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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2008 Summer -> Pacific Swift Trip 3 2008

Pacific Swift Trip 3 2008

Log of Pacific Swift

July 26th 2008 @ 16:45
49°57'5.40 N 124°46'37.20 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 3 aboard the Pacific Swift is off to a great start!Weīve just
anchored at the sandy paradise of Savary Island after a 26 hour run. 21
of which were spent under sail. We welcomed aboard a great group
trainees with an excellent blend of returnees and new sailors. The group
dynamic on board is already excellent, with everyone working and playing
well together. We set sail shortly after leaving Victoria Harbour and in
company with the Grace sailed towards the Strait of Georgia, it was an
excellent sail and every sail was set at least once and we reached a top
speed of 9.2 knots heading down Boundary Pass. Light airs soon followed
around 2000 and we motored through Active Pass as mugup games, singing
and safety talks happened below decks. Once clear of Active Pass, we
picked up the breeze once more and set our courses and square topsail to
sail through the night. The forecast called for rain but all we saw  was
a few sparse showers, nothing to dampen the excitement of sailing
through the night under the occasional glimpse of stars and fireworks
off Vancouver. Dawn arrived with a freshening breeze and all hands were
roused to set the main and maintopsail before breakfast. The additional
canvas and picking wind sent us scooting up Malaspina Strait at 7-8
knots. By mid-afternoon the breeze was waning and we drifted till we
were just shy of Savary. We had a quick 45 minute motor before dropping
anchor at the doorway to Desolation Sound. All the sail handling has
been excellent with many trainees having the opportunity to lay aloft
and work the topsails. As the Intermediates finish off a splicing lesson
with the bosun the rest are preparing to get a taste of the warm waters
of Desolation, with a swim stop before dinner. The evening will be
filled with games, singing, secret friends and an anchor watch talk.


Observations:
anchored, overcast, calm, 23C
July 27th 2008 @ 20:23
50°11'52.80 N 124°50'52.80 W

Ship's Log:
Another wonderful day. There were ominous overtones as we awoke to
grey skies, drizzle and a chill wind. However after dishes were done the
sky began to clear and we braved a trip ashore to Savary. All watches
did well taking to the dories in a moderate chop and rowing for the
beach. Once ashore a great game of soccer was played followed by a round
of "Land". The afternoon was spent having a great beat under full sail
up Lewis Channel in company with the Grace and a pair of humpbacks. The
watches took turns hndling sail and improved much in theoretical and
practical seamanship. We sailed all the way in to the anchorage at
Teakearne arm in front of the beautiful waterfall to raft up with the
Grace for an evening of singing and games.  The trainees are continuing
to do a wonderful job in all aspects of shipboard life and are starting
to come together as a community well.


Observations:
rafted with Grace, overcast, calm, 23C
July 28th 2008 @ 18:30
50°20'53.52 N 125°2'24.00 W

Speed 1000

Ship's Log:
Spirits are high, work ethic is excellent and people are caring and
encouraging eachother in many ways. In short shipboard life is excellent
with everyone pitching in and looking after eachother. We had a great
morning at Cassel Lake and its accompaning waterfall, swimming, diving,
playing water polo and enjoying eachothers company in the tepid waters.
After we were back aboard we decided to bid farewell to the Grace and
try to spent another day sailing from anchorage to anchorage. As soon as
we were clear of the Grace we set all fore and aft sail to beat our way
out of Teakerne Arm. It was an arduous task as the breeze was fickle and
wily. However after many tacks and a lot of patience we were clear of
the Arm and running before a fresh breeze. All hands turned to, to swap
for the square sails and we made brisk progress up to Frances Bay to
wait the night for tides through the rapids tommorow. All hands are
working hard at their studies and practical seamanship. There is no
shortage of help in any of the work aboard. It is very rewarding and
encouraging. Everone is well and looking forward to the coming days and
enjoying every moment.


Observations:
anchored, rain, 20C
July 29th 2008 @ 17:35
50°29'53.52 N 125°15'18.00 W

Ship's Log:
Up early at 0530 to catch slack water through the rapids mid-island
where the waters surging from the north and south meet and can create
currents exceeding 15 kts. Everything went very well as Port watch
guided us through Yuculta rapids and the Devils Hole under the watchful
gaze of bald eagles. We are now north of Desolation Sound and that means
the fishing prospects increase, so we trolled our way in to Frederick
Arm catching one little salmon that we released. At anchor we caught a
couple of dogfish as well. After lunch all hands piled into the dories
to build a sauna at the river connecting the sea to the lake above. It
was a great success, with all hands working to collect firewood, sauna
rocks, tending the fire, building seating and constructing the sauna. In
the end each watch squeezed to enjoy a nice hot sauna as the rain gently
fell outside. We continue to sail everyday as we had a brief jaunt under
the foresail making our way for the first set of rapids. We had an
excellent rap or group discussion last night where we all had a chance
to share a bit about ourselves and lives. It was also our first rainy
day in serveral months.


