We hung around Victoria for a day and provisioned the boat again for a multi-day outing. Debbie and I are getting married at Poet’s Cove, Pender Island on Saturday so we planned a trip to Ganges on Thursday and then over to Poet’s on Friday.
The trip to Ganges went well. We sailed for most of the day. Funny how time gets lost when your out on the water. The boat glides thru the water as the wind fills the sails and the worries of life on land are left behind. The peaceful tranquility of the ocean, smell of the salty air and laughter of friends helps rejuvenate the soul.
We tied up at Ganges Marina and enjoyed walking around the main town square. We stopped in for dinner at The Oystercatcher Seafood Bar and Grill. It was surprising to see how few people were at the marina and around town and we had the bar to ourselves during dinner. I guess it’s still early season and apparently things don’t really pick up until May.
Next morning we woke late, puttered around Ganges and set off for Poet’s Cove around noon. We had good wind for most of the voyage, enjoyed another great day of sailing and we pulled in just after 17:00 next to our friends, James and Sue from Hounds Hollow.
Poet’s Cove is a beautiful little marina, resort and spa on Pender Island. Apparently it has changed hands several times of the past few years but it seems that the new management is doing a fine job of running a beautiful resort. The staff were very attentive and courteous and made us feel welcome. The first night we slept on Treylya at the marina and enjoyed a party on the dock with the company from several visitors from the other boats.
The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise. This was wedding day! Gulp! We had breakfast and went up to get the key to the chalet. Initially we planned the wedding on the boat / dock but bbq, drinks and sleeping at the chalet. The staff at the resort had everything organized and reviewed the process with me. I was then shown the chalet that we were going to stay in. It was absolutely beautiful with a great lawn for the ceremony, a wooded area on one side, a beautiful view over the harbour, a hot tub, and a stunning chalet. One look at this place and we decided to change plans and have the wedding ceremony up at the chalet. The guys relaxed in the yard and hot tub while the ladies got ready and we all enjoyed a beautiful ceremony overlooking Treylya at the marina. How perfect!
Besides a few tears everything went smooth during the ceremony… except I held out the wrong hand and after Deb put the ring on I couldn’t get it off… lol… We finished up, signed the marriage certificate and went to the dock for pictures aboard Treylya.
The day went off without a hitch and was everything we wanted. A small, low stress event with a few of our closest friends. Perfect. We stayed up and partied until late. What a great day!
Next morning we decided to head to Thetis Island. Perry and Paula joined James and Sue aboard Hounds Hollow and Deb and I embarked on our first voyage as husband and wife. It was a nice day with good wind so we sailed most of the way while relaxing in each others arms.
We motored the last hour and joined our friends at the Telegraph Harbour Marina. We reunited with our friends and met several of Sue and James’ friends on the dock and took a tour of several of the other boats at the dock. It turned into a great evening of fun and drinks on the dock as we all sat around and talked.
The next morning was calling for blustery conditions so we had breakfast, organized things and cast off around 10:00. The wind was a fresh 15 – 20 knots out of the Southwest which made for a thrilling sail across Stuart Channel. The wind kept increasing and we were picking up speed 5 knots, 6 knots, 7 knots… and just as we got close to Willy Island, at 11:20, we were slammed with 30+ knot winds and had full sails up. The wind was funnelling thru the mountains and being concentrated just outside of Croften… Whenever a gust of wind caught too much sail, Treylya healed over so that water was coming in over the rail. I did my best to keep it head up into the wind while Perry tried to furl in the 130 Genoa. The Genoa wasn’t budging and we were creeping closer and closer to the island and after what felt like many grueling hours (actually only a few minutes), I told Deb to release the Genoa so that Perry would be able to furl it in. The Genoa flapped violently in the wind and Perry was able to winch it in and we turned course and sailed downwind with only the main up. We were still getting 6 knot speeds as the boat listed over on her side. The wind let up slightly but remained gusty while we pasted Maple Bay, thru Samsun Narrows and out into Satellite Channel.
I unfurled about half the jib and with the wind behind us we had a quick sail down Satellite Channel often reaching 7+ knots. We topped out just over 8 knots as we raced around the bottom end of Saltspring Island. We passed Swartz Bay, dropped the sails as we neared Coal Island and motored up thru John Passage and back into the marina.
Most of today’s sail was an exhilarating ride and we were all pretty pumped up from the adrenaline but the mistake of leaving full sails up as the wind was building was a junior mistake which could have been costly. Luckily it only cost me a small tear in the Genoa due to the flapping but it could have been much worst. Lesson learnt…
Day 1: March 31, 2016
14:25 – 18:08 (03:43)
Distance: 15.6 nm
Sail Time: 01:47
Engine Time: 01:56
Day 2: April 1, 2016
12:25 – 17:05 (04:39)
Distance: 19.3 nm
Sail Time: 03:36
Engine Time: 01:03
Day 3: April 2, 2016
Day 4: April 3, 2016
11:25 – 17:30 (06:05)
Distance: 27.4 nm
Sail Time: 00:15
Engine Time: 05:50
Day 5: April 4, 2016
10:06 – 15:38 (05:32)
Distance: 26 nm
Sail Time: 03:09
Engine Time: 02:23