Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Going North: Our plans for cruising on Pelagia this Spring/Summer (2016)

After our time in Mexico, we have a hankering to go North.

Specifically, we are planning a 2-3-month long cruise to:

  • Princess Louisa Inlet: Strangely, we've never been to this world famous cruising destination. It's time we went, and going in late May should mean lots of waterfalls and lack of crowds.
  • After Princess Louisa, we plan to head to the central coast,  North of Vancouver Island and Cape Caution (via Desolation Sound and the Broughtons). Never really crowded, June will be pretty quiet. We've been here before (2002, 2007, 2011) and miss it. Fantastic, wild and dramatic (but protected) anchorages, wilderness, great salmon fishing*, uncrowded.
  • After the central coast, we currently plan to cruise down the West (wild) coast of Vancouver Island. Open ocean, rugged coast, protected anchorages. North of Estevan Point (north of Clayquot Sound) is especially beautiful and uncrowded (with good salmon fishing).  [We could change our mind, however, depending on our tolerance by July for fog, cool weather, and isolation, as well as our hankering to get home to the mountains (Whistler) for hiking and backpacking.]
Of course, as our experiences with past cruises have proven (including Mexico), our plans are indeed written in the sand at low tide -- they could change.

Rescue Bay: a favourite B.C. Central Coast anchorage

* We've not been real successful fishing (for salmon) -- the central BC coast is the only place we've caught salmon -- so we need all the help we can get.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A new cruising season: A short trip in Howe Sound

After a Fall and Winter focused on our skiing life in Whistler, we hadn't left the dock on Pelagia since September. (Perhaps a bit of a "hangover" from so many days and nights aboard her since the Summer of 2013, in the USA then Mexico .)
Escaping the crowds skiing at Whistler over Easter, we headed down to Vancouver, first for a couple days of socializing as well as cleaning Pelagia and minor repairs, then out on Pelagia to Howe Sound for three nights/four days. All four days were sunny and warm.

Motoring up a windless Howe Sound on the way to Gambier Island -- still lots of snow on the mountains!
As we've done so often, we headed out to Port Graves on Gambier Island, anchoring in front of Camp Artaban. The first night, there were only two of us boats anchored; the second night, only Pelagia. On both nights, not a hint of wind in the anchorage (even though at least 20 knot outflow winds were occurring at Pam Rocks, perhaps 1 nm away). (During the day, southerly inflows of about 10kn would reach Pelagia by late morning/early afternoon -- not an issue for us.) At night, it became a bit cool, so, for the first time since the Spring of 2013, we enjoyed the flickering glow and heat (and hot water!) provided by our Dickinson "Antarctic" diesel furnace.

Despite the warm, sunny days, sea water temperature in Port Graves were a cold 10 degrees C -- far below their 21-23 degree C levels in July/August -- so no swimming. But the trails inland were in fairly good condition, so we hiked up Bert's Bluff (~390 m) for the great views.

View from Bert's Bluff over Port Graves, Gambier Island

Zoom in on Pelagia anchored in front of Camp Artaban (taken from Bert's Bluff)

View from Bert's Bluff across Howe Sound to the Lions
After two nights at Camp Artaban, we headed out, finally getting Pelagia's sails up for a brief sail (as usual, winds died as we neared Hood Point/Finisterre Island on Bowen Island). We headed into Snug Cove to the Vancouver Rowing Club's outstation docks (at USSC Marina), where we stayed one night. The next morning, after Michelle then David going up the mast to replace the Tacktick/Raymarine anemometer bearings (successful and easy!), we headed back to Vancouver in order to get home to Whistler before dinner -- managing a short downwind sail before reaching Stanley Park.

Sailing out of Port Graves

Sailing out of Port Graves (still lots of snow on the the Lions)


Michelle removing Tacktick wind transducer (for quick repair)

It was great to get back out on Pelagia. Even better that our anchorage was empty, quiet and windless. This short trip served as a bit of a shakedown trip as we discovered and fixed several issues -- and discovered several additional issues we need to deal with before our much longer travels planned for late Spring and the Summer.