We couldn’t have dreamed of better sailing or weather for the first few days of our trip. We spent two nights ‘on the hook’ and headed to Victoria to meet Peter and Wendy and two of my favourite people in the world, Lindsay and Doug!
As we headed into Victoria Harbour we realized we weren’t quite ready for urban, city vibes but we were excited to meet our friends. Emmanuel hailed the Victoria Harbormaster over the radio (conversations over the radio are hilarious to me) and she found us a slip right in front of the Empress Hotel. It was quite something to arrive in Victoria in front of the Empress and Parliament buildings and to see the lights come on as dusk starts to fall.
Emmanuel called Peter to let him know we had arrived – as it turns out we were on dock A and Leela (Free to Roam then) was moored on dock F when Peter and Wendy had her in their care. Peter and Wendy live close by and were excited to see Leela so they walked down that evening and we were able to connect in person and show them all the different projects and tasks that we had been working on. Most of the projects Peter had given us guidance and advice on through the daily email exchange Emmanuel and him had so it was really neat to show him and Wendy in person. And to thank them again for the work they had completed previously. It felt like a teamwork effort where they handed the baton to us. We spent a few hours chatting and hearing their stories of projects and sailing. We feel so lucky to have bought Leela from such lovely people.
Lindsay and Doug are working on an organic farm in Metchosin and were on a week vacation. They arrived on the boat that evening with their backpacks, ukelele, sketchbook and bags full of the most delicious spinach, arugula, artichoke hearts, mustard greens, garlic scapes to feed us for the next few days. They had been travelling for a year and landed back in B.C. in the spring so it was the best to scoop them up for a few days of sailing and exploring these beautiful waters! We stayed two nights in Victoria, doing some errands and hoping for the wind to settle a bit to go for a sail with Peter but it was blowing 20 knots and gusting 25, which isn’t as comfortable to head out for a leisurely, social sail. Emmanuel’s friend Alicia and her little boy Finn showed up for a visit too, it was great to see them.
We needed to head out of Victoria on Thursday towards Galiano where our friend Kate would be for her 30th birthday on Friday evening. We headed out with L + D at 7:45 am had the most incredible day of sailing. The wind was predicted for 20-25 knots, so we ate a big breakfast and prepared ourselves for a big day of active sailing.
It seemed the wind blew just for us that day! It reached about 19 knots and would shift and allow us to alter direction closer each time to our destination. As we rounded past Discovery Island we experienced our first swells coming from behind the boat. We were finally sailing downwind! In all of our sailing Leela so far since we have owned her it was our first experience going with the wind. It was a huge treat to be sailing with my best friends, downwind, sunny skies, passing in and out of US and Canadian waters through beautiful islands. When we were gushing about how good of a day it was and how beautiful and blessed we are to live in this paradise we saw many whale watching boats following closely a pod of Orca whales – we kept our space since there were so many boats following these beautiful mammals it seemed really intrusive. As soon as we had separated from the mass we were surrounded by Orca whales! We will write and post to this soon. We couldn’t have dreamed to see them so close and so many. We spent 10 minutes yelling in excitement every time a fin or a tail came above water, so close to Leela!
We were out for 10 hours and 45 minutes, we covered 48 nautical miles and sailed for 44 of those. We anchored on North Pender Island at Medicine Beach and had the anchorage all to ourselves. We finished the day sitting in the cockpit, eating dinner filled with the vegetables that L + D had grown and harvested with their own hands and enjoying a drink, Doug played the ukee and jembe, Emmanuel played the guitar, Linds and I wrote, sketched and sang.
And this was day 5 of the trip. 🙂