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July 2006 Log: Departure from Vancouver

July 2006 – Departure from Vancouver

July 1, 2006

We won’t bore you with more gory packing details but we pulled another
all nighter and worked to 6 am and finally had our apartment cleaned up
and ready for our tenant, Kandey Larden, with just 3 hours before she
was to take possession. That makes a total of 4 hours of sleep over the
last 72 hours. We are very glad we don’t have to do this often….

Sunday July 2, 2006

We are now officially living on the boat. One hull and the main cuddy
cabin are nice and neat but the starboard hull has all our boat yard stuff
packed into it that we will need for our last bit of work before we leave.

One funny thing that happened tonight as we went back to the apartment
to pick up some more boxes. We were all loaded up to go back to the boat
and I turned the key and nothing happened. If you don’t know our car it
is a 1985 Honda Prelude with 301,000 km that should have gone to the big
parking lot in the sky two years ago but we have kept nursing it along
(at great expense) until our departure day. It’s final hurrah will be
when I take it to the car auction on the day before we leave to see what
we will get for it. Anyways back to the non-starting car, we didn’t know
what to do. Because of the long weekend it would be two days before we
could have it looked at. We were 6 miles from the boat with a car packed
with boxes. Carllie pleaded with me that there must be something I could
do. I happened to have a hammer with us that I had just used to fix a
baseboard for our new tenant. I opened the hood and gave the starter about
10 good whacks. Carllie tried the key and voila it started! She was duly
impressed at this magical repair. I did tell her the fix did look more
impressive than it actually was as I probably had just loosened a stuck
bendix on the starter. Anyways with great relief we were off again.

We finally got our first 8 hours of sleep in a week on our gently swaying

Monday July 3, 2006

We are finally off for two week timeshare / recovery holiday in the Oakangan
at Kalaway Bay Resort. We are in a small trailer about 30 feet from beautiful
Kalamalka Lake near Vernon.

Friday July 7, 2006

We seemingly have just woken up from about 4 days of continuous sleep
interspersed with swimming in the lake, biking, and eating.

My friend, Rob Flavell, convinced me to go on an easy backwoods hike
along the new "High Ridge Trail" to Vernon. He estimated that
it would take 4 hours. I packed water and food for 4 hours. While on the
trail I soon discovered that Rob seemed to have much more food and water
than I had. Well the "4 hour hike" turned into a 6 and 1/2 hour
marathon. The last 2.5 hours consisted of me feeling every step on my
blistered feet while watching Rob eat all his extra food. Lucky I won’t
have to walk much while sailing on the boat. My feet and joints should
recover by the time we get back. I am sure there will be some payback
when I get Rob out for an "easy" squash lesson in 18 months.

Tuesday July 10, 2006

Not much happening the last few days, just the regular swimming and biking,
and working transfering all my files to our Panasonic CF-72 Toughbook
(and hopefully waterproof ) laptop.


July 14, 2006

Our holiday in the Okanagan came to a close today with some very teary
goodbyes to very special friends as we had to head back to Vancouver for
our final week preparation.

Saturday was the day of the big send-off party at the Ariels’ who
opened up their beautiful house to all our friends. There was all this
fabulous food, especially the smoked salmon mini-sandwiches and the unique
cake with a picture of Light Wave. There were several presentations at
the end of the day.

One of the presentations included a bag of envelopes with numerous envelopes
inside. The bag was called, “RX – Inspiration and love from
your friends. Sig: Take 1 message every 7 days”. Everyone who came
signed a card and wrote a thought inside it and put it in a separate envelope.
We now have about 40 messages to look forward to as we go along our trip.
We have decided to open one every Monday (unless the weather is really
stormy with really big waves and we need a double dose!).

It was truly an amazing day and we would like to thank all who came,
and especially to the hosts, Daken and Korianne.

Sunday July 16, 2006 – Under a week to go – Back
to boat work and final preparations

We were back at the River Rock Marina in the boat and we started working
hard again taking all these boxes that were in our storage locker (12!)
and finding a place for everything in the boat. Carllie did the sorting
and organizing while I worked on the never-ending list of boat projects
sprinkled with a few trips to West Marine.

As the boat was still a mess and we were still painting some of the floors,
the Ariels very kindly invited us to sleep at their home while they were
away. Thank you again, Daken and Korianne!

The week also had a couple of all-nighters of programming to cleanup
a remaining project before we left, as well as, dinners with various friends.

