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Old 24-05-2019, 15:15   #61
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

ambitious.... old tyme guys used to row from pender to the mainland
porlier pass....it swung my 40 ft around like driftwood... good luck
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Old 24-05-2019, 16:59   #62
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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Originally Posted by CPierce View Post
Hi there--
New to this forum! I'm planning a somewhat ambitious dinghy trip
As someone who's made this trip a bunch of times in a bigger boat WITH auxiliary power, and reading through the long series of replies, there's only a few things I can add.

1. I wouldn't do this, and I'm generally regarded as nuts.

2. Plan for the worst! Even in summer, my generic advice to sailors crossing the Strait is

"If you don't like the weather, wait a bit. It WILL get worse."

Frankly, I'd say there's an equal chance of starting under perfect conditions and finding

. perfect conditions the rest of the way
. terrifying conditions somewhere along the way
. dead becalmed most of the way

3. I'm not a fan of Porlier, as there's rocks, reefs, eddies, enormous currents and big bloody boats that can't get out of your way even if they wanted to.

Having said this, when life conspires such that Porlier is the right choice, I have written instructions, along the lines of

"From the bell buoy off Canoe Island, head towards the light at Race Point. When Vernaci Point is on the beam ..."

and so forth.

I also use OpenCPN with up to date Canadian charts (paying the ridiculous fees for charts my taxes have already paid to produce in the first place).

OpenCPN allows me to plot a course AND then print .. at appropriate zooms .. the various stages. Basically, every course change has a section of chart printed, some with hand written notes here and there. These get printed (in colour) and laminated, along with a text version of the course.

Yes, I have every electronic toy imaginable on board, from dedicated chart plotter to hand held GPS to Navionics on my phone and a tablet. But man, it's nice to have something sunlight readable that you can drop/bang/kick with impunity.

Good luck!

Alan
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:33   #63
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

Option- shorten Straits crossing by going in by Gabriola Pass and camp at the south end of Pirates Cove. Next day head down Pylades and Trincomali Channel.
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Old 24-05-2019, 17:41   #64
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

For those curious about maximum speeds for small craft, check out the Aussie 18-footers.
http://phpbb.fleetsites.com/viewtopic.php?...&highlight=

Without a spinaker up the B14 CSC clocked doing 28.5 knots for a five minute run in 30-39knots.


Cameron asked about repair kit. Just saw this advertised by Duckworks.
https://www.compositepatch.com/en/index.asp


As to the safety of a dinghy in the open ocean, those who have not heard of him should google Frank Dye, who in the Sixties sailed a Wayfarer dinghy from Scotland to Iceland and Norway across the North Atlantic and North Sea.


Check out his 'Summer Cruise' on YT:




Or if you prefer a good old fashioned book, get yourself a copy of 'Ocean Crossing Wayfarer' written by Frank and his wife Margaret. They also wrote up his tale of sailing the North East Coast of US and canal/lake trip from St Lawrence to Superior in 'Sailing to the Edge of Fear'.


Both excellent reads.


And if I don't miss my guess, probably inspiration for the OP....??
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Old 24-05-2019, 20:12   #65
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

You might do a Google search on the R2AK, a race to Ketchikan, AK from Port Townsend, WA. No engines are allowed, and many of the boats are smaller than what you are using.... The one difference I've noticed (did not read every page of responses) is that most have an auxiliary form of propulsion besides sails (if that't their main source of power. Small sailboats use oars if the wind fails, em, etc. A SUP has finished that 750 mile race, as have kayaks, very small sailboats, etc. The main thing they have in common is that they have rock solid 'stones'...even the women who've done that race!

Read all about it! It's sponsored by NW Maritime, and this year's yearly event will be starting relatively soon.

If you watch the wind/tide situation carefully, and go when the weather's good, you should have no trouble.....
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Old 25-05-2019, 06:40   #66
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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You might do a Google search on the R2AK, a race to Ketchikan, AK from Port Townsend, WA.
It's already been mentioned. Supporting a questionable activity with another questionable activity is dubious. The R2AK is not entirely "unsupported" - the participants all have SPOT trackers and there's a sweep boat that comes through at the end. From the results, there are a lot of DNFs - I wonder how many called out for rescue, cause they don't mention that?
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Old 25-05-2019, 09:55   #67
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

