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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2010 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2010 Trip 4 - Pacific Grace

2010 Trip 4 - Pacific Grace

Log of Pacific Grace

August 13th 2010 @ 15:00
50°51'11.88 N 129°0'3.60 W

Ship's Log:
Today was filled with almost every type of weather and sea sensation possible. We awoke to dense fog at 0630hrs, as we made our way out of Port Alexandra and down Goletas Channel. During the day the fog was to clear and return many times until we reached our anchorage for the evening which was clear. Our passage over the Nahwitti Bar and around Cape Scott was a bit lumpy and we had a few green faces as all tried to get used to the new motion. Just as we were clearing the bar a pod of orca swam by and gave us a delightful show as we shaped a course for Cape Scott. Weather predictions were good so we decided to make our way out to Triangle Island off the NW tip of Vancouver Island. Triangle is like a mini Galapagos Island with its unique rock formations, rare wildlife and isolation. After rounding Cape Scott we set sail and made the travelled the remaining 24 miles to the ´never never land´ anchorage on the south side of this island. Large herds of stellar sea lions abound as well as every type of sea bird imaginable. our favorites are the tufted puffins that make Triangle their nesting ground. Tomorrow we hope to row the dories around to check out the anchorage. As Triangle is an ecological reserve going ashore is not an option. All are well and gaining their sea legs quickly.

Clear with a mesmerizing view of triangle island
August 14th 2010 @ 21:50
50°28'18.12 N 128°5'34.80 W

Ship's Log:
We will not forget all that was seen and experienced today for a long time. After a windy night in the anchorage morning brought calm and clear weather to this small bit of “Jurassic Land”. Triangle Island really is unique in every way. Last night at anchor we had Rhinoceros Auklets landing on the deck after discovering the ships rigging in their flight path. Early this morning once the wind calmed down you could hear the 200 strong stellar sea lions growling at each other from the rocks nearby. As daylight arrived so did the Puffins, they were everywhere, thousands of them checking out the Grace with agile fly bys near enough for us to see their beautiful tufts just above the eye. There were Terns, Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Cormorants, Rhinoceros Auklets and many other birds we are still trying to identify. It was a show that went on for hours. After breakfast dories were launched and for the next three hours trainees in their watches rowed around the south end of the island exploring the impressive geology and wild life. Large sea lion colonies were viewed at close range with some of these magnificent animals swimming underneath the dories filled with nervous faces. Massive kelp beds were crossed as the seething pacific swell gently kept everything in motion. Large rock formations with house sized holes in them were investigated, caves all along the shore were inviting to get a closer look within. All this in weather like we have never had before in this area. Warm, clear and calm. We could see the whole Scott Islands chain leading back towards Vancouver Island, multiple islands very different in shape and size. During our time in the dories birds were everywhere and sea lions were regular visitors. There really is no other place like this on our coast. Everyone was thrilled with the experience and were excitedly recounting stories once we all arrived back onboard the Grace.  At 1330hrs our anchor was up and we had shaped a course for Grant Bay which lies just outside of the entrance to Quatsino Sound. Mug up is just finishing and the hold is filled with satisfied faces content with their day and the company that surrounds them. All are well and were not bothered much by the motion on today´s run. Tomorrow we hope to do a bit of fishing, sailing and visiting a favorite sand beach on the north side of the Brooks Peninsula if weather permits. Studies in Junior, Intermediate and Seniors are well underway.

Unusually clear day with light winds
August 15th 2010 @ 21:15
50°6'53.28 N 127°43'22.80 W

Ship's Log:
Another day today that will be hard to beat. Underway at 0530hrs we were off to a favorite beach on the north side of the Brooks Peninsula. It is rare that we can visit this beach due to its exposure to the dominating NW wind and breakers pound the landing area. After a short sail on the way down we reached our anchorage just off a sandy spit that marks the river end of this “Tropical Beach”. If the water wasn´t cold this area could easily be straight from Tahiti. Warm fine sand, fresh water stream and isolation. Games and swimming were on the menu for the afternoon. Back onboard by 1500hrs we were bound for an anchorage on the south side of the peninsula but not before a short fishing stop to top up the larder. Within 20 minutes we had enough fish onboard to feed everyone. Great excitement for all. Soon after fishing the wind was up again so we set sail and enjoyed a delightful sail down the face of Brooks while enjoying dinner. During our final approach to the anchorage we were graced by the presence of a Humpback whale who seemed to enjoy swimming near to the Grace while catching his evening meal. Tonight we are looking north to see the sun setting over the mountainous Brooks Peninsula, west to see the endless ocean horizon with its many shades of colour as darkness approaches and south over the jagged outlines of the islands in Checleset Bay with the sea calm and velvet like in its appearance. Yes, the end of a very full and satisfying day. As I send this note I can hear trainees singing and laughing together in the hold. Content no doubt with their day as well.

