I had intended to sail to Portland Island for the first visit of the season, but due to the strong Southwesterly winds (20 Kts.), I dropped the hook at Sidney Spit instead. The Spit offers a little more protection from the South and while one does have to contend with all the chop created by the crabbers, at least there's no ferry wash.
Gina is on-board for her first cruise of the season. We motored out past the regatta taking place in Cadboro Bay and while I was raising the jib, we managed to snag a commercial fishing trap. Actually we both saw the big yellow float, but by the time we resumed course with all sails up, there was no sign of it. I pulled a 360 degree turn once we were through Banes Channel but I didn't dislodge anything, so we carried on to Sidney Spit. There was no vibration or additional wake from anything snagged on us. In retrospect however with an average speed of only 4.10 Kts., with the flood and a strong wind, performance was cannibalized.
That's right, CANNIBALIZED! And no, I don't think that's too strong a term for it. I totally forgot about the float until we dropped anchor at the Spit.
The sail North was invigorating. With a strong wind warning posted for SW 15 - 20 Kts, I rigged main and jib and was nicely powered all the way. The wind let off slightly just before D'Arcy Shoal but then quickly picked up as it funneled through Sidney Channel. Gina took the helm and sailed wing-and-wing, which is pretty fucking impressive for a novice. (No offense G.)
In a following sea of 3 to 5 foot chop, we were comfortable yet still able to make great time. As I told Gina; "When we turn into this wind to drop the sails, it will appear windy, wet and cold. Here, take the helm!!"
Acting in the great tradition of heroes like Horatio Hornblower, Captain Blood, Captain Ahab, Captain Marvel, and Captain Sparrow to name but a few, I climbed the rigging with sail ties in my mouth. Fighting the not-even-close-to gale force winds I brought the sails down and secured the rigging in preparation for anchoring.
It was blowing so hard from the South that I didn't even have to put the engine in reverse to set the hook. I gave her a burst anyway, as I always do and then shut down the mighty Yanmar 15 HP diesel engine. That's when Bob, as we came to refer to the stow-away crab trap, surfaced a few feet to our stern.
It's a pirate's luck the damn thing didn't foul on the prop. I had completely forgot about it by then. Oh well, that was the only potential disaster of the weekend. All in all, not bad.
For the next two nights we continued our exploration of Sidney Spit, the beach and the campers. Even found a huge octopus washed up on the beach. Never seen that before.