Day 2 – Fossil Cove to Poet’s Cove (Bedwell Hbr) – 5/28/15

Tentative Itinerery

Day 2 – Thursday, May 28

Destination: Bedwell Harbor (Poet’s Cove), South Pender Island, Gulf Islands, Canada Note: after clearing customs at dock, can dock at Poet’s Cove, or tie onto park buoys for free and dinghy in. Options: hot tub, swimming pool, restaurants, pub.

Radio net: 9:30am

Departure: 10am

Meals: breakfast and lunch aboard, option for restaurant for evening.

  • Sucia means “foul” so watch for rocks as you pre-plan your route by finger across the international border and the second commercial shipping lane, heading west to Canada.
  • Check current atlas: how will you be swept today? North? South? East? West?
  • Beware of getting too close to Skipjack Island and adjacent island and reefs.
  • Freighters run 16 or 25 knots.
  • Hoist Canada courtesy ensign on starboard spreader flag halyard as you enter Canada.
  • Remember crew can assist docking at customs dock, but must stay aboard until clearance # given. Take completed customs sheet to telephone at office to report. Write down clearance # and put in main salon port. Hint: ask me about fruit, potatoes and alcohol.
  • This is a resort. You can tour the rooms, experience the amenities.

Fossil Cove to Bedwell Hbr (Poet’s Cove), shown in red

After our coffee, breadfast, readying the boat departure, radionet, we unhooked from the mooring ball and got underway at 10AM ,we found that there was no wind to speak of, calm seas. Thus this would be a day of motoring.   The tentative route is shown by the red solid line below.

Fossil Cove (on Sucia Island) to Poets Cove on South Pender Island (red line)

Easy cruise under power, once we rounded the the island.  Then it was easy cruising.  Just had to pay attention to the cross current coming out of Fossil Cove and clearing the Point of Sucia island.

Sucia Island

Sucia Island


South Pender Island

South Pender Island


Some views enroute:







Easy entrance into the harbor.   First stop was the customs dock. There were several boats ahead of us so we had to wait outside the docking area for a space on the dock.   This involved simply motoring slowly and sometimes going in circles (orbiting).  The procedures for customs were that the crew can get off the boat to help with docking but have to get right back on board.   I, as captain, took everyone’s passport and filled out the customs form which was information about the boat, what we were declaring and information about the crew on board.   This was all done over a telephone outside the customs office further up the dock.   Seemed kind of relaxed to me but I guess the Canadians aren’t as concerned about illegal immigrants as we are.    Raw eggs and uncooked chicken were not allowed so we cooked them prior to arrival.   We declared this and the alcohol on board.   Then we were free to go.

A note about docking and undocking.   This is a very busy time on board.  As we approach the dock, the helmsman (me) is motoring slowly.  We are generally in an area demarked as slow speed or no wake.   Crew is getting the docking lines out and the fenders.   We decide in advance on side we will be docked and get the lines and fenders ready on that side.   One or two people are rovers with fenders to take care of potential collisions due to changing conditions.   There are 3 dock lines, forward, aft and midship at the beam.   If at all possible, the boat comes in at approximately a 30º angle, at walking speed (ie, coasting).   At the appropriate time, the helm is brough into the dock and the crew with the beam docking line gets off and secures that line.  Otherwise if help is available on the dock, the bow and/or beam line is tossed and the boat is brought into the dock.

Of course when we leave the dock, there may be  someone on the dock helping with the lines and keeping the boat away from the dock. Otherwise, all lines except one is released and brought aboard.   Generally, when docked at a parallel dock one has to back out bringing the stern away from the dock keeping a fender at the bow between the boat and the dock, by pointing the rudder toward the dock and putting the engine in forward idle.  The bow line can either be handled by a dock hand or by a crew on board where  the dock line is not tied to the dock cleat but looped so that the crew on board has both ends.  After the stern is out sufficiently,  The rudder is reversed or centered and the engine is put into reverse to back out to get room to maneuver in forward gear.



Looking into Bedwell Harbor


Looking out from Poets Cove just outside of Bedwell Harbor where we were moored for the night.


Another view of the Marina looking back at the Customs Dock and the hotel

A couple of views from where we moored in the Cove

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After we moored we took the dinghy into shore have a couple of beers and lunch and walk around abit.

Views from shore

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Since this was our first purchases in Canada, we noted a favorable exchange rate, but only if you use the credit card.   The rate is about $80 US to $1 Canadian.   If cash  (US) is used, they generally do not calculate the exchange rate by charging us 80% of the bill.  Thus credit cards are best.   The service charge is minimal.

After walking around a bit then relaxed on the boat, had brats for dinner cooked on the propane grill mounted on the stern rail.



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