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......................--- A Midnight Scare & A Trip to Shore ---
...............................................--- Friday July 31, 2009 ---
Night's Anchorage: Between park boat ramp and Marina again.
( N. 49o 36.598' -- W. 117o 06.778' ) Sailed about 0 miles -- motored about 2 miles
Well this day started off last night around midnight. When we got ourselves off to bed at 10 p.m. the lake was calm as could be. About an hour and a half later the boat was being tossed all around and we were awaken. The wind had come up and there was lightening and loud, very long lasting volleys of thunder raining down on us and then it began to rain hard. Luckily the lightening seemed to be more cloud to cloud, but it was hard to be sure.
I worried if our shore line was causing a strain on the anchor line as the wind/waves were coming in at an angle from the imaginary line between the anchor and tree on shore we were tied to and this caused a severe sideways strain between the two lines. I was pretty sure the tree would hold which meant if something was going to give it would be the anchor and if it drug then there was a good chance we might be into the rocks on the shoreline. I considered pulling the trip line on the bridle around the tree, but instead let out more of the line to the tree and let the stern of the boat swing on the anchor to the west. Now the boat wasn't in a direct line from the anchor to the shore and the shore line was holding the boat at the stern with that line at an angle.
Now the problem that presented itself was that the shoreline arced out on the west side further into the bay. Instead of being about 30 feet out in 4 feet of water we were now about 20 feet out in what appeared to be 2-3 feet of water. All of this was happening in the rain in pitch black darkness except for what I could see with my head lamp and hand spot light and the lightening flashes. I crossed my fingers that everything would be fine and was about to go below, but before I did while standing at the front of the cockpit just ahead of the bimini I swung my light for some reason into the water on the port side.
There, less than 6 feet way from the stern on the port side was a large boulder about 4 feet by 4 feet with its flat top less than a foot below the surface. Now I was really concerned that we could swing into that boulder if any of the lines moved, especially the anchor rode. I went forward and pulled the Mac towards the anchor about 10 feet. I didn't want to give up any length in the rode, but also wanted to get further from the large under water boulder. With that done I went below and took off the rain suit I hadn't used in years and after about an hour Ruth and I again were asleep.
Here is the boulder that caused me so much worry during the night.
We didn't notice it while anchoring. Probably because before I let the shore line out at night we were about 30 feet west of it. In the future I'll try and look at the whole area where we can swing on anchor a little better.
We awoke to a beautiful morning. The storm during the night had put a lot of moisture into the air and there was a fog bank over much of the lake in the morning, but as it broke up it sure was pretty. We left our anchorage near the channel marker after tripping the shore line without having to go ashore and bringing it back onboard. Then using the motor we pretty quickly covered the 1 1/2 miles over to the ramp marina area and again anchored there.
We needed to do some house cleaning, the boat and ourselves. We took the dingy and went ashore with one trash container (we use those Rubbermaid type containers where the lid snaps on. There will be a picture of one on the next page). They hold about 4 grocery bags of trash each and depending on the trip we will carry 2-3 of the containers in the aft berth behind the cooler/sail storage area). We also had a container full of Reliance Double Doodie bags (same as Wag Bags) from the head that we really like. We would never go back to a porta-pottie for anything. We keep the full one in one of those square shaped plastic containers that bulk clothes washing soap comes in because the lids seal well on those and keep the odor in. We also had dirty clothes that we hadn't wash on the boat that could keep until we made it to a Laundromat again. And finally we needed a real shower ourselves.
We were able to use the boat ramp and park the Sub/trailer for free at this Provincial Park, but to get into the rest of the park you go past an entrance gate. We drove up to the gate and told the young lady there that we were boat camping and could we pay to use the shower facilities in the park. She told us it would be $4.00 Canadian for the two of us and we could also drop our trash off. She also mentioned that the staff might be in the process of cleaning the bathroom showers.
We drove through the really nice campgrounds to the shower building. This park is about twice as nice as any I've seen in the states including the one at Priest Lake or anywhere else in the west. Most parks in the states have the campground sites way too close for me and I wonder why someone would say they went camping in the 'out of doors' when their neighbors are only 20-30 feet away in the next site. Here every campsite and I think there were over 150 had some trees between each site and you actually had some privacy.
