Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 9 - The Monster Conquered

Friday, July 16, 2010
Left Schooner Cove at 0715 with a brisk 15 knot NW wind blowing. The wind just never stopped blowing. Immediately we had issues. The first one was that we had a line from the Zipper in the water. Second issue, the safety line parted from the Zipper. And the third issue, during resolving the first two issues we took a few beam to waves and the coffee carafe fell and hit the deck breaking and spilling coffee all over. After resolving these things we started our trip across the Strait. There was a good 3' moderate sea coming from the WNW. I had a plan on how we were going to tackle this. We would use the lee of the islands and Ballenas Island to minimize the seas, and then we would work to quarter the seas rather than pound into them. That meant setting a course after Ballenas Island to the S end of Texada Island - Upwood Point.

We followed the plan which started to work really well, once we cleared Ballenas Island we felt the waves and swells. We angled for Upwood Point but the waves and swells were too beam to causing too much side-to-side rocking. So I adjusted the course to head for Squitty Bay on Lasqueti Island which was perfect for quartering these rough seas. Once we got within the lee of Lasqueti Island we then adjusted our course for Upwood Point on Texada. Instead of a straight line course we did more of a curved cresent shaped course. Sure it was longer and took more time, but it was much more comfortable of a ride for us. We were also riding a flood current which helped us cross the worst part of the Strait better than 6 knots.

Once we rounded Upwood Point the seas were very calm, in fact just rippled. However as we started up the east side of Texada Island and Malaspina Strait the waves increased, although there was little or no wind - they were just 2-3' smooth rollers. But we pounded right into them making for an uncomfortable cruise all the way from Anderson Bay to NE Point on Texada Island. Just prior to NE Point I layed down for a nap and let Kim take the helm. When I awoke we just shy of Grief Point and the seas were almost calm. These calm seas were with us all the way to Squirrel Cove.

Just before Grief Point around 1300 the engine hour meter turned to 6000 hours.

As usual with this part of the cruise its kind of boring. You got Texada Island to the W. The island rises steeply above Malaspina Strait then levels out to bauxite mines on the N end of the island. After Grief Point you got the mill at Powell River and the town of Westview to the east. You pass Harwood Island and Savary Island to the W but these are low lying and featureless islands. The shore to the E is also relatively featureless, although in the distance you can see the mountains of the coast range. Far to the W you can see the vast snowfields and mountains on Vancouver Island. There weren't too many other boats out either. The cruise starts to get interesting once you pass Lund. Thulin Passage is quite scenic, and finally you get into Desolation Sound. Passing Sarah Point you get an incredible view of the Liberty Cap and other mountains of the coast range.

We got into Squirrel Cove at 1810 and dropped the hook in 18' of water at half low tide. It is good to be done cruising for the day. We anchored far into Squirrel Cove in the far NW corner, just past the shore trail to Von Donop Inlet. Squirrel Cove was not too crowded. For supper, we enjoyed simple celebratory fare - Chicago style hot dogs (tomatoes, green chili peppers, onions) with a cold beer. I also capped the day off with a couple toasts of Gibsons Canadian whiskey. Wow, I'm back in Squirrel Cove. I was elated.

Stats: 64.1 nm, average speed 5.8 knots, 11:03 hours of running time, ending engine hours 6005.4.

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