the propeller. In reality all I did was get thrashed around next to the boat in the swells and practically down myself when facing forward as the suit is so buoyant that you can't hold your head out of the water when floating face down. Not fun. I bailed on that plan and climbed aboard the boat panting half choked on sea water.

Turning to 'plan B' Kathy volunteered to jump in and give it a try... sans clothes or wetsuit. We're talking herorics here. Pulling on a swim cap and swim goggles she stripped down and dove in (with a safety line). After a few swipes a the line with our super sharp kitchen knife the line was free and Kathy was onboard and taking a hot shower. An incredible feat considering the seas and 50.9 degree water. This girl is tough and fearless!

The remainder of the trip was uneventful aside from a plugged fuel intake line which was pretty quickly resolved, but left me feeling seasick after a stint in the hot engine room spilling diesel fuel.

We actually arrived at the Columbia river bar about 3 hours early and decided to stand off and wait for first light to cross the bar. Bar conditions weren't too bad and only closed to boats 35' and less, however visiblity was poor in misty rain so we decided to wait. Current offshore was setting us north at 1.2 knots so it was kind of a pain as even though 'hove to' we were drifting pretty fast and had to pay attention to avoid other boats transiting the area. We crossed the bar about 20 minutes before sunrise in 8-10 non-breaking swell in the main ship channel which was a non-issue and hardly discernible from the offshore conditions. Running up the river we stopped in Astoria to fuel up and then headed about six miles further up the river to a side channel called John Day River where we are now tied up to our friends dock.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Voyage Plan Neah Bay, Washington to Astoria, Oregon

Check out this 40' log we sailed by today. Definitely something that would go bang in the night. Even worse we saw a 3' diameter dead head ( a neutrally buoyant log floating vertical in the water) that can cause serious hull damage. The other major hazard is innumerable crab trap floats and the possibility of entangling a propeller in rope. All good reasons to attempt the trip during daylight hours only.


Most sailors make a direct overnight trip from Neah Bay to Astoria taking their chances with the floating hazards. Day sailing this coast is not without it's own hazards and success requires careful planning, cooperative weather and time. Sailing South from Neah Bay the first possible stop is La Push, but a narrow and shallow bar crossing dissuade most sailors from making the stop. The second is Grays Harbor offering a less weather dependent entrance, but at 105 nm from Neah Bay too long for a winter time daylight sail without a prior stop at La Push. The trick is finding a intersection between weather, tides and daylight to make it work.

Headed toward Oregon

Sailed from Victoria, BC to Port Angles this AM and now headed for Neah Bay, Washington for the night. If the weather holds we sail for Astoria on Sunday November 14, 2010. We may stop at La Push or Grays Harbor as weather permits.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Victoria, BC






Sailed into Victoria, BC today and will meet up with Kathy on Friday when she returns for a business trip to Atlanta, GA. Working on moving the boat to Portland, Oregon as weather conditions allow on the ocean.

As I write I'm enjoying a great view of the Victoria Harbor with the government buildings trimmed with white lights and the majestic Empress Hotel glowing with warm orange lights that makes it look a little spooky as if they still have it decorated for Halloween. Victoria is one of my favorite cities so I'm happy to enjoy it while waiting for our weather window.

Round the County Race

This past weekend I raced LightSpeed in the Round the County race with friends Aaron and Kelley. The Round the Country Race is a two day event that takes sailors on a clockwise circumnavigation of the San Juan Islands in Washington State. The race was good fun and the focus of racing environment helped me learn a few things about sailing LightSpeed. The first day of the race we took things pretty easy and kept well clear of the boats battling for prime starting position at the line. We also were pretty lazy about flying our spinnaker when we should have. The second day we again steered clear of the start line antics and crossed the starting line pretty late, but with our spinnaker up. Our tactic worked well and we quickly caught the fleet and for a fleeting moment were in the top ten with the huge racing sleds. Then the wind filled in as we rounded Turn Point on Stuart Island and things got pretty dicey. A catamaran responds to the helm a little differently than sporty race boats. Maneuvering LightSpeed conjured visions of a clumsy giant at a full out run surrounded by scurrying mice. We held our own with faster boats on the downwind run, but our spinnaker is made for very deep wind angles compated to the A-symentrical spinnakers off the race boats. In the end the pointing ability of the cat vs. race boats had us out matched on the windward legs. Our tactics and sail handling were decent, but showed our minimal racing experience. Overall we placed 62 out of 72 on a corrected basis leaving lots of room for improvement on future races. Cruising certainly doesn't hone the technical sail trim required for racing so it was good to pay more attention to the details and experiment with what worked best.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Recharging the Cruising Kitty

