Battling Wild Mountain Winds Sailing into BC's Largest Fjord | A&J Sailing S3Ep.8

Battling Wild Mountain Winds Sailing into BC's Largest Fjord | A&J Sailing S3Ep.8

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A huge gust came, hit the boat,  the main slashed over.. All of a   sudden from this thunder system building over  the mountain here. It came down straight out   of the North and hit the boat wing-on-wing,  flipped the main back over and buried the  rails.

[Music] You're joining us in this remote fjord  cutting deep into the heart of the Pacific Coastal   Mountain Range. This crater-like anchorage is  the only safe refuge in this 100 km canyon,   carved out by glaciers of the last ice age. Lined  with towering snow-crowned peaks and massive ice   fields, the mountains here generate their own  unique weather systems making sailing around these   parts a little dicey.. and although we journeyed  up here during a period of stable conditions,   we've learned that when sailing into the mountains  you have to be prepared and ready for anything.. It's been fun scrambling around these rocks  here, it's very like subalpine terrain. You can  

definitely tell that in the winter the wind rips  through here it would get that Arctic outflow,   you can see that huge debris, dead heads, giant  logs have been washed up on the beach on the   southern side of this anchorage and then also  that the trees are so windswept, it reminds me   so much of the terrain in Newfoundland or like  any sort of subalpine environment but we're at   sea level so yeah definitely a harsh environment  in the winter would not want to be sailing up here   then or if you were you'd be one tough *MF* You  want to really check the weather carefully yeah   but it's beautiful here now. True to the summer  weather patterns it was completely calm overnight   so we weren't too worried we slept really well and  had full trust in the stern tie anchor situation   definitely a good stopping off point when you're  traveling up Burke Channel yeah otherwise it's a   whole like nearly 70 M slog to do in one day,  it's nice to break it up into 30m junks mhm   I was really anxious this morning when I woke  up thinking that it was just going to be like   steady headwinds the rest of the 30 miles up the  inlet and that would make the going really hard,   but I am delighted to see that it has turned  right around and we have a lovely little inflow   breeze again yeah so it should be a very similar  day to yesterday we sailed from Kisameet Bay all   the way up here to Cathedral point so was about 30  nautical miles and it was perfect downwind sailing   the entire day. We were not expecting that, so  go and check that video out because that one   was phenomenal but yeah so we're halfway up the  inlet and we're going to continue on today. Yep I  

think we're going to go to South Bentinck arm and  maybe go explore and see if we can't find some hot   springs down there. So it's another 30 nautical  miles so if we get going it's now before midday   around 10:00 in the morning and we should get  there for dinner time I reckon! So getting out   of stern tie situations is always a little bit fun  because at the moment we're pulled really hard on   the stern tie so as soon as we cut it loose the  boat's going to start to swing out across the   bay so I'm going to untie it we'll put the dingy  in the water ready to go I'll try to hang onto   the boat and see if I can hold it and if I can,  I'll bring it down here we'll jump in the dingy,   pull ourselves back and bring in the anchor rode  before we swing into the other shore [Music] [Music] yeah yep we're going to fall off the wind here Well we're back under sail, sailing downwind  at 3.2 knots. The big rock formation just up   the channel here is called Gibraltar point I  believe because it kind of resembles the rocks   of Gibraltar which is pretty cool! it's a big  granite face that comes right down to sea level   and looks absolutely phenomenal. Generally you  only see things like that above 1,000 M up in  

the alpine so it's really cool to see such a huge  granite slab just come right down to level, and I   imagine that below the ocean it just continues  going down 1,000 ft to the bottom of the inlet. These Granite Cliffs are are so spectacular,  you usually have to get up pretty high into the   alpine to see rock formations like this,  just so steep plummeting into the ocean,   it's just super dramatic to see them just  at the water's edge and this is all carved   out by glaciers thousands and thousands of  years ago. Really when you think about it,   what we're looking at is the tops of the  mountains and they go for another thousand   meters below the ocean so, we don't even know  how deep it is here, our depth sounder is off   the charts so it's it's probably more than 1,000  M it just goes straight down. Some big mountains! [Music] So we just hit 5 knots which is aces, not  expecting to travel down wind this fast   today but I freaking love it. I was just having  a fun little thought contrast of all of the crazy   forces involved in carving out this Inlet with  a ratio and the erosion of the earth and all of   that big powerful physical forces and yet here  we are sailing downwind in a casual 10 knots of   breeze on a beautiful sunny day! Just what a  crazy juxtaposition of environmental forces.  

Really fun to think about! Anyway that's one of  the things I keep my mind interested in while   sailing. I am slowly getting burnt on one side  of my body because yesterday all the sun was   over here and today all the sun is over here  so I have like a one side tan - it's not like   a farmer's tan it's kind of like a trucker tan  when you have one arm out the window and it's   always burnt the other one's white. You need a  bigger hat yeah probably need a bigger hat and   some linen long sleeves or something. Stoked  to be doing such a great speed 4 and a half   five knots we're only just coming through  slack at the moment and it's turning to a   flood so the current will be going with us in  the next couple of hours so hopefully we'll be   even making better ground which is phenomenal.  What a lovely lovely sail up this channel. Burke   channel, would recommend! Some of the most  dramatic scenery I've seen on the BC Coast! We are careening along right now at an average  of 6 knots speed overground. We've been surfing   some waves as well, the channel is a little bit  narrower here and the mountains are steeper so   I think the wind is really channeling through  and getting sucked upwards pulling us with it!   we're noticing that the color of the water is  starting to change so it's a little bit more   turquoise due to the glacial silt - we've got  about six or seven more miles to go before we   reach the head of Burke Channel where it branches  off to North and South Bentinck arm. North would  

take us to Bella Coola and South would take us  to Tallheo Hot Springs. I think we're itching   for a little Hot Spring Hot Soak action. So  I think we're going to take the South Route   and head to the South springs for a little  bit before we continue North to reprovision. How's it feeling up there? A little rollier.. yeah i feel that, the sea state's builidng.

Okay, there it goes you go pull it in Back to making lunch! Thanks Al! Between the back and forth of running up into the  cockpit and helping James with sail changes I'm   down here making some burritos. I have to use up  some mushrooms carrots salsa and stuff like that   as well as our cheese so sauté some mushrooms  and onions threw in some carrots and peppers   some spices.. they are vegetarian burritos so  they're made with black beans.. at first I was   like oh no I overpacked these burritos and I  didn't think I was going to be able to roll   them but I managed to. They are huge but my  thinking is we can sort of eat half and then  

in a few hours when we're hungry again we can  eat the other half that way that minimizes my   time down here in the galley sloshing from side to  side and leaving James up at the helm by himself. This is is amazing, like  the color of the water mhm [Music] wow [Music] All right let's just get through  this little squally spot.. Wow I just finished eating my burrito and  James and I were talking about putting the   Drone up because it was so calm and we were  going wing on wing and then all of a sudden   a huge gust came hit the boat, the main  slashed over, the preventer line flew out   of the winch all the stuff on the port side  of the boat hit the starboard including the   rest of my burrito.. we didn't really get  down but we did put the rails in the water.. We did! The wind basically did like a 120° shift  and instead up coming up Burke Channel it came all   of a sudden from Little Thunder system from the  mountain here and came down straight out of the   North, hit the boat wing on wing, flipped  the main back over and buried the rails. That's a really good reminder not to be  complacent in these places.. I mean you're  

getting winds rushing down from the mountains  there's a lot of different systems that build   over these mountain peaks and yeah you just  have to be ready for anything really. We got   lucky on that one but we got to keep 'on awares'  we're not in Kansas anymore.. No but we are now   traveling at 6 and 1/2 knots with the wind  on a beam directly off the next channel so hey [Music] We've been getting some real spicy gusts coming  down off this little bit of weather so we just   put the first reef in the main just in case  they get a little bit intense we uh decided   this time just because it was a little bit  windier that we're just rolling the headsail,   put the motor on put the boat up into irons  properly so that we can tie the reef in nice   and securely while we had good control of the boat. So we did that that we let the main   sheet back out turned back down wind and  now we're sailing 4 and 1/2 knots down   wind again on the first reef without the  head Sail out so still making good gains.

[Music] James and I just checked the updated weather  forecast cuz we are at the head of Channel   deciding whether we want to go north or  south Marine forecasts really aren't very   accurate for up here at the head of these  inlets so we just checked the forecast for   Bella Coola which is the nearest closest city or  town and it said for tomorrow they're expecting   thunder showers sort of all day with 20 km an  hour winds gusting to 40.. so 40 is a little   bit steep! We assume that if it's going to  be gusting like that up there it'll likely   be the same just south of here in Larso Cove  which is where we wanted to stage ourselves in   order to get to the hot springs. We're not  familiar with the anchorage in Larso Cove,   there's not a lot of information on it.. there  used to be a logging operation there with a log  

boom that you can tie up to but who knows if  that's still the case and we're not quite sure   what the holding is like or the swing room and  we don't want to be caught in 40 knots of wind   in an anchorage like that. Too many unknowns  so I think we're going to head north of the   Bella Coola, we'll position ourselves safely  in there and that way if tomorrow's storm rolls   in we can always put ourselves on the dock  but we're closer to civilization if anything   were to go wrong.. but yeah that's some spicy  weather in the forecast.. we definitely want to   be caught with our pants down in that so yeah.. If this is like a little thunderstorm I can only   imagine what a system would be like that's  twice its size or even bigger. I mean we're   sailing just on the first reef with the the  main and we're doing 5 and a half six knots   so I think we're better off to go in where  we're a little bit more protected a little   bit more safe and just kind of keep an eye on  the weather forecast for the next few days and   make a better game planed decision. But I think  we're making the right choice by changing plans  

