Sailing up Jervis Inlet I

Motoring up into Jervis Inlet–the point where the wind began

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.

Sailing under the Yankee

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.

Elisabeth enjoying the scenery

Happy skipper

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.

Screaming along

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.

Return in the fog

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About Karin Cope

Karin Cope divides her time between Nova Scotia and British Columbia. She is a poet, sailor, photographer, videographer, writer, activist, blogger and Associate Professor at NSCAD University. Her publications include Passionate Collaborations: Learning to Live with Gertrude Stein, a poetry collection entitled What we're doing to stay afloat, and, since 2009, a photo/poetry blog entitled Visible Poetry: Aesthetic Acts in Progress.
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