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Thread: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

  1. #36
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    The dayís task was to get to Whirlpool Rapids and through on the afternoon turn.

    Leaving the overnight anchorage


    We left at 0610 and, with the full ebb behind us, we blasted along Cordero Channel to Loughborough Inlet in about an hour. At the entrance, an overfall slowed us right down and it was tough rowing to get across the mouth of the inlet, which didnít help my left arm, which was giving me grief again. The hard work was relieved a little by seeing a pod of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins moving up Loughborough. They were too far away for pictures. But it was nice to see them.

    We got round the corner of Chancellor Channel into Wellbore Channel around 9, where the conditions were strangely calm. The ebb was still in our favour up Wellbore, but there was some serious back eddies along the western shore, causing us more hard work to get up into the bay south of the rapids, where we dropped the hook about 1000. The sun came out and we put the tents up as awnings for shade. We kicked back and I made a pot of coffee while we waited for the next turn at Whirlpool.

    Chilling out waiting for the turn at Whirlpool Rapids


    An afternoon thermal wind breezed up about half an hour before slack and was of course right on the nose as we went through the rapids. It made for some very hard pulling to get through and beyond to a little cove behind Althorp Point. We were protected from the wind but a short swell rolled in around the point. We dropped our main masts and lowered the centreboards to reduce the motion, and it helped some. There was a larger deeper anchorage across the way, used by the big boats, but it would have added an extra couple of miles in the morning to get out and into Sunderland Channel.

    We started early again next day to catch the ebb down Sunderland Channel, hoping to get far enough along to a sheltered bay before the northwesterlies of Johnstone Strait came up and into the channel. We were heading into the only part of Johnstone Strait where there is no back-channel route, between the entrance to Sunderland and Havannah Channels. The forecast for the following day was for light winds, so we were anxious to put ourselves in a good position.

    The day was light winds to start and after about an hour of rowing, increased to the point where it was worth sailing. I was making good time to windward, faster than I could row. Alongside Seymour Island, the wind increased to the point where I needed a reef. I dropped the sail and put in the reef and then raised the sail again. As I moved back to sheet in and take control of the tiller, a gust came up. I must have either forgotten to release the sheet in the first place or else it caught on something, because the gust hit the boat and knocked it down instead of the sail feathering. I grabbed the boom to keep from going overboard, but my butt and torso went into the water over the rail and the water poured in over the lee rail. The gust eased off and the boat popped back up again, but full of water with things floating everywhere.

    My buoyancy tank design calculations were right, as it turned out, because the water level was below the top of the CB case. So, I thought, first thing is to get the sail down, which I did. Next thing is to get the water back on the outside of the boat. I grabbed the bucket and bailed like fury until the water was down to the point where the bilge pump could manage it. I pumped with the bilge pump until the water was below the floor boards, which I figured was good enough for now. I then had a tidy round and decided that I could sail gain, so I hoisted the sail with another reef and carried on upwind. By this time the wind was increasing and I was pretty wet, although I had my floater coat on so I wasnít cold. I figured it would be good idea to get out of the wind and into dry clothes. I radioed my partner, who had been a fair way behind, and who I had lost sight of, and told him I was heading for Shaw Point, one of our agreed bail-out points.

    I got there without further incident and dropped the hook in the tiny cove in the lee of the point. I changed into dry clothes and finished cleaning up, getting the last water out of the boat and laying out things to dry. A few minutes later my partner rowed in. He had switched from sailing to rowing and had crept along the shore and hadnít seen my knockdown. The sun started to come out and we sat there the rest of the day as the wind built in the channel. I was able to dry out my gear by nightfall.

