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Thread: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

  1. #211
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Bruce,

    you PNW sailor have your stories of constant rain to keep outsiders away (the only visit I had to Port Townsend was a sunny and hot September). Around here we use stories about mosquitoes...

    By all means, I hope we do sail together sometime, here or there or elsewhere.

    Tom
    The only difference is that there really are mosquitoes there...
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  2. #212
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    The picture in post 209 reminds me of the poster I made for my one man show. In it, there are a bunch of pictures of Row Bird hidden at different places. Here are a few of the shots from it:


    Yachties, sorry for marring your view by hanging up my laundry.


    Motor cruisers, thank you for the hospitality.


    Fishers, I am still impressed and grateful for the salmon and cheesecake.


    Fog in Rosario Strait, you are a worthy opponent.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  3. #213
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Tom, you are lucky that you don't have to carry water to drink- if you have a filter. Here in the saltwater, drinking water can be pretty scarce, especially in the summer.

    I heard this beauty before I saw it:


    But when I got up close, it was so slippery I had a hard time reaching the water itself. Still, a good diversion.

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

  4. #214
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    One of the things I don't feel you can really prepare too much for is making a big crossing in a small boat.



    Whenever I start out, there's always a little trepidation, followed by a feeling of relaxation when I get into the flow.

    Still when I hit that halfway point, there's a deep uncertainty.

    A big boater took this picture of me from his fly bridge at about that point.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  5. #215
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Pressing on when you know full well that this could be the worst decision you've ever made and the last one you ever will. Kinda wakes a guy up, eh?

  6. #216
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    One of the things I don't feel you can really prepare too much for is making a big crossing in a small boat.



    Whenever I start out, there's always a little trepidation, followed by a feeling of relaxation when I get into the flow.

    Still when I hit that halfway point, there's a deep uncertainty.

    A big boater took this picture of me from his fly bridge at about that point.
    Bruce,

    I'm curious--what's the biggest crossing you made on your trip? And what kind of fetch or exposure did it bring?

    I've probably done open crossings up to 20-25 miles (oops, no--I meant 20-25 km, so maybe 12 miles) in cold water, and it's not something I do lightly, but there are much bigger ones out there...

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-07-2020 at 05:02 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #217
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    It's good when somebody takes a photo of you sailing or rowing your own boat and then takes the trouble of finding out where to send it to you.
    Cheers,
    Ian

  8. #218
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    One of the things I don't feel you can really prepare too much for is making a big crossing in a small boat.



    Whenever I start out, there's always a little trepidation, followed by a feeling of relaxation when I get into the flow.

    Still when I hit that halfway point, there's a deep uncertainty.

    .
    The trepidation is perfectly normal I still feel it even after decades of cruising.
    Regarding your feelings toward the half way point that’s only normal Georgia Straight definitely can become a challenge when the tides reverse and you’re progress becomes agonisingly slow. Love those picture thanks.

  9. #219
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I’ve made two memorably big crossings over the years in my sail and oar boats.

    The first was during the 2009 Shipyard Raid. Second day, the leg was from Pilot Bay on the top end of Gabriola Island north across the Strait of Georgia to Jedediah Island, between Lasqueti and Texada Islands. It’s about 24 NM. The day started out beautifully, a nice light SE wind on the starboard quarter, but it built steadily to 34 knots by the time we had covered two-thirds the distance. There is a lot of fetch there and it didn’t take long for the wave height to catch up. I was in Hornpipe, my Kurylko Alaska, same as Tom’s boat. First major trip for me so I had no idea how it would perform. I lived to tell the tell, obviously, but there were a few deeply scary moments and a couple of near broaches. Nothing broke or carried away for me but some of the other boats were not so lucky. We all made it in eventually, though. It was a salutary lesson to me in just how much weather you can deal with in a small boat if you have to.

    The other memorable major crossing was on 2017 on the penultimate leg of mu northern Inside Passage trip. I had been wind-bound by a gale in a tiny cove, after getting round Cape Caution, when the wind dropped enough by lunchtime that I thought I could get across the north end of Queen Charlotte Strait, with the first chance to bail out at least 10 NM away.

    It’s funny how your perceptions change. That end of QC Strait is pretty much open to the ocean, known at this point as Queen Charlotte Sound. The whole area feels like big, energetic water. At the beginning of the trip, I would have been very hesitant to start out in the afternoon on such a crossing, but towards the end, it didn’t seem like such a big deal.