Calm, clear with exquisite sunset
August 16th 2010 @ 21:30
50°1'36.12 N 127°22'30.00 W

Ship's Log:
After writing to you last night our evening continued to unfold
for some time. After mug up everyone moved up on deck to watch an impressive
meteor shower which provided endless opportunities to view activity in the skies
above us. We turned all our lights out to maximize the enjoyment. During this
time Alana brought her violin up on deck and gave an impromptu concert for
everyone. This led to more instruments more performers, a delightful time of
sharing musically until about midnight, all under the starlit sky above. It was
quite magical. Today was primarily a shore day as the wind was calm. By 1000hrs
everyone was on the beach and preparing for the infamous “paella”. We have a 36
inch paella pan on board the Grace for use ashore. Today we had fire crews, food
prep crews and of course sauna crews. While the food was simmering the sauna was
doing the same. Often we will build a sauna on the beach and heat it with hot
rocks. Today´s sauna was big enough for at least 20 people at a go. After
heating up for half an hour or so every participant comes charging out of the
sauna tent and into the ocean enjoying its cooling effect. Great gales of
screaming and laughter always accompany the charge. Our paella today contained
chicken, chorizo sausage; fish caught yesterday, giant Spanish beans, green,
yellow and red peppers, rice and green beans. All simmered in a delicious stock.
This pan will feed 40 people to bursting. We left the beach at 1600hrs and began
the short trip to the small fishing village of Kyuquot where we are always
warmly welcomed by the locals. A small store was opened for us so all could
stock up on “stash for the rest of the trip. Tonight will be a calm one tied to
the dock in this idyllic harbor.

Calm , clear, tied to the dock
August 17th 2010 @ 22:00
49°21'42.12 N 126°15'54.00 W

Ship's Log:
We were underway from Kyuqout at 0700hrs this morning so as to get a jump on the long run south that was planned for the day. Yesterday the forecast for today promised NW wind 20 to 30 kts so we thought we were in for quite a sail. As we cleared the channel outside Kyuqout it was clear that things had changed a bit. Shortly after leaving the fog rolled in and for the rest of the day the visibility varied  between 100 feet and 1 mile. This was accompanied by a south east wind of 10-15 kts which forced us to motor the entire day. Our reward was great though as we were bound for Hot Springs Cove a natural thermal spring 20 miles north of Tofino. By 2000hrs everyone was soaking in the 105 degree water and all our motoring, foggy blues had gone. Tomorrow is a sleep in day and boat Sunday so the pace will slow a bit. We will continue to search for wind as we make our way south. Despite all the motoring great discussions and community time was enjoyed around the wheel and in the hold.

Chilly with fog most of the day.
August 19th 2010 @ 21:15
49°1'48.00 N 125°20'34.80 W

Ship's Log:
Yesterday after the Hot Springs we headed inland as there was no wind off the coast. Our destination was Adventure Bay in Clayoquot Sound. Adventure Bay is near the up at the head of an inlet that in the center of Meares Island. it was here that Captain Gray of the Columbia spent a winter back in 1792, one of the first europeans to do so. during his stay he had his crew build a small schooner named Adventure, which was later sold to Captain Quadra for 70 choice sea otter pelts. It was a very circuitous route leading through the extreme shallows of the sound. great fun for all. Today we headed out to sea again near Tofino to enjoy a wonderful NW wind that had brought clear weather back to our area. For the next 25 miles we reached down towards Barkley Sound. Our top speed was coming on to the wind entering the sound. It was exhilarating to watch the Grace power up to over 10 kts and dig her shoulder into the great Pacific swells. During the entire sail we had regular visits by humpback whales some breaching clear of the water and one swimming a foot beneath the bow of the Grace to all of our shock. We are now anchored in Toquart Bay delighting in the calm waters and warm sun shine. All are well and growing strong as a united group.

Clear and calm

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