2022 was our fourth year of full-time life on a boat. After two years of shut-downs, border closures, and uncertainty, we hoped to return to some sort of the normal we remembered.
We also hoped Shiloh’s ongoing engine sagas were finally resolved. And if so, (and the world cooperated), we would finally enjoy an extended summer cruise to new waters.
So how did it go??
An Icy Start to Life on a Boat 2022
2021 ended with a significant cold snap which continued into 2022. Our section of the Fraser River froze clear across; the creaking sounds were a little unsettling in the boat.
Thankfully there was no damage to Shiloh and the ice and snow did produce some gorgeous, albeit cold, views.
An early January ice storm also sent Handsome Hubby out into the cold for a couple of long days to restore hydro throughout the Fraser Valley. Again, pretty but we could have done without it.
So we live in a pretty small space. But, we have the biggest bar selection EVER after Handsome Hubby developed an interest in fun, unique and oh-so-tasty cocktails.
Winter Walk and History Lesson on Deas Island
2022 was the year of several false springs. During one of those lovely spells, we took a walk around Deas Island. There were numerous signs of spring (sadly they were a bit early) and too many eagles to count.
Of course, we were rather parched after the walk so a trip to Barnside Brewery (conveniently located just around the corner) for a flight of their tasty beers was much appreciated.
Interesting Fact Time: Deas Island is named after John Sullivan Deas, a Black man born in 1838 and a tinsmith by trade. Through the early years of the salmon canning industry in British Columbia, he was the leading canner on the Fraser River. He came to Canada about 1862, and by 1866 he was a manufacturing tinsmith and hardware dealer in Yale. He started canning salmon on the lower Fraser River in 1871.
False spring and real spring brought about boat projects.
Among them was gluing the dinghy davit pads onto our inflatable. If there is a more stressful project than getting everything lined up, taped off, and the glue mixed right, I don’t want to know about it. Thankfully Handsome Hubby is good at these sorts of finicky projects. I’m happy to bring him parts and read and re-read the instructions.
I enjoyed updating some of the cabinet hardware much more! I have always wanted knobs instead of handles on my kitchen cupboard doors. And I finally do!
We weren’t drilling new holes in the 40-year-old teak doors. So I was thrilled when I found vintage backer plates that fit the existing holes and were from the same era. Combined with some teal pulls from Amazon, they look like there were always there.
Vancouver Island Road Trip
In mid-March, we took the big boat (aka BC Ferries) to Vancouver Island to see friends and Handsome Hubby’s kids.
Among my highlights (beyond the friends and kids) were trips to breweries and wineries, exploring Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse, checking out the view from the top of the Malahat (a first for me) and spending some time in Duncan.
Our trip home was a bit of an adventure. One of us may have thought we didn’t need a ferry reservation for a mid-week afternoon crossing back to the mainland. Turns out one of us was mistaken.
So we decided to drive north to Nanaimo and grab the ferry there. That included a ferry trip from Brentwood Bay to avoid driving through Victoria. The plan worked well until the ferries were really behind schedule when we arrived in Nanaimo. But we made it home… eventually. Basically at the same time if we had just waited at the other terminal. But this was still more fun.
Signs of Spring
Spring took her time coming in 2022. We endured May-vember and Jun-uary but there were still some nice days with lots of flowers and Vitamin D opportunities.
Tollycraft Boating Club Fun
One of the first things Handsome Hubby and I did when we bought our Tollycraft was join the Tollycraft Boating Club and Canadian Tollycruisers.
And once the border reopened, we were ready for some Tollyclub fun!! Plus as the club’s 2021-2022 Commodore it was important to me to be at as many events as possible.
Our first 2022 event was in Kingston, WA, followed up with a second in Seattle at Bell Harbor Marina. As much as we would love to take our boat, it’s just too far since we aren’t retired yet.
But our land yacht (aka the car) got us where we wanted to be – with our Tolly friends!!
As Commodore, I was responsible for our annual Rendezvous at Roche Harbor (more on that in a bit) which means a Commodore Cocktail. And for me, that meant it had to be teal. Handsome Hubby and I had lots of fun coming up with the perfect teal drink.
With plans for an extended 2022 summer cruise, we needed to make sure we had enough sources of power for our life on a boat away from the dock. Handsome Hubby added solar and we purchased this little generator (just in case).
After three(ish) years with an off-site storage locker, we finally finished downsizing and are rid of the monthly fee to store our stuff! We do have four boxes, primarily Christmas decorations, stored at Handsome Hubby’s work but the rest of our stuff is on the boat.
And of course, there was work to be done on Shiloh’s engines. Thankfully, one of our Tolly friends is an engine whisperer (well my term for him anyway). He came over, more than once, to work with Handsome Hubby on fine-tuning our twin 454s.
With all that is gone on since they were installed, uninstalled, re-installed, fixed, and adjusted, they just needed someone to listen and tweak. I can’t express our grateful I was to hear them fire up and run like they are supposed to.
Out with the old and in with the new
When we switched to our life on a boat, we brought our couch from the condo. It fit the space (mostly) and we liked it.
The big downfall was that it didn’t work as a secondary sleeping space. We only have one “bedroom” so our couch needs to be guest quarters as well.
A year ago, Handsome Hubby found a vintage couch that is more like a futon but with actual couch springs.
The style fits the boat and since it needed to be re-upholstered, we added some Tolly teal!! And now we were ready for guests to join us in some life on a boat in 2022 and beyond!
Starting the Summer Cruising
In mid-June, after a flurry of activity getting ready for both the cruise and the Tollycraft Boating Club’s Rendezvous (including a much-needed pedicure), we untied from the dock and headed down the Fraser River.
We met up with our engine whisperer and his wife mid-way down the river before heading across the Georgia Strait to Pender Island.
The Georgia Strait is my least favourite part of any trip away from the Mainland. But we had a smooth crossing and were rewarded with our first 2022 whale sighting as soon as we entered Active Pass. A second sighting took place about 15 minutes later!
After a night at Otter Bay Marina, we headed south to San Juan Island for a night in Garrison Bay. We dropped the hook and took a moment to breathe. Anchoring may be my favourite thing to do on the boat.
After dropping the dinghy (so easy thanks to our new dingy davit system), we explored the bays and spent some time at English Camp, before enjoying a quiet night.
Tollycraft Boating Club Rendezvous – Seussical the Rendezvous(ical)
The next morning we pulled up the anchor for the 5nm trip over to Roche Harbor Marina and the 2022 Tollycraft Boating Club Rendezvous. As Commodore, not only did I get to create a signature theme, but also pick the Rendezvous theme. My choice – Seussical the Rendezvous(ical).
We had so much fun!! Over 80 Tollycrafts and their owners were there. Two members even flew in from New Jersey to be part of the fun!
Since I was the first Canadian Commodore, we added a few Canadian touches like a Caesar Bar which meant we brought ALL the Clamato juice with us.
The Roche Harbor staff said we were the first group to ever do a Dr. Seuss theme. And everyone embraced it – so many Seuss decorations, outfits, books, and more. Just an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget.
The four days went by so fast – I swear I blinked and we started packing up.
That meant it was time to head back to Canada, our first visit to Desolation Sound, another Tollycraft Rendezvous, and more… Life on a Boat 2022 Part Two coming soon.
Stay safe and happy cruising!