Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rounding Cape Caution

June 5
Farewell Harbor to Allison Harbor

The first humpback whale of the trip surfaced on the north side of Malcolm Island. Later on in the day I glanced out a side window and saw a small black fin go by, within 50 yards of the boat. Too small to be an orca, it might have been a dolpin or a porpoise. Why do the exciting wildlife moments happen so quickly? and not when I'm holding the camera?! Bring on the wildlife, but slow down the action please.

The sun was shining and the winds were peppy. That “quasi-stationary” high parked outside the offshore waters and a trough over the B.C. interior sent winds roaring NW to SE over the whole coast. Strong wind warnings changed to gale warning and even storm warnings off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Predicted wind-wave-and-swell heights were impressive. We chose to ride this one out in Allison Harbor… for 3 days.

June 8
Allison Harbor to Rescue Bay

The morning weather forecast and the actual numbers from buoys and lighthouses sounded improved, even tempting. We were tired of hanging out in Allison, so at 0435 we upped anchor, planning to run as far as it was comfortable. Initially much improved, the seas grew quite lumpy abreast of Cape Caution with disturbed currents, heavy swells and a short, steep chop. The autopilot worked hard on that leg of the trip. The boat rode well at a slower rpm, but slower than 9 knots seems really slow on a long crossing. Once we hit the lee of Calvert Island conditions improved. In much calmer water we kept on going, …and going, …and going… to Rescue Bay.  Note to self: waiting in Allison for one more day might have made for smoother travel.

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