First off, Elsa graduated (Congrats!) from WGSS this year, so there were the additional activities around that. Also, end of School-year wrap up is always a bit of push; lots to do and you always find yourself needing just a little more time than you end up having to get things done. This year also saw (is still seeing as of 07/10) the most acrimonious negotiations between BCTF and the Gov.t, that has been experienced to date.
In the past we've always taken off right after I close the classroom doors for a two week trip. This year, we decided not to do that -and take our big trip a little later. But as it turned out, Lisa needed to use up some holiday time, and the opening of July was still avail., so we decided to go for a week-long trip.
Mill Bay: Our new squadron Cruisemaster Tami did a great job of getting things organized, and we had 17 boats in total attend -3 of them first timers! With the actual holiday on the Tues., arrival & departure dates/times varied, but still a great time was had by all.
We didn't have much of a plan after Mill Bay, just see what the weather held for us and decide from there. We ended up heading up to Genoa Bay. There was next to zero wind as we headed out, but it picked up enough for us to do some sailing; got a chance to talk through some of the strategies for tacking/gybing choices when you can't always go in a straight line towards your destination. My jaw almost fell off when after a few minutes of mentioning we should try flying the Spinnaker (knowing that we'd be lucky to get it up later in the week), Elsa piped up with 'yeah, let's try it'. Unfortunately, there were some wraps in the doucing sock rigging (didn't check the packing), so it quickly became an effort in futility. We ended up bailing on that idea, but will have to ready it for next trip.
Genoa Bay: There was plenty of space to anchor in Genoa Bay, although more in the middle than I would have preferred. Although we've rafted several times, it was the first time we've actually anchored Volti Subito (the Bruce anchor she came with had a slightly bent fluke, so this was also the first test of the anchor roller extension I designed for a 15kg ROCNA). So we set and backed on the anchor, took some sightings, and did a bit of puttering on board before taking the dog in to shore.
There was a very red algae tide that gave an odd look to the bay -if it were our first time here, we might be inclined to pass on it for next time- and in at the marina, the stiller water & air made it even more pronounced there. But that evening, it was also the most vivid bio-lumanesence we've ever seen! It was as if wake off of our anchor line was being lit by one of those new underwater LED lights that are becoming so popular. That became really interesting when I was awoken by a 'different' movement by VS at around 0300. The wind had picked up considerably; with shifty gusts to about 25kts. As the winds would die down, the clocking tide effect would control where the boat was going to ride, but then the gusts would overtake the tide push and send us in another direction. What was cool was watching the 'boiling' effect created by the bio-lumanecence created by the water being 'pushed' around our keel. Unfamiliar with our boat and tackle, I opted to do anchor watch from 0300 to 0530, when Lisa got up and relieved me. Later on (likely due to not enough scope and a rising tide) a large, newer Chris Craft dragged past us; we finally saw some movement aboard as I was starting to think about dinghying over to them.
Onward to Montague: The trip back round the bottom end of Saltspring Isl. began under sail, but as winds picked up and we were coming into opposing tide/current past Fulford Harbour, we dropped the sails and motored through the slop. We were planning on stern anchoring at one of the NW bays of Prevost, but I didn't put the heavier spool aboard before we left. I did have the old, lighter, stern line from BoB in the lazarette, but given the winds of the night previous I didn't think it prudent to trust it overnight. We did take the time to poke around a little, and found a 'must try' spot for next time though!
Given our late arrival at Montague, I'm surprised we were only 'just' beat out to the last mooring buoy. The dock had plenty of empty space, so over we went and tied up for the evening -moving to a mooring buoy the next morning. The dog went for her first swim over on the shell beach. After 2 ½ days the batteries were starting to get low enough that I started up the motor for an hour just to add a bit of juice for our departure the next day.