Friday, April 20, 2018

Hiking to Casson Peak.. Carrying 30 Pounds of Toddler

Ben and RJ at the top - with the 150th Anniversary Canadian flag 
Casson's Peak, marked on the Canadian charts as Frazer Bay Hill, is a moderate uphill hike that is a bit difficult even without 35 pounds of toddler and gear on your back! Ben was a trooper though and carried RJ to the top, stopped to pick blueberries at many points along the way, and all the way back down to our waiting dinghy. We have the Osprey Poco Plus backpack carrier, and have used it since RJ was around 6 months old and it's still holding up great at 2 years old. He loves hiking on his own, but for a steep hike like this, we had to keep him safe in the carrier the whole time. Luckily it's very comfortable and he loves the view! The blueberries helped too :-)

The closest anchorage to the marked path to Casson's Peak is Marianne Cove in Baie Fine. We did the hike ourselves a few years ago, but this was the first time we tackled it with RJ. We definitely would not have attempted without a group of friends to back us up! It helped to have some extra helping hands along the way as there are some pretty steep sections in the hike. Click to read more about our last hike to Casson Peak 

Up up up

Happy hikers

Still climbing :-)
Our group for the day were our friends from Orca (Paul, Jamie, Bogdan, and Sara), Ceiba II (Brett and David), and the Happy Dance Crew (Geoff, Nadia, and their son Zen).  Funny story I forgot to mention in my previous post... when we arrived in Marianne Cove, our friends said there's someone here in the anchorage from Indiana and knows you! Turns out we spoke on Facebook years ago, and they live just 10 minutes away! We got to hike on an island in Canada with neighbors :-) 

Casson Peak family selfie
Making new friends in Canada... who live 10 minutes from us in Indiana
View of Baie Fine and McGregor Bay from the top

Our group from Geoff's drone

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rafted up in Marienne Cove, Baie Fine

Overhead drone view of Marianne Cove - Seapickle is on the right side of anchorage rafted with 2 other boats. Photo © Geoff Wendt
Thursday - Saturday, July 27-29

Marianne Cove is a popular anchorage in Baie Fine, as well as the closest anchorage to the start of the hike up to Casson Peak/ Frazer Bay Hill (more on hiking with a toddler in an Osprey backpack in the next post).  This was our 3rd visit to Marianne Cove, but our first rafted up for the night with other boats! (Actually, our first North Channel raft-up)  We were happy to join Orca and Ceiba II who were already tied to shore when we joined them from Little Current.

RJ and dada aboard Orca

The "Christmas in July tree" aboard Orca 

RJ's Christmas in July gift from the Orca crew

Our first order of business after rafting up to Orca was to hop aboard and open RJ's "Christmas in July" gift! RJ is such a lucky little guy to have friends everywhere he goes (especially ones who bring presents!) :-)  Seapickle usually finds her own little space close to shore, but we tried out being social and rafting up with TWO other boats this trip, and we had a great time! (haha I swear we're not antisocial, but who wants to raft up to a toddler boat?)

Swimming with mama in Marianne Cove, Baie Fine

Snacks are ALWAYS necessary
Second order of business, cooling off with some swimming and then fueling back up with some snacks! Life sure is tough on our boat vacations. ;-)  Let me just say, if I forget to post the pictures of some of the meals we shared... we have never eaten so well on a boat as we did hanging out with the Orca and Ceiba II crew!  Fresh baked bread, daily charcuterie board... we were definitely not roughing it.

Just a toddler on a dinghy (RJ 1 1/2 years old)

Finding rocks to climb is a favorite activity
This was our first year with a dinghy at Marianne Cove, so we took the opportunity and a chart marked by folks we'd met some years back, to find new coves along the shore of Baie Fine that might be less populated.  We found some great locations and contenders for anchorages for future years, and spent some time exploring the shore in the process!  Maybe we just got lucky that RJ loves riding in the dinghy and going hiking, but I hope that we're setting him up for a lifetime of adventure. :-)

This kid is so much cooler than us ;-)

Happy rafting Seapickle (always the little boat)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Another baby on a boat post...

Sorry, not sorry... he's just so cute! :-) There are plenty of ways for a toddler to entertain himself on a boat. See pics below for proof!

Eat your mac and cheese and chug some water while dada cooks more food just for you

Teach everyone what the orange flag is for (standing on a cooler and waving, obviously)

Test out your balance on the table

Eat snacks, lots and lots of snacks.

Cars can race all over the boat! 
Pull out ALL the pillows and blankets to build a fort

Count your loonies and toonies 

Plan out where mama and dada will take you next.

Use mama's toothbrush while holding your own :-/

Lots of naps are good, but only after fighting them (literally) for at least a half hour 
What? Just sitting here looking cute.

