|MOB: Mum Overboard !|
[I had grand intentions of finishing the blog of our adventure on our arrival to Sidney but then ... life happened ... so three years later here are the last few posts from the "big trip". Max]
|One of these is not like the others.|
Despite it being rather later than the usual "cruising season" we had a nice calm passage from Haida Gwaii to Vancouver Island. It is only about 130nm but it can be a nasty passage in the wrong weather. We stopped for an day in Sointula and then pressed on to Alert Bay so we could visit the renowned U'mista Cultural Society.
The local sailing magazines always have articles about Johnstone Strait as it can also be unpleasant but our trip was fine. The next stop was the Port Neville Government Dock. We have been fortunate to have been in all sorts of docks and anchorages with all sorts of hazards. This our first dock where the guide books all warned about the hazards from cougars. The one hazard we did encounter was complacency which I will discuss later. Not surprisingly for November we were the only ones there other than a brief chat with a passing caretaker.
|Port Neville. We didn't see any cougars|
|Port Neville. Pretty quiet on the dock|
Traditionally "MOB" stands for Man Overboard ... Appropriately it has been replaced with "Crew Overboard" but on our departure it stood for "Mum Overboard". In some 36,000nm we have never really had a COB (okay we dropped Baby Benjamin in a harbour once but Liz rescued him quickly). It was an early morning departure so we let our usual deck crew - the kids - sleep. There was a substantial current running and a wind pushing us on the dock. Perfect for the classic "springing off" I have taught so many times (Tom Cunliffe explains it well here). With the current on the bow we sprung aft. The bow gracefully pulled out into the current and we reached the point where the helmsman needs to apply power while the deck crew slips the remaining line. Unfortunately the line snagged on the bull rail so Liz was delayed in coming aboard, and with the strong current I needed to motor ahead before we were swept away downstream. She missed her step and - sploosh - into the cold water she went. I was committed to the departure, so in an instant, I was heading away and she was swimming. I, of course, then returned promptly to the dock where she was was waiting to clamber aboard. Departure was delayed for a lowering of heart rates and a warming of Liz ! There was no harm done, but we had a good reminder to stay vigilant despite how many times we have done a particular evolution.
From there we got zooming south through the rest of Johnstone Strait (detour north of Hardwick Island to avoid some contrary currents - it can get to 6 to 7 kts) to anchor in Plumper Bay to await light and slack for Seymour Narrows (currents can run over 10 kts). We had a quick overnight at Campbell River to catch up with friends, and then to Comox in time for Remembrance Day. 19 Wing Yacht Club was nice enough to lend us some dock space. It was surreal to attend Remembrance Day back in Canada as a civilian. The highlight of the Comox stop was catching up with Maggie and her family after so many years. We met Maggie when we all lived in the UK and she was a young 2Lt - by the visit she was a Commanding Officer !
|Maggie and Family !|
From there ... south to the big city of Vancouver ... something different for the crew of Fluenta.
|Haida Gwaii to Alert Bay|
|Alert Bay and the start of Johnstone Strait|
|Port Neville and yet more Johnstone Strait. Hard to see but check out the highlighted cougar warning.|
|Seymour Narrows - A bit of current there.|