Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Circumnavigation of Lasquetti Island
and I woke early. We had decided to sail counter clockwise around the island, stop in the
island "store" in False bay, then return with the cargo to our slip in Squitty
Bay. We left Squitty Bay and set the crab trap that Tom left
we headed north through Bull Passage. The wind picked up as did the waves from the south.
We sailed wind and wing past the rock walls and tiny islets that surround this incredible
waterway. We spotted homes tucked away in the woods with solar
and wind generators
in the treetops.
We followed the wind and tide northwest around the top then into False
Bay. The bay got its name because it appears a tranquil and protected anchorage. But when
the mouth of the bay receives the full brunt of wind and waves off the Strait of
But we were only going to be here long enough to stretch our legs and then head back
around the south side of the island.
As we approached the ferry dock, I could not see any
space for a small craft to tie up. We got the anchor line ready just in cast. Then once we
got closer I saw a space at the very end of the pier. There were about 20 people on the
dock waiting for the ferry and watching our approach. As we got closer, Betsy prepared to
through the line to one of the eager-to-help folks on the dock. It was then I saw the sign
that said, "Reserved for Float Plane. No mooring of surface craft." So I told
Betsy it wasnt going to work and I shifted into reverse to back away from the dock
and find another spot.
As the boat slowed to a stop and began to back, there was a high
pitched squeak then the engine died. I knew immediately that the dinghy tow line was
wrapped around the propeller. I put the shifter in neutral and started the engine again. I
tried pulling the line by hand as
tapped into forward, but the engine just died again.
I yelled to Betsy to through a line to the dock. We were adrift and inching toward the
pilings by the ferry dock.
Someone on shore caught the line and helped us tie up at the
floatplane moorage. One of the locals came down and said he had a snorkel mask if I wanted
to borrow it. I did and dove under the boat to see the line wrapped around the propeller 4
or 5 times. It looked like I could get it out without cutting the rope. The water was
remarkably warm. But the adrenaline was flowing at this point, so I dont really know
if it was a comfortable temperature.
I dove holding my breath first seeing if I could
just spin the prop by hand, but it wouldnt budge. I came up for air and untied the
line from the dinghy and the deck cleat so I had more to work with then went down again.
After a few tries I got it undone and with the rope in my mouth, surfaced to a ferry full
of cheering spectators. I climbed back onto the dock and returned the mask to my new
friend. There is a nylon rope now towing the dinghy (nylon floats).
Once onshore, we
headed for the Lasqueti Inn where the general store was.
The store was little
more than a small room off the kitchen of the restaurant. It had two shelves with
batteries, chips, tobacco and drinks and a cooler filled with old plastic juice containers
filled with ice.
After a minute or so the cook came in and we purchased two packs of
tobacco (for $20 Canadian). I went out to the deck of the inn and had a beer as Betsy
explored the beach. I noticed a payphone at the head of the dock so, I went to make
a few calls.
No one was home at my parents or my house. I was kind of glad
really no way to describe this day or the day before or the day before that!
It is hard to
switch gears into the "real world." So I left messages expressing the joy I am
Heck I even went swimming today!
As I sat in
the phone booth and looked at the bay and my little boat sitting in it, I notice the
fishing boat at the head of the dock with really healthy tomato plants in pots just
sitting on the bridge deck. Soon Betsy returned and we left the hustle and bustle of the
False Bay Dock behind. The tide was with us by there was no wind, so we motored down the
south side of the Island.
You can tell that this side gets a lot more harsh weather than the other places we have
Feeling a bit more confident in my abilities, I decided to take the narrow passage between
Jenkins Island and Lasqueti. It was a good call.
There are rock walls that shoot up out of the water.
And as close as we were in these photos, we were still sitting in 260 feet of water.
After we came out the other side of the pass, we continued around the
eastern edge and picked up our crab trap, but there were no crabs to speak of. We drifted
back into Squitty Bay and tied up to where the fishing vessel usually sits. They were out
for a few days and we were welcome to spend the night in their spot. Their faithful dog
was still sitting as the edge of the dock peering out to sea waiting for their return. He
whined all night and never left that spot. Once tied up, we went to deliver the tobacco to
Miguel and he took us to see the moon rise. It was bright yellow and we sat on a grassy
bluff and watched it reflect off the
sea. There was a line of light that was projecting
like a focused spotlight through the marine clouds in the atmosphere. The stars were
magical. I walked back to the boat alone with no flashlight as Betsy stayed behind for one
last moonlight swing. Once aboard I sadly plotted a course away from Lasqueti. After much
deliberating, I decided to press north after dropping Betsy off in Sechelt. I now have
this place in my heart and if this voyage was about staying in one place, I probably would
have never left Doe Bay, or Sucia, or Ganges. I fell to sleep watching the moon rise and
fall from my deck.