Around Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook
This was the day to go around Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook, one of the points on the West Coast where the weather and ocean swells are the greatest. The weather was up when we awoke. The weather forecast said it was going to be 20-25 knots and then drop a bit to 15 later in the day. 20-25 knots in the open ocean is a bit high for our boat to round Cape Cook and the Brooks Pennisula without being really uncomfortable.
At 8, we decided to stick our nose out and see what was up. We went out of secure and safe Dixie Cove and out into the channel. We headed for the open ocean and found winds of 22 knots, reported the results to the others, then hustled our rear end back to Dixie Cove. On the way back, the winds dropped to 17, then 14, knots. Clearly improvement was in the air. We decided to wait until 10 and then head out.
Heading out at 10, the winds were about 10 knots. We decided to keep going. The swells were about 3 meters and a bit confused, coming from 3 different directions. It was a bit rough but we made it out to Solander Island, the bird colony and seal lion haul out at the end of Brooks. We then turned to starboard and headed for Klashkish Basin, our destination. We bobbed and weaved through rock inlets (one named Donald Inlets, in my honor no doubt). The entrance to Klashkish is narrow with straight rock walls. It is a very protected place though williwaws will funnel down from the river at the head of the basin. We found a good location to anchor and dropped our CQR and settled in.
When our heater kicked in a puff of white exhaust showed off the stern. Initially, we thought the heater might have started a fire but it was just burning off excess fuel.
Dave, Debbie, and I dropped the dinghy down. We loaded Rubber Ducky with crab pots and Dave and I went to set them out. As we dropped the first pot, the engine stuttered and stopped. It was hard to start so I let the choke out to give it more fuel and less oxygen. It ran well but I could not get the choke back in without it dying. Then, I looked back at the engine to squeeze the fuel bulb a bit and saw smoke coming out of the engine. We could also smell electrical wires or insulation. We shut the engine down and investigated. It was hard to see anything so Jake towed us in his dinghy back to Δ Latitude. We lifted Rubber Ducky up with our davit to its spot on the aft deck so we could get a better look at the engine. It smelled like burnt insulation when we removed the cover and we could see that the problem was the charging rectifier, a part on a four-stroke engine that serves as a kind of alternator. It is about 2.5 x 2.5 inches with 5 wires coming out. It was clearly the source of the smoke.
Brian came over to check things out and then used the Sat phone to call back to the office to see if David, the maintenance manager, could locate the part and fly it up to us.
That night we had grilled steaks and our shrimp, a surf and turf. It was delish. Dave and I also had too much wine...but Debbie made us do it! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Crabbing in Dixie Cove
Dave and I headed out to check the crab pots. No luck!
05/29/2012, Hot Springs Cove
Today we headed to Hot Springs Cove from Tofino. Δ Latitude went ahead of the other boats in our fleet to see if we could talk Oyster Jim out of some oysters. Oyster Jim lives up in a protected bay, Northeast of Hotsprings Cove. He supplies the Tofino Restaurants with oysters, in season. Last time we were up here we managed to score ten dozen and they were fantastic.
We navigated through the channels and crab pots of Tofino and made our way north through the passages inside that take you to Hot Springs. It was calm and an easy trip. We showed up off the dock at Oyster Jim's and he and his dog came out. Unfortunately, oysters were not be had. Jim said that testing of the waters in the area for red tide had not been done so he was shut down until testing was completed. Apparently, the First Nation people further down channel had the government contract for testing but had not yet done so. Ah, no oysters tonight!
We headed out and came across the other boats practicing man overboard drills, competing to see who could recover a life ring fastest. They were still about 30 minutes ahead of us. We called and let everyone know that we were going to fish for halibut in the channel next to hot springs and would be in later.
Debbie positioned our boat nicely for a drift and Dave and I dropped our lines. I had caught halibut in this location four years ago. We jigged and jigged but no luck. So, we headed back to the cove where we discovered that only boats 36 feet or less could now tie up at the dock. We anchored out and rafted with Deception. Dave and I dropped Rubber Ducky over the side and set our crab pots at the head of the cove. One of our pots had polypropylene line attached to the float. Polypro floats and can easily get caught in your props. I am not sure why this line was on there. Perhaps one of the charterers had lost our pot with lead core line and replaced it with cheaper polypropylene. In any case, you guessed it. We wrapped out props in the line and spent 30 minutes getting it off.
That evening we had crock pot chicken and ice cream for dessert aboard Deception with Brian, Rich, and Maritne. Deb brought a fresh salad. It was delish and we enjoyed the company and conversation. After dinner, Dave, Martine, and Rich headed out to walk the boardwalk and enjoy the hot springs.
Looking out Joe's Cove, our anchorage in the Broken Islands
05/27/2012, Joe's Cove
This was the view in the morning when we got up.
Life in the tide pool. This starfish is jumping for joy at the tide coming back in. He moves pretty slowly, so Debbie could not catch all the action on her camera.
