Day 16 overall, Day 9 afloat: Staying put at Pierre’s Echo Bay Marina (Sunday)

Blog Readers, Blog Readers, Blog Readers come in this is Domino. The boating is good and the weather is fine!

Naturally in our everyday lives we pay some attention to the weather. Is it raining and do I need an umbrella? Is it warm or cold and do I need a coat? On a boat, as you can imagine, the weather becomes significantly more important than when we are on land. If we are on land and a storm is coming we make way to the appropriate shelter or protect ourselves by not going outdoors at all. On a boat like Domino we are not fast enough to run away from weather and there are only very limited places to hide so we have to plan for the weather and then hope for no significant changes to the forecasts. The way we do this is by listening to weather radio and consider the destination for the day and course and what hiding places might be available along the way should the weather worsen. In the fjords and passages of BC predicted winds can fail to materialize or blow twice as hard as forecast. The wind creates waves that can make boating unpleasant and possibly dangerous. The direction of the wind is equally important and creates waves in proportion to its speed and its fetch. Fetch is the distance that the wind passes over a body of water. Wind blowing cross wise on a narrow channel will not have a chance to create very large waves but wind blowing length wise can create large waves even in a relatively small body of water. The Domino is capable of handling very large waves because of her ballasted hull and large high gunwales. The Domino has almost 10,000 pounds of concrete and lead in her keel and that weight works to keep her upright in heavy seas. A gunwales is the side rail of the boat and when they are higher it takes a larger wave to overtop them. The direction from which the waves are coming certainly effects the experience of the humans inside the boat. Waves on the bow or front of the boat cause the bow to pitch upward but this up and down motion is mediated by the weight and shape of the hull. Waves on the beam or the side of the boat trigger a rolling motion that is magnified by the shape of the hull and is much less pleasant for the humans and the ships kitty.

So far on this trip we have seen 3-4 foot seas with an occasional 6 foot wave. As I have said before the Domino can be rolly but she can handle the wave action. It is typically the humans and kitty inside the boat that get uncomfortable and it can be scary if you are not prepared. It seems that we are all getting our sea legs though and even kitty is now sleeping through windy and rough days. She is becoming a real ships mascot.

How does the weather channel tells us about the conditions in specific body of water? The governments of United States and Canada place buoys in strategic locations, not to mark channels or warn ships about rocks, but to collect data about the wind and waves at that location. You have to listen long enough to hear about the areas that you will pass through to understand the conditions. Today we listened for conditions at the West Sea Otter buoy and it was reporting 25 Kts winds and 2-3 meter seas which is translated to 6.6 -9.9 foot seas. Now, the Domino can take that level of seas but I am not sure that Andrew, Kitty and I really want to be that uncomfortable. Sam the Wagner trip leader determined that for our group of boats, people and experience, a crossing delay was warranted. So we wait until the weather improves.

Yacht Shot, Safe Harbour and Discovery did leave this morning and headed to Port McNeil to do boat repairs. Discovery is having problem with batteries, Yacht Shot needed a new thermostat. So the rest of us stayed at Pierre’s and relaxed. We might be getting a splitter to allow the AIS and VHF to share the same antenna. If we do we will install it with the help of Sam.

Andrew took advantage of the quiet day and took a nap. I took the dingy and dropped my crab trap and then my shrimp trap. Dan helped locate a position for the shrimp trap because I am still trying to work out how to use my portable fish finder/depth gauge.

2:00 Checked on shrimp pots and Dan’s has become hung up on the commercial traps that were set in the area but the shrimp boat is out there pulling traps so we are going to go out and talk with them an ask them to just drop his back if it comes up with their line.

I went back to the boat and grabbed my last three Guinness and drove them out the commercial shrimp boat. I thanked them for sharing the waterway with us and then the fisherman asked for my rope crate and he filled it with shrimp. So although I didn’t technically catch shrimp with my shrimp trap yet I hauled in a pretty nice load of shrimp anyway and all I had to do was use beer for bait!

Pierre’s is a great place to relax! His dock and location are quiet and charming. The docks are surrounded about little houses some owned by Pierre and some owned privately. At night they are all lit up with Christmas lights and the whole place is beautiful! You can shrimp, crab and fish in all the little coves around Pierre including the cover where Billy Proctor lives.

Yacht Shot and Discovery stayed in Port McNeil and Safe Harbour came back to Pierre’s to spend the night. I spent the late afternoon using the wonderful shrimp to make fish base. Pierre came by the boat and told us that Sam and Kevin where on the way back over so Pierre and I decided to cook everyone dinner. I promised Gumbo and Pierre said that he would being boiled shrimp. Fabulous, cooking a meal for Pierre will be a great treat and this way when he needs a pancake flipper one of these years he might give me a summer job!

The gumbo turned out pretty tasty. Andrew gave the Shrimp and crab gumbo an “8” (1-8 is the scale we use) on the boat meals scale. I think it was a hit and Pierre showed up with the biggest bowl of boiled shrimp I have ever seen. We pigged out and enjoyed the company and the night on the dock. I saved some of the gumbo for Discovery and Yacht Shot. We see them in Port McNeil tomorrow and it might be another day at a dock waiting for the wind farther North to die down.

Domino…….Over……. and standing by on VHF channel 68.

  • Left Dock/Weighed anchor: Did Not leave the dock
  • Cruise Log: 0 Nautical Miles
  • Weather Conditions: Sunny and breezy and clear and wonderful!
  • Navigational Obsticals: Learning to deal with the dinghy in rougher waters. You drop the pots down and then you have to pick them up even if the water has gotten rougher!
  • Wildlife Sighting: Eagles, crabs and shrimp!
  • Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Stayed at dock
  • Slip for the night $60 slip, $20 power, $5 a load for laundry and $5 for dryer load ($20) (Propane is expensive to get to Pierre’s)
  • Time today Helm for TEA: 0 hrs
  • Time today Helm for ACA: 0 hrs
  • Lessons learned: Take advantage of the rest days. Do what you want to do!
  • Fun Meals underway: Gumbo for all!

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