Added Comfort From Friendship

When we purchased Nordic Song she came with two decorator pillows (not our style and not comfortable).  We both enjoy handmade items that provide a useful purpose, yet help make an inviting decor.

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To my delight, Bea, a quilting friend from North Carolina, wanted to make us something for our boat.  It meant a lot to both of us and we were thrilled when we received the package from Bea, but even more delighted to enjoy them while boating this summer.

This beautiful table runner ended up getting used daily and received RAVE feedback from fellow boaters that came on board.

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The beautiful batik fabrics really and fun design really cheers up the salon.

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And Bea’s freemotion quilting of a motif that captures waves is absolutely perfect as is her precision piecing.  But then, that is a skill, combined with her design skills, which is why she is an award winning quilter!

Bea also made us two mug rugs.  These are small quilts that are perfect under a coffee mug, water glass, wine glass, etc..

 

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And the nautical theme is perfect on our boat too!

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We have used these mug rugs daily.  They truly have made our summer boating adventure so much more comfortable.

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For those of you that may not quilt, sew, or embroider, I do want to let you know that Bea does accept custom jobs from all over the world.  Possibly you might like a table runner, mug rugs, quilt or machine embroidered item for your boat and/or home, or even something for an upcoming Christmas gift.

Bea of Beaquilter is an award winning quilter who is also a stay at home mom, mother to 4 beautiful children.    You can find Bea at:

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Hello from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

We are currently on the docks at Nanaimo Yacht Club, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.  We hosted fellow boaters from MBYC, on our boat for “Appies” last night.   To clarify, they are from Maple Bay Yacht Club (we are from Mission Bay Yacht Club.  We met at the start of the summer, in Potts Lagoon, in the Broughtons and they hosted Appies on their boat with other MBYC members.  We are all heading south and may meet up with them again in the Gulf Islands.

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The Broughtons were as north as we cruised this year.  We spent more time in this area than we have in the past, allowing us time to visit some favorite places, as well as explore new places.  But mostly, time to relax and enjoy the beauty.  While we love cruising all of the Pacific Northwest, we do feel that the more north one goes the more beautiful the scenery is.  The adventure also becomes more exciting.

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The history of the Broughtons begins with Native habitation dating back thousands  of years. On Mound Island, 14 depressions in the earth are evidence of Native Big Houses
and Long Houses, each of which held extended families. We’re told that trading beads, the colorful glass beads exchanged for valuable pelts by early traders, still can be found on beaches throughout the Broughtons, although we’ve never found any.  We actually brought up such a bead in our anchor chain, while anchoring at Mound this summer!

The Broughtons have a wide variety of anchorages and several resorts (small marinas).  But exploring on land is limited.  Finding old logging roads make for the best hikes:

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You do need to be bear beware and make noise while you are hiking.  We’ve spotted fresh bear scat and bear footprints, but didn’t see any bears while hiking this summer (only spotted bears from our boat or dinghy).

 

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Can you spot the juvenile Bald Eagle in this photo?

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The views change throughout the day as a result of the change of lighting, as well as the movement of the clouds.  Always beautiful.

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Another interesting view is seeing float planes land and take off from the same marina docks you are on:

 

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Darlene also enjoyed feeding Hummingbirds, when we were on anchor, or in a marina.

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We don’t feed the Bald Eagles, but they are also fun to watch.

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There are currently 600+ fires in British Columbia, which we think started from lightening triggered by a small storm we experienced about 2 weeks ago.  While no wind can help to put out fires, we experienced several days where there was so much smoke in the area we needed to lay low and stay inside the boat.  We could tell even the birds were not moving.  For us, this smoke began as we left the Broughtons and entered an area (south) commonly known to mariners as “North of Desolation Sound”.  One of our favorite anchorages in this area is the Octopus Islands, which is a great place to anchor and stay for days, if not weeks.  On this leg of our trip, we were only there for a few days, which were so full of smoke that we couldn’t see across the anchorage.  This picture was taken when the visibility was the best:

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Octopus Islands has two entrances, the one we typically use is via a narrow channel, which ran ~20 feet deep, but it is a beautiful route that is safe. It is also perfect for kayakers, as you can explore many small islands.

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Leaving the Octopus Islands, heading South, the views from the water are stunning:

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Interesting boat houses, where we anchored near Pender, BC Mainland.

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This morning (Mon, 8/27) we’ll leave, heading South, going thru Dodd’s Narrows at slack (~10:45am) and anchor in Montague Harbor, Galiano Island, which is in the Gulf Islands, BC.

