Scream traveled to Vancouver for the annual boat show. As the days are short and the distance considerable we wisely chose to split the trip into two days each way, stopping at Montague harbour both times. Those departing from Victoria’s inner harbour, as we did, should consider making this a three day trip.
We had intended to depart on Thursday, February 7th but the winds were gusting to gale force at the dock inside the harbour, so we wisely chose to delay our departure to Friday.
On Friday we departed Victoria into 25kn and 5 foot chop. We brought up a double reefed main and after several extremely uncomfortable attempts, found a comfortable course towards Trial Island. We initially had some trouble, as we hadn’t been out in any conditions in several months and some of our stuff wasn’t packed as well as it ought to have been. We brought out the stay sail for balance and surfed and rolled. After passing Trial the seas disappeared and we reached outside of Discovery Island in variable winds from 10-22 kn.
In Haro Straight the seas increased slightly, but remained comfortable. We changed the stay sail for the yankee. We wind gradually eased as we entered Swanson channel. Wanting to arrive in Montague before dark, we started to motor sail. Half an hour later, we took down the sails. We were surprised to find Montague almost empty and glassy still. We anchored at dusk in 45 feet with 180 feet of chain.
We departed Montague at 9:30 Saturday morning. We motored north into Trincomali Channel, were we brought up the main. We sailed very broad in 15kn true, passing bald eagles and three sea lions. We tried running wing-on-wing, but found it ineffective as the winds died. We were about to motor in order to make slack-water at Porlier pass, when the wind started to build.
We expected heavy wind in the Straight of Georgia, so we put two reefs in the main before transiting the pass. While we were reefing a tug with two barges approached. It called on the VHF radio as it wasn’t comfortable passing alongside. We pulled into a bay to let it pass, and then had to motor out as there was no wind in the bay.
The wind was ESE 15-20kn when we entered the Straight. We sailed beam reach, sustaining speeds of 8kn for over an hour. The forecast was for the wind to veer to SW, so we were not concerned to be north of our track and enjoyed our high speed. Unfortunately the wind backed to NE, so we sailed close hauled. Even close hauled we continued to make too much northing, so we motored 1.5 hours across English Bay, arriving in False Creek at dusk.
We departed Vancouver at 9:15 on Tuesday and motored out of English Bay in light wind. We brought up the main with two reefs because of the forecast and sailed with both foresails. Having learned something on the way over, we stayed harder on the wind than we needed so that we could still make out destination if the wind shifted. We made 7kn. We brought in the stay sail, mostly to slow us down. The winds eased off Galiano Island and we hove-to for lunch. Then we sailed close hauled to Porlier, arriving just before slack.
We saw a pair of Dall’s porpoises play in our bow wake. The wind in Trincomali was light, so we motored south after lifting out both reefs. The wind built on the stern quarter and sailed broad reach towards Montague. The sun was shining and we changed out clothes and felt like it was summer, not February 12th. We tested out our new plastic cleaners with great success. We anchored among the mooring buoys, with not a single boat attached to any of them.
We departed Montague in light westerly winds on Wednesday morning. We sailed south with full sails, but we traveled so slowly that we brought out our gennaker and sailed beam reach with it. Eventually even the gennaker would not fill, so we motored south down Haro straight, making 9kn with about 4kn of current assistance. We brought out the sails near Trial Island and beat towards Victoria. We had a close encounter with a freighter as it was disembarking a pilot. From our perspective it was just behaving erratically. We called Traffic and they explained the situation to us. We arrived in Victoria about an hour before dusk.