IMG_1460We now have left the good old US of A and hope that you all can play some needed ‘Trump’ card and clean things up by the time we return.  After waving goodbye at Turn Point, we over-nighted at Montague Harbor on Galiano Island.  Our hoped-for northern trip calmness began with an epic sunset behind a Wharram style catamaran at anchor.IMG_1520


The Waggoner Cruising Guide states; “The Strait of Georgia is not to be trifled with”. Boy, did we find that out today! Our morning started out calmly, motoring away from Nanaimo through Newcastle Island Passage.IMG_1606 Upon entering the Strait of Georgia, we found the predicted light winds, so we raised the spinnaker and sailed in a northwesterly direction for almost four hours. Smooth sailing! Then the winds dropped — no problem — we brought down the spinnaker and sailed on northward, IMG_1611wing and wing (the main out on one side and the jib pushed out by a pole on the other side) with the motor helping a bit. Then the winds picked up from the west, so again we were sailing. The wind became stronger and one by one, down came the sails as up, up, up went the Qualicom wind: 22 kts — 24 kts — then 26 kts. What had been 1-2 foot waves rolling by became 5-6 feet tall and unnerving as they were so close together. A half hour into this, Val crept cautiously forward to lower the main and he continued competently handling Cat’s Cradle as she slammed into wave after wave and the wind built and built. It seemed a scary, hair-raising and never-ending hour and a half.

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We were most relieved to see the rock breakwater of Ford Cove on Hornby island at about 7 p.m. We anchored inside in 11′ of water with good holding on a rocky bottom. We gave safe sighs of relief and discussed our current epic, just 4 days into our summer trip. Leslie remembered the constant banging inside the salon (thinking the port side was coming dislodged), the waves slamming onto the port window and the starboard window close to the water at times. She also reported that her hands were aching because of strongly gripping the salon table for over an hour! Val checked the gauges: Max boat speed: 9.8 kts and Max wind speed: 36 kts. All this was evidence that we had experienced a Qualicum wind — one that has come through a “notch” in the mountains of Vancouver Island, picking up speed as it comes down and then tears across the Strait of Georgia, giving unsuspecting sailors a reality check and a dose of well-earned caution re. future sailings.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Oh my, I’d call that a Haroing experience but you were in the Straits of Georgia! Glad you did so well and came out safely at Hornby. Wow, spinnaker to batten down the hatches!

    All well here, a small BD party for some friends tonight. The weathers been one moment sprinkling, enough to make one rush out and bring in cushions and cover furniture, the next hour sun and we are out seeking shade under the deck umbrella. Sounds like your weather was even more extremely changeable. Yikes!

    Am going to love to follow your blog. You might change my address to as I just happened on your update in my old rock island acct.

    Sending island blessings and wishes for great sailing days ahead.

    Love and hugs,
    Robin and Tom

  2. Hi Val and Leslie,

    Sounds exciting. Enjoy!


  3. Oh I got scared just reading about it. Still feel roiled up in chest and tummy.
    So, that’s what you meant in the earlier post about getting closer to the rhythms of nature. EGAD.

  4. what a way to start your adventure! It is good that you are such competent sailors. It quite quite windy even at American Camp on Saturday.

    good luck and fair winds


  5. Good going today! Great big challenge, and you made it. Intrepid pair that you are! Wonderful update full of vivid details.

    We had a family work day at the farm (perfect weather) and then a graduation party to go to for our favorite babysitter.

    Travel safely and have fun!

    Susie and Kirk

  6. We have experienced the “not-to-be-trifled-with” Strait of Georgia. It’s so beautiful but can be so nasty; i didn’t know there was a known “Qualicum Wind”. I hope you have smooth sailing going forward. Keep up the reports.

  7. Good thing you did your homework – you both are amazing!! Greetings from the Colorado mountains.

  8. Gads!! So exciting but scary, too. I know you two can handle it but almost felt the winds myself.
    I have put a map right nest to my computer soI can follow along.
    Safe sailing.

  9. Wow! We hope you don’t have to go through something like that again. We really enjoy following your progress through the tracking site. It’s fun to see where you are.

    Smooth sailing from here on.

  10. Dear Leslie and Val,

    You said it was going to be an adventure and it sounds like the adventure part has begun. We are glad to hear you came through with flying colors (green and blue I believe) and safely to boot.

    You sure covered a lot of distance from Nanaimo to Hornby Island. I hope the sailing was not quite as exciting yesterday and today.

    Love, Julia

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