Having already pulled much off of the boat, the back of the Jeep was already pretty full -and then we had this new pup -Charm- to fit in as well. Slack tide at Active was 1500, and with the loading and needing to stop at the fuel dock for diesel & water, we couldn't doodle too much Friday morning. Things went smooth enough -other than the dog still a little hesitant around the boat. So after putting a whopping $36 worth of fuel (last filled up around the end of July), we were underway to Montague Harbour.
While our power boat friends would have been in heaven, a max. wind of 1.5 kt the entire crossing is not what we were expecting, but without a need to open up the cockpit enclosure, things were pretty comfy the whole way across -until we rounded the bottom end of Galiano Isl., when we went to fire up the furnace to pro-actively avoid the chill that we'd soon be feeling... as soon as the pre-ignition sequence finished and the ignition sequence began, Elsa yelled 'Dad.... SMOKE!' and with the dinghy still hung off the stern and back-drafting all the exhaust, ALL we could see was a solid wall of dark grey smoke! The good thing is that everyone responded great. I gave the helm to Lisa and she calmly pointed us to deeper water (we'd just exited Active Pass and were only a hundred and fifty metres off shore) and idled down. I shut off the furnace, the girls opened all the forward windows, and I scrambled to check out the lazarette and the furnace. Absolutely no smoke down there, and everything seemed to be normal. As everyone's heart rates began to return to normal, we proceeded to Montague wharfs for Nexus check-in, and then to the dock at the Provincial Park.
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Normally, we would anchor or grab a mooring ball, but with us only staying the one night, not wanting to deal with the dinghy knowing our next nights would be at a marina, and a dog new to boating aboard, we elected to tie up to the dock for the night. Where there's often a hundred boats in the middle of summer, we shared the whole north end of the harbour with one other boat. Cool! While the family was off the boat, I fired up the furnace again, and although there was some smoke, it was only a fraction of what happened earlier, so just left it running through till bed time; it cycled normally throughout the evening. The next day, things seemed to fire up normally, but noticed some drips of diesel down the inside of hull -underneath where the furnace is located; okay, I can look at that later...
It had been a few years since we'd been to Ganges, so Sunday we headed into town to poke about. We remembered there being some nice shops to visit, and they were as we remembered. The local hardware (and lots more!) store had some dog dishes that will work well for our boat, and some cute dog tags -the final 'condition' with us adopting Charm was that she take to our boating lifestyle, which she readily has. Elsa found a chorale score in a used book store that she was thrilled to find, and as nice and comfy as the boat is even in November, Lisa has notoriously cold feet that never warm up until they get put against me at bedtime, so I was happy to find what I hope I would at the outdoor clothing store -some super warm, super comfy, slippers for her.
As it turned out, the chefs from the other boats chose to wait and get what ever they determined to have for dinner once over in Ganges; Sun. night the decided on take out pizza. So our pot-luck dinner morphed into pot-luck desserts, as we had food that we didn't want spoiling. We had the last laugh however, as they ended up having to wait for over 2.5 hrs. for delivery! Desserts and company afterwards was plentiful and a good time had by all. With the latest forecast still pegging the gale winds to arrive early Monday afternoon, we elected to use the tail end of the push to slack occurring around 0930, so headed off to bed planning on an 0830 departure.
The trip home was very uneventful, we had about 3 kts of wind the whole way back to PRM. It did pick up a little for the last mile, but too little too late for sailing. The other boats home ports are Vanc. and up the Fraser; we could see some weather fronts building up towards Bowen Island, but talking with them as they entered the Strait, they both had flat & calm seas for their crossings as well.
So a most enjoyable trip. Other than no sailing -and the heater issue.... Most importantly, everyone would gladly do it again. Lisa's even been talking about December (!). We'll see how the weather holds, and our time allows, but her just bringing it up was great to hear.