Mikelson 57 NW Adventure, Part VII
This is the last blog of the trip:
THE ADVENTURES OF A MIKELSON 57 IN AN OCEAN OF LOGS
Day 17, Saturday 8/12, RHIII leaves Nanaimo for Port of Sidney, our home base
for the past 7 years. We had a choice of running the notorious and crowded Dodd
Narrows in the early morning or sleeping in and circling out into the Strait of
Georgia, weaving around a few islands and then ducking back into the Gulf
Islands through the Gabriola pass against the ebb (out flowing) current.
“Sleeping in” won as we are not in a hurry. We decide to take the “around the
islands” route; longer by about 10 miles but we have the time.
Here is the “new” long route to Sidney.
We depart Nanaimo at 10 am. A gentle breeze is blowing directly across our
beam from the port side. This means getting out of our dock space will be much
We slide out sideways, back away, and spin around before leaving the marina.
Piece of cake!! Got lucky this time.
In spite of that, the owners of the boats in front of and behind RHIII were
watching closely in case something went wrong.
Karen decked out in our communications headgear we use when maneuvering in
close quarters. It is hard to hear each other when I am up top and the “crew” is
on the deck or on the bow. Saves a lot of yelling at each other. These
headphones are referred to as “Marriage Savers” by boaters.
On our way out of Nanaimo, we hear weather reports that rain is coming
tomorrow or Sunday in Sidney. As a result, a weather front is coming with gale
force warnings are being posted for boaters in the Strait of Georgia. This means
sustained winds of at least 40 kts (28 mph) with higher gusts.
Maybe our decision to take the long route was not the best decision. We are
however committed to this route so we will see how it goes.
RHIII rounds the corner of Gabriola Island with winds on the port bow of 30 kts
(25 mph) and quite a few white caps. Some spray is splashing up on the bridge
windshield. We take a short cut thru the small islands east of Gabriola and briefly
find calmer conditions. We pass the entrance to Silva Bay marina where we
stayed on our first day of this journey.
RHIII turns into the entrance of Gabriola pass with the charts showing an ebb tide
of about 4 knots. We easily power thru this flow and are now in the lee of Valdes
Island; protected from the wind (for a while).
We cruise by Thetis and Kuper Islands where a marina called Telegraph Bay is
located. We have stayed there a few times in the past. We are seeing the wind
speed picking up noticeably from the east (from the Strait of Georgia).
By the time we enter the Stuart Channel; between Saltspring and Vancouver
islands, the wind has picked up another notch; now in the 30 to 35 with gusts to
39. Lots of white caps and spray are pounding the hull.
It is very difficult to spot logs and debris in the water with the sea conditions. A
few sail boaters are out attempting to harness the wind. Others have dropped
their sails and are heading to protection.
We pass by the large BC ferry terminal (Swartz Bay) in the Satellite Channel and
are within 10 miles of Sidney; the home stretch.
The wind continues to blow strongly as we arrive at Port of Sidney marina and
back into our slip. We are glad to be home.
About an hour later, the wind has stopped completely and the sea conditions
return to normal. The weather can change rather abruptly in BC.
Here is a recap of our trip, we stayed in 9 different marinas
Anchored in 3 different bays
By the numbers:
572 total miles traveled
8.5 mph average speed
25.3 mph maximum speed
67.40 hours of cruising time
893 gallons of diesel fuel burned
1.56 miles per gallon or 13.25 gallons per hour for the trip.
Not good numbers for a standard car but good numbers for a boat weighing 45
tons. It is like moving a 3 bedroom house or motor home.
Thank you for following RHIII on this journey to the Broughtons. It has been a
great trip; challenging at times but lots of fun. We cruised, fished, prawned,
crabbed, ate great meals, drank a bit of wine, rum, and gin, and met some
wonderful new friends along the way. Boaters in general are friendly people.
Special thanks to the “crew of RHIII”; John, Karen and Connie. They did a great
job. Without experienced boaters like John and Karen on board; this trip would
not have happened for Connie and me. Safe journeys in your motor home.
Also thank you to Mikelson Yachts for building a great boat that safely carried us thru the varying weather and sea conditions.
RHIII completed her mission with flying colors.