After our 11-hour trip from Desolation Sound to Nanaimo, we decided to stay a second day at Nanaimo. It was a good time to take care of some maintenance around the boat and to rest. We took a long walk along the Nanaimo Harbour Walkway in the morning before it got too hot. The heat wave was continuing, and it was in the high 80s or low 90s again today. Not much wind in Port of Nanaimo either, and it didn’t get below 60 overnight. The boat was hot.
This morning’s marine weather forecast for Georgia Strait was “wind light.” That’s all. There was no mention of wind direction or velocity. We can’t remember ever hearing such a short forecast. It was cloudy with fog in places and Phoenix was still soaked from last night’s rain. But it was calm in Refuge Cove and the rain had stopped, so we decided it was time to head south.
Refuge Cove, on West Redonda Island, is a main supply point for boats traveling in Desolation Sound. The facility includes a fuel dock and a store with basic supplies, a small selection of fresh vegetables, dairy items, frozen foods, a full liquor store, a post office, and a small café/gift shop. Their moorage includes power and WiFi, so we decided to head over there.
We ended up staying two more days in Prideaux Haven, one of the premier anchorages in Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park. The unsettled weather persisted, including strong southeast winds in the straits. However, it was calm in the anchorage and was a good place to stay until we had better traveling weather. Our day started out cloudy and dry, but the rain set in by mid-morning and turned into a downpour for the rest of the day…and night…and next day…and night… You get the picture.
It rained hard all night and we had lots of noise from the Canoe Pass turbulence, when waves splashed against our stern as the current reached peak velocity. Between the rain on the deck and the waves on the hull, it wasn’t a great night for sleeping! Our barometer was still low this morning (1008 millibars) and it was foggy again and raining hard. We had our choice of leaving Dent Island when the current was slack at either 0600 or 1200. We decided to wait for the 1200 slack, hoping the fog would clear out and the rain would let up.
It rained hard overnight and was still raining when we woke up this morning. It was also very foggy and the forecast called for southeast winds of 15-25 knots. Decided we’d spend a second day at the comfortable Dent Island Lodge docks. It seemed like a better alternative than trying to navigate through the rapids in fog!