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Adventures board M/V David B

 August 9 – 20, 2013


Susan L. Anderson


Our latest adventure began on August 8 when the car picked us up at 4 a.m. and took us to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ for our flight to Seattle and a connecting flight to Bellingham, WA.  We took a taxi to Guesthouse Inn, 805 Lakeway Drive where we spent the night.  We enjoyed a superb steak dinner at Sadighi’s, 921 Lakeway Drive.

August 9, 2013 -- After breakfast in the hotel we took a taxi to Bellingham Harbor, gate 5.  There walking toward M/V David B we were met by Carol Woody (Christine Smith’s mother) already an email / Face Book friend of mine (Susan).  We continued to the slip where the David B was anchored were we met Captain Jeffery Smith and co-captain, chef, naturalist Christine Smith, Steve Woody and the other two passengers Ron & Millie Darby from Kaneohe, Hawaii.  I signed my book Becoming Sunny Susan for Christine and Carol (they had purchased via Amazon on the internet) and pictures were taken.  After visiting awhile we said good-bye to Carol and Steve and they left for their home near Seattle.

M/V David B has a 3-cylinder Washington Estep engine with 100 horsepower and cruises at six and one-half knots.  The boat was built in 1929 originally, and later rebuilt by Jeffery and Christine Smith. The fascinating story is told in the book More Faster Backwards: Rebuilding David B by Christine Smith.  

During this cruise we saw: one bear, sea lions, many harbor seals, and deer, Peregrine Falcons, Eagles, Oyster Catchers, and Rhinoceros Auklets, various sea gulls, other birds, Dall porpoise White Side porpoise, multiple Humpback Whales, and Killer Whales (Orcas).  We saw Orcas Pod’s A23, A25, A28 and A30.  The Orca is identified by the shape of their dorsal fin, while other whales are indented by their fluke (tail).  There are transient Orca’s who eat sea lions/harbor seals and the resident Orca’s that eat fish.  We enjoyed the forest of Douglas Fir, Spruce, Cedar, Hemlock and Arbutus-maddone, along with ferns, moss, lichen and deer lichen. Plus deep fjords and fabulous waterfalls, all but one, Cassel, seen with no other boat around us.  We went past many floating Atlantic Salmon fish farms, and floating logging camps with log floats/logs.

About 11 a.m we left Bellingham Harbor under a clear bright blue sky with beautiful views behind us of snow covered Mt. Baker.  The cabins are located down a steep ladder.  Each cabin has toilet (head), wash basin, and bunk type bed about 4 feet off the floor that required a step stool to climb into.  We were in the cabin named “Sunshine”.  There was a large bathroom with tub and shower forward on this lower deck.  Cruising we saw sea lions, sea lion pups, harbor seals and many birds.  We had a lunch of fruit, cheeses, hot rye bread and meats.  We cruised among the San Juan Islands. All meals were served on china plates and real “silver ware”, paper napkins for breakfast but cloth napkins for lunch and dinner.

The galley has a Heartland Sweet Home wood stove that burns about fifteen compressed wood logs daily.  Christine bakes bread daily and prepared all meals “from scratch”, even makes pasta on this beautiful wood stove.  There was always fruit and nibbles out on the dining table during the day.  Each evening before dinner wine was served (soft drinks for Howard and me) and hors d’oeuvres.

This first night we anchored on the west side of San Juan Island about 5:30 p.m.  Dinner was fresh salmon, potatoes, green beans, fresh baked bran bread and short cake.  After dinner we saw more seals.

August 10, 2013 – We got underway at 7:30 a.m. with an overcast sky and light rain off and on all day.  Breakfast was melon balls, blue berries, grapes, homemade granola, bacon, oven baked eggs with onions and Swiss cheese plus three kinds of berry muffins hot from the oven.

We did not have to stop at customs since our information and passports front pages had been FAXed over.

We enjoyed seeing dolphins, seals and birds.  The trees were Douglas Fir, Spruce, and further north Cedar, Hemlock and Arbatus-maddone (red underneath peeling bark).  Cruising at this speed going through the Canadian Inside Passage we were able to observe things that we have not viewed from cruise ships (four times through here) as they travel this area during the night in order to reach a port during the daytime.

Lunch was whiskey crab soup, green salad, meats, cheeses, sourdough bread with wheat germ.  After going through some narrows/rapids in mid-afternoon we docked in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, I stayed aboard the boat while Christine and Jeffery went to grocery and liquor stores, Ron and Millie took a walk and Howard took his laptop computer to the public library a few blocks away to check his business email.

