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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2012 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2012 Trip 5 - Pacific Swift

2012 Trip 5 - Pacific Swift

Log of Pacific Swift

August 22nd 2012 @ 13:00
48°56'17.52 N 125°32'16.80 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Looking forward to welcoming trainees aboard between 1300 hours and 1400 hours on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at the Government Wharf (52 Steps) in Ucluelet!

August 23rd 2012 @ 15:00
49°28'15.96 N 126°25'8.40 W

Ship's Log:
Day one commenced with boarding and a safety introduction at "52 Steps," Ucluelet Harbour. At 1645, with great anticipation, we slipped lines and made our way out of the harbour past Amphitrite Point and shaped our course northward. All hands settled in quickly as we have on board an excellent mix of first time and returning trainees. A mild dinner of chicken noodle soup and focaccia bread was prepared keeping in mind the tender tummies in the open Pacific swell. Most fared well with only a couple of green faces. As the sun went down and darkness set in we were treated to a star powdered black sky complete with numerous meteors. With the wind increasing out of the Northwest our progress was slowed and we made the decision to seek shelter. At the time of writing we are comfortably at anchor in Hesquiat Harbour just NE of Estevan Point. All hands have had the first of their lessons in navigation and are now ashore visiting the famous Cougar Annie's Garden. All are well.

1' chop
August 24th 2012 @ 09:30
49°21'54.00 N 126°13'51.60 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 2. First dory adventure of trip 5, we made it through squalls and the highest seas I personally have every seen. Port watch; steered by Stephen Duff, were the underdogs who left the Swift last, managing to pass Tristan and his starboard watch most capably steered by Cayla Wolever, as well as leaving Samīs forward watch steered by Ryan Karakai, in the dust behind. Once we got to shore, we shook off the water from our jeans, and began our tour of Cougar Annieīs Garden. Peter, the care taker of the garden, gave us a tour through this beautiful garden that he has spent years restoring and maintaining. Old growth forests and a clear water lake are a few of the many sites we were treated to during our time ashore, along with the story of Cougar Annieīs Garden.
Rowing back to The Swift, port watch managed to row their way to the Ship first, with forward watch weaving their way back to the ship, using their doryīs sailing rig.
After returning to the Swift, we weighed anchor and started heading south to Baseball Bay. During dinner, we turned off our engine and set sails. We wobbled our way, swaying back and forth, to our anchorage. We anchored as the last bit of sun faded, furled our sails, and headed down to the hold for songs and mug-up treats.
We had a calm, starry night for anchor watch, with very little wind - no worry of dragging anchor. The phosphorescence was seen in the water by many trainees, and new ways of disturbing the water to make it glow were discovered.
A delicious breakfast of egg and cheese burritos was had, and now we are waiting on deck to weigh anchor. I love flaking the anchor chain, I hope I get to do it this morning.
This log was brought to you by trainee Lyndsay Birch.