We've decided to recharge the cruising kitty (i.e put some money in the bank for future cruising adventures). This wasn't in our plan, but then Kathy stumbled into a great job working for a start up bio tech company. Kathy will be traveling frequently for work and Seattle seemed a natural place for me to find work. Unfortunately, the state of Washington would like to collect 9.5% 'Use Tax' based on the fair market value of the boat simply for the privilege of keeping the boat in Washington waters. We thought we could find a way to avoid or moderate the tax, but have exhausted all avenues without success.

Moving on to 'Plan B' we looked at moving to British Columbia and perhaps obtaining Canadian Citizenship. The requite privileges of Canadian Citizenship such as long term health care, unencumbered ability to live and work in any of the Common Wealth counties were carefully considered. However, it would be a minimum of three years as permanent Canadian Residents to qualify for Citizenship and a hefty import tax on the boat of 14%. We really like the idea, but value our unconstrained flexible lifestyle too much for such a major commitment.

'Plan C' Oregon. No taxes on our boats and no long term commitment. The cons are State income tax and limited ability to actually use our boat as it will be 100 miles up the Columbia River in Portland and far from exciting cruising grounds in British Columbia.

We've decided on Oregon and the next big challenge is delivering the boat to Portland from Seattle. Not too many weather windows this time of year and lots of strong Southerly wind and big swell to complicate crossing the Columbia bar. Racing in the 'Round the County' race this weekend (Around the San Juan Islands) then will look for a window to make the hop to Oregon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Settled in Seattle

We are settled in Seattle and have the boat at Elliot Bay Marina.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back from China and uncensored.

We are back in the USA after a 12 day trip to China.

While in China I was only able to post to this blog one time before the Chinese Government implemented censorship to prevent access to this blog from China. I'd read about censorship in China, but was surprised that my blog would be censored. As it turns out many websites I tried to access in China were blocked. Good to be back to the land of mostly free speech.

China was interesting. However, I don't anticipate traveling to China again given the many other travel options in the world that are less crowded and have better air quality.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shanghai accomadation and shopping

The last few nights we been enjoying a room at the International Youth Hostel Hiker located in the Bund area of Shanghai. Despite the association of hostels with youth, most hostels offer a range of accommodation options from bunk beds in dorm rooms and shared bathrooms to private rooms with en suite baths and cater to all traveler age groups. The hostel experience offers an opportunity to meet fellow travelers, share information and make new friends along the way. Most hostels have a communal kitchen, dining room, TV room and sometimes feature a restaurant and bar. Nine times out of ten we'd choose a hostel over a hotel simply for the social factor vs the isolation of another ubiquitous hotel room.

We lucked out finding a great base for our stay in Shanghai. Although, technically a youth hostel our accommodation is pretty deluxe, located on the top floor it's a tastefully decorated corner room, featuring a king size canopy bed, en suite bathroom, super high ceilings, A/C, ceiling fan, a large desk, couch, table, small armor, and 32”flat screen. A remarkable value for 360 yuan or about $54USD a night considering the location and the amenities.

Shanghai offers a travelers a juxtaposition of experiences. Really no surprise when you consider it's the most populous city in the world at around 14 million (4 times the size of Los Angles and with twice the population density). Ultramodern skyscrapers replete with posh restaurants and suave night clubs vs literal hole in the wall restaurants and street side vendors serving up traditional fare to fill a wayward traveler for less than a dollar. A 600ml beer at a corner market is less than fifty cents vs the same beer at a restaurant is three dollars and way up. Dinner for two at a local dumpling shop filled us up with tasty food for less than three dollars vs a city view restaurant in a high rise where you'd be lucky to escape with your wallet only one hundred dollars thinner.

