Putting things into God's hands is like your company being sold and a new CEO comes in. There are a lot of changes that have to be dealt with, most of which are uncomfortable. Simply because that's not how you would have chosen, if it was still up to you. Only it isn't. So, while we were waiting for the dust to settle on the rental emergency back home...
We decided to take advantage of the “layover time” and get a few things done on the boat we still wanted to do. Which is how the Captain happened to be busy scraping the barnacles off the bottom (only as far as he could reach with a brush on the end of a pole, while floating alongside in the dinghy), when he looked down into the clear water and noticed there were two blades missing off our propeller. No wonder we were making such little headway against those strong currents!
Thinking back, we knew just when it had happened. Somewhere near the end of the Georgia Strait (after two days out on that big water), we began to feel an unusual vibration that hadn't been there before. We hadn't bumped or run into anything, so we figured the bearings might be wearing out on the shaft... something else to check on when we finally got the Glory B hauled out to paint the bottom. Which we had every intention of doing. In fact, we made (and had to cancel) reservations to do that several times in different places along the way. This last time, as recently as the rental uproar.
What a wonderful boat we have to get us to a safe harbor (with the help of angels, I'm sure) on only one prop blade. But goodness, what an unexpected expense this is going to be! Not unexpected to our new CEO, however, who already knew beforehand the thing had been wearing away from years of neglect, and that this area around the town of Campbell River (just across the bay from our little cove) is the last good place for parts and hauling out for hundreds of miles. Not to mention the currents will be stronger, weaving through all the islands scattered in front of us during the next leg of our voyage.
Which is why I am seriously considering writing a boater's manual on what NOT to do, when preparing for a cruise. I figure if there had been one of those handy, we could have saved ourselves a majority of the troubles we have encountered, so far. Of course, we have read piles of the ones that tell you what should be done, and felt we had pretty much everything we needed for a day's journey. Which is all the farther we ever planned to go at one time.
So, we are back to following “God's footsteps,” instead of trudging through unfamiliar territory on our own limited intuitions. Which can be deceiving at the most inopportune times, simply because they spring out of your very own brains. Myself, I can imagine any number of ways to do something—most of which turn out to be wrong. Sad but true.
At any rate, we are now on a hunt for a propeller to fit our near fifty-year-old boat, and the means to get it put on there. But we're not too worried. The Lord has a lot of people in this town, many of whom are experts. One of the reasons I'm sure we ended up in this particular place. To fix something a lot more important than just having enough gas in our tank to move on.
Story of life, isn't it.
I have promised a lot of things on this blog, most of which has not been delivered, yet. Not because I have changed my mind, or had second thoughts, but because things happen. Unexpected things. The kind you wouldn't dream of because it isn't a part of your life. One can't exactly plan for things they can't imagine.
Which is why we are still on Quadra Island, anchored in Quathiaski Cove. Due mostly to some unexpected pitch “out of left field” from an enemy camp. The sort the Captain and I don't usually deal with, because we don't live in those realms. So, we were completely caught off guard when our renters, back home, skipped out on us without paying, and left the house in a condition no one else would want to live in, either. I don't have to tell what that did to our plan of traveling as far as we could on what supplies we had, and then waiting for the next payment in order to move on.
However, part of being on an adventure of this type is the necessity deal with the unexpected. No matter where it comes from. And while we have experienced much of what could happen as far as boating goes, I tend to forget life is still going on around us (and in spite of us) everywhere else, because I get so caught up in my own tunnel vision. But what to do. It is a long time until another check, which would not be enough to get us all the way home to clean up the house, anyway. If we did, getting back here, again, would cost even more, and we would miss yet another “weather-window” to reach Alaska. For the second year in a row.
Of course, it was devastating. There have been other devastating things as a result, too, but—I'm convinced—the important thing is how we deal with them. Maybe even more important than the things, themselves. The Bible says we should rejoice when such things happen because it opens the door for the Lord to work things out on our behalf that we couldn't possibly have worked out by ourselves. So, here's the deal...
Since God always keeps His promises, we have tossed the ball into His court on this one. Not only does He have better ideas, He is never caught off-guard. And in the meantime, we will try to rejoice in His salvation (out of circumstances such as these), and keep on working at our “assigned tasks” while we wait for Him to show up on the scene. At this point, I have no idea what's going to happen. But I do know it's going to be good.
And I promise to tell you all about it.
Well, an entire week has gone by since I last checked in, dear readers, and much has happened since then. To begin with, the engine is running beautifully, as long as we don't push the RPMs and remember to keep her hydrated (she's fifty years old). We made the border crossing with no problems (Praise the Lord!), got our official "visitor number," and ran up our courtesy Canadian flag. After which, we set our sails to head north along the east side of beautiful Vancouver Island.
