Summer is showing us her wild side this year with a June storm that felt like January!! The barometer took a dive and OMOO took off, rounding up under reefed sails in 30KNOT GUSTS!! What a ride!!
We left False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf around noon in drizzle and light wind, but by the time we got around Point Atkinson the wind was howling through the rigging. Making the turn we pulled out the main to 2/3 and the jib to 1/3. Turns out we should have reefed down the main a little more. Taking the gusts abeam OMOO was overpowered by the main and ignored the wheel and angle of the rudder. She rounded up and dumped the wind. Getting past Horseshoe Bay in a hurry calmed things down to a dull roar and we headed for Hawlkett Bay on Gambier Island. Great shelter in those winds!!
The sun was kind the next morning and we were off to a rendezvous with Daydream. Getting there was a mix of sun, rain, wind and logs. But it was all worth the trip. We rafted up with JD in the middle of a log sorting operation!! Soooo interesting to see all this machinery close up and dudes hard at work.
Sailing into FLYDAY, or flying into sail day, either one, Sideways Sally needs to get to OMOO to see sweet sweet Yumna and Marie!!
Flying out of Vancouver, past Howe Sound is always spectacular. Landing in Nanaimo 20 minutes later, it’s an easy stroll to the Nanaimo Port Authority where OMOO waits.
Yumna is like a daughter from another mother. She was my travel companion in Morocco and Croatia and is a dream to be with. She brought her lovely friend Marie out for a sail on OMOO.
Yumna and Marie got to Nanaimo ahead of me so they had a few days out on anchor in Hammond Bay and Dogfish Bay. They entertained the Skipper, cooked great food and went paddle sitting. I’m gonna tease them alot about sit down paddle boarding. FYI girls.
After getting on board again in Nanaimo we anchored out for the night in Mark Bay, getting up in time to get through Dodd Narrows the next day. We had some wind all night so we were hoping for a great sail.
The new boat slaves were well orientated to OMOO and the Skipper by the time SS arrived. They grocery shopped, stowed the galley, threw the lines and cooked dinner at anchor. WHAT A TREAT!!
In the morning, after checking the chart twice, SS got things rolling. Egg salad sandwiches on the go, slack at 11:00 and the pooper pumper in between. The girls got training on docking in the wind, the pump out, and timing slack tide, all before noon.
The wind was light inside the Gulf Islands so we hoisted the sails and waited, watching the cat paws crawling across the water, carrying the wind to fill the sails. It took awhile… the concept was discussed about how “anyone can sail in big wind, it takes a professional to sail in light wind.” SS teased the wind into the sails and away we went. The training under light wind was good for learning to tack, which of course Yumna and Marie mastered quickly.
In true fashion, half way down Trincomali Channel the wind died. We took in the sails and started motoring toward Thetis Island and Clam Bay. We all wanted to go crabbing so we got out the trap and set it up to drop from the boat as we’re entered the bay.
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY came over the radio so we listened in to a call which wasn’t actually a mayday, the sailor had lost steering but was able to anchor off Reed Island across from Clam Bay and wait for SeaTow. Rescue averted but good training for the girls to know that if a Mayday is within range of us, assisting would have required.
The sure way to get more wind is to put the sails down. Sure as my elbow is nearest to my armpit, a SE15 knot wind blew up. Up went the sails and away we went. YEEHAW!! The girls were in sailing heaven.
The question was, “Is there a sailing equivalent to YEEHAW??” Taking suggestions here!!
The day ended well, almost… Dropping the crab trap built up alot of anticipation, which of course is the best part. The girls went out on the sit down paddle boards, SS shouting encouragement to stand up, but none the less they circled the bay and went to retrieve the crab trap.
The story goes like this. Marie had the larger paddleboard so when they pulled the trap up she had room to take it back to OMOO. There were two red rock crabs, smallish of unknown gender. Marie was sure they would bite her on the ass as she paddled back, which would not have been a problem if she was standing!!
Oh dear, the crab were too small and female, so after all that work, nothing!! Well, nothing but the giggles. The back up plan for dinner, there’s always a back up plan, were kabobs on the bbq, salad, and watermelon, yumm.
The next day we had a leisurly morning of sunshine, french toast and fruit salad before motoring back to Maple Bay.
