Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snowed in

Its not unheard of for the upper reach at Princess Louisa inlet to freeze over.  You wouldn’t think that was possible because it is the ocean after all but apparently there is so much fresh water flowing into the inlet that it can happen.  The fresh water is lighter than the salt water so you end up with a layer of ice floating on top of the seawater.  That hasn’t happened yet but it looked possible yesterday. 

We didn’t think it would be too cool to get trapped at the upper end of the inlet, no matter how pretty is was up there.  Our neighbours, the kids in the sailboat, bugged out Monday morning after telling us that the Ham radio forecast was for freezing temps later in the week.  So we decided that we should move closer to Malibu Rapids last night.  We figured the closer we were to the rapids the less ice we would have to break to get out if it came to that.

We shouldn’t have been tied up to the dock we tied to last night but we are discovering that one of the major perks of travelling at this time of year is that you are all alone and on your own.  That could turn into a negative pretty quickly but when it comes time to moor it’s a major advantage.  Tonight we’re swinging quietly at anchor in Garden Bay on the north shore of Pender Harbour.  I expect this bay is jam packed in the summer but tonight there’s us and one sadly neglected sailboat.  If you look closely at the picture above you can see the ice starting to form on the surface of the water.  I think we made the right call leaving when we did.

We slipped out through Malibu Rapids this morning with even less fuss than when we arrived.  We actually never slowed down as we approached the rapids and motored straight through against a dying flood tide.  Then we rode the ebbing tide all the way out of Jervis Inlet running at a quiet 1300 RPM but at times reaching 7.4 knots.  We may not have actually saved any time because I went around the outside of the curves to catch the current which meant we travelled further so, as father used to say, what we gained on the roundabouts we may have lost on the straightaways.

The dinghy motor wouldn’t start when we arrived in Garden Bay so we rowed to the closest shore and walked up to John Henry’s general store.  Then when we got back to the dinghy dock the engine fired right up so we dropped the few groceries we had at the boat and took a very wet ride across the bay to Madeira which is the little community on the south side of Pender Harbour.  They have a nice IGA where we loaded up on fresh produce and junk food.  By the time we headed back to the boat the waves had settled down so we had a better ride back.  I think a little girl asked her mother if Marilyn had peed her pants but we couldn’t actually hear her so we don’t know that for certain.  She got wetter than me because I was driving but both of us were pretty damp by the time we got home.

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