Motion Monday: Moving to Melanie Cove

Day 7 of our cruise was a travel day to one of our favourite anchorages in Desolation Sound: Melanie Cove. The two hour trip was about as smooth as my fur, and as the video shows, I spent a few moments on deck enjoying it before I headed inside for a quick and comfortable cat nap.

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Meowee, the forest fires here in BC are very serious and as we got closer to our destination the sky was full of smoke, almost hiding the majestic mountains that surround us. It wasn’t affecting our breathing but it wasn’t quite as bright as it was.  I heard the humans mention that in some parts of the coast, visibility on the water was less than a mile, and back at home it’s even worse.

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The humans have been talking a lot about a dinghy concert that’s happening tomorrow and many boats have  filled the anchorage which now resembles a parking lot. Luckily our favourite spot was empty and we easily rafted our 5 vessels there. Once again, out came the inflatable air bags and once again the humans took to the water for fun, and to keep cool. I really don’t understand it.

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I have to go. I see a few dragonflies buzzing around and they are terribly distracting. Paw paw for now.

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Looking Good in Grace Harbour

IMG_3244Grace Harbour is a beautiful anchorage, and offers shelter and protection from the wind and waves. The water temperature was a borderline 68 degrees F, but closer to the shore, the sun-baked rocks acted like a heater and made swimming and floating around them very enjoyable for the humans.

While human dad tried his luck fishing again,  human mom went and found the geocache which was just a short paddle by kayak across the bay. The location was close to the park information board and entrance to the trail that leads to a waterfall and lake. The humans had been here 3 summers ago and had a very refreshing shower in the falls.

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I want to go fishing!

When human dad returned from fishing, he had a very disappointing fish tale to tell about the big one that got away. A 25lb Spring Salmon that, just before human dad could get the net under, spat out the hook out at him, and swam away. If he had just let me go with him like I tried to do, I could have helped and maybe we’d be telling a very different tale today.

The other humans decided to dine at a popular restaurant called the Laughing Oyster, about a 20 minute dinghy ride south in the Malaspina Inlet. Oysters are very abundant in these waters but my humans don’t care for them so I have no idea if they are good or not.

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Contents of “Grace Land” geocache.

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Our Raft-up in Grace Harbour. Minstrel is on the left.

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Gauging the Sea Conditions

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GPS Motion X app for iPhone. Marina top left corner, waypoint marker for geocache in yellow.

There was no cellular service in Gorge Harbour but human mom checked before we arrived and knew there was a geocache in the area. The marina had a strict check out time so she only had about an hour to kayak over to the island, find it, and return before we had to leave. She had manually put the GPS coordinates into her iPhone Motion X app as a waypoint, and was able to navigate offline to the location. The GPS works without cellular service. Unfortunately she couldn’t find it because she forgot to write down the clues. She’s sure she would have found it if she had a bit more time because she was very close. She’ll try again next time.

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Gauging the weather conditions the old fashioned way.

As we left I checked the air and the sky to determine what kind of travel day we were going to have. Even humans used to rely on observation, patterns and folklore to avoid being caught off-guard by the elements before technology was around. This is how I do it. First I determine the direction of the wind on my whiskers. Easterly winds, which blow from the east, can indicate an approaching storm front; westerly winds mean good weather. Strong winds indicate high pressure differences, which can be a sign of advancing storm fronts. Then I take a deep whiff, close my eyes and smell the air. In a low pressure atmosphere, plants release gases, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain. I also check for humidity. You can feel humidity, especially in your fur. If it’s curling up and getting frizzy, then the humidity is high, which tends to precede a heavy rain. Lastly I watch what the birds are doing. If they are flying high in the sky, there will probably be fair weather. Falling air pressure caused by an imminent storm causes discomfort in birds’ ears, so they fly low to alleviate it. Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge along the coast if a storm is coming. Birds get very quiet immediately before it rains. If you practice these methods you can become very attuned to reading the sky and air to gain the ability to predict the weather quite reliably. I was quite confident that the seas would be favourable as we headed East to Grace Harbour.

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Looking south on the Strait of Georgia heading east.

Just as I thought, the day turned out spectacular for the 3 1/2 hour cruise to Grace Harbour; a flat calm sea and a blazing sun. The humans got quite a bit browner after today, especially mom in her bikini. We met up and rafted with the 4 other squadron vessels that had left a short time ahead of us. Human dad headed off with his fishing gear again while human mom kept cool in the water with the other humans. Before long he was back with a couple more pink salmon. He’s my hero.

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Hanging around the fish cleaning table, watching the 2 freshly caught salmon get cleaned and filleted.

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