Back to Vancouver Island

I got derailed on my Vancouver Island story with a couple of other stories I thought were worth sharing, but now I’m back to the chronicle of my adventures in sailing. Since my last post, I was up at the CITW brewing some beer, and I started binge-watching Alone, A History Channel reality TV show. The premise of the show is to put ten guys  out in the wilderness with just a few basic items, and the one who lasts the longest wins $500,000. (Yes ladies, it is a sexist show. The contestants were all males, at least at the time of the filming.) The contestants film themselves and therefore are truly alone, without cameramen or producers to give them a Snickers bar if they get hungry. They each have a satellite phone they can use to pack it in, or tap out, as they call it. It’s an interesting show and interesting premise, but most interesting to me was the wilderness area chosen by the producers. The area is around Winter Harbour, in Quatsino Sound, at the NW end of Vancouver Island. I haven’t watched the whole first season yet, but what I’ve seen so far is pretty good. The contestants range from the pasty overweight white males who probably are also part of right-wing militias or Civil war re-enactors (and Trump supporters) to younger, more athletic types, to a good old boy from Georgia who recites poetry occasionally. The show emphasizes that there are 200 wolves, 7000 black bears, and 1000 cougars on the island, and the guys I’ve stereotyped as right wing survivalists are true to another stereotype I have of right wingers. They are all scared shitless of animals in the wild, especially wolves and bears. One guy packs it in when a bear is outside his shelter in the middle of the first night, and another taps out when he hears wolves in the distance. But I digress, the point is that we sailed (motored, actually) right through the area where this series was made.

capescottWe left Port Hardy on July 4th, and with the wind on our nose, motored all the way to Bull Harbour, a well-protected bay on Hope Island. A pod of Dahl porpoises played with us for quite a while which was the only thing that broke the monotony of a otherwise dreary day.


As you can see, there was no wind in Bull Harbour.

The next morning we left early to catch the low slack tide at the Nawhitti Bar. The is a shallow area in the channel that can get really rough with opposing winds and currents. We had a relatively easy passage through the bar with no problems. The rest of the trip to the Winter Harbor area was uneventful, with winds of 3-7 knots from the south and east. More motoring.

Normally at this time of the year, there is a Pacific high pressure area that parks itself west of the Queen Charlotte Islands and produces consistent 20-30 knot NW winds down the coast of Vancouver Island. The winds we were experiencing were either non-existent or gale force from the south or east. And even though we were there in July, summer had not yet come to the Island. For the most part, it was cold, wet and dreary, just like the weather on Alone. I guess we were a bit early. Oh well. We were having a grand time nonetheless.

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