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.--- Sailing Towards Nelson & Noise in the Night ---

.......................................--- Tuesday July 28, 2009 ---

Night's Anchorage: South side of Lake about 5 miles east of Nelson.

( N. 49o 32.805' -- W. 117o 14.463' ) Sailed about 9 1/2 miles -- motored about 1/4 miles


On a side note last night we practiced reefing the main sail which had not been a strong point of ours. Before when we reefed we had always reefed down to the 2nd and last reef point. I had problems tying the reef lines around the sail and the sail looked like a mess and the boom always hung way down so that we had to fold the bimini back out of the way.

While practicing I tied the first reef in and pulled the sail as far to the rear of the boom as possible with a line at the reef cringle. A second small line was use to pull the cringle down to the boom also and was wrapped and tied around the boom at the cringle. Now when the main halyard was pulled tight the boom stayed above the bimini even when reefed. (Since then I have even made this better with two cleats added to the side of the boom. Each is slightly behind where the cringle is when it is pulled down to the boom. I put a knot in the end of a line and put it through the hole in the middle of the cleat. Then the line goes down around the boom and up and through the cringle and then the line is pulled down and back around the cleat and cleated off. I know there are other ways, but this works very quickly with minimum parts and keeps the boom up and has good sail shape. I'll add pictures to the site in the "Rigging Section" later.)

The same procedure as above was used if we wanted to go to the second reef point and the results were just as good.


Ok back to the days events. We got up late and had coffee with cereal and bananas after our trip to the store the previous day, a treat for us. We were in no real hurry and there wasn't much wind and what their was was out of the east, an unusual occurrence for us to this point. It finally struck us that we were going west to Nelson and this wind could save us a lot of tacking that we thought would be the case in the normally SW prevailing winds that we had been experiencing.

We made preparations to get underway and decided to motor our a few hundred yards to avoid any dumb mistakes that would add to the past memories of running aground next to the nearby beach. Once a ways out we turned to the southwest and headed towards the narrows that had taken us forever to tack through a few days before. Running with the wind at our backs we quickly made it 7/8's of the way through the narrows and towards the next wide part of the lake arm to the west a mile away. At the end of the narrows we came into the wind shadow caused by the nearby mountainside. Instead of floating around like we usually do we fired up the Honda and motored about 1/2 mile sideways in the arm to the north where we picked up a small amount of air again.


This part of the arm, called the Upper West Arm, was about 3 miles long before the next narrows. With a storm behind us we began a period of R & R, running and some reaching, and fairly quickly made the 3 miles to the next narrows. We were tempted to run the narrow with the sails only, but the wind let up and reason overtook carelessness and we motored the short 1/4 mile run to the next wide part of the arm called "Lower West Arm".


Back under sail and trying to fly the Genoa on one side and the Main on the other with mixed results in ever increasing winds we made the couple miles to the next narrows in short order. With a good wind at our back now the Genoa was lowered and we ran right through the narrows on the Main alone.


We passed houses on the north shore as the highway is on that side of the lake arm. On the south shore there are no houses along the west end of the arm.

On the ridiculously small and not too accurate advertising map we were navigating by there appeared to be a bay just past the narrows on the south side of the lake(off the port side in the next picture). We decided that this bay would be our destination for the night even though it was only about 4 p.m.. It appeared to maybe be the last good anchorage before Nelson 5 miles away (arrow above points to the bridge at Nelson).


We did a short beam reach on the main over towards where we wanted to go the then let the main drift around to where it just luffed and started the Honda. Ruth guided us straight towards shore until we were in about 9-10 feet of water and yes we had remembered to raise the centerboard (see the reminder in the next picture).


In about 9 feet of water she turned to starboard and ran parallel to shore for about 100 yds. past what appeared to be an abandoned campsite (see above). This site on the map was marked "Troop Beach". The anchor and about 100 feet of rode went into the water. This anchorage was picked to get us out of the east wind driven waves that had placed us the previous two days. Well about the time the anchor hit the water the wind shifted to the west and started to send waves right in on us.

I took a stern line to shore in the dingy and tied the stern off to some rocks leaving the stern about 50 feet offshore and made sure that the anchor rode was short enough that the boat wouldn't be swung into shore if the wind shifted to the west during the night.

Ruth made some fettuccini with butter sauce that she dumped a can of peas into and I grilled some pork chops on the grill at the stern along with two hamburgers for the next day. After dinner clothes were washed and hung on the life lines and the generator was run for the usual daily 30 minutes or so to top off the batteries.

After some reading and writing and crocheting by Ruth it was time to turn in for our 21st night on the Kera Jane since leaving home. All of those nights were on the water with the exception of 3 nights in the boat on the trailer.


Live is still good and we can see the lights of Nelson and the bridge by it from our anchorage. We made 9 of the 14 miles towards Nelson today in a little over 3 hours. Yesterday I would have thought it would have taken us two days to reach this anchorage.

Well I thought I was done writing this journal last night, but there was yet one more highlight to the day or in this case the middle of the night.

About 3-4 hours after going to sleep Ruth awakes me and says "What is that noise?". To me it sounds like something is running over or going right through the boat and that the world and/or our lives is coming to an end. I slide out of the V-Berth as quick as I can and stand up in the cabin and try and look out the sides of the pop-top cover as the horrendous noise continues. All of a sudden I became more awake and realize it is a freight train going by us on the side of the lake about 100 yds. away (the tracks are in the trees where the arrow is pointing in the third picture above). The world won't end tonight and we go back to sleep.

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