A Single Gybe to Horaceville for a Night at Anchor in the Moonlight

On August 19 the forecast seemed appropriate for another sailing “expedition” to Horaceville. The plan was to spend the night at anchor in Pinhey’s cove under the quasi-full Moon (the “Sturgeon” full Moon had been August 18).

I parked the car at Dick Bell Park early in the morning, but was careful to leave on the dashboard a special permit from the Sailing Club, as the entire parking area fills-up later in the day with the vehicles of avid Pokemon Go hunters.

The wind was steady at 5-10 Kts. from the SE, which allowed for a single-tack gybe all the way to Pinhey Point. With the Pinhey mansion on sight, a decision had to be made as  whether to anchor at the Point or proceed further up-river to Baskin Beach, likely the anchorage best protected from SE swells. I decided in favour of Pinhey’s cove.

As many times before I put my trust on the Belgian 5Kg Bruce anchor and its chain rode. I dropped the anchor in 6-7 Ft. with plenty of scope. The swell was strong due to the long fetch all the way from Britannia and to the wind blowing against the current.

The activities of the day included a refreshing swim from the boat and rowing the dinghy around the point, which in spite of the many signs indicating that this is a “No Public Access Ecologically Fragile Area”, is regularly visited by humans on foot, as witnessed by the many inukshuk “sculptures” at the tip of the Point.

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Then it was time to do some radio “afloat” and try the W3EDP Jr. antenna from the boat. The S9 14-meter long telescopic pole was deployed and secured at the stern. With the W3EDP Jr. thus hoisted quasi-vertically, its twinlead end was connected to the KX3 via the 4:1 unun using a toroidal choke. Not surprisingly given current propagation conditions, signals were heard only in 20m. Contacts were made with Karoly HA8IB (RX RST 559)  and Michel F5MXQ (also Rx RST 559). Station ZV2016RIO (in celebration of the 2016 Olympics) was heard CQ-ing and making contacts, but it never acknowledged my call. More signals were heard, but suddenly the movement of the boat caused the telescopic pole to come collapsing down. Next I will explore deploying the W3EDP Jr. as an inverted “V” using only the spars in the rigging.

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Dinner was clam chowder warmed up while witnessing the sun going down behind the trees. The moon was already up and almost full and remained on sight the entire night.

During the night the boat pitched and rocked while swinging at the anchor, with the waves occasionally finding the resonance of the hull and causing the bow to leap higher. The wind never seemed to subside and the rocking brought memories of a momentous dash from Alert Bay to Heck Seamount, just to experience the Pacific and use Celestial Navigation offshore with no land on sight. That offshore trip had taken place 20 years before during a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in a Gin-Fizz Jeanneau 37 and the offshore leg had ended with a landing at Hot Springs and a visit to Tofino’s Harbour in the west coast of Vancouver Island.

At dawn, towards the West, the Moon was still above the trees, while the top clouds were being tinted in pink by the Sun, still below the horizon on the other side of the World and the river:

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In the morning, I rowed the dinghy to land and discovered an old apple tree that provided a primeval albeit frugal breakfast.

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Back on the boat it was soon time to weigh anchor (with a big chunk of mud from the bottom on account of the waves that relentlessly pounded the bow the entire night). The now head-wind had not changed. Sassy tacked back for a couple of hours. Then her “iron spinnaker” was called to duty, which it did flawlessly for the rest of the way to the marina.

At the tip of the peer a large group of Go Pokemonners had already gathered for the day (and the night), and I could only imagine what would become of the “Ecologically Fragile Area” if Pokemons started to appear in Pinhey Point.

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