Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Over-nighter!




Another step in the life of the Walkabout! Diana and I just returned from an overnight trip to the Provincial Marine Park, Sandy Island. The weather was sunny and hot, winds on the way over were about ten knots. On the trip over, there was a lot of chop that slowed us down, causing the boat to lose steerage. We crept too close to a rocky shore, so I rowed for a few minutes to take us away from that shore, into more wind and onto a different tack. The waves made the trip over to the island take twice as long as the return trip this morning.
We took far too much stuff, but it was our first trip camping in many years and I'd forgotten what to leave at home, so I took a lot and packed very inefficiently too. However, the boat swallowed all the gear and left lots of room for lounging too. The large compartments with large hatches took sleeping bags and tent gear while the small hatches along the sides accepted water bottles, fuel bottle, and other smaller things. The huge stuff sacks and back packs stayed under the deck overhang at the bow.
The camping was great and the food and company were splendid too. Wonderful to be alone on such a beautiful island.
The tide dropped drastically between our arrival and departure times. When we landed, I tried to rig up a pulley line on the anchor chain, but the lines got all twisted and I gave up, deciding I'd roll the boat on fenders when we were ready to leave. I woke up at 3:30 this morning, determined to try again, recalling how much trouble we had rolling an EMPTY boat. So, in first light, I straightened all the lines, replaced the anchor and chain on the boat, rowed out about 100' then tossed the anchor overboard. Once I rowed back to shore, the pulley system worked very well, towing the boat out into deeper water! During the morning, we had to repeat the exercise twice as the tide retreated laterally about a hundred yards! It was a long haul of supplies and I was glad I crawled out of the warm sleeping bag to move the boat when I did!
The trip back was speedier though the winds were lighter, but we were still passed by a kayaker. No loss of face as we were touring and he was training!
Lunch was on an ocean-side sand dune about a mile from the launch ramp. Our last sail of the trip was speedy as the wind blows stronger in that bay. I played Joe Cool as we entered the crowded marina under sail and threaded our way to the ramp!

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