Which is a huge island, about 300 miles long. Our first right of passage was a little dog-leg stretch called the Dodd Narrows. The current runs through there at around nine knots, and considering we only make five, you can see how we needed a slack tide to even attempt it. There were other sailboats waiting for the right conditions, too, along with a couple of small motorboats that shot right through, without waiting at all, because they had more than enough power to back them up.
Still, it was like a fast-moving shallow river, with rocks on both sides, close enough to spit over the rails and hit them. But we made it through at about two knots (think mph, it's easier), with only a few slippery moments. Whew! Then on to our first port on Vancouver, which was the city of Nanaimo. Big City.
We stayed an extra day because the marine radio said there was going to be gale-force winds out on the Strait of Georgia, the next day, and we were at the door. We needed to go nearly a hundred miles on that big water. The locals said, it would be no problem, as long as we stayed off it whenever there was wind. This because it is not like the ocean.
On the ocean, when there is wind, you get big swells. I don't like those, but at least you can sail up and over them. In tighter places like the Strait of Georgia, you can get eight foot seas roaring with hardly any space in between, and it can be very dangerous. So, we decided to listen to the radio everyday and stick with the fair weather. Which is why we made that long transit (took us three more days) with fair winds and following seas. That is, light airs to fill the sails, and water ripples that are headed in the same direction.
Eight to ten hours a day, and because it was our first week of that many hours of wind, sun, and motoring; we didn't do much more than eat and sleep between times. Especially with the added concerns of traveling through unknown (to us) territory. Ah, but I am happy to report that we are adjusting more each day, and actually beginning to talk and think, again, too. So, the Captain says we are looking at two weeks to Alaska, from here, if we don't have to wait out much bad weather. Internet will be harder to come by after this (I thought it was hard, already), but I will do my best to find some.
Meanwhile, we are resting up a bit here in a lovely little cove on Quadra Island, across from the large city of Campbell River, before we continue on into Discovery Passage. I don't know what's ahead, but I don't like the names on this part of the map. Things like Whirlpool Rapids, Desolation Sound, Blind Channel, Dent Rapids, Race Passage, etc. So, if you think of us before you fall asleep at night, please say a prayer that we have made it to a safe harbor to drop anchor in. Because God hears every one of those--indeed, He does--and we have definitely felt His hand on us during a couple of close calls, already.
And what a wonderful feeling that is! We'll share it with you as we continue to pray for all the prayer requests that are coming in to us, via the prayer list box on the sidebar of this blog. So, until next week, or before, fair winds and God's blessings on all of you, fellow travelers!
PS... Stella Madison is still ahead of us, but we should be catching up with her, anytime. Coming in July is The Pushover Plot. Oh, dear... now what has she gotten herself into?
NOTE: Blogger comments are not working on any of my blogs, but I will try to fix that before next time. But many thanks to all of you, who I know are "traveling with us."
It is the eve before our departure (Mystery Tour #3, Canadian border crossing attempt #2), and ready, or not, here we go. The engine hums like never before, the stores are aboard, and the Glory B has a new coat of paint and varnish to mark the occasion. Computer behavior: acceptabe. Am I caught up on my work? Ah, no. But the nice thing about working from home is that your work is always at hand.
The two things I was going to do before the next phase of our adventure began, was to make my last Alaska report from my "Walk Alaska" tour I went on this spring, and to finish up the voting campaign for whether, or not, Stella Madison should be allowed to travel along with us, this summer. Which (I am sorry to admit) is entirely out of my hands, now, as she has taken off ahead of us.
She crossed over the border during caper #3, with the publication of Sea Trials. I'm hoping we meet up with her and her crew before we get to Alaska, but I'm done making promises. Mostly because it's embarrassing when you can't keep them. Now, I know the meaning of that scripture that tells you to put "if God wills" on the end of all your promises to others. Not because we don't always know what He is going to do, but because we are rather unprepared for what our own reactions will be when something goes amiss and He has to get us out of the soup, with a switch to plan B. Our choice, not His, but He is ever-faithful.
Praise the Lord--He always has things covered (He knows the future, and that's a huge advantage). Our part of this faith venture seems to be in trusting Him that "our steps are ordered," and He has orchestrated all the details beforehand. It takes a great weight of worry off, actually, as there are no worries when you remember to let Him do the driving. Now, there you have the lessons of our last two years in a nutshell, and...
We are are officially off at dawn tomorrow morning. High tide is then, which we need to get out of this bay we have spent the winter in. At the moment, my goal is to update this blog once a week (if God wills), and more if we are somewhere to get Internet. When we cross back into the U.S. near Ketchikan, Alaska, I will then be able to use my hotspot, and communications will be pretty much back to normal, again. We are aiming for the first week in July...
If God wills!