We departed Roche Harbor, crossing Boundary Straight and into Canadian waters. Off Bedwell we cleared customs over the phone. We both have Nexus cards so this is really straightforward. Once we got connected to an agent it was about five questions over 90 seconds and we had our clearance.
We proceeded to Madrona Bay, which is the bay right next to the very popular Ganges area, that has numerous marinas. This is one of our favorite spots, very pretty, and a short kayak or tender over to Ganges for any provisions or a meal out.
We should have known that we were in for more challenges. The boat you see afloat here had been on those rocks. It had drifted over the night before, in the wind, and smashed into the rocks, taking on water. When we arrived large plumes of water were pumping into the air. At the point I took this shot they had her righted and towable.
Well isn't that a lovely forecast? Winds to 25 kts! Although Madrona looks fairly protected except from the South, in reality the wind in this area just builds through all the small valleys and kicks everyone's butts. We had picked a good spot, really setting the hook. But that was while the wind was from the South, and it was supposed to turn around.
And turn around it did. I spent a miserable night, mostly awake, watching the boats around us. I do envy boaters that can just drop the hook and drop off. I'm not one of them. A short distance from us an old boat with no one on board (common there) began drifting and another large yacht in its path had to move. The drifter is the blob in the light blue shoal waters at bottom right.
This is the radar overlay on the chart plotter screen (BTW we have one digital radar that takes very little energy, something like 80 watts). Those blobs are other boats. We have dragged our anchor a bit, otherwise we would be within the green circle. We are very close to shoal depth waters behind us now, and we were often as close as 150 feet from one of the other boats. I had my horn, hailer, and boat hook ready to go. We recorded a gust to 33 kts during the night.
I was very happy to see daylight. You can see how windy it is. Those are two of the boats in the radar presentation, off to our port is a 60 foot sailboat.
With no letup in sight we called the Marina, but there was no room for us. It was way too windy in the Strait of Georgia to consider crossing over. By now friends had convinced me to get the PredictWind app and purchase a subscription. I want to get the app "NoWind" and I'll pay good money for it.
Most of the anchorages nearby either were open to the South or North, and the wind shifted between these and so there isn't a "correct" choice. We motored over to James Bay, which looked good, but it was just ridiculously exposed to Northerlies.
Last year we had cruised up Long Harbor, which has a ferry that goes up about half way. We weren't too impressed last year, but said let's give it another go. Going further back toward the head of the bay it was actually quite nice. We tried to anchor on the North side in a little bight, but there was no (anchor) bite in sight. Looking at the land meeting the beach in that area I saw it was mostly rock, no vegetation. I have learned to pay attention to this, often the bottom is similarly rocky.
So we went to the South side, found a good spot all by ourselves and got a good bite. We hunkered down, not realizing we would be here for 3 nights. But it was great to have no boats anchored anywhere near us. This is where I did the kayak project that I blogged about while we were still in the trip.
The next morning with the generator running, I had this unpleasant sight. I went into the engine room and looked the gen over, it seemed fine, temps were good. Back up top I noticed there were a lot of small jellyfish. It could really only mean one thing, our generator was Cuisinarting jellyfish. Ugh.
With a break in the wind and slack tide the water offered up a veritable garden. Let's wait on that generator run, eh? Unfortunately, when on the hook, we do need two runs per day of about 4+ hours to charge our AGM house bank.
We were treated to a beautiful sunset our last night. I had studied the weather and also conferred with a couple of friends. That next day was THE day to cross over, with virtually no wind/waves predicted. That sucker blew itself out.
And we woke up to this. Glass, baby. This is going to be good. Surely our issues are all behind us. Or are they? Stay tuned...
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