Destination: Westview, Powell River

We were running low on supplies (and potentially fuel) and decided that our next stop would be Westview, Powell River. We left Harmony Islands on August 27th and sailed most of the way down Jervis Inlet towards Malaspina Strait. After sailing for more than 3 hours and motoring for another couple of hours we anchored for the night in ‘Maude Cove’ inside Thunder Bay just inside the north entrance to Jervis Inlet. We were the only ones anchored there and it was a very quiet evening.  I took the dinghy and rowed it around the bay for some evening exercise and to mark one of the drying rocks in the bay that was reported by other sailors to be further offshore than actually charted. When we compared my coordinates of the rock to the one on the chart, it does appear that the rock was incorrectly marked which shows that you can’t rely on the chart or chartplotter 100% and always have to be on the look out.

Following our night in Maude Cove, we motored (no wind) all the way to Powell River with some trepidation. Our route took us from Jervis Inlet, past Grief Point and through Malaspina Strait. All the guidebooks we read indicated that although the strait might look protected, confused seas can build off the mouth of Jervis Inlet and the strait. Grief Point and Texada Island are notorious for steep seas that are produced by wind-against-current situations. In addition, if there are any southeasterly winds it would accelerate around Grief Point giving speeds of 5-10 knots higher than forecasted. Fortunately for us, the forecast predicted light winds which was good for us for our first experience going through this area… but not for sailing when you need a relatively strong wind.

Grief Point

Grief Point

The approach into the Westview Public Wharf seemed very simple and would have been if it were not for the fact that we had to dock stern-in instead of bow-in and had to deal with both a strong wind and strong current. In our approach, I tried to back up the boat but our bow was suddenly blown off and we had a near encounter to the boat on the other dock, it being a Canadian Coast Guard vessel. Not wanting to take another chance and potentially hit the Coast Guard boat (which would be really, really bad), I instead approached the dock with my bow and were still able to dock stern-in, bow-out (49°49.959’N/124°31.740’W). It was definitely one of the more stressful dockings I had to do to date!

Blue Tale safely docked at Westview

Blue Tale safely docked at Westview

Westview is one of the four communities that make up Powell River and the only access for cruising boaters to downtown and the major shopping centre. We took full advantage of the services provided at Westview public wharf where we did our laundry, filled our water tanks and stocked up on food and supplies. We took full advantage of the courtesy bus that runs during the summer months from the wharf to the Town Centre Mall and filled our shopping cart with supplies and groceries. Because the mall was not was not that far from the wharf, we decided to walk back to the wharf with our loaded shopping cart instead of taking the courtesy bus back. Apparently, we are not the only ones that do this but it felt weird walking through town with our shopping cart and it felt as if people were staring at us the whole way!

We enjoyed our two-day stay in Westview and it seemed to be quite a hip little town with a new coffee shop (only 2 months old), a great Mexican restaurant, Thai restaurant and cool butcher shop that carried home-made Portuguese (chorizo) and South-African (boerewors) sausages. ~Sophia & Rob

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