Posted by: Ann | October 20, 2018

Friday, October 19th- Nanaimo to Sidney

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Sunrise at Nanaimo

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Dodd Narrows

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Fog

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Zero Visibility reveals a spider web

Sun then thick fog

The slack at Dodd Narrows was around 6:30 am, but we left Nanaimo at 7:15, about 15 minutes after there was enough light to navigate.  Jon had to straighten several twists out of the anchor chain again.

Before we reached the Narrows, a 24’ Hovercraft announced transit in our direction.  That was an interesting boat to see. I was also amused by a a large group of seagulls hitching a ride on a log boom, and we enjoyed seeing several sea lions, which are less common than harbor seals we’ve seen every day.

We reached Dodd narrows at 8am which was just a little turbulent with various instruments reporting between 2.5 to 3 kts flood(adverse current).  Frankly, the wake from the motorboat that raced past from behind us was worse.  

We continued along the Stuart channel towards Sidney, but about 9:30 the fog started to thicken.  The visibility was worsened by what must have been the sun from above.  We slowed a bit in the white glare.  I was glad for Jon’s radar and AIS systems but it was still a tense hour of looking for non-transmitting and/or non radar reflecting boats before the fog started to lift.

Fortunately, it was clear enough to see as we approached Sidney and crossed the paths of many ferries and local boats.  We docked at D-31 around 1:40 pm and headed up to Starbucks and my favorite little art store, Island Blue.  

I could not believe how many people were in downtown Sidney.  The Starbucks was packed for hours and I’ve never seen so many people browsing downtown.

There were several possible reasons.  The World Rowing Coastal championships just ended Oct 14th, Pumpkin and Oktoberfest events are going on, an ArtSea Open Studios event for the coming weekend and the Antimatter Media week in Victoria is just ending.  Whatever the reason, we were also buzzed two military jets for several minutes.

We were sorry to miss our friends who live in Sidney, Chris and Dave Schroeder, so we consoled ourselves with the schnitzel and spatzli from my favorite restaurant, Bistro Suisse.  I got a good tutorial on how to properly prepare the pan for schnitzel, concluding that I don’t get my pans hot enough (which is probably why most of the breading falls off!)

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