S/V Hello World's Travel Log

smuggler's cove

We chose to cross the Strait of Georgia. The guidebooks are filled with wide eyed tales of steep eight foot seas and bashing and wind and general uncomfort. We also noted a high wind warning in effect for the afternoon. Rather than wait around for that we chose to scoot early. Plus, we'd had plenty of the crowded confines of Newcastle Island bay. We decided to put the dinghy up on the foredeck rather than leave it hanging on the davits off the back of the boat to get swept away by the monster seas we were about to face.

We pulled out of Nanaimo but directly in our path is this little obstacle called "Whiskey Golf". WG is a torpedo range used by the Canadian and US navies and it was active today. We decided not to participate in torpedo testing so we motored around it and out into the Strait of Georgia. The wind was howling not at all. The seas were not steep nor eight feet nor bashing. It was a nice quiet motor (as quiet as motoring can be anyways) across. Christy napped for most of it.

Our destination was a spot called Smuggler's Cove. Apparently, this cove has a history of use by smugglers (who'd thunk it?) such as Larry "Pig-Iron" Kelly and served as a hooch storage area during Prohibition. When I mentioned before that Dodd "Narrows" was narrow, it turns out I was wrong. Dodd Narrows is a veritable Lake Michigan compared to the entrance of Smuggler's Cove. Christy and I estimated the narrowest point in the opening at around 30 feet wide. Which means less than 10 feet of water on either side of the boat lay between our delicate fiberglass hull and bedrock. But the water depth at the entrance was just fine. We laid off for an hour or so outside waiting for a low tide to pass so we could at least run aground on a rising tide but once again, never hit anything.

This was also our first attempt at a stern tie. For those not familiar, this anchoring technique involves setting the anchor and backing the boat close to shore where one person rows the dinghy to shore with a line to tie off on something. This prevents the boat from swinging and allows more boats to be stacked in a tight area. It sounds easy in theory. Reality is a tad different. I bought 200' of MFP which is a nice polypropolene based line that floats so it won't get caught in the prop. We then bought another 200' of cheap polypro in case we didn't have enough. That was a mistake. Cheap polypro sucks. It kinks, hockles, doesn't coil for shit and can't hold a knot. After making a train wreck of all that line, I finally decided to shitcan the polypro and just use the MFP. Much happier.

Hello World is currently tucked into an unbelievably beautiful cove, anchored from the bow and tied to shore from the stern. A seal just cruised by checking things out and a couple geese are sitting on the shore. We're surrounded by little granite islets and coves waiting to be explored by kayak. It's places like this that make we wish we had our friends and family with us so they could understand just how great these places are. If this is any taste of what's to come in this trip, the Inside Passage will wildly exceed our expectations.

49°30.88'N 123°57.81'W

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