We raced back to the marina in time to catch our flight back to Vancouver. Of course we could have stayed and played all summer, but Yumna and Marie will be back!
Sideways Sally is so very grateful to have people like you in my life Yumna and Marie. You make it so special every time we meet. I love you dearly. I also am so happy to have such a wonderful Skipper who loves having company onboard and opens his home on the water so freely and openly to our old and new friends.
LUV from Sideways Sally, who can use a life jacket as a hat, if not diaper bombing!! Stay tuned.
Eeeeeek!! We did it, sailing through the alphabet continues!
Work family is real! My sweet colleague Zack asked me quietly one day if we could all go sailing for his birthday. Well, that’s EXACTLY what we did.
We were thinking of the best way to do the best birthday, so one lunch break while Zack was snoozin, (on the right) Pred and Lisette were quietly grinnin., We were all overdue for a get away.
It took a bit of scheming and some precise planning to get from work to wonderful. We needed to ditch our jobs Friday afternoon to make the ferry from Vancouver to the Island. We bribed our boss to let us leave early. Ela drove like a bat outa hell to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. In order to get everyone from the big boat to the sailboat Sideways Sally flew into Maple Bay mid afternoon, got in the Toy, (Toyota) then out to Duke Point to gather up the fam.
They made it!! Zach and Sally were rockin the dock like we were off to rob a bank. We said Hi to the Skipper, did some boat prep, threw the lines and away we went.
The wind and current swept us gently through Samson Narrows, floating along under the jib. The sunshine was heavenly and sooo relaxing.
We anchored in Cowichan Bay and rowed closer to shore to set the crab trap. Then we jumped in the ocean to cool off. While waiting for our catch we stuffed ourselves with fajitas.
We could not believe our luck when we pulled the crab trap. FIVE huge Dungeness, more than enough for a feast!! It was time to head back to Maple Bay. The evening sun was getting low and we had crab to eat!!
What a day, everything was perfect. It was a boatload of fun!!
Lisette, Pred, Ela, Zach, thank you my wonderful work family for just being so cool.
The BIGGEST THANKS goes to our amazing Skipper who keeps everything running smooth, keeps the crew safe, and has so many stories to tell. We all love you!!
Landing in Maple Bay in May, what a delight no matter how often!!
Dreamy Days in May is the “D” in Sideways Sally’s sailing through the alphabet.
There’s two types of sailing on OMOO. Long trips with the Skipper and 1st mate north through the Inside Passage to Haida Gwaii, or around Vancouver Island. The other trips and soooooo special and fun is when friends come to visit aboard for local sailing.
The latter adventures came with a sweet spring surprise when the Skipper’s long time friend Ian from New Brunswick and his son Travis landed in for ten days in early May. It was a fantastic reunion with many many stories and good times reminiscing. Both are experienced sailors so the Skipper had lots of help doing the heavy lifting.
SS joined for a weekend of men’s memories and observed the joy and laughter, warming the hearts of all aboard.
The guys had some great sailing days with an abundance of wildlife on the water. What a special treat with promises to return to sail north to see more of the PNW.
The Skipper had a permanent grin from ear to ear for ten days. To have this time with Ian after many years was the BEST way to start the season.
From East Coast to West Coast the friends are making it onto OMOO!!
Sideways Sally is back at it!! Here she is at letter C.
Last year this time I was teeing up plans to sail to Alaska, then spent the summer between Boats, and now I’ve been sailing in Croatia!! I can’t wait to see what D brings.
At the end of March I took a heavenly flight to Casablanca, Morocco. I treated myself for my 65th birthday to a business class flight so I could sleep lying down. OH, the luxury!! The service, the food, the “hot mixed nuts,” toiletry bag, and comfort was something I’d never experienced.
I love flying, and returning to travelling the world again was thrilling. My favorite place to write is from the seat of airplane, 30,000 feet in the air with a window between me and -40 degree temp, going 600 mph. There’s nothing to do about anything except adjust the vent and the light above my head, kick my shoes off and explore the movies offered. I occasionally switch to flight mode to see our progress across the Atlantic Ocean.
