Jupiter tilled steep seas in continuous rain from a building southeast gale this week, reminding her crew how favored we have been during recent voyages. Light winds and bright skies have been close companions, but now wheeling low pressures off the coast have become disturbers of our peace.
In 2019 we logged 1,891 nautical miles exploring many new ports and passes and a few familiar favorites, often with friends on board. We slept securely in pleasant harbors and dreamt pacifically in anchorages as lovely as can be imagined.
Notable Moorings of the Year
In early spring, along our route to Princess Louisa, Jupiter stopped at Back Eddy Resort where we encountered a dock disastrously damaged by a winter storm. We tied up anyway, providing a temporary boat splint between two detached sections.
At Princess Louisa inlet we found our wettest and loneliest float. Constant rain fed numerous waterfalls filling the inlet with a layer of fresh water which volume affected the timing of the tidal flow.
Bull Harbour anchorage offered plenty of space, good holding and attractive rock formations to visit during an afternoon kayak excursion.
The next day, in excellent sea conditions, we rounded Cape Scott at the northwest tip of Vancouver Island.
The Bunsby Islands on Vancouver’s lonely west coast provide several exceptional anchorages. One of these accommodated Jupiter for two quiet nights where we observed the delightful antics of sea otters.
Our most haunted anchorage was located at Mimkwamlis on Village Island where Raven tried to warn us off. Burial islands surround the ancient indigenous village site.
Deep and dangerously alluring caves, eroded by thousands of years of Pacific storms, riddle the islands of the aptly named Broken Group.
The unexpected occurred, unusual people appeared, and curious creatures were observed; some eaten.
We are happy shipmates sharing the abundance of the boat, rarely wanting for anything, never short of micro-greens, but usually out of cell service.
In isolated and rustic Kyuquot on the west side of Vancouver Island we found an unexpected source of reliable WiFi and excellent homemade French fries. Wi-Fry! First Nations people often congregate here in the evenings to enjoy home cooking and to trade eagle feathers and stories.
Before crossing into Canadian waters we were thoroughly inspected by this efficient US Coast Guard unit from Bellingham and found to be (mostly) in compliance.
Cleaning fresh mussels precipitated anaphylactic shock for a nearby boater at anchor in the Broken Group.
Jupiter’s crew collaborated with the Canadian Garde Côtiére to provide life-saving medical supplies.
We altered course to stay clear of air and sea rescue drills underway off Comox Bar. It was chilling to watch this rescue diver being dropped into the sea, then airlifted onto the deck of the standby vessel.
Jupiter floated through her float-plans, timing tides, arrivals and departures, yet sometimes her wake snaked distractedly through islets, narrows and rocks, rerouted to places unplanned.
We are back safely in Jupiter’s Bellingham slip where the boat awaits fall service work. Her crew has made colors, lowered the flag, packed our bag, and somewhat sadly takes leave of the roving life aquatic, muting for now the amphigory that issues from this little ship.
Nearly all our cruising in 2019 has been in British Columbia where the remarkable mountains and seas harbor people who are everywhere welcoming, curious, and supportive of our prospecting.
“A tourist remains an outsider throughout his visit; but a sailor is part of the local scene from the moment he arrives.”Anne Davidson