Coming home from the Rendezvous

I didn’t sleep well last night. Opus was too warm and stuffy, but the mosquitoes were far too numerous for me to leave any windows or doors open. I preferred stuffy to being bled to death in my sleep! As a result, I was definitely not at the top of my game for the trip home right from the beginning, unfortunately.

Once again, it was a parade of C&Cs with the occasional odd duck interspersed such as the impressively large motor yacht that had also been staying overnight at Telegraph Harbour. There was really, “clumps” of departures for various destinations. I was part of a group headed for Porlier Pass, about 10 miles away. As with the trip from Nanaimo to Thetis, I had wanted to sail as much as possible. However, it ended up being too much work for my state and I motored most of the way. The headsail got fouled three times during one tack before disgust and frustration head me furl it up for a bit.

The tide was coming in as we passed through Porlier Pass, pushing Opus through the gap at a brisk 6-7 knots. I figure the current was running at about 2 knots plus about 4 knots of boat speed. On the outflow side (Georgia Strait), were the standing waves that the chart symbols warn you of. While not very big compared to Opus, they certainly did push her around a bit and it reuiqred brisk and lively helming to keep her on course. That zone was only about 100-150 meters long, but I can see how I wouldn’t want to deal with it in a small boat. It would definitely be worth waiting for slack under those circumstances.

Once clear of the outflow, it was one more attempt at sailing, this time successfully for the next 7 miles before the wind dropped, which was expected. Between being tired, and having been on the helm for 4 hours already, when the “TTD” (“Time to Destination”) indicator read another 4 hours to go, with SOG (“Speed Over Ground”) showing 2.9 knots, it was time to fire up the engine and proceed with a bit more alacrity.

Two things of note occurred. At one point a distress call came in and, reluctantly, I turned to respond. They were about 10 miles away, which was 2 hours at my speed, and in the wrong direction. Fortunately, for me, there was a boat that was further away, but faster, and they responded as well, freeing me to head on home.

The second thing was the disparity between customs into Canada and customs into the USA from the water. Both countries use apps on my phone to file the paperwork. For Canada it’s ArriveCan and for the USA it’s CBP-Roam. Even using that, Canada requires me to tie up to the customs dock before I then have to call in, though the process is a bit more streamlines since they have all the paperwork already submitted. US, you can submit as soon as you’re in their waters and they will, generally, clear you while you’re still out on the water. None of this “We won’t talk to you unless you’re docked” business. It was a welcome relief not to have to dock up twice!

Anyway, Opus is home once again. Today is going back down to her to clean her up, take more stuff off, etc., only to load her back up again for the next cruise, and then prep her for racing season!

Leave a Reply