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post #6 of Old 01-12-2012
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Even here in the 'deep' west coast there are plenty of opportunities to kiss the dirt.. or rock, however it goes.

We're fortunate to have excellent nav aids and for the most part hazards are well marked. Still, uncharted lumps can be found, either the easy way or the hard way.

Our worst case was seeking a decent shore tie spot in Princess Louisa ( the dock was 'full', but have the footage was taken up by tenders, small and large - typical). It was near dusk, high tide and we were poking along at idle 150 feet off the shore (charted as a clean drop-off) showing 20-30 feet of clearance under our six foot draft. Watching the sounder and not seeing less than 20 feet at any point we came to a jarring stop with a terrific bang. Shaken, this ruined an otherwise splendid day (our first visit to this wonder of a place)

We did find a spot, anchored by which time it was dark and all I could do was fret about it. The next morning the culprit was in clear view in the low tide. This had been covered by about 3 feet of water when we struck it from the opposite side the night before (you can see the high tide mark on the rock on shore). We saw at least two other largish nuggets nearby. Likely tumbled from the steep terrain at some point - not recently either...

Anyhow we did suffer some tabbing separation (repaired days later after hauling out in Nanaimo) and some keel fairing was required too, of course. No 'serious' damage beyond that.

Earlier that same season in Barkley Sound we anchored in a small cove and woke to find a rockpile partially blocking the entrance, also uncharted but fortunately missed by us that time.

Nearer Vancouver there are extensive sandbanks that seem to be magnets for boaters looking to take the 'clear path'.. in some areas the shoals extend 5 miles or more offshore. "Spanish Banks', "Sturgeon Banks", "Sandheads".... all appropriate names.

It's all about keeping your head out of the boat, properly using the charts and aids that are available and, once in a while, having to rely a bit of luck...


1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

Last edited by Faster; 01-12-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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