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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2010 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2010 Trip 2 - Pacific Swift

2010 Trip 2 - Pacific Swift

Log of Pacific Swift

July 17th 2010 @ 18:30
49°57'5.04 N 124°46'40.80 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 2 aboard the Pacific Swift commenced with the boarding of 28
trainees in a sunny Victoria harbour, it is about a 50/50 split between
trainees joining for the first time and others who are back for their
second voyage with S.A.L.T.S. After introductions and safety
orientations the lines were slipped and the last waves offered to the
remaining parents. As we motored past Cadboro Bay a lone gray whale
added his flukes to our departure ceremonies. Shortly thereafter a fine
and tempting breeze developed from the SW and all hands stopped mid
knots lesson to set sail. Courses, square topsail and mainsail were
spread before the gathering breeze and we made a fine 7 knots toward
active pass, through which we planned to transit for the Strait of
Georgia. We lowered sail prior to the pass and slipped through amongst
the regular ferry traffic. Once out into the open strait we were greeted
by a beautiful setting sun and an unexpected and unforecasted following
breeze. Sail was again set and it was a beautiful sight to see the
trainees silhouetted aloft against the amber-lit topsails as we ghosted
along during the evening programme of games and song. With stars
emerging, we doused sail on a mirror calm sea  pushingour way north to
Desolation Sound. It was a mostly uneventful night with just a few
tugboats and cruiseships passing  like.... well...passing like ships in
the night. Today was a chance to settle into shipboard life. Everyone
seemed most relaxed in the sun, sharpening their helmsmanship and
working on various crafts and ropework, amongst some formal lessons and
instruction. We arrived at sparkling Savary Island this afternoon, once
anchored, dories were enthusiastically launched to row for the sandy
shores. It was a great afternoon at the beach, playing games of sticks,
soccer, frisbee and dabbling in the warm waters.  After dinner we will
settle in to a regular evening programme of mug-up and select our
"secret friends" for the voyage.


Observations:
sunny, 25 C, anchored
July 18th 2010 @ 18:30
50°7'33.24 N 124°41'52.80 W

Ship's Log:
The morning dawned clear and bright with the last remnants of the
night´s strong NW wind. After dishes all hands set to hoisting all fore
and aft sail to beat north into Desolation Sound. Everyone is very
engaged with sailing with a couple of trainees learning their hand with
the maintopsail. The breeze lasted till lunch, at which time we lowered
sail and motored into the sound. It is very beautiful with steep wooded
hills, snow capped peaks and picturesque islands and inlets. Capt.
Vancouver was obviously in a very different frame of mind when naming
the area. We are now snuggly anchored in Tenedos Bay, a striking holding
ground with sheer cliffs rising from the sea close beside our anchored
home. A few tenacious arbutus trees cling to the cliffsides and a large
stout cedar holds our sternline securely. We rowed ashore amongst an
armada of jellyfish who were enjoying the warm waters where fresh and
salt water mix. We hiked into Unwin Lake to enjoy it´s warm waters.
Everyone was in the water swimming, splashing and paddling logs while
dragonflys skimmed over the surface. The lake is guarded by several tall
mountains, they are covered in beautiful dense forest and glazed with a
snowy upper mantle. Much refreshed and after enjoying eachother´s
company, we made our way back to the Swift for a lesson prior to
dinner.  After dinner we plan to do some dory sailing and the usual
mug-up festivities. There is a wonderful relaxed and comfortable feel
aboard and everyone is making effort to make friendships.


