Life Aquatic

We have been living aboard Jupiter for almost six weeks cruising from Victoria to our current location at Bella Bella, B.C.  The pattern of our days is determined by the geography of the Inside Passage and marked by the bells of our ship’s clock.

Jupiter at anchor in Codville Lagoon

A typical day looks like this:

  • 0400  8 bells:  Enough light to read a nautical chart.
  • 0500  2 bells:  Sunrise. Wake up!  Douse the anchor light.
  • 0600  4 bells:  Arise, and shine a flashlight into the engine room for daily equipment checks.
  • 0700  6 bells:  Breakfast and BBC satellite news.  Granola, oatmeal, or toast with smoked fish, cold meats or cheeses. Strong coffee and tea.
  • 0800  8 bells:  Weigh anchor.  Hauling anchor requires immense effort from the windlass and a flood of high pressure seawater to rinse the chain of mud and attempted stowaways; starfish, clams and kelp.
Hauling anchor is invigorating in a cold rain
  • 0830  1 bell:  Underway.  The generator is on so that all electrical systems can be operating.  Tasks to be accomplished enroute include battery charging, boat stabilization, making fresh water, laundry.  When sea conditions permit, the galley is busy with culinary preparations such as making stock, baking bread, slow roasting, and advance prep for happy hour pot lucks.
  • 1100  6 bells:  Elevenses.  The crew forages in hampers for snacks of fruit, cheese, nuts etc.
  • 1230  1 bell:  Destination arrival (varies).  Anchor set.  Initiate anchor drag alarm on chart plotter.  Complete entries in daily ships log and close out the day’s route.
  • 1300  2 bells:  Lunch.  Often soup, or salad if we have anything green.  Generator is shut down for the day with the exception of the time required to cook dinner.  Silence is profound then sounds of nature gradually fill the void.  Many ship’s electrical functions can operate for two days on battery power alone.
  • 1400  4 bells:  Rest, reading, and communications when we have data or voice contact.
  • 1500  6 bells:  Exploration of Jupiter’s environs by tender or kayaks.  If weather is inclement this may be reduced to studying bird and shore life with binoculars, or extreme napping.
  • Excellence in chamois technique

    1700  2 bells:  Evening ablutions. Hot water is plentiful, yet showers are on strict rotation, as the second-to-shower is burdened with squeegeeing and chamoising the shower enclosure to a standard acceptable to the Royal Navy.

  • 1800  4 bells:  Happy Hour, which may include fellow explorers sharing a small anchorage.  Route planning referencing cruising guides, charts and weather conditions. Routes are entered into the navigational system to be carefully followed the following day.  Dinner preparations in galley and at fly-bridge grill.
  • 1900  6 bells:  Dinner.  Varies according to availability and chef’s inclination.  As provisioning sources are scarce reckonings of next-to-perish govern orderly use of produce.
  • 2000  8 bells:  Dishwashing and erudite conversation.  Poetry readings and endless debate over proper temperature settings for onboard thermostats.  Activate anchor light and check ground tackle.
  • 2130  3 bells:  Repair below to bunk.
  • 2200  4 bells:  Sunset.
  • 2300  6 bells:  Darkish.  Dreams of avoiding shoals, rocks and logs.

What We’re Reading:

  • A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki, B.C. author from Cortes island, a recent stop
  • Madness, Betrayal and the Lash, The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouver by Stephen R. Bown

Environmental Conditions: North Coast, British Columbia

  • Air Temperature Range:  48-56 Fahrenheit
  • Sea Temperature Range:  46-54 Fahrenheit
  • Days with rain or mist:  5 out of 7
  • Winds:  Generally light and variable with occasional gales
  • Currents:  Always
  • Logs:  Mostly in the sea and usually in our path

8 comments

  1. DeeDee says:

    Sounds like a lot of work, but absolutely delightful!!! The solace and silence must be wonderful and a repose. The “pursuit of produce” is always a game for me in remote locations. Lets the imagination work on overtime, and ward off dementia! Sounds like your seamanship is extraordinaire. Keep the posts coming, we are living the journey vicariously.

  2. Sally Seymour says:

    Excellent blog post. There’s nothing sort of. We’d love to hear of your long range plans for this cruising season. And guests coming?

    Camden Harbor experienced lowest tide of the year this morning.

    • We have also the same extreme tides from the new moon / solstice arrangement, causing a huge number of logs to be washed off the shores and into the path of Jupiter!

  3. Paula Ankney says:

    Compared to the sweltering heat we are currently enduring in STL, your weather sounds delightful.

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