June 21, 2008 Bellingham to Silva Bay

Our 5AM departure was quiet and without fanfare.  Going on a voyage in Silent Partner now is like putting on a comfortable pair of pants.  The wind hadn’t picked up in the night as forecast, so we motored across the bay, smooth as glass with the rising sun.   Last night the seagulls spattered poop all around the decks.  Colleen had just scrubbed them to a sparkle the day before, too.  My next-boat neighbor Matthew has a theory about the gulls, that they wait for someone to clean something and then use it as target practice.  I whole-heartedly agree.  The animals are smarter than we give them credit for.  Many believe that the gulls are spirits of the old sailors.  Knowing a few sailors myself, I can understand their motivations.  At 10:30 we crossed the Canadian maritime boundary, and I ran the maple leaf up the mast.  The GPS indicates an underwater cable that runs along the bottom of the ocean along the whole border.  I wonder what that does?  As usual, we cleared Canadian customs with a simple phone call.  No searches, no suspicion, polite and friendly.  We continued on our way through the Gulf Islands, and exited out into the Strait of Georgia via the Porlier Pass.  The pass is channel with intense tidal rapids.  Because it is near the full moon the tides were particularly strong and the rapids were full of wildlife.  Seals had gathered in great numbers to eat the fish that got flushed through the rapid.  Bald Eagles chittered overhead and the whole scene was abuzz with activity and motion.  Silent Partner flew through the whitecaps in the rapid and got spat out like a watermelon seed, into the big Strait of Georgia.  The winds died down soon, and there was not enough to sail by.  The water turned a murky brown color and I scanned the horizons for a tennis shoe.  Recently several human feet in tennis shoes–all right feet and all size 10–have been found floating in these very waters.  I had no luck today in solving the mystery.  Silva Bay is a crowded anchorage tonight.  Everyone is out enjoying a spectacular sunset.  We rowed about the bay after a long day on the water and took it all in.  The fishermen are talking about cocaine, the “sporties” (sport fisherman) are eating sea-cucumbers (gross!), and the sailboats are all fussing with their anchors and checking their swinging room.  Some of them could use a lesson or three in common sense, but some things will remain eternal.  There’s supposed to be a blow tonight and I hope to sleep through it all.  We’re riding on a 60 pound Forfjord, the good old “solid sleeper.”  Strawberry shortcake tonight, which is a first aboard Silent Partner.  We saw many porpoises today, a good omen.

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