08 August 2009 | Clam Bay, Kuper Island
WX: overcast, light rain, temp 65, wind S 10-20
What's better than cruising in August along with just about everyone else who owns a boat? Doing it in crappy weather! It just doesn't get much better than that! We left Nanaimo at 1045, timing our departure to arrive at Dodd Narrows (which everyone up here seems determined to rename "Dodd's" Narrows) a little before slack water. The wind was the typical "we're heading south toward home" wind, i.e. 15-20 knots right smack out of the south. It's happened so often that we're only surprised when it doesn't.
Okay, so we had some foolish idea that if we got there half an hour early for slack, we'd avoid some of the crowds. Yeah, right. Dodd Narrows looked a little like Highway 16 in Gig Harbor and Tacoma used to look at rush hour before they built the new bridge. There must have been 30 or 40 boats waiting on the south side, afraid to buck the blistering two-knot current that still trickled through just before slack water. Wimps.
On down Trincomali Channel we went, crashing into waves that were worse than those in Georgia Strait two days ago. Needing to find some place to hole up for just one night, our plan was to see how crowded Princess Harbour was, keeping Clam Bay as a backup, one we were fairly sure we'd need. We didn't even get close to Princess Harbour. From two miles away, we could see the boats anchored deck to deck the length of the harbor. We turned around and headed back to Clam Bay.
When we'd passed Clam Bay, we'd noted half a dozen boats already there. It took us maybe half an hour to get back there, by which time the number had increased to eight. We were number nine. Clam Bay is big and open (making it not the most ideal of anchorages when the wind is blowing) so we were able to find an acceptable spot to anchor. Then we sat back and watched as boat after boat after boat arrived. By day's end, there were 22 other boats at anchor. Remember, in our opinion, Clam Bay is a somewhat marginal anchorage in a blow. It is a good illustration of how horrendous the crowds are that that many boats would be forced to use it.
We'd love to have someone complete this sentence honestly:
"We LOVE to go cruising in early August, along with everyone else, because..." And if they say something about the weather being better, we would simply note that the forecast for the next few days is "periods of rain" and continued southerly winds. Oh, yeah. Good stuff.