Photo: Estevan Point.
Wind, northwest 10-15, rising to 15-25 knots after noon was the forecast for our trip around Estevan Point to Nootka Sound. The 15-25 knots was more wind than I like but as Steve said, "We've done that before. Besides, we only have to get around Estevan and then the wind will fill behind us as we enter Nootka Sound."
We left Hot Springs Cove at 9 am in smooth seas and sunshine. How lucky could we be? At first we motored but when the wind picked up we raised sail, sailing close to shore in the smooth seas before tacking offshore. I watched as the lighthouse on Estevan Point came into view, a tall stately white structure with a red roof. Through the binoculars we could see sea lions on Perez Rocks. The wind blew stronger and we heeled hard, I looked forward to letting out the sails and heading downwind into Nootka Sound. But our turn point came and went and we were still hard on the wind. I watched the wind speed approach 30 knots. We needed to roll in the jib, which meant tacking first to change the block location. As the jib sheet came across it caught on our Dorade vent and ripped it almost off. Steve straightened the vent as best as he could and we rolled in the jib, but still we heeled hard. Now the seas were building too. We were barreling into Nootka Sound at 7 knots.
We had planned to anchor in Friendly Cove but inside the cove, the wind still howled. Anchoring there wouldn't have been fun. We turned and sailed downwind into Ewin Inlet, a long narrow bay with a basin at its end. We anchored in quiet water but windy conditions. We collapsed in exhaustion. So much for an easy trip that we had done many times before.
Ewin Inlet before sunset