Observations:
sunny, 25 C, anchored
July 19th 2010 @ 18:30
50°15'57.24 N 124°47'60.00 W

Ship's Log:
We have enjoyed a wonderful hot day today, sailing deeper into
Desolation Sound. After weighing anchor and bidding farewell to Tenedos
Bay, we set sail to a fine warm breeze and enjoyed a lovely reach north
to Walsh Cove. The breeze cooperated and drew aft allowing us to sail
nicely all the way to our anchorage. Walsh Cove is cluster of small
islets tucked into a corner of one of the sound´s many long, narrow
inlets and channels. There are tall snowy peaks showing behind the
wooded hills, making a strong contrast to the clear emerald and
turquoise waters of the cove.  The tropical look and feel of the locale
inspired an afternoon spent exploring the islets, swimming to and fro in
the warm water or voyaging by dory.  Everyone is having a great time and
making the most of their experience here. Some have collected oyster
shells and are working at making some jewelery for themselves or secret
friends.


Observations:
sunny, 27 C, anchored
July 20th 2010 @ 18:30
50°11'53.16 N 124°50'52.80 W

Ship's Log:
Last night´s twinkling stars gave way to a crisp dawn light spilling
between the valleys of the steep ridge below which we were anchored.
Slipping our stern line and hoisting our anchor we steamed north to
circumnavigate West Redonda Island. As we slipped through a narrow gap
the view ahead opened up to stunning vistas of the Unwin Mountain Range.
We were able to set sail during lunch and proceeded to glide smoothly to
Teakearne Arm under square sails. The anchorage at the arm holds one of
Desolations best features, a cascading waterfall which lies just off the
ship´s stern and the sound of its descent makes a gentle backdrop to
this resting place. Once secured aloft and alow we made a trip to the
source of the falls, Cassel Lake. The waters rivaled Unwin Lake and the
trainees spent an enjoyable time with diving contests, intermediate swim
tests and just enjoying the pristine scenery. A trip to Teakearne
wouldn´t be complete however without a trip to the falls themselves.
Sunlight poured through the sheets of water behind which we bathed and
scrubbed while below the falls some lounged in the natural pools.


Observations:
sunny, 25 C, anchored
July 21st 2010 @ 19:30
49°31'6.96 N 124°37'44.40 W

Ship's Log:
The intrepid port watch rose early to weigh anchor and slip our
stern line from the cliffs of Teakearne Arm. They did an excellent job
and had us underway in time to catch the best of the days breeze,
already being enjoyed by bald eagles soaring in search of breakfast. All
hands were roused before breakfast and sail after sail was set in the
golden morning sun. Though sleepy, everyone was happy to see their work
spread aloft in the drawing canvas as we bid farewell to Desolation on
our first big leg southbound. The breeze held fair and we were able to
set all sail, with only the heavy storm trysail remaining in it´s
resting place. It was our best sail of the trip and lasted till mid
afternoon when the wind fell light. Shortly thereafter we came to rest
in Tribune Bay, Hornby Island. The juniors wrote their exams today and
hopes are high for success with many good study sessions and practical
learning paving the way. There is prospect of excellent wind for sailing
south tomorrow so we opted to head ashore late this afternoon. In the
last of the day´s sunshine we played some games on the sandy shores and
fields fronting the bay. We are now under grey skies for the first time
this trip, it´s a welcome break though from the evening heat we have
had. Mug-up singing has been going exceptionally well, last night even
featured back-up singers and interpretive dance to all songs.


Observations:
overcast, 20 C, anchored
July 22nd 2010 @ 17:33
48°51'29.16 N 123°15'50.40 W

