S/V Hello World's Travel Log


The Canadians must have borrowed powers of understatement from the British. When navigating a passage referred to as a "Narrows", best rub down the hull with Crisco just to be on the safe side. Dodd Narrows just south of Nanaimo is one such "navigable" pass (I'm doing that air quotes thing with my fingers around the word navigable). We hit it at just a skosh before slack and fought a knot or two of uphill current to get through. It would have been less stressful had another boat not been going through at the same time, pushing us closer to the rocks than I'd ever like to be. An engine failure at that point would be ... crunchy and smashy and altogether exciting.

Dodd Narrows was at the end of another long day of motoring. We miss our sails dearly and hope to see them again soon. We left Montague Harbor around 0700 to make sure we caught the slack at Dodd Narrows. It was a mostly uneventful motor. After passing through the narrows, we entered Northumberland Channel which is notable only in the massive amount of logs that are freely bobbing around. Nanaimo is at the other end of Northumberland Channel and where we were headed. We had ordered a carb rebuild kit for our outboard engine and needed to pick it up in Nanaimo. We entered the Port of Nanaimo Marina and found the only transient spot was to raft up against a rusting steel sailboat in a narrow channel in a healthy beam wind. We decided - and by "we decided" I mean I chickened out and Christy rolled her eyes at me - to head across the harbor and anchor at Newcastle Island rather than tempt that fate.

Once snuggly at anchor, we caught a ferry across to Nanaimo to take care of some city business. Mostly internet and shopping for some fishing gear. It's mildly intimidating to walk into a chandlery in Canada where at 18 months old, every toddler already knows how catch halibut and admit that you haven't clue one about how to make delicious fish come out of the water and into our frying pan. But we got some great assistance and walked away with a bunch of stuff we have no idea how to use. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog entry on how useful our first aid kit is to retrieve fish hooks out of my arm.

We spent the night in the bay at Newcastle Island. The island itself is a great park but the harbor is way too busy for our tastes. We have decided after our experiences in Sidney and Nanaimo that we don't like anchorages full of other boats. We're sure that the people on them are nice enough but other boats is not what we came to see. We're looking forward to crossing the Strait of Georgia and getting over to more remote anchorages.

49°10.5'N 123°55.7'W

No comments: