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Thanks for the (not so) Fun Ride, Strait of Georgia

Deep Bay, BC to Princess Cove on Wallace Island, BC


This morning in Deep Bay we woke up just after 4am and checked the weather. Nothing had changed since last night's forecast: 20-30kt winds. Back to sleep it is! But then around 7:30am when we checked again, things looked like they might have improved a bit, and we decided it couldn't hurt to poke our nose out and see if it was tolerable. We could always turn around. Again. 

So out we went. At first it seemed like conditions might be a little better than yesterday. The wind was pretty strong, and the waves were right on the bow…maybe 3-4 feet. (Okay, maybe 5.)

But the forecasted conditions further south were supposed to be more chill (eventually), so we went a little further as we discussed what we thought of the present conditions. Eventually we decided it was probably just as bad as it was yesterday, but the longer we discussed it, the further we went.

We talked about whether we were doing that "get home" thing where you go even when you shouldn't. We decided we weren't doing that.

We talked about the wind forecasts and whether the wind direction was going to change or stay the same. Pretty soon, the conditions were definitely WORSE than they were yesterday, but we'd gotten kind of used to the blamming and slamming, and turning around in that didn't sound fun either.

We discussed whether we were continuing on just because we didn't want to turn around. We decided we weren't doing that.

The further we went, the longer it was going to take to get back to Deep Bay if we turned around. The further we went, the worse it got.

The fans that de-fog the windshield were going full blast but waves were crashing over the bow and water was splashing over and over onto the windows, so the constant spray of cold sea water running down the windows was chilling the glass and causing more condensation to form on the inside. It looked like this most of the time:


But then when there were a few less waves splashing the windows and the de-fogging fans did their job more successfully and the windows cleared up a little bit, we realized we didn't really WANT to see out those windows. (Waves that you see in front of you look WAY bigger than the same waves that you see out the side windows as they pass by you, FYI.)

Okay…where's the next duck out spot? French Creek. There it is on the map…got it.

Alright…there it is, right over there…see all the masts?

"I feel like it's getting a little better. Do you feel like it's gotten a little better?"

"Ummmm, no, not really.Well, maybe."

Okay, what's the next duck out spot? Northwest Bay. Then Schooner Cove. Check!

We discussed whether these were the worst conditions we'd been in so far. The thing is, as your experience grows, your tolerance for conditions also grows. So if you're ever asking the question "Are these the worst conditions?" then the answer is probably "Yes." 🙂

By the time we neared Nanaimo, the conditions had improved significantly. We felt happy and calm and decided to go further while we could, so now we're anchored in Princess Cove on Wallace Island. 


There were only two other boats in here (both sailboats) and we're all anchored in the middle (rather than anchored and stern-tied) since there's so much room. 


We took the dinghy over to the dinghy dock and headed up to do some hiking. This is the dinghy dock:


Trail map of the island:



We took the trail over to Conover Cove and back…super pretty right along Houstoun Passage.


We explored this little rocky cove along the way:


Great textures in the rock:



After our hike we dinghied around a little to explore more of the island. It's gorgeous here! (Thanks for the recommendation, Sam!)



The sunset here was super pretty!


We cooked up a pot of soup and some garlic bread and we're relaxing now after a pretty eventful day (!!!!). 

Here's today's track (59 nautical miles) from Deep Bay to Princess Cove on Wallace Island:

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.12 PM



  1. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    Yes, the recompression thing. My next cruise is to the weekemd long Shelton Oyster Fest, Oct 3-4. Boaters belonging to a reciprocal club are hosted by Shelton yacht club, which involves rafting up at their docks. A shuttle bus conveniently stops at the marina throughout the day. Oysters, exhibits, beer garden, wine tasting, and skydivers whizzing overhead in wingsuits (my fav).

  2. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    …but you must brave the challenging, shoal strewn waters of Hammersly Inlet!

    • We were super tempted to dust off the Airstream and take it up to Oysterfest, but the timing just didn’t work out. Next year we’ll plan ahead and take the boat down there! Have a great time!

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