Friday, July 17, 2015

Brooks Peninsula Birthday

Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook, named for Captain Cook, has changed little since the famous sailor laid eyes on it. Somehow the Brooks Peninsula escaped the last ice age as well as the hand of man, leaving it stunningly beautiful. Sticking six miles out into the Pacific Ocean, the peninsula has a reputation for nasty wind and ginormous waves earning it the nickname The Cape of Storms. It also happened to be our next big obstacle on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Billy Proctor had warned us that if we saw the "Cap on the Cape" forming in the afternoon after a sunny morning we should turn back because the wind would fill in and it was going to get rough out there. Rough for Billy equals mind numbingly terrifying for us.

We were stuck in North Harbor listening to the wind and weather on the radio, waiting for our chance to go around the Brooks. After two nights of waiting in soggy conditions, the winds were forecast to die down for a day so we jumped at the chance to get out of depressing, clearcut Quatsino Sound. We were anxious to lay our eyes on some pristine country and old growth apex forests. We awoke bright and early on Jason's birthday and were out by 6:45am to make our passage around the dreaded, anxiety producing Brooks Peninsula. The day started calm and cloudy as we raised anchor, then shortly after exiting the sound the wind filled and we had 15 knots behind us along with a following swell which translated into a beautiful run downwind. Like something out of Mordor, there was a perfect line between gloom to the north and sun to the south directly over the peninsula. We felt like we were sailing back toward the sun and summer. After we passed Solander Island the sun broke out and the swells slowly built. We spent the afternoon basking in the sunshine and surfing down 10-12 foot waves. It was awesome. As we entered calmer waters, Pika emerged from her cubby desperate for a bathroom break since she had refused before our early departure (she can be a bit grumpy early in the morning) so we put her leash on her and placed the chihuahua on the swim step where she performed her bathroom duties as we slowly sailed along. Good dog. After 7 hours of amazing sailing we dropped anchor in Columbia Cove and went for a swim and a hike to the beach. We were so thankful for such a great passage and it felt glorious to have two out of the four major obstacles of the west coast out of the way, the perfect way to spend a birthday.

Click here for photos.

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