Posted by: Ann | October 1, 2019

9-29-19, Sunday- Pender Harbour to Nanaimo

Breezy, partly cloudy

The winds were supposed to be dropping off today, but it was still high at the Sisters Island auto reporting weather station off Lasqueti Island, so we waited for the 10am weather report. We didn’t want to repeat our last uncomfortable trip across the Strait of Georgia when the winds were actually worse than predicted.

I guess we could have gone to the Madiera Park docks after all; we could have gone to the Euspiria coffee shop this morning. Finally it seemed the winds were dropping, so we departed Pender Harbour. It was a good decision as the seas were only slightly rippled. We were protected in the lee of the mainland for the first few hours.

Since it was Sunday, we were able to cut across the Whisky Gulch military target area. Jon spotted some whales which I hoped weren’t going to be here when military exercises are underway. I was just trying to pinpoint their location for the WhaleWatch report when the engine died.

The two fuel tanks, starboard and port, have a connection between them with the purpose of leveling out the fuel so the boat doesn’t list to one side. However, this makes it very difficult to tell how much fuel is remaining. The sightglass is also about 4” off the bottom of the tank which makes it even more difficult. In addition, we really have no idea how low the level can be before it starts sucking in air.

Jon intentionally had the valves set so that the one side would run dry, but this boat didn’t give him enough time to switch to the other tank before the engine died. (he’s been able to switch it on Anomaly as soon as the engine started to lag). It took him several tries to get Fifth Element to start again.

After that experience I insisted he buy a bit more fuel. There may be enough left to finish the trip, but I didn’t care to chance it. Conveniently, there are several marinas with fuel along the Newcastle Island passage to Nanaimo. We stopped at the Gas N Go and took on 120 liters. We anchored just off Newcastle Island at 3:15.

While waiting for dinner time, I wasted a lot of time going down one of those internet ratholes when I discovered the Wiki Loves Monuments project (more on that in another post). It’s nice to be in more regular cell contact, but it can be a curse as well.

We had a nice dinner of our favorite salmon burgers at the Dinghy Dock which was practically empty. We lingered to watch another lovely sunset.

Entering Newcastle Island Passage

Sunset from the Dinghy Dock on Protection Island

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