I'm home now but had a bit of adventure getting here. Chris and I left Sidney Spit on a glorious Sunday, glassy seas though so we motored with the tide into Oak Bay at low tide. It was a bittersweet morning as our time together came to an end.
At this point I will share a lesson I learned: don't let another's stupidity become your own.
This is how I learned it. The autopilot
and we were getting close to time to navigate around some rocks; we were under power and there was another sailboat powering off our starboard side. I went below and turned the AP off, looking out the pilothouse window as I did to see where the other boat was. I realized he had overtaken us and now was cutting across our bow, right in front of us putting us on a collision
course! I throttled back and veered to port until I could correct across his stern then went above and hollered, "Are you always so rude?". I should have asked if he was always so insane as to try and cause and accident! He acted like he couldn't hear and maybe he couldn't but I was really shocked by this. He was probably seventy and had his wife on board.
We went around a couple of markers and headed for the channel into the marina area and saw him continuing south just off of where we now were. My son and I were commenting on what an idiot the guy was as I steered around another marker when BANG!, we came to an immediate and violent stop. Realizing I had hit a rock I through the engine in reverse and backed up and pulled around the danger
. While I headed to the gap in the breakwater I asked Chris to check we weren't taking on water.
Once we were anchored I checked things over and could find no damage so we loaded Chris' stuff in the dink and took him home, I did a little grocery shopping
and returned to the boat. I'd like to say that it was that morons fault for distracting us with his unconscionable behavior but I think that "don't let another's stupidity become your own"
is probably a better lesson. Looking on the chart plotter it seems I had caught the very edge of the reef and would have cleared with another couple of inches of tide!
I headed back to Sidney for the night, in part because I wanted to be sure everything felt right in the boat. There was some wind and I motorsailed part of the way before it went calm again. Each stop at the Spit had impressed me with how busy it was but this was Sunday night and by night fall it had quited down.
Monday morning brought the wind and lots of it. I pulled up anchor before the tide had turned since the winds were so fresh. What an amazing day it was for sailing with the sun shining and winds eventually gusting to 20 knots. When I started at 9:30 I was only seeing about 12 knots but by the time I'd reached Swanson Channel they were howling and so was I. I was back in the Trincomali Channel by about 2PM when there was another bang and something snapped on the main traveler car. I had been looking at replacing this thing for a while since it was a cobbled together affair the previous owner had put together. Lately it had been very difficult to adjust it but a good car of its type is pricey. Anyway, here I was in good wind with lots of flood left to sail and my main swung over against the shrouds.
I started the motor and engaged the AP then examined the situation. I couldn't see a safe way to swing the mast
back to centre with the sail out so I had to furl it first. I should have pulled down on the vang I think but didn't and the sail backed over farther up the mast
, something that doesn't occur when the boom is centred and the sheet tight.
I was right by Montague Harbour but wanted to continue since it was great sailing and the tide was still on my side so I went below and hunted for something to replace the shackle that broke. I had an anchor shackle! Perfect. I climbed up on the cabin
roof with some wrenches an dismantled the car, hooked up the shackle and she was ready to go again. It was a nice feeling dealing with something like this while under way. I find each misadventure handled gives me more confidence. I won't know what the keel
looks like after meeting up with a rock until I pull her out in October but even that bit of foolishness taught me a valuable lesson.
I unfurled the sails though I wasn't able to get the very top of the main to release; I may have to climb the mast to do it. I was sailing again! By 5PM I was pretty tired and Clam Bay at Kruper/Thetis Islands was close by so rolled in and dropped anchor to spend the full moon in that beautiful spot.
Two and half hours of motoring and I was back in Degnan Bay and on my mooring
buoy again, tired and dirty but content after a truly wonder father/son adventure in the Gulf Islands. The sailor is cleaned up but I've got lots to do on the boat. The weather appears to have changed so I'll spend time cleaning
the boat and doing some repairs
but hopefully I'll get out again before it starts getting colder.