    Lessons?
    It was entirely my fault, not the boatís
    Make sure the sheet is free to run before raising the sail
    Make sure when you move back aft you move on the windward side of the boat after raising a reefed sail

    Looking back down Sunderland Channel from Shaw Point cove


    This cove had a large resident black bear, and as we were anchored close to the beach, we blew the horn to persuade him to move off. He came back after an hour and we blew the horn at him again. This time he stayed away.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  2. #37
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    I too am enjoying this adventure very much. And a question for the intrepid voyagers: How feasible would this trip have been without the sails (oars only) for a rower of decent ability and stamina? I have the occasional daydream of rowing among the San Juans and possibly farther north. Boat would be a 17' Whitehall that I think would be suitable for the trip with a little work done for weather protection and open water safety.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  3. #38
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    I think that would work just fine, Chris. The currents are more reliable and predictable than the winds, anyways. That's assuming you are comfortable rowing in potentially rough water with strong eddylines, tidal rapids, the odd whirlpool, and chop, that is. There are plenty of patches of glassy calm here and there, but there's also nearly Class II-III whitewater through certain passes and pinch points to watch out for at times. You should be prepared to handle this sort of thing for when you screw up your timing or when a giant power yacht snowplows up a four-foot breaking wave in its wake as it charges full throttle through a pass against the tide.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Thanks. I don't have any experience in whitewater but I'm pretty comfortable rowing open water in anything short of a small craft advisory. Might have to put that on my list to do next year...
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #40
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    Default

    Clearly, rowing only is doable as lots of others have done it.
    The challenge as I see it would be the big open water crossings like Strait of Georgia and long stretches of bigger straits like Malaspina Inlet and Johnstone St. Sailing you can take advantage of the winds when they are in your favor whereas that's harder when you are just rowing
    However, if you are prepared to wait for a break in the weather, it is doable
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  6. #41
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    …. when a giant power yacht snowplows up a four-foot breaking wave in its wake as it charges full throttle through a pass against the tide.
    Based on experiences in my little patch of Puget Sound, that is truly a possibility. Thank you for mentioning it, James. You may have just saved someone from having a really bad day.

    Jeff

  7. #42
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Great story and pictures guys. I knew this report was coming up as I kept seeing Tim's pictures in my Flickr feed, and it's killing me as by now I'm sure that I won't have time this year to bring a boat up to the Salish Sea or even go to the show, sigh..

    As to rowing a 17' Whitehall it is certainly do-able, I've rowed mine through many areas from Seattle through the San Juans. Need to time the currents especially the potentially risky ones like Deception Pass and Cattle Pass. Crossing the Strait of Georgia would scare me, but in confidently good conditions I would try it. Johnstone Strait? Probably not for me...

    Rick

  8. #43
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    I'm inspired! I've already started thinking about how to set up my boat for cruising. But I'll hold off on any long crossings until I have a few (hundred) more miles under the keel. I'm thinking put in at Anacortes and head across Rosario through Thatcher Pass and then up Harney Channel and Wasp Passage. My biggest challenge is that my knowledge of anchorages is entirely based on cruising larger boats so I will have to recalibrate. I'd normally be thinking Blind Bay, Deer Harbor, Reid (or Prevost Harbor) etc... But I have some time to figure all that out. Expect many questions from me as I do.

    Cheers,
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  9. #44
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Alex (and James):
    Thanks so much for posting this account. We have cruised these channels in our previous boats, one of which was engine-less, and had about convinced ourselves (now that MAGIC has moved to the East Coast under new ownership), that unless we went on someone's charter boat, we might not get the opportunity to go north again. However, now that we have our ST, WEE BONNIE sailing (and rowing), Vicky has begun mumbling about bringing her back north next summer. Your account does a good job describing the need for careful seamanship and an awareness for what can be dished up by the summer conditions there.

    Looking forward to further installments.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by MAGIC's Craig View Post
    Alex (and James):
    Thanks so much for posting this account. We have cruised these channels in our previous boats, one of which was engine-less, and had about convinced ourselves (now that MAGIC has moved to the East Coast under new ownership), that unless we went on someone's charter boat, we might not get the opportunity to go north again. However, now that we have our ST, WEE BONNIE sailing (and rowing), Vicky has begun mumbling about bringing her back north next summer. Your account does a good job describing the need for careful seamanship and an awareness for what can be dished up by the summer conditions there.

