We have now been living on the boat for a week. We are definitely still finding our groove, given that none of us are entirely sure whether we’re on vacation, just living, or maybe “playing house (boat?!)”
The New “Routine”
We were all still recovering from our move on to the boat for the first few days aboard, so we wanted to take it easy. We anchored at Halkett Bay on nearby Gambier Island, a 15 nautical mile (“nm”) trip from Vancouver, for two nights. We started to form a bit of a routine here. We would wake up naturally (without an alarm!!), the kids would do some “work” at the table (journals, coloring, word searches, school review) while I sipped tea and Steve did some boat work (my role also included referee, mechanic’s grunt and galley slave). Steve was quite productive, getting a number of to-do’s checked off his mental list. Somehow I need to learn how to implant my high priority “to-do’s” into Steve’s elusive mental list. After lunch we would go explore and hike, find rope swings and beachcomb.
Steve and I sat down on the second evening at Halkett, popped open a bottle of champagne left over from our Bon Voyage party and pulled out our charts. We took a look at how many miles we would be travelling around Vancouver Island. Our current plan is to travel around Vancouver Island before we head south from Victoria to San Francisco in early- to mid-September. So, we figure we have about 500 – 600 nm to travel northwards up the east coast of the island, and back down the west coast over the next two-ish months. So, a very rough average of 10 nm per day. Sounds do-able for sure, but it meant we would have to adjust our expectations of spending weeks at a time in tranquil anchorages.
(Shortly thereafter we finished off the bottle of champagne…it went down waaaay too easily!)
After heading over to Gibsons for a night to do some laundry, do a light provision and use some wifi for a podcast interview (link to come), we sailed (erm – motored) across the Georgia Strait and headed to Newcastle Island, just off the larger city of Nanaimo. The longer day at sea definitely threw a loop into our daily routine. For one thing, everyone is HUNGRY…all…the…time. As the keeper of the kitchen, I love serving a variety of foods and snacks, but I was definitely being tested. I hadn’t had the time (or the inclination, to be honest) to do a large provisioning trip to Costco for non-perishables before we left, so I had to start getting creative with what we had packed up from our fridge and cupboards at home. One thing that doesn’t keep well on the boat is bread – and the kids are sandwich lovers, so we had to compromise with another lunch favorite…“snacky” or “ploughman” lunches consisting of crackers, hummus, pickles, hot peppers, olives, rounding it off with apple slices and peanut butter. Eventually I’ll start making bread on board, but I’m not quite there yet (though I did make a batch of muffin-esque snackles!). Also, my Mom gave me a hand-powered food processor as a gift, which has already come in handy to make hummus…I think we’ll be eating a LOT of that – we gobbled up a delicious batch in one sitting!
Enjoying Newcastle Island
Newcastle Island is such an amazing place. Mark’s Bay is nicely protected from the winds going up and down the Strait, the water is clean and warm and there are lots of things to do with the kids. There’s a playground, large-scale checkerboard and horseshoes, ice cream and snack shop, not to mention hiking and beachcombing. Paige was thrilled to find some sand dollars on the beach and we found a live clam in the middle of a grassy field, which we found very odd.