21 August 2013 | Sooke to Victoria
Laurie / Foggy then Sun!
Day 36 – August 9, 2013 Friday
By the time I got my sleepy self out of bed everyone else was awake. We had awoken to another day of fog. Oh goody. I had actually hoped that we would have a reasonable down day and be able to do a little exploring around Whiffen Spit. My skipper had other plans. He wanted to get the heck out of Sooke and head for the sunshine in Victoria. This meant another trip through the entrance to Sooke. Well, at least it wasn’t blowing 30 knots into the harbour! Aeolus had left before us and Paxx was going to follow after.
After breakfast it was time to bring up the anchor. Moe put Ken and Rory in charge of the anchor on the foredeck while he managed the helm. I oversaw the foredeck work. They did a great job! With the anchor safely on deck, Moe made his way through the crab traps which had been skillfully placed by the fisherman the night before. With those behind us, we headed for the range markers. Again, Rory was very helpful in keeping us on the line. Thank goodness this transit was much easier than the one last night. The sea was calm and the wind was down. This is how it should be!
Just after 11:00 we made our way out to sea in the fog and into a minefield of fishermen. Our radar looked like it had green measles; there were so many small boats! I have to say, these fishermen clearly felt that the sea was theirs and made no effort to give any way to the larger sailboat bearing down on them. We weaved in and out and between the boats. One was very brazen and just drove right toward us without flinching or moving. Moe turned at the last moment in order to avoid a collision. That fisherman was not going to give an inch!
At 11:40 we were hailed by Aeolus who was about 5 miles ahead of us at Beechy Head. They were still in the fog, were experiencing some eddies and were doing about 7 knots. We were glad to hear what to expect. I decided to spend my time updating my journal. As we use the computer for navigating, I was using the old fashioned method of recording – pen and paper. Head down, with log and camera at hand, I wrote as we travelled. I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually didn’t notice when we were finally out of the fog until we were very close to Race Passage! I didn’t want to miss this event as it was on my Danger list. As we approached the sky was clear and the sun was shining. I was thrilled to see the lighthouse on Race Rocks and got my camera out to make sure it was captured. Our passage at slack tide had been carefully planned by our competent skipper so we transited this potentially dangerous passage with ease. The wind came up as we turned the southernmost corner of Vancouver Island so our jib was raised.
It was very exciting to be coming into our capital city! After we had passed Race Rocks, we looked behind and saw it surrounded in the familiar fog. Very cool! We also saw the Coho coming in, the ferry that goes between Victoria and Port Angeles. Not far behind, we saw a large cruise ship coming out of the fog. As it came through the fog we could see it disturbing and pulling the fog behind it. The cruise ship traveled very quickly and we knew it would win the race into Victoria. Then, it stopped! I had noticed a small boat whisking along the water and didn’t think much of it. But when I saw it racing back toward Victoria and the cruise ship starting to move again, I said that it must have delivered the pilot to bring the cruise ship into the harbour. We watched as the cruise ship slipped into the berth. It was huge as we motored by its stern!
Moe had started the conversation with the Victoria marina on VHF trying to get us a slip. I have to give kudos to the girl who was managing the radio. The radio was very busy with people looking for moorage and she did an excellent and very professional job of getting everyone into a slip. We were assigned a slip on B dock and then, just as we were about to pull into B dock, we received a message that we were to go to D dock, so off we went. We were very pleased to see that we were opposite Aeolus!
Once we were safely tied up at the dock, right in front of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, I did a little dance of glee. What a fantastic place to be moored! I never, in my wildest sail dreams, thought that we would actually be at dock in front of the Empress Hotel! The weather was clear, sunny and warm so we all changed into our summer clothes. Gone was the dreary fog. Yay!! It was definitely time for a celebratory drink so we cracked some cold ones and settled in to enjoy the ambience of our location.
Ken and Rory needed to find their way back home, so we did our best to arrange something online. Not finding success, Ken decided to scrap new technology and walked over to the bus station to find out the schedule. He soon came back with all the information we needed. Who needs an iPhone when you have feet! I had contacted my son, Steve, and made arrangements to get together for dinner. We also met up with the crew from Aeolus and made a loose plan to get together at some point before dinner. They were off to explore the Victoria waterfront.
Ken, Rory, Moe and I made our way back up to the bus depot to purchase their tickets home. We bade goodbye to Ken at that point as he was going to visit family and Rory, Moe and I did a little shopping before returning to the boat. On our way back, we stopped to enjoy some of the live music and booths along the waterfront. It wasn’t long before it was time to bid Rory goodbye and then welcome my son, Steve, on board. We never did make a connection with the Aeolus crew that evening.
Steve took us to a very nice restaurant, The Local, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner on the patio. I convinced Steve to take me dancing but Moe, being the responsible skipper, chose not to join us and, after dinner, went back to the boat. Steve and I had a great time on the town and then he delivered me safely back to Reborn where I showered and sat out on the deck soaking in the beautiful evening before heading to bed.