    In the event, the wind had gone calm altogether by the time I set out, so I was rowing. The clouds and fog and rain came down and visibility dropped so it was rowing along on the long swell without land in sight. Eventually enough wind came up to sail, but if it hadn’t, I still would have been able to make to the first shelter by rowing. Nonetheless, I did feel grateful to get into the cove between Islands in the Walker Group without incident.
    Alex

    “A 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 be”
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  10. #220
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by IanMilne View Post
    It's good when somebody takes a photo of you sailing or rowing your own boat and then takes the trouble of finding out where to send it to you.
    Cheers,
    Ian
    That's funny you say that, I met this really nice guy in a giant fiberglass motor cruiser the day before. I was about four miles into a 10 mile crossing when I noticed a boat in the distance that was on a direct course towards me. I started getting annoyed because there was no other boat in sight.

    Suddenly I realized that it was the guy stopping by to see how I was doing. He made this video of me that the still pic above was taken from.



    It isn't perfect, but it is one of my favorite moments from the trip because it shows the enormity of the water.

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

  11. #221
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Bruce,

    I'm curious--what's the biggest crossing you made on your trip? And what kind of fetch or exposure did it bring?

    Tom
    The longest crossing was about 20 miles all told in the Strait of Georgia with chest-high waves. I'll pull up a few pictures and regale you with that tale on the weekend.

    For now you might enjoy a general story I wrote at 48North Magazine about crossings and why I am a nearshore sailor.

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

  12. #222
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    "That's funny you say that, I met this really nice guy in a giant fiberglass motor cruiser the day before. I was about four miles into a 10 mile crossing when I noticed a boat in the distance that was on a direct course towards me. I started getting annoyed because there was no other boat in sight.

    Suddenly I realized that it was the guy stopping by to see how I was doing. He made this video of me that the still pic above was taken from."

    Yes, that was very nice of him. It's hard to get those ones. It has happened to us on Kotik too. You're rowing at a good pace there.

    Ian

    Old Joke: ‘A bench fitter works to the nearest thousandth of an inch. A loco fitter (steam) works to the nearest inch. A shipwright works to the nearest ship’.”
    Alan Byde, Canoe Design and Construction, Pelham Books, 1978

    “...old maxim, 'A fair line supersedes any given measurement'.”
    Allan H. Vaitses, Lofting, International Marine, 1980

  13. #223
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Just read the 48 North piece Bruce. Very evocative! Having only undertaken long crossings aboard larger boats - sometimes lumpy passages indeed - I can only imagine the experience in a small boat like Row Bird. But it's something I would like to do someday.

    I'm reading Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban at the moment. I'm not sure how that book has escaped me until now but it's a wonderful exploration of the same water that you traversed last year. In particular, his descriptions of how the native Salish tribes navigated the waters of the Inside Passage provide an interesting counterpoint to your experiences.

    Oh, and nice video. That looks like a great day on the water to me.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  14. #224
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Just read the 48 North piece Bruce. Very evocative! Having only undertaken long crossings aboard larger boats - sometimes lumpy passages indeed - I can only imagine the experience in a small boat like Row Bird. But it's something I would like to do someday.

    I'm reading Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban at the moment. I'm not sure how that book has escaped me until now but it's a wonderful exploration of the same water that you traversed last year. In particular, his descriptions of how the native Salish tribes navigated the waters of the Inside Passage provide an interesting counterpoint to your experiences.

    Oh, and nice video. That looks like a great day on the water to me.
    I read Passage to Juneau some years ago and enjoyed his reflections on things. I also read some journals from European explorers. It's interesting seeing their very diverse views on native peoples. One thing that is clear is that the white people totally missed out on the subtleties of the landscape and the degree to which the first residents understood it. But that's a topic for a post someplace else...

    The video does show a good day on the water- lumpy and electric, sunny to a fault. That was the only big boat I encountered that day.
    Last edited by Bruce Bateau; 05-10-2020 at 08:49 AM.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  15. #225
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I crossed from Lasqueti Island to Nanaimo in one big hop, thought that wasn't entirely my intention.

    I knew this was a serious deal, regardless of the craft, so I watched the weather pretty carefully for two days. I was in no hurry and had a lot of food. Frankly, I liked Lasqueti. There were no stores, few people, and nothing to do but look at trees and water.