Friday July 21, 2006 – 1 day to go + The Safety Inspection
Dock Party!

We were up early as this was our last day with our car. We raced around
Richmond to Galloway’s, Industrial Plastics, Superstore, and Richmond
Farm Market, and Costco and somehow bought and stored another $500 of
food on our packed littleboat.

At noon I met up with our very good friend, Carilyne Whitworth, who followed
me out for the “Last Drive” in our faithful (but expensive)
1985 Prelude to Able Auctions. I gave it a small goodbye hug and left
it with the instruction, “no reserve”, just send us the check.

At 6 pm, the dock party started with friends who came by for a final
“safety inspection”. We were comforted by the fact that our
good friend Garett Haynes said, “I feel better about you going on
your trip now…”

At midnight we finally went to sleep. We were way too tired to do any
more boat projects. They would have to wait for Saturday am.

Saturday July 28, 2006

Carllie: We didn’t get to Jedediah Island when we’d expected.
Firstly, we finally left the dock at Vancouver (amid many kisses, hugs
and handshakes and well wishes and much cheering from our wonderful friends)
at about 1430 hrs instead of 1200 hrs, as planned. You know how it is—a
million last-minute things to do, including checking our bank balance
and submitting a query letter to a sailing magazine. Plus, most importantly,
Garett re-installed our screecher bowsprit with the help of our stalwart
friend, Casey. It was a lot of rushing about, you can be sure.

Garett: Before we departed we actually had a visit from a famous medicine
man, Chief Aure Madooga, (I believe AKA Harreson Lovick) who came and
gave an extensive good luck dance on the entire boat (video to come) to
ward off any bad spirits.

Carllie: Finally, we chopped the line that held us to land with a hatchet
from our new friend Peter (from the S.V. Night Hawk at River Rock Casino
Marina), who said this was the way we must begin our Big Adventure. Garett
hopped on board, and we made our way out of the marina and down the river,
our friends running to the end of the docks to continue waving. It was
a tearful time.

About 5 minutes along just as we were nearing the Arthur Laing Bridge which
we would pass under, we heard a terrific honking, evidently from a big truck
on the bridge. At first it sounded like an accident but the honking continued.
It appeared to be a big cement truck. Just then then the cement mixer turned
and this big “ La Farge” sign rolled into view and then all of sudden
we realized the honker was our new friend Brad Parry (two boats down from us
during our haulout in May and June) from Shelter Island Boatyard. Brad has recently
started working for the nearby cement plant, and being that both are a good
10 miles from our departure point, and that Brad did not know what time we would
be leaving, though we may have told him the date, this was an unbelievable and
Kismet-like coincidence! We frantically waved, but by then Brad probably had
his eyes back on the road. Thank you, Brad! You provided the piece de resistance
for a wonderful send-off!

Here is a photo that our friend Casey took on our departure trip down the Fraser River:

UNEXPECTED SHOW Anyway, we made our way down the river and reached Coward’s
Cove, a little bolt-hole you can tuck into before entering the Strait
of Georgia. As we were both exhausted, we dropped anchor here, planning
on staying the night and finishing a few little jobs required before we
set sail to Jedediah (such as attaching the sails!). Two tired bodies
fell into pretty deep slumber for a couple of hours. When we woke up,
I was somewhat aghast to see a couple of nude male bodies, one on the
breakwater and the other in his boat. Now, I don’t mind nudists
if they are where they are supposed to be—on nearby Wreck Beach
which Vancouver has designated for bare-naked bathers. But I do mind beholding
them in public places when they are quite obviously showing off their
wares! It was time for our first adjustment in plans.

We motored to Paisley Island, just off the city-annexed Bowen Island,
and dropped our hook where we have done before, in a nice little cove
on the NE corner. This is such a pretty spot with a beautiful view into
Howe Sound and of the surrounding mountains, and here we stayed for an
unplanned three nights. The wind being from the NW was against us for
sailing to Jedediah, and we really didn’t want to fight it. Besides,
other than starting our journey down the west coast in the first week
of August, what’s the big rush?

Garett used the time to reattach the sails and trampoline and set up
our new Garmin Chart Plotter, plus tackle sundry smaller jobs.

