Sum It Up Sunday the Discovery Islands

Sum It Up Sunday: On the Move Again

Sunday, June 08, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA


With gale-force wind warnings in effect for nearby Johnstone Strait, we left Rebecca Spit early in the week and made our way over to Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island for better protection.  Environment Canada forecasted the winds to subside by Tuesday morning, so we waited.  And waited.  And then waited some more.

We finally upped anchor Friday morning to transit the first of three sets of rapids we have to clear, the Hole in the Wall.  When it comes to rapids, timing is everything.  Arrive too early, and it’s no problem because you can motor around and wait for slack tide.  But arrive too late, and it’s six hours before the next slack arrives. 

With 23 nautical miles make before we reached the Hole in the Wall, we were a little concerned when we couldn’t find our way out of a back eddy and our speed over ground was slowed to 5.5 knots – we’d planned for an average of 6, well-below Cambria’s norm.  In the end, we broke free and picked up some speed, arriving right at slack, but it wasn’t until the final three miles of the trip that we knew we were going to make it.

Cambria at anchor in Octopus Islands Marine Park (photo by Bill Emmens).

Once through, we made our way over to the Octopus Islands Marine Park for the night, one of our favourite anchorages in all of British Columbia, but didn’t linger because of how much time we’d lost waiting for the winds to subside earlier in the week.  After only one night, we upped anchor and transited the second set of rapids – Upper and Lower along Okisollo Channel.  This time, we were only minutes away and our timing couldn’t have been better. 

Making our way up Okisollo Channel.

The wind was still blowing 15 to 20 knots from the NW along Johnstone Strait, which put it straight on our nose, but the sea was flat and we had a good passage up to our next destination, Shoal Bay on East Thurlow Island, which is exactly where we are now.


We have one final set of rapids to transit, Greenpoint and Whirlpool, before we’re clear but they’ll just have to wait while we kick back for a day or two catching up with old friends and making new ones.

The government dock at Shoal Bay.

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