I have to start this story with telling you about Yumna, without whom it would never have been possible to have such an enjoyable trip. We met while working at our community mental health team in Vancouver. She was raised in Canada, her family is from Egypt, therefore she speaks Arabic. When she announced that she was going to Morocco to study French for three months, I announced, “I’m going to visit you there.” Then I invited her to come sailing in Croatia. You may recognize her from previous posts where she came sailing on OMOO out of Horseshoe Bay into Howe Sound.
Yumna became familiar with the culture and researched the most amazing places to visit on our one week road trip around northern Morocco. She is an exceptionally smart, fun and “go with the flow” travel companion.
Arriving in Casablanca, Yumna met me at the airport where she had rented a car. Being in another country, everything is a different. Yumna was able to navigate the language, the destinations she had chosen, and the culture. It looked like she did this with ease, but I know it take an extreme amount of energy and concentration.
We left Casablanca on the coast of the North Atlantic Ocean to drive to Fez, approximately a 4 hour drive inland. The “Riad” Yumna booked was a warm introduction to the culture of Morocco. The Riad is a hostel where the hospitality is an extension of the Moroccan culture. As we were driving toward the Riad and looking for parking, two young men met us and led us to a spot nearby, they were eager to meet us again the next day to guide us through the city, but we declined as they were a little too eager.
The hosts of the Riad were observing Ramadan, and laid out a lovely spread “to break the fast” at sunset. After meeting some of the other guests whom we became fast friends with, we retired to our small but clean and comfortable room to rest up for the adventure of exploring the city the next day. My only worry that evening was “is there morning coffee during Ramadan?”
Casablance – Fez – Al Hoceima – Chefchouen – Tangier – Split, Croatia
In the morning Fez welcomed us with morning prayers broadcast from the Mosque. Then the pigeon outside the window sounded a little sick. Yumna was oblivious with her earplugs in and her eye cover on. I got up to greet the day and see what happens in the wee hours with the sun creeping up over the city. There was no movement in the Riad for an hour but then the kitchen got busy preparing breakfast which was served on the terrace, outside on the rooftop.
Although our hosts did not eat after sunrise, the breakfast they provided was delicious, fruit, yogurt, eggs, slices of meat and bread was enough to get us going, along with bottemless coffee or tea.
The same friends we made the night before joined together for breakfast and we were invited to join them for the day. The plan was to go to a lovely garden, then wander through the medina, visit a leather factory and eat out after sunset.
The Medina or City Center was an interesting collection of shops, craftsmanship and food. The outdoor markets with produce of fruit, beans, vegetables, olives and spices were colorful and so aromatic!
I could not get enough of all of it. We walked and walked, stopping for a break of fresh juice or cold drinks on a terrace we would climb 4 stories high. The views, sounds and smells, along with the friendly, sometimes “assertive” attention of the shop keepers all vying for our business was fun, entertaining and overwhelming all at the same time.
The link below is a One Drive video from the cloud of many photos and videos of our travels through Morocco. Next post will visit the country side and the blue city of Chefchaouen before heading off to sail in Croatia!!
OMOO’S next stop with be a haul out in spring 2023.
Like any exciting trip there is always the clean up after. As sailors and boat owners we all experience the joy of taking friends and family out on the water for a day, weekend or week.
It always boggles my mind that cases of beer, bottles of wine and spirits can always find their way onto a boat, but the empties never off the boat. I also enjoy scouring the boat after our guests leave to find what they have forgotten. It’s not uncommon to find the extra pair of sunglasses, a beach towel, jacket, shoe or hat. What’s really puzzling are the big ticket items. There’s the telephoto lens of a $10,000 camera, the paddle from a kayak and a wedding ring. Haha, kidding about the wedding ring… that may not have been a mistake.
The most common thing left behind are the repairs. I apologize ahead of time to the Skipper cause this isn’t fun, or funny for him. The last trip of the summer I brought along a gorgeous young friend who stepped onto the boat and caused the crew to get completely distracted.
We wound our way out of a busy harbor, dodging sport fishing boats, a few kayakers and a very large B.C. ferry. The next day after setting sail in 15-20 knots on a broad reach, with gusts up to 25 knots, we were all giddy with adrenaline from blasting across the waves with the sun on our shoulders and the sails full of power.
