Geburtstag

Am Samstag haben wir Papas 90. Geburtstag ganz toll am Bremer Hof gefeiert. Die Familie ist aus der ganzen Welt gekommen, viele Freunde waren da, das Wetter war schön und nicht mehr ganz so heiß. Wir hatten alle viel Spaß.

Das Geburtstagskind
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Golden Circle

I played tourist today and drove the Golden Circle. First I visited, and walked around the site of the Parliament Assembly in the Thingvellir National Park. This is a stunning site and was used as assembly fields from 930 AD on, shortly after the settlement of Iceland. It was also used for judicial proceedings including executions. Today it is a park with beautiful vistas and many walkways.

Thingvellir

The next stop was a famous waterfall, quite impressive but also rather crowded.

Gulfoss Waterfall

Geysers are called geysers because there is a fountain called The Great Geysir in Iceland. Unfortunately, it is not active right now, but close to it is a smaller one that regularly blows.

The quiet geyser Geysir
The active geyser Strokkur

I stopped for a recovery session in the hot pool at Secret Lagoon, which is not all that secret anymore, but was not too terribly crowded.

First public swimming pool in Iceland: Secret Lagoon
Water temperature 38 deg Celsius

Iceland

I flew through the night to Reykjavik and walked through town today (in sunshine and so hot that the locals complained, 18 degrees Celsius). Tonight I am staying close to the rift valley of the two tectonic plates that form Iceland. A geothermal plant is close by, not much else. The hotel has a hot pool and cold beer, just what I needed.

Vancouver

We are enjoying a few sunny and busy days in Vancouver. Yesterday, we strolled along English Bay and took the ferry to the Maritime Museum for a beach picnic with friends. Afterwards we enjoyed Shakespeare´s “All´s well that ends well” at the local Bard on the Beach production. Today it is supposed to get even hotter.

View from Vancouver Maritime Museum to downtown

Port McNeill

I came into Port McNeill yesterday and spent a hectic afternoon doing boat chores and getting ready for the next trip in August. Then early this morning, I went to the airport to fly to Vancouver, but, alas, no flight due to fog. Probably worse for the people flying up from Vancouver, who got a look at the fog from above Port Hardy, and then were taken back to Vancouver. I ended up with an extra 8 hours in Port McNeill, and didn’t feel like doing more boat work. So I went for a walk, admired the old steam donkey at the harbour, basically a big powered winch used in logging, and went for lunch. In the afternoon a boat on its way south from Alaska pulled in, and it was Bob and Lois, who we sailed with in Tonga in 2002. That was our first experience of the South Pacific, and amazingly a description of the sail is still available online (here). Now I am hoping to fly out in time to help Graham celebrate his birthday on the beach in Vancouver.

Steam donkey at Port McNeill Harbour

Village Channel

No fog this morning, but also no keepers in my crab trap. I guess it will be chicken for dinner. I moved on, briefly stopped in Health Bay. There is a First Nations village there called Gwayasdums and I anchored around the corner in the lagoon. Unfortunately, the blackflies were so thick and aggressive that I left again. Now I am anchored in Village Channel, between Pearl and Maud Island, and am keeping a sharp lookout for bears.

Morning without fog

Dusky Cove, Bonwick Island

I did not get blown out of Monday Harbour, the night was very quiet. In the morning I woke up in thick fog, so read the current edition of Die Zeit, a German weekly newspaper (nice to be able to pick up a newspaper by holding my Kindle up into the air). By midday the fog had cleared and the afternoon was sunny and warm. I moved along a little to Dusky Cove and went for a long kayak trip.

http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=50.693787&lon=-126.669455

Sunday or Monday?

I know it is Wednesday today, the question refers to which harbour I wanted to anchor in. Sheila flew out from Sullivan Bay today, and I left to explore an area of the Broughtons that I had not been in before. Wylie Blanchet describes being blown out of Sunday Harbour into Monday Harbour by a strong westerly wind. Her book, The Curve of Time, is the classic for the area and describes the adventures of her cruising in the Pacific Northwest with her 5 children (her husband had drowned) in the 1920s and 30s on a 25 foot boat (they took the dog as well!). We have an easterly wind today, I am anchored in Monday Harbour, and hope not to be blown into Sunday Harbour overnight.

Not quite a private jet, but a chartered floatplane picking Sheila up in Sullivan Bay