Thankfully, it was cooler this morning. Which was great after it had been so hot for the past three days. The forecast was good, so we decided to continue south and stop at Montague Harbour. We wanted to try anchoring tonight to see if the batteries would hold a charge overnight.
We had a leisurely departure at 1030 under sunny skies, with warm (not hot!) temperatures and calm conditions until we turned onto Trincomali Channel, where we encountered a fresh southeast wind on our nose that cooled things off enough that we scrambled to find sweatshirts!
We were glad to get behind the islands outside Montague, which sheltered us from the wind. We saw lots of boats on the Montague Harbour Provincial Park mooring buoys, but very few at anchor. We found a nice open spot and set the hook. Felt nice to be away from the dock. It was calm and things were nice and quiet.
After we had lunch, Jim looked to see how the batteries were doing. Now the battery monitor showed 12.25 volts, only an hour after we shut down the engine! With that much battery discharge so quickly, we weren’t sure the house batteries would last overnight. Our engine starting batteries and the house batteries are isolated from each other. The bad batteries are two of the house batteries, and it seems they might be the reason that the other house batteries are not charging properly.
So we weren’t worried about being able to start the engine in the morning, but we were concerned that if our house batteries got too low, our refrigeration, heating, or any system that uses the batteries would stop working…meaning, among other things, that the food in our refrigerators and freezer might go bad. Not a good thing.
We felt the prudent thing to do would be to get to a marina with power. By now it was after 1500 in the afternoon, and we weren’t crazy about pulling up the anchor and moving, but that’s how cruising is sometimes. We considered going over to Montague Harbour Marina, which is shouting distance from where we were anchored, but weren’t sure of their services and couldn’t get a cell signal so weren’t able to call them to ask. We needed to go outside the surrounding islands to get a cell signal, but if we did that, why not continue over to Ganges? The weather forecast called for stronger winds tonight and tomorrow, and if we had to stay a second night, Ganges would offer more shore side amenities.
We stayed at Ganges Marina last year and had a bad experience (see this page from our 2012 trip), and decided we needed to try another place. Once we were out in open water and had a cell signal, we called Salt Spring Marina, which is located at the very head of Ganges Harbour. They did have space and gave us a slip assignment, and told us to come tie up whenever we got there. Since it was late in the afternoon, they said the office might be closed when we arrived and to come up at 1000 in the morning to register. Nice!
We encountered a brisk southeast wind as soon as we entered Trincomali Channel, and it was on our port beam for most of the short trip to Ganges, causing the boat to roll and be a little uncomfortable. Fortunately the trip only takes about an hour, and when we got to Salt Spring Marina the conditions at the head of the bay were almost calm. Our slip assignment pointed our bow to the south, which is the prevailing wind in Ganges. Having the bow to the wind always makes the boat more comfortable.
We liked Salt Spring Marina. The docks are wood, but in good shape. It’s a bit of a walk to the office and washrooms, and about a 10-minute walk to town, but it’s quiet and has a comfortable feel. One of the docks is reserved by Seattle Yacht Club to use as an outstation.