B.C. Cruising 2014

B.C. Cruising 2014

April 4th, 2015  |  by Marilyn  |  Published in Ship's Log

This was an odd cruising year because we split our summer cruise into two pieces so we could spend July as landlubbers with our families. It meant we meandered during our cruises rather than having a destination – as if we ever do have a destination, but this year was even more meandering than usual.

In early June after we finished the fridge replacement, we left our home port to make our way north to visit our friend Don in Point Roberts. Then we went SE to Bellingham to visit our friends Mary and Jim. While there, we upgrade the alternator since Whatcom Electric has folks who know what they are doing and we decided it was prudent to have a spare aboard.

Then we headed west to go to Barkley Sound on the West Coast Vancouver island. We spent a couple weeks out there – what a wonderful place to hang out and sail. Van caught his first ever Chinook salmon – 21 lbs! We ate on that for a week! The journey there and back through the Strait of Juan de Fuca was not so fun because there was not enough wind. On the way out, we anchored at Sooke and then had a long day of mostly motoring to get to Barkley. On the way back, we anchored first at Port Renfrew and then spent 4th of July watching the fireworks at Port Angeles. Why is it that every time we’re in the Strait, it is not windy enough to sail?

After our land lubber July, we set sail for the north and made it to about Cape Caution before we decided to turn back. We tried to visit new anchorages rather than stick with the ones we knew from previous years, so we got to learn of some nice new places. Some notable events – on the outbound journey, we had the high pressure fuel line on cylinder 2 fail. We discovered the problem after anchoring near Thetis island. The next day, we did our best to sail over to Sylva Bay, were we then spent a week  waiting for the part to be shipped from the UK. But since we were in no hurry to get anywhere, we just hung out and did boat projects during that week. After that repair was complete, we eventually sailed through Johnstone Strait and spent the night at Helmkiln island, which is one of my favorite sneaker places to anchor. The wind really howls at Fanny Island just west there, but somehow Helmkiln always seems to be calm.

We did our usual stop of Port McNeil for supplies, then made our way out to Miles Inlet, with a stop at Blunden Harbor and Allison Harbor along the way. We like Blunden and Allison Harbors, but Miles Inlet was just OK.

On our return journey through Queen Charlotte Strait, we sailed with a porpoise escort for about an hour near the Broken Group. Van also caught a very tasty Pink salmon, which we almost could have mistaken for another young Chinook given it’s appearance and its excellent taste.

All in all, it was a nice summer – good weather, some decent sailing and while we had to do some repairs (the major ones being replacing the refrigerator before we set off, and the replacing the high pressure fuel line at Sylva Bay), the failure occurred at convenient times.

Oh, but I did forget to mention that on our return, while downwind sailing in Johnstone Strait, we did a not-so-well-executed jibe in 20+ knot winds that snapped the main sheet deck hardware on the port side. We were able to jury-rig a repair and continue to sail – but it shows the importance of replacing stainless steel hardware that can experience crevice corrosion. The post that was mounted through the deck showed a very corroded crack that finally gave way when the boom swung across with a little (ahem) extra force.

The pictures below tell more of the story.

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