July 6 – At Montague Harbour

Montague calm morning

It was glassy calm and sunny at Montague in the morning.

Montague Marina calm

From where we were anchored, the marina and other nearby boats presented us with wonderful reflections in the glassy calm water.

Since our focus on this short-distance cruise is on relaxation and enjoying some time out on the boat we decided to spend a second night at Montague. This morning was calm and sunny, and it stayed nice most of the day…except for a moderate southerly breeze that filled in during the afternoon, but laid down by nightfall.

It was a good morning to take care of some small projects on the boat. In the early afternoon, we launched the dinghy (still enjoying the ease of that operation with the new electric winch!), and motored over to the dinghy dock at Montague Harbour Provincial Park (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/montague/). We were anchored at the south end of the anchorage, and the park with its mooring buoys is located at the north end.

Montague Park Dock

We tied up our dinghy among other dinghies at the Montague Park dock. From the dock, it’s a short walk to the park trails.

Montague Park beach low tide

Looking back from the start of the beach trail at Montague Harbour Park, lots of the beach is visible at low tide. Notice several empty mooring buoys.

We found the moorage rates were unchanged from last year, and the trail still looks good. However, after our experience with all the mud at Reid Harbor, we decided to forgo the Montague hike today, and instead walked over to the north-facing beach of the park, and walked along the beach at low tide.

Montague North Beach

Exposed rock at low tide on the north beach at Montague Harbour Park. This is looking north on Trincomali Channel.

alice and jim north beach montague

The crew of Phoenix enjoys a short walk at Montague. Lots of rock showing at low tide on the north beach.

Then we motored over to the Montague Harbour Marina to visit the small store. Had a very difficult time finding a dinghy dock, but finally found a dinghy dock posted for use by visitors to the store. It was along the side of the dock-side end of the ramp, on the south side.

The store and modest restaurant haven’t changed much. They offer a minimum amount of supplies, but still have a very good selection of local B.C. books. We found two Dreamspeaker guides (http://www.dreamspeakerguides.com/) to add to our collection. While we were in the Broughton Archipelago last year, we met some fellow cruisers who had the Dreamspeaker guide for the Broughtons, and it looked like a good addition to our boating library. We have since acquired more of their guides, and enjoy having the additional references along.

While we were at the store, we noticed a sign for ice cream cones…so we treated ourselves to hard ice cream in waffle cones. Very tasty!

We barbecued chicken and had chicken Caesar salads for dinner, enjoying the typical rosy sunset at Montague.

Montague sunset 07_06_12

The sun sets at Montague Harbor, Galiano Island, B. C.

July 5 – Reid Harbor to Montague Harbour

Reid Harbor Sunrise July 5

The sun rises on a gorgeous morning in Reid Harbor.

The morning at Reid Harbor was wonderful…calm and sunny…even though it was a little cool with temps in the 50s. We have to be back in Anacortes in 4 days, so we pondered where to go. We thought about going to Sucia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucia_Island), but had concerns about the anchorage being crowded since this is the Fourth of July week, and we were looking for a quiet place where we could continue our relaxing.

Rosie at Reid Harbor

Rosie looks out at today’s sunny morning in Reid Harbor.

Nothing in the San Juans seemed right, so we finally decided to head into Canada, and go to Montague Harbour. Montague is one of our favorite anchorages in the Gulf Islands, particularly because it offers a very large anchoring area as well as some enjoyable hiking and a small store at the Montague Harbour Marina (http://www.montagueharbour.com). With our Nexus passes, we can clear Canadian Customs by cell phone in Boundary Pass and arrange to stop in Montague for a customs inspection, if they want to board us. They did not.

Turn Point Lighthouse Haro Strait

We passed the Turn Point Lighthouse as we navigated from Haro Strait to Boundary Pass.

We hadn’t planned on going to Canada, so needed to check what liquor and food we had on board. Only had some beer and a few half full bottles of booze, so we were within the limit for alcohol. However, we did have potatoes on board. Potatoes are not allowed to be brought into Canada. So, when we called Customs for our clearance, we disclosed the potatoes. The customs agent suggested we peel the potatoes and put them in the freezer…so that’s what we did! Used them later to make potato salad.

BE Ferries in Swanson Channel

Two of the BC ferries we encountered in Swanson Channel…one headed for Active Pass and one that just came through the pass.

This week had spring tides, and we encountered strong currents in Haro Strait and Swanson Channel…lots of whirlpools and some tide races. Even though there wasn’t a lot of wind, we bounced around quite a bit. We also encountered 5 or 6 ferries as we crossed Swanson Channel near Active Pass, and their wakes added to the bouncing.

The trip from Reid Harbor to Montague took about 3 hours. We motored slowly so that we didn’t get to Montague too far ahead of the time we told Customs we would arrive. The knot meter is still not working, and AIS is also not working. Later, we found that the data rate between AIS and Nobeltec was incorrectly set, which explains the AIS problem, but we still don’t have a clue about what’s wrong with the knot meter.

Montague Harbour

There weren’t as many boats anchored in Montague Harbour as we expected.

Montague Harbour Marina

Montague Harbour Marina has a small store and a modest restaurant. Moorage and fuel is available.

There were not as many boats in Montague as we expected, and it was sunny, warm, and fairly calm with a gentle breeze in the anchorage. A great afternoon to sit on the flybridge and catch up on more reading! Due to the high tides this week, we noticed a lot of floating debris that came through the anchorage from time to time. Even some big logs. Good thing the tide doesn’t push that stuff very fast…

Jim reading on flybridge

Jim enjoys some relaxing time for reading on the flybridge while we were anchored in Montague Harbour.

Kitties at Montague

The kitties enjoyed some relaxing time too. Rosie curled up on the left and Mickey REALLY relaxing on the right.