Warning: Today was a picture-filled day. I tried to pare it down, but I didn't do too well.
This morning before we left Ganges, we took advantage of the very nice free Wi-Fi for a couple hours of work this morning, and then headed up into town for breakfast (and to grab those smoked bacon chips already, sheesh!) We were heading out of the harbor just as this Salt Spring Air flight was taking off ahead of us:
The sun came out today for our cruise down to Cabbage and Tumbo Islands and it made for such a nice cruise:
Passing the Java Islets, there were a handful of adolescent eagles (along with one adult that we could see) hanging out:
Nice rock formations on Saturna Island:
Cool contemporary home on Saturna:
This was as we were coming around the south point of Saturna Island…and Boiling Reef. During flood tides and rougher waters this point can be pretty treacherous, but today it was totally calm and we noticed only the slightest of eddies as we were taking photos of the sea lions and eagles on the reef.
Sea lions on the rocks:
Eagles and sea lions, hanging together (look at that face!):
We snaked our way into Reef Harbor (flanked by long reefs) with no problem and grabbed a mooring buoy.
There was one other boat anchored in the cove, but they were just day users and left before sunset. Here's a wide shot of the cove on the right (boats on the right) looking out into the Strait of Georgia. This is how calm it was all day today.
A heron, fishing in the cove:
We put the crab trap out and then took the dinghy ashore to explore.
It was low tide, so there was plenty to look at on the shore (including tons of oysters, but we didn't feel like shucking again today, so we pinned our dinner hopes on catching some crab).
Purple starfish. They look so happy and chill. "Oh heeaay eyyyy. We're starfish! How ya doin?"
Another eagle in a tree. Yawn. (I know when we get to Alaska we'll probably be saying this for real, but for now, it's still cool, and it's fun to test out my new lens as well.) This was SUPER zoomed in.
We took the dinghy out to the rock with all the seals and said hi:
After our dinghy ride, we headed back to Airship and pulled up the crab trap. Hm. An oyster shell. How'd that happen? Alright…crab trap went back in the water and it was time (and weather) for a top deck cocktail and some charcuterie. We tried the Salt Spring cheese (two of the three we picked up) and both were yum (with a Perfect Manhattan and some salami and chorizo):
I could see the crab trap on the bottom from the top deck (25 feet down and clear water, that's fun!), and one of the times I looked down at it, I was pretty sure I could see claws yammin' at the bait container, so we pulled it up, and what d'ya know? A keeper! (Bait today was a chicken leg and more Canadian bacon, since that worked well the first time.)
Back up to the happy hour deck with one Dungeness crab in the bucket! The view from here is hideous, isn't it?
We pulled the trap up once more before sunset and had two crabs…too small, one male one female. The female's underside female part looked JUST like Jesus from South Park, don't you think?
We watched the seals playing and eating over by the shore and I really wished they would just come over and play ball with me already. They're so dog-like….their big eyes and splashy, um, fins. Okay whatever.
More pretty pictures of Reef Cove at Cabbage Island:
We cooked our crab in our new big pot and served it with some garlic butter, a kale/lemon/parmesan salad, and a bottle of wine from our friends at Gourmet au Bay. Delicious.
I'd say this is a successful last night in the Gulf Islands for our first trip up here. Tomorrow we're headed back to Anacortes. (We'll let you know how the whole "clearing Customs at our slip" goes.)
Here's our track from today (25.8 nautical miles):
That little 90ish degree turn up there is us changing our minds about going through Active Pass at max ebb tide. The current would have been 3.7 kts against us right at the time we were heading through…so even though we could have done it fine (we were following a 46' catamaran), it would have slowed us down quite a bit and we opted for the longer way….because, hey, more time on the water!