Thursday, April 29, 2010

#2 Chemainus and Vancouver

On Monday morning the barometer had dropped to 1008 millibars with a further downward trend. The forecast called for big winds by mid-afternoon. We pulled the anchor at 9AM and headed for Chemainus on Vancouver Island, about 30 miles north of Victoria. It was an easy 3-hour motor along the Island's east coast, through Sansum Narrows, past Crofton and we pulled into Chemainus just after noon. The wind built, the barometer dipped to 992, the rain started, and we were happy to be tied up to a dock.

Chemainus is a touristy town with a small marina that's filled all summer but was open for us this spring.

Our neighbor, a large water dog mix, controls the fordeck of this 36 foot sailboat. The skipper said this guy can jibe the pole with the best of them!

Chemainus is a small touristy town with a large lumber mill. It has a renowned theater arts program and venue. It was quiet and we enjoyed a nice lunch at the Dancing Bean Cafe between rain showers. The wind built all day but we didn't see more than 35 knots throughout the night.

On Tuesday morning the seas were flat, but BC Weather forecast a windy day. The barometer had started a slow upward climb, so Alex convinced Pat that it was OK to cruise. We cleared the dock at 9 and headed to False Creek in downtown Vancouver. If the winds developed we decided we could anchor near Gabriola Island before crossing the Georgia Strait. Soon after departing Alex noticed Koinonia on the AIS transponder about 10 miles away. Koinonia is a Selene 59 which we knew was cruising along with two Selene 53s. We made visual contact with this 3-boat fleet just as we started to cross Georgia Strait. We learned via VHF radio they were headed to Princess Louisa Inlet, wind or no wind! They had another 5 hours to get to Pender Harbour and we wished them luck. As it turned out, the winds never built and our crossing to Vancouver was piece of cake.

We pulled into Quayside Marina in Yaletown Vancouver just after 1PM and tied up in the choice moorage at the end of Davie Street. Our view from the boat is the hustle and bustle of busy Vancouver in the hippest part of the City. We spent a couple days here, dined at Goldfish restaurant, shopped Granville Island and bicycled around Stanley Park. It's become our favorite city cruise destination.

Just part of Vancouver's skyline on approach to False Creek marinas.

This is Pat's favorite Vancouver building because of the full grown tree planted near the top.

While shopping on Granville Island which overlooks the False Creek main channel, we noticed a green-hulled Selene motoring into the marina. Turns out it was Seeker with Mike Minor and crew. Mike is from SLO town and we all dined together in the City. We also ran into Derek and family on Sea Pal a new Selene 55 who were docked near Procyon II, yet another Selene. The Sea Pal crew is here for the upcoming Vancouver Marathon. We'd all socialized together last week at the Selene Rendezvous. The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

On Tuesday it was sunny, then it rained, and finally it hailed! This was the hail cloud.

Today, Thursday we're headed north to Smugglers Cove on BC's Sunshine Coast. The barometer is still rising at 1010 millibars but 20 knot northwest winds are predicted. Let's hope the Sunshine Coast lives up to it's name. Have a great day.

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