Underway Sailing

Water is greener on the other side of the Shipping Lane

“If we go over to the other side, we can get away from all this noise and wash from a hundred boats rebounding around the bay.  It’s much more peaceful over there and it’s protected from the wind.”

Haha, says Neptune, I’ve got you! I have much better things to do with my time (Neptune is constantly nattering away to himself), what with hurricanes and tropical storms galore, but today I’m going to make life difficult for you here in this tiny bay near Vancouver. Oh Yes!

All too many times, I have sailed to a bay or anchorage outside of my tried and tested routes and thought that it was going to be different. Or I have thought to myself that the tiny island I’m looking at is somehow not identical to the one I am on. I then row over to it in my dinghy and discover that the one I have just left looks just as inviting as the one I have arrived on. Well that happened yesterday after we sailed across the bay and discovered that the lack of boats at anchor was due to rather deep water. We ended up dropping anchor around 60 feet from a boat with a group of young guys talking and drinking. Well, that ruled out skinny-dipping (at least for my partner). I was going to go in anyway until I got my feet into the water. It was bloody FREEZING.

That’s the problem with deeper water. It’s colder. I dove in and was immediately reminded of how much warmer I was just a second ago. I swam around for about 2 minutes and decided upon mature reflection that I was losing body heat per second at a rate of knots per hour. My bald head began to get cold and then my feet. I got out of the water and sat on deck for a few seconds before going into the cabin and sloshing all the water with me. All further considerations about excursions into the water without linen were put on hold and I hastened to cover my body with as much as I could find on board.

After drinking a lovely cup of tea, the preparation of which was interrupted by the wash of a hundred boats rocking the boat from beam end to beam end and the occasional thunk of the local mooring ball on the hull as we swung into it, we were done. There was no way that any possible enjoyment of dinner could be had when it took more exertion to stay upright in the cabin than to climb a flight of stairs while clutching a small elephant.

I even tried to read my paperback, but I was more focused on not falling over by jamming my feet on the opposite side of the cabin than reading the words of the great explorer in front of me.

My partner was in agreement that we should leave. The only other sailboat in the anchorage seemed also to be in agreement and they weighed anchor a few moments before we did. We sailed out and made it across the shipping lane in time to avoid the cruise ship traffic bearing down on us. The wind which had been fairly ambiguous all day, took up residence off our starboard quarter and we sailed back to our marina on one tack. It was a lovely sail and seemed to make up for the cork bobbing we had endured for the last two hours.

The first mate took the helm and guided us safely back to our slip. With our boat stable, our moods calmed and the earlier two-pronged conversation attempts, eased. We made a chicken curry and ate our dinner in the cabin to the sound of the seagulls having a town hall meeting. We sat munching in silence, staring into the middle distance of the other side of the channel while the sky slowly darkened.

Neptune had give us a respite.