Soaking in the Scene Cruising Between Howe Sound and the dept of Jervis Inlet

Sail’ish Tours epic Princess Louisa Inlet Cruise

As predicted, the cruise to Princess Louisa Inlet was mesmerizing, breathtaking as words alone cannot give its beauty justice.  Blessed with incredible weather, Sail’ish Tours shared the privilege of attendance with few others.

That’s the thing about the month of September: As the world goes back to its busy routine, leaving the summer enjoyments behind, the summer weather is far from over, hence giving nature a respite from the onslaught of cruisers.

Here’s a brief summary of the adventure:

Howe Sound, Bowen Island to Welcome Pass, Smuggler Cove

On September 24th, Windswept and the crew left Snug Cove on Bowen Island with a westerly breeze filling the sails as we headed to Smuggler Cove to spend the night stern tied.  I hate to admit, but the cove is superbly attractive and it is clear as to why it is a Provincial Marine preservation park.  Again, the timing of the season offered the guests exclusivity of the place which is not always the case in previous summer months.

The Sunshine Coast Hub

On Day 2: The wind blew from the SSE and the sails were hoisted over the following seas. Passing by Garden Bay, and through Agamemnon Channel, Windswept traveled the 30 or so miles to Egmont where we docked for some supplies (cold beer).  Egmont is my favorite pit-stop as this tiny little harbour is situated in the middle of it all: The Sunshine Coast hub. The wireless services mind you don’t feel the same way, but that’s ok – If you need to let someone know of your whereabout, the pay phone by the General Store is reliable and takes credit.

That night, I located the perfect spot to anchor in Dark Bay 4 nautical miles from Egmont.  Don’t let the name of the cove dissuade you from dropping the hook in it – It’s very peaceful.  The Milky Way that night was so bright; showing herself entirely to the naked eye.  And then the sunrise…

Jervis Inlet: The Royal Reaches

Day 3:  Clear, sunny day, temperature in the low 20’s.  Jervis Inlet is more than just a passage to our destination.  The scenery allows its visitors to soak in the grandeur of nature.  The surroundings give a sobering perspective as the peaks, valleys and wildlife is the best anti-depressor available on the market as far as I’m concerned.  By noon, the swift current of  the Malibu rapids relented briefly to allow excited sailors awaiting access inside the inlet.

Princess Louisa Charming Farewell

Day 4: As the Sun was warming the earth the morning fog slowly dissipated and the tide favorable ebbing gave the crew the friendly sign for departure, but only after a final tour of the bay and Chatterbox Falls. By 1700 hrs.we were back to Egmont sun kissed and in time to get some supplies and call the loved ones at home.

Day 5: After thoroughly examining the tides schedule, The Skookumchuck rapids were our next challenge to which every consideration and respect must be given in order to be granted access to beautiful Sechelt Inlet.  Much to enjoy about this area which Sail’ish Tours will leave for our next cruise as the crew must resume with life back home.

First light in Dark Bay

Jervis Inlet Sleeping

Chatterbox Falls

The Falls upclose

Princess Louisa Inlet in the rearview

View from Above

Anchored in Pirates Cove in the Gulf Islands

The two teenagers on board were in their true element, much to the parents’ content.  Pirates Cove on DeCourcy Island was just what the joyful young adults needed.  It is without a doubt the combination of the enchanting scenery, the vibrant marine life along its shore, and simply the most wonderful summer weather.  The water being so crystal clear, swimming and snorkeling in the warm waters have all the hallmarks of a tropical paradise – with the addition of lush forest of arbutuses that the Provincial Park treasures. Although Captain Chris enjoyed every bit of this cruise, the sailing across the Straight had been his highlight as the warm Northwesterly breeze carried Windswept to a delightful 6.0 knots to and fro.

Next week the weather forecast is looking pretty extraordinary as well.  Captain Chris is heading to the Sunshine Coast where he is hoping to take you for tour.  Check out the “Back to School” deals.

Three day cruise and two magnificent beaches.

We left the North Shore of Vancouver on a beautiful August morning just on time to allow the First Narrow of the inlet to spit Windswept out the bay.  My guests, a young family of a four year old daughter, had been excited about the cruise plan – being the Gulf Island’s two of the most beautiful beaches  of the west coast.

We arrived to Dionisio Point in the afternoon and anchored in the bay.  To everyone’s delight, the hot fine sand, the refreshing swim and the view – well words cannot do it justice as for its beauty. We soaked in all the bits of a perfect evening watching the sun setting.

The next day, we lifted anchor and accessed the inner channels with our sails full.  The light breeze still pushed windswept to 5 knots as we headed toward Tent Island to which my favorite beach awaited our arrival.

As we approached the beach, the crystal clear water revealed meaty crabs that gave me and my guests dinner cravings.  Again, this site gave us another gift of a perfect day.

In conclusion to this epic tour, I wish to extend my appreciation to the Vigo family for I will be forever grateful for this time spent together among the wonders of the Salish Sea.

An addiction has taken hold of Sail’ish Tours and the next cruise cannot wait, our hearts and soul thirsting for more.  Tribune Bay on Hornby Island is Sail’ish Tours’ next destination.



The Lost Coast; Pacific Northwest sailing Part II

Return to Noyo River Harbor:

Noyo River in Fort Bragg is charming for many reasons including but not limited to majesty of the ocean.  It is also the capital of the so called “Lost Coast”.  Although the trip from Montreal was long and convoluted, the drive is stunning, and perhaps it is purposely kept remote.  But as strange as it sounds, the place felt familiar and welcoming when I rolled into the harbour.  Despite the draw, the pull of the ocean won my impulse.

The harbour astern, the sun and the calm sea, made me feel nostalgic yet excited.   I can honestly say that Kim,Billy and Darryl, have been wholeheartedly supportive to the lone sailor. I will be forever grateful of their genuine interest in my safety at sea.

Cape Mendocino’s mercy

I headed to Point Delgada, a safe anchorage for the night fourty miles NNW where I joined Mike on Cruz Del Sur.  The sun still under the eastern horizon and well rested, Mike and I lifted anchor to Eureka.  Cape Mendocino is notorious as the local nicknamed it “the place where the wind is born”.  Fortunately that day, the forecast was accurate and the small weather window freed Mike and I from the typical Northwesterly tempest.  Although the weather pattern was improving, Cape Blanco was also the source of strong opposing winds. The 2.5kn average shortened the distance made good and decided to find shelter in Gold Beach.  California was not ready to let me go just quite yet.

At the next opportunity, the high tide gave the necessary dept to avoid the sandbar inside the jetty and off we went at sunset a full-moon and a clear sky as our companions.  The weather got better and so was the distance between the various ports and anchorages.  The open ocean is a place of contrast, extremes and paradox.  Memories of natural wonders are everywhere to be found. The forces of nature has made a defined statement along the rugged coast.

The Gateway: Straight of Juan de Fuca.

On July 13th at 1200, Cape Flattery to my starboard, I rounded the last marker to the Straight Juan de Fuca. For the first time in the entire journey the wind and the current was following. I felt like Neil Armstrong parading Time Square, mother Nature cheering me in the final stretch of an epic afternoon.  The next day I cleared Customs and continued in the warm southerly breeze through the Gulf Islands. I can’t think of a better way to crown such voyage.

Windswept is now secure in Vancouver and being prepared for the next adventure: Desolation Sound.  Don’t miss it and book your trip now.