Today, roll call was at 0730 and we all left the dock at eight as planned, then we motored as a group out of the harbour and around the west end of Malcolm Island. Destination: Claydon Bay.
After yesterday's gale, today's conditions were remarkably calm. We occasionally encountered winds of five to ten knots crossing Queen Charlotte Strait and Intrepid sailed all afternoon but most boats headed straight to Claydon Bay and anchored in a well-protected corner. A few of our group went to Sullivan Bay to enjoy the floating town and marina an extra day. The flotilla is loosely organised, with boats proceeding according to their own wishes, but keeping in touch by radio and planning in face to face meetings whenever we are in ports.
In spite of few small mechanical issues here and there, all boats are able to keep up. With this many people an boats travelling together, each is secure in the knowledge that we are being led by experienced explorers and supported by the considerable combined wisdom and experience of the other skippers and crews.
Tomorrow's destination is Sullivan Bay on North Broughton Island, a mere 4.2 nautical miles from our present anchorage. We are now halfway through our time and as far north and east as we will go. These days, we are enjoying the Broughtons region, but from here, each stop will be a little closer to our home base at Powell River.
A skippers meeting was held to discuss and confirm the destination, and the departure time and route for tomorrow. Claydon Bay, some 30 nautical miles away from our present location, is the confirmed destination and departure is at 0800, with a radio roll call at 0730 on channel 68.
Claydon Bay is a wilderness anchorage, which appeals to some and not others, and nearby Sullivan Bay is our planned stop for the next night, so some boats may go directly to Sullivan Bay in order to have two days to enjoy the facilities at the marina location.
After that, Waddington and Echo Bay.
Although the winds were blowing 25 knots when we went to bed, the night was quiet and in the morning the wind had dropped to almost nothing.
We motored out past Port Neville, then Milly Island and turned west on Johnstone Strait towards Port McNeill. We had intended to sail, but the Strait was dead calm and we motored directly to Port McNeill.
~ DAY three ~ notes from the crew on INTREPID IV ~
Contrary to our expectations, last night was dead calm. We slept well, awakening early with the sun at 0430. Corus called on the radio at 0600 and all the boats checked in. We left the anchorage at 0630 and motored up through the Lower Rapids. Currents ran up to five knots against us and we were stalled down to a knot or so some places, but got through in short order.
From there, the group motored into fifteen knots of wind on the nose until we arrived at Port Neville. A few tied up there, but the rest of us went on to Baresides Bay and anchored. Port Neville is not much, just a dock and a small historic store. The whale watcher tours from Campbell River show up here sometimes.
Some in the group dinghied back to see the historic site. Others enjoyed the day on deck and on the beach. There was even a report of a cougar sighting.
Predictions are for strong winds again tonight. This time, maybe they will be right. As sundown approaches, we find we're anchored out in the wind and waves on the exposed side of the channel. We let out two hundred and forty feet of chain for 7:1 scope and set an anchor alarm. I see others letting out more chain, too. I expect to sleep well after a day in the fresh air and rocked by the swells coming down the channel.
Tomorrow, Port McNeill.
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DAY two ~ notes from the crew on INTREPID IV ~
After a quiet night at anchor we cast off, one by one, around 1100 hours bound for Surge Narrows. Our plan was to meet at the entrance to Beazley Passage and proceed through at slack, predicted to be after 1300, as a group.
Intrepid found good wind, and we sailed some of the way, but motored a fair bit to meet the schedule and because we encountered unpredictable gusts from all directions as we got into the narrower sections.
Most of us arrived early, so we drifted and had lunch while the stragglers caught up, then proceeded through as a group, one after another. One sailboat went through an hour early and reported on the radio that they encountered four knots maximum current, but most of us stuck together and waited for slack.
We all entered the sheltered bays of the Octopus Islands Marine Park, anchored near shore and stern-tied, well protected from the gale-force winds predicted for Johnstone Strait late tonight or tomorrow. The depths along shore in spots were such that some were able to back right to shore and step off. The afternoon was spent exploring this enchanting spot and visiting other boats.
At present, our plans for tomorrow are uncertain due to predicted gale-force winds ahead. We have a net on channel 68 tomorrow at 0600 to decide, once the day's forecast is available and in time to make the Upper Rapids at slack if all is clear.
Day one - notes from the crew on INTREPID IV
On Intrepid IV, the crew was up around 0645 this morning. The sky was grey, but the wind was building.
After breakfast and fueling on the way out of the harbour, we passed close enough to Corus, the lead boat which was moored near the fuel dock, to snatch two Dreamspeaker Guides -- "The Broughtons" and "Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands"-- from Laurence's outstretched hand as we passed.
By 1000 hours the Cooper Flotilla boats, both power and sail were pulling out of the harbor one by one. As soon as we were clear of land, Intrepid raised sail and we tacked north and west. Our course took us between Harwood Island and the mainland, then south of Savary Island.
