Vancouver Part I

Porlier Pass

Wai Whare traveled to Vancouver last week. We left Sunday, June 12 and sailed to Montague Harbor, where we moored to a mooring can at the Montague Habour Marine Provincial Park. The winds and waves were unpleasant that night so we didn’t leave the Wai Whare. Instead we cooked our first on-board dinner (Annies Bunnies).

The next day took us into exciting uncharted, or at least new to us, waters. We travelled North in Trincomali Channel hoping to make the 2:30 slack water at the Porlier tidal pass. Strong tail winds brought us near Porlier ahead of schedule, so we decided to dock at the North Galiano Public Wharf. What ensued proved to be the most exciting part of our journey.

There were 10 knots of wind blowing out of the southwest across Trincomali channel and 3 foot seas. The N. Galiano Public Dock, hereafter referred to as “our nemesis”, is exposed to the south west (there is no breakwater or cove that protects the dock from that direction). So when we attempted to dock we found Wai Whare being pushed up against the dock. This being somewhat unusual, Steven attempted to come ashore to assist with the dock lines, only to trip on the life lines when Wai Whare was raised 3 feet by an incoming wave. Recovering from that dangerous fall was only the beginning. As soon as Wai Whare was tied up it was obvious that:

  • Wai Whare was being dashed against the dock and could be damaged,
  • the outboard engine was fully out of the water about 1/3 of the time as the waves lifted Wai Whare. Therefore our ability to control our motion was dubious and
  • there was a rock very near the dock on which we could easily run aground.

So we decided that we couldn’t just wait out the weather and would have to set out, in reverse, and take our chances. Thankfully, Wai Whare’s 9.9hp outboard proved to have far more power than we needed. Unfortunately, we proceeded to immediately use that power to deeply jam one of the dock lines into the dock. A comic minute of both Darusha and Steven ignoring the waves bashing Wai Whare as we hauled on the line while we also used the line to support our weight finally resulted in freeing the line. That taken care of, we neatly backed away with the engine coming in and out of the water.

Steven helms through Porlier Pass

By this point we’d nearly missed the slack water at the pass, so we motored through. This brought us into the Straight of Georgia for the first time. However, the Straight was calmer and easier than Trincomali had been as Valdez Island shielded us from the SW winds. A short couple of hours brought us to Silva Bay on Gabriola island, where we tied up at the Silva Bay Marina only to discover that the hot tub was closed and the bar was open.

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