Friday, May 1, 2009

#5 - Squirrel Cove to Blind Channel

Last night after dark while at anchor in Squirrel Cove, we light up the ocean with our underwater lights. It's like your own personal aquarium in the clear waters of the Pacific Northwest. We've had underwater lights awhile, but the bulbs were not too powerful. On last year's Alaska cruise, each time we turned on those lights, Dick Squire on Seagate would say "You have such, dim, puny underwater lights!" Then Dick turned on Seagate's underwater lights and the ocean floor glowed! So since we were so "out lite" by Seagate, and couldn't bear anymore jibes about our lights, we tended to keep them off. It's like when you are continually bombarded with these Viagra commercials and Viagra spam emails, you begin to think....well you know. Anyway, all over BC and Alaska last year, I had "underwater light" envy. But now with 50 watts of halogen power each, we're lighting and heating up the ocean, like the BIG boys.

Well today it's onward to Blind Channel Resort. It's the same resort we visited a couple years ago on a poker cruise, with the Grays (Gene, Al and Steve) and Vince Fonte. In fact it's memorable because on that cruise for the first time ever I was in a poker game where a player got all 5 aces, the highest hand in poker, assuming you play with the joker. Al Gray was dealt the hand, but everyone else dropped and he chose to show it! Wow!

Squirrel Cove to Blind Channel

Our route today takes us through Yuculta and Dent Rapids, some of the strongest rapids in BC. So we need to time are transit of the rapids near slack tide, which is about 10AM for Yuculta. Because Dent Rapids is right behind Yuculta, we will try to be there about 30 minutes early.

On the way to the Rapids in Calm Channel

We pulled our anchor at 6:30AM, shinnied out the skinny opening, then stopped just in front of the tiny Squirrel Cove community. In "war boating" mode, we connected and got Google News, our email and the morning's San Luis Obispo Tribune.

After our internet fix, Pat went back down for a nap while Alex helmed. Within 10 minutes while motoring at 9 knots, we heard a loud kaboom, and the boat shuddered. Then all went back to normal, with no loss of speed, no bilge pumps running. Pat immediately woke up and came running up to the pilothouse, and thankfully she wasn't looking for her life vest. We obviously hit something, but a least it wasn't the missing torpedo! However, it was torpedo sized, and it bumped then slid down the port side of the boat. We checked the hull later at the dock and there wasn't any damage.

Just two visiting boats at the Blind Channel Resort: Wild Blue and Thuja of Seward, Alaska.

The tide is quite low. We think we need climbing ropes to make the ascent, then repel back down.

Skype is totally the way to go when cruising in BC.

So like everybody, we like good prices. When cruising BC in the past, we purchased a Telus Canadian cell phone as the monthly rates were quite a bit less than AT&T with the Canadian option. This was great until the phone was stolen and we received a $1700 bill. But no matter which cell service you use (AT&T, Telus, Verizon) there is no coverage is many remote areas. Surprisingly in these same places without cell service, we can connect to the internet via wifi, at either a resort, or by "war boating". And now with Skype, on the Iphone or on the PC, we can make phone calls for next to nothing, from the same places with no cell service!

So tonight I called Olga in SLO for 2.1 cents per minute. If I had cell service, it would be 58 cents per minute with the AT&T Canadian plan at $ per month. The voices are clear as a bell with Skype, and no wonder Verizon, T-Moble, etc are all worked up about the iPhone and Skype!

This is not a good sign for tonight and tomorrow!

Computers and digital instruments have made it so anybody can figure out the weather. As I'm sitting here just about to publish this post to the Blog, Pat looks up and points to our digital barometer and says "This can't be good!" Wow. She is becoming quite a mariner. But then all you need to know about the weather is "low" is bad, and a fast downward trend is worse. It's easy to see from the picture that we're in for a storm. We just may stay here one more night!

Good night!

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