British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

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Another tide produced anomally you probably haven't faced are whirlpools/riptides. These can produce a sudden change in direction in your boat. They're unlikely to appear on your charts but they're in predictable locations and often talked/known about by those who frequent the area. They're not dangerous but unpredictable. Again, an ebb tide solves the problem.
Whirlpools and tidal rips (not riptides, whole different thing) are shown on charts. This is Dent Rapids. The flood current direction changes in the Campbell River area. It floods from the north from there to the north end of the Island. Be aware of that.



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I mentioned wind. In some places it's always blowing year around (say 20-25 mph). Generally speaking, if you can see the Pacific, you've got wind as it comes in off the Pacific. If you can't, you might not. Expect to be becalmed at least once a week and perhaps for several days. If you have access to weather reports, be in a bay on those days. Also, try and be where you're going by sunset. The wind dies fast at sunset.
Johnstone Strait tends to have a NW wind. Although I have seen 50 knot SE. You will not see the Pacific until you are past Hope Island.

The VHF weather channels can be found In Radio Aids to Marine Navigation. The Environment Canada Marine web site (Marine Weather - Environment Canada) is great. If ypu go outside use NOAA weatherfax (Northeast Pacific WX Briefing Package) and grib files

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As for customs, that's a political thing. If the Canadians are disputing the US over the river runs or, if the US is slowing Canadians from crossing into the US, they could retaliate with hasseling you. Otherwise, it's the same as entering Canada with a car. It goes fast. What will slow you down is tying up and even figuring out where to tie up. It would be wise to have an idea where the Custom House is as you come in your first time (with no engine) and where you're supposed to tie up in case they want to come aboard. You'll also have to clear American Customs on your way back.
If you want to clear customs under sail go to Bedwell Harbour. There are few hassles. No apples, potatoes, guns, etc.. Check CBSA website (Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) - Home)

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post #12 of 23 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

This discussion has got me thinking about how I would go about trying to sail (no engine) north to go round the island. Bilge + Jack- being the resident experts you may want to chime in. Having only been past Campbell R a couple of times I would favor the direct Seymour - Johnstone St route avoiding all the rapids in the safer but infinitely more difficult eastern route. I can't say that I would be very comfortable leaving C River knowing that if the wind picked up once I got into Johnstone there are limited places to hide. It would all boil down to picking the right weather window and hoping for the best I guess. Maybe I'm just too accustomed to having the luxury of an engine but I would think that a lot of the best, most beautiful spots, would be avoided because of difficulty and time constraints. Is it possible, certainly, if you had unlimited time and were OK with skipping a lot of places due to the flukey, shifty winds. Makes me wonder if anyone has ever done the Dent, Green route entirely under sail alone.

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post #13 of 23 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

John et al

I would not be comfortable doing any of the routes without an engine. Even the Van Isle 360 boats power from Campbell River through Seymour to Deepwater Bay.

The suggested passage through the Yucaltas is designed to get you all the way through to Dent and involves bucking a flood and using counter currents. You could take a slack or an ebb go into the marina at Big Bay or anchor wait from a slack or ebb at Gillard. Then go through and wait at either the Dent Island Lodge or Mermaid Bay before going through Dent.

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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

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(Bee keepers hats are mandatory for sleeping with the bugs) Luck
YouTube: "How to: wrapping your Moroccan shesh (Touareg turban)"
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post #15 of 23 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

I've done dent rapids without an engine in light winds , but I find Okisollo channel the easiest, as there are plenty of places to stop and wait for slack water ,and very little traffic. Seymore narrows is far too busy for me.

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post #16 of 23 Old 03-20-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

Brent

I can see that working.

Did you use Hole in the Wall or Beazley Passage? Did you have to anchor before getting through Upper Rapids? Octopus can be tough to get in and out of. Which side of Okis Islands? After that clear sailing - so to speak.

I just like to avoid Chatham Point late in the day, actually any time of day.

