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Old 08-12-2017, 01:49 PM   #21
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Thanks Rebel and HW. Looks like my initial estimate was off anyway. I'm making better time than I thought. Going between Thetis and Reid Islands now.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:16 PM   #22
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In Cortez Bay at SYC dock smoke has lifted and we can see the sky for first time in days. Very crowded in Prideaux haven and many other places in Desolation sound. Was less crowded further north-west.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:14 PM   #23
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In Cortez Bay at SYC dock smoke has lifted and we can see the sky for first time in days. Very crowded in Prideaux haven and many other places in Desolation sound. Was less crowded further north-west.
HA. Here I was telling Dave the crowds are significantly lower than would be normal for this time of the summer, likely due to the smoke.

Look due north, Eyeschulman. I am waving at you from the RVYC outstation. I paddled over yesterday afternoon on a SUP, but I didn't know to look for you.

Back to Prideau, we dinghied through a few days ago and counted about 50 boats in Prideau, 25 in Melanie, another gaggle in the other nearby coves. That accumulation is way down from the usual 100 in Prideau etc, so only about 1/2 as busy as at max. That is the reason we have never anchored in Prideau and the only time we ever anchored in Laura was 41 yrs ago.

I can confirm the above smoke report. It is ALL GONE!
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:40 PM   #24
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HA. Here I was telling Dave the crowds are significantly lower than would be normal for this time of the summer, likely due to the smoke...counted about 50 boats in Prideau, 25 in Melanie, another gaggle in the other nearby coves. That accumulation is way down from the usual 100 in Prideau etc, so only about 1/2 as busy as at max.
Friends from Secret Cove were in Squirrel on the long weekend (not by choice) and said there were roughly 50 boats, down from the usual 150 for BC Day.

They have been in Simoon Sound since Wednesday and all they have seen are bears, crab and prawns. Poor folks might get fat and lonely.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:16 PM   #25
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...That accumulation is way down from the usual 100 in Prideau...
Egad.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:10 PM   #26
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Seems like an intriguing destination.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desolation_Sound
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:33 PM   #27
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Seems like an intriguing destination.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desolation_Sound
Reality is, it is a third the size of San Pablo Bay and in summer looks like the Red Bull Flugtag in another thread.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:39 PM   #28
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Reality is, it is a third the size of San Pablo Bay and in summer looks like the Red Bull Flugtag in another thread.
To be fair, that applies only to the several coves that are and surround Prideau Haven. The rest of Desolation can be quiet.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #29
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To be fair, that applies only to the several coves that are and surround Prideau Haven. The rest of Desolation can be quiet.
Oh I agree. Mostly. But "Desolation Sound" is a very small area. Wiki with talk of fjords and all makes it sound so vast.

Semantics, I know.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:27 PM   #30
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I've only been to Desolation Sound once, that was last year. Now my wife can't talk about anything else. It really is wonderful, and I'm pretty used to some pretty great cruising areas.

However, it looks like Desolation Sound may need to wait for a day or two. We are in Nanaimo tonight, at the Nanaimo Harbor marina. Nice location btw. I used the information gleaned from the tipping thread to give the warfinger that helped us find a slip and catch a line a $5 CDN tip. I had to chase him down later in the office to give it to him.

The weather in Georgia Strait tomorrow doesn't look that promising to me. My wife didn't like the crossing of Juan de Fuca yesterday so I'm not eager to subject her to another rough crossing.

Right now there is a pretty strong SE wind. Sometime tomorrow morning, the wind is forecast to switch from 15-25 kts out of the SE 180 degrees to come out of the NW at 15-20 kts. Tomorrow morning the current in Georgia strait will be going Northwest. So with a SW wind the waves shouldn't get stacked up too much. However, as soon as the wind shifts, then it could get ugly.

Now, I've only been up here once so maybe I am reading the signs wrong. If the conditions will be as bad as I expect I see two options. The first is to see if I can stay here. Not sure if they have room for me tomorrow. The second option would be to leave in the morning, hopefully before the wind shifts, and hug the coast to Comox and spend the night there.

Any thoughts from you locals would be welcome.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:23 PM   #31
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We are about 30 minutes out from Cattle Pass and I must say this has been one of the most unpleasant crossings of Juan de Fuca I've had. The waves were quite a bit more than forecast, although the wind wasn't too bad. For a while we had 5-6 feet breaking waves at at 3 seconds.

You experience is the fourth I've heard in the past few weeks, including my own on 7/1, where the forecast has been off in the strait.

