Logbook: Copeland Islands

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8 days after leaving Esquimalt we arrived at the Southern edge of Desolation Sound in a small group of islands by the mainland called the Copeland Islands.

We had quite an exciting ride to the Copelands in our strongest winds yet under sail. For a period of time we had 35 knots apparent consistently with gust up to 40 knots. Given the fact that we were practically flying at the time I would estimate true wind speeds of mostly 30 with long periods of sustained 35-40 gusting to 45+. We were running on a reefed down headsail only and hand steering. Because I almost never hand steer once we are out of harbour, my hand steering skills improved a crapload in that 6 hour sail. These type of winds, and even stronger, are something that we may see more of as we voyage so it was interesting to get some experience with the boat. In such gusty winds we felt safest keeping the boat speed under 6 knots so that when the winds gusted we wouldn’t top 8 knots for long. When we were overcanvassed in a gust it was difficult to control the helm as we came down a wave but when we had reduced canvas enough it was much, much easier. Lessons learned? Hopefully…

After a few rainy days in the Copelands I was starting to feel a unsure of our decision to head North so quickly. I was not interested in staying cooped up doing boat tasks or reading after such a long period on the hard, working in the elements. This has been a cold, wet April with temperatures often 5 degrees C below the seasonal averages.

However, at the end of our second day here the sky opened up and we’ve had blue skies and sunshine since. With the weather, my mood switched back around to “happy Livia”. We’ve been able to get out kayaking, hiking and even spent a few hours napping and lazing about in the sun on a green mossy overlook watching and listening to the small waves slap the rocks.


  1. are you attending the 2011 Wauquiez

  2. Hi James, We will be nearly to the Haida Gwaii by then. I sent a note to the organizers so we'll be there in spirit. Livia



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