    The morning I decided to leave, the forecast was for light winds and a tide moving in my favor.

    I climbed a rock mountain and looked across the strait.



    The mountains in the distance are on Vancouver Island. That thing in the foreground is a raft of logs with a tug.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  16. #226
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I noted the smooth water in the foreground and some ripples in the distance which show up as the darker blue.

    Then I packed my last things and headed out.



    The log boom looked much longer and more of an obstacle from the water. Note by this time there was already a little water on the move despite it being just after sunrise.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  17. #227
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    The first portion went like the day before. Lumpy, electric, shimmering, moving water. Soon there was enough wind to sail and I moved towards Vancouver Island. A local had given me some advice about places to pull out and a route that would get me out of the worst of the wind and waves.

    For those of you who haven't been in these waters, there's one man-made thing that is very strange. Area Whiskey Golf: It's an active military exercise area used by American and Canadian military that stretches across a lot of the area that you'd logically use to cross from one side of the strait to the other. But when the area is being actively used, they will chase you out or worse. I heard several calls on the marine radio "redirecting" pleasure craft that had strayed into the zone.

    Once I got sailing, I started moving faster and faster. Here's what the sailing was like (note this is from the previous day):


    The boat was skidding and bouncing across the water as much as it was sailing. At this point it was sporty and if not fun, very manageable.

    There was a small, short-period swell coming out of the NW. The wind was roughly N and I was heading W. This created a lot of spray as every third or fourth wave would smack the starboard bow.

    I kept sailing, dodging the occasional larger wave, but I felt fine until I reached the darker water water in the picture in post 225. Here the wind piped up a bit. I jumped into my drysuit, suddenly realizing this was not going to be a relaxing sail after all.
    Last edited by Bruce Bateau; 05-13-2020 at 10:52 PM.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  18. #228
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Hey-

    Forgive me if this was spoken of somewhere in the realm between WBF, SBM, SCA, etc... but are you using the Norwegian system in your push-pull? Which basically consists of a universal joint split between the tiller and rudder stock and the extension and the tiller? Everything round, and turns within, making a rigid connection... as opposed to what we see a lot in N.A. which is a rigid tiller held captive by the rudder and a floppy POS system from extension to tiller?

  19. #229
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I have no pictures from the next leg because for the next couple of hours, no one dramatic thing happened, so much as conditions just increased, as if the weather gods had turned the dial from simmer to boil.

    I reefed and reefed again until I was down to the third and final reef. The waves were big and foam broke from the tops of some of them.

    As a lifelong surfer, I was watching the shape of the wave very carefully to figure out where the troughs might appear and when some of the waves might break or where the nodes lined up so I could cut through the low spots. I've never been in a boat that felt more like a surfboard than this day.

    Eventually the waves and wind got so big that I was scared that I'd need some help. I was feathering the sail a lot and my ability to steer declined. During one really big wave and gust, I rounded up and the boat dropped into a trough. The sails hung limp for a second and I realized I was in a bad place.

    I dropped the mainsail, sheeted in the mizzen to hove to. I sat there for a long time, too scared to do anything but adjust the tiller to try to avoid the crests of breaking waves. They didn't break top to bottom like a shore-break would do, but being caught sideways I think I would have been swamped.

    The mizzen has always been a useful sail, but in this case, I think it really saved me from capsize.

    I watched bigger boats laboring by, rocks and reefs were awash in foam.

    After deciding not to call the coast guard, but keeping my radio handy, I started sailing again in a lull and surfed my way to safety in the relatively sheltered waters between Newcastle Island and the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
    Last edited by Bruce Bateau; 06-07-2020 at 09:18 PM.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  20. #230
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by callsign222 View Post
    Hey-

    Forgive me if this was spoken of somewhere in the realm between WBF, SBM, SCA, etc... but are you using the Norwegian system in your push-pull? Which basically consists of a universal joint split between the tiller and rudder stock and the extension and the tiller? Everything round, and turns within, making a rigid connection... as opposed to what we see a lot in N.A. which is a rigid tiller held captive by the rudder and a floppy POS system from extension to tiller?
    I'm not sure if I have a POS or some rad old-school thing , but here are two pics. You can decide:



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

  21. #231
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage



    Forumites, thank you for reading this and sticking with me for so long.

