It was an interesting trip. Left at 5am, glassy smooth, clipping along at 6kts, got out into the Straight and the wind kicked up to around 15kts against the current which meant very steep chop, most 8ft, some higher. We couldn't go our intended course straight to Porlier as that put us on beam seas so we headed further north towards Gabriola passage, progress was of course slowed right down to 3.5kts trying to push through it all, the waves were too steep to try and run. As we got over near to Gabriola the current in the main Straight had turned so things calmed down a bit, I decided to run down to Porlier to try and make it before the turn there. Making good progress, 6.5kts, surfing some waves at 8kts. One of the crew thought it would be nice to put up some sail, and that's when it all went a little sideways! Slowed down, turned up into wind, hoisted the sail. Put the power back on so we could make a faster turn back downwind and *bang* *bang* *bang* from below. Engine wouldn't rev, no progress. Into neutral, rev engine, purrs like a kitten, back into gear, *bang* *bang* *bang*. Cut the engine, unfurled the genoa and got her back downwind (waves were not far off the previous height, but a lot gentler by this point). Continued to head for Porlier pass, we had about an hour and a half to get there before the current was against us. Then the wind started to fade, and fade. Could see a tug towing two barges up ahead coming direct into the pass, figuring that he was going to be timing it to get through at slack, that gave us a good indicator for when that was going to be. Down to 4kts, wind dies more, still a mile back from the pass.
Get to the pass, wind dies almost completely. Now I am glad of the many, many hours spent in Tangerine trying to get her moving in the tiniest zephyrs. I whistle, there's a little puff of wind, we're doing 1kt, tiniest boost from the current (the tug was long gone!). As we get to the middle of the pass, current dies to nothing, if we don't get through in the next 10 minutes, we are going backwards back into the Georgia Straight. Usual flood of stinkpotters blasting past, robbing us of any speed we can get up. Whistle some more, little puff of wind, couple of superbly smooth gybes and we're out!
Once through the pass, the current is still heading south so we ride the current for an hour, going less than a knot the whole time.
Knowing it's going to change and start pushing us back north, it's time to make some decisions. Try to anchor? Nope, 30 feet from the shore and we're still in 100ft of water. I go below, talk nicely to the engine, fire her up again. She purrs back into life (well, as much as a single cylinder diesel can purr), fingers crossed, toes crossed (aside from the one I smashed against the skeg of the dinghy outboard that's in the cabin), into gear. Banging isn't so bad. I either finished destroying it, or perhaps she wants to get to her new home as well.
Motor the rest of the way, make good progress and end up back at the marina almost exactly at the planned time.
Drift down the fairway (new slip = new fairway), slip numbers almost impossible to read from the boat, crew on the bow shouts that it's this one, slip her into reverse. Nothing. Fortunately by this time we are drifting at less than 1/4kt, unfortunately we are past our slip. Bowman manages to step off onto a finger opposite, we swing the boat and with a push, backwards into our slip we drift.
Stressful day? Yeah, a little. More stressed about the mechanic's bill
Our designated crew media person has some photos from the trip (except when she was asleep in the v-berth during the worst of the crossing). When I get some I'll put them up.