August 24th 2012 @ 23:00
49°9'24.48 N 125°54'36.00 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 -Day 3. Anchored in Baseball Bay, we all awoke to scrumptious breakfast burritos. It was a build your own breakfast. The tortillas could be filled with eggs, salsa, cheese, cooked peppers and onions. It was absolutely delicious, and just the right breakfast to fuel everyone up for our morning expotition*. Just after 11:00 oīclock in the morning, all of the dories were launched, and the watches began rowing across Baseball Bay towards an unnamed river. Rowing towards the river quickly turned into rowing up the river. However, the wonderful thrill of powering against a river soon turned sour as it got too shallow to continue rowing. Each dory consecutively ran aground and then had to perform a short portage. Once the shallow area was cleared there wasnīt much further to row however, so the dories were tied up and one and all continued on foot. Our ultimate destination was none other than the unnamed lake that fed into the river. The journey had its ups and downs, as well as its slips and slides. There was more than one person who thought that they were steadily grounded, but then found themselves fully immersed in a pool of water. Every dunk and stumble was worth it though, because at the start of the river was a lake that was mesmerizing to both eye and ear. There was not a sound save the rustle of the trees in the calm breeze. And the lake itself was clear as glass, reflecting the blue and white of the sky above it. Many people upon reaching the lake decided to go for a wade and have a little wash. However, there were a few people who were feeling rather energetic and hungry for adventure who decided that they would swim out to an island in the middle of the lake. Needless to say, the island turned out to not be an island at all, merely a spit of land that gave the cruel illusion of an island. And the swim out there was no walk in the park. It ended up being quite a slog, and by the time everyone returned to shore it was time to depart and head back the way we had come. There were a few bumps and bruises on the way back to the dories, but after a much needed lunch of build-your-own-salad and fresh focaccia bread, a quick check in with the doctor in Tofino where it was determined that there were no major injuries sustained and everyone was in ship shape, as well as a melt in your mouth, “cannot-say-no-to-it” dinner of lasagna, the trainees were ready to make the Swift look beautiful for Tuck and Tidy, the time of day when the boys face off against the girls, and it becomes a competitive battle of the sexes, for all of the marbles and the glory, to see who has the cleaner part of the ship. Tuck and Tidy was followed by a game of Telephone Charades, which is an acted out version of the game of Telephone. The laughing the resulted from the game could be heard all throughout the harbor, leaving everyone in high spirits to move down to Mug Up. The singing was much more boisterous than the previous night, probably due to the lingering feeling of Telephone, as well as the fact that all of the trainees seem much more comfortable and friendly with one another than they did a day ago. People who met only two days prior now feel like they have known each other for much longer. Mug Up concluded with snack, which was double chocolate chip cookies and London fog. The day had been eventful and full of laughter and adventure, the perfect mixture to tucker everyone out and lead us all to bed.
As seen through the eyes of Gillian Trotter.

*A nod to Winnie the Pooh

August 25th 2012 @ 23:00
49°21'44.64 N 126°16'1.20 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 4. This day was indeed a most luxuriously lazy day, with an even more relaxing goal in the minds of the trainees and crew...Hot Springs Cove! Everyone awoke to bright morning sunshine slowly drifting through the skylights on deck, and the watches tucked into a hearty breakfast of porridge and delicious morning glory muffins. After breakfast the anchor was weighed and the Swift motored out from Tofino Harbour and headed north for her short run to the cove. On the way the afternoon was spent lounging on the warm deck, many trainees studied, some fished. Zack, Kyle and Zane, diligently dropped their lines again and again, the thought of deliciously fresh fish on their minds. Unfortunately with only a few nibbles, the fishing was not quite a success, THIS time. The Swift then cruised slowly into the quaint Hot Springs Cove. A small bay opens before us, dotted with a few yachts and many buzzing float planes. Tall hills green, yet bristly with dead silver snags, sit craggy against the bluish sky. They loom over a cluster of houses that cling to the rocky shore. Scant few, scraps of mist hang lazily in the shadows and hollows behind the hills. First itīs a pre-dinner TNT*, then a slightly earlier one sitter dinner, of mouth watering beef stroganoff! Needless to say there wasnīt much left for seconds, or even thirds for that matter. We eat a slightly earlier dinner, so as to get to the hot springs in good time, but also to let the locals, and other visitors have their own soak without being swarmed by a ship full of salty sailors! We bide our time with port watch tackling the dishes for supper. A massive array of various sized dish tubs lay spread across the hold table, and the members of port watch gladly accepted the generous help of Emily in the washing, and all sang merry opera songs involving forks and plates. Once this deed was finished everyone excitedly awaited their watches turn to be motored quickly by the Zodiac to the large dock that protruded out into the bay. Now, the hot springs are not near the anchorage for the boats, it is a journey to get there. A long boardwalk snakes itīs way through tall moss covered trees, and the beginning of the evening sunīs fiery glow stabs through the upper canopy, bathing the dense under growth a rich orange. Though the forest walk itself is beautiful and stirring, the planks that we tread on are just as stunning. People who visit the cove and the hot springs, take the boardwalks planks and carve the name of their ship into the wood. To see all the names of others that have come before us and to walk where they have walked, is quite something. Soon we arrived at the hot springs, but before we emerged from the trees a pungent sulfur smell wafted between the trees. We crossed a small wooden bridge where the water from the springs boiled and gurgled over rocks white with minerals. Then the trees opened here and we came out above the hot pools. The hot springs themselves are in fact in their own small cove. A large rock blocks most of the entrance but waves still surge into the cove and into the lower pools. At the head of the pools, a scalding waterfall pours down from above, and the water pools in hallows between the sides of a large rock cleft. Warmest at the top then progressively cooler the closer you get to the ocean, until the breakers, dash against the lowest rocks, sending foam spray into the air soaking the brave bathers in cold water. A gloriously relaxing evening indeed! All too soon the sun crept behind an island and night began to fall. The trainees after changing began the walk through the dark forest back to the ship, it was a time to reflect in the peaceful silence of the old trees, stars twinkling above. Back aboard the Swift a quiet mug up wrapped up another truly unforgettable day.
This has been, a day with Brendan Lacy

