Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Strait of Georgia - Via Whiskey Golf - or Not -- 7/30/2012

We have a 7 AM start today for a couple of reasons.  Well, maybe just one reason.  I don't know.

Whiskey Golf is a deep water range in the Strait of Georgia operated by the Canadian and U.W Navies and is used to test unarmed torpedoes and various ship's systems (Waggoner Cruising Guide).

The shortest distance from Nanaimo and Pender Harbor, our next destination, is across the square area; however, if Whiskey Golf is active, we must go around.  The plan is to head out early before their 8 AM start, so we can cut a corner which lies in our path.

As we begin our three groups cruising toward the SE corner, we learn they will begin firing at 7:30, so we still must go around.

If ever you are bored, you can experience a departure from Nanaimo.  Planes come and go, and ferries are on the move.  

Jake finds a comfortable place in the cockpit for his ride.

Today the weatherman decides to have a little fun with the Ranger Tugs flotilla.  We begin with somewhat cloudy skies showing a bit of sun peeking through.  

As we cruise along, it becomes a little rough and we see at times six to seven foot seas.  I look out my port window and see bottom paint on Day Dreamer III.  We rock and bounce along, some of it is quite fun (sorry Marmie), but now and then the waves get my attention.

Jeff on Messmerized announces the sloppy conditions ahead and suggests we stow our gear.  What he didn't say is to remove the garlic bottle from the top shelf of the galley, which has never needed a fiddle!  

The garlic and cilantro bottles are placed on the V berth and I hope they are tightly closed........   camera and binoculars go on the bed.  No photos for a while.   Nothing breaks!  

One took us sharply starboard, leaning us as if we were a motorcycle taking a nice curve.  

Willie's Tug is leading Group 2 today, and Herb occasionally announces to our Shiraz Trader members the conditions and how close we are to calmer waters. We also hear from those ahead of us the good news.

As we make the turn at the SE corner of Whiskey Golf, Herb makes a course correction to follow the safe edge running north; Willie's Tug rebels, making confusing gyrations, as he calls them, and probably making those behind us wonder what is happening.  Willie's Tug settles down.

Jake sleeps through it all, but is slightly sliding to starboard.

We encounter a bit of traffic, but share the water.

A boat passing by calls Circle T on 16, and switching to 68, she asks about our group.  That boat is a member of the Yacht Club at Pender Harbour and marvels about space being available for all of us.  (It takes a minute to realize the vessel calling Circlet means Circle T.)

We enjoy the calmer water as we near Pender Harbour, and do an idling 'holding pattern' while each of us is called in to tie to a dock space or raft up.  In one larger fairway we see three rafted to one side, and two on the other.  Everyone gets secured.

In the afternoon many go to John Henry's store, famous for ice cream.  A nice walk up and down hills and over a wooded area will take you to the store, or you can dinghy a short distance and tie up.

Find Willie's Tug............

Happy Hour is set for 5:30 P on the large dock and will include a short Skippers' meeting.

Boaters on the narrow dock set up at 5:00 P for a 'practice Happy Hour.'  

Linda (and Wayne of Knot Fly'n) makes a Mexican dip, which was so beautiful topped with chopped tomato, and so tasty, that there is none left!

At Happier Hour Max of Allatrope gets to dog watch Boomer.  What a show Boomer gives us!   He and Jake play 'drink from the water bowl.'  We had always thought Jake makes a real mess of the floor slopping his water out as he drinks.  Then we see Boomer show how it should be done.

Water tastes best if one has his paw in it!

Full moon rising between the cell towers............

Kiss from the Mayor of the Dock
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, July 30, 2012

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