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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2008 Summer -> Pacific Swift Trip 4 2008

Pacific Swift Trip 4 2008

Log of Pacific Swift

August 8th 2008 @ 19:00
51°0'38.52 N 127°31'26.40 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 4 is up and running with a fresh load of trainees. We boarded
yesterday in Port Hardy as the fog slowly drifted away to unveil clear
and sunny skies. We have a good mixture of new and returning trainees
bringing alot of experience and exitement. Once clear of the Port Hardy
dock we proceeded to set sail. It was a lovely four lower breeze and we
skimmed along close hauled making a respectable 6-7 knots. Our joy was
short lived as a dense fog closed around us even as the breeze picked up
to set the scuppers awash. By the time we had shortened down we came
clear of the fog and land hove in sight as we made for Blunden Harbour.
The sun was out and shining once more as we ate dinner in the beautiful
anchorage. Our evening was rounded out with games, singing and an anchor
watch talk by Drew the mate. After a peaceful sleep and breakfast the
watches piled into the dories to explore our surroundings. Hopes were
high as the dories sought to brave the tidal rapids to make entrance
into Bradely Lagoon. After several valient attempts by all watches,
reality set in and attention was directed to a shore landing, were there
was a rousing game of camoflage amongst other activities. After a tasty
lunch we set out to the North in search of fish and another beautiful
anchorage. As the wind was light mour attention was turned to teaching
with both juniors and intermediates commencing their formal lessons. Our
search for fish yielded 2 small sole, and our anchorage is the very
picturesque Southgate Group, surrounded by densley wooded, small rugged
islets. The flavour of the geography has a more desperate (yet
beautiful) feel as we make our way further north. . Tonight will have
more mugup fun along with the intorduction of "secret friends" for the
trip.


Observations:
anchored, overcast, occasional drizzle, 18C
August 9th 2008 @ 20:00
50°29'8.52 N 128°2'56.40 W

Ship's Log:
We awoke at 0530 to take advantage of a break in the contrary
weather on the west side of Vancouver Island. The forecast had been for
strong SE and we needed a window to weather Cape Scott. Port watch got
the anchor smartly aweigh as we slipped out of a whisper quiet Southgate
Island Group into Queen Charlotte Strait. Before the anchor was securely
lashed rapid fins were sighted on the port beam. Within seconds we were
surrounded by 20 or so white sided dolphins! They are very beautiful and
playful and a rare sight indeed in these waters. They altered their
course and swam with us for half an hour twisting and turning beneath
our bow and surfacing right beside the ship. As the main group headed
away one dolphin remained and surfaced 3 times under the bow and slapped
his tail consecuatively each time, after which he and the rest
disappeared. One can only imagine it was to say goodbye and bid us safe
passage. As everyone knows dolphins are a good omen and with this
auspicious blessing and joyous start our day and passage began. The seas
and wind remained relatively calm and we were able to round Cape Scott
by lunchtime. .A strikingly beautiful coast, contrasting sandy crescent
beaches with jagged rock cliffs and tenacious trees.Serveral humpbacks
were spotted as well throughout the day.  The passage was nicely
uneventful with noone feeling unduly seasick as we entered the west
coast swell., just a couple of light appetites easily made up for at
mugup!  We´ve rounded into the scenic and calm waters of Quatsino Sound
where we will rest the night surrounded by sea otters and eagles.
Trainees are relaxed and doing well happily studying and playing various
games as they continue build relationships and get to know one another.


Observations:
anchored, sunny breaks, 19C
August 10th 2008 @ 20:00
50°10'59.52 N 127°37'12.00 W

Ship's Log:
The day dawned clear and bright and offered a window to weather Brooks Pennisula before the SE winds close in again. Taking advantage of this opportunity we got underway right after breakfast to make the 45 NM passage before evening. We made good time under power seeing several humpbacks as we rounded Solander Island, a ragged island extended past the outer extremity of Brooks Penninsula, home to many sealions and birds, bearing the scars of many a winter storm. The breeze freshened and we slowed a bit but carried on. Just past Brooks we stopped at a favourite fishing hole, pulling in 8 good sized fish in as many minutes. The largest was a cod of about 50 pounds nearly 4 feet long. Matt the burly bosun could barely lift it once netted. With our share of fresh fish aboard, all hands set full sail to sail towards Nasparti Inlet to seek shelter for the night. All hands are in high spirits, whales, big fish, sun and sails keep all in a great mood.


August 11th 2008 @ 16:10
49°58'14.16 N 127°26'24.00 W

Heading 118°
Speed 4.5

Ship's Log:
While games were underway last night, many hands were busy in the
galley preparing the fish for consumption. We filled 4 full baking trays
with cod and snapper in various marinades and made another 4 baskets of
deep fried nuggets. It was brought on deck and well received by
everybody. It was a big social event as we lay in the peaceful inlet
listening to the trickle of nearby waterfalls and contented munching.
This morning we found our selves in a calm area even as SE gales
battered the outer island. Taking advantage we scuttled down the inlet
and sent the dories ashore from a sheltered cove. From there, they
explored a seacave then rowed ashore to hike through the beautiful
temperate rainforest. Just as suddenly as you enter the forest you
emerge onto a startling white sand beach. Time was spent swimming in the
surf, playing games, beachcombing for odds and sods from distant lands
and bathing in a river. In short a great shore expedition on the west
coast. Once safely back aboard we weighed anchor to keep plugging our
way south. SE winds still prevail, but the NW should soon arrive to
speed us down the coast. All lessons are complete now and everyone is
working on polishing off their oral examinations. The group is really
starting to gel well together and keen to take on anything that comes
their way. Our game of "assasins" has entered into day 2 now as well.