Practice keeping mama and dada on their toes (the window was kept zipped closed after this)

Keep the boat clean

And then just lay back and relax in your queen size bed that you now have almost to yourself... 

Two Nights in Little Current

RJ navigates the way through the channel leading to Little Current
Tuesday & Wednesday - July 25-26

The winds were still howling and it was time to spend a night in port and recharge, so we took off for Little Current late Tuesday morning.  As an added incentive, Roy Eaton was hosting the annual July Cruisers Net Rendezvous at the town docks, and we hadn't made it to one yet! The seas were rough though on our cruise from Oak Bay/Hotham Island to Little Current, and we made it into a slip just in time for Dana and RJ to rush off the boat and make it for the end of the rendezvous (and just in time to register, and win a prize! haha)  It was great to see some familiar faces, including Bob and Susan, who left earlier that morning from Hotham.

Arrived just in time to catch the end of the annual July Cruisers' Net Rendezvous
After getting Seapickle tied up and situated, Ben was able to join us at the Rendezvous, and then we took RJ for a quick walk to Low Island park, just past Spider Bay Marina, where there is a sand beach and nice view of the channel. It's always nice to be on land after a few days on the boat, especially to let RJ run off some energy.

Can you spot the Seapickle?

Wednesday, July 26

Rainy walk to the Anchor Inn for breakfast

RJ the rock climber

Anchor inn toddler entertainment

New boat toys from Turners in Little Current
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Anchor Inn then shopped and wandered around for awhile before putting RJ down for a nap. While he was napping, Orca and Ceiba II arrived and fought a heavy current into their slips. We were happy to be reunited with old friends, and meet some new ones! Paul (Orca) brought along Jamie, Sara, and Bogdan as crew for this part of his trip. We met Jamie and Sara the previous year, and were so happy to reunite! Orca was also traveling with another boat from his marina, Brett and David aboard Ceiba II.

Ben spent most of the afternoon diagnosing and oil leak that was affecting the dinghy motor, and was glad to have the assistance (and some drinks) with our friends on the dock.  RJ had another late nap, and then it was time to head to dinner at the Anchor Inn! We had an amazing dinner with equally amazing people, and were glad to have met Brett and David on this trip as well.

Side note: The next morning, we needed to get some groceries and jugs of water from the store, which is a pretty decent walk from the marina.  Bogdan, who we just met the night before, handed over the keys to his BMW without any hesitation, even though they were leaving before us and Ben would have to return the keys at the next anchorage. Those Canadians sure are friendly, eh?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hotham Island Soundtrack

Hotham Island Soundtrack - alternate title,
When You Are So Into The Music You Just Let Your Dinner Burn on the Grill

Our amazing musician friends Jim Krause and Anne Hurley - music available on their website here -

A Typical Day with a Toddler on a Boat

Easy boat entertainment

When dada needs a nap..

Our boat has become a toy store!
Just another day for a boat baby

Indiana Rendevous at Hotham Island

Aboard Traumfanger 
Monday, July 24 - Left Fox Island and communicating with friends on next destination

Our friends, Jim and Anne aboard Traumfanger, were headed to a yet-to-be-determined anchorage in Oak Bay / Hotham Island that would be protected from the wind. We met Jim and Anne, also from Indiana, on our 2nd North Channel trip in Marianne Cove and they've become great friends!

We found them in the South anchorage around 3 in the afternoon, and were also joined by Bob and Susan on Le Voyageur. This made for 3 boats from Indiana in the same anchorage!

Finding a spot to tie to in the anchorage
We've passed through Oak Bay once before and stayed for one extremely windy night in Leroy's Cove (on the GLCC chart), but we didn't have a great experience. Because of that, we were hesitant to go again to Oak Bay on another windy day.  We're so glad we did though, because the south anchorage on Hotham Island was beautiful and calm, and we were the only boats there for the day.  In North Channel standards it's not the most exciting anchorage, but it allowed us some relaxation and plenty of time to visit with our friends! It was so quiet that we could listen to the music being played on Traumfanger from across the anchorage, which is such an amazing part of any of our NC trips.

Sail captain RJ
RJ being serenaded and obviously appreciating it ;-)

Center of attention
We had a wonderful visit aboard Traumfanger! RJ enjoyed exploring every bit of the boat, carrying around cherry tomatoes (no, it did not end well), and testing his limits on the stairs and deck.  After a few days at Fox by ourselves, it was a nice change to be around a great group of friends. Having friends in our traveling destinations makes for a much easier trip for Ben and I, and gives RJ some entertainment. ;-)  We're so lucky to have met such wonderful people in our travels.

Swimming and playtime at Hotham Island - warm water, yucky muddy bottom

Ben out exploring on the paddle board

Beautiful anchorage - Hotham Island South Anchorage (we are tied up to the North part of the anchorage)