We have had so much great Southerly wind that, after our week in the Gulf Islands, we've been heading North faster than expected. We never expected so much fantastic sailing and I'm tickled pink that we've sailed more than 80% of the miles so far. I have to say though that after the mileage and two weeks of guests, however easy the guests were, we were a bit happy that the forecast gave us a day off so we can sit here just North of Campbell River resting (and enjoying some stolen internet - by the way, while near towns we've even stolen internet while sailing if you can believe it).
I last left the logbook during the middle of a downwind sail from Pirate's Cove which ended up, as planned, at Hornby Island but not in the main bay as planned but in Fox Cove. En route our crew got to experience some strong winds and before anchoring we turned into wind for a bit so they could feel how different the wind felt as we were beating into it.
The wind continued building and we chose to anchor somewhere a little more protected. With a forecast for continued localized strong winds (known as Quallicum's for the beach they come off of) we continued North the next day instead of resting and anchored near Sandy Island marine park at the North tip of Denman Island for two nights and a much earned rest/play day.
What followed was a lot of swimming (the water gets warmer as you head further towards the middle of the backside of Vancouver Island), beachcombing, crabbing, clam eating, and glorious sunsets (sunset photos forthcoming).
We went into Comox to drop Lauren & Nathan off so they could make their way back to South to an airport, take on fuel and water, and a bag of groceries. They were very into learning everything they could about running the boat and we had a great time with them - including some rousing games of Kill Dr Lucky.
We tried motoring into the strong winds that had built up and quickly reminded ourselves that this is a SAILBOAT not a MOTOR BOAT and after chatting on the VHF with Steve of SV Silas Crosby and getting his most excellent local advice we beat out of Comox and across the bar in about 25 knots and headed North on a run all of the way to Gowlland Harbour just north of Campbell River.
Let me tell you that when they say that the area just South of Discovery Passage can get rough with wind over tide, they are most definitely not kidding.
A note about this area: Behind Vancouver Island the flood/ebb directions are different depending on how far North or South you are. On the South side a flood moves north, on the North side a flood moves South. Apparently, they meet exactly where we were while running downwind in 25-30 knots. The sea boiled with mint green water and we did some fun squirrelly motions.
I love this boat. I had a grin from ear to ear and I think Carol thought I might be a bit too excited about the rough weather for his taste.
As we head further and further North the mountains become more dramatic as they get closer to the shoreline. The current anchorage at Gowlland is nice but not anything to recommend. It is a convenient staging ground for Seymour Narrows which has a current that can run at 17 knots and while Northbound needs to be hit at slack before an ebbing tide. We may go through tomorrow. Or we may sleep in again...
I've updated our map under the "where are we" link to the right. It will only be updated sporadically.
Happy dance, Livia