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post #17 of 23 Old 03-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

Well, from what this has provoked from me, I guess this is something that's not really efficient to learn more about with just a forum. It's indeed good to know these sailors still exist.
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I have windjammed without an engine of any kind for several years on this coast. Takes a long time to get anywhere, so you best have indefinite plans
For some people, 14 days is indefinite, or "endless", for others, 3 months to a year is definite, or not a "long time".
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Expect to spend weeks in extremely doubtful anchorages, waiting for wind
Just my thoughts, not trying to pick your brain, but, like my other comments here, for myself and others not to be that simply discouraged from going and trying for themselves:
Where and when would this happen? How would one get into the situation of being in an extremely doubtful anchorage? How much wind is wind for the boat? What is the boat, and how does she and her sailors manage in light winds and sporadic calms? How do you look for a good anchorage? How may you test if the anchor is dragging? How do you anchor? What kind of anchors are they? How heavy are the anchors? What kind of rode? How much rode? How much and what kind of chain? What about stern and bow ties? What about a mushroom? Can one use a 3rd of a knot of current with a yuloh, or 2 sculling oars with a crew of 2, to get where some local winds or more favorable current are happening? When and where would an anchorage be doubtful in a calm? Could the weather be predicted in a way for someone to be on anchor watch, or prepared, if the winds and waves would otherwise pick up faster than the boat could avoid trouble (I've also been in this kinda situation, the bow tied to kelp, ready to get blown ashore, story for another time)? Is there a way crew could safely find new anchorage at night if the wind does pick up sometimes? What would this do to sleeping times?

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Also many commercial fishers and crawling with sport fishers. They all have engines now. Probably a good reason for that. Back in the day,before I was a kid ,folks did sail/row small dorys on the coast but most took a tow from the company packer.
There are many good reasons for them to have an engine, and a backup engine, or great maintenance and understanding of the thing with oars. There are times when it is not fun at all, and mentally and physically exhausting. My reasons and the reasons from other engineless sailors are on the blog.

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One problem that I've not found an answer for is 'How to get ashore with all the bears on the beach and even worse "how to get to the beached dinghy to return to mother ship". And then there's cougars
Again, sailors can stay on the boat if they want. From Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, each year there are millions of times in which each bear species is close to people and no threat or injury results, and in North America in the 90's, bears killed 29 people, Grizzlies 18, black bears 11. From the BC Ministry of Environment: "In the past 100 years, a total of five people have been killed by cougar attacks in B.C. (in comparison, bees kill upwards of three Canadians every year). During the same period, there were 29 non-fatal attacks in British Columbia - 20 of which occurred on Vancouver Island. The vast majority of these attacks were on children under the age of 16." I know little of such encounters, but hope to learn more.

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...Also many commercial fishers and crawling with sport fishers. They all have engines now. Probably a good reason for that. Back in the day,before I was a kid ,folks did sail/row small dorys on the coast but most took a tow from the company packer.
There are many good reasons for *them* to have an engine, and a backup engine, or great maintenance and understanding of the thing with oars. There are times when pure sailing is not fun at all, and mentally and physically exhausting. My strange reasons and the reasons from other engineless sailors are on the blog.

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Getting up the Salish Sea to Surge Narrows is easy but going beyond asks for a bit of talent. If no engine think swampscot or Drascomb lugger, many seasons of learning curvs and longer anchor rodes than you've got.
What would a sailor learn in a season? What are the anchoring circumstances and the planning that got one into the situation where there probably isn't enough rode?
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

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A friend tried to go round in a Taser and had to be rescued.
OK. I've been waiting a LONG time for a reply to this. But none has come. Exactly why did he have to be RESCUED?

I tried sailing it in an 8 footer once and - Yes- I had to be rescued too. Why? Because I was becalmed.

What's this guy's story? I find it difficult to believe that anyone with a retractable centerboard can't sail around Vancouver island. There are only three choices:

1) You swamped
2) You beached
3) You were becalmed

If #1 happened, your friend should not have lived to tell about it.

While we should all avoid doing STUPID the idea that people living on Vancouver Island all live in FEAR of launching a 12 foot sailboat without DYING should be addressed since the drowning records don't suggest this at all. Or, if they do, owners of 12 foot sailboats on Vancouver Island are the world's most daring sailors.

So don't get me wrong. I'm not challenging you. I don't doubt your friend was rescued. I just think an explanation of why is in order.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-08-2013
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Re: British Columbia wilderness, sometime in next 3 years, any exp

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So don't get me wrong. I'm not challenging you. I don't doubt your friend was rescued. I just think an explanation of why is in order.
It was been a few years, but if I recall correctly, I think it was an equipment failure while they were a ways offshore on the west side.

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It was been a few years, but if I recall correctly, I think it was an equipment failure while they were a ways offshore on the west side.
Thanks. It had left me wondering. I was sailing an unsinkable (though "capsizable") boat. I was on the east side when becalmed. I'm guessing I might still be there still if I hadn't hitched a tow.
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