    Looking forward to further installments.
    Rick and Chris and Craig and everybody else, I'm not sure I can forgive these guys for spilling the beans about this part of the world, but since they have I'll just add that you don't have to start as far south as they did. You can pick a starting point pretty well anywhere as far north as Port Hardy, we've launched at Telegraph Cove, near Port McNeil on Vancouver Island a couple of times and had wonderful cruises. This put us at the north end of Johnstone Strait, and made any long crossings optional, island hopping and rowing would work just fine. You do need to be fairly independent, and being able to sleep on board is a plus.

    Jamie

  11. #46
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    The following day the forecast was for light winds in Johnstone Strait and we could avoid the Strait no longer. We were at the section where there is no back channels and you have to get out in the Strait in order to make progress north. The challenge for the day was to get far enough north that we could also make progress the next day.

    Morning start in Sunderland Channel


    We started out at 0630 in calm conditions in Sunderland Channel and had a little bit of tide with us. Once into Johnstone Strait proper, though, a very light headwind manifested itself Not strong enough to sail but just enough to make the rowing a little harder. It is beyond me how there can be a SE wind both to the north and south yet there is still a NW wind in Johnstone Strait, yet that is what we had that day. However, we pulled hard and got to the entrance of Port Neville about 0845. We paused for a breather and listened to the forecast again. It seemed that the winds were to remain light all day. We figured this might be our best chance to get north, and although we had already rowed 7 miles and had another 9 to go to the next shelter, we decided to go for it.

    Off we went, rowing hard, and putting up with a lot of power boat wakes, as everybody and his dog was out in the Strait, transiting, taking advantage of the light winds. It was a long, hard slog, but we arrived at the Broken Islands, at the entrance to Havannah Channel, at about 1230. We had covered about 16 miles since we left that morning. My left wrist and arm were killing me, and we were due a rest, so we dropped anchor among the islands and had lunch, and waited for the flood to start up Havannah.

    Downwind up Havannah Channel


    By the time it did, the sun had come out and the northwest breeze had come up, at least in Havannah Channel. We were able to raise our sails and have very nice downwind sail up the channel. Part way along, we witnessed an eagle swimming ashore with his catch, which was too heavy for him to get in the air. I had only seen this once before, but it is quite something to see. About 3 miles in, we found a nice little cove behind an abandoned fish farm just south of Whitebeach Point. We were happy to drop the hook and spend a quiet night.

    In the morning it was absolutely flat calm and we set out for the narrows at the east end of Chatham Channel. We discovered that the tide was moving fairly strongly against us, but by working the eddies, we got into position in time for the slack.

    Early morning heading for Chatham Channel


    We found the narrows to be a busy place, with lots of boats passing through. Right in the middle, we were rowing along minding our own business when a honkin’ big power boat came up alongside, slowed and a woman stepped out of the wheelhouse. She proceeded to castigate us for being “in the centre of the channel and blocking it for big boats with deeper draft”. We were somewhat taken aback by this. To start with, the channel isn’t that narrow and secondly, other boats, some keel boats with even deeper draft had no trouble getting around us. Let us say we exchanged words about right of way.

    Shortly after that, another small power boat pulled up behind us. It turns out it was the lady that we had met at Newcastle Island in Nanaimo, the one who had the trouble with racoons. She asked where we were headed and I replied Minstrel Island marina for showers and laundry. She said that was old news, the marina had been closed for years, but that she was caretaking a small lodge just around the corner and that we were welcome to tie up to her dock and use the showers and do laundry. That was a very welcome offer of hospitality so we said yes, and while she sped off, we rowed the rest of the way to her dock. We spent a very pleasant day cleaning up and visiting with her and her son and hearing about the local situation.

    We had to wait the next morning for the tide to turn in our favour, but when it did, it was still calm and we started off down Chatham Channel. We only got a mile or so before the wind came up and soon built to a strong headwind. We struggled the last mile to the abandoned docks at Minstrel Island marina rowing into very stiff winds. That was it for the day as the wind gusted out of the channel next door, locally known as “The Blow-hole” for its winds. The old marina docks and the government dock next door, which is not actively tended, are situated with a good view and are rather a social cross-roads. Good thing, because we were to be stuck there for a week.
    Last edited by AJZimm; 01-11-2017 at 10:38 PM. Reason: correction
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  12. #47
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Very nice...........thank you.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Good thing, because we were to be stuck there for a week.
    So do we have to wait a week for your next installment?