    I have been a little reluctant to finish the tale because it will really feel like it is over for me then. Still, there are other adventures to be had, even in these strange times. So here goes…


    If you’re thinking about going on a voyage, any trip really, the time to go is soon. There will be other trips, but don’t get too caught up in planning and waiting. You never know what will happen.

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

  22. #232
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    No matter how long you have, take your time. Explore the edge and see what’s right where you are. There’s nothing better around the corner. And you never know what might wander along to enhance your view.


    Or make you smile...
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  23. #233
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    There will be the days you hope and dream of, with technicolor sunsets and glassy waters.


    And there will be days when you start doing your laundry and it starts to rain, but going means you have a story to tell, that you lived life.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  24. #234
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Go in the boat you have. If that’s a big boat, enjoy the luxuries it can afford you. If it is a small boat, you will find it has different luxuries like anchoring in a teeny boat sized cove.


    But above all else, just go.




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

  25. #235
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    I have no pictures from the next leg because for the next couple of hours, no one dramatic thing happened, so much as conditions just increased, as if the weather gods had turned the dial from simmer to boil.

    I reefed and reefed again until I was down to the third and final reef. The waves were big and foam broke from the tops of some of them.

    As I lifelong surfer, I was watching the shape of the wave very carefully to figure out where the troughs might appear and when some of the waves might break or where the nodes lined up so I could cut through the low spots. I've never been in a boat that felt more like a surfboard than this day.

    Eventually the waves and wind got so big that I was scared that I'd need some help. I was feathering the sail a lot and my ability to steer declined. During one really big wave and gust, I rounded up and the boat dropped into a trough. The sails hung limp for a second and I realized I was in a bad place.

    I dropped the mainsail, sheeted in the mizzen to hove to. I sat there for a long time, too scared to do anything but adjust the tiller to try to avoid the crests of breaking waves. They didn't break top to bottom like a shore-break would do, but being caught sideways I think I would have been swamped.

    The mizzen has always been a useful sail, but in this case, I think it really saved me from capsize.

    I watched bigger boats laboring by, rocks and reefs were awash in foam.

    After deciding not to call the coast guard, but keeping my radio handy, I started sailing again in a lull and surfed my way to safety in the relatively sheltered waters between Newcastle Island and the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
    It's common for winds to blow in the afternoon on that stretch, they call them Qualicums, and they come all the way from the west coast of Vancouver Island - maybe through the Alberni valley. Most boats crossing the strait leave early so they can be clear before noon. Glad you made it without mishap!

    Jamie

  26. #236
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Hey PNW Folks-



    I'm excited to announce Present Tense, an outdoor installation of my watercolor paintings, dioramas, and words based on this voyage.

    It will be in the front windows of the Lincoln Street Canoe & Kayak Museum from April 3-31.


    The entire exhibit is COVID safe and is designed to be viewed in the museum's windows from the sidewalk.

    I will be on site for the opening on Saturday, April 3 from 1-4pm. I hope you'll stop by to say hello and raise a glass with me.

    If you can't make it, you can see some of the art on my blog.


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

  27. #237
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Bruce,

    Love your art project. Unfortunately most of us will not be able to view your art in person but I look forward to seeing it on your blog.
    Alex

    “A 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 be”
    - Geoffrey Holdsworth

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  28. #238
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Bruce,

    Love your art project. Unfortunately most of us will not be able to view your art in person but I look forward to seeing it on your blog.
    Unfortunate is true, but I still wanted folks to know. Maybe just to plant the seeds of inspiration.

    There seems to be hope on the horizon...

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

  29. #239
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Later, I am going back to page 1 and reading this whole story.
    ​In a world full of wonders, man invented boredom.

  30. #240
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Congratulations, Bruce, on your trip and your artwork. Your diaramas are very expressive. Thanks for the reference to Harvey's museum. I had heard of Harvey in my kayaking days, but didn't know about the museum. He put a comment on my Kotik thread, about my yellow kayak. It would be fascinating to visit the museum but that's not likely now. I will be studying the extensive information on its website. Regards, Ian
    Old Joke: ‘A bench fitter works to the nearest thousandth of an inch. A loco fitter (steam) works to the nearest inch. A shipwright works to the nearest ship’.”
    Alan Byde, Canoe Design and Construction, Pelham Books, 1978

    “...old maxim, 'A fair line supersedes any given measurement'.”
    Allan H. Vaitses, Lofting, International Marine, 1980

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