Anne and Jon were recently in British Columbia sailing with Jon’s cousin and his wife in Desolation Sound, north east of Vancouver Island. They spent their adventure aboard a boat that Jon’s uncle, John Goodwin, built in the 1970’s. The cold-molded wooden boat is a 48’ Arthur Robb designed ketch named ‘Speedwell’ that was launched 44 years ago.
Uncle John circumnavigated in the 1980’s with his partner, Gudrun Lemperg and then proceeded to do an annual circuit of the western Atlantic Ocean for 15 years. Each year they would start in Trinidad, work their way up the Caribbean islands (mainly the French ones because they could procure good food and wine) and then jump off from St Maarten to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.
Towards the end of the summer they would hop down the East coast of the US, from Maine (good lobster & Trader Joe’s) to the Chesapeake (good crabs & Trader Joe’s) and then back down to Trinidad for the winter. In 2009, Speedwell headed through the Panama Canal and sailed to Vancouver Island (upwind all the way). After a couple of seasons of exploring the waters north of Vancouver Island, Speedwell sat on a mooring for many years until Uncle John gave her to his son, Garth. Garth has caught up on maintenance and he and his wife Fiona have Speedwell sailing again.
Last time Jon and Anne sailed on Speedwell was in 1989 when they ‘caught a ride’ from Seattle to Vancouver Island via the San Juan Islands. It was a stunning trip. They are looking forward to exploring a new and remote part of the Pacific Northwest. (Fun Facts: Jon helped remove staples from the layers of cold molded plywood that make up the layers of Speedwell’s hull during the build process. Speedwell’s bottom was the first boat bottom Anne ever painted!)
They boarded the Speedwell on June 24th in Comox, Vancouver Island and set sail for Lund for “provisions”; cinnamon buns & coffee at Nancy’s and a can opener.
Photos From Comox, Vancouver Island
Lund, British Columbia/Speedwell Crew
Their first night at anchor was spent in the Copeland Islands. They started the following day with a hike where they spotted a known rower and soaked in the natural beauty of the area. The arbutus trees are ubiquitous in the area, their signature red, peeling bark brightens the hillsides. They then sailed the stunningly clear, blue water to Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound spotting their first and only dolphin along the way.
The area was surprisingly crowded, but they found an isolated spot and tied up stern to shore. There are chains drilled into the rocks along the shore, making tie up easy. The glorious mountainous backdrop would be their view for the next several days.