It is almost funny that I am titling a blog post “Spring Sailing” because truthfully, we usually spend much of our time in this area motoring. This year however, we have been blessed with some beautiful sails.
We kicked off the season with the Thetis Island Regatta – had I been braver, I would have had a rocking sail across to the Island in 12 – 15 knots on the beam – but I was by myself and I am a chicken so instead I had a bumpy hour and a half trip over to the Island on the Friday. The race was Saturday and we were blessed with great wind to start – an awesome upwind first leg, a launch of the spinnaker at the top of the Island and the ability to fly it to about the 3/4 mark. Unfortunately, the wind shut off nearly completely (when it wasn’t going in different directions at the top of the mast than it was at the water), leading to a LONG, slow last leg. Even with that though, we were done by 3pm (we have not finished this race by the cut-off of 5pm a number of years so we were happy to finish, and to not finish last!). We were able to sneak the head sail out for a bit of a motor-sail on the way home on Sunday but it was still a great weekend.
The next weekend we started off with a long motor to Princess Cove on Wallace Island Thursday night – with less than desirable wind forecasts for the long weekend. Lucky for us, and for those that completed the Round Saltspring Race, they weren’t all correct – we left the next morning and, once we were clear of Wallace, raised the sails and had a screaming sail all the way down Saltspring Island, into Ganges harbour and nearly to the yacht club docks. Sunday, when my miserable cold finally allowed us to leave Ganges, we had another spectacular sail across and all the way into Montague Harbour – the feeling of being able to shut off the noisy engine and just sit back on one tack nearly the entire way to your destination is so peaceful! Unfortunately, the wind was not so accommodating on Monday, and we had a long, noisy, motor home.
Last weekend we lucked in again – we didn’t leave the dock until Saturday morning, and were almost immediately able to put up the sails. After 3 or 4 long tacks to get out of the harbour, we rounded an anchored freighter, set the sails and, on one tack, sailed all the way up to and through Ruxton Pass, only easing the sails out to head around to Pirate’s Cove. We finally dropped the sails right outside the cove – our engine hours for that day were about 0.7 of an hour! I love a day like that! Had we gotten away early enough on Sunday we might have had a similar return trip – however, we unfortunately ended up motoring or motor sailing most of the way home.
This weekend is not going to bring any exciting sailing unfortunately – with a haul-out looming in a few weeks, we have decided to get going on pulling out the not-at-all finished work in the V-berth so that we can build a proper anchor locker, and finish the V-berth. I know a few friends who will be excited about the idea of actually having a berth!