Eventually, the winds shifted to the SE, and we were ready to go. While
Paisley is a lovely island (on which we never set foot), it is still very
quick access to the city, and just didn’t feel removed enough. The
residents own the whole island in shares, and you still get the feeling
of land ownership and exclusivity. We were happy to pull up anchor on
July 25th, and finally set out sails. Since hauling out for our final
improvements in May, this was the first time Light Wave had done what
she’d been built to do—sail, and she felt good as did we.

The wind didn’t hold, so eventually we motored, and a couple of
miles off Texada (the big island just across from tiny, jewel-like Jedediah),
we deployed first our drogue and then parachute anchor to try them out.
Both worked as promised, and we learned more about how to actually deploy
and work with them. No good waiting until you are in 50-foot waves to
learn how to deploy them! We will get in some more practicing in this
pretty deserted part of Georgia Strait when we leave.

JEDEDIAH AT LAST Arriving at Jedediah was like stepping into a cool,
quiet forest from the hustle of the city. Being a Marine Park, it is unpopulated
except for transient boaters and campers and the herds of goats and sheep
the roam the island. We anchor at Home Bay, a slightly elevated bay which
we enter through a narrow passage that Garett mapped out several years
ago so we can avoid the large rocks that lurk just below the surface at
high tide.

We’ve been here three nights now, and plan to leave Monday, July
31st. Again, Garett is catching up on jobs such as attaching the propane
hose for the barbecue, securing the cable for the radar inside our cuddy
cabin, installing the SSB receiver. Right now, he’s on shore using
some rocks as a table to add another layer of fiberglass and epoxy to
our new and spare rudder. What a guy! Nothing is too much for him. I can
see him through the cuddy cabin window, munching on a goody bag of trail
mix (courtesy of our thoughtful friend Carilyne Whitworth!) before he
starts gluing.

Since we launched Light Wave, we’ve been enjoying Jedediah. The
last full-time residents, Mary and Al Palmer, sold the island to the Province
of B.C. in 1995 for a cut-rate price to ensure it would be made into a
park for all to enjoy. We love its peace and the unique feel of it as
we run or hike the trails. The land is fragrant with the scents of the
forest—spruce and other evergreen trees, Arbutus, and many bushes.
We smelled that heady fragrance half a mile away on the water. We have
fit in two runs together, and I ran solo this afternoon as Garett was
determined to use the time catching up on the jobs that must be done before
we venture out into the Pacific on the unprotected coastline of the USA.
It’s very enjoyable to have the time to chat with people who are
also visiting this lovely spot, to find out a little bit about their plans
and to share ours, and to play with their dogs! (Garett simply would not
let me bring a cat or a dog with us, no matter how small, and had told
me the only way we’ll get an animal is if we find one abandoned
and floating on a log at sea! Fat chance…)

The first full day at Jedediah, we went hunting: both of us picking oysters
and me doing my favorite activity—digging clams. The bay is full
of both species, and it’s easy to “catch” them as this
whole bay dries six hours a day (another advantage of a catamaran!). Although
there’s a perennial “red tide warning” posted, we pick
a few and do the tongue test to decide whether or not we will harvest
more and eat them. If the tongue tingles, we don’t pick them. Only
once did we decide I shouldn’t dig the Japanese Littleneck clams
that abound in this bay—last year when there was a current red tide
warning broadcast on the marine radio. We have now enjoyed two lunches
of small raw oysters served with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of Cajun
spice, and a dinner of pasta with Creamy Clam sauce. Tonight, we’ll
finish the pasta and fry up a heap of breaded oysters on our outside barbecue.

The bay we are in is fully protected and dries during low tide (see pictures
below with and without water).

I’ve just looked out the window and see a powerboat cruiser anchored
very very close. Why do people do this? They have the whole bay, and they
anchor 75 feet away! Ali and Pat (www.bumfuzzle.com) experienced the same
thing in the Mediterranean recently. Is it the herd instinct? Do they
want to share our dinner? Once a few years ago, a yahoo anchored about
10 feet away—no lie! When Garett told him he was a little close
for safety, he stuck out his chest and said, “I’ve got insurance”!!!
What a philosophy! We quickly upped anchor and left that little bay to
find one with boats operated in a more seamanlike and logical fashion.

A couple of thank you’s

A note to Rosolynn: we’ve already used the Comfrey on a bee sting
on Garett’s leg. To Casey and Amandah: boy, are we having fun with
the Bug Zapper! It vaporizes those pesky mosquitoes! You can just imagine
Garett while he’s using it! Word got around and last night we had
no whiny visitors! Dhorea: I’ve used your lovely notepaper twice
already. Darling Carilyne: we are enjoying your care packages of nuts
and raisins almost every day and I hope to be writing letters with the
great paper that you shouldn’t have given me, before we reach Nanaimo.
Ronaye and Garett: We are enjoying our daily mochachinnos and are trying
to strech it out Everybody: Thank you to everybody again for the new presure
cooker which I use almost daily.