  14. #49
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post
    So do we have to wait a week for your next installment?
    Yesterday I took the ferry across to Port Angeles and rode my bicycle up Hurricane Ridge, because it was such a nice day. It's one of the worlds great bike rides but it is relentlessly uphill. I was pretty beat when I got back in the evening and neglected my story-telling. Next installment soon.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  15. #50
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Wow, that's a tough climb for a 4-cylinder car.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post
    Wow, that's a tough climb for a 4-cylinder car.
    And the road has gotten a lot steeper than it was the last time I did it a dozen or so years ago.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  17. #52
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Minstrel Island & Escape From Minstrel Island

    Then began a rather Kafka-esque nightmare with respect to wind. The winds where we were, on Minstrel Island right at the conjunction of Clio Channel and an arm of Knight Inlet, remained strong all week, while, toward the end of the week, it started to moderate somewhat further into the Broughtons, where we wanted to go. But we couldn’t get there because the winds were too strong. At the beginning of the week it was gale force winds 30-40 (sometimes higher) in Johnstone Strait, not that far away, while towards the end of week it was “only” 25-35. The pattern nearly every day was very strong winds in the afternoon and into the night, usually backing off a little in the middle of the night, but not enough that we could get out of there in the mornings. This was not helped by the tides not being in our favour when the winds were a little lighter in the morning. The clouds and drizzle or outright rain would come in overnight and it would begin to clear anywhere from late morning to mid-afternoon.

    Old Minstrel Island marina buildings


    However, the weather was compensated for by the people we met who stopped in. We met a couple on the first day who invited us for lunch and then supper the next day. Turns out I had served in the same training ship with him in the Canadian Navy in the mid-70’s. He stayed in the Navy and retired as skipper of one of the destroyer escorts. We had some good conversation about the people we had known from those days. Although boats were coming and going from the old marina docks, there were never that many at any one time, and nearly every night, one of the boats hosted happy hour for everyone else. We weren’t able to contribute a lot, but my partner did contribute fresh fish that he had caught off from the docks. We also met a couple who had lived on their boat for 6 years, including a 2 year sojurn to South America and back during that time.

    Government float at Minstrel Island


    On the last day at Minstrel Island, we were at the top of the Government Dock, looking at the parade of boats coming up Chatham Channel and going through the blow-hole to the marina around the corner – the only one in the neighbourhood with fuel and thus somewhat of a magnet. We saw couple of sailboats under power and I commented on how the lead boat was a nice-looking yawl. As it got closer, my partner said “I think that’s Dave Lesser’s boat”. Sure enough, there was no mistaking the lines and colour, I rushed down to my boat and grabbed the radio and hailed La Vie en Rose. I explained that we were at the old abandoned marina and that we would be delighted to see them and that they would get a much friendlier reception than at the other marina (which had developed a bad reputation). Dave agreed to stop in and shortly we were helping he and his friend Dan in the other boat to tie up. We had a grand visit with Dave and Rosemary and Dan.

    Now comes a very great scandal. The forecast with respect to wind the next day was not great, so I broached the subject of potentially getting a tow from Dave and Dan out of the wind trap we found ourselves in. Dave warmed to the idea and decided it would be cool to tow all 3 lapstrake boats (including his peapod) behind his boat. Without further ado, next morning we swallowed our pride and Dave rigged up long tow lines. We pulled out into Knight Inlet, and after some adjusting of line length to get the boats riding straight without hunting, we were outta there.

