“Securite, securite, securite. This is the sailing vessel Yohelah transiting Malibu Rapids outbound.” That’s the call you make on the VHF to alert vessels on the opposite side of the rapids that you’re coming through. With an 8 knot current, slack tides of only minutes, and a very narrow and shallow channel at low tide, the transit is a bit nerve wracking the first few times you make it. And you can’t see the boats on the other side of the winding channel when you start. The trip in on Sunday was a piece of cake, with no other boats waiting to transit. Yesterday when we came out, though, was another story. After I made the announcement and we were committed to the channel we heard a motor vessel announce his arrival and transit inbound. Crap. I ran downstairs and called him twice more with no response. Too late to turn around. And if we missed this slack we’d have to wait another day since the afternoon slack was so late in the day and there wasn’t an anchorage to be found within 30 miles outside the rapids.
Of course all’s well that ends well since he was just a little boat and flipped a big u-turn when he got to the channel and saw us in the middle of it (we wouldn’t even hardly have noticed running him over). All of our friends who have been this far north over the years are used to this now, as we will be after a couple more. Our next chance is Seymour Narrows north of Campbell River – when we transit it on Sunday it’ll be the slack between a 12 knot flood and a 14 knot ebb.
We’ve finally started to feel like we’re getting into “cruising mode” now. An arrival into a new town means taking care of chores like grocery shopping, laundry, website updating. And of course there’s an occasional meal out. Today when we had planned to cross back across the Straits of Georgia and heard a stinky weather forecast we decided to sit tight until the weather was better tomorrow.
The best news is that Tim & Cindy should be in Campbell River when we get there tomorrow afternoon. We’re going to start putting some miles under our keels and getting north. We’ve got approved cruising permits for June 1st in Glacier Bay, so it’s time to stop dawdling and get up there!
Today, life is quiet on Yohelah while we wait for better weather tomorrow….