Liberty 53, Luna, and Zephyr: Scamps cruise the Discovery Islands

Three SCAMPs, eight nights aboard, seventy nautical miles travelled by sail and oar.

The guys first met at Scamp Camp #1, in Port Townsend WA, in the summer of 2012, where they learned how to build their 11’11” SCAMP sailing dinghies, were dubbed the Pirate Team, and dreamed of sailing together in the Salish Sea. Keith finished ZEPHYR in 2013, and we reconvened in PT for her launch, I finished LUNA in 2014 and the team came to Vancouver for her first splash, and Derek completed LIBERTY 53 a week before for our long-planned cruise this summer.

Keith, and Derek with his lovely lady Lacy, trailered their boats from Oregon to Vancouver on Thursday and the five of us, including my (filleting queen) Chris, set off the next morning for an excellent adventure.

Friday July 17 — Day 1 was a long drive from Vancouver to Quadra Island, 2 ferry rides, 3 boat launchings in Heriot Bay, parking and securing our trailers and tow vehicles, dinner for 9 with friends and family, and bedding down on the dinghy dock.

Ground support at our launch and retrieval location was invaluable. My mom and dad (Fred and Liz) came for the launch, joining our convoy for the final stage from Campbell River to Quadra Island. They helped get the boats in the water, arranged tie-up at the Heriot Bay Inn dinghy dock, had dinner with us on the deck, and stayed overnight in the Inn. And, our very dear friends Rob and Heather (Quadra residents) did ground work reconnaissance, scouting boat ramps and parking for the tow vehicles, and booking dinner at the Inn. We all had a fabulous send-off meal, a few laughs and good fun on the deck overlooking our cruising waters.

An exciting day, but somewhat tempered by the anticipation of the voyage ahead.

Derek and Lacy launching LIBERTY 53 in Heriot Bay, Quadra Island

Heriot Bay Inn

red sky at night…

morning on the dinghy dock

Several lessons learned:

  1. convoying is a communications nightmare when members cross international borders and cellular packages restrict usage (I can see the attraction of CB radio for land travel);
  2. if at all possible, ferry bookings should be made months earlier;
  3. ground support in a remote location is a rare treat;
  4. when sleeping on an open boat at a marina you should not tie up under a lamp pole;
  5. and, you should check to see if there’s a rock band playing the evening you decide to stay at the dinghy dock! No worries, with all the excitement and a few cocktails, we all slept like babies. It was a good band.

6 thoughts on “Liberty 53, Luna, and Zephyr: Scamps cruise the Discovery Islands”

    1. You were with us in spirit, Howard! We thought of you often, and hope to cross courses soon. Will you be at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend this year? I’m bringing Luna, and would love to have you on board once again!


  1. Question please. I like the looks of Luna’s “Once Coleman” cockpit tent. Can you share more about its components and design?


    1. Hi Lee, Thanks for dropping in!

      My tent is really just a prototype, a test of concept, made with stuff I had on hand: two old tent poles (78″ long) from a Eureka Alpine Meadows 3 that protected our little family for many years until the fly gave out from UV exposure; and a fly from a cheap Coleman tent that we rescued from a curb-side garbage pile in the neighbourhood a few years ago.

      The basic premise was to hang two cross-poles from the boom to give us enough shoulder room inside for two-up cruising, cooking and sleeping, in summer conditions. It’s not self-standing, as it needs the spars to support it. It’s not bug-proof, that’ll require some more head-scratching, but it has performed well in wind and rain this season. And, it feels very spacious inside, we can sit on the bench seats and rest our arms over the combings and our elbows or shoulders don’t touch the sides of the tent!

      I have a bunch of photos of my development process in this album on Flickr: “LUNA gets fitted out for cruising”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s