Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

Day 7: Deer Harbor to Sidney, BC


Seaplane departing Deer Harbor

We woke up to an seaplane landing right next to us!  Pretty sweet.  We were able to catch some pictures of it on the way out while making breakfast.  Seaplanes are all over the place in the San Juan Islands.

We prefer to stay on the water...

This was the day we were headed to Canada.  We hauled up the anchor after breakfast and started making our way West towards Haro Strait.  We were about to become international cruisers!  It was a little rough coming out of Spieden Channel, south of Stuart Island, because of the current and the wind.  I got a little nervous that we were going to be crashing into five foot waves the whole way to Sidney.  Luckily they subsided as we motored further into Haro Strait.  As always, the wind was on the nose, but we needed to run the motor to charge the batteries anyway.

I watched closely on the chart plotter as we crossed the line into Canada.  I was weary about not having access to the internet through my phone for a few days.  Yes, I’m pathetic.  The tide was still going out as we entered Tsehum Harbor.  We had to pull into Van Isle Marina to clear into customs.  It was pretty easy.  At a phone booth on the dock, Nate dialed the 1-800 number that connected him directly to a customs agent.  He told them our boat name and registration number, our names, and answered a few simple questions.  The whole process took less than five minutes.  We were given a confirmation number that we posted in our window for the rest of our stay in Canada.

This is not what we plan to liveaboard

After clearing customs, we headed west further into the harbor towards Sidney North Sannich Yacht Club (SNSYC).  We needed to scope out possible anchorages in case the reciprocals we were hoping to use were full.  On the way, we saw some pretty interesting livaboards in the harbor.  Luckily there was still a few reciprocal spots open at SNSYC so we were able to pull in and use the free facilities.  We didn’t have any “loonies” (Canadian dollar coins) to operate a shower, so the free, high pressure showers provided by the club were very much appreciated!

Sidney waterfront

We decided to walk into town for dinner.  It was about 2.5 miles, a 45 minute leisurely stroll.  We walked all the way to the waterfront area and found a restaurant for dinner.  Mussels and clams and nachos were on the menu for us with our pitcher of Spyhopper Honey Brown at Rumrunner Pub and Restaurant.

After dinner, our next stop was Safeway to pick up some more food.  I also discovered the candy aisle which outside of the US is full of Cadbury chocolate!  They sell my favorite candy coated chocolate eggs all year long!!  They also have ones with pop rocks mixed into the chocolate and they were delicious!  Not as big of a selection of Cadbury as in Australia, but still better than here in the US.

They have pop rocks in the chocolate!

We called a cab and rode back to the marina with our bags of groceries and said “Hello” to our neighbors, Margie and Chuck, in a Cal 2-46.  They’re pretty cool cruisers from Eureka, CA and they’re boat is definitely the layout we’re interested in.  Inside their center cockpit pilothouse boat was plenty of storage, a V-berth, private aft stateroom and to Nate’s joy, a big engine room with a workbench.  We talked about travel, boats and getting over to Victoria the next day by boat. Before we knew it, it was after 11:00 at night!  Time flies when you’re with boat people.







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