Ship's Log
Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Circumnavigation of Lasquetti Island

On a mission

    Besty 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 me.

1702.jpg (44264 bytes)Then 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 panels 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 Georgia it offers little protection. 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 wasn’t 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 I 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 don’t 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 wouldn’t 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).

1703.jpg (91169 bytes)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…there is 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 overwhelmingly feeling.  Heck I even went swimming today! 

1704.jpg (76938 bytes) 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 seen.
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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.
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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.
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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.

It's a small world after all. It's a small small world.

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