Thursday, July 17, 2014

Having Fun in Dodd Narrows -- 7/15/2014

Timing our departure from Ladysmith to transit Dodd Narrows at or near slack, we leave at 10:15A, allowing plenty of time for a fuel efficient cruise.  Because of the winds pushing us toward the dock, skipper moves the stern out, then spins around to exit the side tie.

Skies are sunny, seas are one foot or less and reflect the sun like diamonds sparkling on the water.  

We hear a tug and tow calling "Securite" to come south through Dodd Narrows, and as we get closer, we see a ramp on the back of the barge.

This photo is Navionics on my iPad showing our position.  Note the arrow designating Willie's Tug points to the right of the Narrows, so we will follow a curved path to get in line for entering.

As we go forward, we see many logs in the water.  Watching on AIS, Herb sees a 60 foot pleasure craft off our starboard begin to pick up speed to perhaps zip on through.  Along the far shore there are several sailboats apparently waiting for the right time to get in line.  

It is decision time, so Herb gets in behind the 60 foot, Jersey Girl, and it is then that we see the long line of logs crossing our path with NO space between them.  I just know we will hit one, as the line is so long I don't think we can turn either direction to miss them.  

Moses where are you?

Somehow we miss them.

This is what we came through.  The logs just seemed to have scattered away from us.

We fall in behind Jersey Girl and as soon as she calls "Securite northbound after the sailing vessel southbound comes through," Herb calls "Securite, a 35 foot power boat Willie's Tug will follow Jersey Girl northbound."  We proceed to enter the Narrows.

On the left are boats coming out going southbound; in the center is Jersey Girl with us behind, and on the right is a sailboat waiting.

Jersey Girl increases speed to 7 knots, we follow, and sailboat waits on the right.

Suddenly the waiting sailboat cuts in front of us from the waiting group on the side to be between us and Jersey Girl.  Then slows to 2.3 knots for transiting.  Ouch, can we maintain control at that crawl?  Skipper works very hard to keep us safe without hitting the sailboat, and as soon as he can safely do so he passes her.


Once on the other side our adrenalin slows down and we continue toward Nanimo, seeing the log boom on the starboard and remembering the reason why there are so many loose ones south of the Narrows.  There is a speed limit near the boom and tickets are given for offenders.

Don and Brenda on Kenji Maru hail us on 68 to make sure we are OK.  They will be in Newcastle tonight and heading for Comox later.  It is always exciting to see another Ranger Tug and today we see a dark hull R-21 for the first time.  We don't know who it is, but someone waves.

We continue north and hug the coast of Vancouver Island, as Whiskey Golf, maritime torpedo testing facility, is on our starboard and active today.  We steer clear.

 Winchester Control of Whiskey Golf is located on Winchester Island and continually calls on Channel 16 for a green and white sailboat north of the island.  I wonder if the vessel is inside the boundary lines of Whiskey Golf.

We arrive in Schooner Cove located on Nanoose Bay and obtain our slip assignment.  As Herb is washing down the boat, we see another R-31 come in.  Driftwood is the name -- not heard of her -- but when they cruise by, we recognize Garry and Betty Ann, owners last year of a Cutwater named Michael Ann.

They come to say Hello after docking in their slip and invite us to dinner tomorrow.  This is their home port.  Yes!  We will definitely accept the invitation if the marina can accommodate us another night.

They do have space for us!

We take Jake up the hill and explore the marina after a very exciting day.  Time to relax now.

Find Driftwood....


  1. We have many fond memories with Garry and Betty Ann, sorry to miss all of you this year! Cindy

    1. They also mentioned you with great memories. Someone thought you would make it, but we know you are having a great time We think of you fondly, also.!!!