Sunday, June 20, 2010

Port Neville neighbors

Day 1: 50+ nautical miles

Photo: otter on Port Neville dock. Three otter were pretty stinky neighbors, but we had to laugh at their antics.

An efficient cruise plan includes a push from an outgoing current in Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait, and moving through Seymour Narrows at near-slack. Today that meant a late afternoon departure… again. It just doesn’t feel right to laze through the morning and leave so late, but today it resulted in fewer hours traveled and much less fuel consumed.

For the past several days Environment Canada has broadcast gale warnings for the Johnstone, while conditions turned out to be calm in Discovery Passage. What a puzzle. What’s going on - a stalled front? - perhaps overly-conservative forecasting? Whatever. We decided to get through Seymour Narrows, check the wind at Chatham Point and use real-time observations for our decision to proceed on or to wait for weather to settle. For safety the Capt. always has a string of alternate anchorages planned along the route, in case we need to duck in.

Johnstone travel was good for the first six hours, and only got chunky during hour seven as we headed toward Port Neville. Docking at Port Neville was challenging as the current pushed us around and the wind blew us off the dock. Capt. Ron made it work, and we settled in for a light, late supper, falling asleep soon after. Was it the first-day-out effect, running for hours in fog, or perhaps that last hour of turbulence that wore us out?

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