I know there have been some incidents in the R2AK,...a dismasting of a small boat, etc., but my point was that there have been small boats, not unlike his, that have done a 750 mile trip to Ak though far more serious passes and rapids than Porlier Pass. And the racers haven't had the relative luxury of waiting for perfect weather for each leg. While it might well have some 'risk' involved, the OP and the adventurers who enter the R2AK are looking or that sort of challenge or they wouldn't do it in the first place. I had a former crew of mine who did the R2AK two years ago on an Express 27, a relatively light keelboat. I didn't particularly think HE was ready for it, but they finished the race in fine form. I stand by my comment that the OP consider rigging OAR locks and taking something with more pull than paddles, should they need it. My buddy's boat was rowed for a surprisingly good portion of their R2AK adventure....
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Old 25-05-2019, 13:52   #68
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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I stand by my comment that the OP consider rigging OAR locks and taking something with more pull than paddles, should they need it. My buddy's boat was rowed for a surprisingly good portion of their R2AK adventure....
That is totally solid advice
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Old 25-05-2019, 13:59   #69
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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Originally Posted by alanrothenbush View Post
As someone who's made this trip a bunch of times
I know the above is absolutely true, because this below is absolutely spot on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanrothenbush View Post
Frankly, I'd say there's an equal chance of starting under perfect conditions and finding

. perfect conditions the rest of the way
. terrifying conditions somewhere along the way
. dead becalmed most of the way
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:48   #70
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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Originally Posted by RobTryon View Post
There used to be a race from Nanaimo to English Bay, in outboard powered bathtubs. I think you will have a great time.
That is the Nanaimo bathtub race and it still happens every year.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:18   #71
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post
1. That trip doesn't cross any ferry routes so you should be fine in that regard. However, watch out for tugs and tows - particularly log booms. Tows can often be a LONG way behind the tug and log booms can be so low in the water as to be nearly invisible. A tug going really slowly is the clue. DON'T cross between a tug and tow. There have been fatalities. And DON'T insist on your right-of-way as a sailboat. Call the tug on VHF channel 11 or, failing that, 16 (take a good pair of binoculars so you can read their names) and work out a plan with the skipper. Tugs with tows are HUGE obstacles in the straits because they are so long. Actually it might be a good idea to check in with Vancouver Vessel Traffic Control (VTC) on channel 11 and let them know you are out there with the big boys.

2. Watch out for deep sea traffic (freighters, cruise ships, etc.) early in the trip. You will be crossing the traffic lanes very near the choke point at the Point Grey Bell Buoy - and THEY have the right of way.

3. The weather with a big, nasty chop can come up quickly in the Straits of Georgia. Strong afternoon westerlies are very common in good summer weather. Personally I wouldn't do that trip in a dinghy. And as others have pointed out wind and current can be really nasty at Porlier Pass - even lethal: big standing waves. Timing will be critical, and timing is a challenge for anyone sailing, let alone a dinghy.


4. Area WG should not be a problem as you are well south of it and, with a north-westerly blowing, will be well down wind. (For those not experienced sailing Georgia Strait, Area WG is a torpedo testing range used by the Canadian and US navies. It is smack in the middle of the strait and can be a real pain for some crossings - like when I go to Nanaimo. Listen to the local continuous marine weather broadcast to hear whether it is active or not. And if it is, STAY OUT! I swear I wasn't ten feet into it once before the helicopter with the loudest siren I've ever heard was right on top of me chasing me out).


5. Yes, they used to race bathtubs across there. But each had to have a high-speed escort boat capable of keeping up, and lots and lots of them sank out in the middle. It was deemed so dangerous they don't do it anymore. Now it's just a local race at Nanaimo.



Are you local sailors? If so, you should be familiar with tugs and tows, etc.
Their route does cross a ferry route. Tawassen to Duke pt. in Nanaimo. It travels at 20 kn plus and leaves a hell of a wake.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:25   #72
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Re: Crossing the Strait of Georgia in a Dinghy

Don't exaggerate :-). The ferry skippers are very good about not running down the small stuff. They are always putting doglegs in their appointed course so as not to bother a tug with a string of log booms or a string of gravel barges. They are always adjusting speed to accommodate fools that put themselves under the ferry's bows and it is only very occasionally that they have to "blow five". Tinnies and small sports fishing boats cross their wakes with alacrity. We Sunday sailors need to be grateful for how considerate those men are and how they are ever ready to say to Hell with the schedule if someone is in trouble.

When I came across last Thursday afternoon, the conditions were absolutely perfect for what our OP wants to do - wind about 12 up the strait, with just enough sea to show a little white horse now and then.

If I had a Wayfarer I would like to go in company with the OP and his mate.

TrentePieds
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