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We plan to stay in the Gulf Islands till early September, crossing back into the US after Labor Day.  We’ll clear customs in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island and then anchor in various places in the San Juans till September 11th, when we’ll be hauled out and Nordic Song will spend the winter on the hard (dry land).  I don’t anticipate enough internet access to provide another update, until mid-September.

Again, all is well with us and our boat.  We hope you are also having a wonderful summer!  We are seeing small signs of Fall’s arrival.  She’ll soon be officially knocking on our doors.

 

Hello From The Broughtons

This summer we decided to spend more time in the Broughtons.  We always cruise thru this area when we are heading to SE Alaska, and some summers we’ve spent several weeks cruising this area.  But this year, we decided to make it our main cruising destination.  We’ve been in the area for almost a month and have just come in to Port McNeil to provision, before we go out for another month.

While we are in the North Harbor Marina, they are undergoing an upgrade to their wifi system and access at the marina is terrible.  We actually popped into the laundrymat just for internet access, so this will be a quick update.

Here is a snapshot of part of a “planning chart” that shows the Broughtons.  Our plans are to anchor in some of our favorite spots, as well as visit some new spots.

2018 anchorages in the Broughtons

There are so many great anchorages, fishing areas, as well as small resort marinas that it is impossible to enjoy it all in a single summer (or maybe even a lifetime of boating).  But here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to:

Enjoyed a nice hike on a recently abandoned logging trail near Potts Lagoon:

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fresh bear scat

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Have enjoyed fishing.  Caught a few rock fish, sole, and a halibut so far.  Hoping for a lingcod.

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Have spotted a number of black bears on the beach, but haven’t yet seen any brown bears.

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Enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July at Sullivan Bay Resort & Marina.  This is a floating community HOA (float homes, floating restaurant, floating laundry, etc.).  They hosted a fun day that began with a parade where many wore costumes (not us) and walked all the docks, followed by blind dinghy restaurants, a yummy BBQ, and a band. Great time to meet other boaters and make many new friends.

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We also had an amazing sunset, while at Sullivan.  The next night was very wet.  Weather changes a lot in the Pacific North West.

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We are enjoying the quiet anchorages.

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We’re even enjoying the rain!

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Tomorrow we’ll head back out for more time anchoring in the Broughtons, as well as exploring and fishing.  Salmon are starting to come into these beautiful waters, which also brings more eagles, and Orcas.  We’ve heard the whales are in the area, but we’ve not yet spotted any.

We hope you are having a wonderful summer too!  As always, we love to hear from you when you have a chance.  As we are in an area that cell coverage is not that great, texts (w/o photos) tend to go thru better than a phone call and we can pick up email when we get to marinas that have wifi (about every 2 weeks).  If you have any good reads to recommend, we’re also looking for more books to download.  Amazing how many books we both read in a summer of boating.

 

 

 

Welcome Summer 2018

Our summer boating season for 2018 officially kicked off when we launched on June lst.  It is now a sunny summer day and we are on the docks at Lagoon Cove, on West Crracroft Island, in the Broughtons.  This is actually our favorite southern most stop in the Broughtons and they have internet access on the docks, as well as many places around the resort.  Non boaters may want to simply think of it as the East side of Vancouver Island, about 25% from the Northern tip.  You can also click on the image (map) below where a Google Maps view will allow you to zoom in/out, to gain a better perspective of the area.  If you want to navigate these waters with this chart, I’ll leave that decision up to you.

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Weather reached 88 degrees today, which is very unusual for June.  As always, we are enjoying our time at Lagoon Cove.  Fun to chat with fellow boaters on the docks, some we’ve met previously and have become friends with and some new introductions were made with people we hope to see again.  We also shared a fun time at Happy Hour tonight, which included a large bowl of yummy prawns.  Wish I could share them with you.

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Here are some photos of the scenery we’ve been enjoying so far:

It was fun to watch a tug tow a number of fish pens.  More entertainment was provided later in the day, after we anchored, when the tug brought these pens in and secured them to a special buoy system for tugs to leave their haul.  After it was secured, the tug left for the night.  We have no idea when it would come back, nor where these pens were destined, but it was interesting to observe.

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We’ve enjoyed many quiet anchorages, as well as quiet cruises.  This has also provided sightings of a number of black bears, a pair of Bald eagles giving quite a lecture to kick young one out of the nest (junior was no longer wanted at home), and a red breasted merganser bird with 5 fluffy babies fight off a Bald eagle (wanted baby nuggets for lunch).  But we’ve not yet seen any whales, nor white sided dolphins.

