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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 3 – Gale force winds? You’re kidding, right?

July 18, 2005

   

We got underway early around 9am headed for Nanaimo.  Beautiful trip up here.  Saw lots of seals.  Took only one short nap today and otherwise am starting to feel like my old self again.  Crossing North Umberland Channel on the way into Nanaimo we found ourselves in tricky weather.  I say tricky because it wasn’t dangerous but challenging with 4 ft seas and 25 knot winds with gusts up to 30 knots.  We were bouncing around pretty good.  Stuff that wasn’t stowed went flying about the cabin.

When we got here we realized there was a small craft advisory for the Straight of Georgia – which we are due to cross tomorrow.  However, because it has been blowing for some days now, everyone and their brother have been stuck here.  The bay in which we had intended to anchor was crammed with boats.  Tucked in so tight it was an accident waiting to happen.  And even in the bay the wind was really blowing, so we decided to head for the marina.  While waiting to see if they could squeeze us in, we heard on the radio that an accident did happen – a boat had broken loose from anchor and slammed into another boat causing some damage.  Next someone’s dingy broke loose and got lost.  Then marina directed us to the one spot they had left amongst the fishing boats on the commercial side of the marina.  At that point we would have taken anything – and besides it turned out to be dinner and a show over here anyway.

Apparently the slip we ended up in had a fishing boat in it moments before we pulled in.  The fisherman had gone to the fuel dock.  When they came back and discovered us in “their” spot, they parked opposite us in someone else’s spot.  Turns out they were transients who hadn’t paid and were just picking whatever spot was open without the marina’s permission.  The spot they picked turned out to be in the way of a huge 125 ft passenger ferry.  Very nearly caused an accident when the ferry came in, but for the swift maneuvering of the captain.  A fight then broke out over the marina radio frequency which we were monitoring.  Apparently not the first time someone had parked in the way of the ferry.  Flustered by the ferry captain’s brow beating, the harbor crew tried to sooth the ruffled feathers.  Not long after they realized it wasn’t their screw up at all, but some guy who just decided to park his fishing vessel there and then left for parts unknown.  Everybody and his brother then came to inspect things.  Even the fire department showed up and inspected the oil the guy was leaking.  The marina then moved the boat forward down the dock so at least the ferry would be able to depart safely the next morning.  What they say about sailor’s mouths is true. ;-)

Tonight we are grilling steak and having apple blue cheese salad. Mmmm.

 

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