Friday, July 11, 2014

Gulf Islands Trip Pt.1 - The Crossing

Now that was fun. My skipper is turning out just as I had hoped. But I still had a trick or two to keep him humble and in line- Corleto

The day had finally come. The provisions had been loaded and the fuel tanks had been topped off. I could hardly wait to cast off and set a rendezvous course with the sailing vessel Tarka. The planned crossing of the Straight of Georgia to Silva Bay was now upon me and I was as giddy as a school girl in anticipation of the voyage.

Giddy as a school girl- happy to be on our way.

The plan was to leave Corleto's berth at 08:00, but a glitch when I checked the oil level before firing the engine delayed the departure. Then a second glitch. The Chart Plotter would not turn on. I quickly checked to make sure I was plugged in. I was, so no power to this 12v outlet that is just inside the companion way was indeed a problem. I quickly rerouted the power cable to a second socket that is located forward. It worked. So crisis avoided for the time being. The Chart Plotter fired up and a short time later Corleto was slipping her lines and making her way to the rendezvous area that Hank, Tarka's skipper, had chosen.

Corleto's crew- Charlene sitting at her favourite perch- Tarka in the background
Once we had established contact on the VHF and maneuvered to a close proximity, sails were set and we were off.
It wasn't long before Charlene noticed Hank reducing sail as we rounded the tip of Bowen Island. A brisk 18kn wind was waiting. This was the very first time since owning Corleto that I had reefed the main. I gotta thank my man Aaron for showing me how to rig and execute a reef while under sail. We pressed on, hitting our waypoints and making good speed toward Silva Bay.
Charlene took the helm for a period and boasts the speed record for the crossing at 5.8 knots towing the dingy. I thought that was very impressive.

Charlene at the helm, I know we were going fast.
The seas built as we crossed and Tarka was always nearby, usually ahead, but every once in a while Corleto would gain speed and catch up. We were in no particular hurry, we were on vacation. We did see two pacific white sided Dolphin on the crossing, just off the port bow, between Corleto and Tarka.

Tarka and her crew- Hank on the helm and Caroline on watch

But as with any sea journey there often is a period of adjustment. Call it getting one's sea legs. Charlene was trying to get her's and as fate would have it the increasing winds and waves did not help.
There came a time when she looked at me and said "Can we just get there, Please." Fortunately we were only some 3 NM from Thrasher Rock.
She did tell me that she wasn't going to be able to go up front and douse the jib. So that meant I would just have good ol' Otto on the tiller and do it myself.

With the sails down and the diesel running I steered Corleto toward the entrance into Silva Bay. I Followed Hank in and a short time later we were tied up at the Silva Bay Marina. Charlene and I had just completed our third crossing. This one under sail. There were smiles all around. And this was just the beginning.

Safe and Sound in Silva Bay

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