Our Longest Sail Yet…Kind Of.
July 29, 2022
It wasn’t long before we were heading out again. This weekend we were planning for our longest sail - a 50-mile trip to North Pender Island for the Blue Water Cruising August meetup.
It was an early morning start at 6:00 am so we could make slack tide at Porlier Pass. We motored into the Strait, enjoying coffee and watching seals swim. We saw the occasional fishing boat wiz by. Still, it’s nice being out so early before the power boaters get out on the
river. Once we got out into the Strait, it was hot already, and there was a severe lack of wind. Great. Story of our lives lately. Thankfully this time, we had a full tank and a spare jerry can of diesel.
We had timed our trip based on sailing, so we ended up at Porlier Pass an hour or so before the tide would change. Porlier Pass is one of a handful of tidal passes out Strait into the Gulf Islands. Because they are small passes and a lot of water is flowing through with the tides, the current is strong. The current is too strong to transit through with anything other than slack or close to slack tide.
Since there was no wind, it was hot, and we were early, we decided to turn the engine off and wait. Since we were waiting, why not go swimming? There’s something weird about jumping into hundreds of feet of water when you can’t see what’s below you. The water was warm, and we swam around for a while before spotting other sailboats transiting the pass. We dried off and motored on through. After another successful crossing through Porlier Pass continued on toward our final destination.
Since our last fuel incident, we‘re still a bit nervous about running out of fuel. We stopped at Montague harbour to top up the tanks and get some ice creams for the rest of the trip. We motored on (still zero wind) towards Pender Island. By the time we got to Navy Channel, there was the slightest amount of current. We were both sick of listening to the engine, so we put up the sails and slowly made our way for the last 10 miles to Port Browning.
We spent the weekend with our cruising friends heading to Mexico in a couple of weeks and making some new friends planning a Mexico trip around the same time we were. We also snuck on a nice hike to a freshwater lake for a swim. Sprocket got to practice his paddle board skills in the early mornings before the wind in the anchorage picked up. He’s getting surprisingly good at riding the paddle board, even when something mysterious bumped the underside of the board a couple of times. We dinghy over to Slow Coast Coffee for dosas, coffees and some live music before heading back to the anchorage for the rest of the weekend.
Soon enough, we had to head back to the City. We were hoping for wind this time because a 50-mile motor wasn’t something either of us was looking forward to. We were in luck. Plenty of wind kept us moving fast enough to reach Porlier for slack. On the way, Mark realized he had no clean clothes for work, so he got busy washing a couple of shirts. Since we had plenty of wind, we hung them to dry en route. Unfortunately, the Strait didn’t have much for wind but had plenty of waves left behind, so we ended up with a bouncy motor back home.
Once back on the dock, we had to get back to work because we had a major project to tackle before our next trip out in a couple of weeks.
NM Sailed: 103