Country Mouse in the Big City

Tarani of Vancouver, WA visits Vancouver, not WA. We’re just country hicks from Cluck County, Vantucky. Vancouver, BC is like whole other country.

Early chilly start departing Blaine.DSC00482 But fun sailing upwind!

Then a mariner’s challenge sailing a small vessel, invisible to the big guys, past Tsawassen ferry terminal and the port for the cargo vessels and the coal (its gotta be on the way out!) terminal. We were using eyeballs, brains (hah, just kidding!), Victoria Traffic on channel 11, AIS on the chartplotter and the trusty iPad with iNavx and CHS charts running. Pretty busy place, running up the east side of Strait of Georgia. At one time we called a vessel that was being turned by tugs heading out from Deltaport attempting bridge-to-bridge communications to figure out if we could maintain our course since we were not sure which course he would assume once clear of his tugs. He never answered but Victoria Traffic advised that we were the “give way” vessel and should alter course as appropriate. Well, duh!

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After that it was a nice sunny day. At least until a vessel came on the radio declaring Mayday! A 35′ trawler with an engine room fire that was uncontrolled by the fire extinguisher, crew was abandoning ship into their dinghy. The situation was well-handled by the vessel captain as well as Victoria Coast Guard radio, I thought. A CCG-generated, automated MMSI emergency alert came across theVHF that gave a position over one hour away from us, near Porlier Pass in the Gulf Islands so we did not divert to help. Although I really wanted to put my VFD retirement fire axe to work! (chop that boat up like a truckie, instead of just using it to chop firewood)  Other vessels did come to his aid but it sounded like the fire went out more or less on its own. The CCG (Côte Garde) also sent out their amazing hovercraft that we saw from a distance. I think its based at the Vancouver airport where it can travel over the mudflats better than any other type of vessel. Here’s a pic I got of that boat (?) from last year when it responded to a vessel collision near Ganges. It flies over the water!

Something wicked this way comes!

After that it was easy sailing. Until the tug and log raft decided to turn towards us. Then stop. OK, OK, no problem. Whatever log master.

Eventually we rounded Point Grey and headed into English Bay and into False Creek.

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at the Fisherman’s Wharf Customs dock

We had obtained a (free) permit for anchorage in False Creek while en route and found a decent place. Settled in and got the sailcover on just before a downpour. This should be fun. We plan to dinghy in and wander around and explore the City tomorrow. Meanwhile enjoying the sights and sounds of urbanized humanity.

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