Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Journey Begins

July 13 to 16, 2010

We cast off the lines smartly at 9am and, in a small puff of wind, Ka’sala was off the dock and gliding down the fairway heading to Mexico. There was no fanfare, no one to see us off, our goodbyes having been seen to over the previous weeks. But the sun was shining, the sky was blue and we had a sense of purpose knowing we had accomplished everything on our lists – some lists years old, others more recent. The last page of a chapter had been written, edited and published. We were on new, unexplored territory now and looking forward to it. Besides, we had to. Our favourite marina pub, The Pier, had burned to the ground the night before! It was a sign that our journey must begin.

We motored out through the channel in the Comox bar and hoisted sail as we entered the Straits of Georgia. We enjoyed a gentle and relaxing first day out sail, winds at 10 knots diminishing to five, as we coasted down the outside of Hornby Island anchoring seven hours later at Tribune Bay. Although a beautiful spot – white sandy beach, Helliwell Provincial Park and great internet access, we knew we could only stay one night. Too close to home!

Thanks, Tom, for the champagne!

The wind picked up from the Northwest in the night and next morning at 9:30 am we headed back out into the Straits in 15 to 20 knots on a close reach to Lasquiti Island. Swells ran to four feet, but despite the rolling one would expect from taking the swell in the beam, made good progress at 6 knots in relative comfort with full main and partially furled headsail. We arrived at the back side of Lasquiti in the Jedediah group of islands around 1pm. From there, we explored the coves, inlets and islets to find a suitable anchoring place out of the wind, settling in Codfish Cove – a tiny little beach off the south side of Jedediah. We were not completely happy with this anchorage as it is narrow and exposed to the southeast, as well as a gravelly bottom. Also, we had some starter problems yesterday, so worried about getting the engine going in a hurry if we started dragging anchor. The North West winds were due to rise to 20 – 25 knots in the night and, although somewhat protected from those winds, enough spilled over the top of the cove to make Ka’sala swing at her anchor. We needed to make sure the tides would not swing her around the anchor, and dislodge it, before we could feel confident to leave her to walk the abandoned farms of Jedediah.

Doug inflated and launched the kayak lent to us by Steve and Barb and I tried my hand paddling it around the little bay. The tide was very low and at the top of the cove, revealed a HUGE oyster bed. As I puttered around I picked six of the smaller ones to bring back to Ka’sala. They are cooling in the icebox as I write this. I’m trying to decide: eat them raw, or bbq them? If they don’t kill me, I’ll go back for more today at the low tide.

After a careful watch last night, we decided to stay here another day. This morning the water pump stopped and Doug fixed it – the pressure switch had corroded and after Doug cleaned the connectors, it was up and running again. Now he is checking out why the starter acted up yesterday, suspecting it is the new one he put on earlier in the spring. He’s replacing it with the rebuild Yanmar original, but suspects it might not be the starter at all, but something else. Of course the starter is in an extreme place in a confined space…could it be the ignition switch? 0h, oh, engine forensics in our future. It’s a good thing we are hanging around the coast here for the first little while to shake some bugs out. AND, it’s a good thing that Doug has long arms and fingers and knows how to do all this stuff!!

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