British Columbia Desolation Sound

Grace Habour, Desolation Sound Marine Park

Monday, September 26, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

It's been a difficult day aboard and we're both feeling battered and beaten after all hell broke loose in Malaspina and Johnstone Straits.  According to Environment Canada, there were hurricane force winds over the central waters.  What exactly they mean by "central", we're not sure.  But it implies inside around the Discovery Islands, which is just north of where we're anchored, rather than outside along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  As I write, there's a 970 MB low over the Queen Charlotte's and a building ridge.  Forty to 50 knot winds inthe Inside Passage with 1.5 metre seas – some mention of 11 metre seas, again we're not sure where (the radio keeps cutting out) with up to 65 knots of wind pouring down Johnstone Strait.  In otherwords, it's UGLY out there and we're smack dab in the middle of it all (literally).

The wind should start to diminish in the evening (which it did) but continue to blow from the southeast on Tuesday and Wednesday before turning southwesterly on Thursday and going back to the northwest on Friday, indicating improved conditions as early as Wednesday.  Whether or not the forecast holds remains to be seen but, at this stage, we need something positive to look forward to so we'll believe it until it changes.

Again, even with everything that's been happening around us, we were quite comfortable and safe in Grace Harbour and only saw gusts up to 20 knots throughout the day with very little chop on the water. But we did spend most of the afternoon "sailing" at anchor, swinging back and forth in reaction to the wind.  Coupled with the noise from the howling wind, it was a long and tiring day leaving us both feeling a lot worse for the wear. 

Bill and Sylvia stopped by in the afternoon for a cup of tea and told us that they were thinking about leaving with the improved weather on Wednesday.  We were sorry to hear that, but not surprised.  Waiting out storm systems is onerous and doesn't make much sense if you have a home to go to, but we are home so we'll stick around a little longer.  Were both happy with the protection Grace Harbour offers, so we'll venture out later in the week to other anchorages ready to return when the next system approaches. Though we may not be alone, I imagine it'll be close.  Most people will move south later this week when they have the chance. 

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