Summer 2005
Friday Harbor, WA, to Port McNeill, BC, and back

We left Friday Harbor June 22 and returned the day before Labor Day, September 4. We made a slow getaway with stops at nearby Jones Is., Waldron Is. to see friends who had moved there, then Roche Harbor, San Juan Is., for a final school function. Then over to Canada, Bedwell Harbour (where we picked up a new u in "harbour"), Montagu Harbour on Galliano Is., Thetis Is., then through Dodd Narrows to Nanaimo (where both Bill and Pam had running injuries on Newcastle Is. Stayed in Nanaimo for Canada Day (July 1 and 2). Our first big crossing, of Georgia St., was very gentle and took us to Pender Harbour on the mainland of British Columbia. From there it was a two-day skip to Squirrel Cove, Cortes Is., near Desolation Sound. These first legs were cool and drizzly. Our first swimming stop, in Roscoe Bay, West Rendonda Is., turned into a hiking stop. A hike up the mountain took us into the clouds. The log for that night reads "Strong (!) winds overnight. Lots of rain too. Gales in Georgia St. Near gales in this little anshorage."

We made our first-ever move above Desolation on July 9, up to the Rendevous Is., then, starting on the 10th, through the several sets of rapids that mark the back channel to the north. July 13 says, "1035 Sun trying to break through." Codero Channel, Port Harvey, Lagoon Cove, Farewell Harbour, then, On July 15, our first stop at the northern-most port of the trip, Pt. McNeill, 60 miles or so south of the end of Vanocouver Is. Just south of there was Alert Bay, Malcolm Is., where we went to the dances by the Nimpkish tribe in their Big House, above the U'Mista Cultural Center. The tribal burial ground is near the town.

We had some easy crossings. This is in Desolation Sound and a picture of Pam relaxing in Queen Charlotte Strait. Another crossing of that same water had us holding on tight in 3-4' waves on the beam. Queen Charlotte was our route down to the Broughton group of islands, a place where we spent quite a few days. In Echo Bay we met Billy Proctor, a fellow who has spent his whole life in this place. He wrote an autobiography, with Alexandra Morton, that begins with him reflecting on how bountiful everything--trees, fish, other goods--used to be and how limited those same things are limited now. He's turned his attention to salmon recovery and oppostion to salmon farming. He gave the boys some lures and both of them caught their first fish that afternoon. They fed us a couple of meals later in the trip.

It was in Echo Bay that Pam got to spend a few days with Alexandra Morton, a woman who went to BC to watch and learn from the whales. She has no graduate degree but she is publishing her latest work, on salmon farming, in academic journals on parasites, and her house is filled with graduate students.

A place we returned to a few times was Mamalilakula, an abandoned Indian village on Village Is. It has the start of a Longhouse, some vacant houses, and some totems on the ground. John Campbell, a retired teacher from Victoria, BC, showed Sam how to look for trading beads on the beach. He found one.

We had some good sailing days and some fantastic sailing days and some challenging sailing days. Downwind in 30 knots in Johnstone Strait was one of the best days we've spent on the water. Crossing Georgia Straits in 30+ knots and ten foot waves was challenging. The boat did fine, Pam drove and swallowed her fears, Bill pointed out the next big one coming our way, and the boys hid below and laughed as the skippers got doused. We also entered our first race: the Shark Spit Regatta, which happens near Cortes Is. on the full moon in August. We lost. Okay, we didn't finish. Check out the picture of no wind ... it was sailboat race.

Here are some pictures of Sam and Joe. And of some tasks onboard. And some scenery.

We spent the night aboard the Eleanor E once we got back to Shipyard Cove Marina in Friday Harbor (no u) and started the slow unloading ... until next year.

Bill & Pam