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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2010 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2010 Trip 3 - Pacific Grace

2010 Trip 3 - Pacific Grace

Log of Pacific Grace

July 30th 2010 @ 21:15
49°0'47.88 N 123°26'34.80 W

Heading 320°
Speed 6.3

Ship's Log:
With all accounted for and a short stop at the fuel dock we were off. We have about 7 returning trainees this trip and the rest are with us for the first time. Our transit through the busy Active Pass was at about 1900hrs amongst fuel barges, ferrys and fish boats. We are now in the open Georgia Strait heading for Desolation Sound to the north. The strait is delightfully calm and we have been treated to a memorable display as the sun eased down behind Vancouver Island.


Observations:
Calm, clear with spectacular sunset to the
Northwest.
July 31st 2010 @ 11:55
49°56'53.88 N 124°46'55.20 W

Ship's Log:
It would be hard to beat the day we have all enjoyed today. We made a new stop on the way to Savary Island this trip. At 0630 this morning we dropped anchor in Quarry Bay on Nelson Island. Last trip we stopped in here on our way south and received a warm welcome from the locals along with the invite to try their nearby lake. Being short for time we promised to return during this trip to check the area out. Our reward was beyond all of our hopes. Finishing breakfast and clean up by 0900, dories were launched and everyone was off to find the lake. At the head of Quarry bay is a small stream marking the trail head to the lake and after a 15 minute walk through the filtered light of the forest we arrived at Quarry Lake. Within minutes everyone was in the water and everyone stayed in the water for the next hour or so. It was so warm and clear that really there was no reason to get out. We swam and gathered logs from the beach to challenge each other at the sport of log rolling and generally enjoyed the water and surrounding mountains which could be seen on the mainland beyond. Lunch was waiting for us at the boat upon return and with the strait being flat calm we motored up to Savary for the night. We have a unique group aboard this trip. Very early on (first afternoon) we noticed they began to spend all their time together enjoying each other and generally hanging out as a group. With this in mind we changed our normal program tonight and did something a little different. At 1900 we launched the dories again and went ashore to walk along the miles of white sand beach that Savary is so well known for. We as a crew were thrilled to watch the trainees as a group lazily make their way down the beach enjoying chatting, laughing and delighting in a sunset to rival all others. We have just returned to the boat for a treat from the cooks before heading to bed.  Everyone has the look of a "day well spent" on their faces, "filled" and there is a sense of peace about the Grace as our day comes to a close.


Observations:
Hard to describe the wonder before us!
August 2nd 2010 @ 12:35
50°15'36.00 N 125°17'31.20 W

Ship's Log:
After an uneventful night on the 31st we hoisted anchor and again turned north. Our destination was Teakerne Arm and Cassel Lake. Shortly after leaving Savary Island a light southerly wind came up which allowed us to set sail and keep sailing until reaching our anchorage near the waterfall that empties Cassel lake into the inlet. Our afternoon was spent sailing in company with the Pacific Swift and Alcyone, a schooner from Port Townsend. All three big schooners were quite a sight as they sailed wing on wing up into the Desolation Sound area. Being the larger vessel the Grace anchored first near the falls and then invited the Swift and Alcyone to raft up alongside. We spent the rest of the day with the Swift to starboard and the Alcyone to port as all the trainees made their way to the lake and falls to once again enjoy the warm fresh water. Last night both boats had mug up together playing games then all gathering in the hold of the Grace for a time of singing. This morning we were underway by 0700hrs to make the tide at Hole in the Wall narrows and then proceed to Newton Lake in Small inlet on Quadra Island. All are well as we move northward out of the congested traffic of early August in Desolation Sound.