Our hostel is located near the shopping meca of East Nanjing Road an extravaganza that stretches 6 kilometers and boasts over 1 million visitors every day. A pedestrian mall running from Peoples Square to the Bund offers a truly dizzying array of shopping possibilities and plenty of street hustlers offering visitors an opportunity to visit even more shops that line the adjacent streets. The street hustlers begin to sound like broken records as they offer small variation on their pitch. 'Excuse me sir what you looking for? A watch, bag or tee shirt' , 'Good shopping this way' as you continue to ignore the barrage of hustlers they continue to pace you and repeatedly ask 'what you looking for'. Within one block of the prime pedestrian mall of East Nanjing Road you might get five or more hustlers hounding you. My best advice is to absolutely ignore their existence. The smallest flinch or flash of eye contact will only prolong the unwanted interaction to the point that you would never walk more than a block in an entire afternoon. Outside of the prime tourist shopping areas all is normal and you enjoy your sightseeing and exploration of the city unperturbed.

Initially, we were expecting to make plenty of purchases during our visit to Shanghai. Since nearly everything is made in China we thought we could swoop in on some sweet deals. However, with the high pressure, mildly annoying sales atmosphere, requisite heavy negotiation and many inferior quality 'knock-off' goods we've decided we'll save our shopping for the USA. To be fair super high end, quality goods are available, but at prices for the rich and famous. One conclusion we've drawn after a fairly significant amount of world travel is that shopping in the USA generally offers superior selection, availability, and quality.


This weekend we're headed for scenic Hangzhou about 120 kilometers from Shanghai. Located on the scenic West Lake the area includes plenty of historical pagodas cultural sites to visit. Hangzhou is rated as one of the top ten most scenic cities in China. After booking a high-speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou I was a little shocked to find that this 'must see' city we'd be visiting has a metropolitan population of over 4 million which is bigger than Los Angles. The scale of China is slightly beyond incomprehensible and with a population in excess of 1.3 billion I suppose a city of a few million can still be 'natural and scenic'.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shanghai, China day 1

We've been in Shanghai for 24 hours. This is a big, bustling city and impressive city are we are impressed. So far we've mastered the very user friendly subway system and track down a cool hostel to stay at in lieu of a 'normal' motel. With a 13 hour time change, jet lag is a big deal with our internal clocks almost completely out of sync.

Friday, October 08, 2010

China for two weeks.

In San Francisco and Kathy and I are boarding a plane for Shanghai, China in a few minutes. Back to Seattle on the 20th. Not sure if I can blog from China or if my blogs will be blocked.

Will be attending the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Vancouver to Seattle... more pictures from our 3 weeks in BC.

Brandon Davis ( Turn Point Designs) prepares his unique proto type power tri for a run to Port Townsend. He and a freind passed LightSpeed on our way toward Seattle as they whipped by doing 20 knots through 2' chop to windward. This amazing boat only weighs 250 pounds less engine and 500 with 20 horse power engine and fuel. Most of all it looks like a 1920's roadster skimming across teh water. Again, very cool.


Check out the fine entry featuring a wave piercing bow. Multi-hulls are cool!Sunrise near Port Townsend, Washington.
Kathy takes in a beuatiful sunrise as we get underway for Seattle.
Shimmering waters as we sail out of Roche Harbor and enjoy sighting some Ocra whales. A real treat to admire one of the most powerful and beautiful creatures that roam the seas.
Heading out of Port Browing on North Pender Island, Gulf Islands, British Columbia in early morning.
Great lighting for a snap of this blue hulled ketch in Port Browing. IF this is your boat contact me and I'll send you a few more great pictures.
Port Browing on North Pender Island, Gulf Islands, British Columbia
Flase Creek, Vancouver, British Columbia
False Creek
Crazy twisted looking building in Vancouver.

Finding a slip for LightSpeed

October 4, 2010
Seattle, Washington

Catamaran moorage is notorious in short supply with existing marina infrastructure modeled on traditional monohull length to width ratios. As an example, Shilshole Bay Marina, despite recent reconfiguration of dock layouts, maintains a six plus year waiting list for muti-hull sailboats (2010). We were concerned that a lack of moorage in the Seattle area would push us to the fringes of Puget Sound just to tie to a dock.

