Training is crucial in open-ocean rowing
Two Vancouver women are set this June to become the first Canadian and first female pair to row across the vast Pacific Ocean; 3,900 kilometres from Monterey, Calif., to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Rebecca Berger and Leanne Zrum will compete in the first Great Pacific Race, along with 12 other crews.
What would prompt someone to make a wave-tossed vessel of less than seven metres home for two months? Read more about their adventure to row across the Pacific Ocean in the Vancouver Sun.
Last week we cast off the mooring lines for another five day cruise & learn adventure to the Gulf Islands. Light winds prevailed during the Strait of Georgia crossing.
This gave us time to talk about sail theory, collision regulations and navigation. How is that for a class room: Front row, ocean view!
The timing was right to get through Gabriola Pass a slack tide and shortly afterwards we dropped the anchor in Pirates Cove on De Courcy Island.
Done with the sailing lessons for the day, we fire up the BBQ and prepare salad. While waiting for the steaks, we have some appies and a cold drink.
Environment Canada forecast light winds again and we decided to head for Porlier Pass near the northern end of Trincomali Channel. This is the perfect sail practice area: We always find a fresh breeze, even when the seas all around are calm. It is also close to numerous, charming anchorages. Having done the class room sailing lessons the day before, it was time for the practical sailing lessons: Points of sail, tacking and gybing are the first steps to become a sailor. That night we snug down in Princess Cove on Wallace Island, one of the most lovely places one can visit in the Gulf Islands.
For the history buffs among you: Trincomali channel was named after the HMS Trincomalee. Built 1812 in Bombay, India, she can now be seen at the dockyard museum in Hartlepool, England. This makes her the oldest boat of the Royal Navy still afloat.
After the basic sailing lessons of the previous day, it was time to introduce crew overboard procedures. The building breeze at the entrance to Ganges Harbour made for perfect conditions. Ganges, on Saltspring Island, is named after the HMS Ganges, the last Navy sailing ship to serve as a flagship. Snugged down at Ganges Marine, we were treated to a delicious dinner at Calvin’s Bistro, a delightful Swiss restaurant with a gorgeous view over Ganges Harbour.
Please allow me to introduce two of our sailing students: Rebecca Berger & Leanne Zrum. They are currently preparing to cross the Pacific in a rowboat from Monterey, California to Hawaii. 2,100 miles through the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, unassisted they will be the first female pair to have ever done this!
You can visit their website and learn more about their incredible journey as they prepare for the race start in 2014: http://www.rowthepacific.ca
During the last two days we slowly made our way back to Vancouver. Sailing north in Trincomali Channel the next day we were alerted by a May Day call. A power boat ran aground at Panther Point (south end of Wallace Island). Being nearby, we started the engine and approached the Panther Point. When we arrived maybe 15 minutes later, another power boat was already on scene evacuating all passengers to shore. Shortly thereafter the Coast Guard was on scene. With now apparent damage and all passengers save on shore, they departed soon. A commercial towing vessel was called and we left the scene towards Clam Bay.
Salmon BBQ was on the menu that night. To make slack tide at Porlier Pass, we weighed the anchor at 6 am, made it through the pass in time and stopped at Dionisio Point for a more relaxed breakfast before crossing the Strait of Georgia back to Vancouver.
Another cruise & learn, with four wonderful students came to an end when we docked at back in Vancouver.
Your Simply Sailing Team,
Christof is the owner and operator of Simply Sailing. An enthusiastic sailor he loves to share his knowledge with other sailors.
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