Monday, 6 April 2015

Spring Shake Down

Easter long weekend....  I actually had it off from my busy schedule and 4 days to enjoy..  I could spend it onshore with 99% of the population or step off and explore the gulf islands a little...  Besides, I have just mounted my new main sail and set up the reefing points and am dying to try it out.

So I set sail after a light provisioning to get me through and sailed out of Ladysmith harbor.  Wind was light, skies overcast and threatening a shower or two.  My destination is Thetis Harbor and Pub for Good Friday dinner.

Made good time with an early beam reach and then wind at my back for the short 2 hour jump across the channel.  And then with a stroke of good luck, the wind shifted just as I was planning to gybe past the reef for my approach to the marina.  I just cut to port as the wind shifted and closed on the marina wing on wing at 5+knt.

There were a few showers on the way but just as I set the anchor and mixed myself a drink, the sun broke through and bathed the boat in warmth.  Duke and I took full advantage as the smells and sounds of cheer drifted across the bay from the pub...  My next stop. :)

The locals here are always very friendly, always inviting a stranger to sit at their table.  The sound of an energetic darts game in the back room and the sweet bartender kept my beer glass full as dinner disappeared and so did the rest of the day.

The next morning was cool and damp.  The next planned harbor is Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Island.  In the light wind, this should take only till about 16:00.  I bid good bye to the snug harbor, pulled the hook and motored out past the reef.

A very relaxed sail wing on wing, North past Thetis.  Beam reach as I passed North Bay and headed for Ruxton passage.  As I looked back at Vancouver Island, the size of the rain storm was evident. 

Taking advantage of the cycling outflow wind, I ran for the islands where the blue sky waited.  Almost made it until the squall overtook the Golden Hind to clean the decks for half an hour.

Setting anchor in Prates cove, the rain poured down for an hour or so as Duke looked wistfully at the shore.  There is a certain peace sitting snug in your boat as the rain pours.  Dry and warm and listening to the rain drops breaking the ocean surface..  It resonates through the hull and really feels like home.  Thankfully though, after the clouds finally let up, the sun came out to stay for the rest of the weekend. 

Duke was happy to finally run the island, fetch sticks and explore the island once again.

The next morning, was calm, not a breath of wind so we motored home in the sunshine.  I would never trade a morning coffee like this for a Starbucks or any other overpriced coffee joint.  Life is meant to be simple, free, and lived. 

The simple things make the memories.  My first mate has turned out to be a dog and he is happy sunning on the deck, looking for the next adventure.

 Get out there and for gods sake, sail.