However, luck was with us when we called Elliot Bay Marina and found an available slip that could accommodate our 24' wide catamaran. Sure they charge a extra $200 dollar premium for the privilege pushing the monthly rate to $676 (2010). Not complaining as the facility is first class and the location is second only to Lake Union.  The downside is this price doesn't include liveaboard.

Well that didn't last long.  The friendly state of Washington would like a 10% bite of our boat if we stay in Washington.  It's called 'use tax' and thus we're moving LightSpeed to boater friendly Oregon.

Update November 2014:  We're back from a 4 year sail around the Pacific and now mooring LightSpeed in San Francisco Bay.  See the story here http://www.ecosailingcharters.com/2014/11/finding-liveaboard-slip-for-lightspeed.html

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Seattle this weekend

Sailed from Pender Island in BC to Roche Harbor to check in with US Customs and enjoyed a nice lunch on the wharf. No crowds this time of year. After lunch we caught the ebb tide out of the the San Juans and encountered a pod of Killer Whales which was a great send off from the San Juans.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca offered welcoming sunny skies. calm seas and winds with just enough punch to sail to lay a course to Port Townsend. To cap off the day we caught sunset on the Straits and Kathy thinks she saw the green flash. I'm not so sure as I was busy taking pictures of the sunset, but maybe one will yield 'flash'. Arriving in Port Townsend in near darkness we anchored off the old ferry terminal for the night.

Tomorrow, we plan to catch the flood tide and ride the current toward Seattle.

Lots to do to prepare for our two week jaunt in China, but we hope to catch up with some friends this weekend before we take off on the 8th. The boat will likely be either at Shilshole or Elliot bay. Give us a call at 425-954-7245

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

La Nina

Learn more about La Nina and why we should expect a cooler than normal temperatures and more precipitation than normal through Spring 2011 in the Pacific Northwest.

http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/fxus05.html

Vancouver, BC Chinese Consulate... Work

September 29, 2010
Day 1855
Position: 49°16'N 123°07' W
Location: False Creek, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Miles sailed year to date: 6823 nautical miles
Miles since day 1 in August 2005: 33,345 nautical miles

A quick stop in Vancouver to visit the Chinese consulate to obtain travel visas for our upcoming visit to China. No we are not sailing there, yet.

We'll be flying to Shanghai, China on October 8th and returning on October 20th. The 2010 world expo is underway in Shanghai so I should have plenty to do while Kathy is training with her new company PharmaLegacy which is based in Shanghai. Kathy has taken a job as Director of Business Development for the Western United States.

So again our dynamic plans have shifted on the winds of our imaginations and we'll be tacking toward the shores of Seattle to settle down and work. However, we are not dropping 'land anchors' and will continue to live-aboard LightSpeed. I'll be pursuing work options that run a gamete of options to be explored after our trip to China.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Approach to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kathy is beginning to REALLY appreciate the sunny days in the Pacific Northwest as they mark a sharp contract to rainy, foggy and dreary days.

British Columbia Fall Cruise

September 10, 2010
25 nautical miles (nm)
Edmonds, Washington (WA) to Port Townsend, WA

September 11, 2010
38 nm
Port Townsend, WA to to Friday Harbor, WA

September 12, 2010
11nm
Friday Harbor, WA to Roche Harbor, WA

September 13, 2010
10nm
Roche Harbor, WA to Bedwell Harbor, Pender Island, British Columbia (BC). Clear BC Customs.
41nm
Bedwell Harbor, BC to Nanaimo, BC

September 14, 2010
25nm
Nanaimo, BC to to Smugglers Cove, BC

September 15, 2010
29nm
Smugglers Cove to Vancouver Bay, Jervis Inlet, BC

September 16, 2010
26nm
Vancouver Bay to Princess Louisa Inlet.

September 17, 2010
Hike to Trappers Cabin.

September 18, 2010
51nm
Princess Louisa Inlet to Pender Harbour, BC

September 19, 2010
23nm
Pender Harbour, BC to Vanada, Texada Island, BC

September 20, 2010
22nm
Vanada, Texada Island, BC to Westview (fuel) to Copeland Islands.

