Logbook Days 56 and
7/05/2004 - 7/06/2004
South in the Gulfs
We made a leisurely trip south back through the Gulf
Islands, at least that was the plan.
Schooner Cove to Silva Bay
We left Schooner around noon after a morning of hot
tubs and long showers. We headed south on a direct line to Gabriola
between some small islands. We are running at 6 knots dead into the
wind. This area around Nanaimo seems to have a lot of floating
debris so we had to pay particularly close attention to the water ahead. Once past Nanaimo and around the north point of Gabriola
we turned inshore a bit for calmer water.
We went in the north narrow
entrance along Vance Island for Silva Bay. The tide is low and the
passage is tight in 15' of water. Calling on the VHF we were directed to, and met at,
slip B4. We had to circle one to get the fenders ready and avoid
the seaplane then it was
an easy approach. The engine quite at idle but we were able to
glide right up to the dock. Very nice docks, brand new but
strangely no dockside water. Dawn
and I went up to the office / pub while the kids watched a movie (Nick
fished). You have to pay for the moorage at the liquor store. We started some laundry, paid the bill and retired to the
patio for a couple beers.
The boys hooked up with some kids from
south Africa on a Sunsail charter boat. Turns out they have a base
in Vancouver and one of the three brothers and their families on the
boat works there. Nick set his microscope on the table at the end
of the dock and pressed his recently re-made plankton net into service.
On the 27' sailboat next door was a couple from Olympia. We
learned that she was a high school biology teacher and she proceeded to
help Nick focus in on some interesting microscopic things. We BBQ'd hamburgers and relaxed
for the evening.
Silva Bay to Poets Cove
There was a bit of rain during the night, but it wasn't enough to give
the salt on the windows a decent wash.
We left Silva bay at 8:30am with the kids still in bed.
We went out past Shipwreck rock into Commodore Passage and south to Gabriola pass. The
current was running 2-3 knots with us. There were some minor rips
Safely through, and turning the nose south down Pyledes channel
we cruised in peaceful waters past the tugs working the large log booms. After
discussing how long it would take to get to Poets Cove at our 6 knot
pace we decided to detour to Thetis Island and Telegraph harbor to get
more gas so we could go faster. We turned west south of Pyledes
Island and then ran down
Thetis to stop at Thetis Bay marina. After fueling we
continued south down Kuper then north for Hornebery passage back to
Thonberry channel. Definitely a bit of a detour, but we hoped to
go at 10 knots and make up the time.
As soon as we rounded Southey Point turning south, all hell broke loose.
The wind was up over 30 knots dead on the nose and against a ebb tide.
The seas were 3'-5' and very steep and tight together, no swells here.
We slowed to 6 knots but were still launching off the waves and slamming
down. We slowed to 4 knots but it was to slow and we lost headway
and control with each wave. We had to claw and pound our way south
of Wallace island, it seemed to take forever to put the buoy at Panther
point behind us, and then we angled off east looking for shelter behind
some small islands along Galiano. Once behind these islands things
calmed down a bit and we plotted a new winding course south. We ended up
going through Montegue harbor where we came across a Sailboat that had
ended up on the rocks in the winds.
Finally we made it to the
north tip of N. Pender island but the seas were up yet again. Just
then I spotted a pod of killer whales going north between us and the
shore down the port side. We slowed and drifted as we watched them
go by. Once they went out of sight we turned back south and made
our way to Poets Cove in Bedwell Harbor. It was a long hard day.
The slips where very close to each other in Poets Cove and while the shore side
facilities were great, we decided we really didn't like the place much.
I noticed another 26x come in later in the afternoon and made I note to
stop by. We cooked up the last of our Canadian hamburgers as you
can't bring any beef back to the US due to 'Mad Cow' disease.
Later that evening I went in search of Dawn and found
her down the dock with Don T and his wife from Oregon on
their 26x. He is active in the same Macgregor discussion board as
He came over to our boat late after Dawn and I had been ashore for a
drink and we talked out in the cockpit until after 1 in the morning.
Poets Cove also has wireless internet access, but
theirs appears to be a private feature of the marina rather than a
commercial network. I was able to connect easily without any cost.