We are heading up to Roche this friday before heading to BC and will most likely take deception pass.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:31 PM   #32
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Dave you can always anchor in Mark bay or grab a buoy. when weather is suspect we head toward Texada at 0 dark 30... BC ferries will report weather and sea state on 16. It can be a couple of hour slog across but it beats getting stuck where you don't want to be safe travels
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:32 PM   #33
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Can't say that I'm a local, but just came through there a couple of weeks ago. That stretch between Nanaimo and Comox were transited under similar conditions that you describe are forecast for tomorrow. We thought it would be a piece of cake once the winds shifted to NW, but were hit by a significant NE to E swell the whole way, at times uncomfortable on the beam. Seems as though the tidal currents have an awful lot of effect on those swells and it was a new moon, so lots of current. Never did figure out the "how" and "why" of those swells 'cause it didn't make sense with the wind, but we were (mostly) going downhill from Comox to Nanaimo. It looked like the guys going the other way were doing a lot of bashing into headseas. Hope it's not that way for you...

BTW, we really liked Comox area.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:53 PM   #34
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The weather station at Sisters Island, will give you a good idea of conditions, you will be facing. About a fifty mile jaunt to Comox, so if it on your nose it won't be a great ride. That area just North of Newcastle, has bit my butt on more than one occasion, coming and going.. Wait for morning, and see how things are, forecasts usually worse than conditions, but not always. FishWeather site show winds fairly light from about 1 to 5 tomorrow afternoon. I have known them to be wrong before also.. Good Luck.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:56 PM   #35
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Dave you can always anchor in Mark bay or grab a buoy. when weather is suspect we head toward Texada at 0 dark 30... BC ferries will report weather and sea state on 16. It can be a couple of hour slog across but it beats getting stuck where you don't want to be safe travels


I checked with the warfinger here and while they will have another crew here tomorrow, they think that probably they could find a spot for us for the night. Tomorrow doesn't look good but Monday starts to look better.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:03 AM   #36
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Can't say that I'm a local, but just came through there a couple of weeks ago. That stretch between Nanaimo and Comox were transited under similar conditions that you describe are forecast for tomorrow. We thought it would be a piece of cake once the winds shifted to NW, but were hit by a significant NE to E swell the whole way, at times uncomfortable on the beam. Seems as though the tidal currents have an awful lot of effect on those swells and it was a new moon, so lots of current. Never did figure out the "how" and "why" of those swells 'cause it didn't make sense with the wind, but we were (mostly) going downhill from Comox to Nanaimo. It looked like the guys going the other way were doing a lot of bashing into headseas. Hope it's not that way for you...



BTW, we really liked Comox area.


That is good feedback. I was looking closely at the winds and if they veer a bit to the NNW then that 20 miles of open coastline between Ballenas Islands and Denman Island could be on the receiving end of quite a swell. With a Northbound current, it could get short and steep.

We liked our stay in Comox last year, so we may try for it tomorrow, or if it is going to be unpleasant stay another day here in Nanaimo. If we can't stay at the marina, we can anchor or see about a reciprocal slip at the NYC. Looking at the weather forecast, we may go real conservative and spend another night here, then a night in Comox, then run to Desolation on Tuesday when it is supposed to be relatively quiet.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:40 AM   #37
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Heading to Comox, if you go up the inside of Denman Island, be aware that they have a new ferry there and there are traffic lights set up to stop other boats until the ferry is at the terminal. Yes, traffic light. You know, like the red and green ones you see when you're driving your car in town. It's a cable ferry and although aft of the ferry the cable should be slack and sunk, they don't want us to get confused and go infront of the ferry so they stop traffic entirely except when the ferry is docked.

Comox is lovely and has some good eateries close to the dock from what I've heard.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:52 AM   #38
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Thanks Greg. That is a good warning. I came South through there last year and couldn't figure out what those markings were on the chart. As I got close to the ferry crossing I noticed these funny green lights on either side change from green to red. It got me thinking and I slowed. I then heard the ferry captain make a Securite call on 16 and i figured out what it was about a 1/4 short of the crossing. I idled back and waited for the ferry to finish crossing but I had never seen such a thing before.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:58 AM   #39
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We are currently at Toba Wilderness Marina headed to Squirrel Cove Sunday AM. Full docks here. Great hiking at Toba, black bears galore but scat shows blackberries only, no meat - yet! Nice rain overnight. Cruising conditions look pretty good for next 3 to 4 days.

So long as forecast is for 20 knots or less Nanaimo to Comox is pretty easy. Our don't go point is normally 25 knots (in a bigger boat than the NP 43) but Qualicum Beach area can gust 10 knots above forecast. Don't overlook Henry Bay as an anchorage. It is a Comox locals favorite and calm in gales - northwest tip of Denman.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #40
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Thanks Sunchaser.

We decided to head to Comox this morning. The winds out of the South weren't as bad and it was calm in Nanaimo. About 9:00 am the winds shifted out of the North at over 20 knots. I didn't get as far as I would have like before that happened but am trying to use the shore to block as much of the seas as I can.

Comox said that most of the boat they had there last night are staying put due to the weather.
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