*Tuck N' Tidy

August 26th 2012 @ 23:00
49°28'13.80 N 126°14'31.20 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 5. Everyone awoke to a lovely morning of pleasant weather and scattered clouds in the lovely Hot Springs Cove. Over a delicious breakfast of healthy granola & yogurt it was announced that we would be returning to the Hot Springs for a refreshing morning dip!! After a quick scramble to get ready all watches were shuttled by Skipper in the zodiac to the dock. A relaxed stroll through the fresh, cool old growth forest is the best way to start a day, and was even better when followed by a hot shower! It was a blessing in disguise that it was a little overcast because the hot pools were much more appreciated in contrast to the cool air. Everyone enjoyed a long, relaxing soak- it was even better the second time around. The sun was peeking through the trees on the returning walk through the forest and many people took advantage of the cooler holding cookies, San Pellegrinos, and other treats for sale. We returned to the Swift just in time for lunch, which was Indian veggie burritos and melon.
At 13:45 we departed Hot Springs Cove and set sail!!! There was excitement in the air as we set a reefed mainsail, foresail and forestaysail. We were facing 20 knots of southeasterly wind as we tacked south. This was only the second time this trip we had set sail other than the square topsail and courses, so everyone was reveling in the joyous movement powered only by wind. The moment the motor turns off is a glorious one and was much anticipated. This was a first time sailing experience for many trainees and was enjoyed by all. After a wonderful sail, we ran north up Sydney Inlet. Skipper did some fishing while I steered the Swift up Holmes Inlet and into one of my favourite anchorages, Pretty Girl Cove. I also learned how to anchor the boat which was great fun. Shortly after anchoring, Sam, Ryan, Graham and Lindsey repainted the hull in the zodiac. Almost immediately after they finished that grueling job (that resulted in much green paint in hair) it began to rain - thank the Lord for holding off until the painting was finished!! Mel & Liz cooked us a delicious dinner of Sundried tomato red pepper pesto chicken pasta and Caesar salad, which was enjoyed by all up on deck for a one- sitter. After dinner we had a quick Tuck & Tidy. Looking for bonus points, the boys entertained the judges with a hospital sketch involving a surgery performed on Kyle (to step up the hospital cleanliness factor). The ladies welcomed the judges to the foīcīsīle for a quick tour and open house, pointing out all the prime real estate and award winning bunks. The next item on the evening agenda was a loud game of Mad Gab in the hold, with the Starhawks vs. the Super Awesome Dragon Serpents. I have also discovered my uncanny ability to guess words in that game, which contributed to the Dragon Serpentsī victory. The day was closed with a big plate of fantastic chocolate zucchini cake (icing included) and hot apple cider. Another glorious day on the incredible west coast!
Fair winds,
Cayla Wolever