Observations:
Clear with light NW wind.
August 3rd 2010 @ 11:46
50°29'53.88 N 126°17'34.80 W

Ship's Log:
Yesterday Newton lake turned out to be the treat we had remembered it to be. Our crew calls Newton Lake "Little Tahiti", it is warm, clear and tropic blue in colour. Arriving in Small Inlet near noon the whole afternoon was spent hiking up to and enjoying the lake. Here too there is a lovely rock bluff at the lakes edge that people can warm up on after their refreshing swim. Our group is developing very well and is strongly united as a group together. They are often on deck together as a group chatting or passing the time with a game.  Our goal for today was to make more progress up Johnston Strait so the anchor was up by 0800 and the 4 crabs caught the night before were onboard. Entering the strait we were greeted with a fresh NW wind that blew for the afternoon between 15 and 25 kts. We sailed most of the day beating to windward, reefing the main, raising and lowering the jib and then raising the main again. At times the Grace was making up to 9.5kts to windward as she charged north. At one point all were savoring the freshly cooked crab, dipping it in garlic butter as the decks were heeled into the sea. Every boat that went by had to come for a look. Our trainees responded admirably with all that was asked of them during all our sail handling. Everyone was supercharged with the day. Presently we are bound for Boat Bay near the north end of Johnstone Strait for the night. Tomorrow our goal is to see some Orca whales at Robson Bight, catch some salmon and possibly stop at Alert Bay for a soccer game at the schools field.
All are well.



Observations:
Clear with a fresh NW all afternoon
August 4th 2010 @ 18:30
50°34'59.88 N 126°55'40.80 W

Ship's Log:
This morning we were greeted with a very calm very beautiful day. Johnston Strait was like a millpond, the antithesis of yesterday. Underway by 0900 and on the lookout for whales we made our way over to Robson Bight on the Vancouver Island side of the strait. Listening to the whale watching channel we were to learn that the Orcas were closer to Port Hardy today. There was a Humpback and Minke whale near by but they did not come over for a visit. Our attempts at fishing also did not produce the results that we were looking for and we put our lines away with only enough fish for  the crab pot tonight. Our afternoon was spent playing soccer up at the school field and strolling the historic main street of Alert Bay. Weather forcasts say that we should get some wind back tomorrow so the primary goal will be to do some sailing as we close the distance to Port Hardy. Wildlife today included porpoises, eagles and trainees heading to the candy store. All are well.


Observations:
Light cloud, calm and warm.
August 5th 2010 @ 22:40
50°54'29.88 N 127°44'13.20 W

Ship's Log:
We awoke today with a completely different view. Last night the fog had rolled in and this morning there was only 100 foot visibility. Most of the morning was spent with radar, fog horn, electronic charts and extra lookouts all working in concert. Later in the day our favorite NW wind returned and once again we found ourselves making over 9 kts to windward beating up Gordon Channel outside of Port Hardy. Presently we are anchored in Cascade Harbour on Nigei Island, a beautiful nook that is open to the great pacific. today was ´boat sunday´ so after dishes everyone gathered on deck under the stars for sunday service. Tomorrow we hope to build a sauna somewhere on the beach and continue enjoying the remarkably wild scenery all around us. Our group is very comfortable with each other and are a treat to listen to during the discussions we have been sharing together. They are honest and respectful as well as genuinely interested in each others lives, traits not always seen in a group of young people.



Observations:
light overcast,calm wind
August 6th 2010 @ 22:00
50°54'46.08 N 127°55'55.20 W

Ship's Log:
Morning again brought calm wind and sea to our anchorage today. Underway by 0900hrs and traveling down Bates Passage we were treated with an extra special ”good morning” as a lone humpback whale swam over  to take a look at the Grace and her crew as we motored by. We cut the engine power and just watched for a while as this leviathan lazily fed along the tide line. We anchored again just after lunch off of the mouth of Nahwitti river to make use of the calm day and build our sauna ashore. This is quite a process as the sauna is usually big enough to fit everyone in at a go. There was a wood and fire crew, a tent making crew and a rock gathering crew. Within an hour the first heating was ready. To heat the sauna many rocks are layered with wood on the large fire and after a period they are placed in tin buckets and brought to the tent. Usually the tent is built with one opening leading to the prime cooling off point which in this case was the very cool Nahwitti river. With buckets of hot rocks in place everyone enters the tent ”carefully,” the door is sealed and then fresh water is dribbled on the hot rocks until everyone is sufficiently ”poached”. We had three runs of the sauna today and each run was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Returning back to the boat we were greeted by another Humpback who swam over to check out all the commotion. Tests for junior and intermediate levels were written today and seniors had a chartwork lesson. All are well and lamenting the fact that there are only a few days left to go.


Observations:
Overcast with light rain.

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