Made it to Vancouver, Canada
Sat 27 Aug 2016 00:37
Apart from an hour or two of ‘mizzle’ (that’s rain and fog mixed together), our last ocean leg up to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, turned out to be surprisingly clear. Having a bit of bright blue sky in the day and a clear view of the stars and the moon at night, made all the difference to the trip. The only hazard we now had to contend with, was crab pots and the buoys attached to them were really difficult to see in between the swells. At one time we heard a noise under us, but think we may have gone over one of the buoys; which fortunately didn’t snag!
At 0440 hrs and after 150nm, we arrived at Cape Flattery and the beginning of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. It was now 13C, but not as cold as it had been and once the sun came up it started to warm up slightly. We arrived at the start of the flood tide and sailed down the edge of the southern incoming shipping lane (the U.S. side) with as much as 2 knots of current beneath us. Unfortunately the flood tide only lasts for 4 hours, whereas the ebb has a much stronger current and lasts for longer!
We needed to cross the shipping lanes to get across to Canada and onto Victoria on Vancouver Island, where we would check in with Canadian Customs. We were half way across the shipping lanes, when Michael noticed a U.S. Coastguard boat speeding up to us with lights flashing. He hailed us to stop proceeding across, and unbeknown to us; a nuclear submarine was on it’s way up the Straits and of course, they didn’t want Nimue in it's vicinity. Of course we didn’t want to cause a major "International Incident’ so we were escorted past the submarine and a further escort shadowed us to the Canadian border! All very interesting!
By the time we had crossed, the ebb tide was now running and at one stage we had 3 knots against us, but now we were struck with the awesome scenery. Pine covered hills with snowcapped mountains in the background……..think we are going to like Canada!
After a further 50nm, we arrived at the Canadian Customs dock in Victoria and within an hour, 2 officers came down to clear us into Canada.
8 months, 4600nm after leaving Panama, we had finally arrived in Canada…...what an incredible journey. Just one more trip further up the Island before Nimue has a rest and some well deserved TLC.