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Monthly Archives: August 2014

The "fun" bus driver from the Hummingbird Pub.

The “fun” bus driver from the Hummingbird Pub.

The Hummingbird Pub has been a fixture and destination for boaters in B.C.’s Gulf Islands for decades. Any time we were near Galiano Island, we’d make a bee line for Montague Harbor, drop the hook and dinghy over to ride the Hummingbird Pub bus for a great dinner. The bus ride was famous for being crazily entertaining, with the bus driver playing percussion to the wild music and dancing as if hanging from a stripper pole.

Sadly, that era has passed. The bus ride over and back this time was tame and boring. Apparently the “fun” bus driver retired (pictured left) and the new driver just doesn’t have his sense of adventure. The food at the pub is still good, but I’m not sure it’s worth the trip any more.

The Hummingbird Pub on Galiano Island, B.C.

The Hummingbird Pub on Galiano Island, B.C.


Fortunately, Montague Marine Park is still a great place to explore and spend a couple of days. There are lots of interesting tide pools along the beach and plentiful wildlife. There are always a LOT of boats in the harbor, but there is always room to anchor.

My favorite critter for this trip was the driftwood deer we found hiding along the loop trail. Very clever!

Montague Harbor Marine Park is one of the most popular destinations in the Gulf Islands.

Montague Harbor Marine Park is one of the most popular destinations in the Gulf Islands.

Driftwood deer on the Loop Trail.

Driftwood deer on the Loop Trail.

Great Blue Heron hunting along the tide pools.

Great Blue Heron hunting along the tide pools.

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle at Sunset in Montague Harbor.

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle at Sunset in Montague Harbor.

Sunset over Trincomali Channel, just north of Montague Harbor

Sunset over Trincomali Channel, just north of Montague Harbor

Harbor Seal checking out the Sea Eagle crew.

Harbor Seals checking out the Sea Eagle crew from Danger Reef at low tide.

Danger Reef, just north of Ewing Island in the San Juan’s is a spectacular dive site and is also one of my favorite places to view wildlife. It is a protected marine mammal and bird sanctuary, which requires boaters to stay at least 200 yards away, but putzing along slowly in the dingy always provides entertainment.

The reef is a rookery for Harbor Seals and on this visit was full of hundreds of Seals and their pups, sunning themselves at low tide. It also supports a wide variety of birds including some beautiful Harlequin Ducks!

The view from the flybridge of Sea Eagle.  Mt Baker in the background.

The view from the flybridge of Sea Eagle. Mt Baker in the background.


Be sure to pay attention to the weather, since the Straits of Georgia can get nasty if the wind is blowing out of the North onto Danger Reef! Divers looking for an alternate dive site in adverse weather should consider the wreck of the Lady Alyce located at the entrance to Ewing Cove.

Danger Reef earned it’s name for grounding many an unwary Mariner. Boats heading north from the northernmost San Juan islands see nothing but hundreds of miles of open water that make up the Straits of Georgia. Then half a mile later they find themselves high and dry on Danger Reef. Oops!

Harbor Seal Rookery with Mt. Baker in the background.

Harbor Seal Rookery on Danger Reef with Mt. Baker in the background.

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle, Ewing Island

Nordhavn 47, Sea Eagle off Ewing Island with Mt Baker in the background.

Captain Boyd cruising back to N47 Sea Eagle from Danger Reef.

Captain Boyd cruising back to N47 Sea Eagle from Danger Reef.

Four Nordhavn 47's Rafted up together.

Four Nordhavn 47’s Rafted up together.

While several of the Nordhavns in the Pacific Northwest were quite accidentally meeting in the Gulf Islands, four Nordhavn 47’s rafted up together in Maine. I’m pretty sure seeing four N47’s rafted together is a rare sight, so I thought I’d post the photos here as well. Many thanks to Milt Baker for allowing me to share his photos with you!

From Milt:

Four Nordhavn 47's Rafted up together.

Four Nordhavn 47’s Rafted up together.

It’s rare to see four Nordhavns rafted together on a mooring, and even more rare when they’re all the same model, and each of the boats is just one hull number apart from another. You just can’t plan something like that, yet it happened at promptly noon two days ago in Southwest Harbor, Maine, when the following Nordhavn 47s were cheek-by-jowl, port to starboard, on my big heavy ol’ granite block mooring:

N4715 Happy – Wytie and Sally Cable
N4716 Dragonfly – David and Susan Odell (with Havanese dog Coco)
N4732 Bluewater – Milt and Judy Baker (with Schipperke dog Katy and Havanese dog Breezy)
N4733 Imagine – Greg and Kathy Beckner

Pretty cool!

Four Nordhavn 47's Rafted up together.

Four Nordhavn 47’s Rafted up together.

Nordhavn 47 Anchor Roller.  That's all there is to it.

Nordhavn 47 Anchor Roller. That’s all there is to it.

During our sunrise departure from Hunter Bay (Lopez Island) I had noticed the anchor roller was squealing and making a gawd-awful noise. I’m sure it made our boat neighbors in that quiet anchorage wonder what the heck was happening at Oh-dark-hundred in the morning. Sorry folks!

The anchor roller hangs out over the water as part of the anchor pulpit, so there is reasonable access from the top, but if you drop something, it is going straight to the bottom! I tied a spare mooring line to the crown of the anchor and lowered it until the weight was on the line, then picked up the now-slack chain and transferred it to the port anchor roller.

Nordhavn 47 Anchor Pulpit with the roller removed.

Nordhavn 47 Anchor Pulpit with the roller removed.

The cotter pin and nut came off the anchor roller bolt very easily and then the bolt slid out and I was able to pull the brass roller up with minimal effort. I was surprised to find that there were no bearings and the pin was completely dry (no grease), which explained the squealing.

I polished and cleaned the bolt/pin and the center of roller, greased everything up good and then reassembled the roller in the pulpit. Once the chain and anchor were transferred back to the starboard anchor roller, no more squealing and I’m happy to report that it’s an easy job.

The watch tower and English Flag at Garrison Bay

The watch tower and English Flag at Garrison Bay

Negotiating Mosquito Pass from Roche Harbor to Garrison Bay is always a little stressful, but there is plenty of water and plenty of room (just don’t cut the corners)! Once inside the beautiful and protected bay, you never really want to leave.

English Camp was established in 1860 by the British as part of the joint occupation of San Juan Island during the infamous Pig War. Those of you that have been to the American Camp on the windy south end of the island will quickly realize that the British picked a much more comfortable site! Today, English Camp is a beautifully preserved park with a nice dinghy dock and is a great place to explore a little history.

Osprey Nest

Osprey Nest


The watch tower has been rebuilt and the tranquil setting is almost always home to lots of wildlife. This time a female blacktailed deer walked right past me before realizing I was there and we spotted an Osprey nest up in the trees behind the camp.

Behind the camp is an awesome hike to the top of Young Hill (650′ elevation). It is well worth the exercise for the spectacular panoramic views it provides!

Black tail deer at English Camp

Black tail deer at English Camp