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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2008 Summer -> Pacific Swift Trip 5 2008

Pacific Swift Trip 5 2008

Log of Pacific Swift

August 8th 2008 @ 19:00
49°1'49.08 N 125°20'13.20 W

Ship's Log:
The trip 5 trainees trickled aboard as the rain thundered down
midday in Ucluelet. By 1500 all hands were accounted for, safety
orientation conducted and lines slipped and underway. After clearing
Ucluelet Harbour and encountering some lumpish seas we bore away into
Barkley Sound to ease the motion and the stomachs. We set full sail in
company with the Pacific Grace and made good time deep into the sound to
find good shelter and a beautiful surroundings for the night. It was
beautiful to watch the two ships plunge through the swells under sail. A
timeless scene seldom seen these days. Amid a tumultuous downpour, where
the rain made solid waterfalls off of the sails, we raced for snug
anchorage off of Snowden Island. All hands were immediately put to the
test as 5500 square feet of canvas needed to be handled into submission
to bring the ship smartly to anchor under sail alone. It was a full day
of sail training with all sails set and several tacks and gybes to
round. All hands are looking forward to getting to know one another and
enjoying a night of games and singing snuggled below


Observations:
anchored, rainy
August 21st 2008 @ 21:00
49°28'15.60 N 126°25'37.20 W

Ship's Log:
We awoke cradled on smooth and misty waters in Toquart Bay at 0645
to get underway and make a passage to the north to explore some of the
raw wilderness of the Island´s west coast. Our second treat of the day
was the sun breaking through the heavy clouds and steadily warming all
day. We cleared Barkley Sound to calm wind yet some lively swell. As we
rolled our way north we were fortunate to see several humpback whales
close at hand against the beautiful backdrop of Vancouver Island rising
from the sea. Some hands were seasick in the morning but as the swell
moderated in the afternoon most sprang back to life and were quick and
keen to help steer, stand watch and do dishes. While the afternoon wore
on, the breeze freshened surprisingly from the south and we were able to
spread our squares and main before the wind and proceed the last couple
hours to Hesquiat Harbour. Trainees were keen to lay aloft and try their
hand at loosing and furling topsails. Crossing the bar at the harbour
mouth the swells dropped and the fish bit the lines as we coasted gently
to anchor amid the magnificent scenery of this historic anchorage.
Everyone is looking forward to an opportunity to stretch our legs ashore
tomorrow and continue to learn about the shipmates around us.


Observations:
anchored, overcast, 21C
August 22nd 2008 @ 19:00
49°21'43.92 N 126°15'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
A great day to stretch our seabound legs as we will have travelled
several km through temeperate rainforest on beautiful boardwalks by days
end. The day started with our first adventure in the dories to row
ashore to Boat Basin, the gateway to Cougar Annie´s Garden. The Garden
is an old homestead started in the early 1900s and a storehouse of
history, culture, wildlife and gigantic cedars. We had an oppurtunity to
be toured around by Peter, the original caretaker of the garden in its
restored form. After a dip in a lake we returned to the Swift for lunch
and some formal lessons while calm at anchor. We weighed anchor
midafternoon to head for Hot Springs Cove. The swells were significantly
smaller today as we had a short passage in open water, much to the
delight of many aboard. People were taking the time to chat, play
guitar, read and make arts and crafts projects. It was a joy to see
people relaxing and opening up. We are now tied up at Hot Springs soon
to depart for an evening dip in the hot, natural pools that cascade down
to the Pacific swell. The path to the springs is a beautiful boardwalk
through the forest that follows the run of the coast. The lightly
falling rain will surely only enhance the pleasure of the springs.


Observations:
moored, rain,17C
August 23rd 2008 @ 19:00
49°28'15.60 N 126°14'27.60 W

Ship's Log:
The rain may be pouring but spirits haven´t been dampened yet! We
slipped away from Hot Springs after completing our long awaited name
board for the boardwalk this morning. We slipped up into the heart of
Clayquot Sound to take shelter from some more SE winds. Our quest for a
sheltered anchorage was answered by Pretty Girl Cove. The anchorage is
perhaps the most pristine we´ve seen all year. There is no sign of
civilization, ancient or modern. No other ships, buildings, traps,
pilings, forestry etc.. . The natural beauty is spectacular with densely
wooded hills dipping their branches right down to the calm waters, a
river estuary, all to the gentle tune of streams emptying around the
still bay. After some lessons and lunch the dories were launched for an
exposition to discover the attractions of Pretty Girl Cove. The first
goal was to explore the estuary and the dories plied its clear waters
to find many of the gentle streams we heard at anchor. Next was a quest
to reach a lake. The dories landed at the mouth of a stream and the
adventurers set off into the woods. It was a good hike through lush
green rainforest where plant life teemed all around the steady stream.
After a ways a series of pools and waterfalls were discovered that
except for the lack of a palm tree or two could be in a Caribbean
setting. Despite being wet already, nearly everyone jumped in to bathe
in the surprisingly warm water. A very good adventure indeed. Now back
aboard, being thoroughly drenched, the next logical activity is of
course to use the ship´s yards for a fantastic rope swing. The challenge
and excitement of the day is drawing the community together and providing
ample oppurtunity to serve and help those around us. The watches are
enjoying meal times together and taking time to learn from each other.


