BANGORANG!

13 July 2017
12 July 2017
26 June 2017 | West Vancouver Island
24 June 2017 | North Vancouver Island
23 June 2017 | North Vancouver Island
22 June 2017 | North Vancouver Island, BC
21 June 2017 | East Thurlow Island
20 June 2017 | Quadra Island
17 June 2017 | Vancouver Island
15 June 2017 | Comox, BC
12 June 2017 | Nanimo, BC
10 June 2017 | Saltspring Island, BC
09 June 2017 | Victoria, BC
04 June 2017 | Port Townsend
04 June 2017 | Blake Island
03 June 2017 | Tacoma
29 July 2016 | Neah Bay, WA
29 July 2016 | Neah Bay
28 July 2016

Beware Navionics Charts ARE Accurate, but your GPS may not be…

17 July 2017
Colin
Every so often someone hits a reef, or a rock or the beach and the first thing I read is that the Navionics Charting software was somehow at fault. Usually, the chartplotter showed the boat in open water right before hitting bottom. Alternatively, I've seen claims that Navionics software placed the boat miles inland while safely anchored in a cove somewhere. I suggest that it may not be the Navionics charting, but rather the GPS input that is off course.

In our Pacific Circuit cruise we sailed nearly 30k miles There and Back Again using Navionics charting software on a pair of networked Raymarine chartplotters (e7d and e125 series) with an external pole mount GPS antenna. We have crisscrossed the largest ocean on the planet and frequently navigated through scattered reefs, narrow channels and passages so tight we had little more than a boat length on either side. Wherever we went we'd load the regional Navionics charts and over 5 yrs they have ALWAYS plotted our position exactly as we saw it to be... until one time last summer...

We were motorsailing SE along the south end of Vancouver Island, BC finishing a circumnavigation of the island. The weather was clear, winds light and current favorable. While closer to Vancouver Island, we could easily see across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the WA side. Over a couple of hrs our chart plotter showed us slowly veering north as I made course corrections to the south. Eventually, the plotter had us 0.5 mile off and heading for the beach, when in fact we were miles from shore and headed for Port Angeles, WA. I tried rebooting the chartplotter a couple of times, but always it returned to the northerly course for the beach. Finally, I switched the chartplotter off the external GPS antenna and switched on the redundant internal GPS antenna. Instantly our position jumped 3 miles to the south and our new course now matched the boat heading (see photo). I was able to reproduce the faulty GPS coordinates and track just by switching back to the external GPS antenna. Anyway, we finished the cruise on the internal GPS antenna and back in Tacoma I replaced the external antenna. Once again, the Navionics charts were spot on! Although it failed, the old GPS antenna had performed admirably throughout our cruise, sometimes running 3 weeks straight and was retired with honor.

While I still love the GPS/chartplotter technology, I've once again learned to get my head out of the boat and look around. Also, embracing a belts and suspenders approach to redundant technology could prove a game saver.

The Broken Group

13 July 2017
Stunning, fully enclosed anchorage between Dodd and Turtle islands. Very peaceful until big powerboat unleashed a couple of jet skis on us. Somehow they thought we'd enjoy them tearing circles around our boat. Finally I lost my temper, hit them with the air horn and politely asked them to get the helll outta the anchorage.

Tofino

12 July 2017
What a fun town! Kind of a funky little hippy/tourist town. Lott a great places to eat and nice walks

Winter Harbor/North Harbor

26 June 2017 | West Vancouver Island
Colin
Winter Harbor is a small fish camp/resort community with about 20 full time residents. In summer, a lot of sport fishermen come to town. We were a bit early, so it was still pretty quiet. There is a 3-plank boardwalk that runs the entire shoreline and makes for a nice scenic walk. It turns out the boardwalk is under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Highway Dept. and they maintain it. There is also a general store, fuel dock and burger shack and that’s about it. Still, the people were quite nice and directed us to a local hike through the pristine forest, where we saw a massive old-growth cedar.

There are many eagles here and a huge population of sea otters. I counted several rafts of at least 20 otters each, right next to the boat one morning. A local guy told me they relocated a few dozen from Alaska right after the Exxon-Valdez oil spill to save them and they have repopulated this coastline, with the last census at over 3000 otters. Great for the sea otters, but kinda hard on the crab fishermen…

Bull Harbor/Cape Scott

24 June 2017 | North Vancouver Island
Colin
Our next anchorage in Bull Harbor on Hope Island was the furthest point north of our Vancouver Island circumnavigation. This is a well-protected cove at the end of a narrow ziggityzag channel lined with rock faced cliffs. Inside is a good anchorage with a small (10-20 peeps) aboriginal village. That evening a couple came out in a rowboat to ask for $15 anchorage fee and another $5/head to go ashore. Bull Harbor is where most boats wait for a good weather window to cross Nawitti Bar and round Cape Scott. Both of these patches of water can be very challenging in the wrong conditions. Local knowledge gleaned from the cruiser’s guides and other boaters we spoke with, recommends going round Tamil Banks close to the shore to avoid Nawitti Bar altogether, riding an ebb tide out to the point, then standing off Cape Scott at least 3 miles to avoid the inshore tidal rips. All of which we followed, but as luck would have it, we had a very calm day and we motored around Cape Scott and down to Winter Harbor without drama. Probably coulda run the shorter course. We did see a lot of sea otters around Cape Scott, which was pretty cool.

Port Alexander

23 June 2017 | North Vancouver Island
Colin
Port Alexander proved to be an excellent anchorage albeit a bit deep at 60 ft. It was totally deserted and we enjoyed an afternoon of beach combing on a beautiful slate stone beach with the black stone chips worn smooth by the sea. Awesome skipping stones - to Skid’s consternation... The ‘aboriginals’ were adept at making the blades for wood carving tools from these stones.

As we’ve moved north and further from the peopled places we have seen a lot more wildlife too. The eagles now are more common than gulls and we usually see 2-3 at a time in the air around our anchorages.
Vessel Name: Bangorang
Hailing Port: Ventura, CA
Crew: Colin, Wendy and Skid
Extra: Urban Dictionary: Bangorang - The word from the film "Hook" meaning, basically, awesome!
Bangorang's Photos - Main
9 Photos
Created 24 March 2016
15 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
9 Photos
Created 11 September 2015
Bangorang's second visit to Fiji
11 Photos
Created 28 June 2015
Bangorang's second visit to Tonga
6 Photos
Created 27 May 2015
29 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 6 December 2014
10 Photos
Created 26 August 2014
11 Photos
Created 11 August 2014
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 30 June 2014
15 Photos
Created 5 June 2014
9 Photos | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 5 May 2014
La Cruz to Hiva Oa
16 Photos
Created 4 May 2014
24 Photos
Created 25 November 2013
34 Photos
Created 2 November 2013
A 2 week road trip to Seattle and back on the PCH
18 Photos
Created 5 October 2013
23 Photos
Created 17 April 2013
Day trip out of Mazatlan
15 Photos
Created 9 April 2013
Petroglyphs and the vernal equinox
13 Photos
Created 29 March 2013
37 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 February 2013
98 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 16 November 2012
9 Photos
Created 9 November 2012
3 Photos
Created 21 October 2012