After a very productive Nanaimo stop in terms of the essentials-laundry, food, and liquor–especially the Canadian hard cider of which Donna is a devotee; we headed out in the late morning (Lucy hurled on the bed, last minute laundry run) sailing into a 10-15 north-westerly. One tack to the south end of Texada with the wind vane steering flawlessly. I have revised my opinion of the efficiency of the vane. We were chugging along at 7+ knots hard on the wind. In those conditions I don’t think it slowed us a bit (of course we had power to burn) and steered a better course to the wind than either of us could. When we got into the high 7s and low 8 knots boat speed, it would hum or vibrate which is new. But we just set that thing and sat back. What was cool is that close hauled there were no settings to change as the wind oscillated. It just stayed in the groove. Yay.
At the bottom of Texada Island, the wind went to the SE, the sky went crystal clear and we kept sailing along wing and wing dead down wind at about 4.5 knots in 7 knots of warm breeze. We decided to skip Jedidiah Island as the sailing was too good. Better to take advantage of pleasant conditions and sail on to Pender or Quarry Bay further north. But a 5:30 when we got there, we decided to sail another 20 miles onto Van Anda on Texada Island.–now a sunset cruise. Glad we did it though. After 25 years of sailing the long trek up the east side of “The Rock” as the locals call it, to get to Desolation sound, we’d never visited and now I wish we hadn’t waited to long. We pulled into the Van Anda Boat Club dock in Sturt Bay behind their upgraded breakwater. It’s pretty nice and very quaint. The town is very cool also–great store, resturant and a bar we plan to check out tonight. Possibly the center of local culture. Actually they have a lot going on here considering the population of the island is less than a thousand. We really wish we could be around for their Blues and Roots 2 day music festival Aug. 8-9 but we’ll be hauled out then.
The people here are very friendly, everyone stops to talk and they all wave when they drive or walk by. Of course we’re the only tourists in town and they’re probably waving at Lucy. So we’ll stay another night, moorage works out to about 50 cents a foot so why not. Kind of hot and sunny. Feels like July. Tomorrow we’ll probably go onto the touristy places we never go in Desolation sound because it’s high summer weather with very few boats. Almost like visiting a new place in some ways.