There had been talk of passing north of the Island and even of stopping for lunch, but with wind on the nose and clear water to west it was decided best to skip the diversions in order to make our destination around 1800. At the rate, we had better press on.
By noon the skies turned blue and the wind held steady at ten to twenty knots until mid-afternoon. After some shifting winds, they built enough from the northwest that we were forced to reef the genoa. As I write this, we are on the final tack to make Rebecca Spit where we will join the others and anchor, then go ashore for a barbecue.
The anchorage is well sheltered with good holding and we got a good set first try. Around 2000 hours, after lowering the dinghy and figuring out the outboard's quirks, we motored ashore to meet the others who already had a roaring fire going in the pit. When it died down, the food was placed on the grill and we visited until dusk.
About half the entire group of thirty showed up for the informal shore supper, the others having elected to eat aboard and go to bed early after a full first day on the water.
The Park closes at 2200, and we were back on our boats by 2230. By then the breeze had died to nothing and we spent a quiet night at anchor.
a report from ALLEN as he met up with the flotilla yesterday:
"I arrived by ferry at Powell River around noon and found Intrepid IV without any problems. I met Syd and we sent the afternoon going over the boat, making sure we are ready for the flotilla. Syd had provisioned previously, following the list of suggested items. I don't think we'll starve.
We also met the other crews out on the docks and they seem like quite a varied and convivial lot. Everyone is in a good mood and the occasional drizzle that we experienced on and off all afternoon did not dampen spirits in the least. At 1800, we all met on Corus for appies and happy hour. The plan for tomorrow is simple: All boats leave when they like, go where they like and we all meet at Rebecca Spit at around 1700 hours or whenever we get there and have a barbecue on shore.
The meeting lasted several hours, but most had left by 1900 to rest up for tomorrow. I only thought to take pictures at the last moment.
Tomorrow, Rebecca Split.
Winds are predicted to be from the northwest -- one the nose all the way"
ALLEN is an owner in the fleet out of SIDNEY, currently cruising with a client named SYDNEY who has taken a recent step up from 'student' to 'boat owner'
I post this as we cruise past COMOX on our way to CAMPBELL RIVER having left SIDNEY yesterday afternoon
ELECTRA will join the flotllla later today - connecting with the DREAMSPEAKER CRUISING TEAM who literally 'wrote the book' on this region ~
staff pick ~ JENY picks CALINDA (WESTCOAST 62')
(Posted on May 29, 2014 at 08:34PM by Colin Jackson)
JENY'S CHOICE: CALINDA the new new new WEST COAST 62’
As a rookie boater, I’m not so familiar with what makes a boat technically desirable, so my reason for making CALINDA my pick is based solely on her physical beauty & style- and oh boy does this lady have both!
Having recently done some condo shopping myself, my house buying eye was immediately drawn to a number of features. Like the extraordinary
On the interior, it’s all about the details. This boat has beautiful wood floors, plush carpet, & granite countertops in the
& then there’s the
But probably the real reason I’m picking CALINDA as my staff pick is because I’ve had a great experience aboard her: She had her naming ceremony recently, &I was invited to be a part of that great time. I met the fantastic &proud new owners along with their dog, who the boat is named after (they name 2 things in this family in a decade & both get the same name!).
We witnessed the master of ceremonies Colin Jackson wield mightily a bottle of champagne as he spoke to the North, South, East, West and Gods of the sea to celebrate the naming of this incredible vessel. It was very exciting to experience this fun family enjoying their new aquatic addition!
This was my favourite picture from the event (NOTE DOG HIDING BEHIND THE REST OF THE FAMILY!):
welcome to Coopers CALINDA!
~ the boat is coming together ~ the crew is coming together ~ MAUI here we come ~
~ the crew racing in the VIC MAUI RACE has sailed together in the daylight & in the dark, in light winds & heavy & undertaken extensive training & practice ~
~ the boat has been through an exhaustive list of preparations & an inspection to comply with pages & pages of safety requirements ranging from storm sails to stability tests to building a completely redundant steering system for the boat ~
~ most of the crew has attended the SAFETY at SEA seminar, which included jumping in the the water to test lifejackets before climbing into a recently deployed liferaft ~
~ through all of this, the key dynamic has been a team that can both work hard together & have fun together ~ complimentary skills ranging from SAILING through MEDICAL through MAINTENANCE down to 'modern day shipboard' challenges that include updating SOFTWARE on the boat's systems ~
~ as we head into the final month of preparations for this great adventure, we'll highlight some of the crew aboard & how they bring unique elements to the team & come together to be TEAM ALEGRIA ~
~ if YOU are considering your own epic adventure at sea, remember these famous words:
"you can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore"
- Christopher Columbus
~ REMEMBER, when you are ready, we are here to help ~ YOLO (You Only Live Once)
This could be YOU!
This photo from instructor Marla- she's out on the water right now teaching a Basic Cruise & Learn 5 day on-the-water course.
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