A final post, recounting the story of summer ’11 with a brief account of the voyage of the sailboat Barakette. We (friends Scott, Don and I) bare-boated from Vancouver Island, Nanimo Yachts for one week heading up the Sunshine Coast. We have become accustomed to much smaller boats – (or bigger boats and someone else in charge), so this was a test for our relatively inexperienced crew.

The Barakette is  27′ Catalina, the work horse and likely most popular family cruiser on the West Coast. It was old enough to be sufficiently scratched, that we weren’t too intimidated by the gloss!  To our delight everything seemed to be working well (small galley, big ice box, radio, charts, head with holding tank) and all set to go.

We headed across the Straights of Georgia, with good winds and 30 minutes after casting off we were heeled way over, beating into 15 knot winds and sparkling ocean whitecaps – great fun!! We dropped the hook at Smuggler’s Bay the first night, with a stern line to a rock on shore. Beautiful evening and time for a swim and barbecue. Next morning we topped up provisions at Pender Harbour and sailed up Agamemnon Channel. Next morning, heading up Jervis inlet, we came onto a school of porpoises who swam over to check us out, but soon found us a bit boring, compared to this scenery.

32 miles sailing and motoring up the channel brought us to Princess Louisa Inlet – guarded by Malibou Rapids. Fortunately we have leaned to read the tide tables and motored through near slack tide on a one knot current. Princess Louisa is one of those ‘bucket list” type destinations. It is a 3 mile mountain-bound fiord, with at least 20 waterfalls spilling down the near vertical mountain sides. At the head is the roaring Chatter Box Falls, which we visited, but choose to anchor by a much smaller waterfall that serenaded us all night.

Next working we headed back down the channel to Ballet Bay on Nelson Island– the most beautiful anchorage we have yet seen. After a swim, we were enjoying a beer on deck, when a very perplexing dowsing stick began heading straight for our anchored boat. Turns out it was a white tail dear swimming between islands. Using the snorkel and mask we discovered the thickest oyster bed we had seen – 2-3 five” oysters piling on top of each other throughout a small bay.

Next night be headed to our favorite Marine Park on Jedediah Island –picture here. The whole Island is a park, that once was an active homestead. So we walked through ancient old growth forest (Douglas Fir, Cedar, Maples and Oaks), to the old pasture, now overseen by a flock of 30 or so now wild and very unshorn sheep, had a few (rather hard) pears and apples from the orchard and toured the old falling down barn, outbuildings and farmhouse overlooking the bay.

Final day of sailing saw us at the Dingy pub and moorage at Protection Island in Nanimo Harbour. Next morning we then returned the boat, none the worse for wear, but one winch handle (over the beam) less.

A great sail, then home via Vancouver and 30th birthday celebrations with daughter Solanna and 13 hours drive through the Rockies to Edmonton

Thus ends the summer, 2011.