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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2012 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2012 Trip 4 - Pacific Swift

2012 Trip 4 - Pacific Swift

Log of Pacific Swift

August 9th 2012 @ 11:00
50°43'13.08 N 127°29'9.60 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 4 - Looking forward to welcoming trainees aboard between 1100 hours and 1200 hours on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at the Government Wharf in Port Hardy!


August 10th 2012 @ 10:00
50°51'13.68 N 129°4'58.80 W

Ship's Log:
With all on board we were off to the west side of Vancouver Island. Weather was our primary concern as we again had our sights on Triangle Island. Triangle lies 25 miles NW of Cape Scott which is the north west tip of Vancouver Island. Weather has to be perfect to visit this area as it is very exposed with little protection to anchor. With favourable weather forecasts and great current conditions we made our decision to visit Triangle while passing Cape Scott light. Forecasts were correct and our passage was uneventful allowing us to anchor at 0330hrs on the south side of the island. Waking up at Triangle Island is an experience that will remain with you for a long time. It is almost like this place has been forgotten by time. With bird life unequaled in few other places, huge sea lion colonies constantly growling and Jurassic looking rock formations most are stunned when they first come on deck . Our weather held and we enjoyed most of the day exploring the coastline from the dories. Each watch meandered from spectacle to spectacle marvelling at the many new sights. Some rowed their dory through narrow passages between huge rock spires guarded with massive male sea lions growing and showing their teeth. Birds, birds, birds are the main attraction at Triangle. With few predators and an abundant food supply all sea birds thrive out here. Hundreds of Tufted Puffins were constantly in sight. We saw Rhinoceros Auklets, Terns, Guillemots, Gulls, Petrels, Murrelets and even a possible Peregrine Falcon was sighted. Sea lions crowded almost every rock pile in sight. Huge Stellar Sea lions reaching over a thousand pounds lounging in the sun and sending the odd growl in our direction. Triangle is truly from another world, so many sights, so much life and so unique. Everyone was thrilled. We met a friendly fisherman while anchored here and early in the morning we were presented with enough fresh filleted Halibut for our supper that night, mmmmmm. We weighed anchor at about 1400hrs on the 10th and with "intel" from our new made fisherman friend headed out to watch the Humpback Whales feeding nearby. We were treated with tail slaps, lunge feeding and surface relaxing by these gentle giants.  With great excitement we set sail T 1500hrs and for the rest of the day enjoyed a delightful sail back towards Vancouver Island. During the sail we saw more whales, sunfish and even caught a salmon to round things out. Our destination was Winter Harbour. We sailed into the night and anchored by 0300hrs  settling into our bunks to thoroughly dream about the days events. All are well and are enjoying each others company already in this short time.



Observations:
Calm and clear
August 11th 2012 @ 08:30
50°7'3.00 N 127°43'19.20 W

Ship's Log:
We stayed anchored in Winter Harbour for only a short period of time before being enticed out to sea again by the north west wind. By 1030hrs we were underway again and sailing south at 9kts with the sun shining. We decided to go around the Brooks Peninsula today as tomorrow's weather forecast was for gale for winds in this area. We enjoyed a two part sail today, one part from Winter Harbour to a favourite fishing hole we have north of the Brooks and then from our fishing hole around the Brooks to a “Tropical” like anchorage on the south side. Our number one fishing hole was very productive once again allowing us to land 80 pounds of fish in under 10 minutes of fishing. Very exciting to say the least. Some who had never caught a fish in their lives helped to reel in the big ones. All who were interested were given a “fish dressing“ lesson and within the next hour or so all the fish were filleted and ready to eat. We anchored by 1900hrs on the south side of the Brooks Peninsula off a lovely white sand beach that we call Paella Beach. It is an idyllic spot when the sun is shining and we looked forward to our beach plans the next day as we lay at anchor enjoying the soft beautiful sun set and emerging stars.


