28 July 2013 | Dixie Cove to Tahsis
Laurie / Sunny
Day 23 - July 27, 2013 Saturday
It was an early morning start today. It's been awhile since I was awoken at 5:30 a.m. by the sound of the engine starting! Groggily, I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled to the galley to get dressed. Fortunately, I had prepared the coffee (and made some tuna sandwiches) the night before, so it didn't take too long to get ready. By 5:55 the anchor was on the deck and we were making our way out of Dixie Cove. The tide was in this time so there was lots of water in the narrow channel.
As we cruised down Kyoquot Channel I set the course that we would follow to our destination of the day. We planned to stop at Queen Cove in Esperanza Inlet for the night. If you were to look at a chart of the coastline from Rugged Point in Kyoquot Sound to the west, you would see a triangle of rocks and reefs in Clear Passage. That's where we were going. You may know how I feel about rocks and reefs. Moe wanted to go that way in order to avoid the ocean swell for a little while, at least. As course plotter, I was very careful that we picked our way through with plenty of room between our hull and the rocks. Though there was a moment of potential panic on my part, I did settle in and we navigated through without a problem. I trust my course and I trust my skipper!
We did notice, way, way out to sea, a very large white flat object. We couldn't determine what it could be. It looked like a low lying cloud at first and then, suddenly when the sun shone on it, it gleamed like it was glass. Very weird.
At McQuarrie Islets we turned out to sea. What a difference! The swell was about 2 to 3 meters. We were rolling and lurching on a grand scale! Moe did put up a sail to try to reduce the roll, but the wind was not in our favour as it was coming directly from our stern so the sail had to come down. We motored the rest of the way to the entrance of Gillam Channel, about two hours of rolling and lurching about. Thank goodness, I don't get sea sick!
When we got close to the entrance to Gillam Channel the sun was shining quite brightly on the water making it difficult to identify the green buoy and red buoy that we needed to pass through. We use two GPS's to navigate by and one of them showed that we were nowhere near the green buoy when we could see it clearly. It also showed a non-existent fairway buoy. The other GPS failed to mention the buoys at all! With some quick decision making, we skirted close by the green buoy on our port side where it belonged. As we travelled up Esperanza Inlet we noticed there were a few discrepancies between the two GPS and our chart. Good thing we don't have just one thing to rely on.
We did manage to get our jib up for awhile and sailed nicely up Esperanza Inlet. Due to the good time we were making, we decided to bypass Queen Cove and head for Tahsis. Moe did a little deck repair. By noon we were transiting Hecate Channel. The weather was wonderful, blue sky, warm breeze and we noticed quite a few salmon jumping. I suggested now would be a good time to put the hook in the water, but Moe thought that the area was closed for fishing so we didn't. There were no other boats fishing either. They just whizzed past us on their way to wherever they were going. We had discussed fueling up at Esperanza Mission but when we got closer thought we might as well wait until we got to Tahsis, so we passed on by. The channels are fairly narrow and the scenery is beautiful. Tall tree covered mountains border the channel. We could see evidence of logging here.
A few minutes of 1:00 we entered Tahsis Narrows. This is definitely the most comfortable narrows we've gone through yet. With a weak flood current we easily passed through with very little influence on the boat. Then we turned left and were in Tahsis Inlet. The community is only three miles from the narrows so we were there in no time.
The entrance into the marina is a little tricky. There is a divided log breakwater with a red scotchman (big, orange rubber ball) on each end. Sounds easy and on the drawing we had, looked easy. Wasn't easy. The two log breakwaters run parallel to each other, slightly overlapping at the entrance as to make a path between the two. From our vantage point, it looked like one long single logboom. Eventually we spotted the entrance and snaked in. The wind had suddenly come up and Moe had to use all his skill to get us into the marina and up to the fuel dock. Of course, he did an excellent job!
We got our fuel, registered and were assigned our dock space. After tying up we were ready for a beer at the dockside pub. Moe left a minute or two before me. When I started to make my way down the dock I met a woman coming out of her boat. We struck up a conversation and before you know it, Moe was back looking for me saying he'd already had a beer! We checked out each other's boats and then Moe and I gathered our laundry and headed to the pub.
This is not your regular marina pub, let me tell you! There are large tarp type umbrellas covering the pub area. Jimmy Buffett is singing in the back ground and as you sit down to have your food and drink you can watch the fishermen cleaning and preparing their catch of the day. It was all very festive!
We put our laundry in, had our beer and sliders, and then it was time to make a trip into town to restock our liquor cabinet. We were both amazed that the marina provides a free vehicle to patrons to drive to town with. Here are the keys! We were pointed to the vehicle, hopped in and headed to town. It was very easy to spot the liquor store/supermarket/restaurant. We went in and made our purchases. On the way back, Moe decided to take a little tour around town. It's very small so didn't take us too long as soon we were on the road back to the marina. Minutes after, Moe spotted the red and blue lights of the police car behind us and he pulled over. Oh great and he hasn't brought his driver's license. The officer got out of his car and came up to our window. He asked if we knew why he stopped us. Moe thought maybe we were going too slow? Nope, he had gone through a stop sign. Between the fine for that and the fine for not having a driver's license in his possession he could face a $300+ fine. Yikes! Thankfully, the officer was kind and let us go with a reminder to stop at stop signs and bring your DL with you! Whew.
When we got back to the marina I looked after the laundry while Moe carried our purchases to the boat. On my return to the boat, it was time to make dinner. We whipped up some delicious pizza that we cooked on the barbecue. It makes a great oven!
After dinner we did our usual homework and made the following tentative plan:
July 28 - Tahsis to Bodega Cove
July 29 - Bodega Cove to Friendly Cove
July 30 - Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove
July 31 - Hot Springs Cove to Bacchante Bay
Aug 1 - Bacchante Bay to Tofino
Of course, this is tentative and subject to wind, weather and whims. Again, we invite anyone who is inclined to catch up with us in Tofino or Ucluelet! We are looking for crew to assist in the leg between Ucluelet and Victoria. Tracy - your wine is in danger! I hope you can join us soon!