North Cove

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 31 Aug 2015 05:02

Position: 49 00.914 N 123 41.637 W
At anchor North Cove, Thetis Island
Wind: South-east, F4-5 fresh to strong breeze
Weather: cloudy with occasional showers
Day's run: 14 nm (21 nm sailed)

Sylvia joined me yesterday evening as planned, and this morning we departed Nanaimo at 9.45 to get through Dodds Narrows (yet again) for slack water at midday. We had a nice fresh breeze from the south-east, a headwind (yet again), but with a reef in the mainsail and the headsail partly furled, Sylph climbed her way to windward at a steady four knots. Apart from having to motor the short distance through the Narrows, we sailed all the way to our destination, which was North Cove, appropriately, if a little unimaginatively, named, at the north end of Thetis Island.

Once we passed through the Narrows, with the increased fetch, the sea picked up into a short chop. About fifteen minutes later Sylvia looked at me and asked, “Do I look green?”. I said no, but in hind sight I should not have been surprised, but rather should have anticipated her next request for a bucket. Unfortunately she ended up in the all too familiar posture of the novice seafarer, curled up and buried under the covers in a bunk down below, grimly hugging the bucket I had given her, waiting to die.

While the sound of Sylvia's moans and heaves from below wrenched at my heart, it was nonetheless a very pleasant sail. Up on deck the waves chortled past and Sylph's bow flung spray across her deck as she greeted each one of them. The cool breeze hugged me and tickled my face with the odd speckle of spray. The dinghy astern leaped and jumped at the end of her painter, like a puppy on a leash wanting to play. The grey sky pressed down, but the light silvery sea held it all up.  In the distance a lone schooner's small white sails shone.

Three hours later we were approaching North Cove.  North Cove has a nice wide entrance with only a few well marked rocks on its sides, and there was plenty of room among the few boats that were anchored in it shelter, so, with a couple of short tacks we weaved around two of the boats, got in close to the lee of the land, rolled up the headsail, luffed up and dropped the mainsail, and, as the way came off, let go the anchor in a depth of ten meters. Once Sylph had her cable I took a few moments to look around the Cove, well contented with the day's sail, before going below to attend to my crew's waning morale.

Sylvia, I am pleased to report, has survived the day and has since resurfaced, though is feeling a little delicate. Hopefully by tomorrow she will have fully recovered and be ready for a bit more sailing, as we need to make ground to the south and the forecast for the next couple of days is for more fresh head winds.

I started a creative writing course today, and in the first lecture we students were told that, in addition to the formal exercises and assignments, we should write as much as we can. Hence some of the nonsense above, and to forewarn you, dear reader (if readers there be), that you could be in for a bit of a barrage over the next few weeks. I apologise in advance for any disastrous experiments, and request your patience in the hope that I might actually learn something, and maybe even eventually add to the enjoyment of those who occasionally drop by to read some of my ramblings about some of my wanderings. No doubt good writing is like good varnishing, where many thin coats is better than a few thick coats, i.e. less is more.

All is well (though Sylvia might not be in full agreement).