Anchoring Practise

Wai Whare set out for Winter Cove on Saturna Island on September 23rd. We encountered Strong, 20 knot winds from the north as we passed south of Coal Island. Wai Whare was reefed twice, both fore and aft. The wind died slowly to 5-10 knots but Wai Whare struggled to keep its course. Twice Wai Whare failed to pass a daymark that was too close to the wind. On the second pass Wai Whare ran into sea weed near the mark. This stopped us dead in our tracks, then blew our bow downwind, causing a very near miss with the large concrete marker. Later we had to start the engine to avoid colliding with a buoy.

All of this excitement took far too much time, so we could no longer expect to make Winter Cove before dark. So we decided to anchor in Bedwell Harbour. Wai Whare travelled in fits and starts as the wind gusted and died. In one gust Wai Whare was heeled over 20 degrees for five minutes.

We eventually arrived at Bedwell Harbour. Motoring arround looking for a spot to anchor we discovered that the water was far deeper than we had thought. Not being prepared to anchor in 50 feet of depth, we picked up a mooring can. This proved less than desirable as the can knocked against our sleeping cabin overnight, making sleep difficult.

On Saturday we returned home. We sailed out of Bedwell Harbour with 15 knots behind us. As we jibed towards home Wai Whare made the “wump” noise that I had previously only ever heard while watching the America’s Cup on TV. We turned so sharply and so well that it reminded me more of TV than my previous sailing.

Of course, that wind didn’t last long. However, as the wind died we encountered Orca whales. There were three whale watching boats stopped off of Moresby Island, so we slowly headed in that direction. The whales passed perhaps 500m away in a long arc from North to South along Pender Island. We saw many fins and a few jumps. After the whales passed we sailed uneventufully back to home.

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