Observations:
Calm, clear, anchored
August 14th 2012 @ 22:30
49°21'42.12 N 126°16'4.80 W

Ship's Log:
Since our last mail home on the 12th we have been very busy. On the morning after the Paella we set sail and enjoyed once again the NW wind that seems to always be on our side. Sailing south and into Kyoquot for a short visit. Kyuquot is a small community located about two hours south of the Brooks Peninsula. In the early days this used to be a thriving fishing community with trollers everywhere. Today it is quieter and more sport fishing and ecotourism is the mainstay for the locals. We are always welcomed by the locals here when we visit. Our trainees had the chance to walk around and spend some money topping up on some special treats from the store. leaving after a couple of hours we were sailing again towards Rugged point another couple of hours south. Our plan was to anchor up with the Grace and have a double mug with both boats. All went as planned and everyone enjoyed have time to meet the other boat's crew and trainees. On the 14th we spent the morning on the glorious Rugged Point beach playing games and just walking the expansive beach. Rugged beach is similar to Long Beach near Tofino except we have the beach to ourselves. After lunch sails were set again to catch the NW wind and continue South. We chose Esperanza Inlet as a destination.
There is a small inlet named Langford Harbour on the south side of the entrance to Esperanza. We found calm seas and a lovely quiet harbour for the night. This day was spiced with whale sightings, sea otters and sea lions.
Anchor up by 0800hrs and underway with Hot Springs Cove in our sights for a destination. We did a short stop on the north side of Hesquait Peninsula to check out a small hardly noticeable anchorage. I had seen a photograph of a small square rigged sailing vessel anchored here in an old history book detailing the early 1900's on the west coast. Most of the time we pass by here it is too rough to get close enough to have a look. Today was calm so in we went. The harbour is named Homias Cove and it was beautiful. Large sea lion colonies greeted us on the way in and as we hove to while the zodiac went in to check depths we watched with amazement as these spectacular swimmers darted under the Swift close enough for us to watch them below. With not quite enough time to go ashore and walk to the Estevan Lighthouse (which was our plan) we continued on our way. We may return tomorrow if the weather permits. at Estevan Point we set sail and enjoyed a relaxing sail for the remaining ten miles to Hot Springs Cove. All of us have just returned from a hot bath in the springs while watching the sun set over the calm Pacific. A wonderful end to a very full couple of days moving south.
All are well.



Observations:
Clear, warm and lighter winds
August 17th 2012 @ 23:30
48°58'23.88 N 125°23'24.00 W

Ship's Log:
Since Hot Springs Cove we have enjoyed a couple of traveling days to get us into a good position to beat the weather and arrive in Ucluelet on time. From Hot Springs we motored south with calm winds and seas to Barkley Sound. We anchored in a quiet spot with a clear view of the sun setting to the west. This was our boat Sunday so as darkness fell and we counted falling stars service was held up on deck. Afterwards everyone stayed on deck for a couple of hours lying on their backs watching shooting stars and quietly chatting about the trip's events. Shortly before lunch we raised anchor and move to a favourite spot that has one of the best swimming holes we know of on the coast. At the entrance to Pipestem Inlet there is a small stream that cascades down smooth rocks into the ocean. If you climb up from the sea and keep venturing inland you are rewarded with multiple crystal clear pools of different sizes.
Today the fog cleared as we entered the inlet and the waters of Lucky Creek as it is know were delightfully warm. Everyone spent a couple of hours swimming, jumping,diving and just hanging out at the water's edge.
An idyllic spot to say the least. After returning to the boat we decided on one more sail. We spent an enjoyable "drift" sail as we made our way to the final anchorage for the trip.
Your children have had an incredible trip, as have we. They have been an extraordinary group from day one. As a group they have grown so close together. They have shared so many unique experiences over the past nine days. They have been patient with each other, kind and welcoming of new trainees and always willing to do whatever is put before them.
They have been a joy to sail with .
Thank you for sharing them with us.



Observations:
Clear periods in the day, dense fog at night, light wind.

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