We got underway and shortly anchored for the night at a slot in Nanaimo Harbor.  Dinner was risotto w/ mushrooms, asparagus with blackened cod, spinach salad, sourdough garlic bread and brownies.  Due to the overcast sky were unable to watch the Perseid Meteor shower.

August 11, 2013 – Awoke to the sound of sea gulls and some clouds.  Jeffery backed up M/V David B along a long double row of large/expensive yachts to get back to the Georgia Strait.  Breakfast was cranberry/orange scones, fried potatoes, chicken sausage and fresh fruit (each day).  Lunch was salmon chowder, fresh baked dinner rolls, Romaine/scallion salad, cheeses, meats and brownies.

Somewhat rough with swells of one to two feet and white caps, beautiful day.  After lunch we saw our first Humpback whale!  We cruised between Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island to the west and Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park to the east on the main land of British Columbia, Canada; we anchored among several dozen cabin cruisers.  Jeffery, Ron and Howard lowered the dingy (inflated raft) and went ashore to Blind Man Creek dock and took a walk meeting up with deer.  Later dinner was baked chicken stuffed with gruyere cheese, brown rice, hot bread with black and white sesame seeds, and apple gallette.  All food on the cruise was devious and presented in 5 star manner.

August 12, 2013 – The peak of the Perseids Meteor shower was about 1:15 a.m. and it was clear, Christine knocked on our door as we had requested and Howard got up and went outside.

Breakfast was fruit, granola, sausage, green bean / red pepper strata.  Early morning light rain and overcast sky.  We lifted anchor and got underway at 9:15 a.m.  Lunch was broccoli cheddar soup, hot rolls, salad, cheese and meats, then fresh baked ginger cookies.  Dinner was spinach salad, homemade pasta pesto w/shrimp and savory muffins.

Today we cruised fjords with waters 700+ feet deep and steep sides to the mountains.  We’ve cruises fjords in New Zealand, Norway and now in Canada but up close and beautiful.  We observed many log booms (rafts) of floating logging camp and many floating Atlantic Salmon farms and observed moss, lichens and deer lichens, beautiful trees and rocks.  Enjoyed Cassel Waterfall only two other boats in the area.  We anchored in sunshine up a fjord about 7 p.m., no other boats were there, and very beautiful with snow topped mountains, lovely spot and quiet!

August 13, 2013 -- Awoke to another beautiful sunny day, quiet, birds, seals, just wonderful!  Breakfast was fruit, ham and cheese tart, and coffee cake, always more than enough to eat. Beautiful cruising day saw many Bald Eagles and Perigrum Falcon!  Mid morning we anchored at the Blind Channel Resort on West Thurlow Island “at the cruising crossroads of British Columbia’s boater’s paradise”.  Christine led Ron and Howard on a hike in the forest.  Jeffery was kept busy giving impromptu tours of David B’s engine room.  Millie and I walked the grounds looking at the beautiful flowers, visited the store and then sat in lawn chairs enjoying the view of the yachts and mountains.  After the hike Howard got his laptop and was able to check his email.  There was very minimal phone and internet service during the cruise.  For lunch we had vegetable/noodle soup and yes, Christine made the noodle aboard the boat, plus hot rolls and the usual fruit, cheese and meats.  Dinner was chicken sausage gumbo, white rice, garden salad, sourdough breads (a loaf of rye and a loaf of what bran), and a wonderful triple berry pie.  Another peaceful, calm, quite anchorage alone, near Merstrel Island, just us, we loved it!

August 14, 2013 – Light rain that stopped by 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast was scrambled eggs with scallions, sausage patties, apple/ginger muffins and fruit.  We cruised the Knight Inlet Fjord, beautiful; saw many Rhinoceros Auklet’s and saw more floating Atlantic salmon fish farms, and raft’s of logs.  The morning was a bit windy with white caps on the water, rain drop and sunshine off and on.

 Lunch was asparagus/potato soup, garden salad, sliced chicken, cheese, meats, fruit, sourdough soft milk bread and triple fruit pie.  Then we saw whales and more whales, all Orca’s (Killer Whales) in Johnestone Straight before we reached Echo Bay.  We saw Pod’s #A23, #A25, #A28 and #A30.  One whale circled our boat twice.  Dinner was grilled flank steak, mashed potatoes, baby squash, milk bread and three berry pie.  We anchored at 7:10 p.m. by Pierce Island one of the Broughton Islands; it was 68 degrees and water temperature somewhat lower.

