When we woke up on Saturday morning, we didn’t expect to see the sun shining so brightly through our cabin windows. A brilliant blue sky followed and we quickly readied Yahtzee to get going north from the Dunsmuir Islands in Ladysmith Harbour towards one of our favorite spots in the Gulf Islands — Pirates Cove Provincial Marine Park.

About an hour later, Porter and I pushed our spinnaker Big Blue up on deck and prepared it to fly. With Jill at the helm we got it rigged and set quickly and Yahtzee bounded forward like she knew where she was going. As we ticked off the miles, I trimmed the sail to the shifting breeze while Jill held a steady course and the boys reveled in the sunshine. It was a perfect morning to be out for a sail.

Pirate’s Cove to ourselves

Being the only boat in the anchorage, we had our pick of spots in beautiful Pirates Cove on De Courcey Island and dropped the hook just before noon, promptly kicked off our shoes and shed layers down to t-shirts. The warmth of the day had us drying things on deck and getting ready to do a few small boat projects.

Our pesky anemometer (wind gauge) hasn’t been working, which doesn’t bother us all that much, but it would be nice if it was operable. So Jill went up the rig to check and set the vane on top of the mast and inspected all the fittings along the way. I tried to reset the instrument at the unit on deck but no such luck — hey, at least we were out enjoying the sun!

From there I tackled a few small rigging projects while Jill and Porter gave Yahtzee’s woodwork down below a much needed clean and dusting. This gave us a small taste of spring cleaning and, along with flowers and trees blooming in the islands, made us feel like the season is truly here.

An empty Pirates Cove is a cruiser’s dream. Besides the small private marine in the cove, the anchorage can be packed with boats in the high season, so we relished the solitude of the moment and explored the park to its fullest by foot and boat for two full days. With Hornpipe (our dinghy) and Spirit Bear (our kayak) in the water, we headed out to row and paddle through the small islets nearby and got another preview of spring as showers and sun alternated overhead.

With the mix of sun and rain, the park’s flora popped and bloomed in electric green hues and we hiked many of the trails along the water’s edge and through the woods. A favorite of the boys, of course, was the treasure chest on the point and Porter found a few small things to bring back to Yahtzee and then a few things to donate from his own treasure chest of toys as well.

Before taking off on Monday morning to head south, Porter and I got into some more projects and gave the engine a bit of love. It was sad to leave, but after a weekend of getting things done around the boat, enjoying the spring-like weather and exploring the park, it was time for Yahtzee to roll on.