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Main Menu -> SALTS -> SALTS 2011 Summer Programme -> 2011 Trip 4 - Pacific Swift

2011 Trip 4 - Pacific Swift

Total Distance: 216.45nm over 7.26 days
Average distance each day: 29.83nm
Distance from last position : 49.33nm
Last Position:
49°28'14.88 N 126°14'27.60 W
  on August 18th 2011 @ 18:00

Ship's Log:
August 17th.
Fore watch had the ship underway by 0600, the channel ahead still lit more by the silver moon than the sun hidden behind Vancouver Islandīs rocky spine. The neighboring humpbacks glided out to sea with us and one by one waved farewell with a show of their flukes. The scenery and morning light was evocative of a Vickerīs painting. Overlapping silhouetted hills and valleys were incrementally brushed in rich shades of purple and maroon set before an orange and umber sky, the sea a still inky blue to hold the polished reflection of the moon. The rich colours of dawn faded before the a rising sun over the land and a clear horizon to seaward. The sunīs warmth built through the morning as people adjusted to the larger swells, but all felt fine. By 1100 a NW wind was beginning to fill and ruffle us from astern. Trainees clambered for the chance to loose topsails aloft and in no time white canvas billowed forth from the yards against a clear blue sky. Main, main topsail, courses and square top were set and the Swift ambled southward making between 6 and 7 knots. It was another beautiful afternoon of sailing, the wind and sun on our backs was deliciously warm especially for the west coast, and the view of the island and wandering humpbacks was crisp and clear. A brief history lesson on historic Nootka Sound was given as we sailed past that contentious coast. The wind eased briefly mid afternoon slowing us down just enough to allowing us to catch and release a lovely salmon. The wind returned and sped us onward down the coast towards Hot Springs Cove. Sail was shortened and dropped smartly on the run as we rounded into that most favoured of havens on the coast around 1700. The calm waters and accommodating dock in the snug cove provide ideal access to the hot springs themselves. After dinner dishes we embarked on the half hour walk along a meandering cedar boardwalk carved with the names of visiting vessels that winds its way through moss hung cedars and the rocky and jagged coast. At the end of the walk we emerged from the dimmed forest tones into the full vibrance of a coastal sunset over a narrow fissure in the rock. Between the cliffs a steaming hot waterfall creates a natural shower that pours into five natural rock pools, descending in temperature gradually into the open Pacific below. We settled comfortably into the pools and temperatures of choice and watched the sun set while eagles and ravens glided overhead, muscles and minds slipping into peaceful rest. We trundled back to the ship tethered in the star spotted cove after the soothing soak to enjoy mug up treats and irresistible bunks.

August 18
Breakfast was postponed slightly to allow for a chance to revisit the hot springs or sleep in for the more lethargic on board. We reluctantly said our farewells to Hot Springs Cove and slipped our lines
mid-morning. Passing the springs outbound the rejuvenating steam rose to mix with mist hung low amongst the trees. A gentle inflowing breeze pushed us into Clayquot Sound, rippling the sea which was previously indistinguishable from the leaden sky. Course sails were set to maintain a nice trolling speed and we were rewarded with many bites and one large coho which we released to see another day. Our gentle (3-4 knot) and quiet sail meandered through several large rafts of sea otters, some with as many as twenty members. The otters would wait till we approached before diving and swimming ahead, resurfacing and craning their furry faces towards us in nervous curiosity, perhaps trying to remember what careful words their ancestors had passed down in regards to these strange vessels. The sun broke through the cloud ahead beckoning us towards Pretty Girl Cove illuminated in the bright sun. We sailed right into this small anchorage at the head of an inlet, the low slung trees branches brushing the surface of the water close by in the narrow entrance. It is another pristine anchorage with no sign of any human influence. Several small streams and a river running from the steep wooded hills can be heard burbling into the bay and the cedars are smaller and wizened dotted with gray ghosts, a testament to to the hardships they have endured. This afternoon the intermediates are writing their exams prior to roast beef dinner. The meal, complete with mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and all the other requisite trimmings, is a tradition on ”ship Sunday”. This evening we will also have a simple service. Tomorrow should be a full day as we head towards Barkley Sound and Ucluelet. We hope to enjoy another good day of sailing prior to a festive night with a talent show and a rousing mug-up. Everyone is having a great time and in good health and spirits.
PS 2310- We had a beautiful service on deck, the stars above mirrored perfectly in the sea below.The amber moon rose gradually behind the surrounding hills, shafts of moonlight bathing the bay in moonlight as it spilled from the valleys.

anchored, sunny, roast beef roasting, intermediates thinking, singing

Wind SW10
Email processed: 2011-08-19 08:00:14

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