British Columbia the Inside Passage

Ballet Bay to Westview (Powell River)

Friday, June 22, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA


The sun setting in Ballet Bay.

Feeling the effects of a great evening with Tani and Gary, we opted for a late departure from Pender Harbour yesterday and waited to up-anchor until after lunch.  There was hardly a breath of wind on the water and we had the Strait of Georgia to ourselves as we motored north to our next destination: Ballet Bay on the northern edge of Nelson Island. 

As Jervis Inlet with her heavily snow-capped mountains passed by our starboard side, we were tempted toturn right and take a trip to Chatterbox Falls, one of our favourite destinations. But it would have to wait.  Asmuch as we love it there, neither one of us felt like motoring one hundred miles only to end up exactly where we started one week later.  And although Ballet Bayisn’t a major destination like Chatterbox, it is a convenient stopover on the way to Desolation Sound, which is. 

We dropped anchor around three o’clock and for the first time out of many visits launched our kayaks and paddled around the surrounding rock islets.  It was another warm, sunny day and beautifully quiet outside making it a really nice way to end the afternoon.  The kayaks have turned out to be some of our best investments over the years. They’re a brilliant way to get explore our surroundings, especially as we move further north where the land can be so inaccessible.

But every day on the water is different and today brought southerly winds and the promise of a nice sail up to Desolation.  Cruising these waters is all about timing: wind direction, currents, distance, etc.  If all of these elements come together, you’ve got the makings of an excellent sail  If not, you can be met with a washing machine of confused seas.  Today the wind was in our favour but the tide was still going out, even if just slightly, and the opposing wind made the Strait of Georgia much livelier than it was yesterday.  But with forty-five nautical miles to travel, we couldn’t wait any later in the day when the current was slack to leave, so we upped anchor at ten o’clock and left Ballet Bay. 

We only had seventeen miles to Westview where we planned to stop to re-provision and fuel up, hardly worth the effort it takes to raise and lower our main, so we motor-sailed under jib alone.  The short waves were aft of beam causing Cambria to corkscrew as the stern was lifted by a wave and slid down before the rest of the boat could follow and the next one arrived. It was a long morning for us all, especially Sally who absolutely hates short and square seas (small waves that run close together).  But the conditions improved considerably an hour or so later once we passed the northern entrance to Jervis Inlet.

We were tied to the docks in Westview by one o’clock and I jumped ship to walk up “Cardiac Hill” to buy more groceries, leaving David behind to scrub the decks which were still dirty from the boatyard in Nanaimo.  The second I stepped off the boat, it started to sprinkle and by the time I reached the shops, it was raining.  When I got back a couple of hours later, I was soaking wet and visibility along the Strait was poor.  It was apparent that the weather wasn’t going anywhere soon, so we begrudgingly took a berth for the night, hoping like hell it would be the one and only time this season. 

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