. . . we went for nearly six hours today (Friday, September 23)! We were not sailing but motoring directly into a southeast wind of 15-20 kts. I felt as if I were riding a slow but gigantic bucking bronco for the first four hours, and then Braesail rolled me from side to side for the last two hours after we’d changed direction to head toward our (revised) destination, and I had to brace myself to avoid sliding off the cockpit bench. We are now safely at anchor in Henry Bay on Denman Island to the east of Vancouver Island, after encountering stronger winds, larger and more frequent waves, and a longer-lasting adverse current than we’d expected. There was no rain falling from the glowering skies above the Strait of Georgia’s angry waves, but Braesail’s fore-deck was power-washed by the seas that rose up before us, sometimes sloping up like hills and then breaking over the bow and deck and forward cabin top and splashing the cockpit’s forward windscreens, and sometimes “squared” like walls of water over which the boat rose and crashed down, sending exploding spray in all directions. Creaking and clanging from the mast and boom (the heavy arm that holds the mainsail) indicated that some work would be needed next day, and various items, including some that we had done our best to secure, tumbled and slid around below decks, including our bread knife that fled and took refuge behind the stove! It was a wild ride, but no serious damage was suffered. We WERE rather tired when we finally anchored out of the wind and rough seas at around 7 pm.
During the morning, Walt had picked up a new Vesper, had wired it into our electronics system, and had begun checking its functionality. It appeared to be working at first, but then anomalies emerged, Walt called the representative at the marine store from which he’d made his purchase, the man very kindly came to the boat to work with Walt, and by about noon they thought they had the Vesper functioning satisfatorily. Meanwhile, I’d enjoyed a long phone conversation with a friend in Seattle and carried a bag of recycling to the receptacles on shore, and at about 1 pm we were filling Braesail’s tank tummy with diesel fuel, pulling away from Campbell River, and heading for the town of Comox on the Vancouver Island shore to the southwest.
Walt continued to test the Vesper as we motored and as the wind rose and the waves tossed and churned in all directions, since the wind was blowing them against the direction of the current’s flow. He found that boats as close as three miles away could not pick up our AIS signal, which is supposed to reach vessels as far distant as 20 miles. So he’s made some progress, but the new Vesper is not behaving as it should be. After doing some more testing, Walt may find that he has to send it back to the manufacturer and request another one, as he had to do with our defective Iridium GO! device. LARGE SIGH!
When Walt contacted the marina at Comox, he was told that they had no dock space for us, and we therefore decided to motor down Baynes Sound through somewhat-less-turbulent seas to our present spot in Henry Bay, where the winds are calm and the waters smooth. As we did so, spears of sunlight began to pierce the clouds, blazing golden apertures appeared, and I gratefully accepted a stunning sunset as a special gift at the end of a challenging day!