11 July 2013 | Blind Channel, E Thurlow Island
Laurie / Sunny w clouds but Warm
Day 7 – July 11, 2013 Thursday
Last night, after some careful deliberation, we decided to stay one more day at Blind Channel Marina. Moe had some motor work to do and I needed to prepare for the next leg of our trip.
I slept in until 7:30. Of course, my early bird skipper was up about 6:00. I made us some sausage, hash browns, toast and eggs for breakfast. Moe asked what I wanted to do today – go hiking, go fishing? I requested at least until noon to carefully map out our next trip down the evil, intimidating and life threatening Johnstone Strait. He was more than happy to give me the time while he worked on the engine. So after breakfast we set about our tasks.
As I was setting up my charting work Moe talked with our neighbors, Eric and Wendy on Sabrina (another sailboat), who we plan on sailing with tomorrow. He brought Eric over and we discussed changing our plans. Instead of going down Johnstone Strait, maybe it would be better to go up and around the islands and avoid the terrors of the strait. I was in! Of course, this meant starting my planning over again, but avoiding Johnstone Strait was worth it.
Back to the drawing board. As Moe did his engine work, I did my chart work. I confess I strongly dislike chartwork as it requires a lot of math. But I absolutely must know what to expect. To me there is nothing worse than going into these new areas with no knowledge. Knowledge is power! Not to mention safety and security. Of course, our vessel provides us with safety and security as well and Moe was being quite fastidious in making sure that any oil leaks in the engine room were stopped. Burning 10L of oil in a short time is unacceptable!
I spent until about 1:00 struggling with the Sailing Directions, the Tide and Current Tables, my calculator and my charts. Our course was drawn out, our nautical miles calculated, when we need to be at rapids (we have two to go through tomorrow) and any obstacles in our way were noted. What a lot of calculating for my poor old brain! But I got it done and am feeling quite confident about our trip tomorrow. We should be able to navigate safely from Blind Channel over the top of East Thurlow, down Chancellor Channel, up Wellbore Channel between Hardwicke Island and the mainland, down Sunderland Channel, sneak into Johnstone Strait long enough to go to Port Neville and settle in for the night; all the while avoiding most of Johnstone Strait. I like it!
Finally it was time to stop the madness and enjoy this wonderful place we are in. I did mumble and complain that it was just not right to be in such beauty and only to be stuck in a galley plotting and charting.
After lunch we went for a walk with Eric and Wendy through the trails and forest behind us. The area has been logged at least twice before. In fact, there used to be a shingle mill and cannery right in this area. The trail we walked was well marked and easily walked, even if there were some hard uphill parts. There were signs along the way explaining what the trees were and how the logging companies have looked after the reforestation. At the top of the trail we came to a massive tree. You’ll see it in the picture on this post. A short distance away we encountered another massive tree! Personally, I like to see these big old trees still standing. They have been here for so many years and deserve to stay standing.
We returned to our boat about 4:30. Eric and Wendy came over and we had some drinks and discussed our plans for tomorrow, comparing notes. My calculations are slightly off from Eric’s computer program so it will be interesting to see what happens as we travel tomorrow. None of the differences are serious, a few minutes on either side for slack water so at least we won’t expect much difference in the water action.
Tonight we will fill our evening with showers and prep for tomorrow. Look out rapids and Port Neville, here we come!
I must make note at this time that it is the opinion of the skipper that if we continue to go through oil as we did on our way here, it will be unacceptable to continue our plan for circumnavigating Vancouver Island. Tomorrow will be test day and hopefully our vessel passes the test of oil consumption and we continue on!