GALE WARNING AND GREAT SAILING

The anchorage in Klaskish Inlet is protected and secure, hardly any wind gets, its cocooned from the outside world.  The weather forecast called north-westerly gales so I had to leave the anchorage to find out what the weather was doing outside.  Well, there was quite a big sea and swell running and I decided to depart.  Half an hour later I turned around as the sea, swell and wind were all against me.

Solander Island off Brooks Peninsular.Ray Penson
Solander Island off Brooks Peninsular.Ray Penson

For the next couple of hours, I drifted in Klaskish sound, had a good breakfast and did a bit of housekeeping.  At eleven thirty the wind had gone more to the north and I tried to get out again, this time after a struggle to break out of the entrance I was able to hoist sail and bear away for Brooks Peninsular to the south.  For the next four hours Truce picked up her heels and under a reefed jib and staysail we romped along with a fresh north-westerly wind behind us in bright sunshine.

It was good to be sailing along the coast and not in a channel or passage as I seem to have been for the past months.  It was also good to be making real speed without engine noise.  Out to the west all I could see was open ocean.  The big Pacific swells were running, when in the trough the horizon is the top of the nearest swell, then the boat gets lifted to the top of the swell and you can see all the other swells marching along.  I didn’t see any other boats today, I expected more guys to be out fishing, maybe the wind has kept them in port.

At the end of Brooks Peninsular there is an island called ‘Solander Island’, quite an impressive Island.  Dr Solander was a Swedish botanist who accompanied Cook on his first voyage when he found New Zealand and the East coast of Australia.  On that voyage was also another botanist Joseph Banks.  A little further down the coast from Solander Island is a small reef called ‘Banks Reef’.  I wonder who named the island and reef.

Sunset at Columbia Cove.Ray Penson
Sunset at Columbia Cove.Ray Penson

This evening I have anchored in Columbia Cove, supposedly a sheltered and protected anchorage.  I am not so sure, its shallow, hard bottom and the wind is blasting into the anchorage.   The rocky shore is only fifty meters astern.  I am expecting forty knot winds tonight so it may be a long night, keeping watch on the anchor position.

There is a gale warning out for tomorrow as well.  If it continues from the northwest it won’t be so bad, it may be possible to slip down the coast a bit more under sail.  Total voyage distance 792.9 miles.

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