This is just a quick update. The weather continues to be worse than I'm comfortable going out in alone with gale force winds from the southeast still predicted through today. There may be a shift tomorrow with another low rolling in over Vancouver Island from the Pacific. This one will bring gale force winds as well, but from the west and I may try to take advantage of the lull in between. If I can get to the western side of the Straits, then 20 knots winds from the west could actually give me a pretty good ride. I'm more concerned about the wave action than the wind strength. The Straits of Georgia are known for developing short, steep waves that will stop Mabrouka dead in her tracks, pretty much no matter what the wind strength or direction is. I plan to discuss this approach with some locals on the dock before I put it into action. One neighbor is headed to Nanaimo (along my route) so maybe I can buddy-boat with him. Let's hope for the best.
In talking with one man on the dock, a very friendly and experienced local sailor by the name of Chris Coldham, I learned that I had indeed been wise not to venture out in this weather. Heading south especially, the wind channels up between the mainland and Texada Island and, along with the current, makes Grief Point live up to its name. Remember a few entries ago I laughed at that landmark? Well, it goes to show that sailors around here know what they're saying when it comes to marine weather.
The internet connection at Mary's Bakery has totally failed me two days in a row. I had hopes for it this morning when I detected the signal all the way down at Mabrouka, but it never made a connection in the shop even after I invested in a latte and a cinnamon bun. Right now I'm set up on top of the ice freezer outside the Lund grocery store. There is a power outlet behind it and luckily the store's internet uses the same password as the hotel. Also luckily, the wind and the rain have backed off a bit, though it's still a bit chilly and there's no chair. Well, maybe these difficulties count on my resume of sailing hardships toward official status as Old Salt.
So, today's another day of waiting. A shower and laundry will fill it up part way. I've bought another book to read too, Burning Water by George Bowering. It's a historical fiction recounting Vancouver's explorations of Puget Sound as told through Vancouver, indians that saw him sail into Lewis Channel, the Discovery's biologist, and a fictionalized version of the author himself. So far it's proved to be pretty entertaining.
Belay that last! I just checked the Weather Canada web site and the forecast has been updated since I listened to it on the radio early early this morning. Gale force winds are expected to increase tonite to 50-60 knots, still from the southeast. No shift is expected for monday, so I'll probably be stuck here a while.