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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2011 Summer Programme -> 2011 Trip 1 - Pacific Swift

2011 Trip 1 - Pacific Swift

Log of Pacific Swift

June 21st 2011 @ 12:00
48°25'45.84 N 123°22'22.80 W

Speed 1010

Ship's Log:
In Port

July 2nd 2011 @ 18:00
49°57'0.00 N 124°46'44.40 W

Ship's Log:
Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2011 summer sailing season aboard the Pacific Swift. By 1100 the sun was shining as were the faces of the 28 trainees waiting to board. The vast majority of the trainees are joining us for the first time and hailing from such far flung ports as Denver and the Mexican Baja. After a safety orientation lines were slipped at 1430 and we waved farewell to a festive Victoria Harbour festooned for Canada day celebrations.  The seas were glassy while we motored north towards Active Pass, catching a fleeting glimpse of orcas before slipping towards the Strait of Georgia. Sun-kissed mountains glowing red, orange and violet looked down on the still gentle sea as we shaped a course northward for Desolation Sound. Passing Vancouver distant bursts of red and white marked the firework celebrations of Canada Day. The night passed gently beneath a blanket of stars with trainees providing a sure hand at the helm. Sunrise brought a building southeast wind tempting us to set sail for the first time. Courses, mainsail, square top and maintop were spread aloft and the Swift tumbled northward at a happy 6 knots. The wind bade us farewell off Powell River and we motored the rest of the way to Savary Island, the gateway to Desolation Sound. Everyone turned to with goodwill to the work of handling sail and several trainees made forays aloft to tend to the topsails. Our anchor settled into the sands of Savary at 1300 and dories were quickly launched to take advantage of low water on the nearby sandy beaches. A rousing game of soccer and frisbee was enjoyed while bald eagles fished in the shallows nearby. Back aboard now for lasagna and the prospect of a quiet night at anchor. All are well and settling in comfortably.

anchored, cloudy
July 3rd 2011 @ 18:00
50°7'32.52 N 124°41'49.20 W

Ship's Log:
A quiet night at anchor found everyone feeling rejuvenated by morning. The last of the clouds which brought evening rain were making their way south by breakfast.  By 0900 dishes were done and all hands called on deck to set full sail and beat upwind for the sunny skies and snow capped peaks of Desolation Sound. The juniors had a great sailing lesson as we used the swift to demonstrate various points of sail and maneuvers. The lesson was almost finished when three orcas surfaced close off the starboard quarter and wished us a warm welcome to summer in the sound. A stubborn ebb current and lighter winds forced us to lower sail around noon and cruise to Tenedos Bay. Desolation Sound continues to argue against itīs name presenting spectacular views of towering pyramidal peaks and densely wooded hills rising out of the teal sea. Most inviting indeed. We anchored beneath sheer cliffs that dwarf the Swift and challenge the tenacious arbutus trees. Dories put off by 1500 sound in a quest for fresh water.  Solace was found in Unwin Lake and a refreshing dip in her tepid waters soothed body and soul. The warmth of the sun kept smiles on peoples faces all day even between bites of chicken burgers for dinner.  Last night everyone drew names for secret friends and enjoyed a good mugup of games and song.

anchored, clear, clean, calm
July 5th 2011 @ 11:55
50°1'39.00 N 124°58'26.40 W

Ship's Log:
We have enjoyed a wonderful few days up in Desolation Sound with the views and experiences continuing to improve. Yesterday we departed Tenedos Bay using the manual anchor winch. It was a task that took a big effort and Iīm pleased to report that it was masterfully done with high spirits. The mountainous scenery was inspiring as we  sailed gently to Teakerne Arm. Life aboard is comfortable, everyone happily engaging in lessons, watch duties and jovial comaradrie. Teakerne Arm boasts a beautiful waterfall that plunges straight into the ocean nestled between sheer cliffs. With trainees commanding the dories to the base of the falls we set off for a brisk shower. Nothing can describe the delight of being pummeled by a waterfall while watching the ship anchored close by. We spent the evening rafted to the grace and shared in games and singing. This morning we hiked to Cassel Lake, the source of the falls, to enjoy another fresh water dip and complete some swim tests. The rest of the day was spent under full sail beating our way south in a warm breeze and blazing sun. The frequent tacking allowed the trainees to really take over the handling of their ship and gain confidence and understanding of handling a big ship under sail. The mountains seemed to have grown taller stretching impossibly to the sky and shaking free their snowy mantles. We are anchored now off the coast of Cortes Island looking forward to playing on the ships rope swing after dishes. The community aboard is growing well together with everyone seeming relaxed and enjoying growing friendships.

