Friday, September 30, 2005

Barry and I decided to go on a shakedown cruise. We have a week to ten days where we don’t have any workmen coming down to fix anything on the boat and the forecast is for absolutely beautiful weather, + 24 during the day and + 10 or so at night, what more could you want for a shakedown cruise. We decided to head north.

We are in Nanaimo at the moment, we took three days to get here, the first day out of Sidney consisted of very light winds and sunshine. The second day we picked up some decent winds near the end of the day after fighting wind and currents most of the day. Those currents are killers, catching you when you least expect it and not letting you get where you want. We were playing chicken with those rather large ferries that cross from Tsswassen to Swartz Bay and I’d just had enough, we started the motor and got the h out of the way. We spent the second night in a very small anchorage called Retreat Cove. We set out a stern anchor so we wouldn’t swing onto the shelf and spent an uneventful evening there. The third day we had super winds and just flew up a passage, against the wind the whole way but who cared about the current, we were going fast enough it didn’t matter.

Today we hauled anchor and headed for Dodd’s Narrows, a very narrow tidal passage, that is know to be treacherous. Thankfully our boat did its thing and went whistling through the Narrows with no problems. We motored towards Nanaimo and decided to try out the Straits of Georgia and see what the boat could do.

There was 25 knots of wind and about 4 foot seas, great stuff! We had to reef down to the second reef and roll in the jib so about an 8th of the jib was showing and the boat loved it. On one tack it just went, the waves must have been quite favorable, on the other tack the boat slowed a knot and fought with the waves to make any headway. Neither Barry nor I experienced any seasickness, which is a really good thing and the boat was a peach in those winds. Barry says we just have to remember to reef early, whatever. It was a blast being out there with the huge container ships and the ferries bashing into those waves.

We headed back to Nanaimo to get some groceries and hopefully get a few more charts so we can continue northward for a few days. The thought of going out in the Straits of Georgia and just heading for Sidney is very appealing to me, either way we are going to have some fun.

We really miss all our chums in Yellowknife, I get terribly sad when I hear the other boats on the radio calling each other and I have no one that I can call. No longer can I be the scourge of the airwaves, damn, I will have to do something about that. I guess that’s what you have to deal with when you move away!!!