August 15, 2013 – Awoke to a bright sunny day.  Breakfast was cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs with onions, goat cheese and spinach and fruit,  We cruised and about 10 a.m. anchored at Alert Bay, B.C., Canada, on Cormorant Island, this was our furthest point north and it is just south of Charlotte Straight.  The dingy (inflatable raft) was lowered then Jeffery took us to the town dock.  We then walked to the U’mista Cultural Center, established in 1980, and toured their museum and watched a short film about these First Nation people.  We then watched a superb native carver and talked with him a long time.  We then returned to the dock and Jeffery picked us up for return trip to the boat.  Two friends also joined us and one, Dave, gave Christine a large (12 to 114 pound) sockeye salmon caught today.  Lunch was gumbo soup, breads, cheese, meats and fruit.

In the afternoon Dall porpoises were riding the bow wave, plus we saw more Humpback whales.  Dinner was Dave’s sockeye salmon, quina salad, and cheesecake.  We anchored in Vinner Sound where the salmon were jumping.  Jeffery lowered the dingy then he, Ron and Howard took off to set crab traps and sightsee, they got caught in a heavy rain storm and returned like drowned rats their clothing soaked to their skin. Those clothes had to be dries down in the engine room. 

August 16, 2013 – Jeffery went for the crab traps early and had three crabs.  Breakfast was chicken sausage, oatmeal, lemon pound cake and fruit.  About 10 a.m. we arrived at Echo Bay located on Gilford Island, the guys walked through the forest to a museum, gift soft that was closed.  Lunch was chili, cornbread and crab salad. Beautiful bright sunshine, but steady 20 MPH wind and whitecaps.  Late afternoon we saw a Black bear on a beach and later 3 harbor seals resting on a buoy then saw more white sided porpoises.  Dinner was angel hair pasta w/Dungeness crab in vodka cream sauce, green salad and hot bread.  Our anchorage was near Port Neville.

August 17, 2013 – We were underway by 6:15 a.m. under a cloudy sky; Breakfast was biscuits and gravy, granola and fruit.  We saw more Humpback whales and Bald Eagles during the morning.  Lunch was potato-leek patties with green salad and whole wheat rolls.  We met friends of Christine’s as we tied up with Teal another rebuilt boat, but pleasure not working, like the David B.  We toured the beautiful Teal and it was fitted for luxury.  Dinner was copa vin (chicken in wine), mashed potatoes, garden salad, whole wheat bread and lime tart.  After dinner Howard and Christine, Jeffery and Ron joined people on the back deck of the Teal for some singing.  Millie and I stayed on our back deck right by the others on the other boat.  We were anchored in Walsh Cove on Redonda Island.

August 18, 2013 – Breakfast of chicken sausage, blueberry scones, salmon/potato cakes and fruit.  This was a day of beautiful fjords and tall waterfalls!  We visited Toba Fjord/Toba Inlet and cruised for miles up one side of the fjord and back the other side viewing the many tall beautiful waterfalls with no names.  Lunch was miso soup, chicken salad, and sesame rolls.  Dinner was braised of lamb, garlic rice, snap peas, seasame/flax seed bread and date squares, we anchored in Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island.

August 19, 2013 – A beautiful bright sunny day.   Breakfast link sausages, baked eggs with mushrooms, gingerbread with lime sauce and fruit.  We were cruising south in the Straights of George, Canada.  Lunch was lamb stew, flax/sesame bread, raw veggies and date squares, we four passengers all had a Kindle (electronic book reader) with us and Howard had his laptop computer.  There was so much to see and enjoy I got very little reading done, much less than expected.  Dinner was almond encrusted halibut, oven roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and hot chocolate fudge.  We anchored in Clam Cove by Gabano Island.

August 20, 2013 – Bright sunshine, our last day, and a great day for cruising.  Breakfast was chocolate filled and plain croissants, sausage patties, tomato-egg strata and fruit.  We cruised among the San Juan Island, WA.  Lunch was halibut chowder, green salad, cheese, meats sour dough bread and fruit.  All too soon Bellingham, WA harbor came into view and we soon docked in their slip.  Taxis were called and we all waited at gate 5 for them to arrive and said our good-byes.  We went to the Holiday Inn Express, 4160 Meridian St. Bellingham, WA.  We didn’t go out dinner we had had so much great food, but snacked on some of the snacks we took, with us and had not opened.

August 21, 2013 – We had lunch at the Bellingham Airport before boarding another Alaskan Airline plane for home via lay over and plane change in Seattle.  We arrived safely in Phoenix, got our luggage and a taxi arriving home about 11 p.m.


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