Photo: View from Rebecca Spit, Drew Harbour.
Steve and I both took one look at the anchorage in Drew Harbour designated as "preferred" by the Waggoner Cruising Guide and agreed we didn't want to anchor there. Near the top of Rebecca Spit in a small bight, it looked attractive but boats were packed in tight rows all along the shore. I imagined a sleepless night worrying about collisions with other boats. We continued past the bight down to the head of the bay where we found a good depth for anchoring, plenty of swinging room, and a view of mountains across a clearing on the otherwise forested spit. With the wind forecast to turn south that night, it promised to be a good anchorage, perhaps even better than the "preferred anchorage". We took the dinghy ashore and walked a trail through the forest on the spit. On the Georgia Strait side of the spit, we found a beach of large cobbles littered with driftwood logs, indicating exposure to winter storms.
The wind came up during the night, making Osprey strain at her anchor. I didn't sleep much thinking about the next day's sail all the way to Comox against the wind. In the morning, when we looked out the port lights, we noticed several boats from the bight has joined us. I was glad we hadn't had to weigh anchor in the night as they did.
We left harbor early, knowing we had a long day ahead of us. Although the forecast was for only 15-20 knots, with current against us too, it could be tedious. Once out in the Strait, Osprey heeled hard in the strong southeasterly. We rolled in the jib, then took a reef in the main, but still we pounded against the waves. These were not large ocean swells, but short steep seas that slowed our speed. When our speed dropped to less than four knots and the wind speed reached 30 knots, we turned back, returning to our anchorage at the head of the bay.
Late that afternoon, when the wind finally lessened, we took the dinghy north to Heriot Bay. There we found a pay phone at the ferry terminal to call our friend Else who was expecting us in Comox that day. We walked around the little town of Heriot Bay, strolled the public dock, bought blueberries at a well-stocked grocery store and ate salmon and tuna burgers at the Heriot Bay Inn. Much more pleasant than beating into strong southerlies.
Photo: Heriot Bay Inn
The wind died that night and the next day we ended up motoring in a flat calm, all the way to Comox.