Sunday, August 13, 2006

Leg 3 West Bay and Hotham Island

LEG 3 Begins

1230 Heading west out of Little Current

The wind is a steady 15 knots out of the west. As usual, we will be tacking to make progress to the west. The sky is clear and the temperature is a bit brisk. Our destination today is Hotham Island on the north side of the North Channel. The crew went to the grocery store this morning for a feast tonight.

1405 Elm Island, 5 NM

Brad has been reading "Sailing for Dummies" since he arrived. It's now time for a practical session. Brad sailed for about an hour on close reach after we rounded Elm Island. I'm not sure what's up with all these crews. We're barely over an hour out....beautiful sunny skies.... good wind.... and the crew is fast asleep...... they appear to be squandering all my sleep, as well....

1530 North of Clapperton Island off of Robertson Rock, 12 NM

I woke up the crew to begin tacking west. After they got the sleep out of their eyes.... they did a respectful job tacking in close quarters. We had a great view of Croker Island and the Sow and Pigs off of South Benjamin Island. The rock in that area is a stunning pink granite. The water is pretty deep (125 ft) almost right up to the Islands.

 1630 Rounding Frechette Island to the north, 21 NM

We've had a nice reach along the east side of the Benjamins and Fox Island. It's almost like rush hour in this narrow channel. One sailboat ahead and two behind us all apparently heading to the same general area. It's time to furl the sails and begin the navigation into Oak Harbor. Oak Harbor is a series of bays and inlets formed by the Spanish Indian Reserve to the north and Hotham Island to the south. These protected waters stretch for almost 5 miles.

1730 Dropping Anchor in West Bay of Hotham Island, 25.2 NM

An inexperienced crew did a good job getting the anchor down. I wanted to get it set well, since we may be getting some weather late tonight or tomorrow morning. We are anchored in West Bay with 11 other boats.

 1740 At anchor in West Bay

Right after we got the ship shape an official looking character in a dingy stopped by to inform us that Happy Hour will be on the rocks shortly.

 1800 Making landfall on Hotham Island

Dave dived off the boat and proceeded to swim over a quarter mile in 68 degree water to the Happy Hour site. Brad, not to be outdone by Dave, dived in and proceeded to swim to the party. He was safer, wearing a life jacket. However, his navigation skills were flawed, traveling twice the distance required. Eric was disappointed he couldn't run this morning. So he volunteered to be the oarsman on the dingy. Like Washington crossing the Delaware he ferried the remaining Bumboat crew and Captain (standing on bow pointing to the landfall) in multiple trips.

 1820 Cocktail Rock on the east shore of West Bay

Wow!! Who would of thought that in the middle of the wilderness we would be having cocktails with 20 other people we just met. We were very popular bunch with the natives (most were members of the Great Lakes Cruising Club) .... apparently they don't see much of our type out here.... It was a very chatty group whom really got a kick out of the Bumboat Cruise itinerary. Many of these cruisers take all summer to cover the ground we covered in 46 hours. The natives were amused by our arrival by human power.... they thought surely a vessel of the Bumboat's class would merit some fancy powered craft.

Brian exchanged his four flavors of jello shots for the rights of the Bumboat crew to eat their appetizers. The jello shots were a hit. We heard laughter throughout the anchorage the rest of the night...

 2030 Returning to the mother ship

It's time for the crew to make that gourmet meal..... pizzas..... three types..... pepperoni, cheese, and deluxe..... all from the box to the oven.

2100 Bumboat Saloon

The crew played poker as the Captain finally updated the Captains log. The Captain turned in at 0130, set the alarm for an anchor check at 0300.

Crew participates in line seminar
Our first mate driving

Crew liberty
Land HO
Common denominator of all crews
Guests arrive

Happy Hour
Leg 3 crew
Sow and Pigs off of Benjamin Islands
Bumboat in West Bay of Hotham Island

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