Observations:
anchored, calm, rain
August 24th 2008 @ 19:00
49°17'47.40 N 125°58'44.40 W

Ship's Log:
A beautiful day, reminiscent of time spent in Desolation Sound.  
Over night the rain had slowed to a persistent drizzle and showed
occasional signs of letting off. After breakfast we bid a fond farewell
to Pretty Girl Cove to move south. We stayed inside Clayquot Sound and
made our way around Flores Island as it was still blustery on the
outside. The narrow channels of calm water, etched with waterfalls and
hemmed in by steep wooded hills, was a sight more familiar to our times
in Desolation than on the west coast. We quickly picked up a breeze and
were able to set squares and run before it for a time. Once around the
north end of Flores the breeze pulled ahead and all hands were called to
set all fore and aft sail to beat down channel. It was a great afternoon
of sailtraining as everyone was involved in handling lines to repeatedly
tack the ship in the narrow channel. What´s more to everyone´s delight
the sun emerged and hatches were opened and raingear stripped off. After
sailing all day we swung in to a small unnamed cove in Clayquat, placid
waters surrounded by small woody islands and a river rushing nearby.
Once secure at anchor a dory was launched and set sail to explore the
nooks and crannies of the cove. Meanwhile those aboard basked in the sun
and went for a swim. Everyone is happy and healthy. Conversations come
easily and bonds are being built.


Observations:
anchored, sunny, 17C
August 25th 2008 @ 23:15
48°54'48.60 N 125°16'44.40 W

Ship's Log:
Taking advantage of break in the southerly winds that have been
persistent, we poked our head out from the protected waters of the
sounds to make distance southward. The morning was clear and calm as we
ghosted under the Catface Range towards the open Pacific. As we bid
farewell to the mist topped trees we entered an area of thick fog off
the Tofino area. Luckily after a couple hours it lifted with our spirits
and we were able to enjoy the scenery and nearby humpbacks as we
approached Barkley Sound. By mid afteroon the skies were warm and sunny
and soon filled with a westerly breeze which we put to good use. Happily
we hoisted up squares, main and topsails and made towards our anchorage
in the Broken Islands. It was a great sail up to 8 knots under a
beautiful evening sun, glowing over the water, islands and ship. We came
to rest nestled in picturesque Island Harbour, a harbour by name only as
it lies between the nearby scattered islands. As the sun set we turned
our gaze heavenwards, where the purest blanket of stars lay over us, as
it did the previous evening. Here, far from the interference of city
lights, the sky can be seen as it was created. Lessons are finishing up
now as we prepare to write the formal tests in the next couple of days.
Spirits remain high and everyone is very comfortable with life aboard
and each other. Several trainees sprung aloft to handle topsails in the
swell and many are keen to learn, participate and grow in all the
opportunities that are presented.


Observations:
anchored, clear, cool
August 26th 2008 @ 17:00
48°52'37.20 N 125°19'1.20 W

Ship's Log:
In honour of shipboard Sunday we had a small sleep-in and fresh
cinnamon buns. After dishes the dories were manned and an expedition
launched to explore the Broken Islands and explore some sea caves. It
was a resounding success as several caves were discovered and the
watches took turns exploring their depths. The beauty of the islands is
very evident as you get to closely examine their rugged shores
interspersed with small pocket beaches. The afternoon has been dedicated
to writing exams and completing oral tests. This evening will be
rounded out be a scrumptious roast beef, mashed potato and yorkshire
pudding dinner, followed by some games then a Sunday service.


Observations:
anchored, rainy, cool
August 27th 2008 @ 19:00
48°33'53.64 N 124°25'51.60 W

Ship's Log:
After a dark and squally night we awoke to dawn full of promise. The
anchor was aweigh by 0800 and sail was set shortly thereafter. The
breeze was fickle throughout the day and our fortunes ranged from 8
knots to 1.5 knots. We had rain off and on and the swell was runnin´
high. By dinner time though we´d reached Port San Juan and have
officially entered the Juan de Fuca Strait for our final stretch home.
The group is coming together well and looking forward to making the most
of our last couple days.


Observations:
anchored, overcast

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