Today, roll call was at 0730 and we all left the dock at eight as planned, then we motored as a group out of the harbour and around the west end of Malcolm Island. Destination: Claydon Bay.
After yesterday's gale, today's conditions were remarkably calm. We occasionally encountered winds of five to ten knots crossing Queen Charlotte Strait and Intrepid sailed all afternoon but most boats headed straight to Claydon Bay and anchored in a well-protected corner. A few of our group went to Sullivan Bay to enjoy the floating town and marina an extra day. The flotilla is loosely organised, with boats proceeding according to their own wishes, but keeping in touch by radio and planning in face to face meetings whenever we are in ports.
In spite of few small mechanical issues here and there, all boats are able to keep up. With this many people an boats travelling together, each is secure in the knowledge that we are being led by experienced explorers and supported by the considerable combined wisdom and experience of the other skippers and crews.
Tomorrow's destination is Sullivan Bay on North Broughton Island, a mere 4.2 nautical miles from our present anchorage. We are now halfway through our time and as far north and east as we will go. These days, we are enjoying the Broughtons region, but from here, each stop will be a little closer to our home base at Powell River.
We've finally officially arrived at The Broughtons, even though we are actually passing them to the south and spending the rest of the day and night at Port McNeill, just south of our target area. The plan is to fuel up, provision, and rest up tonight; then travel the 30+ sea miles to Turnbull Cove on the mainland north of the Broughton Islands tomorrow. From then on, we'll just do short daily trips from one bay or marina to the next and enjoy the area.
We all arrived at Port McNeill mid-afternoon and tied up at North Island Marina and went ashore. At 1700, we had a skippers meeting and the plans changed. The forecast is for winds up to 35 knots tomorrow, so that is a good reason to stay put and enjoy Port McNeill.
The decision now is to stay in Port McNeill a second day to wait out the gale, then cross to Claydon Bay which is a bit closer and better sheltered from the expected winds than Turbull Cove.