The tale of our travels back to Cowichan Bay continues for our summer holidays (see link for previous post). We left early the next morning on September 5th from Schooner Cove and headed to Nanaimo, the next stop in our journey. The weather forecast predicted winds up to 20 to 25 knot south-easterlies. Not something we were looking forward to as we were heading straight into the wind but we felt we could do it. We motored for about an hour until I suggested that we should try and put the sails up to see if we can move a bit better through the pounding waves. We decided to do this just as we past the Winchelsea Islands. Once the sails went up and the motor got turned it felt like we were stopped right in our tracks. We had to keep continuously tacking as we were being pushed towards the Winchelsea Islands and the best tack. At that point, I completely lost it and let out several swear words! I don’t exactly remember what I said to Rob but I know I did not want to be on the boat anymore… I just had enough with the weather, things breaking, water coming over our bow, the ongoing pounding against the boat, constantly feeling like I’m struggling with Blue Tale, with being on a boat that did not seem to want us, and I was tired of struggling with the tiller with my left shoulder constantly aching (I recently tore my rotator cuff). After my rant, Rob suggested taking down the sails and maybe that was not the best suggestion at the time as I lost it again with several more swear words with why we do we have a fudging sailboat if we never sail the fudging sailboat!! I finally calmed down and the decision was made to keep the sails up for a little bit longer just to see how it went!!
The trip involved a lot of tacking as I mentioned we were beating against the wind the whole way down to Nanaimo. Eventually, we settled into a routine and as we got closer to Nanaimo we would point out to each other sailboats that were motoring instead of sailing when the winds were in their favour. We felt like we have joined a club in that we were able to sail in winds even though it was not the most comfortable sail we ever had. The jib (or yankee) and main sails did well but we sure missed our staysail sail.
After a very long day and travelling over 43 nautical miles, we finally made it Newcastle Island Park and grabbed one of the rare available mooring buoys. I was also so tired when we came in that instead of paying close attention to the shoreline and the depth sounder, I almost put us up on the shallow end of the island. Luckily some people from another boat was waving at me madly and that’s when I realized I was getting too close to shore and made quick correction in course. Once attached to the mooring buoy, we decided to treat ourselves and went to shore and enjoyed a nice evening at Rob’s favourite Mexican restaurant (Gina’s Mexican Cafe).
The following morning was met with overcast conditions but it quickly cleared up as we headed through Dodd Narrows and towards Montague Harbour. As much as we tried to coax the sails, there was no sailing for that day. We grabbed another mooring buoy in the marine park and settle in for a quiet two days in our favourite anchorage. We did some hiking around the park and then got a walk partway into Sturdies Bay. I treated Rob to a nice lunch for his birthday at the Flying Black Dog Restaurant. On the way back to the harbour, we weren’t as fortunate in getting a ride and had to walk all the way back. I forgot how rainy the BC coast can be in the fall and we of course got soaked in the process as walked back. But we stopped along the way at a homemade soap store (Galiano Island Soap Works) and got some nice soap for friends and family (and to get out of the rain).
On September 8th, our wedding anniversary, we sailed/motored down to Bedwell Harbour another favourite anchorage and this time Rob treated me to a lovely dinner at Poets Cove Marina Resort after I snuck into the pool area and had a long hot shower! The following day we sailed/motored on to Canoe Cove near Sidney to chat with Blackline Marine (Brent Jacobi) on the repairs that we would need to make to fix the staysail and the broken connection. We then left Canoe Cove on September 10th and sailed as much as we could on our way back to Cowichan Bay as a decision was made and we were going to put Blue Tale up for sale. This was the hardest decision we made but felt that it was the best. As much as we love Blue Tale we have noticed that we would like to have a little bit more room in our boat and we would love to have family and friends over… in comfort. We also felt guilty about not being able to use her as much as we’d like and didn’t want her wasting away alone and unused in port like so many other boats we’ve seen.
Still, as said, this was not an easy decision and we still have our reservations about the decision. Whoever said that the best day of a sailor’s life is the day they buy a boat and the day they sell their boat did not love their boat, because for us the selling of Blue Tale has been the hardest thing ever…. but the decision has been made and Blue Tale is for sale. This does not mean that we are giving up on sailing either. We now have been looking at bigger boats (38-42ft) within our budget, so if any of you reading this have any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. ~Sophia & Rob