Ship's Log:
Waking early with starboard watch at 0530 it was hard not to feel disappointed as the dawning light touched calm seas  all around us. It seemed the forecast of strong winds for today was misplaced. Undeterred, starboard watch proceeded to weigh anchor and start morning clean-up.
Slipping out of tribune bay a hint of breeze began to show on the horizon. By 0700 it was apparent the breeze was indeed on its way.
Starboard watch wasted no time, leaping to the shrouds to loose the topsail and setting up the courses on deck. By the time the other watches turned out we were doing a brisk 8.5 knots in the morning sun as the swell surged beneath the Swift. What morning would be complete without a pre-breakfast mainsail haul and a little maintopsail to follow? Bolstered by the extra hands and sails we were soon skipping along at 10 knots. It was a wonderful sail and there was lots of great sailhandling; raising and dousing sail, gybing, jiggering and all manner of grunt work to help us run off our long run south to the Gulf Islands.
Everyone is doing an excellent job working the ship and it was a joy to push her and see trainees steering in tricky situations, trimming sail and working aloft to get the most out of today´s opportunity. Our top speed running south was a fine 11 knots. The long run allowed people to catch a nap, work on secret friend presents, study and enjoy the experience. When we crossed the distinct line where the Fraser River flows into the strait we were greeted and joined by 10 or so playful porpoises. Our companions surfed the swells alongside and kept us on our toes as they darted to and fro under the ship,  cruising effortlessly beneath the waves to pop up and dash back for another pass. It was a marvelous run under sail that finds us now anchored in Campbell Bay for the night. Today is ship Sunday. We will be having a delicious meal of roast beef, yorkshires, mashed potatoes and all the requisite fixin´s, all prepared by our great cooks between their trips to the topsails and efforts on deck. This evening we will have a service beneath the setting sun and rising moon, well sated from the hard work and roast beast.


Observations:
sunny, 20 C, smells of roast beef, anchored
July 22nd 2010 @ 18:30
48°51'29.16 N 123°15'50.40 W

Ship's Log:
Waking early with starboard watch at 0530 it was hard not to feel
disappointed as the dawning light touched calm seas  all around us. It
seemed the forecast of strong winds for today was misplaced. Undeterred,
starboard watch proceeded to weigh anchor and start morning clean-up.
Slipping out of tribune bay a hint of breeze began to show on the
horizon. By 0700 it was apparent the breeze was indeed on its way.
Starboard watch wasted no time, leaping to the shrouds to loose the
topsail and setting up the courses on deck. By the time the other
watches turned out we were doing a brisk 8.5 knots in the morning sun as
the swell surged beneath the Swift. What morning would be complete
without a pre-breakfast mainsail haul and a little maintopsail to
follow? Bolstered by the extra hands and sails we were soon skipping
along at 10 knots. It was a wonderful sail and there was lots of great
sailhandling; raising and dousing sail, gybing, jiggering and all manner
of grunt work to help us run off our long run south to the Gulf Islands.
Everyone is doing an excellent job working the ship and it was a joy to
push her and see trainees steering in tricky situations, trimming sail
and working aloft to get the most out of today´s opportunity. Our top
speed running south was a fine 11 knots. The long run allowed people to
catch a nap, work on secret friend presents, study and enjoy the
experience. When we crossed the distinct line where the Fraser River
flows into the strait we were greeted and joined by 10 or so playful
porpoises. Our companions surfed the swells alongside and kept us on our
toes as they darted to and fro under the ship,  cruising effortlessly
beneath the waves to pop up and dash back for another pass. It was a
marvelous run under sail that finds us now anchored in Campbell Bay for
the night. Today is ship Sunday. We will be having a delicious meal of
roast beef, yorkshires, mashed potatoes and all the requisite fixin´s,
all prepared by our great cooks between their trips to the topsails and
efforts on deck. This evening we will have a service beneath the setting
sun and rising moon, well sated from the hard work and roast beast.


Observations:
sunny, 20 C, smells of roast beef, anchored
July 23rd 2010 @ 18:30
48°46'36.12 N 123°6'10.80 W

Ship's Log:
We completed our journey south in the Strait of Georgia with one
final sail today. It was another lovely run with sunny skies above and
the green waters of the Fraser below. We had an exciting time pushing
through the current races at East Point before lowering and making for
anchor in Narvaez Bay. The juniors went ashore to explore while the
intermediates stayed to write their exams. Ashore we climbed up to the
view point at Monarch Head just in time to see a pod of orcas swim past.
We were perched atop cliffs from which we gazed from Mt. Baker over
towards Sidney taking in a vista of the San Juan Islands. After hiking
down the hill we checked out the caves and rock formations at Echo Bay
before returning for dinner.


Observations:
sunny, 22 C, anchored

sailing
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