anchored, clear, calm, sunburnt
July 6th 2011 @ 18:00
49°37'36.48 N 124°37'33.60 W

Ship's Log:
Last evening we were treated to an international rope swing competition. Costumed heroes from various nations displayed their skills to theme music and cheers from the gathered trainees. Afterwards a pool party erupted while the sun turned the panoramic mountains to deep purples and orange. The ocean was incredibly warm and it was fabulous to loll in the water and watch the sun extinguish into the sea. We had a raucous mug up followed by quiet time to reflect on the trip and surrounding beauty under the emerging stars. The night was short as starboard watch was mustered at 0545 to weigh anchor and take advantage of a fine NW breeze. With decks scrubbed clean and brass gleaming courses were set and filled aloft with golden light. All hands were shaken from their slumber at 0700 to set the main and the topsails. A couple intrepid trainees rubbed the sleep from there eyes and sprang aloft to loose the topsails and speed us onward. We enjoyed the breeze ītil around 1000 when once again the sea lay as calm as bed sheet. Tribune Bay hove in sight after a morning spent in lessons, working on secret friend gifts and deep conversations. Dories landed after lunch and a delightful afternoon was spent playing on the beach, the port side besting the starboard 2-0 at sticks as the formers speed outdid he laters strategy and impatience. Back aboard a refreshing dip scoured the last grains of white sand from our parched bodies prior to dinner.

anchored, clear, hot
July 7th 2011 @ 16:00
49°27'45.00 N 124°14'31.20 W

Ship's Log:
Day 7 onboard is usually regarded as "ship Sunday" and today is no exception. All hands had an opportunity for a small sleep prior to a French toast breakfast up on deck. Many were shocked by the return of cloudy skies and cries of "itīs freezing!" and "Iīm so cold" were heard as forgotten sweatshirts were dug out from bunks below. The fact that sandals and shorts still abounded made one think that perhaps we have just gotten a bit soft after the last several hot days. After breakfast we weighed anchor under sail in a great display of teamwork and raced the grace out of the anchorage piling on sail till the swift was sailing in "brigantine mode" ( courses, square topsl, main, main topsl) making a nice 6.5 knots over a steely sea. The sail carried us nicely all the way to anchorage, gently rolling across the strait  We are anchored up now in boat cove on lasqueti island for an afternoon of reviewing and testing. The junior sailors will be sitting their written tests today covering chartwork, sail theory, navigation safety and terminology. Another day seven tradition is the roast beef dinner. The cooks have been hard at work preparing the favoured feast with all the requisite trimmings. This evening we will have a simple service hopefully under the stars as the day is doing itīs best to clear up.

anchored, overcast, roast beef smells
July 8th 2011 @ 18:00
48°49'2.28 N 123°22'8.40 W

Ship's Log:
The gentle tapping of rain on the deck pulled port watch from their bunks at 0545 to get underway for our last long leg south. Through the granite clouds glimpses of sunny peaks on distant Vancouver Island could still be seen. The still waters of Boat Cove slipped behind us as the anchor was raised to the deck and we pushed out into the Strait of Georgia one last time. Following the routine of our last early morning,  full sail was made by 0700 as the first persistent rays of sun escaped the clouds. We rode a fine following breeze south till it fell light around 1400 making between 5-7 knots the majority of the run. There was a palpable sense of ease and community aboard today with groups clustering to study, sing, practice talents,play cards and backgammon and enjoy the presence of their shipmates. Intermediates are putting the hard preparations to the test for their exams.  A game of assassins was played to pass the miles and has nearly reached itīs conclusion as we rest at anchor at the wooded shores of Prevost Island prior to supper. The chill southwesterly wind is familiar greeting on our return to the Gulf Islands.

anchored, sunny, cool

wooden boats
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