Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Comox -- Monday, 7/29/2013 -- Day 4 of Desolation Sound Cruise -- Day 80

Comox is our destination today and we gather at 8 AM outside the breakwater of the Port of Nanaimo and get underway at 8:15, planned cruising speed of 12 knots. 

Looks like a good day with wind at 3 knots, rippled seas, benign wakes, some haze ahead, fog to the east, and roll call identifies 13 in Willie's Tug's Pod.  

We are not superstitious; we are in a Ranger Tug!

It seems to me the coast from Nanaimo all the way to Comox will be highly populated and what a view they must have.  I am excited to be going this far north on Vancouver Island and near the western shore of the Strait of Georgia for the first time.

Several of the Ranger Tugs choose to cruise not in a Pod, but wander closer to shore for sight-seeing or fishing.  Herb sees Current Obsession on AIS.  Perhaps she will share photos with the group.

We hear a radio transmission from Greg on Indigo Pacific, R-29, who reports losing steerage, and drifts near Winchelsea Island, part of the Ballenas group.  He gets dealer Port Boathouse on the phone, as Andrew breaks off from the Pod and makes his way to help.  Garry and Vicki of Amy Marie drop out of their group to assist.

We are sorry for this problem, and hope for a quick resolution.  We realize that dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, cameras, phones, blenders -- anything electrical or mechanical -- can fail to perform at times and require maintenance.  

Andrew calls for Sheila to put all fenders high covering the rub rail so he can raft. By this time the tech at Port Boathouse has talked Greg through a fix, but Andrew insists on coming aboard to check everything for himself.  

The armada continues north, cutting the southwest corner of WG, submarine torpedo firing range, which is not active today, then continues up the west side of the area.  Seas change from almost flat calm to medium chop and rolling.  

Yea!  We hear Indigo Pacific is back in operation and as we are the last group, they and Amy Marie fall in line with us.  Thank you, Andrew!

Continuing on, we cruise wide of the Ballenas rock, turn to port and point toward Comox.  I check my surroundings and see no one on the water but Ranger Tugs.  Now two foot seas, all is quiet for miles, then almost flat calm and logs appear.  We go between Denman Island and Vancouver on the west.

As I take a photo of the Chrome Island lighthouse, I see a Ranger Tug possibly anchored to fish.

We check behind to count the number of boats in our Pod, but the last ones appear as tiny dots.  All are with us.

Willie's Tug Pod, Celtic Sun Biggest "Dot"

Love the sky's art, creating cloud formations who seem to be representing the many islands we see linked together.  

Now we have SLO RANGER on one side and BC ferry Quinitsa on the other.  

and a nice photo of Coyote Blue.

I wish I had this on video - so look fast to see the action.  Gracie in pink, Jack, then Maisy in blue.

Captains' briefing is on the very wide and sturdy main pier, with cocktails and dinner on our own.  Herb and I join Vicki and Bruce on Moondance and see a fishing boat come down our fairway to do a perfect docking.  When we become aware the boat is selling fresh shrimp, Herb and Bruce hurry to get a bag while they still have some.

Comox is a delightful port and I will visit here again, soon!

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, July 29, 2013

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