Saturday, October 31, 2009

Picking Up Josef

Thursday, July 23, 2009. Day 19.
Just after we went to bed around 9:30-10:00 PM the wind started blowing and blew hard all night long. It was hard to sleep because you could hear the waves slapping against the hull and the boat pitching at anchor from the wind. I got up at 0230 to let out more rode to increase the anchor scope because I was concerned we would drag anchor.

I got up early and we weighed anchor at 0600 to go to Nanaimo. This early departure served several purposes. One, get the heck out of this "washing machine" anchorage; and two, cross the last part of Georgia Strait - area Whiskey Golf - before the range became active. Comox Coast Guard radio said the range was going to be active by 0800. I figured we would just be out of area WG by then, it would be close, but we would be out.

There was still a very brisk NW wind blowing. I was worried what the Strait would be like once we really got out into the Strait. That is, when we lost protection from Lasqueti Island and we would be hit from the full distance of the Strait. We got out of Bull Passage and almost immediately could feel the remnants of the NW waves and swell. Once we were E of Sangster Island we were in the thick of it - 15+ knot NW wind, and 3-4' moderate seas. These conditions continued until we were just N of Winchelsea Island when it seemed to abate some. As we neared Clark Rock the seas continued to abate to a 2' chop with an occasional 3 footer thrown in. We made Departure Bay by 0930. We got into Newcastle Harbor by 0945 and dropped the hook in 22' of water at 1/2 ebbing tide. It's good to be stopped and out of the wind and waves. Immediately Kim took Hank to the beach since he didn't get his usual morning beach break.

There were some very large tides occuring. As I was enjoying the late morning - early afternoon, I noticed that a rock was appearing about 10-15' from my stern. The depth sounder (mounted on the stern) showed that we were only in 5' of water. We still had another 2 hours until low tide. Being cautious I moved the boat about 50 yards to the N. We re-anchored in 15' of water at near low tide. The wind which was blowing from the NW changed direction and was now blowing from the SE and at times quite brisk, maybe 15+ knots. This created quite a chop in the anchorage.

Just around 2:00 PM we went to town to do some shopping. We had to get some steaks to welcome Josef back from two weeks hockey camp in Port Alberni. We got the text message that we were to meet him at "Muddy Waters Pub" at 4:00 PM. Kim and I enjoyed a snack and a drink while we waited for Josef. The day was turning out to be another hot one. When we finally met up with Josef he was miserable from carrying all his hockey gear a long distance and being hit by a car in the parking lot. The ride from the pub to the boat was enjoyable in that it cooled us all off.

We came back and started grilling steaks and shrimp on the back deck. We chatted about our boating adventures and listened to Josef about his hockey adventures. We were glad to have JoJo back on board the Independence.

Nm: 23.8 Avg. speed: 6.3 kts. Time: 3:45 Hours: 3.9 Ending hours: 5918.4

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