Canada Day Sails and Bad Choices
June 30, 2022
With a couple of boat projects done, we decided to leave again for the long weekend. Our boat neighbour was planning on heading to Gambier for Canada Day, and we hadn't been there in a while, so we thought it would make for a fun weekend to join them.
We decided to head out a bit earlier than everyone else, and we left on the 30th with clear skies and just the right amount of wind. We took the most direct route between Bowen Island and Vancouver instead of the meandering way past Keats Island. We had a great sail with the wind on the beam and only motored the last couple of miles.
We had planned on going to Halkett Bay on the Eastern side of Gambier but found new mooring balls blocking access to most of the available space. So we turned back and headed to Gambier, where we knew we'd have room for ourselves and our friends. By 9 pm, we were settled into the bay in time to watch the sunset.
NM Sailed: 24
We spent the weekend lounging around the anchorage with our boat neighbours and hiked to the lake up Gambier. Fun fact on that hike, it's not the leisurely stroll we all anticipated, and it ended up taking most of the afternoon to go up to the lake and then make it back down. I took the opportunity of the flat water to break out the paddle boards and take the dogs for a spin. Sprocket has gotten used to the paddle board and will willingly jump down...Taj not so much.
On Canada day, we accomplished a vital task - jumping off the boat. Mark had a running theory that we didn't truly own until we jumped off the boat into the water. It was finally warm enough (ish) to warrant jumping into the cold water. Task complete, and now we officially own the boat.
July 3, 2022
We checked the weather forecast, and it looked like we'd have some nice wind. So we left early with plans to sail pasta Gibsons to extend our trip home a bit longer.
When we were nearing Gibsons, we saw the dark grey horizon and felt the wind increase. By the time we were entering the Straight of Georgia, the winds were 16 knots with gusts, and the waves were well over a meter (note: Mark recalls a solid white squall situation with 50 knot winds and 5 meter seas). We were motoring to get around the edge of Keats island but barely making any progress against the waves. Finally, once clear of the island, we put out the Genoa and turned off the engine. We heeled over and rocketed towards...nothing. The wind was coming directly out of the Fraser River, exactly where we wanted to go. So we tacked back and forth for a couple of hours just for fun before giving up and motoring up the river toward home. Mark expertly docked the boat with the wind gust in the mid-teens in the marina.
Mark and I laughed that we spent 9 hours sailing for a trip that should have taken 4 and broke our radar reflector off in the process. We could have taken the easier route, but ours ended up being pretty fun by the end....the dogs would 100% disagree. Back on the dock, we all breathed a sigh of relief at making it back relatively unscathed.
NM Sailed: 35