• Steve

The Merits of Opportunism

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

If you try to plan a boat voyage like you plan most other trips, you will probably wind up very unhappy.

Like an early start? Too bad, you’ll be fighting the current for four hours. Like to sleep in? Too bad, the wind will be howling by 11:00. Need to be home by Tuesday? Those eight foot waves are just waiting for you to leave the harbor.

Get my point? A happy boater is one who watches and understands weather and water. Like it or not, you are playing in their sandbox and what you want doesn’t much matter. Kind of like climate change.

So, what’s my point? Thanks for asking. We left Ganges this morning with a plan to catch Porlier Pass between Galiano and Valdes Islands at slack. Which we did. And it was good because you don’t want to be there when the current is running at 6 or 7 knots.

Here’s us setting off, admiring some attractive rock formations on Galiano, and transiting Porlier Pass. The last photo is Dionisio Provincial Park at the northern tip of Galiano. Not a great photo, but important to me because I’ve only seen the park from the land side before, and that required a fair amount of effort.

But that’s another story.

Our plan was to carry on north for another couple of hours and then stop at Silva Bay on the south end of Gabriola Island. This is a good spot to wait before doing the 24 mile crossing of the Strait of Georgia the next morning.

But — look at the photos and notice the lake-like smoothness of the water. No wind. What you can’t see is the current pushing us from behind. And what you don’t know is that the forecast for tomorrow is rain and strong winds.

So, what to do? Stick to the plan, wake up tomorrow and have to cancel the crossing due to weather? Bad idea. Better to take advantage of the conditions nature gave us and keep going.

It’s a festival of ferries as we turn Impromptu towards the BC mainland.

Meanwhile, back in the pilot house, we’re busy cancelling and making plans in expectation of having to hole up tomorrow and wait out the weather.

A few more ferry sightings and we arrive at our destination, Pender Harbor, north of Vancouver on the BC mainland. This area is called the Sunshine Coast. Let’s hope it delivers.

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