And he's right. We're healthy, have a boat that is small in comparison to many we saw but is perfect for us, have fun together and live in a beautiful part of the world. The fact we are within a few hours of Brad, Anette and Magnus is icing on the cake.
We spent three weeks on Tranquillo exploring new anchorages and marinas from Anacortes, Washington to Nanaimo, B.C. The San Juan and Gulf Islands are made up of countless harbours, bays, inlets and marinas and we know we'll never get bored.
|The yellow stars show where we stayed overnight|
|Mom and baby on the left with another orca seen on the right|
|Tranquillo at Reid Harbour|
|Friday Harbour at sunset|
|Magnus was watching Roger untie us from the dock and said, "Be back, RaRa....peasssssssssssss"|
It was pouring rain when they arrived, but after having fresh cinnamon buns and coffee, the guys decided to head to Watnough Bay about 11 nautical miles away. The skies parted, and by the time we arrived, the sun was shining. We had never been there before, but will definitely return.
|Brad smiling as he barbequed lunch from the back of the boat as the sun started to come out|
|Ingrid loves boats and enjoyed watching varieties of raptors fly above us and perch on the cliffs|
|Magnus loved everything about the boat|
|Magnus had lots to say. He wore his "boat coat" for 6-1/2 hours and still didn't want to take it off.|
|Magnus saw his dad on the bow and didn't hesitate to go up there with him.|
|A neat log along a path on Stuart Island|
We left Prevost Harbour and traveled a few miles to Sidney, B.C. where we cleared customs. We then went to Van Isle Marina and organized storage for the boat. It is a great marina where they will launch and haul out our boat when needed and keep it in dry storage when not in use. It is two hours from Parksville, but it's in a fantastic location for us to go south to the San Juans or north to the Gulf Islands.
|Van Isle Marina: The dry storage is across the street in the "Yacht Park". The yellow sign says "Boat Crossing".|
|A wonderful afternoon with Laurie and Gareth at Mill Bay Marina|
|Roger and Paul rolling the dinghy on a trolley|
While waiting for a replacement part, we towed the dinghy over to Newcastle Island which is a stone's throw from Nanaimo. We stayed on a mooring buoy and it was fun to zip around in the dinghy as we explored the island and a couple of nearby pubs!
|Our first stop was to the Dinghy Dock Pub - the only registered floating pub in Canada|
|Newcastle Island is a great place to walk around. A ferry takes visitors from downtown to the island several times a day.|
|The lights of Nanaimo from our boat|
|Nanaimo Port Authority at night|
|A new experience -- having pizza delivered to the boat! Great dinner with Barb and Rob Perry.|
|The dinghy, motor and electric winch finally installed|
|We left Nanaimo and headed to Montague Harbour on Galiano Island.|
|Taking the dinghy for a spin at Montague Harbour. Roger is one happy man.|
From Montague we went to Tod Inlet near Brentwood Bay and close to the famous Butchart Gardens. We anchored then took the dinghy to Butchart Gardens -- a place I hadn't been to since I was 12 years old.
|We docked in this little bay where there was an entrance to the gardens; so much more fun than driving to it in a car!|
|The Italian garden|
|I was trying to pose, but a huge bumblebee kept buzzing around me|
|The sunken garden|
There is a reason Butchart Gardens is known around the world. It is simply spectacular. We also loved hearing different languages and seeing other tourists enjoy the gardens.
Our batteries started causing us grief and at one point in the hour trip from Tod Inlet to Sidney our GPS kept shutting down, but Roger managed to get us to Sidney where we bought three new batteries.
|Eagle on top of the entrance to Port of Sidney Harbour|
|Staff moving the boat onto the lift|
|Tranquillo up on blocks until we go boating again|
We took the Washington Ferry from Sidney to Anacortes and while the ferry is much older than the BC Ferries, the trip was beautiful going through the islands.
Brad, Anette and Magnus bought a house in Bothell, about 7 miles north of Redmond. They used our Expedition to move a bunch of things while we were away, and we spent a very productive day moving. We worked hard, but we had a ball as we always do when we're with Brad, Anette and Magnus. Since they had planned a weekend in Vancouver, we headed back to Idaho and will return next week to help some more and celebrate Magnus' second birthday.
|Yep - back in America. "Gun control - use both hands".|
"All our dreams can come true....... if we have the courage to pursue them."