September 21, 2010
37nm
Copeland Islands to Kanish Bay

September 22, 2010
Explore Kanish Bay

September 23, 2010
56nm
Kanish Bayt to Waddington Harbor, Bute Inlet

September 24, 2010
Run Southgate River, Bute Inlet

September 25, 2010
60nm
Bute inlet to Teakerne Inlet

September 26, 2010
16nm
Teakerne Inlet to Copeland Islands

Septmeber 27, 2010
5nm
Copeland Islands to Savary Island

September 28, 2010
80nm
Savary Island to Westview (fuel) to Vancouver, BC

Trip 554 nautical miles

Crabs at Savary Island

Sorting out a pot full of crabs.

New friends share an anchorage at Copeland Islands.
Jon and Andreas battle 30 knot gusts of wind as they try to row the 100' back to their boat. After a valiant 5 minute battle they capitulated and we gave them a ride upwind aboard LightSpeed as we pulled out of the anchorage and they drifted back downwind to their boat.

Fog shrouds a tug and tow of logs. All three a familiar sight in British Columbia waters. This is thin fog as you can actually see something besides blips on the radar screen. Oh, and log booms like this are not good radar targets when the sea is choppy.
LightSpeed looking good.
Kathy checking out a recent ship wreck a good reminder to stay vigilant on our navigation.

Tekerne Inlet Falls

Kathy points the way toward some cool waterfalls in Teakerne Inlet.






More spot prawns, sixty five to be exact on this haul.

Teakerne Inlet





LightSpeed anchored in Teakerne Inlet
Kathy on the trail above the falls
Vista above the falls in Teakerne inlet
Kathy at the lake above the falls on Redonda Island.

LightSpeed tucked tightly in a cove

Sailing Bute Inlet, British Columbia

Kathy ready to fillet a beautiful Silver Salmon.
A couple of nice Coho Silver Salmon. We landed these without a net on small a spinner set up with only 8 pound line. What a sporting fight. I estimate the fish at 5 pounds and 14- 16 pounds.
North end of Bute inlet as the fog dissipated and the clouds parted for a glimpse of the towering and majestic mountains that encase the lonely water of Bute inlet.

Green-grey water in our wake is clouded with glacial till.


We anchored at the mouth of the 'Southgate River' at: 50°53.3456 N 124°48.0927 W in about 15 meters with good holding in silty mud. This anchorage is tucked in close to shoal areas at the river bar and equally close to a rocky bluff which affords some protection from up inlet winds and seas.


Dahl Porpoise enjoy the company of a boat in the remote waters of Bute inlet, British Columbia.





The unique 'Vee' shaped blow of of the Dahl porpoise makes it easy to spot.




Ling Cod ready for the knife.

Ling Cod caught while trolling for salmon. Apparently, our lures were a little too close to the bottom for Salmon and instead we picked up this nice Ling.
Nice rainbow. Even nicer that I can be outside without my foul weather gear on!



Bute Inlet is little explored and as expected and to our delight we never saw another person or boat. Unfortunately, anchorage at the head of the inlet affords little protection from up inlet winds. However, we experienced very little wind during our two night stay while weather reports suggested that a gale was blowing in Johnstone Strait. Our theory is that the many glaciers above the head of Bute inlet limit daytime convective action and the high summits block winds otherwise interested in flowing up or down the inlet. Who knows, maybe we enjoyed lucky timing as our anchorage was flat, calm and very enjoyable. The chilly 43 degree glacial water flowing out of the rivers created a micro climate that reminded one of winter in Seattle. Lots of condensation of the interior hulls, wool hats, long underwear, and rain gear. We very much enjoyed our forced air diesel heaters.
Waterfalls abound along Bute inlet. No surprise as plenty of rain soaked us for most of our visit.



Dave sailing his remote control sailboat in Kanish Bay, British Columbia. Our visit to Kanish Bay offered some surprises as we explored the bay in the dinghy. Fog filled the bay so thickly that our dinghy adventure required we use our hand held GPS to ensure we could find our way home. It was so thick that we had to run the dinghy at slow speed for fear of running into shore. Luckily, the slow pace afforded a rare chance to see a wild salmon swim close to the boat and eventually we found a nice beach bearing oysters and all the clams one could ever want. The clams were only about 4 inches deep in the muddy sand and we soon had plenty for a feast.
Kathy enjoys a book as we ward off the chill of thick fog and rain.
Sea Urchin that crawled into our crab trap near Campbell River, BC

Red Sea Urchin