Friday, June 19, 2015

Rub-a-Dub Dea, Two Tugs on the Sea -- 6/18/2015

Planning to leave Nanaimo this morning at first light, I rise at 3:50 to turn on the coffee pot.  It is partly cloudy and 59 degrees, so I look forward to the first sip of the steaming cup.  Dressing quickly for the early  get-away, I forego the hairdo and makeup – oh, I forgot!  I gave that up a month ago!  No photo!

At 5A sharp I see Nudibranch with her red and green nav lights standing off our dock, as Willie’s Tug slips out into the harbour.  We have a smooth start and head north to Alaska, passing Newcastle Island to our east.   A float plane rests on the dock at their landing area, and they will begin their day around 7A.  

Pimbury Point opens up Departure Bay and we see two BC ferries sleeping.  This is a busy area with boats, planes and ferries and I read a sign informing us that planes with lights flashing are preparing to take off and land. 

We turn starboard into the Strait of Georgia and Horswell Channel.


The 'Shacks' near Nanaimo

Viewing Deck at Neck Point

Whisky Golf, the military Firing Practice & Exercise Area for submarines, is on our starboard to the east in the Strait.  We don’t know if it is active today, but our path does not need to traverse the area.  I am happy to say the water is flat calm, becoming rippled by Nanoose Harbour, and less than one foot chop.  Thank you, Strait of Georgia!

We go east of Rudder Rock and I wonder if there is a story behind the name. 

Nudibranch by Winchelsea Island

By cruising at 12 knots (usual speed is 6-7 knots) we have an estimated arrival at Campbell River before the afternoon winds increase.  The mainland of BC is to the east across the Strait.

A tug and tow going our direction comes into view and we give her plenty of room.  At her 4 knots, we soon overtake her.

Tug and Tow

Continuing on we leave Lasqueti Island and Texada Island beyond her to the east.  Wind waves are one foot or less.  At Qualicum Beach wind is WNW at 7 knots and wind waves 2 foot or less.  At Hornby Island, south of Comox, winds are light, almost flat calm but cloudy.   The mountains are beautiful in this area and we see a large snow bank near Comox.

Far in the distance I see a fishing vessel coming our way and watch her closely.  She varies her speed from 8 kn to 2, then increases to 11 knots.  Ray calls on VHF 09 that she slowed down to drop something, apparently dragging nets.

We are not 30 minutes out of Campbell River and increase speed to 16 kn  to allow time to fuel.  There are lotsa small boats fishing in the area approaching CR. 

We spend a very few minutes fueling and catch a look at Anne and Lawrence's S/V Dreamspeaker II.  We don't see them about.

Dreamspeaker II

After fueling at Campbell River, Ray walks Lilly, then we head toward Seymour Narrows.  We have timed our arrival for at or near slack, as there can be strong currents and whirlpools.  We are eight minutes early with current on the nose, tide rips but no other traffic.  We chose this time and currents condition, rather than the next slack at 5P -- not wanting to travel any later after 5.

It begins to rain, but still flat calm.   At eight minutes to slack, Seyour Narrows is a piece of cake.  We even stop to take photos of each other's boat in the middle of it.

Quadra Island is on the east, our starboard.  I watch a boat coming from our port side to cross our bow.  Well, he actually goes ahead of Nudibranch in front of us and cut his off!  How rude!!

Herb tells Ray about Lynn and Neal’s anchorage with Navigator in Small Inlet, so we investigate.  The chart shows a dept of 7 feet at low tide, and with our tidal conditions we calculate we will have about 11 feet under us as we go it.  We go through the narrow shallow channel and Ray sees 11 feet, Herb sees 12 but I am sure I saw 9.5 flash briefly. 

We anchor in the innermost cove and see another boat come in, but she doesn’t stay.  I don’t know if she couldn’t anchor or recognized us as the boats she cut off earlier today and thought best to go to another place for the evening. 

This is the longest travel day so far -- the WX was so nice with flat calm seas, that we get much farther down the road than we expected.  Total travel distance is 94 nautical miles today.

Ray puts out his crab trap and catches a nice one before long.    While waiting for him to return with his dinghy, Herb simply tosses his trap out from the cockpit.  No such luck when Ray comes back and checks it, so he takes it in his dinghy to a more shallow area.   It begins to rain, but we have raincoats....

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, June 18, 2015

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