13 June 2012
The cruising guides all warn sailors to be prepared for a long motor up the Jervis Inlet, a 46 mile fjord, if they’re headed to Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls. If you’re lucky, they say, you might have a spinnaker run.
We left Pender Harbour early in the morning under the iron sail, turning up the Agamemnon Channel–named for another British Navy ship, of course, the 19th century apparently stuffed full of officers trained in the classics. At Sechelt Inlet, the wind was strong enough to turn the blades of the wind generator, so we hauled out the Yankee and shut down the engine. As the wind grew, our hull zinged along the water almost on a dead run. As Karin and Elisabeth dashed about the deck taking photos of the mountaintops and countless waterfalls, Skipper Marike couldn’t decide which she was enjoying more—the scenery or the sail.
Quietly we screamed along the waveless water, jibing the Yankee around bend after bend for 40 miles to Malibu Rapids. At times we kept up with a trawler or two roaring along at 10 knots. The hull speed of Quoddy’s Run is supposed to be 7.25 knots, based on a mathematical formula for the length of a displacement hull—but obviously she does not know that. Sailing up Jervis Inlet on a clear day with a following wind was one of the best—and most unexpected—sails of our lives.
Alas, the sail back out of Jervis Inlet a few days later was in pouring rain, overcast skies, low visibility and no wind….for hours on end.