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Old 07-02-2014, 12:45   #1
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Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

I am joining a flotilla out of Powell River in mid June and the charter company just asked me if I wanted 2 free days on the boat, because they have to bring it up and back from Vancouver. I'm tempted, but also nervous about the long trip up the Strait in one day under a deadline.

Most of my sailing has been in the Gulf Islands, although I've crossed the Strait a few times; never been up the Sunshine Coast though. Should I turn the offer down? Add a day onto the charter so I can take my time up the coast in case? What's a bad weather day look like; what are the risks? Doesn't look like there is a whole lot of shelter.

It's a 33' Bavaria that has a cruising speed of 7 knots. Looks to me that it is a 89 hour trip. The flotilla's heading to the Broughtons and I hate to miss it, because the weather scared me off.

Advice?
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Old 07-02-2014, 15:49   #2
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

The weather should not be too bad, but expect rain and some wind, 10 to 30 mph, from the south. The Georgia Strait is some what protected. Travel north with the coming in tide which flows north in through there and the wind at your stern so you should be able to make good speed and time. Also plan on motoring part of the time as the tide and currant is going to change on you part of the way.
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Old 07-02-2014, 16:30   #3
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Optimistic, most of the winds there are NW and you would in a beat, specially in Malaspina St.
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Old 07-02-2014, 17:03   #4
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Look at it as a delivery... NOT an extra free 2 days enjoyable charter.

Odds are you will need to motorsail most of the way to make it in 9-11 hrs.
so only agree if they handle the runnning costs of the delivery if you still want to do it. Also include a free weather extension if you get delayed

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Old 07-02-2014, 17:34   #5
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

I have been travelling through that area on sail and power for the last 10 years. The trip can be difficult on a sail boat and weather and tide will be the determining factors. I did one trip with 25K on the nose in a J44 sailing faster than we could power. It took 9 hrs and I would think you would have to add significant time for less of a high performance boat. Many cruising sailboats would have had trouble sailing or powering at a reasonable clip in the conditions we were in and I have encountered similar conditions in my power boats. The best way to transit that area is with the attitude good weather good currents are a go, bad weather bad current hole up and wait for a change. A good boat with a good crew its doable in bad weather but not a very happy experience and unless wind is on your tail a long bouncy ride.
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Old 07-02-2014, 17:53   #6
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Agree it can be a long bouncy ride so negotiate a 2 day window so you can rest before your paid charter begins

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Old 07-02-2014, 17:53   #7
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

I assume this is with Cooper's and you are leaving from Granville.

Tell them you want the orientation the day before and provision the day before. Sleep onboard get up up bright and early.

You are looking at about 70 miles. The will be lots of daylight in June.

This trip is long enough that the currents will not be a factor. They will be against part of the trip and with you part of the trip.

BTW - You might ask them to pay for fuel.

A delivery skipper would cost them considerably more.
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Old 07-02-2014, 21:38   #8
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

If this is 70 miles making an average speed of 7k you are still talking about 10 hrs. That kind of passage making in this area is possible in calm conditions or with a good tail wind(reaching wind unlikely) turn the wind around and 7k average needs a lot of motoring and bucking for 10-12hrs no fun. What about fog? There has been a lot of fog this year will this continue into the cruising season? You need a plan B if the weather does not cooperate.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:41   #9
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Smile Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Ya, that's about what I thought. Thanks everyone. I hadn't quite put it in terms of being a delivery skipper, but that's what it really is, isn't it. I think I will ask for a couple or three days on the front end. If they say no, then no big deal, but I will just take the boat in Powell River.

