Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Round & Round We Go

We departed Blind Channel Resort at 8:30am on an overcast day after resetting the lines due to a strong current that would have swept us sideways into the neighboring dock/finger pier.  We took the mid-bow and stern lines across our finger pier, looped them around the dock rails and back to cleats on the boat.  This setup kept the boat as close to our dock as possible and enabled us to simply release the lines while already aboard the boat.  A quick release of the lines and a quick backing maneuver put us safely out of our slip.  The next challenge was transiting Greene Point Rapids through Cordero Channel.  We motored up Mayne Channel and took a peek at the Rapids which were running at 6 knots due to spring tides; we could see through the binoculars that the current was moving swiftly with upwellings at various spots.  We decided it might be best to go back out Mayne Channel to Johnston Strait and continue northwest via that route instead.  As we got closer to Johnston Strait, we encountered 4-5 foot chop with white caps, conditions surely would get worse from here.  Bucking winds and chop over the long stretch up Johnston Strait would not be fun.  We turned around again and headed back up Mayne Channel passing by Blind Channel Resort once again.  They probably assumed the conditions were bad or we were completely lost!  
Greene Point Rapids
We decided to hangout just east of the Rapids waiting for the current to slack off a bit.  The water was flat calm outside the Rapids so it can be tempting to go through without assessing the situation.  The current was now at 5 knots and we made the decision to enter the narrow channel of Cordero and head through the Rapids with the strategy of angling across the dog-leg, giving better visibility for traffic and avoiding the worst areas of upwellings.  The Rapids are fairly short and our strategy worked well, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be.  
Chancellor Channel
After passing through Greene Point Rapids, we entered Chancellor Channel at the “screaming” speed of 11 knots.  As time went on the winds kicked up varying between 10 and 20 knots but with only a 2 foot chop.  We headed up Wellbore Channel, arriving at the next set of rapids at 11:46am, perfectly timed at slack water making the passage through Whirlpool Rapids a non-event.  
Forward Harbour Anchorage
By noon we had arrived at our anchorage in Forward Harbour just off Wellbore Channel.  There were three other boats who had also taken shelter here for the night.  We set the hook, turned on the “anchor-watch alarm” and made lunch - time for some hot cocoa!

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