Well we only had one bottle of shampoo and conditioner and since I'm a gentleman Ruth went into the shower building first on the woman's side. She came right back out and reported that they were cleaning her side, so I ended up going in first. They hadn't cleaned the men's side yet, but it wasn't that bad and I went into a stall and stripped down and stepped into the shower part of the stall. There was a smooth chrome knob about 1 inch in diameter which stuck out about 1 inch from the wall where you would expect to control the water flow. I turned the little knob both ways and nothing happened. Then I thought the reason this stall was so clean was because someone had stolen the handle to the faucet. I grabbed my clothes, towel and soap and quickly stepped out and into the next stall buck naked wondering if the cleaning ladies had moved to the men's side yet. So now I'm in the new stall and step into the shower part and by golly it looked like someone had stolen the handle here also, but I could tell someone had managed to get water out as the floor was wet. Then in a moment of pure brilliance I pushed the knob and low and behold a warm soothing stream of water came forth from the shower head. It stopped after 15-20 seconds but with another push you were rewarded with another 15-20 seconds of nice warm water.
Had I mentioned this was our first shower since leaving Utah about 22 day earlier? Now we didn't actually stink as bad as you might be thinking as we washed with a wash cloth each morning and had washed each other's hair also . I had even broken down and heated water to wash Ruth's hair with as I couldn't stand to hear her cry out in agony as she did when I washed her hair the first time with 60 something degree lake water. Remember she is a California girl. I will have to admit though that the warm shower felt great compared to the lake water.
After having visited heaven I came back to earth and passed off the shampoo to Ruth and she found the same heaven on earth and was thankful for the advice I passed on to her as to how to get water from the shower head.
Next we checked in with a few people from a pay phone also in the park using or Canadian/USA phone card from Wally World. Then it was down the road to the marina store and another round of delicious ice cream cones. We also purchased milk and ice, but they were out of block ice, but said they would have some later in the day. We got a couple bags and decide to go back to the boat and return later via the dingy for some block ice.
Back to the boat ramp with the Sub to drop off the new supplies and up to the parking lot once again to park the Sub. We remembered to get the oars out this time. I paddled us back out to the Mac into diminishing winds.
This guy had been sailing for hours on the higher winds earlier in the day and must of been an iron man to stay out there so long.
Back onboard it was time to load the larger cooler with the ice and all the food and beer and clean and dry out the better cooler which is where we would put the block ice when we got it later. Next was the daily ritual of washing the previous days T-shirts and underwear in a bucket in the cockpit. This procedure gives us clean under clothes every day and cuts down on the clothes we have to have onboard.
While we were doing wash the winds died some and this family headed down the lake in their kayaks for an overnight camping trip. British Columbia Day weekend, which is the first Monday of August, had started for a number of people including...........
those with their...............
.......... sailboats including this cutter that we really liked and that we would see further down the lake in a day or so.
With the washing done I figured the 'Ice Man' might of 'Cometh' and the store would once again be back in block ice. I paddled the Zodiac the short distance to the marina fuel dock and tied up. A few slips down the dock was Mac X and I'd never seen one up close so stopped to see it. Next to it was a guy working on his sailboat that I think was a Laguna that he said was 26 feet long. We talked a bit and then he invited me aboard. This was my first trip ever on another sailboat other than our Mac. It was really spacious below compared to our Mac 26S. He then mentioned that he had sold it and needed to leave with it at 3 a.m. in the morning to take it to the new owner. He also said he had been on it all day fretting on how to get the mast down and was not making any headway and it was now about 7 p.m.. I looked at the mast and the out to our Mac and thought it wasn't any higher than ours. I said "let's just unpin the forestay and walk it down". He was impressed with my simple solution. He still had all of the halyards and sheets in place running aft and I just started disconnecting them and we proceeded along. Then another gentleman and his wife appeared to help. We added a second line to the jib halyard to lengthen it and he held it out on the far side of the dock by the slip there and helped the owner and myself walk the mast down after pulling the forestay pin. We had no major problems and the mast was down and the guy was really relieved. The couple left, I went up to the store for 3 blocks of ice and sandwich meat, then back to the Kera Jane and Ruth. I dropped the supplies off, got a beer and returned to the marina dock as the guy motored out of his slip and over to the marina ramp and his Sierra and trailer.
We loaded the boat on the trailer fairly easily and he wanted to buy us dinner or something. I thanked him and said I need to get back to our boat and bed. He also offered us his slip for the rest of the time we were on the lake, but I thanked him and told him we were getting use to the daily anchoring and getting in and out of a slip was more frightening to us at this point. He had sailed with this boat for over 10 years, but always from the slip and back. When I told him that we had always anchored out, at home, at Priest and now on Kootenay he said that he felt like a novice and hearing that felt good to me even though I knew he could sail circles around us on the lake.
Well even though we didn't sail on this day it was a good one.
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