As the sun sunk, and the wind eased we turned the boat toward a bay to anchor for the night. As everything settled down, the sails were pulled in, the engine started and we put all the loose ends away, we competed for attention from our attractive guest. Then…
THUNK, thunk and thunk again. The crew yelled, “you don’t want to see how big that log is.” The Skipper looked back, to his dismay a 20 foot long log, at least a foot in circumference, bobbed in the wake of the stern. He slowed the boat to check on the bilge, no water was coming in and no apparent damage could be seen. The steering was intact since the boat was keeping course.
Revving the engine up again, we could feel the new vibration of the propellar. Pushing the rpms a little more and the vibration increased. “Damn it!” We had all taken our eyes off the water at exactly the wrong time.
We always make sure somebody is looking ahead for obstacles on the surface of the water. Where we sail in the Pacific Northwest there are always logs floating around, either set free from the beaches at high tide, or from log booms that break loose.
OMOO has a feathering prop, so it’s a tricky fix. Next spring before we head out, the boat will get hauled out, the prop taken off and shipped away to get repaired. The old spare prop will be dug out from under the floor where it’s lived for the last ten years and put on for the summer.
We really were lucky, as those logs can cause so much more damage. A log that size can take the rudder out, or punch a hole in the hull.
The Skipper and crew had some rip roaring sails this summer with taking the sails out fully in some big wind. Now we’re wondering if the new “ish” jib is too big, since the sheets would snap against the front panels of isoglass on the dodger. Later in the season the isoglass was held together with more and more gorilla tape and patched with pieces of hard clear plastic saved from covering our salon table top to protect the wood surface.
Now the dodger is removed and off to be repaired, OMOO is tarped over and covered to protect her from the rain and snow.
The pocket book takes a hit with the repairs and getting the boat ready for next summer is a full time job. Hershey is kept busy, which he loves. When you’re retired and a boat owner, there are no days off!!
A return to HOWE SOUND was the highlight of September sailing. There has never been a time in Howe Sound when we didn’t have wind.
There’s nothing like introducing new people to sailing, we LUV LUV LUV it. My dear friend Yumna’s first time aboard took off from Horseshoe Bay.
Sideways Sally climbed back onboard, ditching the day job for a blissful weekend. We crossed over to anchor in Gambier, dodging ferries and sport fishing boats.
The next day the morning light crept over Gambier, spilling warmth into the cockpit while we devoured breakfast. The sunshine and wind reaching into the anchorage promising great sailing and exploring.
Outside the bay the wind was 15-20knots with gusts up to 25knots. We pulled out the sails, reefed down and set the course for a beam reach. YEEHAW, away she went. OMOO sails so well in these conditions and we were quickly up to 7-8 knots.
Yumna and I kept switching sides to help with tacking and putting our weight on the uphill side. We braced our feet on the cockpit table and felt the power of the wind take us for a ride. Yumna said, “It feels like we’re vertical.” It was a rodeo, with the gusts heeling the boat over, washing the windows, and throwing some loose items around in the cabin. “Nothing broke, it can’t fall off the floor!!”
We were all grinning from ear to ear, but not wanting to scare our new sailor either. I put my arm around her and reassured her that this is what it’s all about, and that we’re safe. The Skipper reminded her there’s this huge heavy keel that keeps us upright and pointed out how the boat “rounds up” when the wind spills out of the sails and she straightens up until the next gust.
Howe Sound has numerous islands so we knew the thrill would be over when we got in the lee of Bowen Island. All the marinas in Howe Sound were chockablock full for the Sept long weekend. We all agreed it would be prudent to get to Keats Island and anchor in Plumper Cove before it filled up as well.
After setting the anchor, we dingied into shore. The crew went hiking and SS went pleasantly beach combing and enjoying some “alone time,” savouring the sun and the sand.
After returning to OMOO, the anchorage got very dark and quiet, with some rain starting to splatter on the topsides shortly after we were done cooking dinner on the BBQ.
Out came the bluetooth and the tunes. Our favorite game is playing music, taking turns on suggesting songs and making an extremely eclectic play list. What a peaceful way to end our day.
Howe Sound welcomes us back every year, the wind and warmth are pure joy for sailors old and new.