August 27th 2012 @ 23:00
49°13'41.88 N 125°54'7.20 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 6. In Pretty Girl Cove, we were woken up by the sound of rain on deck. This rain and accompanying fog would continue throughout the day, which if anything added to the beauty of the coast: mountains moved in and out of sight, and wisps of cloud hung below thick forest. This moisture put a damper on on-deck activities, but was also a chance for some to catch up on a little rest belowdecks. After a tasty breakfast of gooey cinnamon buns, The Junior trainees had a final review session before their chartwork and terminology tests, while in the aft cabin Intermediates worked through the use of tide tables. For myself, rain delayed any on-deck projects but not the task of securing hydraulic lines deep beneath the galley sink. In the wet weather, lunch of potato and leek soup with fresh scones was just perfect. Shortly thereafter, anchor was raised under Cayla and Michelleīs direction and we left Pretty Girl Cove. We made our way south, through Shelter Inlet, Hayden Passage, and down Millar Channel to our destination: Ritchie Bay. There we were welcomed by our friends aboard Pacific Grace, and the two ships tied up together. The moment of reunion was exciting, both to hear about the experience of those on the other ship, and to see another beautiful boat. For myself, I was last on board the Grace Offshore, and it helped bring those wonderful memories to the surface. On the Swift we had a spicy dinner of chicken curry on rice, accompanied by a sweet salad with apple! After a brief Tuck & Tidy, all hands boarded Pacific Grace for the melodious Song game, with Skipper Daveīs team prevailing to the end. Mug-up was sung altogether, with a highlight of Skipper Johnīs lead on īSave This Houseī. To close out the day, our trainees returned to the Swift for mint hot chocolate and fabulous Brig shortbread cookies. How truly blessed we are to take part in this together!
Fair Winds,
Graham Muirhead, Bosunīs Mate

August 28th 2012 @ 23:00
48°52'37.20 N 125°19'4.80 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 7. We all woke up, quite thoroughly tired from late night watches and such like. It was cold and rainy and Starboard watch, my watch, had one long shift in the rain. Sam, a crew member with an incredibly illustrious beard said that it would clear up when his watch, forward watch, went on. It did. So irritating. We began at Ritchie Bay, and slipped lines off of the Grace which we were tied up with for the night. Skipper Dave says I have to include those technical bits of information so you people reading this have a general idea of where we were. We left there early in the morning, well early for us, those of us who have night watch late into the night, unlike the crew who get to sleep all night unless thereīs an emergency. Then Starboard watch watched for our four hours. After that forward watch went on for their four hours. We were motoring for the day because the wind and rain didnīt co-operate and let us poor souls sail.
We lunged over quite a few waves and surprisingly enough there wasnīt too much sickness. The waves were amazing though, quite a few times we got sprayed by the ocean, especially those on bow watch, or, in my case talking the ears off of those on bow watch. Because it was raining and wet for a lot of day 7 there was some awesome styles going on, I took great pride in my yellow duck jacket, however, I was outdone by Gillian who had the jacket complete with the overall water duck pants. We named her master duck. Teese, if thatīs how you spell his name, had eight shirts on. I think thatīs all he brought, Iīm sure if heīd brought more heīd have worn them too. The serious intermediates whose test is today were studying maturely while the juniors, who finished our test on day 6, played cards or some other sort of silliness. One of the best parts of day 7 was the smell wafting up from the kitchen. Roast beef dinner. Complete with potatoes, carrots, Caesar salad, heaven on a boat. If I stood next to the stove pipe I would get whiffs of the roast when it was taken on to be basted or checked on. Dinner was just as good as we had smelt. It was incredible. After our incredibly amazingly, spectacularly scrumptious dinner many of us sat in the folksole and told jokes. Fiona told us many remarkable jokes complete with accents and everything. We stopped in Effingham at 16:20, the captain says I have to say that too. Itīs around the area of Barkley Bay. Super pretty. I saw the most amazing sunset. It looked like fire moving in sync with the clouds and a huge ball of fire was the cause of it all. There was even some green, I have no idea how it worked. Then we all had our  Sunday service. We wrote a list on the community of Salts and why it is that way. We discovered we all really like each other. And work well together, are really good friends and can never pretend weīre anything but ourselves when weīre on the ship. There was lovely music as always and some really nice harmonies. Then some of the crew members talked about God and what he was about, what they were about, and shared some Scripture verses. The topic was essentially, loving each other and Godīs love for us. We were challenged to bring the amazing community of Salts home with us and create it elsewhere. After the service we all headed down to the Hold and ate rice crispies and peppermint tea. We stayed up later than usual, at least thatīs how it felt. We had a good time and got to know each other better. All in all, it was a good day. The mysteries of secret friends are still up and much is being done for them. I should stop now and go take my many words elsewhere. Hope you all have a great day and are wishing you were lurching over mighty waves with frozen fingers like we are.
Emily Marion Grant
Translation Emily, or Sally as Olii calls me.

