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Main Menu -> SALTS -> 2012 SALTS Summer Programme -> 2012 Trip 5 - Pacific Grace

2012 Trip 5 - Pacific Grace

Log of Pacific Grace

August 22nd 2012 @ 13:00
48°56'17.52 N 125°32'16.80 W

Ship's Log:
Trip 5 - Looking forward to welcoming trainees aboard between 1300 hours and 1400 hours on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at the Government Wharf (52 Steps) in Ucluelet!


August 23rd 2012 @ 18:15
49°58'16.68 N 127°14'49.20 W

Ship's Log:
The serpentine dock of Ucluelet was packed with eager trainees and their well wishers by the 1300 embarkation time. Under sunny skies lines were slipped after safety orientations by 1700. The Pacific Ocean greeted us gently as we exited the harbour into the open ocean swell. A small break in the dominant NW turned our bow northwards up the outer coast. The unusually clear skies allowed us to view the densely layered hills and sharp peaks of Clayquot Sound as we serenely cruised past the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park. Sunset brought the inevitable return of the NW wind and our speed under power slowed even though the seas remained smooth. The setting sun and rising moon traded amber glimpses between the gathering gloom of a brief rain squall while games and singing were enjoyed above deck and below. The dark night was brightened by radiant phosphoresence, capping every wave in electric green light and sending emerald showers of spray over the bow. Trainees did an excellent job steering by compass as the swells built through the night accompanied by the emergence of the stars from behind the last whisps of cloud. Dawn broke over bigger swells but less breeze as we continued to motor north towards Kyuquot Sound. Just as the sun emerged from it's cradle amongst the hills of Nootka Sound, forward watch (and sundry deck lingerers) were treated to an amazing humpback display. Two whales repeatedly traded full body breaches, lunging and twirling, droplets of water catching the golden sunrise as they ran off the slender pectoral fins. The conclusion was a dramatic barrel-roll close by, before the twin harbingers of dawn turned their flukes down and glided gently beneath the waves. At 0900 we turned inland down Kyuquot Channel and shortly thereafter settled our anchor into the welcoming sand behing rugged point. The picturesque anchorage is framed by steep hills and sandy shores, the only company being that of a few distant otters and foraging humpbacks. A peaceful lunch at anchor prepared us for an adventure ashore to enjoy the beautiful flat white sands of Rugged Beach.  We rowed ashore in the ship's dories and enjoyed a game of sticks in the gathering rain. It was a fast paced game and the Starboard Heffalumps took the match 2 games to nil. Afterwards some time was spent beach combing and playing land along the pristine white beach. All are in good spirits now as we prepare for dinner and an evening of fun peacefully settled at anchor.


Observations:
Anchored, partially cloudy, showers, gentle swell, humpbacks
August 24th 2012 @ 17:15
49°28'14.88 N 126°25'30.00 W

Ship's Log:
Last evening's game of Sculptionary was frequently disrupted by the vigorous feeding of the nearby humpbacks who would lunge and gulp and the schools of herring gathered near the surface. We watched until the silhoutted whales blended with sky and shore as the last warmth of the day's light slipped into the sea. A long run south today prompted an early rise from port watch who had the anchor smartly weighed by 0645. It was a beautiful clear morning, the golden sunrise painting the tips of the encircling hills in the dawn's new rays while the whales lazy cruised past on their way to breakfast. A moderate swell had us rolling south as we (somewhat) patiently waited for the NW wind to build at our backs. At 1100 the breeze built sufficiently to set main, fore, jumbo and jib and we bore off down the coast at a comfortable 6 knots. The coastline was in full visibilty and we were able to see all the varied textures of the gentle hills and pyramidal peaks of Nootka Sound. it was a beautiful offshore sail under a warming sun that concluded with a wonderful run inshore to Hesquiat Harbour, the ship heeling sharply close hauled and making 9 knots into the calm waters of the tree-scented basin. All hands worked wonderfully today at sail handling, sheeting, gybing, jiggering and finally culminating with anchoring under sail at 1700. Everyone is in great spirits and an easy comaraderie is evident as we prepare for an evening BBQ.


Observations:
Anchored, sunny
August 25th 2012 @ 15:00
49°20'15.72 N 126°17'2.40 W

Ship's Log:
The waters of the harbour were so still that schools of rushing mackerel could be heard as they darted across the surface this morning. The cool star-speckled night gave way to the warmth of the sun rising in a clear blue sky while dories were launched in the wake of morning cleanup. After dishes we pulled ashore to explore Cougar Annie's Garden. The property is an old homestead that has been carved out of the aggresive temperate rainforest and has been partially restored and some new features added by the caretaker Peter, who greeted us and explained the unique history of this place on the coast. We hiked along hand split cedar boardwalks, under the watchful gaze of wise and ancient cedars.  Our hike past crumbling and modern buildings brought us to Rae Lake for a refreshing swim. Afterwards we explored the various ingenious structures which are intended for visiting groups of students to learn of the hisrory and nature of the site. It was a very beautiful visit to a unique place and a welcome stretch for our shipbound legs. We weighed anchor around 1400 and are now heading into to Sydney Inlet to take shelter from tommorow's SE wind. A brief stop en route provided one small cod, who lived to see another day as we journey past the sharp peaks of Clayquot Sound.


Observations:
underway with engines, clear, gentle w swell
August 26th 2012 @ 15:00
49°21'45.72 N 126°16'1.20 W

Ship's Log:
We found ourselves lying gently at anchor in the intriguingly named Pretty Girl Cove last evening. The treat of the evening was a surprise salmon that was caught by a trainee whilst idly bobbing a line overside. Once we realized the line was not snagged on the bottom, the excitement built as the fish was brought in. A nice team effort had the catch served fresh off the grill between games and singing. We enjoyed a peaceful night tucked away from the swell and listening to the languid trickle of streams emptying into the cove. Fortified with a tasty breakfast an expotition* was launched to explore the fresh water pools that are nestled amongst the dense forest that surrounded us. It was a good adventure that left everyone feeling invigorated from the hike as well as the tepid waters of the pools. A short jaunt has brought us into Hot Springs Cove to seek refuge from the SE gale that is building along the coast. Besides the shelter provided by the cove it also comes good on the promise of its name. After dinner we will scuttle ashore and enjoy another beautiful boardwalk through the forest that will culminate at the springs themselves. the springs have been blessedly left in their natural state and are cradled between two rock cliffs. A hot waterfall drops into the pools below, gently cooling as they decend to the sea, allowing the blissful bather to select the temperature of their choice for maximum relaxation. It will be a wonderful way to enjoy cool grey west coast evening.      

*A nod to Winnie the Pooh


Observations:
anchored, overcast,rain, strong gusts
August 27th 2012 @ 15:00
49°13'42.60 N 125°54'7.20 W

Ship's Log:
It rained and it rained and it...rained. Niki told herself that never in all her life, and she was goodness knows how old-23 was it, or four?-never had she seen so much rain.

Today we pushed out of Hot Springs and after a short but bumpy ride we ran into the inside passage of Clayquot Sound. Mist, rain and cloud swirled amongst the conical hills and shaded them in pastel purple hues. We are snugged up in Ritchie Bay beneath the immense lone cone awaiting the arrival of the Swift for an evening of games, singing and comaraderie. Everyone is having a great time crafting, singing and enjoying each other's company.    



Observations:
anchored, rain, pizza smells

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