    Towing - photo courtesy Dave Lesser


    Sail and Tow Jihadi Shame - photo courtesy Dave Lesser


    It was an uneventful trip down Knight Inlet and into the Broughtons, where Dave dropped us off at Crease Island. It really was a very great favour and we were very grateful. After rowing in to shore and eating lunch, we decided that we would sail down to New Vancouver, where showers were to be had. We had a very pleasant downwind sail in a moderate breeze to the floats at New Vancouver, run by the local First Nations band, and went up and had a shower, our first in over a week. New Vancouver has relatively new floats, behind a massive floating breakwater. While they are exposed to the NW wind, the breakwater does its job with respect to the waves.
    Last edited by AJZimm; 01-11-2017 at 10:43 PM. Reason: punctuation
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  18. #53
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Oh, the shame! It's a good thing McMullen doesn't know about this, you'd be kicked out of the club for sure.

    Nice write-up!
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
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    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Alex,
    Running into you and Tim was one of the highlights of our Broughtons cruise. As is usually the case when traveling, things that are unexpected are the most memorable. I'm glad that we were able to help out, but sorry to have been the instrument of your loss of purity. At least you were towed by a wooden boat and not by a Bayliner, so perhaps James will forgive you your transgression.
    Last edited by Dave Lesser; 08-24-2016 at 08:46 PM.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    It's a good thing McMullen doesn't know about this. . .
    Wait. . .what?!

    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I had mutinied and jumped ship long before this dreadful day of ignominy. The grim and scant comforts of lonely solitude don't seem so bad now in hindsight. Also, I had at least 100% fewer capsizes on my trip. Still. . .I do wish we had had more time to hang out together. And I have to admit to the sad fact that I also had 100% fewer Dave Lesser encounters on my own trip, so maybe you guys still came out ahead, despite the shame.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    That is an oddly disturbing photo of the two jihadis. With that facial distortion edit, you look like some weird aliens.
    Gerard>
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  22. #57
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    That is an oddly disturbing photo of the two jihadis. With that facial distortion edit, you look like some weird aliens.
    Actually, judging from many encounters with powerboaters, while we were rowing, that went something like "Do you need help? Is your motor broken down?", I'm not so sure we weren't pretty alien from most other boaters
    Last edited by AJZimm; 08-25-2016 at 12:17 PM. Reason: punctuation
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  23. #58
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    New Vancouver


    It calmed right down overnight. We calculated that to take advantage of the last of the ebb, to get along and into Blackfish Sound, we would have to leave about 0600. We got away almost on time and made good time rowing in the calm as far as Mound Island.

    Leaving New Vancouver


    There we found that the current had already switched against us, which was a bit of a surprise. It wasnít too strong to row against but it was work. We got through the passage and started on the crossing of Blackfish Sound to Hanson Island. The current in the Sound was quite turbulent, pushing us off course and back again, but as we got closer to the north shore of the island, it eased. There was a Humpback whale feeding in the Sound, the first we had seen on the trip. We rowed along until we got to Double Bay, where we stopped in a small cove for a rest. It turned out that while it looked good on the chart, it was actually exposed to the north should the wind come up, so we moved over behind a small peninsula to the other part of the bay which gives it its name.

    In the afternoon, a little fog blew in from Queen Charlotte Strait, but it didnít get too thick and it soon burned off. Listening to the afternoon forecast, which was for strong winds in Queen Charlotte Strait for the foreseeable future, we knew that we had a choice to make. My partner, who had limited time available, wouldnít be able to get north of Cape Caution and then back again or to someplace where we could ship the boats home, should we be weathered in again for any length of time. Already, talking to the locals, we had learned that this was one of the windiest summers at this end of Vancouver Island that anyone could remember and we didnít see any prospect for improvement. We didnít have much appetite for sitting for days waiting out the wind again.

    At the same time, we realized, while sitting there, that if we rowed through Weynton Passage on the afternoon slack, we could get across Johnstone Strait and be in the pub in Telegraph Cove by suppertime. That decided us, and so, just before slack, we rowed around the north end of Hanson Island and threaded our way through the small islands bordering the Passage. As we got out into Johnstone Strait proper, a light wind came up from the NW, so we raised sail and set off on a close reach for Telegraph Cove. There was lots of turbulence and disturbed water at the exit to Weynton, right where it is marked on the chart, and the wind was just enough to push us through.