See you in the spring, you perfectly beautiful treasure.
Alli set foot on OMOO for the first time, taking a leap of faith with sailors she did not know. As the saying goes, “any friend of yours is a friend of ours.” Janaye, thanks for bringing Alli into our sailing life!!
A fun background story: Sideways Sally used to babysit Alli’s Mom, Tracey, along with Janaye’s Mom. Also, in 2020, both Moms and SS went on an adventure together to Cozumel, Mexico, where we all babysat each other!! So the connections run WAY, WAY back… so fun!! SS gets a BIG KICK out of this story.
Alli came to life when she was on the wheel on Day 2. We had wind on the nose at 15-20knots. We showed the girls how to reef down and point the boat into the wind. This required several tacks to get past the narrow channel between Galiano Island and Secretary, then Wallace Islands and into Trincomali Channel. By the third or fourth tack Alli was nailing it!!
It was a celebration on board to have both girls take to sailing with ease.
The wonderful week we had with these young ladies will never be forgotten and we can’t wait to have them back. OMOO will remember your late night giggles forever!!
There is no bigger thrill for the Skipper and 1st Mate than having new crew learn the ropes on OMOO. Janaye and her Mom Jackie visited in 2018 and got acquainted with being on the water. At the time Janaye was 10. She took to the sailboat like a natural and before her short visit was over she was asking tons of questions and soaking up information like a sponge. She started reminding us of all the safety steps to the routine on the boat as we docked for her departure. We will never forget those early days.
What happens if we’re at anchor during the night and there is a hole in the boat? What happens if there’s a big wind and we tip over? If there’s 50feet of water and a 10foot tide how do we know how much chain to put down? Where does our poo go when we pump the toilet? ON and ON it went. It was awesome!!
She was amazing then, and she is amazing now. Four years later she returned to OMOO for a week, bringing sunshine and wind with her from Manitoba, along with her best friend! The trip for both girls were birthday gifts in 2020, delayed due to the pandemic. In 2022 it happened.
The boat was full of youth and exuberance. Janaye and Alli had taken their PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator’s Certificate) in anticipation of taking the wheel and getting into the wind. Chase some wind we did!!
We got started in Nanaimo where OMOO and crew met us getting off the ferry. The girls were surprised and intrigued to meet Paul, our imported crew from Britain. They fell in love with his accent and he entertained them with no end to his antics. At first they required some translation to understand him but once they got used to him they got along just fine.
The first trick he pulled out of his hat was a quick dive into the water after he flipped his sunglasses over the side by accident. We were all sitting in the cockpit chatting and laughing, telling tall tails and sailor stories. It all happened so fast, he turned and slithered between the life lines and was over the gunnel in a flash. It was like he rehearsed it all. Then slithered back onto the dock like a slimy lizard and back into the boat.
Everyone was in stitches, except Paul. He lost a 65dollar or pound (we’re never quite sure which currency he talks in) pocket knife to save his 35dollar or pound glasses.
Then next day we timed the slack at Dodd Narrows and went off into the wind which was steady at SE10-12 knots. We had full sail out, tacking back and forth toward Thetis Island.
It’s a total mystery how one transplant from the prairies brings other transplants, plunks them on a sailboat and viola, they stick like gorilla tape!! (that’s an inside joke for OMOO crew)
Janaye was on the wheel all day and it was like she’d never left the boat. She picked right up where she’d left off and was handling the wheel like a pro. The whole crew was cheering her on, and she was in her element. We had such a good time watching her blossom as a young sailor.
Whether she was on the wheel, trimming the sails, playing chess, dancing below or jamming on the bus, she was great!
We love you Janaye and we’re so happy you came back.
The evening sun casts a glow on the home of the owners of Lagoon Cove, overlooking the marina and surrounding bay. The next day we woke up to low cloud and fog, which would determine when and if Sideways Sally was able to fly out to catch a connecting flight to Vancouver. When will she stop this madness? Never, cause she loves wandering and if she has to stay in one place too long she gets pretty antsy!!
I called the Wilderness Seaplanes as instructed when I booked with them, to confirm the flight the day of. The report on the weather in Port Hardy wasn’t too promising so the dispatcher asked me to take picture of Lagoon Cove so they could see what conditions looked like there.