August 29th 2012 @ 23:00
48°33'19.80 N 125°27'43.20 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Day 8.  We awoke at anchor just off Effingham island to the pitter patter of rain on the deck.  Thankfully some of the crew had set up the tarp amidships which prevented a large portion of the rain from soaking into certain deck prisms.  One of which has the delightful tendency to drip a slow but steady steam of drops onto the portion of my bunk that is near my right leg.  The rain came in waves, steadily rising to a downpour, which, thankfully didnīt last long.  More profound than the momentary irritation of the rain and the minor cold that a few trainees and I have been sharing was the stunning elegance of the Broken Group Islands shrouded in the morning mist.  I will not soon forget this landscape.  It is a mystery to me how life can thrive on some of the barren rocks that surround these islands, yet the trees, however windblown still manage to exist.  We weighed anchor at 0830 and cruised back out to the open sea with me at the helm, probably my favourite position on the schooner aside from being aloft in the foretop.  Upon reaching the open sea around 1025 we were shrouded in a fog bank off of Cape Beale that gradually subsided and then increased during the course of our long motor back towards the Straight of Juan De Fuca.  During the voyage intermediates had review for the test for most of the morning and early afternoon, while the juniors played various games and went climbing in the tops and whisker shrouds.  I feel that our community has grown now to the point where itīs going to be very difficult to leave our friends.  I find myself looking into the fog and across the open sea in the forlorn hope that our Captain might suddenly tell the helmsman to alter course to port and hold her steady straight out to sea.  I think trainees and crew alike would have no qualms with spending a few more weeks in each others company, provided there was a hot shower or hot springs on the way to wherever we would go.  I probably shouldnīt say this, being such a quandary to nautical navigation, but I have such an admiration for the beauty of fog and other such inclement sea conditions.  Upon entering the straights the fog lifted enough to offer up a view of the glassy sea.  Protected now from the Pacific swell by the new found land to starboard.  We were rewarded with the welcoming sight of what I believe was a humpback whale, with a fine set of flukes in plain view.  Shortly after the whale sighting the fog once again enveloped our lovely Swift.  Near our destination of Port San Juan, still shrouded in fog, Skipper told us to make ready to set the main, fore, and all three staysails.  I promptly tucked my intermediate test under one of the inflatable life raft containers and went aft to man the main peak halyard.  After some expert direction from intermediates Jill and Brendan the foresail and all three staysails were aloft and filling with the gentle breeze we were so lucky to have.  I think trainee and crew alike were in awe of the elegance with which She (The Swift) ghosted through the mist.  This place could have very well been devoid of time entirely, a portal to the past.  I wonder what fishing boats passing by would have thought, hearing our fog horn, expecting to see a tugboat or some other motor craft, when out of the fog glides the Swift under fine press of canvas, something straight out of a dream, straight out of my dreams.  We managed to tack her with our gentle breeze, and headed towards anchorage.  We anchored under sail as we entered Port San Juan.   Which I unfortunately couldnīt be present for due to the copious quantities of aromatic Jambalaya that Mel was serving out to my watch.  In the evening we had a lively display of impromptu skits, the guys first, ladies last.  The ladies prevailed with a very well put together skit, featuring the vulnerable princess Tristan, as well as the rest of the crew, in various roles, and with various laughter inducing quirks.  The evening came to a close with one of our best mug ups.  I find that as these trips progress the mug ups also get more and more in tune.  Our rendition of Stan Rogers Bluenose would have been enough to send tingles down the spine of any mariner with an affinity for sailing tradition.  I know it do so for me.  I hope that as the weeks wear on after our voyage, the relationships built on trust and encouragement that we have fostered over the course of ten days will live on.  I cannot thank this crew enough for the experience they have given me and every soul on board.  Their knowledge and experience in seamanship, and human relationships is a major inspiration to me.


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