Sails to Trails: Bowen Island

Sails to Trails: Bowen Island

First sail of the season

It wouldn’t be a seasonal shakedown sail without a bit of a shakedown.  We both started the trip to Bowen Island overworked and with the boat not fully gone through.  As always the week was filled with uncertainties about the the plan, the mountain bike trails, and our seaworthiness as novice sailers as well as the few projects leftover from an unproductive winter.  Our first that was going to ruin the weekend moment came in the form of a ear wrenching oil pressure alarm warning us it has failed.  After a quick oil change, inspection and determination the sensor was the cause for alarm not the pressure we disconnected the wires and continued on.  With little wind in the forecast but sails visible, we crossed the channel and turned off the motor for a few free knots of travel.

After a brief panic about lines being lost in the mast, all was well and Heather organized our sails before turning off the motor.
He’s happy the house is on the move.

A new feat for us, making the journey with all sails and having the staysail up with our newly mounted yankee, all things we barely understand yet but are getting the hang of.  After a little extra time in sailing experience we made our way to Mannion bay to let Jake stretch and see a brief glimpse of Bowen Island.  Finally finding a anchorage we were content with we learned content would not be good enough.

All three up and accounted for, hey that little guy is an extra knot.

Anchored in Manion Bay

The night was calm but the boat dragged anchor in the already tight bay and we decided to inquire about a night at the dock.  Once we had proven to the local marina we were not a derelict boat hoping to force our way into their club we decided the government dock was more our style at half the price.  It would seem Bowen has a had a history of boat vagrancy trying to stay longer term as the local police officer was very friendly, once we explained we were leaving Monday.

For all that racket dragging all night, we really didn’t move that far.
“but the ride is free, so consider it a gift” I didn’t thumb any rides but I certainly took a few free rides.
Conversely, this morning I paid $2 for 40 minutes to park in a dumpster on a city street.
Yup, the new front yard is a little nicer.
All smiles until that light hint of red turns into a soothing burn, wear sunscreen when on the water and have a growing forehead.
Still mostly where we left her.
Well almost.
They warned us Manion bay used to have a derelict problem

Night on the government dock

With no spaces left on the government dock, we were happy to allow the lovely couple from North Van to raft up while they met friends for dinner.
Unexpected bonus that they came back with wine a dessert. Delicious!

Off in search of mountain bike trails

All sails aside, we had a mission and like all missions, I wanted to start with getting lost. Saturday we had a morning sail and afternoon ride around Bowen finding almost nothing for bike trails except proof mountain biking was once an extreme sport especially for the legendary Dangerous Dan who is rumoured to have built a lot of the stunts decaying in the woods.  After the fun trip down memory lane and a lesson in how different modern trail bikes are on old school ladder work we made way back to the boat a bit disappointed.  Lucky Keara was coming and if anyone was going to suffer happily through my bad sense of directions it would be her.

After avoiding local kids knowledge at the activity booth and grabbing a coffee and some wifi we climbed the struggle fest up mount Gardner further and further until we lost the trail and most of our hope.  Luckily again, some basic girl on a nice hike told us where the trail was and that we would not get our bikes up there.  Although I’m sure she meant it couldn’t be worth getting our bikes up there, which she was wrong but not by much, but to Keara this became a person challenge worthy a ring and three lengthy novels.  Challenge accepted, Heather and I chased a motivated and angry Keara up a extreme hike-a-bike, complete with carry a bike and rope maneuvers all the cool kids in the movies do. Once Keara proved the poor girl wrong and we made it to the top, the hike-a-bike was worth it, even though we still didn’t know if we would find a rideable or fun way down.  Again fortune was on our side, we found a southern trail down and that proved a hint of an adventure bike with a lot of smiles to be had.  All the smiles we had on that trail and it turns out we were likely just a few feet from a bike trial more than a few times, opps, another reason to return.

clearly i am the only one safe enough to wear a helmet walking, risk takers.
It was a long day for us but the bike seemed unfazed.
Beers and a full moon to end the night.

Sail to Horseshoe bay

well this is Keara’s butt but not a full view.
The stable lifelines were a comfort to an uncomfortable guest.
The newest edition took nicely to deck naps.