Van Anda to Tillicum Bay Marina

Departed at 07:50 this morning. Currently en-route to Egmont for lunch. We have decided not to stay in Egmont for the night as there are 2 tide changes in the afternoon – making passage through Sechelt Rapids convenient for a leg home. So we should be home later today.

Taking in a great sunrise with calm seas.


We left Texada Island at 07:50 to head to Egmont. Plan A was to stay the night, plan B was to have lunch there only, and Plan C was to pass by without stopping. As we motored along we changed from A to B and then finally to C. We knew we were going to get to Egmont too early to really want to stay the night – after all – there were two tide changes we could use to get through Sechelt Rapids and do the last few hours.

Then it looked like we could possibly run straight through. We switched to Plan C. We pulled up to Sechelt Rapids and tucked in behind Boom Island to survey the conditions. The tide was flowing out (against us) so we were in no danger of being ‘sucked’ in.

The flow was significant so we decided to back track the short distance to Egmont (the Back Eddy) and discuss it over lunch. I noticed that there was a scratching noise coming from within the cabinet below the wheel. We docked and I mentioned to Matt that we should look at it (remembering how he told me that the wheel felt stiff to him on a number of occasions). The port side steering cable was severely frayed. Matt clipped off the frayed bits and wrapped the damaged portion up in tape. We left the cover off for going through Sechelt Rapids with the thinking that if the cable were to break we could still steer the boat by pulling on the cables with our hands or vice grips.

Poor Lukas. We told him to not make breakfast until we got to Sechelt Rapids and then he made breakfast (pancakes) while we lingered behind Boom Island and then we told him we were going to a restaurant (pack away the pancakes) and then the restaurant was closed. It was well after lunch and he had not eaten (nor had Matt and I). We walked down the road to the local convenience store and purchased some smoked sausage for the BBQ.

We checked the paper tide chart for slack and decided to leave as soon we ate our lunch. Note: Seems the first time I used the wrong data from Navionics… flow rate graph instead of height graph. We once again held up behind Boom Island. The flow was less and we knew that anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes we would have it easy. I was at the helm and decided to make our way up behind the islands and see what was happening off of Sechelt Islands. It was flowing less but still flowing fast – faster than our 6 knot cruise. Even still I decided to ‘jump in’ with a plan to slowly ‘mark time’, less a bit, if we could not make it.

I revved up the engine beyond the normal cruise (2300 instead of 1800) and charged in at 45 degrees with the hope of getting the bow fully into the current and then catch the reverse flow on the other side using our momentum. In this way we would swoop around the worst of it – the rip off of the green marker.

Merva initially listed to about 45 degrees to port (sending Matt to port as well – as he looked for something to hang on to) but I held firm to the plan and it worked. We pushed on at just 2-3 knots until we were clear. I dropped back to 1800 rpm and gave the helm to Lukas. Lukas was just taking the helm when he pointed out a rock barely showing at the water level. It was low tide so this rock would not normally be seen. Its on the charts but I think exceptionally dangerous. Someone (MoT) should mark it.

We stopped Merva outside of Tillicum Bay Marina. Launched the tender (so we did not have to take Merva out of the boathouse later to return the tender to her owner), and dropped the mast. I backed the boat into the boat house and turned the engine off at 18:35.

Matt and I gave Lukas a bit of a hard time at points for the amount of time he would be on his computer during downtime. But I totally got it. Lukas finished his backgammon algorithm (computer opponent) by the time we were at Shearwater. He now has something workable for a chess algorithm. Awesome!


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