Friendly Officers in Victoria
Don/Hopefully nice. Dark out now
05/26/2012, Victoria, BC
I apologize for missing a day or two. I have been focused on completing my article for an edited journal issue that a good friend is editing. I needed to compete it before we went out of Internet range. I also needed to manage a few things for my research team in CT. Both tasks are now complete.
We departed Bellingham and had a very easy cruise to Victoria, BC on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Winds and waves were both light. We saw no ORCAs in Haro Straight. Reports are that they went out the Straights of Juan de Fuca. We tied up at a dock, not the marina in front of the Empress Hotel. Darn! There is a big sailboat race that leaves on Saturday, when we do - The Swiftsure Race. They race out about 90 miles to Swiftsure Banks and return. We expect to depart early on Saturday, the day I write this, before they do. Victoria is a small harbor with a narrow entrance. We do not want to get involved in the logjam so we depart at 5 am, in about 45 minutes.
We provisioned in Victoria or I should say Debbie and Dave provisioned our boat while I worked. A BC police officer stopped them for jaywalking in town. Canadadian police are so polite. They are the best! He greeted them and informed them of their transgression. He then offered to drive them down to the boat with all their groceries! Goodness! Would that that would happen in the US, eh? Debbie took some nice photo walks, too. I will post photos as soon as I am able to do so. We had one minor issue - the trickle charger for the battery in Rubber Ducky, our dinghy, was not working so our batter was dead in the dinghy. It must have stopped working over the winter. We borrowed a charger from Brian and it should be charged this morning. I will check. We will look for a new charger in Tofino in a few days. We should have wifi access there.
My warmest birthday greetings to my brother Dave who is sailing around the world with his wife, Mary, and is in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef! Happy birthday, bro!!!! Fair winds and many more years of cruising the world!
Bellingham to Victoria
05/24/2012, Victoria, BC
This morning we were up early to depart. For at least part of the trip, we journey with 5 other Grand Banks: Deception, Dream Catcher, Alaskan Drem, Grand Adventure, and Patos. To the sound of a loud cannon that Brian Pemberton had to signal our beginning, we departed Bellingham. Debbie took us out of our slip like a pro and took the first two-hour shift. Dave and I handled the lines and then pulled up the fenders and organized them on the stern rail. At 4 bells, Debbie turned the watch over to me as we approached Orcas Island. We had to work our way around a Washington State Ferry and then traveled through Pole Pass, a narrow slip of a pass, without any difficulty. It turned out to be a glorious day with temps in the low 60s and sunny skies.
I should say here, that my brother Dave and his wife Mary are sailing around the world. There is a link to their blog, Leu Cat Adventures, to the left of this post. Dave had been struggling with temps in the low 80s on the Great Barrier Reef and water temps about the same and an occasional rain shower. Here, we are lucky to get days that reach the 60's, it rains nearly every day, and the water temp is about 48 degrees. Brrrrrr. So, Dave --- no complaints! ;-) Dave celebrates his birthday soon. Happy birthday, bro!!! I envy you your cruising adventures.
At 8 bells (noon) I turned the helm over to Dave Gracy, my brother in law, who took us down Haro Strait. I took a bit of a nap and then took us through several narrow passes and then over to Victoria. The traffic in Victoria is controlled, since it is such a small harbour. We followed the markers on the right side to enter and waited our turn at customs. Debbie is always our customs maven and she pulled off another easy entry into Canada. This, even though we were a little over the limit on beer and wine. It is always a bit strange since at most of the docks for Canadian Customs you call a person in Ontario, who checks you in. They have a record of all our trips and know us pretty well -- at least our data shows up on their screen and guides their questions. In 10 minutes, we were pulling off the Customs dock and heading over to the dock where we rafted next to Patos, a 46 foot Grand Banks.
Tonight it is barbecue spare ribs on the back deck and a glass of wine to celebrate our beginning. Tomorrow, Deb and Dave will explore and shop while I finish my article that is so very late. My apologies, Marla!!
A Row of Grand Banks Trawlers
05/23/2012, Squalicum Harbor- Bellingham, WA
These are the Grand Banks in our fleet at NW Explorations.
Breakfast at the Web Locker
05/23/2012, Squalicum Harbor- Bellingham, WA
The Web Locker is right near our dock and a favorite breakfast place.
05/23/2012, Squalicum Harbor- Bellingham, WA
Our boat is provisioned, systems have been checked, we are ready to go! We depart at 8 bells (8 am) tomorrow for Victoria. We have worked very hard the past few days to get Change of Latitude ready. New lines are on our dinghy, two new fenders are in place, a complete set of paper charts to Alaska are aboard, fishing gear is sorted out and ready to go, two new shrimp pots are aboard with weights, groceries for a month are stored, crab pots are packed, the engines and generator are checked, new chips with charts are in place on our chart plotters....we are ready for the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the Inland Passage. Dave, Deb, and I are excited about leaving. The weather will be a bit windy tomorrow but nothing that Δ Latitude has not seen before. Tomorrow, we are off!!!