Day Five: Slow Boat Running

Morning! Coffee up in the cockpit this morning. A beautiful day.

We puttered around and L hit the showers. Fill the water tanks, dump the garbage and recycling, buy peanut butter and some bottled water and it’s time to go.

The loud, not-so-polite-to-his-wife guy came by and we chatted for a bit. He is off to Princess Louisa. He said thanks for the help I gave him docking last night, but somehow I suspect he was just offering to help me cast off so I wouldn’t mash his boat: enlightened self-interest. Be that as it may, we cast off and backed out of the slip without hitting any of our neighbours.

Lines in, fenders stowed and we were out of Secret Cove and into a mild Malaspina Strait for a short 1.5 hour motor to Pender Harbour. So we raised the sails in the 5 knot winds wind headed 90 degrees away from our destination. 4 hours and 45 minutes and 13 nautical miles later and we were putting into Garden Bay in Pender Harbour. It was fun sailing and taught us a lot about how much we didn’t know about trimming sails.

Leslie manned the helm through out the sail and eventually, after we dropped them at the entrance to Pender, motored us around the rocks and shoals towards the evenings destination of Garden Bay Hotel and Marina. Of course, there is no hotel there; it’s just a name after all.

Garden Bay is supposed to be a splendid anchorage, so we decided to give it a try: three or four times… Eventually we tired of going in circles and moved on to the docks for the night.


4h46m 13.7nm

After tying up I headed up to the pub to pay for the night and got seduced by the sight of sweating mugs of ice-cold beer. So I went and got Dr. Captain and we headed back for multiple pints on the deck overlooking the bay and, eventually, dinner. Mmmmm, beer. A brief walk and it was back to the boat for rest and relaxation in the warm night air.

After we left Secret Cove and had just set sail, we heard a Pan Pan from R Shack Island. They are a 34′ sailboat joining the flotilla with us. We had discovered last night that they were anchored in Secret Cove just down the south arm. I thought we might meet up with them in the AM at the fuel dock, but they hadn’t showed by the time we left. It seems that they had embarrassingly missed a rock on the charts and were, at the time of their radio call, hung up. Not taking on water, they were in no danger, but they weren’t going anywhere.

Later in the day we learned they had been hung up for 20 minutes until the tide rescued them and them proceeded to the marina we had just vacated to have there boat dived and checked out. In the end all was good and we expect to actually meet them in person on Saturday.

On our side, we discovered the holding tank was not draining correctly and seemed to be full. We had had some mixups on the correct position of the seacocks, but it was really all in vain. I think the drain is not working at all, as odiferous fluids are streaming out of the air vent.

All in all a splendid day that, while it had its moments of stress, taught us a lot and continued the process of easing into the nautical lifestyle.

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