First 3 Days to Alaska
Victoria to Bedwell harbour – Southpender Island
0600 rise & shine! Eggs, toast & berries to fill up our bellies, last few boat checks with our crew all fresh and up on deck. We slip lines, with otters waving us off from Victoria. After a quick fuel pit stop, we said goodbye to the buzz of the city, bye to the sound of sirens & bye the abundance of sea planes.
With everyone busy getting to ropes with the boat, we hoisted the main sail, reefed, pulled out the yankee & set sail towards South Pender Island. Crew rotations came into play, getting everyone familiar with the feel of the helm & general runnings of the boat. All hands were on deck.
SE winds, up the Haro Strait, past San Juan Island & Orcas Island.Time passes quickly when everyone shares stories, their experiences of sailing & getting to know one another. Soon enough, we centred the main, furled away the yankee & entered Southpender Island.
A multitude of douglas fir, western red cedar and hemlock trees, glass front chalets & quirky builds overlooking the glimmering waters of Southpender. As we motor deeper into the island towards our anchorage, a greater sense of adventure settles amongst the crew, eager to explore the coastline & local village of Bedwell Harbour.
With our anchor down, fender inflated, some of the crew head ashore to scout out the area whilst we get a couple of jobs done onboard.
Veggie pasta underneath pastel pink skies, Sea Dragon sleeps happily at our first anchorage of the trip, ready for an early rise tomorrow.
Day 2 – Bedwell Harbour to Lasqueti Island
0700 anchor up, we head North. With tide against us for the first two hours, we made time. Ken, a fella on our last trip, gave us a bell as we departed the Island – turns out, he had planned on surprising us that morning as he moored up late that night. Unfortunately we were already making way & promised to catch him next time.
A long picturesque motoring day up the Strait of Georgia. The sun burnt through the clouds, the wind dead on our bow, snow capped mountains on each beam, and a couple of blow holes spraying to port side.
Polenta and mushrooms & Dutch Buttercake (whipped up by our giant dutchman) for dinner in the cockpit, we closed in on Lasqueti. A welcome committee befriended us as we anchored in False Bay, exchanging stories & recommendations amongst the crew. As the sun went to bed & the stars began to dance, a sense of peace settled amongst Sea Dragon in False Bay.
Day 3 – Explore Lasqueti Island
Porridge & dried fruit to kick start the day. We headed ashore to gander around the island. Potholed roads, fern ridden trucks, rust written signage on reused car parts, local ferry captain running with rocks, cookie shack filled with plenty goodies, duck eggs on the road side, a hairdressers joined onto the only bar/restaurant. Minimalism.
With a population of approx 400 people, dogs, queer sheep and deer; residents range in diverse professions from, artists to landscapers, musicians, physicians, poets, fisherman, tree planters and huggers! A volunteer fire department responds to emergencies, a nurse is available 4hrs per week or by phone 24/7. The nearest formal clinic would be on Vancouver Island. Back in the day, residents used to row from False Bay in response to a bonfire on Nanaimo that indicated mail had arrived.
A true community feel, they do say peace in nature often brings peace of mind
After a mexican inspired lunch spread, the crew took the afternoon to embrace the slow pace of life on Lasqueti, delving in to the boat’s onboard library & reading up on deck in the sun & underneath circling bald eagles.
Swimming at sunset, the waters of False Bay feel energising and relieving. The rock pools bubble with life, the rocks warm from the ray exposure, as the sun casts an orange glistening glow over the bay.