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Desolation Sound Cruise: Garden Bay (southbound)


mascot of the Escape

All of us were exhausted by Saturday night’s celebrations, and we slept in unusually late – 8am. When we awoke, we discovered that some kind soul had left us a mascot for our vessel, knowing our sad reputation as the three amigos aboard the only stag boat of the fleet.

Unfortunately, we knew that the day’s weather report was for strong winds and waves against us on our anticipated route, so the earlier the start, the better. In the end we managed to hoist aboard the dinghy and get underway just after 9am.

The predictions were correct. Almost as soon as we left the shelter of Cortes Harbor, the seas built and broke over our nose. No choice of speed alleviated the spray or the pitching of the boat. Tom stayed his course using autopilot and I tracked the waypoints and course changes.

Not long into the trip we realized that the dinghy tie-downs weren’t secure, and that the davit cable had too much slack, causing it to swing and bang with the seas. A little later we saw that the bow rail burgee staff and burgee were missing, no doubt swept off by the constant sheets of spray washing over the deck. Further, the flagpole had shaken free from its stanchion on the fly bridge and dropped with a bang into the cockpit. But it was too risky to leave the cabin to fix any of these, and we proceeded on our course.

By early afternoon we had steered behind a series of rocky islands that served to break the seas, and made the harbor shortly thereafter. We relaxed and let down our guard – only to find that we had all left our portholes open, and now had beds and baths soaked with sea water.

Airing our comforters on the fly bridge and drying sheets on John McColloch’s Venture solved that problem. The burgee staff was found on the bowdeck and re-mounted, dinghy and davit re-secured, and flag pole replaced.

All that remained was to ease into dinner, and working as a team we threw together grilled chicken pesto pasta, tomato and onion salad, steamed vegetables, and garlic toast. Matched with a red wine, we had the best on-board dinner of the cruise. Tomorrow: Princess Louisa Inlet!