I was out (on the ferries) in that fog in January and I couldn't help feeling sorry for the ferry skippers; no way I would want to do that with n00bs like me on the water .
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:11   #10
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Anchor in Buccaneer Bay or Smugglers cove depending on wind direction. Makes a nicer passage when you're not racing darkness to anchor.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:38   #11
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

We were on a 1 day run from False Creek to Pender Harbour last summer, on our way to Desolation. Day one, 20k winds on the nose, almost no headway in the chop, do ducked into snug on Bowen for the night. Next morning, motored around Bowen counter-clockwise, headed down Barflour Passage, then headed up the Strait near Gibsons, wind now 15 k on the nose. After beating our way along the Sunshine Coast, we decided to head towards Nanaimo on a long tack, then head towards Welcome Passage later in the day. After an exiting crossing of Georgia, we decided to join another boat from our club, and spend the night at Silva Bay. Next morning, we awoke to nary a whisper of wind, and motored from Silva all the way to Pender, spent the night, then motored the next day all the way to Cortez, passing Powell River later in the day. (Where a Humpback surfaced 20 feet behind our boat in flat calm water, scaring the c--- out of me.) We were on a flotilla, fell behind most of the rest of the fleet, then caught up with them 3 days later. Many other boats ducked into Snug on that first day, and schedules will always remain flexible on a sailboat. Even a charter company can appreciate a skipper making decisions based on weather, sea conditions and experience. ( I have fairly limited experience.) I would take that boat, and expect to likely make that trip, with at least one other sailor for crew, obviously a long day, and base any other decisions on common sense and safety, rather than in keeping deadlines.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:00   #12
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Left Seattle middle of July last year, took four weeks off and made it to Sointula on Malcolm Island. Got my a$$ handed to me three times, twice in the Georgia Straits and once in Queen Charlotte. Remember a 15-30 knot wind against an opposing tide makes for 2-4' waves that are usually stacked close together. Even without an opposing tide the waves will stack. If you had to go out in this type of weather you'll be lucky to make 5 knot. Best to have a back up plan if weather is questionable, allow lay over days and a places to duck into. Also there's a lot of information (books) on cruising/anchorages etc.. just one I would suggest is "Local Knowledge" by Kevin Monahan. The more info the better. What ever the case, you'll have a blast and the experience is better than a master card "priceless". I'm heading back this July to finish my trip from Sointula, either back down through the "jungles" or around to the outside and back home.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:39   #13
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

What ever you do, don't find yourself in the South half of the Malaspina Strait heading North or South with a North North West 15 knots and over, and with a strong flood tide. Between an hour before and after max flood, I have seen 8-12 footers, that are so close together, it's all green water over the bow.

While the opposite conditions won't be as bad, it makes Malaspina a yes on transit during slack water, the only choice.

The Georgia Strait, can in no way be called a protected water. Queen Charlotte is the worst, followed by the Juan de Fuca straits, and not far behind the Georgia Straits, both North and South.

Lloyd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post
I am joining a flotilla out of Powell River in mid June and the charter company just asked me if I wanted 2 free days on the boat, because they have to bring it up and back from Vancouver. I'm tempted, but also nervous about the long trip up the Strait in one day under a deadline.

Most of my sailing has been in the Gulf Islands, although I've crossed the Strait a few times; never been up the Sunshine Coast though. Should I turn the offer down? Add a day onto the charter so I can take my time up the coast in case? What's a bad weather day look like; what are the risks? Doesn't look like there is a whole lot of shelter.

It's a 33' Bavaria that has a cruising speed of 7 knots. Looks to me that it is a 89 hour trip. The flotilla's heading to the Broughtons and I hate to miss it, because the weather scared me off.

Advice?
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Old 09-02-2014, 18:10   #14
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

I've done this trip a few times now. All have given good advice. If I were you I would make the first leg Secret Cove or area as suggested, get some rest and then on up depending on what the Malasapina is doing. Make yourself familiar with the entrance to Pender harbour if you need to hide for a while and let the Strait settle down. As folks have said, summer winds are usually from the NW unless your heading South, then they will be from the South east(ha). Have fun, if you've never been up there your in for a great trip.
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Old 09-02-2014, 19:55   #15
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Re: Vancouver to Powell River in a day?

Like Shorebird, if the wind is against you it is tough either way. I've done Vancouver to Pender Harbour in an enjoyable shot in good conditions. The wind either blows NW or SE so you never know.
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