Thursday, April 12, 2012



The 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster is a good time to remember that all those who go down to the sea in ships don’t necessarily return on the same ship.  And of course some never return.  These photos are a sober reminder of that grim fact.


Today we’re once again tied up in Plumber Cove, across from Gibson’s Landing at the entrance to Howe Sound.  Whenever we stay here Marilyn hikes the island and several times she has referred to “the wreck” on the other side of the island.  Not being a big fan of hiking I had never seen it.  I figure that if God intended us to walk he would never have allowed us to invent internal combustion.  My grandfather was famous for taking the pickup from the house to the barn, a journey approaching 200 yards, and I thoroughly admired his wisdom.  But I digress.

Today I followed along on the start of the hike in order to survey the famous wreck.  It appears to have been about a 28 foot sailboat, probably homebuilt judging by the deck finish and general lack of fairness in the hull.  Its obviously been in its current resting place for some time now which is puzzling given that it is inside a marine park.  I would have thought that the various government weenies associated with the park would have expended all their puny energies to remove it from the beach, no expense being too great for the taxpayers to bear.  I wanted to have a look at it because I thought there might be some salvage opportunities but the wood appears to be fir or spruce – definitely no teak and the cleats are too small for our purposes, not to mention that one of them is broken.  There is a decent looking Sampson post on the foredeck which I may investigate further at low tide.

We upped anchor at 8:00 this morning and were in Gabriola Passage before 9:00.  The current was going to run up to 5 knots against us if we got too late so we made sure we were early enough to catch the end of the flood.  Then we had a very uneventful crossing to Gibsons.  All we saw for traffic was 3 ferries and, hard as it is to believe, none of them forced us to alter course.  The BC ferry drivers (I refuse to call them “Captains”) are about the worst mannered jackasses on the water out here.  They seem to be uniformly unaware of the Colregs and routinely cut vessels off by assuming rights that they have no legitimate claim to.  We’ve actually had one pass us by coming up from behind close on our port side and then cutting directly across our bow.  That could possibly be justified if there were any legitimate draft concerns – there is a Colreg which refers to draft constraints - but in the particular circumstance I am referring to the only possible motivation for the action was ignorance or jackassery.


We also have to be really careful right now because we have had so many high tides lately.  That tends to wash all the crap off the beaches and there is some really big stuff floating around out there.  Most of it is like the photo above, barely awash in the water but if you look closely you will see that what you are looking at is the end of a log the size of a power pole.  Often one of these floaters will have a couple of seagulls taking a rest, riding along on their own personal canoe.  But for the most part there’s no warning and even the slightest chop makes them almost invisible until you are right on top of them.  Apparently single screw vessels will tend to push them aside but twin screws (like ours) will suck them in with resultant extreme damage to the running gear.  I really don’t want to ever see what that looks like so we try to maintain a close watch.  Every so often though there’s one appears right in front of us that neither of us has noticed until the last second.

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