Day 117: Another Nice Sail Down the Coast to the Northern End of Barkley Sound
Today was a repeat of yesterday with another great spinnaker run down the west coast of Vancouver island to Strong Cove in Barkley Sound
Departure: Tofino GPS 49 08.7591 N 125 53.0161 W
Destination: Spring Cove GPS 48 55.3185 N 125 32.3309 W
Hour meter: 1618 (Klemtu)
Todays Distance: 29 miles
Total mile: 3064
This morning I was woke up at 0545. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and worked on my Journal entry for yesterday. When I looked out the windows I could see it was going to be a nice day. Therefore I grabbed the computer and my cameras and moved up into the cockpit to write. But not before heating some water to make my morning cup of hot cocoa. Being up in the cockpit I could get pictures of the sun coming up. Let me tell you it was a beautiful day and you could hear the work boats getting a jump on their day, as work boats started their motors, eventually leaving the dock and moving to their work location. Some were big fishing boats, others leaving in the early morning hours where people in a small aluminum dinghy with a 15 horse outboard on the back.
Rod and Frank were up a little early as well. They both went up and took showers, and Frank also did some laundry. When I finished my writing and posting of yesterday’s journal entry on my website I headed up town to take some pictures. I ran into Frank on my way up the dock. He wanted to go out to breakfast, so he and I headed up town looking for a restaurant and Rod. Didn’t find any restaurants, didn’t find Rod, but we did find a coffee shop.
There are lots of tourist in Tofino, me included, and some of them don’t speak English. I say that because I was heading in to this little coffee shop and two women were sitting outside at a table enjoying their morning coffee and muffin. I asked them “How were the muffins?” They looked at me and just smile. Weird I thought, so I repeated myself again just in case they didn’t hear me the first time, and got even more smiles. I then moved on and went into the coffee shop. After ordering my coffee and a sausage wrap I went out and sat kind of close to these women that just smiled at me when I asked them a question. While I was enjoying my cup of coffee the two ladies were talking in a foreign language. I think possible French. Maybe they were just a couple of French Canadians on holiday.
When Frank and I finally got back on the boat, we found Rod. With everyone back on the boat, and Franks laundry done we decided to head out. It was already 1100 before we left the dock. We needed water so decided we should fill up our two empty water tanks over at fuel dock. We topped off our two empty tanks, so now we have plenty of water for me to take a shower when we get in tonight. Rod went up and bought us all ice cream from the gas dock to repay them for letting us fill up our tank. We now ready to head out into the ocean and sail down to Barkley Sound.
The wind was light out of the Northwest as we headed out. It is fairly shallow on the channel that lead to the Pacific Ocean. Right before we got out into the ocean we raised the main, and put up the spinnaker, and started sailing. We sailed out into the Pacific at 2 to 3 knots. It appears that today would mirror yesterday, with clear skies and wind in the late afternoon.
We sailed further and further offshore expecting the wind to fill in. It did a little before we know it we were going 4 knots. We sailed for a few hours in winds that had our boat speed through that water at between 3 and 4 knots. It seemed like we would never get down the coast. Our expected arrival time went up and down like a yoyo. At times it looked like we wouldn’t get in until after it was dark. We sailed on.
Eventually we jibbed back into the beach, which was probably 5 miles away, hoping for more wind in closer to shore. The closer we got to the beach the more and more wind we got. Before too long we were doing 5 knots, then 6.
As we sailed in closer to the coast line, we started seeing the floating buoys for the crab pots. They were spread out in strings. You could tell the different pots by the different color, shapes and configurations of the buoys attached. Some had an extra small buoy tied to a short leash that was attached to the bigger buoy. This I assume makes it easier to catch the pot as crab boat moves up his string of pots.