Observations:
motoring, 1m SW swell, overcast
August 12th 2008 @ 20:00
49°47'5.64 N 126°50'20.40 W

Ship's Log:
A grand conclusion to a bit of a dreary day. We got underway and bid
farewell to the Grace during the second breakfast sitting to continue
our push south. The SE was up for the 6th straight day as we motored
through strong headwinds and large swell. It was our most unpleasant day
for motion so far, but everyone still did well, although several dared
not venture below. Although the wind and rain were driving we passed the
time and kept spirits up playing charades around the cockpit, bundled in
foulies and scarves. By midafternoon we were able to set a foresail and
staysail and motor sail. After an hour of that we were able to bear of
towards Nootka Island and kill the engine, a blessed sound after so much
motoring along with a couple glimpses of sun. We reached Mary Basin in
the heart of Nootka, well sheltered from the wind, rain and swell on the
outside. Once peacefully anchored the hands turned to finishing lessons
and preparing for the written exams in the next couple days.The rest of
the evening was spent making perogies. We started from scratch using
Skipper´s traditional family recipe from the old country (Ukraine) and
half the ship´s company bound together to churn out 500 perfect perogies
in record time. The hold and galley were filled with the cheerful
banter of people, making dough, rolling, cutting, stuffing, folding,
baking, cleaning all to live fiddle and guitar music. A great experience
and wonderful team effort. A great time to learn about hard, cheerful
work all to serve others. Once again despite some trying weather, the
most was made of it and all are in great spirits and the community is
being strongly built.


Observations:
anchored, overcast, 19C
August 13th 2008 @ 19:00
49°27'52.92 N 126°26'2.40 W

Ship's Log:
A wonderful return to normal on the west coast! The sun was trying
to break through as we got underway during breakfast. The seas were
pretty rolly but the SE wind was gone so we rolled along making good
speed over glassy seas. We had the treat of seeing serval humpbacks
breaching clear of the water as we made our way south. Around midday we
got the first puffs of NW on the backs of our necks as the rising sun
warmed us up and encouraged us to shed our layers that we´ve grown
accustomed to for the last week. By 1500 there was enough of breeze to set
the courses. We started slowly, but as we set more sail the wind
continued to freshen till every single stitch of canvas was set and we
were humming along at 8knots with the scuppers pumping! What a thrill!
The joy was evident on all the faces as we finally set sail before a
fresh following breeze with the sun on our cheeks and felt the ship
truly come alive. A pretty scene evocative of the 18th century was made
as we reached into historic Hesquiat Harbour to come gracefully to
anchor under full sail. All hands worked exceedingly well and with
earnest hearts as the ship was put through her paces. Once anchored the
sun was deliciously warm as trainees eagerly swarmed aloft to stow
topsails and coil down the deck. No better conclusion could be made than
enjoying a fantastic roast beef dinner with all the fixin´s surrounded
by beautiful scenery and good company. This evening we will have our
Sunday service.


Observations:
anchored, sunny, 28C
August 15th 2008 @ 19:00
48°55'14.16 N 125°28'22.80 W

Speed 15

Ship's Log:
The last several days have been marvelous. The community has grown
tightly together and a lot of fun has happened as well. There has been
no end of smiles and great attitudes as the trip has wrapped up.
Yesterday we rowed ashore through thick fog to emerge in the sunlight at
Cougar Annie´s Garden. Its an old homestead carved out of the rainforest
that is home to an abundance of history, culture, wildlife, gigantic
trees, beautiful cedar boardwalks, lakes, handcrafted cabins and
buldings. It was a treat to stretch our legs and explore the wild beauty
of the place under a warm sun guided by Peter who has done much work to
restore, expand and protect the area. After lunch all hands turned to
testing and writing exams. The reward for finishing was a lovely sail
down to Hot Springs Cove. Hot Springs is a beautiful park with a
boardwalk winding through the trees along the coast concluding in a
natural hot springs that flow in cascading pools down to the sea. After
dinner we tromped our way there to lie in the hot pools. It was a great
oppurtunity to relax and enjoy conversation. This morning we slipped
away at 0700 to make our final run down towards Ucluelet. We headed
serval miles offshore to pick up the breeze. We were rewarded by seeing
breaching humpbacks, coming within 10 feet of catching a delicious
salmon and finally setting sail. It was grand to run down before a
freshing breeze with the squares billowing under a clear blue sky as
people finished orals, relaxed and prepared for tonights talent show. The
sail ended in dramatic fashion as with 1 mile to go the main was rapidly
hoisted with great vigour to reach up into the wind to make anchorage.
We rounded hard into the bay and everyone performed spectacularly to
handle the mass of canvas to bring us safely to anchor under sail alone.
Its a treat to lie now at anchor enjoying a diner and preparing for a
last night of talents and singing with a warm breeze blowing.


Observations:
anchored, 22C, sunny

sailing
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