Poet's Cove, BC
05/31/2018 - 06/03/2018 🍒
Ranger Tugs (and Cutwater Boats-corporate siblings of Fluid Motion) is known for having a very tight knit owners group. Collectively, often called “The Tugnuts” (The group website is www.tugnuts.com). One of the ways that Ranger Tugs (RT) keeps these owners involved and active is by organizing various cruises and activities throughout the year.
The first of these events that Tracy and I joined in was a group cruise to Bedwell Harbor B.C. On South Pender Island. Poets Cove Resort was the destination. We met up with approximately 25 other boats in Guemes Channel just north East of Anacortes at 10:00 am.
Communicating through VHF Radio, the group was divided into two groups. Fast boats and slow boats. The fast boats are the outboard powered boats, and the slow boats are powered by the diesel engines. I have a slow boat. The fast group left first, led by Andrew Custis in an RT 23, and they zoomed off like a group of mosquitoes. They were out of site pretty quickly. The diesel group got organized and powered away shortly after under the leadership of Kevin Lamont.
The weather today was not perfect, but certainly not forecast as bad. The current was running about peak out west out of Guemes channel. That was great for us for a couple of miles…. The SW wind blowing against that fast current led to some pretty big waves in the western part Rosario Strait. The waves were very honest 4 footers with some 5 footers thrown in to keep us honest. Cerise plowed through it just like she was made for it. Tracy, not so much. Imagine 10 boats all in line trying to maintain an appropriate following distance in this washing machine. Various captains tried slightly different tracks, all at slightly different speed. Thankfully the water flattened out about 15 minutes later as we entered Thatcher Pass. During that 15 minutes, we were glad we weren’t in one of the smaller, faster outboard boats. They did have stories later on the dock!
The trip through the heart of the San Juan Islands and past Friday Harbor was very nice and uneventful. The route chosen for the group went around the south side of Shaw Island, apparently due to a grounding issue in Wasp Passage the year before. It was very helpful to have Kevin in the lead pointing out logs and kelp and other sea junk. Kevin was also telling the group at what speed and RPM he was running. That was great information to me, as I am still learning about how this boat cruises.
We had never gone into Canada by personal boat before. After waiting to tie up at the customs dock, I walked up the ramp to the office where 3 Canadian Customs folks were sitting. The gentleman closest to the door told me to call in on the phone outside. This process was new to me, but simple enough. The Customs dock is about 50 yards from the Poets Cove dock. The next step was to get our slip assignment and get tied up for the weekend.
RT uses these events as a chance to get feedback about their boats, and do any warranty work, and just hang out with their customers. Several customer service folks and mechanics come along to do the warranty work. Our boat had a couple of small warranty issues that they completed over the weekend.The event included a couple of pot luck meals, one nice hosted dinner and drinks, games like the blind folded dinghy race, and meeting new boaters, and general good times.
On Friday, we learned of Port Browning, BC. Port Browning is a cute little town on North Pender Island, but only about 3 miles away via the Pender Canal. Armed with that knowledge, on Saturday morning we decided to make a little side trip to Port Browning. The short trip up Bedwell Harbor to the Pender Canal nice and slow. Pender Canal is a narrow, shallow canal about ¼ mile long under a picturesque wooden bridge. The bridge supports are about 30 feet apart. Plenty of room, but it feels narrow when the boat is 10 feet wide, and my depth sounder showed only 4 ft of water under the boat. We made it with no issues, but it was memorable. Port Browning didn’t disappoint. The town center is about a 15-minute walk from the marina and has nice grocery store and several other shops and stores. It was a cute little town. We will be back!
Sunday morning, the boats all head home independently. We left about 8:00 am headed for Friday Harbor to clear customs. Upon arrival, there was no one at the Customs dock, so I called on the phone to the customs office, then a walk into the customs office in town to get our clearance numbers, and we were free to enter the country and return to our slip in La Conner.
More pictures from this trip