Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another three hour cruise

We got an early start this morning and were across the bar west of Gibsons by 10:00 boat time.  It was a pretty bumpy ride past Gibsons and it only got worse as we headed west.  Gray Hawk was handling it well but the Captain and the crew weren’t doing so good.  I kept thinking that the next wave would be the one where she buried her nose but every time there it came back up again.  When we were taking beam seas we’d occasionally get a sheet of water across the windshield but the regularly plunging bow hardly even made a splash.

Eventually we decided that it was too rough.  Then the challenge was to get turned around after which we had another tough hour and a half beating our way back around the south side of Keats Island.  We’d probably have been OK crossing the Gibson Bar but it was pretty rough going out and it had got considerably worse while we were out.  Rather than risk it we came the long way round.  For those of you that don’t know this, waves pile up in shallow water – that’s why the surf breaks as it approaches the shoreline.  At the mouth of a bay or river where the water gets shallow the waves can really pile up, specially if there is a current running against the waves.

We got beat up pretty good but we learned a lot.  First we confirmed that Gray Hawk can take a hell of a lot more than we can.  We had the dining room table sliding across the salon, the cat was so scared he crapped on the rug when he was afraid to go to his litter box and the cupboards got pretty well scrambled. 

We were really lucky that we didn’t lose our dinghy or break our davit system.  Our mounting and supports weren’t adequate for the weather we were out in.  By the time we found some shelter one of the shackles holding the dinghy on the davits had broken and the dinghy was dragging awash in the water.  That can all be fixed, and it has been, so we learned and we improved.  On the plus side neither of us tossed our cookies, the fridge didn’t move from where we mounted it and the mechanicals in the basement purred along like it was no big deal.

Rather than come directly back to our quiet little cove we went over to Gibsons.  If you ever arrive by boat and want to buy groceries in Gibsons take my advice – take a cab.  We didn’t.  That is the steepest, longest hill I have ever seen anywhere and I’ve climbed the hill from the dock to Pike Market.  I’m sure both of us will have sore legs tonight.  We didn’t see Molly or Jesse or Nick or Relic but we did see Molly’s Reach and the Persephone.

And here’s another tip about Gibsons.  They don’t really like tourists at the town wharf.  They charged us $11.80 to tie up for 4 hours while we spent money in their damn town.  Screw me once, shame on you.  Screw me twice, shame on me.

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