Day 3: Waiting out the Tide
Everyone was awake at 0600. Only problem is we can’t get through any of the passage ways due to the strong out going tide. Therefore we sit in clam bay waiting for the tide to slow down. We figure we can get through Dodd Narrows at around 10 am. Even so we will be bucking the current.
Departure: Clam Bay GPS: 48 59.3286 N 123 39.5095 W
Destination: Denman Island 49 32.8332 N 124 50.2800 W
Hour meter: 1138 (at Clam Bay)
Todays Distance: 60 mile
Total mile: 195 miles
We left Clam Bay a little after 0800. We kind of lounged around this morning due to the current. Rod cooked us sausage and fried eggs for breakfast. It is another sunny day today. Already getting warm out. When the sun beats down, it is very hot. According to the weather radio we might get wind this afternoon. It is flat calm out right now.
Sure is different being up here before all the cruising boats get up here. Very few boats around. Although last night there were a few
boats anchored in Clam bay.
Used my phones hotspot today to send a couple of emails. The services is very slow, but at least I was able to post a couple of things. We motored north toward Dodd Narrows. It is still flat calm. Just after 1000 we arrived at the narrows. Current is still flowing out. Lots of eddies and whirlpools. As we approach the narrowest part our speed over ground goes to about 3 knots. It does not take long to get through the small narrows. As we motor toward the Nanaimo and the entrance to the Straits of Georgia the wind starts to fill in from the south.
We raise the main and then the jib and turn off the motor. It is nice not to hear the drone of the motor. Without the sounds of the motor you can more easily hear the surging of the waves and bubbles as we cut through the water. As we surge along at about 6 knots with wind alone it is nice. Always good to make progress without burning diesel. Eventually our speed drops off to 4 and 5 knots.
We roll in the headsail and hoist up the spinnaker. That brings our speed back to around 6 knots. With the big blue kite up we continue sailing north. We keep sailing north for 4 or more hours before the wind lightens up. Our speed eventually drops to 3 knows or so. We decide if we want to get to Denman today we need to start motoring. We start up the motor and motor sail toward Denman. Eventually we drop the spinnaker and lower the main.
We eventually arrive at the end of Denman Island a little before 1800. There is a small island named Chrome Island at the end of Denman. It not a big island. All the uplands of Chrome Island are take up with a lighthouse and numerous lighthouse keeper buildings. All the buildings are painted white with a red tin roof. Have to wonder if it still is a manned lighthouse.
We continue up on the west side of Denman, with Vancouver Island to the west. We eventually arrive at the small community dock right next to the ferry dock. This ferry is the worlds longest cable ferry. The ferry is pulled back and forth across the channel on a cable. When the ferry is crossing a red light comes on which means you can’t go across where the cables are. When the ferry gets to the other side the light turns green. This is the first boating stoplight I’ve ever seen. I would never have known you could not transit up the channel while the light at the ferry dock was red if I hadn’t been told by Ole.
At the head of the dock there is a sign that says there are about 1000 fulltime residents. Ole is one of those residents. He was born and raised on the island. He lives on a 30 or 40 acre farm that his dad and mom built in the 60’s.
Ole came down and checked out the boat. Then we jumped in his van and head up to his property. He calls it the farm. Really cool place he had. No neighbors in sight. Denman is a really laid back place. Lots of hippies and retirees live on the island. It’s cool to go to these out of the way places. It is almost like stepping back in time. Everyone knows everyone and no body locks up the houses.
After visiting with Ole for a few hours he dropped us back at the boat. Not only that but he gave use a bunch of prawns. Once back on the boat I reviewed the chart and the currents at Seymour Narrows. We determined it would take us 7 hours to this next narrows. Therefore we decided we would get up at 0400 so we could make it to the narrows prior to being shut out due to strong tidal surges.
Chrome Island Light House