Back to Nanaimo

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 30 Aug 2015 04:09

Back to Nanaimo

Position: At anchor Nanaimo Harbour
Wind: South-east, F4-5 fresh to strong breeze
Weather: cloudy with showers
Day's run: 27 nm

Yesterday I uploaded my final essay for my philosophy unit and late in the afternoon weighed anchor to make a short hop to James Bay in company with a newly made sailing friend, Jaqui on Jade Passage. We spent a pleasant evening rafted alongside and then in the morning Jaqui returned to Ganges while I retraced my steps back to Nanaimo. Conditions were initially relatively light and we were soon running wing on wing before the south-easterly breeze. Jade Passage followed me for a while which I thought was a very nice gesture, but then I heard Jaqui yell out to me, “Slow down, Robinson Crusoe is on board.” It would seem that in getting under way RC had snuck on board Jade Passage without me realising that he was missing. I suspect the treat of tuna he was given by Jaqui might have tempted him to jump ship. I had to drop sail and we motored back to the lee of James Bay where the water was smooth and Jaqui brought Jade Passage alongside Sylph and managed an under way transfer. RC was singularly unimpressed with the whole proceeding but seems to have resigned himself to the hard life of a ship's cat on board Sylph and has resumed his normal duties of mostly sleeping.

Once RC was back on board I set sail again and when we cleared the lee of Prevost Island the wind freshened dramatically, requiring sail to be reduced to two reefs. We bowled along before the gusty conditions, with the odd rain shower passing over, at a clip of about seven knots. It was originally my intention to anchor south of Dodds Narrows this afternoon and then to continue to Nanaimo in the morning so as to time our passage through Dodds Narrows at slack water, but the fresh winds had Sylph making excellent time and when I looked the tide tables up it turned out that we were going to quite easily make Dodds Narrows in time for the slack water at 16.20. We pressed on, and actually made the Narrows an hour early. I reduced speed by furling the jib and zig-zagging across the passage leading to the Narrows but when flash sailing boat came motoring through in the opposite direction I decided to make our dash. The tidal stream was still running at about four knots, but the seas were flat and turbulence minimal, so we passed through the Narrows with no fuss and on the other side I set a bit of jib and we continued on our way to Nanaimo, where we anchored at 1650.

Tomorrow I will be joined once more by my long time Canadian pen friend, Sylvia. She will be sailing with Sylph down to Victoria, before we part company again. After we drop Sylvia off, Sylph, RC, and I will be continuing down the US west coast and on to Mexico. (The coin landed heads.)

All is well.