- Capt. Eric
We took a few extra days in Blaine then Semihamoo marina, thanks to a kind offer from friends who gracefully lent us their dock for a few days.
The timing was great as Di needed a little more rest, and it gave us time to reconnect with old friends from back in the days when I spend almost a year there, preparing the boat for our upcoming adventures.
For the first time that I can remember we backed Enfin into the spot. Officially the spot measures 40 feet x 14.5, which are the exact dimensions of Enfin, so there isn't much spare room.
With Di giving me distances via her wireless headset I gently backed in, using the bowthruster to move the bow and the big prop and rudder to move the stern. With our big long keel, the boat responds much better to forward kicks than stern movements, so that's how you do it.
We were visited by a small baby seal that still had some of its baby white fur and had no scare of humans whatsoever. It came up right next to us, looking us up with its big eyes. Princess, who first alerted me to the little funny animal "right there" was particularly good and patient, staring intensely back.
With summer fast approaching I wanted to keep moving, so we grabbed another 300 gallons of diesel. Semihamoo has good prices and is the last stop before the more expensive Canadian fuels. Our marina neighbor "Cowabunga", our sister ship hull number 25 (we're 23) warned us that the Canadian customs dock at White Rock is shallow and needs about 4 feet tide height to enter. That meant leaving quite late for a long day, but what else could we do?
Arriving White Rock, we had about 15 to 20 knots of wind pushing us to shore, with a tight turn around the jetty to get in the Custom dock. Not a lot of room for error, and once again a 40 feet long dock, but by now we're used to getting into tight spots. People on the pier hollered and clapped as we finished our maneuver. We were their entertainment for a while.
I had submitted all our info to Canadian Customs using their "ArriveCan" application, and a short phone call later we got our clearance. I asked for 45 days transit to Alaska, which sounds like a lot, but we're not the fastest boat and we tend to enjoy stopping in nice anchorages. We'll have to push more than we prefer to make sure we have enough summer time in Alaska. We'll take more time in Canada on our way back South later this year.
I took our "Q" flag (Quarantine) down and replaced it with a Canadian courtesy flag. Locals on the pier clapped and shouted welcome messages!
With all electronic Customs applications, very few people fly the "Q" flag. I just like the symbolism of it, that once we switch over to the National flag we are legally in.
As soon as our clearance was received we set sail North. Destination Plumper Cove Provincial Park. We'd been there 3 years ago, and it is the first logical stop after Vancouver when going North.
We reached it late at night, making use of the long days. I finished shutting the boat down, preparing it for the night and Di took the tender for Princess' long awaited last walk.
We'll stay here a couple of nights before picking our next destination.