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Tomorrow morning we head to Pott’s Lagoon,   which is also on West Cracroft Island (the next Lagoon past Lagoon Cove).During high tide you can kayak, or take your dinghy back into the very peaceful lagoon, with an easy and safe anchorage quite close to the mouth of the lagoon.  There are also a few float home rentals nearby that are perfect for fisherman, as well as those that want to kayak in the area, or simply relax and enjoy the amazing view.   For those that don’t have a boat, there are charter services that will provide transportation to/from, as well as float planes.   We plan to stay for a few days and plan to do some fishing, out in the channel.

Lastly, for those on Instagram, we have also created an Instagram account to share photos of our travels on Nordic Song:  https://www.instagram.com/nordicsong/   Either way, we’re limited to internet access for blog post updates, as well as sharing photos on instagram, so such updates will not be that frequent of an occurrence this summer.  Hopefully I won’t bore you with updates.  Lastly, I want to say how much we enjoy hearing from those of you that keep us updated (e.g. text, emails, phone calls) as we alwaysenjoy hearing what you are up to, even when we are boating.  But admittedly, text updates are the best way to reach us.  Just no photo attachments please, as we do not have a phone plan to support such while in British Columbia.

Dolphin Days

We had a wonderful summer boating on Nordic Song.  As we had limited internet access, as well as the death of Darlene’s laptop, we weren’t able to share many updates throughout the summer. While we’ll try to provide some highlights later, today we want to share a quick recap, as well as a highlights of a great experience we had with nature this summer.

This summer was a check out summer of our new boat, Nordic Song.  We both agreed we are glad we decided to get a larger boat, given we spend all summer boating.  Needless to say, we are still very happy with the decision to go with a Nordic Tug 42.  And, we honestly feel that the stars aligned for us to get the particular boat of our dreams, with only ~100 hours on her.  That is why we consider this particular summer to be a check out summer, to try to get to know a new boat, as well as trouble shoot any issues with a boat that had such few hours on her.  While we did have to replace the house batteries, we had relatively few minor issues while cruising, and a few items that we want to change for next year.  Overall, she handled well and we found her very comfortable to cruise on.

We spent a good part of the summer in the Broughtons, but also visited favorite spots  along the way, as well as found plenty of new spots in the various cruising grounds (e.g. North of Desolation Sound, Desolation Sound, Gulf Islands, and San Juan Islands).

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We did a crew change out the last week, where Darlene spent a week with Leslie (SIL) and Rodney (BIL) and Brad spent a week cruising in the San Juan Islands.

The boat is now on the hard (dry land) and we are going thru the traditional end of summer cleaning and will winterize the boat, before we leave.  In the meantime, we are also enjoying our time visiting with( Rodney & Leslie, as well as other friends in the area.

One of our favorite things about cruising the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is seeing nature in all her beauty, including the wildlife.    We saw plenty of whales, bears, eagles and other birds.  We also saw a small hawk swoop down to catch a small seabird, as they crashed into the water and the hawk had to flap it wings to swim to shore, before giving up on his catch.  But our absolutely highlight this summer was our experience with a large pod of dolphins, over a two day window while on anchor in the Broughtons.

Our first encounter with these dolphins was while we were out on a dinghy ride, where we enjoyed watching the dolphins jump, as well as “bump” our dinghy to play with us.  Later, they came further into the anchorage where we could observe them from our boat.  And, there were multiple times where they raced around our boat, while on anchor.  It was definitely an amazing experience that we will never forget.

Here is a video that Brad made to share this experience with you. If you have head phones, you may want to plug them in and turn up the volume to also enjoy the music while viewing the video.

Definitely a fun Dolphin Days of summer experience for us this year that we will never forget.

We hope you have also had a wonderful summer.

Nordic Song Introduction

 

Seems like this is a perfect time to introduce Nordic Song and provide an update on what we are up to this summer.  You may recall last summer we sent El Bucanero (our previous loved boat) off to live (and be loved) by a wonderful couple that live in Juneau, Alaska.  We delivered “Bucky” to them in Ketchikan, leaving us “boatless”, till this past Spring when we found the perfect boat for our extended Pacific Northwest Cruising.  To clarify, El Bucanero (Wilbur 34) was truly a perfect boat for us, but when it comes to spending all summer cruising in the PNW we both agreed it was time for a larger boat.  So, we were delighted when we found a Nordic Tug 42, with ~100 hours on it for sale.

While, like Bucky, we keep Nordic Song on the hard in Anacortes, WA, we launched her early June and have been focusing on shakedown cruising, which includes time to get to know a different boat.  Still loads to learn, but we’re now more comfortable, but still have items to troubleshoot.  Needless to say, we’ve both fallen in love with Nordic Song and have been enjoying the summer cruising, in amazing PNW weather.