    As we got across the strait, the wind began to pick up and black clouds began to loom up from the south. It became a race against time as to whether we could get in ahead of the rising wind and rain under the clouds. We arrived outside the Cove just as the rain began to fall and we dropped sail and rowed in and found a couple of slips on the west side. We were the odd men out, as the Cove and marina definitely cater to small runabouts for fishing and a few larger boats. We got everything secured and went up to the restaurant for supper while it bucketed down rain outside. After supper, it was still raining heavily so we moved to the pub for another beer and to plot how to get home and return to retrieve the boats.

    It was a good end to the trip. We hadnít traveled as far as we had thought we might when we set out, but we saw a lot of territory we hadnít seen before, and I had covered about 300 nautical miles. We had met a lot of nice people and had been on the receiving end of a lot of wonderful hospitality, which we hadnít looked for. It was a great adventure, and what more can you ask?

    There ends my summerís tale.

    Google Earth map of my travels


    Fire-Drake - image courtesy of Dave Lesser
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    Oh, the shame! It's a good thing McMullen doesn't know about this, you'd be kicked out of the club for sure.

    Nice write-up!
    Thanks, although I now realize I will have to wear a bag over my head at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  25. #60
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post
    Alex,
    Running into you and Tim was one of the highlights of our Broughtons cruise. As is usually the case when traveling, things that are unexpected are the most memorable. I'm glad that we were able to help out, but sorry to have been the instrument of your loss of purity. At least you were towed by a wooden boat and not by a Bayliner, so perhaps James will forgive you your transgression.
    Dave, it was great meeting you and Rosemary. It was also one of the highlights of our trip, for the same reason.

    I am not too proud to admit I have feet of clay. I understand the first step on the road to redemption is to admit your transgression. Maybe this will do it, or maybe I will be shunned. I'll just have to face up to it.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  26. #61
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Lotta malarchy and a fine tale of a good cruise!

  27. #62
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Good tale Alex. I know a cruise doesn't have to have a destination, but I wondered if you had a goal or things you specifically aimed to see? Anything you missed that is on your list for next time?

    Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  28. #63
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Hi Alex. Well told. What really impresses me is taking the ferry over to ride up Hurricane Ridge!
    So New Vancouver was your stop on the north side of Harbledown Island? Sounds like a pretty nice spot. I think I remember wondering about those docks a couple of years ago. Curious what the marina is around the corner from Minstrel (not well spoken of . . . )? A lifetime of cruising up that a away. Sounds like your arrival at Telegraph was well timed.
    Eric

  29. #64
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    What a fine adventure. Well done!

  30. #65
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Alex, thanks for posting that story. We're beginning here in New Zealand to get together a dinghy cruising group and your tale is an inspiration to those who have capable boats but who have not considered long range camp cruising.
    As well, much of your cruise was in an area in which I skippered a charter boat a couple of years ago, and it was great to be reminded of the extraordinary scenery.

    All the best with the new boat, I wish you and your co conspirators many more cruises.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbinskate View Post
    Good tale Alex. I know a cruise doesn't have to have a destination, but I wondered if you had a goal or things you specifically aimed to see? Anything you missed that is on your list for next time?

    Bruce
    The goal was to get as far north in the time we had. Once beyond Cape Caution, bail-out and/or return options become more limited for a small boat. On this trip, we didn't fancy the idea of having to get round Cape Caution twice, i.e. going and returning.

    As for things missed, you could cruise a lifetime on this coast and not see it all. For example, we didn't travel up any of the inlets (e.g. Jervis, Toba, Knight) that we passed, which have some very interesting scenery. There are also alternate routes through the tidal passes that we could have taken.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  32. #67
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Hi Alex. Well told. What really impresses me is taking the ferry over to ride up Hurricane Ridge!
    So New Vancouver was your stop on the north side of Harbledown Island? Sounds like a pretty nice spot. I think I remember wondering about those docks a couple of years ago. Curious what the marina is around the corner from Minstrel (not well spoken of . . . )? A lifetime of cruising up that a away. Sounds like your arrival at Telegraph was well timed.
    Eric
    Yeah, New Vancouver is a good stop. not much in the way of amenities except showers, but it is the only game in town in the vicinity.

