Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 8 - The Monster

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Woke to clear skies but breezy conditions. Winds are forecast to be 15-20 knots north of Nanaimo out in Georgia Strait. This may mean that today may be a long and rough day. I'd like to get as far as Lasqueti Island but we will see. Tomorrow the forecast is for lighter winds in the afternoon but overnight and early morning winds are still supposed to be about 15-20 knots. Maybe we should wait. If we do wait it would make for a very long day - 13 or more hours - to go from Nanaimo all the way to Squirrel Cove.

Josef gets picked up at 10:00 AM over at the main city dock. We left the Independence at about 0930 to get there on time. Josef didn't want to keep Jim waiting. When we got to the dock there was Jim. We walked up the dock with Josef and Jim and saw Josef off to Prep Camp. Kim wanted to walk about in town, but I was anxious to get out of town. Too many people for me.

I pushed hard to get going and cross Georgia Strait today. Kim reluctantly agreed. We pulled up the anchor at 1142 to take advantage of the winds that generally calm down around mid-day. It did seem that the winds had indeed calmed some. Weather reports from the Sisters Island and Ballenas Islands were that the wind had calmed down from 20+ knots to around 15-16 knots. Lighthouse reports were that seas were a 3' moderate. I hoped that they would calm down even more, perhaps 10-12 knots maybe. Once we rounded the Clark Rock light the seas got progressively worse. Seas were definitely a 3' moderate and maybe more. My wish for calming conditions was not going to be. The wind was from the NW at more than 15 knots. As we moved farther up the Strait the waves and swells got worse - we were getting pounded. The bow would dip into the trough and then as the next wave approached get raised way into the air and then fall with a crash. Spray would get sent over the bow and even over the flying bridge. I even had to use the windshield wiper because of the spray. The poor Zipper in tow was getting pounded too. The tow line would go slack then instantly "piano-wire" taught. My fear was that the tow line would snap and we'd lose the Zipper. In this wind the Zipper would probably drift faster than the Independence could motor and we would never recover her. Consequently I decided to use the "Walt Woodward route" that took us by Maude Island and behind Winchelsea Island. Sure enough being in the lee of these islands the seas were not so rough. Instead of 3'+ seas it was only about 1' chop. In fact it was calm enough for us to reconsider crossing the Strait. But the winds kept blowing and at times very hard so I made the decision to go for Schooner Cove Marina where we'll stay for the night. The weather is clear but it is just blowing so hard. We'll hopefully cross the monster tomorrow.

We got into a slip at Schooner Cove and tied up for the day. Both Hank and I are mentally exhausted from the pounding seas. It was a good decision to go to Schooner Cove. When we were pounding through the rough seas Hank assumed a position between Kim's legs and as close to her as he could possible be. You could tell he definitely did not like the rough, pounding conditions. Neither did I. I took some time to hose the boat off with fresh water to get the salt water spray off. There was salt from the spray everywhere.

Kim was wanting a rich tomato sauce so I took advantage of the afternoon and made a rustic pepper sauce with some Italian sausage. Here's the recipe:
  • 4-5 Italian sausage links
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 2 T onion, chopped
  • 1 T Bick's Red Pepper Relish
  • 1 t red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 C yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 t red pepper powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t capers
  • 2 T Vindaloo sauce

Cook the sausage. When the sausages are about half cooked, saute the onion and red pepper relish using the fat from the sausages. Deglaze the sausages and onions with the red wine vinegar. Add the yellow peppers, garlic, and capers along with the Vindaloo sauce and reduce. Add cooked pasta and mix well and serve.

We enjoyed the evening eating dinner, listening to the radio, and having a couple of drinks. I enjoyed a couple of caesars (vodka, Clamato, A-1 sauce, Tabasco, and Old Bay seasoning) and Kim had a Smith and Kerns (vodka, Kalua, cream and coke). Perfect after a torturous day of being tossed about. We found out that the marina will be undergoing extensive remodeling. The motel will be torn down to make way for more condos, a restaurant, and some small shops. The pool we so enjoyed for so many years was closed as well as the restaurant. The chandlery and fishing gear shop were also gone. Its been about 5-6 years since we were last here.

The wind continued to blow from the NW all afternoon and evening.

Stats: 12.9 nm, average speed 4.6 knots, running time 2:49, ending engine hours 5993.8.

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