Deep Cove

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 18 Jul 2015 00:51

Position: 49 19.91 N 122 56.20 W
Alongside Deep Cove Marina (next to SV Suuhaa)
Wind: mostly W to SW, F5 to F0 strong wind to calm
Day's Run: 18 nm

This morning I woke up to see that Harald had returned to the Creek, so immediately after breakfast I rowed over to say hello. When I got there he was sleeping in Fram's pilot house, but my arrival woke him up. Apparently he had arrived at three this morning, and then had to move anchor at six, so he was a bit tired. We discussed plans and I brought him up to date on our visa situation. Today's plan was to sail over to the other side of the city, through Vancouver Harbour, into Deep Cove in Indian Arm and there meet up with the crew of the Suuhaa, Brad and Tamara. So after my chat with Harald I jumped back in the dinghy, rowed back to Sylph and got her ready for sea.

It was only twelve miles to Deep Cove, but there was a strong wind warning out for the Strait of Georgia, so I made sure that everything was tied down well. Just oon midday we motored out of False Creek, out into English Bay, where, sure enough, the wind was blowing fresh from the west. I hoisted the mainsail with two reefs, set some jib and bore away to the north-west to make our way around Ferguson Point which we cleared comfortably, then eased sheets and altered course to the north east for the entrance to Vancouver Harbour, known as the First Narrows. There is a strong tidal stream in the narrows so I had timed our departure so as to arrive at the First Narrows at slack water, at around 14.00. We passed under the Prospect Point bridge at about 13.15 with a slight ebb stream against us but which we were easily able to make way through. Inside the Harbour the winds were rather flukey due to the various headlands and buildings, so it involved a fair bit of sail trimming and the occasional use of the motor to get us through the dead patches, but eventually we got clear of the various obstructions and found some clear air.

Now the reason the entrance to Vancouver Harbour is called the First Narrows is pretty obvious, because there is of course a Second Narrows, but as far as I am aware there is no Third Narrows. Across the Second Narrows is two bridges, one a road bridge which is nice and high with plenty of room underneath it, but the second bridge is a railway bridge and when closed eleven meters clearance, which is not enough for Sylph's mast. As we approached the bridge I dropped sail and hailed the bridge on VHF channel 12, as Brad had advised me to do, requested a half lift from the bridge operator and continued on our way under the bridge, which was duly raised for us.

From the Second Narrow to Deep Cove was another five miles so I reset the sails and with the now flooding tide behind us we were making good six plus knots, so it didn't take long to get to where we were going. I soon located Suuhaa at here marina, but clearly no one was at home. I have now come alongside the dock next to Suuhaa, where we await the arrival of her crew.

All is well.