In our previous blog, we were leaving Gorge Harbour Marina after making sure our motor was working and we felt confident to move on to the next location. We motored from Gorge Harbour towards Sutil Point in 20 knot southeasterly winds. It took about an hour of fighting the current and the wind to just get south of Marina Island. We decided to raise the staysail as soon as we got clear of Marina Island and the pounding against the waves calmed down a bit and our speed increased from 1.5 knots with the motor on to 4 knots motorsailing with only the staysail up.
Bliss… for about 30 minutes, and then BANG!!! The staysail was flapping in the wind with the stay banging all over and around on the foredeck. Rob went slowly forward to see what was happening as I stayed at the tiller in the cockpit. Rob struggled to capture the rogue stay that kept bouncing around with the sail being taken up by the wind. Once he was able to tame the stay, he brought it over to the mast, brought down the sail and tied everything down. Here I thought it was a clamp that came undone but when Rob came back, the reality was that the securing eye bolt that secures the bottom of the stay and goes through the bowsprit and bolts through to the bow had snapped. We later figured out that this eye bolt had corroded and we never knew about it as we couldn’t see it.
So with the stay broken, we made the decision to motor to Lund instead of our first stop into Desolation Sound Marine Park. It took us almost 7 hours instead of 3 hours to get to Lund as we were fighting the wind all the way in and were going between 1.5 to 2 knots. The only space available at the marina was at the breakwater and we took it!! The next bit was spent tying down the stay, making sure the forestay was ok, putting away the sail, all the while wondering WTF just happened today and why, especially after struggling with motor issues a few days ago!!! We stayed a few days at Lund and took the opportunity to visit Savary Island before moving on and heading down south back slowly to Cowichan Bay. We had no choice as we could not fix the stay and after struggling with the motor before this happened, we figured that we did not want to take a chance by heading north into more remote areas if something else were to break.
On September 3rd, we left Lund and headed to Henry Bay near Comox and we actually ended up sailing for most of the trip. Yup, we were able to sail with just the mainsail and the jibsail up. We also crossed the Comox Bar for the first time with me at the helm making sure to keep the buoys inline without cheating and looking at the chart plotter while Rob made sure to keep an eye on the depth sounder as the entrance was narrow in order to get across the bar with the shallowest depth being 4.5 metres. Henry Bay is beautiful and we got an opportunity to explore the beach and a sailboat that had beached recently on the shore after the owner thought he could take a short cut across the spit at high tide. We initially thought the sailboat was a casualty of one of the storm that we went through when we travelled north to Silva Bay at the beginning of our trip.
That night was a cold night in Henry Bay and we cranked the heater on and were grateful for the nice warm heater as fall was coming to BC. The reason I’m saying this is that the next morning as we were getting things ready, Rob was kind enough to warn me to keep away from the stove pipe. Within ten minutes, I hard this loud ouch and of course Rob touched the stove pipe with his leg and didn’t even realized it until it was too late. The burn was very deep and we were concerned that it might become infected – it didn’t and we realized that our “marine first aid kit” was very lacking in extra bandages.
The next morning, we travelled down Baynes Sound, past Chrome Island Lighthouse and headed to Schooner Cove. The guidebook described it as a fancy marina and I’ve been wanting to go there ever since 2014. We tried to sail but the wind just was not in our favour and eventually we motored all the way to the marina; you know only about 40 nautical miles of motoring! The marina ended up being tired and a little outdated, and the building that housed the ‘fancy’ restaurant we looked forward to for dinner and that housed the original marina office ended up being condemned. At least the showers and laundry facility was in a separate building and was still available for a long shower after a long day on the water.
Not far from our minds as we travelled slowly down to Cowichan Bay was what we were going to do with Blue Tale now. Wondering whether what happened on this trip was a sign that maybe it was time to move on and to get a different boat that would meet our needs better. Could it be that it was Blue Tale just being angry at us for our betrayal or speaking those insensitive words of selling her? ~Sophia/Rob