Saturday, 13 September 2008

it was bound to happen

Waves a'splashing on the dodger

And find our quiet anchorage, we did. But only after one hell of a day! We left Nanaimo on September 12. The forecast was promising some strong winds, around 20 knots. We have sailed in stronger winds, but that was a long time ago. Rick had set up the reefing system, but with some compromises, as he’d been unable as of yet, to find the parts he needed at our Victoria chandlery. So, we rounded Protection Island, the seas were choppy… maybe 3-4 foot chop. We set the main with two reefs and are about to set the genoa, when all hell breaks loose, well, not all hell, just the reefing system! Damn. I was not a happy camper… err, sailor! So we begin motoring while Rick’s mind is working out what to do. It’s a bouncy ride, I start feeling a little seasick, that kind of thing shouldn’t bother me in a few more days, but yesterday, it did.


The engine speed starts to waver. Then it cuts right out. All the bouncing around has stirred up dirt and crud in the fuel tank and it’s beginning to clog the filters. (That's what we thought at the time.)

Kyra lept into action, and we set a reefed foresail. We started beating our way north. The boat’s motion eased, and we were making good progress, not entirely towards our goal. We proceeded to sail on that tack for a couple of hours. The wind started to falter. Since we were out in the middle of Georgia Strait, we figured it was time to tack and point closer to Hornby Island, (our intended destination). That tack didn’t go so well. We couldn’t point anywhere near where we wanted to go. We had a difficult time trying to steer against the current. And the wind mostly died. It was sort of like trying to sail through a washing machine. After 15 frustrating minutes, we went back on the other tack and continued our way north.

At this point, we began to look into alternative destinations. Lasqueti Island was nearby. We decided to give the engine another try, as the seas had calmed. I turned on the priming pump to assist with fuel flow. The engine ran and behaved itself, for the most part. Sometimes, the engine speed would drop and we would give it more fuel until it stabilized and would then take it back to cruising speed.


Rick suggested Graveyard Bay as our destination, as we wouldn’t make Hornby Island by nightfall. I have to admit I laughed, it was a little too poetic! So, here we are, motoring around the point, I’m a little jittery about the engine faltering, but I am feeling better, which makes everything look better. Graveyard Bay is a one boat bay… lovely and protected from Northwest winds, (the prevailing winds on this trip! It feels a little snug to Rick and, neither of us are used to anchoring in such a small space. It made it hard for me to relax, but eventually, fatigue won over. And this turned out to be a great little anchorage. September 12th kicked our asses, today, we’re doing engine maintenance and will be going to Hornby Island this afternoon…The winds are pretty light and once again, the sun is shining…

Moonlight over Georgia Strait
Engine's getting some TLC

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