Saturday, October 10, 2009

Princess Louisa

Friel Falls

Sunset in Harmony Islands

Heading down Jervis Inlet to Princess Louisa and Malibu Camp

The Monkey Fist: one of the many knots Grant learned how to tie

Malibu Camp

Hiking near Chatterbox Falls...wish there were switch-backs

At the top of our hike

Hello all from the decks of the Osprey.

The last few days have been some of the most beautiful of our trip, starting with our best day of sailing while traveling from Desolation Sound to Princess Louisa Inlet. We had almost 5 hours of 10 plus knot following winds in the exact direction that we wanted to go. This allowed us to spend the sunny afternoon sailing directly downwind with both our asymmetric spinnaker and mainsail wing-on-wing, and our boat speed never dropping below 5 knots over the ground. We finished this day in one of the most beautiful group of small Islands called the Harmony Islands. They are nestled a few miles inside of Jervis Inlet, directly below Friel Falls. These falls had the largest free-fall of water that we have ever seen, coming from a lake 4,000 feet high. See pic below.

The next morning we got up bright and early for our long haul up to Malibu (not Hawaii), Chatterbox Falls, and Princess Louisa Inlet. The best way to describe this journey is to think about the mountains while driving over Washington Pass, but you are on a boat at sea level the whole time. There are unbelievable peaks, waterfalls, and glaciers all topped off by the Young Life Camp at Malibu Rapids. While drifting off shore at Malibu gawking at the beautiful architecture and setting of the Malibu camp, the food services director invited us to tie up to the dock and tour the facilities. They could not have been more gracious of hosts, and being that there were currently no campers there we were able to take a full tour including a great history lesson of this camp as well as other Young Life camps around the Northwest. Claire was flooded with wonderful memories of being a counselor 9 years ago.

That evening we moored up at the head of the inlet directly below Chatterbox Falls. The next morning Claire insisted that we went on a 3 hour hike directly up the side of the mountains at the head of the inlet to a waterfall, abandoned cabin, and an impressive view of the inlet. This could quite possibly be the steepest hike that I have ever been on. We gained over 1500 feet of elevation without a single switchback. The view made this climb all worth while. We are currently anchored in Pender Harbour and set to begin the final stretch of our travels. We are planning on spending the next two days heading South through the Gulf Islands, with the hoped of making it back to the States by Monday for Emma's Birthday.

See you all soon,
Osprey Crew

Monday, October 5, 2009

We are still having a whale of a time...

Jerry guiding Osprey through the rapids.

Claire and Grant at the helm while sailing down Johnstone Straight.

Humpback Whale doing a barrel roll.

Humpbacks canoodling.

Osprey at dusk in the Broughton Group.

Sunrise at Forward Harbour.

Entrance to Dent Rapids.

Since Port McNeill, we have sailed to a group of islands called the Broughton Group—numerous rugged rock-face islands across the south-end of Queen Charlotte Strait from Vancouver Island. They are probably all of our favorite group of islands that we have seen thus far. As we were motoring to our second nights anchorage we were once again delighted by the presence of hump-back whales. I don’t know if they were as happy to see us as the two whales were caught in a “private moment.” I think they were mating, and if not mating then at least canoodling! There was a lot of noise, splashing, and rolling around going on. Check out our pictures for evidence!

We have been blessed to see a wide variety of wildlife around Vancouver Island. We have seen Orcas, hump-back whales, porpoises (swimming a long side our sailboat), sea-lions, seals, sea-otters, black bears, eagles, and many sea-gulls.

Since Grant and I bought our wellies, it has not rained! The last four days have been sunny with clear blue skies. We even had enough wind to sail 5-6knots with our A-symmetric sail for three hours straight yesterday (in my experience wind usually comes with foul weather!) Today we motored through 4 sets of rapids: Wellbore Channel, Green Rapids, Dent Rapids, and Yucult Rapids. We were traveling 13 knots over the ground because of these strong currents. It didn’t help that it was a full moon two nights ago.

We are now anchored in Desolation Sound at Refuge Cove. We plan on enjoying the next couple of days exploring Desolation Sound, and then will make our way south to Jervis Inlet to explore Princess Louisa (aka. Malibu, for people who have done Young Life). We are all healthy, still enjoying each other’s presence, eating many loaves of home-made bread, and reading more books than I can ever remember reading. Please keep sending us comments. We love to hear from you all.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Around the Cape and comin' back south

Hey all

Just a quick note as we are leaving Port McNeil...we have made it around the scary Cape Scott, the northern-most cape of Vancouver Island--but of course not without 25 knots of wind!

We are now coming back south through the Inside Passage. When we have more internet time we will update you more with some pictures. Grant and I have now purchased ourselves some wellies (rain boots) since we are enjoying an immense amount of rain. It is our fault that we are sailing in October!

Take care and thinking of you all.

Osprey Crew