Nov 11th weekend was Remembrance Day long weekend so after working all week Deb and I headed out to the boat Friday afternoon. As per our typical routine we picked up a pizza at the Stonehouse Pub and headed to the boat for a beer and to straightened away. We woke up early Saturday morning and cast off en route to Ganges.
There were heavy winds forecast but the winds were light Saturday morning so we motored past Swartz Bay, past Portland Island, along Saltspring, around Beaver Point and down Captain Passage towards Ganges. We motored the whole way due to lack of wind and arrived early in the afternoon.
We fuelled up, picked a slip and settled in for the day. Deb headed up to the market and picked up a few things for dinner and I fired up the Dickinson and dried and heated the cabin. We enjoyed a relaxing evening and watched the hockey game on the laptop. The dirty rotten, no good for nothing, stinking San Jose Sharks beat the Canucks 5-0… Groan… It was a good game until Vancouver fell apart late in the 3rd.
The forecast was deteriorating and by Sunday morning the forecast was for heavy winds (35-40 knots) on Monday. We debated staying another night and then leaving the boat at Ganges for the week but ultimately we decided to leave Sunday, cut our long weekend short and get home a day early.
The winds were decent when we motored out of Ganges Harbour so we raised the sails and spent the morning tacking back and forth as we sailed towards home. The winds dropped off near noon so we furled the jib and motored towards Portland Island. The rain turned heavy and it was miserable. Then the wind started to kick up but we didn’t bother putting the sails up as it was a dreary cold day on the water. We made good time as the tide was ebbing and the current was behind us.
I dropped the main sail when we got behind the shelter of Coal Island and safety out of the wind. As I was tying the main down I looked up and noticed we were quickly being pulled towards a shoal behind Coal Island. We were still about 150 feet from the rocks but were being pulled by the fast current so I jumped down and put her in gear and steamed out of danger. It was a wake up call about how when you let your guard down and loose focus on the big picture you can quickly get in trouble. If I concentrated on tying the main down for a minute longer we would have ended up on the rocks.
When we got back we tided up and when I plugged in to shore power, smoke started to pour out of the back hatch. Luckily I was right there so I quickly unplugged and the smoke subsided after a few minutes. The smoke was coming from the old forced air heater that I thought was disconnected years ago. There was a smell of burnt electronics and when I inspected the heater I noticed several burnt power wires that got shorted when I put the heater cover back on earlier in the day. Wow, dodged a bullet there. That could have been much worst. It was pouring rain and the wind was starting to pick up so I didn’t want to start troubleshooting the electrical issue in those conditions. I plugged the extension cord directly into the power bar in the cabin but none of the heaters would start and even the power plugs on the dock seemed to not be working so we called it a day and left our soaking wet cloths in the boat and headed back to Victoria.
I must have shorted something when I plugged in initially so I called the marina to let them know there was a problem with the power on the dock. They assured me that they would have someone look into it in the morning so I planned on heading back to the marina in the morning to get things dried out. Leaving wet cloths in a wet boat this time of year is a no no as it’ll cause mold pretty quickly.
The next morning the winds were high as a powerful system was pushing through. The winds were over 100km/hr and even the ferries between Vancouver and Victoria were cancelled. I felt good about the decision to come back yesterday and avoid the winds. I left Victoria and drove back out to the boat and sure enough the power was back on so I plugged in the heaters, fired up the Dickinson heater and settled back to read and wait out the storm while the cabin dried out. As I waited the eye of the storm passed over and all the boats in the marina were rocking back and forth in their slips. The howl of the wind, patter of the rain and the shriek from the occasional strong gust was a little eery but after a few hours the wind started to drop. A few more hours and everything was pretty dry inside the cabin so I headed back to Victoria. I still have power issue to deal with but can’t take care of it this weekend due to the storm.