We left at 9:00 – just as planned. Hugh was right on time. Not much to do except erect the mast and climb on board. We headed for Egmont with the intention of passing through Sechet Rapids around noon. Slack tide was around 13:15 or so. We arrived around 11:00 – plenty early. There was the tail end of a flood so we pushed right in knowing we could change our minds if the current was too fast. Our speed dropped from the usual 6.5 knots to about 2 knots at one point – despite the extra throttle. We transited and pushed on to Egmont.
We docked and went to the restaurant for some lunch. After lunch – we fueled up. Fueling up was a bit of an issue as the port gauge was not moving off of ¾. Smaller and smaller amounts of fuel was coaxed into the tank until we really felt they were both full.
No room to stay in the marina for the night. This made the decision to head elsewhere pretty easy. We decided to head up Jervis Inlet – perhaps as far as Vancouver Bay. With any luck there would be an empty dock or barge we could tie up to for the night. The back up plan was to drop the anchor.
We entered Vancouver Bay with a sail boat arriving just after us. Unfortunately; the foreshore (including the dock) was buzzing with activity. To make matters worse the wind changed direction and was now blowing hard into the bay. We drifted for a bit and watched to see if folks were going home and if we would have an opportunity to tie up somewhere.
A small tug pulled a loaded barge from the shore and seemed to be heading out of the bay but it stopped and tied up the barge and the tug along side. The workers left on a crew boat. We just caught them before they sped off. They gave us the ‘ok’ to tie off to the barge for the night. Sweet deal as the wind was really blowing by then.
We tied up and noticed that the sail boat (‘Temptation’) was heading out of the bay and back toward Egmont. I hailed them on the radio and suggested that they raft to us if they wanted. They took us up on the offer without hesitation. We were later rewarded for this gesture with some fresh baked bread. Nice!
And so we settled in for the night. The winds died and the bay became absolutely calm. We are not sure of what hour we will need to get off of the barge in the morning. We will see.
There was a humming noise coming from, I presume, the inverter. The noise itself was not a problem but not knowing what it was had me distracted. So I turned off all electrical except the 120v sockets (needed for the cooler). Eventually the humming went away and I fell asleep.
I awoke around daylight (sometime around 6:00). I turned the electrical (water, toilet, lights) back on and noticed Hugh on the barge taking in the sunrise. I said ‘good morning’ and then climbed back into bed to continue reading ‘The Wreck of the Medusa’. I was up and dressed around 7:00 and right around then – the workers (well – the tug boat captain) returned in a crew boat. He was super friendly and our two recreational boats were ready to leave – and so no problem – off we went. The tug boat captain was quick to get the barge under tow… and headed out of Vancouver Bay the same time as us.
We made radio contact with one of the boats in the classic yacht group. They were under way at about 8 knots so we decided to cruise at 3 knots so they would catch us around the Malibu Rapids. Weather, sea and views absolutely perfect.
One of the group (‘Bianca’) caught up with us as we rounded the last point before Malibu Rapids. We saw others off in the distance. He paced us for awhile and then sped off ahead of us to transit Malibu Rapids. We arrived at Malibu Rapids about 30 minutes later. There seemed to be more going on there (with small sailboats anyway) than I have seen in the past). Such a perfect spot for this ‘camp’.
Two sail boats were circling as slack was about 45 minutes away. Hugh and I felt that it was probable that we could transit early without difficulty as there was a small depth change on this tide so we entered on a modest (perhaps 2 knot) flood.
We arrived at Chatter Box Falls earlier than many of the incoming boats and this allowed us to get on the dock. ‘Temptation’ was lining up to take the last spot when I suggested that they raft to us again so as to allow a larger boat behind them to take the last spot – which only worked because we also moved other boats closer together. The last few boats had to anchor.
We have 7 classic & vintage yachts on the dock with Merva being the 2nd oldest and the smallest. One classic yacht arrived late and went on anchor. It would have gone on anchor anyway because it is 60’ and the rules state that boats over 55’ must anchor or take a mooring buoy. All of the classic yachts are stunning – better than in photographs.
The other boats are a mixture with a good representation of Cutwater and Ranger Tugs. I have not counted but there must be 30 boats moored here.
Made our $40 donation ($20 / night).
Hugh and I had steak, potato, and corn for dinner. The steak was cooked on the alcohol stove as we could not get the BBQ to lite up. We may look into this later.
Folks walking about and chatting – often about boats and such.
I could not imagine the day being nicer. Perfect weather, good company, a calm sea, no boat drama, and ‘top-drawer’ scenery.
Spent the day, more-or-less, lounging about the boat with more than a few short walks about the dock and the bit of forest leading to the falls.
Ended the day with the classic yacht folks and a ‘pot-luck’.
Checked the tides for tomorrow and they look perfect. Slack at Malibu Rapids at something like 9:30 tomorrow morning and then slack at Sechelt Rapids at something like 17:00 tomorrow afternoon. We should arrive at Sechelt Rapids around 16:30. We will likely hit it perfectly. Failing that we can catch one around 21:00.