Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sail #26: Dear Ed: Cruising to Victoria-by-the-Sea

23.6 nm, 5 knots per hour average speed, 4:36:52 elapsed time

Judy had given me a Kobo e-reader for my birthday the week before, despite the fact that my birthday wasn't until the 18th. She was pretty excited about it and couldn't wait to give it to me, since it was the perfect sailing companion. I loaded it up with 120 or so books before we left, which would more than accommodate any reading urge I'd have over our 5 days on the water.

As it turned out, I was so impressed with the Kobo that I suggested that Jude and I walk off our “Canadian breakfast” from Linda's Cafe on a trip to Chapters in Charlottetown and get her one too. Just as we walked into the bookstore my phone rang. The crew of Silver Seas were planning to head out to Victoria-by-the-Sea at 1100 (in 15 minutes). We made the 3 km walk back in record time and quickly prepared the boat for our sail to Victoria.

We motored-sailed out of Hillsborough Bay and rounded St. Peter's Island. The sky looked like we could get some weather so we put on our rain gear and settled in. Just past Canoe Cove the winds picked up so we unfurled the jib and set the sails. We cruised straight up the Argyle Shore and into the approach for Victoria-by-the-Sea in beautifully steady winds, and averaged 6 – 6.5 knots.

The entrance to Victoria Harbour is a narrow, twisting channel that requires close attention. As we rounded the wharf, Silver Seas was tied to a fishing boat and Vince the Harbour Master was waiting to catch our lines (which we forget to put out). I later found out that the advantage of being tied to a fishing boat was that we didn't need to worry about adjusting dock lines for the rise and falling tides. We simply went up and down with the fishing boat. Besides, there was a bit of adventure in climbing up a wharf ladder off a fishing boat. The $20, taxes in dockage was nice too.

Jude had prepared a “tin foil dinner” of buffalo meat from Meadowbrook Farms for supper that evening. As we waited for it to cook, we ferried ourselves across to Silver Seas in the tender for happy hour. After supper we walked up to the Victoria Playhouse for a one man play, Letters from Wingfield Farms. It was a very entertaining show and a great way to cap off a very full day.

I woke early Wednesday morning to the sound of fishermen heading out. I was told the night before that the boat we were tied to wasn't fishing that day, but I poked my head out of the hatch anyway. Silver Seas was being quietly pulled off the fishing boat to the dock before their crew were even on deck. I thought it was pretty cool that the fishermen would be that accommodating and thoughtful to a bunch of sailboaters. Good on yah!

Later that morning the ladies and I went to the local chocolate shop for breakfast. While we were there Rod Beattie, the star of the Wingfield show drove up for his morning coffee. Of course we all clapped, to which he responded, “that was the longest curtain call I've ever received”.

At 1100 we boarded the boats and headed to Summerside.

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