    I should qualify my my remarks about the marina near Minstrel. I don't want to spoil it for the new owners. Apparently it was in the middle of changing hands, with the new owner taking over sometime in August.

    However, the outgoing owner or management was not particularly welcoming. A couple of examples during the week we were at Minstrel:
    1. My partner went with one of the other boaters in their power skiff over to that marina to check it out, as a possible next stop, and were immediately accosted at the dock and asked how long they were planning to stay, with the implication that any length of time was too long.
    2. A 27 ft sailboat that stopped in at Minstrel Island for a night had gone to the other marina to buy fuel, but the dock attendant wouldn't sell any to them, saying they were too small and he couldn't be bothered.

    People talk and word of this kind of behaviour spreads to other boaters/potential customers.

    Presumably the new owner will be a little more savvy about customer service and encouraging word-of-mouth business.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  33. #68
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    Alex, thanks for posting that story. We're beginning here in New Zealand to get together a dinghy cruising group and your tale is an inspiration to those who have capable boats but who have not considered long range camp cruising.
    As well, much of your cruise was in an area in which I skippered a charter boat a couple of years ago, and it was great to be reminded of the extraordinary scenery.

    All the best with the new boat, I wish you and your co conspirators many more cruises.

    John Welsford
    Thanks John. It would be great to hear stories of similar boats in the great cruising grounds of NZ.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  34. #69
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    People might be interested to hear about our approach to electronics on this trip, during which we spent a lot of time off the grid. I decided that I would upgrade my suite of electronics to devices that were powered by USB, and then get a solar panel plus battery to generate the power for them.

    Electronics & Solar


    What I carried:

    1. Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel & Goal Zero Venture 30 battery. This panel recharges from complete discharge in about 8 hours in bright sunlight but I typically never let it get that low and only ever required about 3-4 hours of sunshine. The battery, when fully charged, can charge 3-5 devices or one device several times. These units are not fully waterproof but they claim to be splashproof. I never put them to the test, only setting them out in settled weather or when we were stopped.
    2. InReach SE satellite tracker. This allowed those at home to keep track of where we were via a website. It also sends and receives 160-character text messages, which is why I chose this over SPOT. You pay a monthly subscription fee in addition to buying the device and paying an activation charge.
    3. Waterproof handheld floating VHF that can be recharged via USB. For marine weather forecasts and communication with other boats.
    4. Waterproof point and shoot camera, also rechargeable via USB.
    5. iPhone. For cell phone connection where there was coverage. Also has an InReach app that pairs to the InReach SE via Bluetooth Ė allows you to use the iPhone keyboard rather than the awkward rocker pad alphabet keyboard on the InReach device. Also can use Navionics app although I didn't have it loaded for this trip - my partner did on his phone.
    6. Garmin GPSmap 76CSx GPS. This one still uses AA batteries. I didnít upgrade this as it had some expensive BlueChart charts on it and I didnít use my GPS all that much Ė mostly in poor visibility and checking windward performance when we had long upwind legs. I didnít use that many batteries although I had lots with me.


    My partner, when we were planning this trip, had independently come to the same conclusion as me and upgraded his devices. He used a different brand of solar panel and battery.
    Alex

    ďA man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to beĒ
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  35. #70
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    Default Re: A Summerís Tale of Sail and Oar

    We're planning to do an overnight from Sandspit to Kawau Island north of Auckland on the weekend of 29/30 Oct, anyone interested in coming could contact me. This will be a "soft" start to give people a taste. There will be another cruise in company in late February to explore the Marlborough Sounds, that one will leave from Havelock. Same again, if anyones interested, contact me.
    We'll make sure to post a story or two.
    Thanks Alex for the opportunity to inform our local readers.

    I am though very much missing your summer waters, its blowing hard here, showers and cold, not the best weather so I'm at my berth up in the river, will be mixing glue for Long Steps again this afternoon.

    Hope to see you next year.

    John Welsford


    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Thanks John. It would be great to hear stories of similar boats in the great cruising grounds of NZ.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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