Archipelagic Aspirations

Vancouver Island predominates the geography of southern British Columbia. This landmass, 300 miles long and 50 miles wide, is thick with highlands and thin with rivers, inlets and sounds. Jupiter’s summer float plan is a widdershins circumnavigation of this immense isle.

Zooming out over the cartography, the island appears like the amphibious offspring of the continent, attempting escape from a cloying parental embrace, but held close by sinuous tendons of archipelagos and tidal slurries of the Inside Passage. Restive Vancouver Island is simultaneously ruthlessly hammered back into place by pounding western seas and storms thrown up from the abyssal Pacific.

Our last day in Bellingham, jumping off point for Jupiter’s grand ambition, began with breakfast at our favorite Woods Coffee shop.

Bellingham’s Saturday Farmers Market, where we provisioned, had the flavor of a bohemian medieval fair. Sunshine and warm temperatures elevated the normally happy locals and their many dogs to a state of spirited bliss.

A mid-afternoon departure from Bellingham brought Jupiter across the water to a lovely anchorage at Inati Bay on nearby Lummi Island. The Bellingham Yacht Club provides a rustic outstation for members.

Splendid weather, forecast to remain so, induced cruisers to cruise, sailors to sail, and campers to decamp to the out-islands.

An alarmed geofence around the point of anchoring is set to loudly notify the crew, asleep or awake, should the anchor drag. Deeper anchorages require more anchor chain, more swinging room and larger perimeters.

150′ radius anchor perimeter in Inati Bay

Soon Jupiter will make her first landfall on Vancouver Island at the lovely Port of Sidney, then begin in earnest the objective rounding of Vancouver Island, the archipelagic dominion.

Pacific Purple Spargel with Sriracha Aioli

Shave lower stems of young sweet purple asparagus and coat lightly with olive oil. Cook on hot grill until just tender.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together one egg yolk, a tablespoon of sherry vinegar, a smidgen of smooth mustard and a pinch of salt until well combined. Very slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup of buttery olive oil, whisking continuously until thick and emulsified. Stir in spicy sriracha to taste and spoon generously over the warm asparagus.


  1. Joe Carpenter says:

    Possible alternative for sauce:
    1 clove garlic
    ½ onion, coarsely chopped
    1 (2-ounce) can flat fillets of anchovies (rinsed in hot water) or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
    2 tablespoons prepared mustard
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
    ½ teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) or flavor enhancer (optional)
    ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
    3 eggs (see note)
    2 cups vegetable oil
    Note: If you are worried about the risk of salmonella from raw eggs, use Davidson’s pasteurized eggs.
    1. Put garlic, onion, anchovies, mustard, lemon juice, celery, peppercorns, monosodium glutamate and sugar in container of food processor or electric blender; process until pureed.
    2. Add eggs, one at a time, blending for a second or 2 after each addition. If using a food processor, add oil gradually through feed tube, with machine on continually. If using a blender, add oil gradually at first, then ¼ cup at a time, blending well after each addition. After all oil has been added, blend or process about 2 seconds more.
    3. Dressing will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, in a closed jar.

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