Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

Depart: Sooke, 8:30
Breakfast: Eggs aboard
Weather: cloudy

Visibility! We could see across Juan de Fuca when we got out of bed and excitedly decided that we could handle 20-30 kt winds as we could finally see where we were going. We motored around Sooke harbour looking for a fuel dock. Finding unmarked shoal after unmarked shoal, we decided that we didn’t need fuel badly enough to risk running aground and left.

We encountered 2′ chop and 15 kt SW at the harbour mouth. We bashed our way upwind under power for a few minutes, then brought out the foresail to run east alond Vancouver Island. We were rewarded by seeing orcas and dodging whale watching Zodiacs.

We headed for Race Passage, only to realize by consulting our guides that it would be flooding up to 7 kt against us. On a run with surf we were making about 5 kt, so we headed up to round Race Rocks to the south. This brought 1-2 m waves abeam and made for an uncomfortable ride. Once we rounded Race Rocks the waves were again astern, but the current action slowed us and was the source of some concern.

We sailed broad reach, still with just the genoa, compass course 030° toward downtown Victoria. As Victoria grew nearer, the waves grew larger and we furled some foresail and turned to run. The wind and wave at Trial Island was quite worrisome and we repeatedly took spray over the port side, though were never awash. Once in the lee of Trial Island the waves subsided, but the wind remained fierce – we made 6 kt into Oak Bay. The waves built to 2′ in Oak Bay and we ran past 10 Mile Point, furling to half our foresail.

We turned north toward D’Arcy Island, beam reach with little sail in large gust. We sailed up Sidney Channel, where exhausted and unable to head to wind, we furled and motored past the buoys. We motored back to our dock in Tsehum Harbour, tired after what ended up being our longest day on the water.

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