Sea planes fly visually so they cannot be safe if fog and low clouds obstruct the view of the many mountains they fly between. Around 11:00 the clouds lifted slightly and some warmth started shining through, chasing the fog away. I sent another photo of the bay to dispatch and an hour later they messaged that they were leaving Port Hardy to pick me up.
Paul helped me lug my bags to an adjacent dock that was free for seaplanes to land. We sat and waited for the sound of buzzing coming from the sky.
A plane came into sight and circled the area a couple of times, not unusual as they look for the best place to land. The plane would have to land on the outer basin of the bay and taxi in to the protected cove. As he started to descend it became obvious it was a goose. I’d only ever seen one land before and it was way up north on Haikai Island, bringing passengers to the Haikai Institute, a research center.
The plane landed on it’s belly and slowly made it’s way in between crab traps, turning to “belly up” to the dock. The pilot leaned out his window as he got close and yelled, “grab the wing and turn me in.” Not knowing exactly what he meant, Paul and I grabbed the wing where we could reach it and dragged the goose closer to the dock. The pilot jumped out with a big smile on his face and stated, “I haven’t been in here for 25 years!”
Neil informed us that he’d been living in Thailand for the last few decades, and since he couldn’t work after age 65 there, he came back to Canada to fly for Wilderness Seaplanes. He also said the longer they waited for the clouds to lift, the fewer options there were so he jumped in the Goose and headed over to Lagoon Cove.
Click the link below for the history of this amazing plane.
What a totally unexpected thrill this was for me!! I climbed into the jump seat and away we went, over the many islands of the Broughtons, past Alert Bay and into Port Hardy.
“Wilderness Seaplanes is the last commercial operator world wide of this famous amphibious aircraft, the classic ‘boats’ from a glorious era of travel. Folks come from all over the world just to ride around for a few hours in the Goose!”
“This was a once in a life time trip,” I was thinking to myself, or not!!
Come along on Sideways Sally adventures wherever they take her.
Hauling anchor and setting off from Port Neville in the morning light with the many forested hillsides and in the foreground a commercial oyster farm.
The skipper likes layers, and the crew likes to be naked. Well, he does keep his pants on. What a hoot these two are, and Sideways Sally is so happy that it worked out with crew so the Skipper could wander this summer.
We had a short jaunt on Johnstone Strait to take us into Chatham Channel between West Cracroft Island and the mainland, past Minstrel Island and into Lagoon Cove nestled between Farquharson Island a East Cracroft.
The marina staff are prompt to answer the VHF and guide us to our slip. Kelly welcomed us back and Dan was busy on the docks which were lively with docked boats and more on the way. This is a welcome contrast to our last visit in 2020 when the pandemic had restricted American boaters from entering Canada, and visitors in general were discouraged to travel to remote destinations.
In 2020 I featured Lagoon Cove Marina in a series of three articles titled “Small Marina, Big Personality,” published in 48North. Visitors were trickling in and most made a point of stopping at Lagoon Cove to support the new owners. Click on link to read the article.
In 2022 Lagoon Cove was back in full swing, and what a delightful site to see. By the end of the day the docks were full and vibrant with activity.
The traditional potluck happy hour was happening at 5PM and people were headed up the ramp with armfuls of food and drink. Dan and Kelly provided delicious fresh prawns, along with tasty treats from everyone. Meeting and chatting with new friends is exactly what boaters look forward to. I chatted with four gentlemen from Oregon, who take their Hunter 34 boat from the Columbia River to points north. They called themselves the Cinnamon Seekers. The were on the hunt for the best cinnamon buns on the West Coast. So far they voted Nancy’s Bakery in Lund at the top of the list, along with a close second bakery in Powell River. What a time!!
Sandwiched between the scenic back drop of the surrounding islands on one side and the rustic workshop and docks high on the pilings on the other made for an afternoon of happiness and sunshine.
Click on an image below and scroll through for full frame.
Thanks so much Dan and Kelly for making this place special and providing boaters with a return to the great sense of community on the water. You took over a marina during the challenges of the pandemic and stuck it out for a couple of tough years. OMOO and crew are so happy to be back and see Lagoon Cove back in full swing.