We left Vancouver! It felt like finally, we were off on our trip. We’ve had markers in our mind. Milestones I guess. They punctuate our trip if only because we have to plan and coordinate. A big push had to happen, of course, with a sprint run to Bellingham on Friday morning to pick up our new holding tank that was delivered along with more Trader Joe’s canned Tuna. We sprinted back to meet Leah and Charlie at 4 pm to scoop them away for a long weekend filled to the brim of lovely moments.
We had been dreaming of jumping off the boat to swim. It is tantalizing to be in the hottest days of June likely ever recorded in Vancouver on a boat but unable to swim because of the quality of water in False Creek. As soon as we pass the buoys marking the entrance to False Creek we were all over the side of the boat in the water. Sailing towards Bowen Island we spent the night in Snug Cove with a friendly swan visitor. The next morning we left early(ish) to head north. There was no wind, the tide was with us and the sun was saying hello, we turned off the engine and jumped into 72F crystal clear water near Dorman Bay. Leah and Charlie are top crew. They meal planned, grocery shopped and were as excited to sail as Emmanuel and I were.
And it is a good thing! Once we reached Georgia Straight we had the biggest swells we’ve encountered and averaged 20-25 knots of wind in our face for the next 7 and a half hours. It was big sailing! The decks and cap rails were wet all day from spray and waves. We started with a reef in the main and left it in all day, alternating with furling the Yankee partially and unfurling as the winds would lighten for short periods.
We haven’t nailed food preparation for active days of sailing yet. The swells were big enough and the heel of the boat significant that no one wanted to be inside long. I can tell when I’m starting to feel a bit seasick when I start feeling drowsy and yawning. Next, I start talking less and less and then comes the irritability. I skipped straight to the irritability on this day. We were making wraps in the cockpit, slicing tomatoes, cucumber and the staring at a cutting board and concentrating was taking a toll on me. I thought I was doing a pretty good job at keeping things together, the wraps and I, until Emmanuel asked for salt and pepper – to me, it was a most ludicrous request. Fully disgusted; “Salt and PEPPER?! A bit much don’t you think??”. Pretty immediate hilarity ensued about 5 minutes later with the rest of the weekend punctuated with “______? A bit much don’t you think??” Insert anything you’d like. “Olive Oil?!” “Beach Towels?!”. I have a feeling this joke is going to be around for a while. 🙂
We arrived in Sargent Bay at 6:30 pm, windblown, sun-toasted and hungry. Charlie and Leah ran us in circles about the Bay, still encountering 15 knots of wind here and there as Emmanuel and I wrangled the furling system on the Yankee which had become jammed in the furling and unfurling. It was a pain and stressful to imagine that we wouldn’t have been able to furl the sail had we wanted in higher winds. We could have dropped the sail from the halyard I suppose. We anchored in a lovely nook of the bay, Leah made the tastiest Dark and Stormy and we swam before making dinner. The moments after you arrive from a day of sailing and drop anchor, your world is transformed and there is a pause. The wind feels settled, the motion has settled and you savour the reprieve, and the drink and the people you are sharing the moment with.
We fished and ate and drank and tucked ourselves away to bed. The next morning I explored the shore and said hello to the eagles, hummingbirds and kingfishers as they woke up.
We started out towards Thormanby Islands – destination Buccaneer Bay and beachcombing and fishing. The beach is beautiful. Acro yoga, another dark and stormy and friends. The next day we spent at the beach again. We all did our own thing and came together again under our shade structure.
Leah and Charlie had to go back on Monday, so we started towards a destination where they can thumb a ride to the ferry and dropped a fishing line along the way scoring a big fish! The treat to the end of the weekend was barbecued ling cod, beer and a final swim.
So far one of my favourite things about Leela has been the intimacy of how you get to spend time with people. The four of us share a big group of amazing friends, and we all love spending time together so much that it can be hard to steal away for more intimate moments in smaller parcels. Beautiful nature and long days with good friends builds this smile of contentedness. We spoke of friendship, future adventures, and happiness, conversations that leave you with a seed planted to come back to again. It was the best part of the weekend.