Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4 - Poet's Cove to Sidney

This morning we had planned to wake early – around 6:30am and start sailing right away because we had to have the boat back in Sidney by 10:00am (roughly). I had my alarm set for 6am but Becca woke me up at 6:40 so obviously I had slept through it. I awoke to Bella in bed with me and Becca, and Dean not on the boat. I left Bella sleeping and took Becca up on deck to have her breakfast. Dean returned, he had been up at the washrooms and he said it was so quiet he didn’t want to start up the boat and wake everyone else up in the marina. Rachel and I headed up to the washrooms and decided that even if it was loud, at least there wouldn’t be people around to watch us.

Bella woke up and got dressed and joined us up on deck. Dean got us all prepped to leave and we backed out of our slip without any issue and we all did a great job. Rachel and I were commenting on how much more work we did than we had expected. We are both covered in bruises. It was a nice morning. The weather was calm and there were no other boats on the water with us. Once we had motored a safe distance from the marina we set the sails. It was easy by now and it went off without a hitch. We saw quite a few dolphins from a distance however we couldn’t see much detail. I’m telling myself that one was actually an orca because I really wanted to see one – and you can’t prove one wasn’t.

We all took turns at the helm, and had a nice light breakfast. Since we didn’t have time to cook we had muffins, juice, granola and yogurt. I even had Dean show me how to use the stove while we were moving. It’s a special stove called a gimble stove which means it stays upright as the boat moves. This added a whole new level of stress to the gas stove as I boiled water and it was rocking. But they must have known what they were doing when they made it because it worked fine and didn’t spill any water. I had Becca on the floor of our cabin which was right beside the galley (kitchen). There is a lip going into our cabin so I could sit her in about a 1 ½ x 1 ½ square with some toys and she can play, see me and not get out. She pretty much officially crawled yesterday so there’s no stopping her now. I’m slowly figuring out this baby on a boat situation.

Becca was a little fussy this morning and I tried putting her down for a nap, but it wasn’t successful and she cried for quite a while. Eventually I got her up again. She was happy to be up with everyone again, and after she calmed down she started rubbing her eyes so we tried the nap again and this time it worked perfectly and she went right to sleep. We enjoyed more of a quiet morning. Bella spent some time with us and some time down in her room playing on her bed.

As we got close to the marina Dean called Island Cruising to confirm our slip. We still had to go fill the boat with gas (like a rental car it needs to be returned full. We took down the sails which again went smoothly. We had Rachel at the helm while Dean and I were on the lines since the main sail had to be taken down and flaked (folded side to side like an accordion) and although I knew what that meant, the only way to get it to Dean’s standards was to have him do it with me. We motored into Van Isle Marina to get gas which was neat. You just pull up on the dock and tie up the ship – Rachel and I are becoming pros. Then a station attendant came up and asked what we needed – we said diesel and he brought us a diesel hose which looked exactly like what you would see at a car gas station. Dean filled the boat – legally you have to fill up your own boat – and it came to $20 – after 4 days of motoring around that was all the fuel we used. I was quite impressed.

Next we motored over to the Port Sidney Marina which is where we would dock our boat. Rachel and I were really nervous about this part because we had to return the boat exactly as we found it which meant we would need to back it in, and it is a small space. Remember how stressful getting out of it was and how we had to push off of the other boats, and this time we wouldn’t have a professional helping us. Picture this: the marina has one long dock with many shorter ones coming out of it – similar to the letter E but in this case it had 8 short lines coming off. Along each short line about 20 boats would park down each side in twos. We were so excited, because unlike our docking experience last night, today the other boat in our slip area was not there so we had lots of room. Dean did a perfect job and even if the other boat had been there it would have been fine. A lady walked over to help us grab our lines but Rachel and I climbed off and she just looked at us and said “Well you don’t need me, that was perfect.” I couldn’t help but tell her it was my first time. She was impressed. We weren’t too late, it was around 11am.

Becca was now awake so we brought her up on deck in her carseat and Rachel and I packed and cleaned up down below while Dean hosed off the outside of the boat. There were a bunch of last minute things that needed to be done like taking off the bedding, packing up the supplies they had given us etc. I found this part a bit stressful because Becca was fussing and we were trying to get everything done and we were all rushing around. When we were pretty much all finished Dean walked Rachel up to the Island Cruising office where she got a ride to the airport (she had a 1:30 flight). I took this opportunity to give Becca her lunch. When Dean returned we were greeted by Larry the company owner and he did the checkout with Dean going through a list. It turns out that we were supposed to have gassed up the dinghy motor too which we hadn’t realized. I think Dean just didn’t care any more about that dinghy and was finished with it. All was good so we packed up our gear and said goodbye to the boat.

This time we were smart enough to grab a cart, especially since we didn’t have Rachel to help us carry it all. It was a long walk back up to the office where they let us leave our stuff for a couple of hours while we waited for our flight. We walked along the water and found a nice restaurant where we stopped in for lunch. Bella had chicken strips and fries, Dean had amazing clam chowder and a burger, and I had a fancy appetizer of seared tuna and a shrimp BLT. Becca enjoyed some bread from Dean’s chowder, but did not like his dill pickle. It was a great lunch. By now I was feeling my sea legs kick in. I hadn’t noticed any other time we were on shore during the trip, but today every time I walk or sit down I start to feel like I am swaying and it makes me feel quite nauseous. It reminds me of how I felt after the Edgewater trip I did years ago. Dean noticed it too, but didn’t say anything. After lunch we walked around Sidney for a bit, I had Becca in the snuggli and she was happy as a clam. (Really are clams happy?). At 2:30 we headed back to the office and they drove us to the airport in a nice spacious minivan.

We had no trouble checking in at the airport and we were a bit early so I fed Becca again and Dean and Bella went for a walk. We boarded the plane and as soon as we took off Becca fell asleep in my arms and Bella fell asleep leaning against me. I was thrilled and took the opportunity to fall asleep too. Surprisingly I didn’t feel my sea legs on the plane due to the motion so that was a nice treat. We landed in Clagary without incident and got our luggage. The weather here was about 15 degrees and thunder and lightning with rain. I was glad that wasn’t the weather we had in the Islands.

It is nice to be home and both girls were happy to go to bed in their own beds. We need to give a special shout out to Rachel because we obviously could not have done this without her. The next time we sail Becca will be older and I’ll know what to expect so hopefully we will be able to do it on our own, but people are still welcome to come with us…but check with Rachel – Dean will definitely put you to work and it won’t be a relaxing suntan trip! Thanks for reading and feel free to check back again starting on July 25 when we head to Nova Scotia. Bella actually gets to go early on the 16th to spend some special time with her Grammie and Grampy which she is really excited for.

1 comment:

  1. Everybody looks healthy and tanned! Love the spot you chose for Becca to play, she looks very content. Sounds like Bella was a perfect sailor - I was curious to find out if she would mind being contained on the ship, but you were on land enough to give her room.
    Totally love your blog!