The Voyage of S/V Estelle

Cruising the British Columbia Coast

30 September 2018 | Vancouver Rowing Club
10 September 2018 | The Laughing Oyster, Okeover Landing
08 September 2018 | Von Donop Inlet, Desolation Sound
08 September 2018 | Port McNeill, BC
08 September 2018 | Port McNeill, BC
16 August 2018
16 August 2018 | Turnbull Cove, BC
15 August 2018 | Pierre's Echo Bay Resort
15 August 2018 | Kwatsi Bay Marina, The Broughtons
15 August 2018 | Potts Lagoon, West Cracroft Island, BC
05 August 2018 | Kwatsi Bay
01 August 2018 | Big Bay
01 August 2018 | Von Donop Inlet
27 July 2018 | Lancelot Inlet, Desolation Sound Marine Park
09 July 2018 | Vancouver Rowing Club
04 June 2018 | Whistler BC
08 February 2018 | Whistler, BC
19 November 2017 | Vancouver, BC
04 August 2017 | Van Isle Marina
25 July 2017 | San Juan Islands, Wa USA

Sailing Again!

08 September 2018 | Von Donop Inlet, Desolation Sound
As usual, sunny, hot with smoke in the air
18 August
Next morning we were ready to cast off and enjoy the nice north west wind, our objective, Port Harvey. But we were warned.. the sockeye season had opened the previous night! No wonder the fuel dock was empty. And with the fog, we were warned that it would be a real problem working our way down through the fleet. The fishery is a gill net fishery, streaming their nets 1/4 to 1/2 mile behind the boats. And the challenge was to figure out whose net was attached to which boat. But in the end, we had no problems. We worked our way down the western shore, closer to our destination, while the fishermen seemed to prefer the eastern shore. Not only that, we watched boat after boat streaming back to Port McNeill after filling their quota after just 12 hours. So, maybe it will be a big season, just like Billy told me it would be.
Johnstone Strait has a reputation for some serious weather. When the winds on Queen Charlotte Strait, a few miles north, are mild, Johnstone Strait can see gale force winds. Not only does the water narrow, but the mountains funnel the winds into the narrow waters, so that gale force winds are not uncommon when the weather a few miles away is benign.
But sailing down, we enjoyed a 15 knot following breeze as we worked our way down the strait to Port Harvey, where we began our trip into the Broughtons. Great to be sailing again!
We knew our arrival at the Port Harvey Marine Resort would be far different than our arrival last month. We had word that just days after our departure, George Cambridge, who owned and operated it with his wife Gail, died suddenly a few days after we were there. When we were there, I had asked Gail how they could possibly operate the place with just two people. She said that one of them had to always be there. Two people were needed. But now there was only one. Gail has left, and the marina is closed, but boaters are free to tie up. Not only do we feel the loss of George, but the timing just adds to the feeling of loss. They had just been rebuilding the marina and buildings, restaurant and store, after a tragic sinking two years ago. The new docks and buildings pointed to a great future. But this is a remote spot, and it will take a special type to continue here.
When we arrived, we found the docks were just about full, so we had willing hands to help with our lines. In the evening we gathered on the dock and remembered George. Although we only met him for the first time a few weeks ago, we quickly learned to enjoy his dry humour. Sitting on the docks we speculated on the marina's future and toasted George, wishing him fair winds.
On the dock that night, we met Peter and Marsala on Northern Light, a Bennetau 50 from Victoria BC. The discussion about weather (all were heading back south) was, as usual, full of varying opinions. To us, the next day seemed the best to head south. Nice following winds and a following current. All agreed that heading off early would be best.
Next morning, we dropped our lines at 0730, early for us, with not a sign of others. We had a great downwind sail through Johnstone Strait, past Fanny Island and its Environment Canada weather station (I check it regularly) into Sunderland Channel. Two miles into the channel, the winds dropped from 20 knots to calm, leaving us motoring into Forward Harbour where we waited for the change of the currents.
We dropped anchor waiting for slack in the Whirlpool rapids, just outside the harbour entrance. As we waited (wondering where our dockmates were), in came Northern Lights. They told us that everyone else had decided to stay another day.
At 1500 hrs, we headed out into the slack Whirlpool Rapids and down into Cordero Channel. Here we faced a following 20 kt wind bucking the yet to change current... a rough ride. But by the time we reached Green Point Rapids, all was well... calm winds and waters. We considered an anchorage just off the rapids, but too many boats! So we carried on to Shoal Bay where, after some anchor dancing, we pulled into the wharf. We have begun to see smoke from the many forest fires far inland.
Like so many areas up and down the northern coast of BC, Shoal Bay once was a complete town, at one time boasting a population larger than the newly founded Vancouver. But today all that is left is the wharf, maintained, for some reason, by the federal government. The one remaining structure is a small pub/home. Again we met up with Peter and Marsala from Northern Lights, and went ashore to the pub. A bit of a disappointment, ($9.00 for a beer). So back to the boat for the night.
In the morning, we were off early, wanting to time our trip through the rapids, Dent, Gillard and Yucultas. All within a distance of 5 miles. As we set off we watched a flotilla develop around us, all jockeying speed to arrive at the rapids at slack. And we all did.
