Awesome sailing day! One of the best we've had period!
Departed Egmont around 0900 with no wind motoring. Rounding the corner out of Sechelt Inlet, we entered Prince of Wales Reach at slack tide and the winds started to pick up. We raised the spinnaker and killed the engine, making 4kts. The wind continued to build and by noon, we were making 8-9kts and the spinnaker was seeing 10kts with gusts to 12kts apparent. Since the spinnaker was supposed to be a .75oz, light wind spinnaker, I had no idea how much it could take, so I blanketed it with the genoa and brought it down. On the genoa only, we were still making 6kts! Raised the screacher for a double, wing-on-wing headsail run and we were back up to 8-9kts!
Blasting up this fiord was truly special. We were keeping pace with the powerboats around us and making smooth gybes as the fiord turned a corner. We were vikings! Track Charleson was I!
The miles were clicking by fast. The question became: When was slack water at Malibu Rapids, the narrow entrance into Princess Louisa Inlet and renown for its dangerous currents? Kelly hit the books and found a reference, a time adjustment from another location. It appeared slack was around 1430. A quick time/distance/velocity calculation...we might arrive perfectly. Luck, something about being lucky rather than good....
Rounding the corner exiting Princess Royal Reach into the Queens Reach, we had to actually slow down as we would arrive too early. So, the screacher was furled and Strider slowed to 5kts on the genoa alone, making Malibu Rapids easily.
Transit was uneventful, following the securite protocol, once again, emphasizing the 25ft beam. Once vessel on the other side responded and let us know transit was less than 5min. Actually, it probably was only a couple minutes.
Remember in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" when Dorothy steps out of the black and white house into the color land of Oz? Passing through the rapids and into Princess Louisa was something like that. From wind, chop, grey, wide water to calm, flat, clear water with tree covered cliffs and waterfalls all around.
|Entering Princess Louisa Inlet|
He had arrived about 45min ahead of us, having spent the night in Deserted Bay, at the juncture of Princess Royal Reach and Queens Reach. He had not gone into Pender Harbour, but had arrived at the turn into Sechelt Inlet and thought it was too early to stop and pressed on. He had left us a cell phone message, but we had not looked while there was coverage. After all, who'd of thought? Anyway, happy reunion!
RT secured the dink and climbed aboard. He had a Macdonald Island mooring buoy so we took a tour of the inlet, motoring up to Chatterbox Falls, through the anchored boats at the foot of the falls and viewing all the boats (and their generators) on the dock.
|Several Waterfalls on the Cliff Face Converge to Form Chatterbox Falls|
We continued the tour, getting up close to the cliffs and falls and found a small, quiet, private nook with a couple anchor bolts in the cliff and surrounded by at least 3 waterfalls. This is the spot! There was a discussion regarding moving there today, but we thought the mooring buoy would be nice for the night and we could see a different section of the inlet. Also, there was a floating dock at there making for an easy trip for a walk about.
There were several boats from Gig Harbor and RT knew a couple who came by during their evening dinghy "chardonnay cruise." Lovely idea that!