Sailing Time – To the Sunshine Coast

After a couple of days at Thetis I. I crossed the Straight of Georgia heading to the Sunshine Coast.  One challenge is to traverse a narrow passage way out of the Gulf Islands into the Straight.  You have to arrive at slack tide to pass through safely because the current can be running up to 7-8 knots, depending on the time of the month, making passage very dangerous or impossible.  At busy passes there can be a whackload of boats wanting to all go through a the moment of slack tide.  Here is the scene at one of the more busy passes known as Dodds Narrows.  Of course there are another whackload of boats on the other side waiting to pass in the opposite direction.  Can be a  bit unnerving, especially when the odd commercial barge comes through or a tug towing a log boom , with stray logs left behind bobbing in the current.  This is why the range of  tidal variation and  the resulting current rate are a big deal.    

After getting into the Straight of Georgia, another challenge is passing through an area know as “Whiskey Golf” – a surface and subsurface missile test range run by the US military.  It is some days active, others not, one must check for announcements on marine radio.  When active you must go around or you might simply disappear.

Luckily Whiskey Golf was not active that day and I sailed up to Secret Cove and the next day to Madiera Park in Pender Harbour, passing the Merry Island Lighthouse station.

They have some pretty serious looking wind turbines.   I would have loved to be a lighthouse keeper.  As I passed by,  a Coast Guard hover craft came out and passed me going close to 30 knots, a very high speed on the water.  Fortunately it does not throw much of a wake since it is above the surface.

…continued here.