Logbook: Motoring Madness

By the way, we've updated our map which we'll update intermittently as we have time and access. The same goes with the blog posts. I'm sure you've noticed that I write them as they are happening (mostly) but don't post them until our next internet binge.

I was reluctant to come up the inside of Vancouver Island because I thought there wouldn’t be enough wind or it would be in the wrong direction. I was also aware that because of the various high current narrows and passes we would probably end up motoring a few days after Comox which sounded just painful.

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I was wrong in the sense that we sailed almost entirely to Comox…and I also find that the motoring we’ve done so far hasn’t been as annoying to me as motoring has been in the past. Even though today we had a solid 7 hours of motoring in light air to time two rapids separated by about 20 miles, there is something satisfying about motoring with a 3-4 knot current in our favor. After flying (for us) at 8 knots speed over ground (SOG) under power, we kept having to slow the engine rpm down to nearly idle in order to keep ourselves from arriving at the second rapids too early.


There was a line of pleasure boats plus a cruise ship and a tug with a barge of logs all marching North to hit Seymour Narrows at slack. You know the rapids are strong when cruise ships time their arrival so carefully.

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After entering the channel, we spent the morning curving with the main channel with high snow covered peaks on Vancouver Island to our West (Colorado folks – these aren’t *real* mountains – but they look impressive from sea level).

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We arrived just after lunch, just before the rapids here began again, and anchored in a small cove on Helmcken Island at the exact same time as another sailboat, who also can read a current table apparently. Speaking of, we realized yet again that we were forgetting to add an hour to the tide tables because the Canadian ones don’t correct for daylight savings. You think we would have learned that lesson by now. Thankfully Carol realized that the night before we set off for these narrows.

The anchorage on Helmcken (Billygoat Bay) is pretty but without much to do on land…but we aren’t planning to get off the boat so that is just fine. It is a nice hiding spot from any incoming strong winds and after poking around a bit we found good mud for the anchor. At the end of the day, while eating lamb on salad in the cockpit we had a sudden rainstorm (tiny pearls bouncing off the bay) and a stupendous rainbow. If anyone knows SV Koru (USA) we have great pictures of their boat. ((Guidebook correction: Billygoat Bay has plenty of room for 2 maybe 3 boats))

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Same schedule again today: Up early, pull the anchor, make the slack and ride the ebb NW.

- L

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