We head through the rapids, across the Straight of Georgia, and into the Gulf islands. From here on out, we are back in civilization - we have cell service & wifi most days and we will be staying in marinas/outstations most evenings.


We had a very late start today - our window for crossing the rapids is at 1:10p so we are aiming to leave Shoal Bay at 11a. We spent most of the morning chatting with another boat who is from the area and they were heading to Dent island lodge. They gave us some good intel about being able to head through the rapids early on a high water slack - so ended up following them through the first set of rapids at about 12:15p. We waved goodbye as we headed through the next two sets of rapids and we saw some sea lions playing at slack water in the rapids - they were very fun to watch and very active.

We got a video as they chased after the boat through Yucultla rapids. They were having way too much fun.

After we made it through the rapids, we had the very long push through Calm Channel and then Lewis Channel to Cortes Bay. The current was unexpectedly in our favor, but it was still a long way to go. We went through the normal routine on a sunny day - reading on the deck and rotating through steering duties with no autopilot. Even Sara got a turn.

When we ran out of things to do, we decided to have an impromptu dance party - which may have lasted over 30 min…

When we arrived at Cortes, the caretaker remembered us - we were one of the first boats through early in the season heading north and one of the last ones through now heading south.



We had another lovely rest day in Cortes bay. Sara and I hiked over to oyster beach and got some oysters for a dinner appetizer. After putting them in an ice bath, we headed up to the Cortes room for some board games. Angela spent most off the morning working, but now she was free so we headed back to Oyster beach for another hike and we decided to take a swim - in 70 deg water, practically a hot tub compared to swimming in Alaska!

Oysters were amazing - I’m still figuring out size however. The big ones are hard to eat because they are so big, but it’s a lot of work to just get the really small ones. I think 4 out of the 6 I got were perfect - so those aren’t terrible odds.


The caretakers gifted us with some of their vegetables, so we had a lovely dinner of sloppy joes with big orange tomatoes and a zucinni salad. After the last few days of long pushes and with fast wifi at Cortez bay, we decided to watch a new movie (instead of the ones we already had downloaded). We truly have returned to civilization.



We left Cortes early, aiming to finish the 45 nm to Garden Bay (Pender Harbour) in one day. We had a great first couple of hours - great wind at our stern. Around 10a, the wind flipped and we had a head wind all the way to Westview - our lunch spot. Right before we arrived at Westview, we saw some very active whales - fin slaps, fluks and a few breaches.

The wind continued to build in the wrong direction and it ended up being a bit complicated just to get off the dock. With some help, we were on our way. Unfortunately, the wind continued to build and we got some wind waves directly over our bow. We threw up the sails and started tacking, but progress was slow and it was a bit rough.

We finally gave up around 6p and bailed out to a small anchorage in Blind Cove called Ballet Bay. The anchorage was not particularly scenic, but it was calm and Sara got her wish of being able to anchor out again on this trip. After a comforting dinner of steak and spagetti, we turned in early hoping to finish up the last 2 hours into Garden Bay in the calm of the early morning.

Ballet Bay


We departed at 7:45a to a flat/calm sea. The wind was less than 3 knts the entire way into Pender - a stark contrast from the day prior. We were in and tied up by just after 10a. Grammy and Pappa (Sara’s grandparents) came out in their dingy to meet us - like a parade returning us home. We spent the next few hours doing the standard stuff - showers, laundry, etc - and with the parts delivery, we fixed the autopilot and inverter! The trip is going to be so much easier from here on out.

Garden Bay

Grammy brought some new toys for Sara and she was off to the races with fresh Play-Doh and new coloring books. We spent the rest of the day hanging out and heading into town until the part arrived for the Jilly D - Angela’s parent’s boat. The solenoid arrived in the early afternoon and I spent the rest of the day helping install it while the rest of the family did some relaxing/dinner making. Look at that big happy family!


We had steaks on the Jilly D that evening - delicious! They gave us a bottle of wine to celebrate the meet up and making it back to civilization.



Sara ended up staying on the Jillie D last night - which made the boat eerily quiet… The forecast called for some big winds in the strait so we decided to stay in Pender Harbour. We did some more exploring - went to the coffee shop for lunch and got mexican food for dinner. I brought the Ukelele over to the Jilly D and played for a while - the first time I’ve played in front of people other than Angela/Sara. The forecast for tomorrow looks good, so we are planing to make way early in the morning. Sara wanted to travel on the boat with Grammy/Papa tomorrow, so she spent the night on the Jillie D again so we didn’t have to do any swaping in the morning.


We left around 7:30a to cross the Malispina Strait and then the Strait of Georgia. This is a slightly different route than we took on the way up and allows us to stay in Nanaimo before crossing the Dodds Narrows into the Gulf islands. The first thing we heard on the radio is that they were conducing military training in the training area just north of Nanaimo - this would require us to detour, but not badly. We had great wind and made short work of both off the straits - clipping along at 6-7 knts.


Jillie D of course was still vastly our superior in terms of speed - but they don’t get the joy of the wind!


Unfortunately, the training area detour pushed us closer to land for the last bit and out of the wind - so we had to do a bit of motoring to finish the day. Not super boring though, watching the battleship, helicopter, and 3 planes playing around was fun.


Not long after we passed by the training ground, we saw Orcas! They were just inside of a small island and they swam right up to us. We counted 6, but there may have been 7 or 8. At least three looked like juveniles. Very cool to see them since we have been so deprived of Orcas on this trip - and to see them so close!

We pulled into the Nanaimo Yacht club around 2p and checked in. There is a small channel just north of the town of Nanaimo where the yacht club is located (along with a dozen or so other marinas) and the other side of the channel is an uninhabited island (provential park). Lots of resteraunts/shops plus you have this big park that you can dinghy over to.


We met up with Grammy/Papa and walked over to a pub to get some appetizers. We have been without nachos for the last 2 months (I guess they aren’t popular in Alaska) and this was our chance to finally have some… so it was a heavy appetizer stop.

After walking back to the boat, Sara and I took the dinghy over to Newcastle Island park while Angela did some work. It was a really fun spot - even though most of it was closed up for the season. In future years, they have a dinghy dock pub (where you dighy right up to the pub) and a resteraunt cafe that sells food and ice cream - but both of them were closed for the season. There was a playground and all sorts of various toys - including a big checkers game which Sara and I played. They also have a dock and a bunch of mooring balls as well as some folks on anchor just outside the park - all of this looked like a fun place to stay next time we come through.

We headed back to the marinas at around 7p and over to Jilly D for Sloppy Joes dinner. Tomorrow we make way for Ovens island and back into the Gulf islands. We saw some Minks playing near the dock to say goodbye!