Logbook Days 54 and 55
7/03/2004 - 7/04/2004
Back Across the Strait
It was time to travel back out of Jervis and across
the Strait of Georgia. On the way we hiked to the Skookumchuck
Rapids. The day we were there was the highest flood tide of the
year which made for a awesome sight as the waters flowed in at 14.2
Princess Louisa Inlet to Bathgate at Egmont
Waking early at 5:00am, I set the dinghy loose and started
the motor. I pulled the boat to the anchor easily and raised it.
We drifted back and got under way. Passing McDonald Island we
decided we would definitely like to stay at the moorings there for at
least a night next trip. We arrived at Malibu Rapids at
6:00am just after slack and went through with a slight ebb current.
We then made the turn south down Jervis. Dawn went back to bed and
I let the autopilot handle most of the driving at 7-8 knots. It
was a nice quiet time to just sit back and marvel at the view.
way, we slowed to make an ugly but necessary potty dump. They have
no pump outs or dump stations here in Canada. Standard procedure
in all but a few bays is to pump the poop over the side. For us
that means manually emptying the contents over the rail. Up to
this point we had been able to discreetly use restrooms, but we had no
choice now. All in all it wasn't
too bad and a few dips of the bucket rinsed of the final evidence.
We moved right along up Jervis and arrived at Bathgate Marina in
Secret Bay, Egmont BC at 10:30am. The kids slept through the whole trip. We
got fuel, we used 3-1/2 tanks going in and out, and then moved to our slip for the night.
Bathgate is a small marina hid behind a shoal with that old mom and pop feel.
Nothing fancy, just a nice place. She runs the store and he
handles the fuel dock. We felt very comfortable with it's
un-pretentious atmosphere. The tide was very low and falling further. Nick fished
and promptly snagged a sunflower starfish. It took a lot of
patience to bring it to the surface and remove the hook. We fished some more and then
watched a movie to pass the afternoon.
At dinner we went in search of a
restaurant, alas none were to be found closer than a mile away. We
saw a sign posted on the bulletin board announcing 'Community Fish Feed,
Everyone Welcome'. Once we found the community center, we enjoyed an
all you can eat dinner of salmon, cod, and huge prawns. Now full,
we set out for the Skookumchuck rapids trail.
We left at 6:00pm.
The max flood current was scheduled for 7:35pm according to the local
paper. It was the strongest current of the year at 14.2 knots in
the tidal rapids. The lady in the store told us to go to the park
at the top of the hill and the rapids were a 4 km hike one way from there
down the gravel road and trail.
It turned out to be quite a haul, but the trail was easy to follow and the rapids
were an amazing sight. The pictures don't do them justice.
The flood tide comes flowing in the channel and then flows, oil slick
and fast, in a smooth descending trough before cresting back up in huge standing waves
6'-8' tall that look like surf but never
move. These waves stack up continuing down the channel for a 1/2
mile. As the water heights inside and outside change the character
of the rapids shift, sometimes smooth and rolling, at other times
breaking in tight curls like surf. The area really isn't that
shallow showing 11 meters deep on the chart off Roland Point where
were watching from.
The kayakers in their river play boats launch out
upstream above the rapids and ride each crest as long as they can. Once washed out down Sechet inlet they pull in near shore and the back eddy brings them
right back up to where they started without even paddling. We met
up with Giff and Mary there as well. The kids explored the tide
pools uncomfortably close to the boiling flow. After a while we headed back
and got to the boat just before dark at 10:00pm. Mikey was spent. The kids crashed
immediately for the night after their 5+ mile hike. Only one other
boat is in the marina with us.
Bathgate to Schooner Cove
We slept in after the long hike the evening before.
Once all the shopping was done we headed out. We have decided to go
to Jedadiah Island between Texada and Lasqueti islands halfway across the strait
rather than proceeding as planned to Smugglers cove. This will let
us cross back over the way we came with the hope of some protection from
the islands rather than making the completely exposed crossing further
south from Welcome Passage to Nanaimo. The forecast is once again
calling for small craft advisories in the strait. We hope they are
as benign as last time.
The wind was up in the last leg of Agamemnon channel and all the way across Malispina strait to the south
point of Texada. Once there things calmed down a lot. Rather
than stop between the islands, we decided to take advantage of the flat seas and go all the
way across to Schooner Cove marina once again. It was a calm crossing the
rest of the way. We located the entrance and wound our way
through the rocky Winchelsea islands, then we went in and tied up.
We were given slip E1, the furthest in against the main dock. From
there, it was up to the restaurant for dinner and back to the pool.
I had a quiet
evening once again checking email. The kids didn't get back until 10:00pm.
We herded them into their staterooms, and Dawn and I
went for a stroll on the docks. Nick was snoring loudly when we got
back, he's the culprit, not me, honest.