Day 2 started with good wind and flat water. We had lost sight of our competitors after our minor halyard mishap, but we were working hard to reel them back in. The wind continued to build through the morning (as did the chop) and we ended up hugging the westerly shore to stay in somewhat flatter water.
Shortly after crossing paths with the Hobie 20 (Hexagram 59) we threw a second reef in the main and a jiffy reef in the jib. As we pounded through the chop we started to see some small spiderweb cracking around the center beam. Luckily these cracks never developed into anything larger.
Our tacking angles were pretty awful when we were fighting the waves, so we worked the islands and made pretty decent progress. We found some dead air behind Hornby Island and had to pedal for an hour or so, but it was a welcome change of pace after crashing through waves all day. We even saw a few orcas on the backside of the island.
As we rounded Hornby our options for cover ran out. Matt made a quick dinner in the building chop, then somehow fell asleep as we crashed through the waves again. After a few pointless tacks where we made close to zero ground, we bore off and FLEW across the Straight. Josh and Nico called Matt up for an all hands white knuckled ride. Nico was driving, Josh was on the mainsheet, and Matt was ready to blow the jib. The Warrior 29 is a bit too heavy (3000lbs) to be righted after a capsize. She skips her hulls nicely, but flying is no bueno.
We got across to Harwood Island in record time, rounded the eastern edge of the island and started working our way north again. About 10 minutes after we came back into the straight we turned around, dropped the jib, and flew back to the lee of the island at close to 20 knts. We were knackered and weren’t able to make any real progress against the chop. We had also put a small hole in the jib that needed repair before we thrashed it again. As we rounded the island, we were pleasantly surprised to find Golden Oldies dropping anchor. We followed suit a few hundred feet away and got to work drying out and making some hot chocolate.
As we regrouped and began to warm up we saw aerial flares over Texada Island. It was a somber moment thinking about how easily that could have been us and how grateful we were to be safely at anchor. We heard Golden Oldies check in with the Cost Guard and mention that we were anchored nearby. (Much appreciated guys!)
Matt’s sister Rebecca had given us 7 chocolate bars in Port Townsend. Each with a poem attached. We unwrapped the first one and read an excerpt from the The Walking Drum. Satiated with chocolate, we fell asleep thinking about how lucky we were to be on that little boat, safe from the weather (temporarily), and finally warm. There may also have been a few thoughts of “what have we gotten ourselves into,” and “I really hope our tiny little anchor doesn’t drag.”
The anchor did indeed drag. Matt, who was asleep wrapped in the mainsail, noticed quickly and we were able to pedal into slightly shallower water where we had better scope. We held there for the rest of the night.