Saturday, July 2, 2011

Silva Bay

Silva Bay is a pretty little anchorage on the east side of Gabriola Island just south of Nanaimo across the Georgia Strait from Vancouver.  I have my steel hulled Folks 39.9 foot cutter rigged Sailing Vessel, GIRI moored in Coal Harbour.  The closest anchorages are up Indian Arm or in English Bay.  Either way I have to look at the tides and currents, (Canadian Tides and Current Tables, Volume 5, 2011) to choose the time for departure. To go up Indian Arm I have to pass through Second Narrows.   I usually motor under the First Narrows Lion's Gate bridge to English Bay. Then the closest anchorage is off Kits Beach in English bay or Snug Cove, Bowen Island. There are other close anchorages up Howe Inlet but because they're close they're commonly busier. Close anchorages are good when one only has a Saturday and Sunday to be on the water.
If one has a three day weekend, (thank you Canada Day), it's enjoyable to cross the Strait of Georgia and anchor among the Gulf Islands. Silva Bay is only 20 miles away, closer even than Nanaimo.  I like Montague and Salt Spring Island but to get to these one has to pass through another 'passage' either Gabriola, Porlier or Active Pass.  This requires consulting and planning one's journey with consideration of the 'currents' again.  Silva Bay doesn't require this.  That's another of it's attractions.  Another attraction of crossing the strait is that commonly on the return one gets a magnificent sail as often 20 knots winds and following seas seem the norm for the Sunday journey home.
I've come often.  Silva Bay has it's own little pub and store with a few other services, probably more now as it's been awhile since I've gone ashore. I remember really enjoying the pub food and especially breakfast on the deck from some earlier visit.  I've also  enjoyed attending church here.
It was a lovely motor sail across Georgia Strait yesterday. I fished for awhile unsuccessfully before Point Atkinson then moseyed across with the mainsail up and the motor running half speed, doing about 4 knots all the way.  It was about 25 miles altogether .  With fishing and playing and sun tanning on deck for a bit, we left Vancouver around noon and were anchored in Silva Bay at 7 pm.  I've come here often at night and had to be careful about Thrasher Rock and the reef.  My friend Bill was very anxious one night when I stopped the boat telling him I wasn't sure where I was and wanted to listen for the water on the reef.  Another night my ocean sailing Kiwi friend Vince fell asleep at watch on his boat and we bumped into the "Flat Top Islands" outside of Silva Bay.  It's really very easy to enter in the day coming through Commodore Passage and watching the depth to stay in the channel where another small reef marked by a day marker comes out from Tugboat Island.
Laura, Gilbert and Angel loved the ride. Anchoring was easy. Then it was time for barbecue. We had pork chops barbecued crispy with little potatoes boiled then served with butter and sour cream. The salad was a tasty packaged Caesar Salad special from Save On foods.  The bread was a Sev's Bakery creation.  Desert was Sillouete Vanilla yoghurt with mint chocolate on the side followed by Egyptian relaxing tea and honey.  As the sun set we sat on deck reading novels and enjoying the exquisite back yard view.
It's Saturday morning and I expect to sometime today get the dinghy in the water with at least paddles and maybe even the 4 hp outboard to take Gilbert and maybe even Laura ashore. Angel the cat doesn't like little boats and prefers to stay on her home guarding it from intruder pirates. Gilbert did his business on the fore deck this morning. I washed it off with a pail of sea water so there's nothing any of us need ashore. It's just that a bit of exploration might be fun.  Laura was up then went back to bed.  I've yet to consider showering and shaving as I've just been up reading and writing.  Maybe another cup of coffee?  Tough decisions -decisions, decisions. decisions
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