Observations:
anchored, rainy, calm
July 30th 2008 @ 18:00
50°29'3.48 N 126°0'28.80 W

Ship's Log:
Up early again to catch slack water through Greene Point Rapids. The
narrow channels in this area are very beautiful. The water is a deep
dark teal colour and the trees lean their branches right down to touch
the waterīs surface, leaving a dramatically straight horizontal line at
low water. The mist was playing in and out of the trees creating  very
picturesque west coast scenes. Once clear of the rapids we set sail and
proceeded at a lovely trolling speed towards Johnstone Strait. We had
the priveledge of spending part of the afternoon in company with a pair
of humbacks again. Much closer than earlier in the trip and some great
views. We had several fishing attempts today with only a little rockfish
to show for our efforts. The rain has been toying with us off and on the
last couple of days and we had some glimpses of sun today. Lessons are
going well and the tests should be written in the next day or so, all
are studying hard and applying themselves well. It has been very
encouraging to see the trainess having such a fantastick time through
the rainy weather. We played a game of Assasins today and the two
players left to claim the title are Cobie and Drew the Mate.We ended our
day in Blenkinsop Bay, with the thought of  hot lasagna and a dry
clothes sending us in to anchor. Its a beautiful spot with no signs of
civilization and our first stop with no other boats in sight.


Observations:
anchored, calm, drizzle
July 31st 2008 @ 19:00
50°31'23.52 N 126°33'25.20 W

Ship's Log:
A wonderful boat Sunday is well underway here aboard the Swift. All
hands had a chance for a little sleep in with breakfast served at 0900.
During breakfast, a discusion was circulating aboat being in the
neighbourhood for potential orca sightings, at that same moment orcas
were spotted off the mouth of our anchorage! Wasting no time, the anchor
was hove up as the whales were moving at a leisurely pace. Soon we were
right beside a pod of about 16 orcas, from big daddies to little babies.
We spent the next hour and a half watching the whales in complete
isolatioan, a rare treat with no whale watchers around. As the rain
dripped we could hear in the stillness the exhaling and intake of breath
as they survaced, leaving a delicate mist over the glassy waters. There
were spyhops, flippers, tails and the occasional click and squeek as we
heard them talking in the calm.All hands crowed the deck and watched in
complete silence and awe. A very powerful and awesome experience. As we
left the whales a breeze spang up, gently at first, a better script
couldnīt be written as we set sail and proceeded up Johnstone Strait.
While we sailed up the straight at 6 knots, the intermediates ran the
ship as the juniors wrote their tests. The results were very good with
everone passing at least one test. We sailed right into Boat Bay shortly
before dinner so we could eat our roastbeef, mashed potatoes, and
yorkshire puddings in peace and without getting dripped on. Tonight we
will have a Sunday service to follow up on a great group talk we had
last night. Needless to say everyone is having a better and better time
with each passing day, and its a joy to see people voluntarily on deck
in the rain just having fun.


Observations:
anchored, rain
August 1st 2008 @ 19:00
50°34'40.08 N 126°58'19.20 W

Ship's Log:
Wildlife abounds! Another amazing day in the beauty of creation  We
awoke to a breaking sky and calm waters, all hands were hopeful that the
sun wouldnīt be far behind. After breakfast we weighed anchor and headed
north towards Alert Bay a native cultural centre and self proclaimed
"home of the killer whale". In 30 minutes or so we were treated to about
8 porpoises riding our bow wave, playfully darting about to the delight
of the trainees. About half through the intermediate test review we
suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a 6 orcas. As we shut down the
engine 2 whales began heading right for us and ended up passing about 30
feet from the ship. Very amazing. Shortly thereafter the fog and rain
set in again as we headed for Alert. As we headed ashore the rain and
fog lifted and we were treted to pure sun for the first time in 4 days.
Once ashore everyone played a brilliant game of ultimate frisbee, then
toured the small town to see the totem poles and pick up the odd treat
at the store. Once back aboard we shifted anchorage to Kish Rock to
escape the bustle of Alert Bay and enjoy a rope swing before hamburger
dinner. A great day with the sun, whales and chance to stretch our legs.


Observations:
anchored, sunny (at last), 18C

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