Through into Calm Channel, we hoisted the main, shut the engine down and pulled out the spinnaker! I don't think it has been used since 2007 in the Bahamas. But today it flew beautifully. We had a couple of gybes, working our way down past Raza Passage, Deer Passage and into Sutyl Passage where the wind died and we motored into Von Donop Inlet, fast becoming a favourite anchorage.
Comments
Vessel Name: Estelle
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1
Hailing Port: Charlottetown, PEI
Crew: Jeannie & Jim Lea
About: Flag Counter
Extra: After cruising the east coast of North America for 10 years, from Nova Scotia to Panama, it's time for a change. Estelle will be cruising the coast of British Columbia and Alaska beginning in 2017.
Estelle's Photos - The Voyage of S/V Estelle (Main)
14 Photos
Created 5 August 2018
5 Photos
Created 1 August 2018
62 Photos
Created 10 July 2018
28 Photos
Created 19 November 2017
Our cruise of the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in May & June, 2017
84 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
Our first BC cruise, from Pender Harbour to Strait Marine in Steveston BC
26 Photos
Created 27 April 2017
Estelle's arrival in Vancouver
8 Photos
Created 31 October 2016
63 Photos
Created 28 July 2016
Our first year cruising... Exumas, Bahamas.
11 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
69 Photos
Created 24 July 2015
17 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
8 Photos
Created 12 April 2015
25 Photos
Created 4 December 2014
3 Photos
Created 30 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
5 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
13 Photos
Created 13 November 2014
20 Photos
Created 9 November 2014
Pics of our trip from Mount Desert Islans to the Saint John River in July 2014.
64 Photos
Created 14 August 2014
15 Photos
Created 9 May 2014
60 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
18 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
50 Photos
Created 14 January 2013
104 Photos
Created 12 December 2012
40 Photos
Created 1 December 2012
23 Photos
Created 10 November 2012
19 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
14 Photos
Created 13 March 2012
47 Photos
Created 6 March 2012
59 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
70 Photos
Created 27 February 2012
107 Photos
Created 21 January 2012
Nov/Dec 2011
48 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
San Blas Islands
4 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
58 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
23 Photos
Created 29 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
49 Photos
Created 10 May 2011
52 Photos
Created 29 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
18 Photos
Created 18 March 2011
Feb, 2011
67 Photos
Created 11 February 2011
33 Photos
Created 7 February 2011
34 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
33 Photos
Created 4 December 2010
62 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
39 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
41 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
25 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
17 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 3 October 2010
13 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
9 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
14 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
Some photos at John Williams Boatyard as we prepare for departure.
7 Photos
Created 14 September 2010
Our trip to various BC ski resorts Jan-Feb 2010
69 Photos
Created 7 February 2010
August/Sept in Maine
58 Photos
Created 29 August 2009
Our trip from Norfolk Va to Mount Desert Island, June 20th to July 7th, 2009. Gerard Watts aboard as crew!
89 Photos
Created 8 July 2009
11 Photos
Created 26 April 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 22 March 2009
65 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 February 2009
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
42 Photos
Created 29 January 2009
5 Photos
Created 23 December 2008
27 Photos
Created 22 December 2008
Our trip from Maine to Miami
108 Photos
Created 19 December 2008
Pics from Jan to June 2008, Bahamas to Maine
50 Photos
Created 18 June 2008
Trip south from Maine to Bahamas, Sept-Dec 2007
42 Photos
Created 26 December 2007
14 Photos
Created 25 December 2007
4 Photos
Created 21 August 2007
These are pictures of The Hermitage on Cat Island, Bahamas. It was built single-handedly by Faather Jerome who was sent out by the Church of England to rebuild churches destroyed in the hurricanes in the early 20th century. He then converted to catholicism and built a number of Roman Catholic churches until he sought and received permission to build this hermitage where he spent the remainder of his life.
10 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 June 2007
1 Photo
Created 24 June 2007
21 Photos
Created 23 June 2007
3 Photos
Created 12 June 2007
These pictures were taken while on Long Island, Bahamas, in February, 2007
6 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
This album contains some photos of our time in the Jumentos Islands, in the Bahamas
11 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
3 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
4 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
19 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
13 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 11 March 2007
9 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
5 Photos
Created 11 March 2007
18 Photos
Created 11 March 2007