By now the wind was building. We were wonder what the “Force” was. I say “Force” because I’m reading this book were the author keeps talking about the wind strength in terms of the “Beaufort Wind Scale”. Here is that scale as found on this internet site:
Beaufort Wind Scale
Developed in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort, U.K. Royal Navy
Force, Wind Speed, Description:
0 Less than 1 Calm Sea surface smooth and mirror-like Calm, smoke rises vertically
1 1-3 Light Air Scaly ripples, no foam crests Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes
2 4-6 Light Breeze Small wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, vanes begin to move
3 7-10 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended
4 11-16 Moderate Breeze Small waves 1-4 ft. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps Dust, leaves, and loose paper lifted, small tree branches move
5 17-21 Fresh Breeze Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray Small trees in leaf begin to sway
6 22-27 Strong Breeze Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray Larger tree branches moving, whistling in wires
7 28-33 Near Gale Sea heaps up, waves 13-19 ft, white foam streaks off breakers Whole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind
8 34-40 Gale Moderately high (18-25 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks Twigs breaking off trees, generally impedes progress
9 41-47 Strong Gale High waves (23-32 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility Slight structural damage occurs, slate blows off roofs
10 48-55 Storm Very high waves (29-41 ft) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility Seldom experienced on land, trees broken or uprooted, “considerable structural damage”
11 56-63 Violent Storm Exceptionally high (37-52 ft) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced
12 64+ Hurricane Air filled with foam, waves over 45 ft, sea completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reduced
By the time we jibbed out I would guess we had force 3 winds. Frank was driving the boat down the coast at this time. He was having fun avoiding all the crab pots as we move closer to our destination. All the pots seem to be in straight lines down the coast, and we were almost following those posts right down the coast. Frank has to weaving in and out of the pots just like a slalom race going down a race course at a ski area.
As we weaved through the pot floats, and worked out way down the coast the wind came up even more. By the time we are ready to jib toward our destination we were scooting along at 7 and 8 knots. The wind out here on the Vancouver Island coast line just like clockwork. By now it is 1630, and we are about 2 miles out away from the entrance into Ucluelet Inlet. By now the wind was at force 4, and might be building even more.
We decided it was time to take down the spinnaker and jib in. Once jibbed we rolled out the jib rolled in on a beam reach. With less sail up we are rolling along at about 6.5 knots as we got close and closer to Amphitrite Point. As we passed the point we started the motor and took down our sails. That ended another great sail down the coast from point to point. We have now had three great sailing days down the west coast of Vancouver Island and no fog.
I really like this Ocean sailing. At times today we were going 5 or 6 knots with the swell behind us. The swell would pick up the back of the boat and gently nudge us forward. I could fill the boat come up in the stern and then accelerate down the wave. I could hear our bow wave surge off the front of the bow as the boat tries to a dig hole in the sea, sending out a bigger and bigger bow wave as the boat runs down the front side of the approaching wave, as it passed underneath the boat. The stern lowers and the bow rise over as each wave passes underneath us. We do that over and over again. Keep in mind that each wave is not the same in size or power. Every so often a larger swell then all the rest will pass under you, it is these waves that you really get a good surge forward with. I ride these big waves, just like a surfer would on some pointbreak. I try to position the boat just right in the right spot to get maximum push out of these big waves as they pass by. When I run down these waves I have to think maybe King Neptune is helping us along today by pushing our boat along with each passing wave.
As you, rolling down these waves over and over you start to get into a rhythm. First you steer down the wave, trying to gain boat speed. Then as the boat starts to slow down and the wave rolls by, the boat wants to round up (steer into the wind) I need to keep a tight grip on the helm (Steering wheel) to steer the boat down so as not to broach. If i miss time my bottom turn, so to speak, the boat rounds up and heel over to 20 percent, as a wave passes by. When my timing is off i have to steer hard down in order to get the boat back and tracking comfortably again. I am sure glad for the big wheel when these heel situations occur. The bigger wheel lessons the effort to turn the boat downwind.
After we make it to the green can that marks the way into Ucluelet Inlet I start the motor, we roll in the jib, and take down the main. Frank and Rod handle putting the sails away, while I make sure we stay in the channel. Just inside the point there is a little bay called Spring Cove. We go in there and anchor. By stopping hear we saved a couple of miles that we would have to run up the inlet to get to the town of Ucluelet. Since we got our supplies in Tofino, I decided not to stop at this town.
Spring Cove is small, and there are some local boats in here, therefore only a few cruisers can get in and find room to anchor. There was once big schooner in hear, plus two other sailboats that looked like cruisers. The big schooner named Grizzly Bear was hanging on a bow buoy and a stern buoy, I’m just guessing he is a local liveaboard. The owner of this boat encouraged us to move out of the cove, as I scanned around the inner part of the bay, when I was trying to figure out where to anchor. The inner bay is very shallow so he was probably trying to keep me from running a ground. I eventually asked another cruiser where his anchor was so I could make sure mine went down were our anchors wouldn’t foul if we should swing. I spaced an even distance from each of the three sailboats when we anchored. I think I filled the cove is filled up tonight. No more boats can get in here. There is no more room at the Spring ove Inn.
We had a nice dinner of spaghetti, courtesy of cook Rod. After dinner we all sat in the cockpit and watched the sun go down, ending another great day cruising British Columbia. Note it was another Red Sky at night evening.
Sunset In Spring