Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Brooks Peninsula

Indigo is making her way down the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The largest obstacle to smooth sailing along this stretch is the Brooks Peninsula, which projects out about twenty miles from the otherwise rather steady northwest to southeast direction of travel. Solander Island, which sits off the western tip of the Brooks, records some of the highest winds in the Pacific Northwest. (Read what our favorite meteorologist has to say about Solander Island: Rounding the Brooks Peninsula is a big deal, as the winds and waves pile up here, intensify, and generally make passage uncomfortable. We have done this three times before, always encountering fog, rough seas, and howling winds, and reaching safety south of the Peninsula bone tired.

This time we adopted the strategy of ducking into the anchorage that would make the journey as short as possible. We chose the Klaskish Inlet, which is one of the tiny coves at the very top of the chart. This was a magical place, entered through a passage no more than 30 feet wide between tall rocks, but then opening out into a calm bay at the mouth of a coastal river. This is what we saw looking back after we had departed - that little hole in the trees is the only sign that the passage exists!

Luckily, we had a clear, relatively still morning, and the winds, generally 10 to 15 knots higher than the surrounding area, were perfect for a comfortable sail around the Brooks Peninsula. Plus, on this clear day, we got a great look at Solander Island, its rocky sides and weather reporting stations.  We sailed, mostly downwind, riding the mild swells, and reached our Bunsby Island anchorage (the islands show up at the bottom right hand side of the chart above) by noon. That was good luck.


Blogger June said...

I should think that having former experience of the difficulties would make it all twice as hard -- so keeping your nerve, examining your options, and making the best of the journey seems to have been rewarded. Good going.

The crit group was almost complete Tuesday -- only you were missed. Everyone was in top form. Jane and I painted a bit a couple of weeks ago and she joined us at Opera in the Park last Sunday. Summer has almost reached Portland, although yesterday was more like early spring. Strange weather.

Good travels.

August 11, 2011 10:14 AM  

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