 

We are currently in Lagoon Cove, BC, which is part of the Broughton Archipelago which has been one of our favorite places.  And Lagoon Cove remains one of our “must” visit places every year.  Ownership changed hands late last summer and we are thrilled that the new owners are making changes, to make it their own style, while also respecting the history.  There are scenic walking and hiking trails, beautiful scenery, great areas for fishing, crabbing, prawning, as well as super fun pot luck socials nightly and tonight we had a yummy prawn fest.

 

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For those that are out on the water for long periods of time, Lagoon Cove also provides a great reason to visit that you can’t find all that often, the further North you cruise.  The PNW is pretty much a “pack it in/pack it out” type of place.  Large communities may offer trash services, but for the most part you need to carry your trash until you can find appropriate places to dispose.  Lagoon Cove offers a “burn barrel” where you can take care of burnable trash.  Needless to say, we had a very large bag of burnables to take off the boat.

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We are both getting to know the new boat, which means learning new mechanical and electronic systems.  To clarify, that also includes a new “larger and more powerful” dinghy.    I think Brad really likes the “go fast” power of the dinghy.

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We don’t have a formal schedule for cruising this year.  All pretty easy going: go North till we decide it is time to turn around and go home.  This means we will explore new areas, as well as visit some of our favorite places.

Here are some highlights:

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Anacortes, Fidalgo Island – launched on Friday, June 10th, met our boat broker on Saturday for time to go thru the boat for much needed Q&A. Anchored Saturday night in Blind Bay, Shaw Island (San Juan Islands).

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While we cruised on to Garrison Bay, San Juan Island and enjoyed more nights on anchor, we concluded the main house batteries were not working.  We called our “Master Boat Magician” Gordy, and made arrangements to meet him in Skyline Marina, Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, where we had new house batteries installed.

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We then headed out for more cruising in the San Juan Islands and once we verified things were working, we pushed North into the Gulf Islands, British Columbia.  We cleared customs in Bedwell (Pender Island), Ganges (Salt Spring Island) Montague Harbor (Galiano Island), visited friends in Ladysmith (Vancouver Island), Nanaimo, Pender (BC Mainland), Squirrel Cove (Cortes Island), Octopus, Forward, on to Lagoon Cove.   We’ll continue North spending time on anchor in the Broughtons, before we pop in to Port McNeil (Vancouver Island) to get fuel and provision.    For now, we want to close by letting everyone know we are fine, Nordic Song is doing great, we have amazing weather for cruising and we hope you are having a wonderful summer too!  Here are some more photos that we hope will give you more insight on why we love cruising in the PNW.

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There are so many areas of cruising in the PNW and find them all beautiful, yet different. The views are always amazing.

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Hiking thru forests for perfect daily Zen.

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Nature is awesome:

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We feel very fortunate to be able to do what we do, to see what we see.  We know there are no guarantees for how long we may have such an opportunity, and that there are also many choices in life for how and where we spend our time. For us, the PNW is where we want to be. At the same time, we also miss being able to visit more with friends and family that are elsewhere.  But we do appreciate hearing from everyone via text, emails, or cell and we hope you too are having a wonderful summer.

BTW – We don’t plan on frequent blog posts this summer.  Actually, awhile back I thought we’d not be posting on this blog any more.  But with a new boat, comes new experiences.  Thus, I think we’ll periodically use this blog to provide a few updates.  While you can check this blog url for updates, you may want to “sign up” for updates via the option in the upper right hand column.  Wordpress allows you to use your email to sign up to receive email updates when we do share such.  I’m not sure technically how it works, but want to encourage those interested in receiving such updates to try that feature.  If you have problems let Darlene know and we’ll try to help.

 

MORNING UPDATE:  We decided to spend one more night here in Lagoon Cove, before heading North.  It rained a little bit last night, but we hope to be able to get a hike in today, as well as spend more time visiting with other boaters on the docks.  And we’ll probably get more shrimp tonight too!  Yeah!!!

 

 

Anmchara Is For Sale

You may remember us sharing insights about Chuck & Carol Worst, whom we met years ago while cruising.  Our paths crossed many times in the Pacific Northwest, including SE Alaska.  Their boat “Anmchara” is a 46′ Canoe Cove (’91)  and is a beautiful vessel perfect for cruising.

Chuck and Carol are excellent mariners, but have decided it is time for them to retire from boating.  They’ve put their boat up for sale and we want to help spread the word  as a new owner will certainly enjoy this boat.  Plus, for the right buyer, I think Chuck & Carol would certainly help “consult” to show them the ropes of cruising the PNW, possibly even going out with them on a cruise to get them familiar with this beautiful boat.

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For more info:   Contact Fairhaven Yacht Sales or click thru to view details shared on Yacht World.