Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nanaimo to Hardy Island, entrance to Jervis Inlet

Monday afternoon at 4:10 a seaplane landed in Nanaimo and off-loaded Jim and Jan, Canadian friends we met our first winter RV-ing on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. We traveled together much of that early 2009 winter and have seen each other regularly in Canada, Olalla where we live, or on road trips since then. They own a small boat, live on a big lake, and have chartered large sail and motor vessels for a week or two at a time on a number of occasions. We last saw them a year ago, and they’re joining us aboard “Next To Me’ for 5 days.


We stayed in the Nanaimo marina that night and took off early Tuesday morning to cross the Strait of Georgia before the anticipated higher afternoon winds. Conditions started off calm, and Jan enjoyed a “Titanic” (Kate Winslett) moment on the bowsprit, feeling exuberant in the beautiful scenery and weather.


Seals, eagles, mountains and tall bluffs or cliffs dominated the scenery all day.


The wind rose early, and eventually we were in 4-foot swells topped by 1-2 foot waves, not dangerous or scary, but not terribly comfortable for moving around the boat either. We eventually moved off the flybridge to the lower helm to reduce the rocking and rolling.


Lots of busy boat traffic on the water and on the VHF radio.


Early afternoon, after leaving the main Strait of Georgia and continuing up the Malaspina Inlet, we pulled into a beautiful anchorage near the mouth of Jervis Inlet (the route leading up to Princess Louisa Inlet) and dropped the anchor just off Hardy Island. By nightfall a dozen boats, all sailboats except two, were anchored in the vicinity.




Bob and Jim dropped both kayaks in the water, and we took turns exploring the area.


Most of the boats, including ours, stern tied to the shore to keep from swinging into one another. Deep water (we were only in 27 feet, but others were anchored up to 72 feet deep) requires long anchor rode and lots of swing room if not tied to shore. We have 600 feet of purple polyester line on a spool for this purpose.


We’ve always used a snubber on the anchor chain, but before beginning this trip were convinced by another boat captain we needed a bridle instead, to reduce the scope needed and increase the stability of the boat in wind or waves while anchoring.


We actually tied our stern line to a snag attached to shore.


A tiny island in the anchorage contained a basic, off-grid vacation home which is currently for sale. It has a large propane tank, satellite TV dish, and a solar panel. We didn’t spot an out-house and don’t know what sort of bathroom arrangements exist. It looked charming but way too remote and inaccessible for our tastes.


Grilled ahi tuna, steamed kale and wild rice made for a good dinner before a glass of wine and early to bed.

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