The Big Blue

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19 June 2014

The Livin' is Easy

21 June 2012 | Nanaimo
Laurence
Yesterday, we missed the low slack at Seymour Narrows. Apparently, Seymour Narrows eats boats. On this particular day the flood was expected to reach a flow of over 12 knots. The current does not slowly build to max flood and then slow decrease again until the tide turns. We'd read that instead, it sort of goes in fits and starts up until one hour prior to the turn, and again one hour after the turn. So, going south, you need to be at the entrance of the Narrows at low slack and ride the very beginning of the flood through. This was our plan. The day before yesterday, we left Port Hardy and headed down Johnstone Strait with a favorable current, made excellent time, saw a spectacular dolphin show, and anchored in Billy Goat Bay for a short night. We would leave the following morning at 0700, giving us 6 hours to get to Seymour Narrows just after low slack at 1300. The Narrows are 28nm south of Billy Goat Bay. We thought this was conservative, considering we easily motor at a speed of over 6 knots. We would then ride the current through the narrows, onto Campbell River, and beyond. We left Billy Goat Bay (which is, incidentally, beautiful), by 0700 as planned. Water was flat, sun was out, very little breeze - a peaceful, lovely morning. The only problem was that we were only making 2 knots over the ground. We had not counted on having to fight the at times 4+ knots of foul current. We would not make the entrance to the Narrows in time for low slack - although as the day progressed, the current diminished, and we were frustratingly only about one hour late for the beginning of the flood. Oh well. We decided we'd try to go through at the very end of the flood, just before high slack. So, with some time to kill, we anchored in Kanish Bay and went swimming in the 54 degree water, had a beer, and lazed around for a couple of hours. A little later, we motored down to Plumper Bay, just north of the Narrows, and anchored for dinner: thick New York steaks, sautéed potatoes, and (delicious) salad. As we sat down to dinner in the cockpit, the four of us realized just how warm it was. The air was warm! For real! We finished up dinner and poked our noses out into the Narrows around 1800 - one hour and twenty minutes before the high slack. Everything appeared calm. A seemingly local fishing boat started through �... with him as a scout, we decided to go for it. We were motoring at a boat speed of less than 5 knots, and as we started through, soon were going 8, 10, and 11 knots over the ground. Water swirled around us, and our fishing boat scout crabbed in front of us. Still, as there was very little breeze, the water was turbulent but flat. We followed him through safely and arrived in Campbell River by around 7pm. After putting the boat away, the four of us took off to explore the town (the people were wearing shorts!). We followed the waterfront to the south end of town and came upon a nice public pier-where we found ice cream and fried shrimp! After eating enormous ice cream cones- and fried shrimp-we headed back to the boat to get ready for an early start the following morning. Today we left the dock at 6am and we are making our way toward Nanaimo, 73nm from Campbell River. It is very calm. Mark is calibrating the sextant. Danny has made me a cup of coffee, and Piper has brought me a cookie. I might take my long johns off. It feels like summertime, when the livin is easy.
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Vessel Name: Radiance
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau First456
Hailing Port: Seward, AK
Crew: Mark Ward, Laurence
About:
M [...]
Extra:
Radiance is a German Frers designed Beneteau First456 sloop. She has the deep lead fin keel and tall rig. She competes in the local sailing regattas and had taken top honors in all events on multiple occasions. Laurence and Mark have returned from a 2.5 year blue water cruise that essentially [...]
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