Desolation Sound Sailing Trip – Log 12

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25 June 2013

Coming into the Bay of Cortes
Coming into the Bay of Cortes

Another blog is posted before we cast off the mooring lines at 7:35am. Wolf and I contemplate our next move. We agree in view of the recently received weather report we should put in at Cortes Bay and when the tide turns at 1:00pm we will assess the condition before making a decision. We know that our southbound trip is going to be determined by the currents or outgoing tides. The prediction is for southerly’s to continue through till Thursday (today being Tuesday) with rain every day till Saturday. There is nothing we can do about the weather – it is what it is! We will wait and watch and take whatever gaps we can to get us closer to Victoria. Being on a time constraint our choices are limited.

The Jetty at Cortes Bay
The Jetty at Cortes Bay

8:30am – we are almost at Mary Point and will make our turn into Cortes Bay. All is well but the sea is getting choppy as the Southerly has strengthened. We enter the bay and head for the government jetty but to our disappointment it is full, seems to be the story of our trip. The bay is large we find what we think is a good spot, just off the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (RVYC) out-station on the north shore. We watch to make sure the anchor has set… no luck.

Wolf weighs anchor and we try again. Still no luck, so we move to the south side just off the Seattle yacht Club (SYC) out-station convinced that finally the anchor is set. We sit down to a light breakfast of toasted bagel and cream cheese and we notice that we are really close to a private jetty. Out goes Wolf to try again – still not! I suggest that we go over to the RVYC and ask whether we can just tie up for a few hours. ”Sorry, ” says the nice man in a red shirt, “we do not allow reciprocal boats, but you have the right to raft up to any of the boats on the govt. jetty or grab one of the orange buoys belonging to a yacht charter company that is not there.”

Private Mooring Bouys
Private Mooring Bouys

This is something that I still have to get my head around. It seems that anyone can drop a mooring buoy anywhere and place a “PRIVATE” sticker on it claiming the space even when they are not there. I suspect that many of these vacant buoys are probably only used during the summer months. But they clutter and take up all the space in these little coves and bays making it really difficult for other boats to anchor. I wonder just how long it will take before regulation prevents this.

Anyway off we chug to pick up the orange buoy which happens to be conveniently situated at the exit to the bay.
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Leaving Cortes
Leaving Cortes

We read and fiddle and mope until 1:00pm and, even though conditions haven’t changed, are eager to leave. Are heading is Malispina Peninsula and on to as far as we can comfortably go before nightfall. We are everything but comfortable as we pound into a choppy confused sea over wind and current. But we know that as we clear Cortes Island condition should improve, which they do. Phew!

Suddenly we notice the current in our favour and we manage to maintain 5.2kt over ground which in that confused sea is excellent. We change plans hoping to reach Powell River and to overnight in Westview Marina, but sadly as we reach Savary Island, the current turns and we are confronted by 2kts against us bringing our speed over ground to an abrupt halt.

Savary Island - BC's Paradise
Savary Island – BC’s Paradise

Another change in plans – we turn sharp to starboard and drop our anchor in 4.5mt depth just off the beautiful white stretch of sand on the northern shores, in Keefer bay. Here too, we struggled to find an anchorage amongst the mooring buoys, but finally the captain is satisfied and we settle in for the night.

Savary is almost completely surrounded by beaches. When the sun bakes them, they are white and the waters surrounding this island are said to be warm and wonderful for swimming.

The wind outlook from our friend the weatherman is for 25kt south easterlies during the night. What can I say? Sailing has its ups, which are very high, and its downs, which suck!

Wolf wants me to add this interesting tidbit. To the west of us lies the island of Mitelnatch a First Nations name which directly translated means the meeting of two flows. The north flowing flood current from the straits of Juan de Fuca meets the south flowing flood from the Johnstone strait. This means that north of Savary Island the incoming tide flows south but on the southern side the incoming current flows north. This is why our following current which aided us out of Cortes Island suddenly became an opposing current when we reached Savary Island… Amazing!

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