Inside Passage Blog

By Linda Lewis

 

 

May 15, 2007 – Royal Sounder is Making Way

 

Hi Everyone,

Here is the Royal Sounder on day one at rest in Poet's Cove (Bedwell Harbour, British Columbia), with the Green Devil snugged up along side for the night. David is sure proud of this skiff (which he built). He enjoys it immensely and always gets lots of comments and compliments.

The Green Devil is very comfy and fast. So far towing it has not been a problem and marinas are not crowded this early so having it along side when we are docking has been easy. When it gets busier, one of us will have to drive the dinghy to a parking spot while the other one docks the big boat. We set up our lines and fenders ahead of time and the dinghy driver parks, then goes to the slip to pick the lines off the railing as the other one brings the big boat in. We practiced that routine last year at Roche Harbor and it works pretty well. For me, the real challenge of towing this skiff will be when we are caught in big seas, especially following seas. I'm not looking forward to that.

After we left Bedwell Harbour, we were heading for Dodd Narrows when this Canadian Customs boat came screaming up along side us. This is the first time we have ever been checked on the water this far south in BC (the north end of the Gulf Islands).

And what were they looking for? This little piece of paper hanging in the window that verified we had cleared Customs. They are getting more and more serious every year about all of this.

This is Dodd Narrows, approaching it from the south. Boaters are advised to take this narrows at slack. We decided to "challenge" the Narrows and go through an hour before slack turning to flood to see what it was like going that early. And so I could take pictures for show and tell at my boat talks.

That decision meant we expected a 3-4 K current against us. And that is what we got; that's about the max for us. I was curious about what the water would look like. Here is a picture of it. We are up against the east edge where it is quite turbulent.

Not impressed? How about the next picture? Can you see the whirlpool in the middle of this pic below? (Hey Art, what do you think?) This is a very short narrows so you're through it in a flash.

Goes to show you what I will do for some good pictures to show people why they should not do this until they have local knowledge and some experience. David had fun driving. I had one hand for the camera and one hand holding onto the boat! We would not experiment much beyond this time window in our 7-8 K boat. 

Nanaimo has become incredibly busy. There was boat traffic everywhere. From work boats...

to log tows - we are seeing LOTS of log tows this year...

... to ferry boats ... and CRUISE SHIPS anchored outside Nanaimo.

And not just one cruise ship, but two. We've never seen that before in Nanaimo.

David spotted this boat in the Nanaimo anchorage. He recognized it from a Passagemaker magazine article so he dinghied over to take a closer look. The owner stepped outside the cabin to chat with Dave and what did he want to talk about? David's home-made skiff! He recognized the design (Phil Bolger).

Wind Horse is aluminum and is 83' long and about 15'  wide - Steve Dashew (a big name in the boat world) is the designer, builder, and owner. It is quite a unique looking boat. Looong and skinnnnnny.

If you are curious and want to see more pictures, go to:

http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/yachting/slideshow/0,25561,1149707-0,00.html

OK, enough pictures.

We are in Port McNeill awaiting a part for our starboard engine; it is a start/stop relay and solenoid. Not a biggie, but it needs to be fixed. Stuff happens. We are glad it happened at Port McNeill where it is easy to arrange for transport of parts. (This one is coming from Vancouver.)

We upgraded some of our electronics capabilities this year. This hotmail message with lots of pictures is possible because of my wonderful new external antenna for wireless connecting to the internet from my laptop. I love it. What a convenience when we are in port.

And best of all: our auto pilot works like a dream and is so nice to have. Another Dave accomplishment. I can't believe what an energy saver it is. And of course, I like having it linked to the electronic charting. David claimed he would NEVER let the computer run the boat on his watch. Guess how long that lasted? One day.

As soon as parts and weather permit we will head across Queen Charlotte Sound.

Our best to all of you.

Linda & Dave
M/V Royal Sounder

 


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