Winter Cruise 2008 Highlights

We’ve cruised as far north as the Broughtons in winter, but this year’s winter cruise to the Gulf Islands (map of area) was colder, with more snow and stronger winds, than any other. This was the first time we’ve had to actually shovel the boat off. The cold weather gave our furnace a workout, but created some beautiful scenery. Here are some highlights from the trip. (Click on the images below to enlarge.)

The first of the snow came while we were anchored in Cadboro Bay. We had slipped across along the southern end of the San Juan Islands from Oak Harbor following a big storm, and ended up storm-bound there for three nights. 40-knot northerly gusts boomed through the anchorage, while whitecaps churned through Haro Strait.
We didn’t see Caddy while we were there, just the 100-foot -replica in Gyro Park.
Before stopping at Cadboro Bay, we’d fueled at Oak Bay and filled two five-gallon buckets for reserve water. But the water promptly froze solid, and didn’t melt until nearly the end of the trip. So much for a reserve.
At Genoa Bay, we followed footsteps through the snow to the top of Mount Tzouhalem for a view to snow-covered Mount Maxwell on Saltspring Island.
Here’s another view of Mount Maxwell, this time from The Brig’s dinghy dock at the northwest corner of Maple Bay. We moored there for the night and watched Monday Night Football over dinner at the pub. The food is excellent and the pub deck has sweeping views across Maple Bay and Sansum Narrows.
We visited Butchart Gardens Christmas Light Display during a blizzard. The snow added another dimension to the scene.
  Another load of snow fell while we were anchored at Preedy Harbor. 

The BC Ferries vessels always look shipshape, but they looked even better against a white backdrop.
While anchored in Ladysmith, the temperature hit -19C (-22F), the coldest on the B.C. coast. Victoria was -7C, Vancouver was -14C, Whistler was -18C, Port Hardy was -4C, and Prince Rupert was -11C. Sea smoke drifted across the water and everything on deck was frozen over.
Snow was piled up so high in Ganges that it felt more like Ottawa. BC Hydro had been busy working on replacing a large transformer that had caught fire. It looked a real mess and a big job to replace. In the picture on the right, they are using a crane to pull new cables through (the new cables are draped over the snow).
  These are our two favorite pictures of the trip. Both were taken at anchor off Ganges the same cold morning. The bright sun and the sea smoke makes the Tyee picture look almost like a painting.


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