We opened our first “love letter” (from a package of 40 notes
written by friends at our wonderful Bon Voyage Party at Korianne and Daken
Ariel’s place on strict instructions to read only one a week), from
Sharolie and Ot. We will save their $20 enclosure for those Virgin Chi
Chi’s in Mexico!

From Jedediah we reluctantly plan to head for the coastal city of Nanaimo,
as we’ve found we actually forgot to buy an inverter, and Garett
needs a few more nuts and bolts. While there we will stock up on fresh
produce and milk as well, plus fill up our water tanks and maybe do some
laundry, though that could wait until Ganges on Saltspring Island!

Today we finished putting on our boat name and origin, Amandah will be
happy to note. It looks great, and we’re official: “Light
Wave, Vancouver Canada”.

We’re observing the Oystercatchers, the island raccoon, and the
very entertaining tiny sand crabs that run for cover as we walk over the
dried bay mid-day and have luaus over the bits left in the oyster shells
that we throw overboard. Already, the night sky is full of twinkling stars
and the edge of the Milky Way, and we can only wonder what it will be
like mid-ocean when we hear the stars fill the sky as one has never before
seen them. Life is fine.

July 29, 2006

To our delight, we’ve discovered the “island raccoon”
is actually a mommy! Early this evening, we were watching her on the drained
bay poke through the hapless victims left behind at low tide, and I said,
“Maybe she has some babies.” A moment later, I spied three
tiny bodies hopping toward her. They were really really tiny, mini-racoons:
same bandit faces, same tiny forlegs, same striped tail, but not yet bushy—just
striped and curved. My wildlife biologist friend Roegan will be appalled
by this comment, but they were sooooo cute! We were enchanted. We watched
them hop and run with their lop-sided gate, as they too hunted and then
ran after mommy—who never got too far away. They would run under
her tail, between her hind legs and out the other side. All the while,
they were chittering and chirping in their baby voices.

Time for a little marshmallow roast…

Sunday July 30, 2006

Garett: I am now down to about 10 remaining tasks to do to the boat from
the 40 when we arrived at Jedediah six days ago. I just realized that
the job lists was a bit of protection, a shield from the reality that
we would have to go out Juan De Fuca Strait and out into the big Pacific
and actually sail somewhere and not just sit in the beautiful bays on
the west coast. There are some pangs of insecurity like “am I really
ready for this?”. I guess it is time for the rubber to hit the road
and find out ……

Monday July 31, 2006

We were up early for our departure to Nanaimo. The winds were light so
we had time to practice with our parachute storm anchor that deploys off
the bow and keep you pointed into the very bad waves in the most stable
position. Our first attempt I managed to get a shackle caught on a cleat
when I tried to deploy it off the stern. This resulted in it getting all
tangled up. I am very glad we are doing this testing now. An hour later
we tried again but this time from the front of the boat and everything
worked properly. When deployed off the bow, and with the engine in full
reverse you are completed stopped in the water. We received very good
advice a couple of months from our friend Iain Young that you have to
test this equipment thoroughly in good conditions before you attempt to
set it in a storm at night….. We are glad (and you are glad) we

We got to the “big city” of Nanaimo and tied up at the Esso
fuel dock and proceeded to do our errands with hike up the big hill at
Departure Bay Ferry Terminal to the West Marine and for some groceries.
While shopping for groceries we resisted the impulse buy of the package
of 6 cinnamon buns and also restrained ourselves from going to Tim Horton’s
for donuts. We saw this as a sign that we are slowly relaxing. We would
soon see in the next 24 hours how fragile our self-control really was…..

We left Nanaimo at 8 pm and had a very pleasant motor through Dodds Narrows.
We anchored in Boat Harbor near Ladysmith.

About Author

Garett Hennigan

Garett Hennigan is a mechanical engineer who in partnership with his wife, Carllie, built a 28 foot catamaran, Light Wave, in 1999. He has sailed extensively with his wife through Mexico, Hawaii and now back in the Pacific northwest with over 20,000 sailing miles and over 5000 hours of boatbuilding experience.

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