avoiding getting stuck down a very remote Inlet.  Good on us for changing our minds constantly! We have moved up here into North Betinick arm,  there was a dramatic change in the water line   from Burke Channel coming up here and that's where  the salt water hits the fresh water trapping some   of the fresh water up here in the arm and  it's just a deeper shade of milky turquoise   because it has an increased amount of glacial  sediment in it. The wind seems to be funneling   straight down South Bentinick so we would have  been sailing hard all the way down to Larso,   but coming in here is really quite protected  and pretty chilled out. There is a little bit   of a downdraft wind coming out of the channel  and we were going to try to sail up wind but   we can't get the Genoa out at the moment because  the UV cover which you've probably seen by now,   has been ripped and has been flapping around  like crazy.. it's somehow wrapped itself around   the forestay and is kind of constricting the head  sail from coming out when it's furled so that'll   be a job for the morning when hopefully it's  calm, we can take a look at the sail and see   what the heck's going on there. Bit of a pain  in the ass cuz we can't sail upwind at all um  

without a head sail so I'm glad that we're going  into Bella Coola so that we can deal with uh some   of these problems and fix some of the problems  that we're having on the boat to make it sail   better! It does look like the Northern sea wolf  is steaming up our asses - that's the ferry that   runs from Port Hardy up to Bella Bella up to  Prince Rupert and then back - it also makes   a stop in here at Bella Coola and yeah we'll  probably be seeing it Go by in like 3 2 1[Music] [Music] [Music] wow [Music] [Music] wow here you go Nice! yay! awesome yay, it's untangled!  That thing had like formed a proper slip   knot around so there was no way that  was going to come undone on its own   but luckily it was just within reach  of the gaff so that's fabulous. So now   we can take down the sail and clean it  all up cut it off or stitch it back up! Thank you, laundry time! We're  on the quarantine dock mhm you   got to paddle everywhere. I mean  you can't walk but this is funner. [Music] 0:23:57.880,1193:02:47.295 [Music]

[Music] Well we are currently hoofing it into  town to get some provisions. I'm in the frame   now hey we're going into town because that gusty  wind blew up and it's pretty bumpy down at the   anchorage.. well at the marina I guess. The  forecast was pretty accurate and that gusty   thunderstorm sort of weather did spike up here  so we ended up taking our laundry off the boat   rather than leaving it blowing around like that  and we're currently walking the kilometer and a   half into Bella Coola. Yeah there's some thick  cumulous clouds building that are moving in so   I reckon we'll get a storm later this afternoon,  tons of white caps out on this part of the bay so   I'm sure it's howling further down the channels  so we're glad that we're not down in a bay   anchored up with questionable holding and slightly  exposed to the wind.. good choice to come up here   to Bella Coola yeah yeah we're heading into town  hopefully go see what groceries and knickknacks   and fishing supplies they have up here so we'll  uh catch up with you when we get into town [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] oh [Music] This is our second day of sewing the UV cover back  onto our sail.. it's probably been 6 hours or so   in the making and I've sewn probably 2/3 of the  sail so there's parts of the sail where the sail's   reinforced and it's like six or seven layers of  Dacron thick and for the life of me, I cannot   get a needle through it. So because I don't have  an awl l I have found this little piece of steel,  

sharpened one end with the trusty Dremel,  blunted the other end and made a punch so that   I can punch holes through many layers of Dacron  and then sew up the last little bit of our sail! If you don't have the tool you make  the tool because you are the tool.   The tool is your brain! The tool is you. Really handy to have on a boat is a portable   Dremel because you can do so many little jobs  with these things they have cutting discs and   grinding discs and sanding discs and just Ultra  handy for any small task like making an awl. Is the Dremel in your top 10 tools box? Well I am all of top 10 of my  10 tools so it's on number 11. We did fix two rips that were in the  panels of Dacron so that's been good   and we've tied sewn down pretty much the  entirety of the edge from the top of the   sail down to the bottom panel so almost there!  Should be able to finish it up today and then   hopefully it'll be still enough that we can  put the sail back up on the forestay [Music] Thanks for watching folks! Give it a thumbs  up if you enjoyed this one and don't forget   to subscribe if you're new here! And a super  big thanks to our newest Patreons Caroline   Larry Juan and Paul you guys are absolute  Legends! We'll see you all next week, cheers!

2023-11-15 04:34

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