Day 4: Settling In

W00t, I slept in till 8!

I started the water and tried the heater again. I know, I know…stubborn.

I’ve collected two mosquito bites: one on my right wrist (itchy) and one on my right foot (itchier). I am hoping to avoid the superlative. Other than that it was a good sleep; best I’ve had aboard so far.

Today is Sturt Bay. I haven’t listened to the weather so I’m not sure if the sails are going up or not. Yesterday L did all the sailing whilst I played the sail trim game with C. As usual she won and crushed. I think I have a tendency to want to crank things in when her tendency to be looser (or is that loose?) is the better choice. Regardless, she got us almost an extra knot out of the available wind. Beginners luck or just typical Carmen win-and-crush?

We are starting to get a handle on the Baraka Too. One big plus for owning a boat would be that you would learn it and then get better, rather than having to learn a new boat every time. I think if we ever hit on a great charter boat we will have to stick with it.

Yesterday as we cruised back from Madeira, I circled close to a two-masted wooden ship that was simply beautiful. Her master was out on the foredeck and I threw him a nod before concentrating on not hitting anything. Apparently he gestured to Carmen and Leslie and indicated that I had two girls, which was one too many, and that I should relinquish the spare. As Leslie was the only one privy to this conversation (Carmen’s back was to him) I will take it on on faith, but she sure had an odd smile on her face. I’m not sure who she was really trying to barter away…

I just realized that it’s only 8 now. Apparently my eReader didn’t adjust for the time change and I really got up at quarter to seven. Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.

The Sunshine Coast Resort is a collection of six or so buildings with a marina. Family run mostly by a German expatriate named Ralph, it has a sauna, hottub, showers laundry and more. The only real downside is that it’s built on a hill so you get your cardio whenever you venture off the dock. But this is the second “little secret” we’ve gotten from tagging along behind R Shack and I hope there are many more to come. It’s always great when you find these things on your own but serendipity will only take you so far.

We cast off around 10:30 with expected winds of 10-15 knots. A slow motor out of Pender Harbour and then the southeasterly wind picked up and the 4-6 foot swells on our beam made the ride… well… more amusement parkish. Once past the islands and rocks guarding the harbour we unfurled the genoa and were sailing at 6 knots on the one sail. Eventually the speed dropped to 4.5-5 knots but the swells kept coming.

Eventually R Shack switched from their jib to their code 0 and they started reeling us in. They and another sailboat soon passed us and we struggled valiantly with our sail trim trying to catch up to no avail. Luckily for us the winds kept dying and when our SOG hit 2 knots we fired up the engine and motored back into the lead. And it didn’t take too much longer for those two to drop their sails as well, totally justifying our decision.

About an hour later we turned into Sturt Bay and backed into a slip on dock 4 of the Texada Boat Club. It was a classic bodacious docking right up to the point the wind shifted and the bow swung towards the fancy-ass Bavaria 40 on dock 3. A little power and she snapped back into line but my heart did in fact go pitter pat.

Speaking of the Bavaria, it’s the same boat we saw last time we were here. I think they’re following us.

5h04m 23.6nm

R Shack followed us in about 15 minutes later and we settled in and put the boats to bed. A bit of chat, a bit of beer and some Doritos and we sat back to enjoy the day.

As an aside, Dave mentioned he saw a pod of orcas feeding just outside Pender Harbour. But our radio was not turned up loud enough and we missed the call. Sigh.

I chatted a bit with a couple from Portland, Oregon. They sailed up here along the Washington coast and up the strait. Now they are working their way back home.

We joined Dave and Margaret and headed up into town for dinner at the hotel. Classic small town. The food was fine although I should have forgone the salad for the more traditional fries. We talked and relaxed and then headed back to the docks for a nightcap. The beer / water split was exactly along gender lines. Not sure what that implies.

The lovely dock I chose seems to have a squeak issue. The join where the two docks meet (incidentally right where Carmen’s head will be when she’s sleeping) is currently rubbing in a loud obnoxious way. So loud in fact that conversation was fairly difficult. So loud in fact that Dave says Margaret invites Carmen to sleep the night in their stern cabin. Of course I don’t trust Dave. I think he just finished reading the blog post about the most excellent chicken ever and is trying to recruit her. Or it could be they are just lovely people. Or they are sneaky & lovely people who like great chicken and are good at killing two birds with one stone. But she’s staying with us.

The sun is setting with a beautiful red tinge and we are winding down. Tomorrow is Grace Harbour and stern tying for a night or two.