Sailing ……..FINALLY !

OMG never did I think that the main sail would give us this much grief. In our last post we mentioned how we had come to an agreement with the original sailmaker and handed the project over to sailmaker Number 2. UK Sails in Sidney BC. Well, a week later we have a fixed and now working new main sail.
We’re a sailboat again! Everybody do a happy dance!
Must have been the good boat Karma we earned on our way back from the Blue Water Cruising rendezvous on the long weekend. We were headed back to Sidney (anyone surprised) when were heard a request for assistance on the marine radio. The boat was not far from us and headed to the same place we were so we U turned and headed to where they were broken down. We took them in tow and brought them into the Marina.

Stray Cat to the rescue

Finally, we are back on the program and have left Sidney behind. I thought if we spent anymore time there, they would be wanting me to pay property tax. We made a quick run up to Nanaimo to pick up the new life raft. Stayed overnight and met up with our friends John and Marina and Ken and Cheryl.
We will meet up with Ken and Cheryl later this year as they are sailing south to Mexico as well. John and Marina have a boat on the east coast so maybe we will meet them again in the Caribbean in the next year or two.

Back underway it was a long day up to Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island where we anchored for the night.

Gorge Harbour entrance

The next day it was a run to Blind Channel Resort on West Thurlow Island. This is a bit of a challenging passage as you have to time 3 sets of tidal rapids that can flow at up to 10 knots. Even when we arrived an hour before slack we were running with a 3 knot current pushing us through.
Imagine driving your car on a road that moves side to side, is covered with black ice and has whirlpools and you can, kind of, get an idea of what boating through these can be like. While dodging the whirlpools, the current pushes you sideways. Timed right it’s a piece of cake. Timed close and it gets “interesting”. Timed wrong and it can be deadly.

We saw our first humpback whale on this passage. Sorry no pictures. If you could script these creatures it would be a lot easier, but they seem to sense where the camera is pointed and surface somewhere else. By the time you have the camera there they have gone under again. We’ll keep trying and post as soon as we have something other than a distant splash.

Blind Channel resort is on its third generation with the same family as owners. The office includes a feature wall of bottles imbedded in the concrete. There are hiking trails up and around the property including one that takes you past a nine hundred year old cedar tree.

Bottle wall

900 years old – the tree not us

Next up, the transit of Johnstone Strait. A passage of water between the BC mainland and Vancouver island, that on a good day, is nice and easy and on a bad day will leave you curled up in the fetal position calling out for your mommy. Were hoping for the first example.

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