There is gasoline to be had EVERYWHERE in the Salish Sea. There are few marinas
that don't have a fuel dock
, and the marinas
are only a few miles apart. Once you are into the Broughtons, that is NOT the case, and you definitely don't want to be caught there without the ability to motor your way out of trouble. But for an McG26 the Broughtons are a long way from English
Bay and Howe Sound. Let alone from Shelter Island.
As a budding seafarer you need to get a few essential statistics under your belt, e.g. what is the hourly consumption
of your particular engine
when at full operating power? "Full operating power" is not quite the same as "full throttle". You say you have a 9.9 "cc" engine
. That wouldn't fly a decent model aeroplane! You mean a 9.9 HP (horsepower) engine. "9.9" implies that it might be something like a Johnson or a Mercury
. You should be able to find the specific fuel consumption
for your particular engine by googling for it. Else call a dealer for that type of engine. This is the sort of knowledge that all skippers carry around in their noggins! No doubt your engine has the standard "bayonet" snap-fitting to connect the fuel hose to the tank. If so, don't mess with plastic jugs for spare fuel. Just buy an extra "standard" tank so that all you have to do is shift the snap-fitting from one tank to the other.
What is your STW (Speed Through the Water) at 3/4 throttle? That is another bit of knowledge you need to carry in your noggin. How far is it from Point Atkinson to the anchorage off Newcastle Island by Nanaimo? And from there to, say, Stones' Yard where you can get fuel? Where is the nearest fuel dock
to Pirate's Cove? To Madeira
Park? All those kinds of things are things that you learn before you go sailing.
Learn to make a voyage plan. Given the short duration of slack water
in many of our passes, you'll need to time yourself to arrive at critical passes a half hour before slack so you can make good use of it. Use the Tide and Current
Tables to learn when the slacks occur, and work
your plan backwards from there using the standard STD formula. Commit it all to a written plan, not so much because you need to carry such a written plan with you, but because writing it out fixes the knowledge in your memory. In the plan, make note of where there is fuel available so you don't have to guess at it. e.g is the fuel dock at Chemainus operational again after the fire two years ago?
For determining distances on the coast for planning purposes, I find GoogleEarth handy. What you get off there is not accurate, of course, but it's good enuff for planning purposes. But for Pilotage (Coastal Navigation) you are required by law to carry PAPER CHARTS! A "chart plotter", however good, does NOT satisfy MOT requirements. So since you HAVE to carry charts
, learn to use them before you set out.
The Salish Sea is pretty benign water. Nevertheless, we hear an astounding number of PAN-PANs from people who haven't done their homework!