There is something about going further North than Nanaimo that feels like the “real” start for cruising for us. There are a number of transitions that have already happened, including the “not going back to the dock at the end of the week/weekend” feeling, but going further NW than Nanaimo puts us into completely new cruising grounds.
We are currently in the middle of a lovely downwind sail that started at Pirate’s Cove on de Courcey Island (or rather, started after we motored through Gabriola pass at slack) and will end at Hornby Island or Lasqueti if the wind dies. We’ve been sailing mostly directly downwind with 10 knots apparent with the main only and a preventer, with a nice current helping us along.
But, back to the beginning… We left Sidney on Tuesday late morning with our friends Nathan & Lauren from Colorado. We had a light air sail (gennaker and main) to Montague and we anchored on the North side at the shell beach, with some swimming and kayaking, and a medium good sunset that night. That anchorage (on the N) is a great place to see sunsets when they are good which is why we usually go there instead of the main anchorage.
On Wednesday we intended to motor a short bit to change anchorages but ended up sailing half of the way to Pirate’s Cove. We anchored outside the main anchorage, instead going to the South side of the island which was gorgeous. I was not impressed with the main Pirate’s Cove anchorage and was started to feel like the area was overrated until we did the hike. The East side of the island is beautiful as is the Northern point in the park.
Main anchorage at Pirates:
The point at our anchorage during the day and at dusk:
The stars aligned to give us this day of northing. We had an 0830hr slack out of Gabriola Pass (for non locals the passes near the Strait of Georgia can run up to 9 knots), a flood current helping us go North until 1500hr and a SE wind of 15 knots (true). The sun is out and we couldn’t ask for a better day.
I can feel myself relaxing into the trip. - Livia